Why Do Cliques Form? What Can We Do About Them?


Artwork by Khalid Mokhtarzada


This article addresses the questions of why cliques form and how to deal with them. This is a complicated social problem that can be faced at any age and in any setting.


Dear Doctor Life Advice,

I work with a group of women who are very cliquish. The majority of these women are in their fifties and sixties. Why are some women so prone to excluding other women from their clique? Worse, they seem to delight in doing so. Do women ever grow out of this junior high mentality and if they don’t, what are some of the reasons to explain such mean and immature behavior among even senior citizen-age women?




Dear Cliqued-Off,

I think cliques are formed when a group of people with low self confidence who feel socially inferior and insecure find each other in a similar setting.  Once the group is formed, each member uses the strength of the group to help himself/herself feel superior to others. As you have noted in your question, cliques span all ages, and although you’ve noticed them in women, cliques also span both sexes.

As humans, we are social creatures. From birth, we seek the comfort of belonging to a group. In our early years, the first group we belonged to was our immediate family. Our parents and caretakers provided us with our first set of values and thoughts. The ones who were mostly involved in the process of raising us- whether they were our parents, our grandparents, nannies, or school teachers- played a significant role in our understanding of ourselves, and the formation of our self-esteems. I believe the feelings of self-value and self-esteem that we formed in our childhood play a significant role in the rest of our lives.

As children grow, they begin to get a sense of their own individuality, and their social circles grow.The variety of social groups formed in adolescent years is endless. The kids join groups with similar beliefs, value systems, interests, talents, etc. Most of the groups formed are healthy and help the growing child “individuate;” meaning the child begins to define his or her own individual self. This, of course, depends on the amount of self-esteem and security the child developed in his or her earlier years at home.

Some of the groups that form, however, are of a more unhealthy nature. Gangs, bully groups, and kids that begin to do drugs together are some examples of unhealthy groups. Cliques, in my opinion, are also pathological, although they are not as bad the other groups just mentioned.  The pathology comes from the fact that the group is formed based on a lack of the sense of individuality.  Therefore, in order to belong to the clique, you must let go of your personality traits that clash with the group, and in essence  you must give up who you are. The TV show South Park, although many find it offensive, addresses social issues such as this in a genius and witty manner.  It has an interesting episode detailing one of the main characters’ attempts to join a “non-conformist” clique. He is told that it is really easy to join the clique. All he has to do is to dress like them, act like them, listen to the kind of music they listen to, and to reject all “conformists!”

Of course, you can imagine that if you give into this mind-set during your adolescent years, then you will end up never forming a solid sense of yourself, and yes, you may continue to seek out and join cliques for the rest of your life.

Based on my own personal experiences and what I hear from my patients, workplace cliques are as common as those in junior high. Children with low self-esteems usually grow into adults with low self-esteems. The clique, once you join it, allows you to collectively criticize everyone outside the group, and therefore make yourself superior to those outsiders. I myself have had experience with cliques that I am going to share.

When I was in medical school, we were encouraged to see our classmates as our family, and to all work and do fun things together as a cohesive unit.  Regardless, a group of students decided they were too cool for the rest of the class, and they formed what they called “The List.” This was an exclusive list and they began to invite individual students to events, rather than the whole class. Sometimes, some people find themselves in a clique inadvertently. Although I was not in this clique, some other non-cliquish people did end up in this exclusive group, and were horrified at how the group made fun of and put down other students in our class. That clique dissolved quickly as the students began asking not be be part of that group. “The list” was short-lived, but other smaller cliques formed throughout the years and some outsiders suffered from their damaging talks and behaviors.

I myself have inadvertently found myself in cliques. I was once part of a group where we found it incredibly difficult to get others to join. We could not explain this phenomenon and even joked that we may be too “cliquey” for others. Little did I know, we were exactly that. I found out when I did something individual that did not “click with the clique” and found myself brutally and rapidly kicked out. It happened so fast that my head was spinning for a long time and I could not even fathom what had happened. That’s when I remembered our “cliquey” jokes and began to understand the truth in them. Being a psychiatrist, of course, I analyzed the situation for months, and realized that everyone in the clique had one thing in common: all of them had experienced some level of abandonment by their fathers. Fortunately for me, my father is a wonderful man who is still an integral part of my life. Naturally, it was only a  matter of time before my individuality would clash with the clique and I’m grateful that it did. Analyzing the situation, however, has given me a tool for finding understanding for the clique instead of hatred and scorn. Although I don’t miss being part of that clique – or any other one for that matter- I have found tremendous compassion for them. In short, they need help.

