Dr. Claudewell S. Thomas M.D., Psychiatrist

Dr. Claudewell S. Thomas M.D.

Psychiatrist | Psychiatry



Dr. Claudewell Thomas is a public health/community psychiatrist living in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Dr. Thomas is a medical doctor who specialized in the care of mental health patients.He is an academic psychiatrist with a long history of administration and teaching. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Thomas has diagnosed and treated mental illnesses through a variety of methods including medications, psychotherapy or talk therapy, psychosocial interventions and more, depending on each individual case. Different medications that a psychiatrist might prescribe include antidepressants, antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers, stimulants, sedatives and hypnotics. Dr. Thomas has treated OCD,depression,bipolar illness ,schizophrenia etc.No longer in clinical practice,he still uses group dynamic skills in organizational consultation.He has also been a member of the L.A.Superior Court Panel of Psychiatrists and Psychologists utilizing forensic skills.He is the founder of the blog https://theoctogenarians.com wherein a group of older scholars and thinkers engage in dialogue about the fate of mankind and the leadership role of America.There is a major effort to engage the millenial generation in dialogue.

Education and Training




State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine 1956

Board Certification

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

Provider Details

Male English, Spanish, German
Dr. Claudewell S. Thomas M.D.
Dr. Claudewell S. Thomas M.D.'s Expert Contributions
  • Health Equity: What Does it Mean?

    The upcoming November APHA meeting has as its central theme Health Care equity. For a nation and a world in deep trouble because of global warming, human trafficking, worldwide drug and arms trafficking, increasing risk of resumption of an arms race that includes nuclear weapons along with the...

  • Health & The Supermarket: The Profit Motive Is Alive and Well in the 21st Century-- So You Must Be Too!

    The other day I made a series of rare visits, first to a supermarket, then to a drug store, and finally to an auto body shop. A friend and neighbor drove past as I had to drive my wife's car back. I had put myself on an ulcer diet because of lifelong problems with a hiatal hernia, and was shopping...

  • Health Care Providers, Patients, and the Undeclared War:

    We (The USA) are at war. It is undeclared, it is cyberwar, it is spyware, it is economic war, and it is psychological war. There are no treaty derived rules that can be pointed to establish war crimes. There are no rules of engagement to be broken since the very act of engagement is concealed. The...

  • Another Look at Gun Violence, The Opioid Epidemic, Suicide, and Depression/Anxiety

    According to the July 15 issue of Psychiatric News, suicide deaths in the U.S. have climbed dramatically in the last several years. They have nearly doubled in women. While possibly being a disturbing aspect of a “me too” world, it may also be a manifestation of an increasingly successful war on...

  • Technological Innovation in Medical Research and Practice and Ethics: Are the two in conflict?

    On June 26th, 2000, the POTUS (Bill Clinton) and the British Prime Minister (Tony Blair) announced the completion of the Human Genome Project, a feat once thought unaccomplishable or vaguely morally improper. Since that time, enormous progress has been made in oncologic...

  • Healthcare and Politics

    Previous postings have outlined relationships between health and disposable income, health and environment, etc. A public health/epidemiologic approach to identification of factors involved in ill health, death, and disability has been presented as the most logical and productive approach. Despite...

  • Pubic Health in Pursuit of Happiness

    The May issue of Psychiatric Times declared the USA an unhappy nation based on reports from psychiatric centers across the country. Anxiety and depression are the primary indicators of our national unhappiness but addiction may be a more identifiable sign because of its recordability. Public health...

  • The Definition of Addiction vs, The Meaning of Addiction: What Patients and Potential Patients (All of Us) Need to Consider

    The most recent edition of The American Scientist featured an article which challenged assertions made by last September's National Geographic magazine and JAMA, American Journal of Psychiatry, American Journal of Neurology among many others. It challenges the assertion that addiction is a brain...

  • What Does A Public Health Approach Mean To The Nations Health and to Governmental Purpose and Function?

    Epidemiologic studies of addiction, gun violence, disease outbreak, cancer, etc are of enormous value to citizens of any nation including ours. The resources to pursue such issues are hard to come by and the auspices for this pursuit, or lack thereof, vary hugely. Health, education and welfare are...