In my work, I’ve seen patients who have been severely hurt by cliques.  Some in junior high and high school, and some later in life at work. Some of my patients had to change schools, quit their jobs and move to other lines of work, or even retire as a result of the scorn and hatred directed towards them by cliques. The problem in every case is that the clique’s sole purpose of existence is to provide its members with means to feel superior to others. If a person comes along that challenges this dogma by simply not appearing inferior or compliant, then that person may be subjected to all forms of damage by the clique. I’ve seen cliques go on campaigns to discredit a single individual by spreading gossip and lies about them, and unfortunately, I’ve seen them succeed.

If you find yourself inadvertently as a member of a clique, get out as fast as you can but try not to step on any toes while you do so. If you find yourself the main target of a clique’s destructive campaign, then take measures to protect yourself. In severe cases, I’ve even recommended to my patients to leave their schools, their jobs, their social circles, or even their church and to find less toxic environments to live and strive in. In your case, I am hoping this clique is just a group of bitter old women whose spite has not done any real damage to you or any others.

Wishing you the best in this challenging situation,

Doctor Life Advice


  1. Lisa
    Posted May 21, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Thank you Dr. Beheshti for this insightful article. I came across it because I was interested in why high school girls form cliques and whether this could apply to adults as well. I am an adult woman and have experienced a heartbreaking situation in my family regarding this issue. I have a mother and an older sister and I have always felt that I am just not a part of their group. My family immigrated to the US and they have held close to more traditional ways while I have embraced and been open to the new possibilities and opportunities of America. I and my husband are more educated and affluent than they, and I have recently come to understand that they perhaps feel inferior. It was something I simply had never thought about before. Though I was always aware of these differences, I always tried to relate to them on common ground; after all we are family. But, they have always put me down and excluded me in both small and large ways, and this appears to be the explanation. After decades of this behavior, the situation escalated to a breaking point a few years ago during a family crisis, and I came to understand the full extent of their animosity toward me. I presently have no contact with them, because I simply cannot tolerate their actions any further.
    I have read many books about the experience of immigration and how it affects people, but I never came across the idea that even within a family, there may be the issue of perceived inferiority and insecurity. It is very sad to me that my family should be divided because of this, but I wanted to share this experience with you. As a psychiatrist, perhaps it will be useful to you when helping your clients.

  2. Jack Longmate
    Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Let me also thank Dr. Beheshti for this insightful article. I came across it in trying to better understand the phenomena of mobbing, whereby a give person, often with exceptional attributes, is targeted for ridicule by a group. My interest is not groups of adolescents but members of a community college faculty union, where those who might challenge the precepts of the faculty union are “subjected to all forms of damage by the clique” (the “clique” being the faculty union). This phenomena is widespread but rarely recognized: since faculty are made up of two tiers of employees–the tenured and the non-tenured with quite differing workplace conditions–it is inevitable that there be conflicting priorities. When tenured and non-tenured faculty are part of the same union, as they oftentimes are and are legally required to be in some states like Washington, the tenured are the dominate group or clique as reflected irrefutably by the clearly superior job security, pay scales, professional benefits, etc., bargained for tenured faculty, even though the grades and credits awarded by the non-tenured have the same value as those awarded by the tenured. Also, there is no tuition surcharge for the courses taught by the tenured.

    This is ironic because teacher unions, such as the National Education Association, do a lot of grandstanding about anti-bullying when, at least in some cases, the bullying/mobbing is carried out by the union’s locals themselves. Even when this behavior involves blatant violation of the local or state union’s bylaws (e.g., censuring resolutions passed by a “show of hands” vote without any of the due process provisions of the union’s constitution, libel characterizations of individuals presented as fact but without evidence, etc.), the state and national union employ the same cliquish/mobbing behavior, believing that they’re showing loyalty to their affiliates.

    Jack Longmate
    Adjunct English Instructor
    Olympic College, Bremerton, WA

  3. Anonymous
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    I like this article but it is very off beat.

    I recently came into a very similar situation. In high school, I formed a group of ‘close friends’ whom I experimented with drinking and other teenage activities, partying, breaking the rules, ect.

    Some of us played a lot of music together and I put a lot of time and effort into developing this skill.

    After college, I no longer wanted to party as much or frequent all of these ‘jam sessions’ as my musical goals became more directed and I put them on hold to further my career and improve other areas of my life.

    Betrayals, secrets and bad behaviors in the clique made socializing very awkward and uncomfortable because I dislike gossip and other destructive kinds of humor.

    Once a girl had died in a car accident resulting from this partying atmosphere I decided I should pull away from the group. Then two more people were seriously injured leaving the same house intoxicated.

    The group has many people in it and some are very affluent and influential. They have even woven their way into the lives of one of my family member who have has severe drug and alcohol problems currently and in the past and has invited him to these parties. He goes without me and I only find out later about it.

    I have tried to leave the group quietly by loading my schedule with a lot of other things but people talk and gossip about me now. Its very frustrating because most of what you read on the internet about psychology talks about how important it is to constantly socialize. Or it could be interpreted that way by people who want to make you spend more time in their clique.

    I definitely see the elements of exclusion and inferiority in my group. It seems the more successful I am the less people like me because I interrupt the status quo. The lessers are jealous and the betters are threatened.

    I really feel safer and enjoy my time more at home than out drinking like a teenager 2-3 nights a week.

    Is there any advice for making the people stop the destructive gossip????? or to leave me be peacefully? I don’t want to totally disconnect from everyone in the group but people arent satisfied to interact less. I guess it make them feel like im ‘not one of them’.

    Its kind of creepy.

    At what age does it become normal to work everyday, rest and only party on special days like holidays, cookouts and birthdays.

    I don’t feel I should be expected to meet with these people more than once a week to maintain this sienfeild esq lifestyle.

    • Gail
      Posted October 21, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      In my opinion, clicks go on all through life in one social gathering or another.
      I quietly walked away, my life is focused on more important things than partying and gossip . I have a daughter who has been sick with Lyme Disease since age of 19, she just turned 28 and needs my full time care. I don’t miss the group I hung out with for nearly 20 years. They’re priority are way different than mine. Actually felt relief when I finally cut the ties. Always seemed to be a few that had to talk down someone, I figure now that I’m out they have someone else to talk about. So many more important things in life, I have plenty of friends I just get together with on a one on one basis. Just focus on the moment at hand and the job you’re doing. Stay friendly and don’t sweat the small stuff. Many of those from the old group live in the past and they always seem depressed, many were always talking about the future, ( new and bigger houses, planning trips, what are you going to wear for the next event,) , they were filled with anxiety , I prefer to live in the moment that gives me peace.

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  8. Marcy
    Posted November 24, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    I just found myself at the scrutiny of a trio of women (friends?) who blindsided me at a public social gathering by verbally attacking me for something I had no idea what they were talking about. I’m in my 50’s and they are in their late 60’s. The scenario took me mentally clear back to high school and all I could think of was “why are these women verbally attacking me?” They are in a clique, which I don’t consider myself a part of but instead am a social butterfly, making friends with EVERYONE. We all have a mutual friend who has a terminal illness and for some unexplained reason they believed that I was harmful to his state of being! He and I were sitting and talking with each other when the trio bombarded me. Problem is the guy is also part of this clique and did absolutely nothing to defend me or them for that matter! Boy were my feelings hurt and confused but I stood up for MYSELF and it felt good! I walked away untarnished. Eventually the leader of the pack and the guy offered apologies to me for their behavior. I learned who my friends AREN’T and am empowered by exercising my own individuality. I found your website online because I just couldn’t reason why adults would behave in such a juvenile manner. Thank you for your article because now I know it’s because THEY are insecure and pathological!