  • Health, Happiness, Anxiety/Depression, Addiction, Gun Violence... One Hell of a Gordian Knot!

    The November issue of National Geographic magazine, in an article written by Dan Buettner, amply illustrated, with photographs and commentary by Cory Richards, that Costa Rica, Denmark and Singapore are identified as the most joyful places on the planet. These authors employ interviews, simple...

  • Work and Physical and Mental Health

    Finland has been declared "The Happiest Country on Earth" by a U.N. commission with Scandinavian countries occupying the top four entries in the category. With recent immigrants to Finland also enjoying the depiction "happiest", the old homogeneity explanation is insufficient unto the "happy day"....

  • A Pandemic of Anxiety/Depression: What Does It Mean for Each Individual in the US?

    We have discussed the prevalence of the tandem of anxiety and depression in the U.S.A. and worldwide. From what we are able to learn from published literature, there is a pandemic of susceptibility to this dual scourge. It is in my view linked to the politics of the time as well as to uncertainty...

  • Globalism and Healthcare: Staying Tuned

    In the midst of the failure of the 'repeal and replace' effort of the GOP, is the "America First" issue representative of nations first, healthcare protectionism versus globalism, and a multinational view of epidemic and pandemic overview and control?This month's American Journal of Public Health...

  • Prodrome or Concomitant?

    Depression and anxiety: Prodrome or concomitant?A number of questions arise for patients who experience acute or persistent depressed mood. Instant access to the Internet or to pocket measures of pulse, blood pressure, respiration etc. often enough add to accompanying anxiety or even worse, create...

  • National Angst and the Opioid Epidemic

    I don't know whether or not the POTUS has gotten around to declaring the opioid epidemic a national crisis. It seems that he has been busy with declarations that have added to national angst from the threat of launching “fire and fury” to declarations perceived as endorsing right-wing hate...

  • World Leadership and Individual Wellbeing

    We live in a world of turmoil and tumult word of which is transmitted at nearly warp speed. The devices that acquire the stream of information are numerous and diverse. With almost no countries lacking access to one or more of the devices that access this stream of information, we have become...

  • Anxiety and Depression: Products of Daily Living or Indicators of Ill Health?

    A recent national survey revealed that close to 80 percent of Americans associate anxious feelings and sadness with the signaling of a health problem in today's world compared to between 40 and 60 percent in the 1960s.How are we to interpret this? It is possible that we are less stoic as a people,...

  • Emergency Room Health Care: Commodity, Right, Privilege, First Line of Defense

    While the political battles rage around health care amid easy assurances that hospital emergency rooms are always available, we need to recognize that there are ideological enemies of American Democracy utilizing cyber warfare, terrorist attacks, etc. to bring us down. To contaminate reservoirs,...

  • I am suddenly binge eating. Is it a mental disorder?

    Binge eating disorder is a serious mental problem requiring psychiatric or psychological intervention. Psychiatric intervention carries with it the potential use of medication. Specialty clinics and practices are appropriate for the treatment of this disorder which can be life threatening. READ MORE

  • I feel negative most of the time. Is it a sign to be worried about?

    There is not enough information to give you an answer. Important issues like age, sex, family history, general health, habits, length of time negativity has been present have to be considered. Once again, a visit to your LMD is a logical place to begin. A visit to a mental health specialist can also be a place to begin. READ MORE

  • How should a person requiring psychiatric help be approached?

    A lot depends on the kind of friendship you have. If it is not solid and previously tested, it would be wise to ask him about his feelings concerning psychiatric help rather than proposing it. READ MORE

  • I discovered anti-depressant pills in my daughter's cupboard yesterday. How should I confront her on this?

    Asking her while explaining how you found them should not be a confrontation. I don't know how the two of you have been interacting. Are there no other family members to involve? Kindness and concern while respecting her proximity to adult independence particularly as part of family discussion can help reduce anger and shame, some usual components of "reacting badly." READ MORE

  • Does my son need to go through some kind of counselling during my divorce proceedings?