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  17. Amelia
    Posted July 17, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Thanks for this post. I was recently excluded from an adult clique. I am biracial, and although I grew up in the U.S., I married someone who is from the same country my father came from. Recently, my husband and I moved to the Bay Area, where he was excited to introduce me to a few of his old friends from graduate school and their circle of new friends, who all socialize together several times a week. All of them (10 people or so) are highly educated tech professionals with PhDs from MIT, etc. who came from the same country as my husband and speak the same language. At first I was really excited to meet them, but I soon realized that they had no interest in getting to know me as an individual. The only thing they wanted to know is why I couldn’t speak their language, and at each gathering, I became more aware that I was unwelcome. After a weekend trip, during which I believe I was nothing but polite and friendly, the clique simply stopped inviting my husband and I to spend time with them, and I became aware that they were gossiping about me.

    This has been very hurtful. I tried as hard as I could to reach out and get to know them, but looking back on the time I spent with them, it’s obvious that they never had any interest in getting to know me as a person (with maybe one exception). Now I realize that they actively dislike me. I’m still not sure why this happened. Someone mentioned my family at one gathering, and I suspect that they might look down on me because my parents are divorced, and I have some half-siblings, which is pretty much unheard of in their culture. Also, my parents were unmarried when I was born, and even though I am now a well adjusted person in my early 30s, this is apparently considered a stain on me somehow. Also, they are all very wealthy and all work in the same field (both males and females) while I don’t make that much money because I teach in a Humanities Departmenr at a community college. Again, I never imagined that this could be seen as negative, but now I know.

    This group is composed of men and women, and although I feel snubbed by both genders, it’s mainly the women who seem to actively dislike me. I told my husband that he should try to hang out with them by himself sometimes because I don’t want to be the reason that he loses his friends, but he says he finds them narrow-minded and doesn’t care to spend much time with the group (though he still regularly gets together with the three people he was friends with originally).

    I have always been more of an individual than a group person, but that hasn’t stopped me from connecting with a wide range of people from different backgrounds throughout my life. I guess this hurts even more because I was excited to spend time with this group of people, and I was hoping we would become friends and that I would become part of the group. Until now, I’ve never known many people from my Dad’s home country except for relatives, and not surprisingly, my relatives have always. seemed warm and accepting of me. But when it comes to this group, I will never be accepted, and I feel bad for my husband because I think his life would have been easier if he had married someone from his home country. Also, this does being up teenage memories of rejection and alienation, not to mention issues regarding my own identity, growing up in a multicultural family, being biracial, and so on.

    I guess I just needed to vent. 🙂 Thanks again.

  18. Cheryl
    Posted July 20, 2015 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Growing up in a small community I experience what I like to call the “clique syndrome” in my high school of which I was not at all included in any. I felt pretty much like an outcast. On occasion I would hear certain comments and digs followed by giggling and snickering as I walked past or entered a room. It was mainly the females who chose to shun me. With the guys on the other hand it was the opposite. They were very nice and I got along with them just fine. As a result I had mainly all male friends. At the time I did not consider myself at all that attractive and assumed that was why the females didn’t like me. I grew up with a mother that was very strict and controlling and her goal in life was not to have any pregnant daughters in the graduation commencement ceremonies. My goal in life was to graduate and get as far away from that town as possible and all the people in it and never return. I went on to college and experienced what was to me a different form of clique… the sorority thing. While for all intents and purposes sororities have their own benefits. But I personally opted out and chose not to participate because they too had their picks of who should and didn’t fit in. I was actually invited by several to “pledge” but again chose not to. Over the years I gained a certain confidence in the unique individual that I am and became very comfortable with me. So… here I am 40 years after high school mind you, back where I swore never to return to take care of my mother only to discover that these same, now grown women still behave towards me the same way they did in high school. Sneaking glances, whispering, rolling their eyes and basically acting like the teenagers we were back in the days. Now it is just a choice few in that there are some that have obviously gotten over it. They invite myself and my husband to their events and affairs and we have a marvelous time. It has even said that the never realized what a nice person I was. What ceases to amaze me is the why’s and what for of it all. As an example… we attended an after pass dinner for one of the girls who was in our age group who had passed on. Sitting at the table a girl come over and took a picture of EVERYBODY at the table and walked over me to do so. Needless to say she did not take a picture of me and my sister. Two weeks later at a class reunion picnic… she did the same thing. Most of us are 55+. Why do people hold on to these feelings? I realize I at age 60 have lived a successful and happy life without these people. It’s just feels awkward and uncomfortable when people are acting towards you that way.

  19. DrL
    Posted July 25, 2015 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Dr. B, Even years later, this article STILL resonates with me because I AM one of your patients who came to you after being devastated by treatment of the “gang” of mostly fifty and sixty-something age women who made it their mission to tear me down and ruin my reputation, and thusly, a career for which I had attended a decade of higher education and worked even more years to develop. You helped me extricate myself from that viper pit and have helped me heal from their endless envenomations. “Bullying” at the workplace and workplace “assholery” exists and just like when it occurs among children, when it occurs among adults, others almost always fail to intervene on the target’s behalf. Research demonstrates that others, regardless of age, avoid intervention on the target’s behalf for fear of becoming the clique’s next target. Dr. B knows the depth of despicable and outright evil behavior with which I dealt for several years at the hands of the pack of wolves at my workplace, but those of you reading this don’t and thus, if I can offer any advice in addition to Dr. Beheshti’s brilliant suggestions, I’ll extend this: GET AWAY FROM THE BULLIES… THE CLIQUES… THE “GANGS” AT YOUR WORKPLACE. They are unlikely to change or ever face consequences because those are tasked with calling them on the carpet about their behavior are too cowardly to face the tormentors. You have to be the proactive one in these situations. Life is much better once you’re out of the environment where the clique cancer thrives.

  20. Susan
    Posted January 17, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    My preference for dealing with this phenomenon as another case of accepting that (as much as possible) that “it’s not their fault,” and just deal with it or move on. Is it good for organizations/society? There probably are some positive things about cliques, but overall the effect seems negative, and excluding people isn’t “doing unto others as you would have done to you.”

    “It’s not their fault” that they are insecure and need to exclude people to feel better about themselves (not just for safety). Gosh, am I doing this myself?
    “It’s not their fault” that during times of uncertainty they become suspicious and paranoid. Gosh, am I doing this myself?

    It is probably a habit just like a lot of things, and if people are getting something positive out of doing (social reinforcement, inclusion in the “safety in numbers” group, etc) it, they may never change.

    etc, etc, etc

  21. Patricia Meyer
    Posted June 25, 2016 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    I have been the target of my husband’s family in the last several years. They are retired, in their late sixties, and have formed a clique with alcohol at the center of their frequent social activities. It began with verbal abuse towards me based on the fact that I don’t drink alcohol. I was annoyed and tried to ignore it for my husband’s sake but it grew worse. I have researched the subject of drinking dependent behavior. I am aware of the effect it has on emotional development.
    It has become clear to me that their clique is juvenile and dangerous. They have had slips and falls and broken bones when under the influence. They even drive when they drink. They look down on me . I have made it clear I can no longer socialize with them except on Christmas . I never allow myself to be alone with them and stick close to my husband. I can hardly believe what has occurred. Thank you for clarifying the clique.

    • Linda Morse
      Posted September 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t even go on Christmas!

      • Posted September 7, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        I agree with Linda here. You don’t even have to meet with then on Christmas if they are this toxic!

  22. William
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I think I’m a nice person, I do a lot for people, I don’t like to be crossed, I’m not apathetic and I listen to others problems. (Pretty normal human traits), but what I do notice is that the same can not be said of many of the other people (particularity social groups of people) I’ve had contact with in my life. I’ve often been hailed into a group quickly, but as the article points out, once they realize they cannot control you or your critical, individual, thought that’s where it changes, and usually I’m ostracized or put on the back burner. This used to upset and puzzle me, however the way I now look at this type of mentality is more with pity on them for not appreciating my individual merits as I do theirs. Once they pull this nonsense, I just look at them as sheep, and realize that many of them know nothing about self reliance and are scared out of their wits to be alone, so instead of being their real self, they become part of the status quo to fit in. This is what they then try to project onto you, and when this fails, they project the personal collective fears of exclusion, and being ostracized, thus making them feel the superiority they need over you. They socially nuke you.

    This article is brilliant because it spells out why cliques exist, and in many ways why nothing you do or don’t do will change this. You appreciate your individual traits as you should do. After all why should you change to fit? Then you are not being you, you are something else..