    It is not likely that he can be emotionally unaffected by the divorce. His father might be helpful in discussing the necessity for divorce, if willing and capable. The effect of the divorce can take a long time to manifest if ever. In any event, I would think that "watchful," respectful waiting is indicated. Reduction of rancor in the proceedings can help reduce trauma to your son. READ MORE

  • Antidepressants and fibromyalgia

    Consultation with a neuropsychiatrist could be helpful. You might suggest that to your doctor. READ MORE

  • What is the reason for constant negative feelings in my daughter?

    Adolescence is a very stressful time. The reorganization of brain connections can produce distractedness, apathy, anger, or depression. Consulting with her school health service and her academic counselor (with her permission) can sometimes reveal too heavy a load on a student. Try to ensure with the aid of your LMD that there is no physical problem, if all these measures fail ask about psychiatric consultation. READ MORE

  • Can BP medicines cause hallucination?

    Consult with your LMD about the hypertensive vacillation, ask him or her to review the medication for potential side effects. Some agents can produce euphoria and other mental symptoms or unmask early dementia. Ask about psychiatric consultation. READ MORE

  • Is depression a sign of madness?

    This sounds like a classical "reactive" depression; it should still receive medical screening. Your brother's LMD may choose to follow up (in the absence of physical findings) with an antidepressant or may refer to a psychiatrist. You can best help by keeping track, supplying bridging info (appropriately) to family and supplying supplementary family history of illness including alcohol use or abuse. Your willingness to be of help is likely to be well received by all and sundry. READ MORE

  • Why do I have stabbing pain in my lower abdomen?

    Your best follow up is a visit to your LMD. A visit by referral or directly (if you are authorized) to an ob-gyn specialist seems indicated. READ MORE

  • Are there any exercises for the brain?

    Yes, there are many brain exercises; the better exercises seem to focus on improving ones capacity for categorizing objects and ideas. Games like checkers and chess also seem to be helpful. Improving categorization seems to help memory. Memory facilitation seems to directly improve brain function. READ MORE

  • Can a psychiatrist help with my memory loss?

    The psychiatric specialization that deals with that is called neuropsychiatry. A careful total evaluation (healthwise) is called for. READ MORE

  • Vivid daydreams

    Vivid daydreams may or may not be significant depending on your age, your dietary habits, whether or not you are on medications prescribed or otherwise (cannabinol,ethanol,etc.), the length of time they have been going on, your family history, your general health etc. A basic health workup is the place to start. It would be good to know what causes the symptom that you are trying to control. READ MORE

  • Is bipolar disorder hereditary?

    There is an hereditary predisposition in bipolar disorder development. You can avoid severe worsening of the tendency by avoiding alcohol and marijuana. Maintenance of general health is desirable and early psychiatric evaluation for advisability of prescriptive intervention is needed. READ MORE

  • I think I started binge eating. Is it a mental disorder?

    Once more it starts with your general health. Check with your usual doctor to query your general health. Are there new habits that accompany the bingeing (smoking, pot alcohol)? Are you under undue stress? As you can see there are many questions to be asked and answered. Binge eating is something not to be ignored. To conclude that it is purely mental disorder, complicated as that is, is premature. Perhaps family can help answer some relevant questions. Dr.Thomas READ MORE

  • Is negative thinking a disease?

    Negative thinking is a sign or a symptom.Your general health should be your first concern. LMD assessment is called for. If a clean bill is given then the twin duo of anxiety and depression need to be looked for via mental health assessment (psychiatry,psychology,social work) team. Depression often has negative thinking as an early sign. Negative rumination (obsessional) is beyond sign but is a symptom of depressive illness. Remember start with a general health assessment. READ MORE

  • Privacy and confidentiality with caregivers

    Discussion with the psychiatrist and with the patient is called for. A mutually agreed upon posture may be arrived at. Issues like the nature of your caregiver status (family or not), family concurrence, if you are not and state laws need to be considered. If property disposal and/or a will are at issue, legal consultation may be necessary. READ MORE

  • Can I go to a psychiatrist instead of a psychologist?

    While a psychiatrist is an MD.and can prescribe, he may be a skilled psychotherapist and can rely on talk therapy, if he and you agree. READ MORE

  • Depression and Alcohol..Chicken or the egg?

    Alcoholism and depression are often comorbidities. Psychiatric consultation (ask your GP) is probably wise before undertaking sertraline dosing. READ MORE

  • My son has Asperger's Syndrome. How is it treated?