  23. Kate
    Posted September 18, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    How nice to find this site. At 55 years of age, this is happening to me for the first time. It is very hard to have this happen – that would be putting it mildly. However, to feel empathy – not easy to do all the time – helps me to put their behavior ( two females in my workplace and social circle) in perspective. In another post above, it was said that for the fact others do not intervene – that too causes even more distress. Glad I’m not alone. Thank you for such a brilliantly written article.

  24. Jennifer
    Posted October 23, 2016 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    I just don’t deal with this anymore. There are much better things in my life then having to fight for the confidence I always have. I for one am tired of the bad selfish behavior of the queen bee and her followers. Men your no better either. I just like to be nice and make the day better by being positive rather than spending my lunch break by someone who has personal jealousy inferiority complex with me. I don’t get it nor deserve it. I hope everyone has a good work week. The good prevail!

  25. Mazza
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    I stumbled across your blog while searching for ‘small community not part of the clique’. How glad I found this. It has been so helpful and motivating to read this question and your answer. Thanks!

  26. Charity Believe Sithole
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    This has been helpful Dr. Even the comments helped soooo much. Thanks everybody.

  27. Jeanette
    Posted August 29, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I have read your article on cliques with interest as I have recently moved home and have found that there is a really nasty clique amongst some of my neighbours I have now find myself to have been a victim of there nastyness. after reading your article I now understand why cliques form and the mentality of the members of this clique matches your professional assesment of them

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If you choose to register with SBMD or access certain functionality on the SBMD Site, you may be required to submit Personal information. “Personal information” means information that we can use to identify or contact you, such as your name, address, telephone number or email address. Some of our interactive tools and services may request you to submit health information, which would also be considered Personal Information. You are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the Personal information that you submit to SBMD. Inaccurate information will affect your experience when using the SBMD Site and tools and our ability to contact you as described in this Privacy Policy.

2.2 Cookies and Web Beacons

We may collect Non-Personal information about your use of the SBMD Site and your use of other Site through the use of cookies and web beacons. “Cookies” are small data files that are stored on the hard drive of the computer you use to view a web site. Every computer that accesses the SBMD Site is assigned a different cookie by SBMD. “Web Beacons” are graphic image files imbedded in a web page typically used to monitor activity on a web page and send back to its home server (which can belong to the host site, a network advertiser or some other third party) information from your browser, such as the IP address, the URL of the page on which the beacon is located, the type browser that is accessing the site and the ID number of any cookies on your computer previously placed by that server.

2.3 How Information Collected About You Is Used

Information collected by SBMD about you is used by SBMD to:

  • administer your account,
  • provide you with access to particular tools and services,
  • respond to your inquiries you send to us,
  • obtain your feedback about the SBMD Site or our offerings,
  • statistically analyze user behavior and activity including how frequently areas of the site are visited and how many emails are received and opened,
  • provide you with more relevant content or advertising on the SBMD Site; and
  • conduct research and measurement activities, including those described below.

SBMD may combine personal and non-personal information collected by SBMD about you, and may combine this information with information from external sources. We may also use cookies in order to enable us to conduct surveys for our own use and on behalf of our advertisers. These cookies are used to determine whether you have seen certain content or advertising so that we may request your opinions. We may also use cookies to authenticate respondents or to help you pick up where you left off in a survey. If you have cookies disabled you may not be able to participate in some surveys.

2.4 Research and Measurement Activities

Information that SBMD collects about you may be combined by SBMD with other information available to SBMD through third parties for research and measurement purposes, including measuring the effectiveness of content, advertising or programs. This information from other sources may include age, gender, demographic, geographic, personal interests, product purchase activity or other information. We may report aggregate information to our current or prospective advertisers and other business partners.

2.5 Sharing Your Information

Except as described in this privacy policy or as specifically agreed to by you, SBMD will not disclose any personal information it gathers from you through the SBMD Site. We may only release personal information to third parties: (1) to comply with the law; or (2) in special cases, such as in response to a physical threat to you or others, to protect property or defend or assert legal rights. In addition, we may disclose personal information as described below.