    Aspergers is a "spectrum disorder", treatment may be dependent on where he fits on the spectrum. READ MORE

  • Patient privacy when it's a child being seen

    It would depend on the therapist, the child's age, the nature of the treatment contract, etc. READ MORE

  • Looking for help with my teenage daughter

    Prophylactic psychiatric intervention is a questionable notion. Considering the nature of adolescence, particularly questionable. READ MORE

  • How important is having friends?

    Friends are important, but are found quite varyingly. Since there are no signs of distress, encouraging and setting an example seem appropriate enough. READ MORE

  • My son watches the same movie over and over

    What is your standard for "normal"? Does watching block expected activity in kindergarten or play? It may just disappear; try to keep note without undue pressure or transmitting anxiety. READ MORE

  • At night, thinking prevents me from sleeping. Can I do anything about it?

    Discussion with your LMD is the first step, with a request for referral to a mental health specialist as part of the dialogue. Anxiety and depression sometimes present this way. READ MORE

  • Sudden mental fatigue--what can it be?

    A consultation with your LMD to check on systemic health is indicated. A request for referral to a mental health specialist should be made by you, if systemic illness is not part of the picture. Anxiety and depression can present this way. READ MORE

  • I think I may be depressed. What do I do?

    A discussion with your LMD is the place to begin. If you don't have one, you can get the names of mental health professionals from your local mental health assn. or local branches of the AMA, the APA, (psychiatry or psychology) Social Work association, VNA etc. Your previous job may also be able to supply information as may your local hospital. Most importantly, do not ignore your symptoms. READ MORE

  • Is it safe to drink alcohol while taking Zoloft?

    It is generally considered unwise and dangerous to do so. Zoloft or Sertraline is a potent drug with a potential for serious side effects affecting consciousness, balance, nausea etc., all of which are made worse by alcohol. READ MORE

  • I'm having some severe chest pain with anxiety. Is this dangerous? What could it be?

    Have the symptom complex examined by your LMD or cardiologist. Anxiety alone is unlikely to precipitate sharp chest pain, although it can accompany, precede or follow cardiopulmonary disease. READ MORE

Areas of expertise and specialization

Social psychiatry,forensic psychiatry,cross cultural psychiatry

Faculty Titles & Positions




Professional Memberships

  • A


  • V a New York Harbor Healthcare System Brooklyn Campus

Charities and Philanthropic Endeavors

  • j.thomas stroke shield foundation

Professional Society Memberships


Articles and Publications

  • Published 50-100 Publications

What do you attribute your success to?

  • His parents, excellent teachers throughout school, his 2 years of active duty with the air force, and his bright supportive wife and children.

Hobbies / Sports

  • Playing Handball, Tennis, King's Crown Rifle Activity

Favorite professional publications

  • The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

Dr. Claudewell S. Thomas M.D.'s Practice location

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New patients: 310-519-9117
Fax: 310-519-9274

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Head northeast 512 ft
Turn right onto Palos Verdes Drive 326 ft
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Turn right onto Palos Verdes Drive East 2203 ft
Make a sharp right onto La Vista Verde Drive 1010 ft
Turn left onto Avenida Corona 1352 ft
Make a sharp left onto Avenue Corona 563 ft
Continue straight onto Rich Lane 965 ft
Turn right onto Miraleste Drive 622 ft
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You have arrived at your destination, on the right



Head northeast 512 ft
Turn right onto Palos Verdes Drive 326 ft
Turn left onto Calle Aventura 54 ft
Turn right onto Palos Verdes Drive East 2203 ft
Make a sharp right onto La Vista Verde Drive 1010 ft
Turn left onto Avenida Corona 1352 ft
Make a sharp left onto Avenue Corona 563 ft
Continue straight onto Rich Lane 965 ft
Turn right onto Miraleste Drive 622 ft
Continue straight onto South Miraleste Drive 404 ft
Continue straight onto West 9th Street 1028 ft
Turn left onto South Western Avenue (CA 213) 3.2 mi
Turn right onto Palos Verdes Drive North 3990 ft
Continue slightly left onto South Vermont Avenue 2407 ft
You have arrived at your destination, on the left