2.6 How Do We Secure and Retain Your Information?

We take reasonable security measures to protect the security of your personal information. Despite SBMD's efforts to protect your personal information, there is always some risk that an unauthorized third party may find a way around our security systems or that transmissions of your information over the Internet may be intercepted.

We will retain your Personal Information as long as needed to provide you services. At any time you can remove your Personal Information or instruct us to remove it, but you should be aware that it is not technologically possible to remove each and every record of the information you have provided to SBMD from our servers. We will also retain your personal information as necessary to comply with legal obligations, resolve disputes and enforce our agreements.

2.7 Changes to This Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change or modify this privacy policy or any of our tools or services at any time and any changes will be effective upon being posted unless we advise otherwise. We encourage you to periodically review this website for the latest information on our privacy practices. If you do not accept the terms of this privacy policy, we ask that you do not register with us and that you do not use the SBMD Site.

2.8 What Choices Do I Have?

Updating and/or Removing Your Personal information

If you do not want your personal information used by SBMD as provided in this privacy policy, you should not register as a member or for any specific tool or application that collects personal information. You can correct, update or review personal information you have previously submitted by going back to the specific tool or application, logging-in and making the desired change. You can also update any personal information you have submitted by contacting us using the contact information listed below.

If you have registered and desire to delete any your personal information you have provided to us from our systems please contact us. Upon your request, we will delete your personal information from our active databases and where feasible from our back-up media to the extent it is feasible to do so. You should be aware that it is not technologically possible to remove each and every record of the information you have provided to the SBMD Site from our servers.

3. Use of Content

SBMD authorizes you to view or download a single copy of the material on this site solely for your personal, noncommercial use if you include the following copyright notice: “©2013, http://advice.doctorbeheshti.com. All rights reserved” and other copyright and proprietary rights notices that are contained in the content.

The content is protected by copyright under both United States and foreign laws. Title to the content remains with SBMD. Any use of the content not expressly permitted by these Terms and Conditions is a breach of these Terms and Conditions and may violate copyright, trademark, and other laws. Content and features are subject to change or termination without notice in the exclsuive discretion of SBMD. All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved to SBMD.

4. Liability of SBMD and any affiliates or associates

The use of this site and the content is at your own risk. When using this site, information may be transmitted over a medium that may be beyond the control and jurisdiction of SBMD and its suppliers. Accordingly, Dr. Sayeh Behesthi and/or SBMD assumes no liability for or relating to the delay, failure, interruption, or corruption of any data or other information transmitted in connection with use of this site.


      1. The accuracy, reliability, completeness, correctness, or timeliness of the Content, of the SBMD Site.

      2. The satisfaction of any government regulations requiring disclosure of information on prescription drug products or the approval or compliance of any software tools with regard to the content contained on the SBMD Site.

In no event shall SBMD, its licensors, its suppliers, or any third parties mentioned on the SBMD Site be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, incidental and consequential damages, personal injury/wrongful death, lost profits, or damages resulting from lost data or business interruption) resulting from the use of or inability to use the SBMD Site or the content, whether based on warranty, contract, tort, or any other legal theory, and whether or not SBMD, its licensors, its suppliers, or any third parties mentioned on the SBMD Site are advised of the possibility of such damages. SBMD, its licensors, its suppliers, or any third parties mentioned on the SBMD Site are not liable for any personal injury, including death, caused by your use or misuse of the Site. Remedies under these Terms and Conditions are exclusive and are limited to those expressly provided for in these Terms and Conditions.

5. User Submissions

5.1 The personal information you submit to SBMD is governed by the SBMD Privacy Policy. To the extent there is an inconsistency between this Agreement and the SBMD Privacy Policy, this Agreement would govern. The Site contains functionality (including blogs, message boards, etc.) that allows users to upload content to the Site. You agree that you will not upload or transmit any communications or content of any type that infringe or violate any rights of any party. By submitting communications or content to the Site, you agree that such submission is non-confidential for all purposes. If you make any such submission you agree that you will not send or transmit to SBMD by email, any communication or content that infringes or violates any rights of any party. If you submit any business information, idea, concept or invention to SBMD by email, you agree such submission is non-confidential for all purposes. If you make any submission to the Site or if you submit any business information, idea, concept or invention to SBMD by email, you automatically grant-or warrant that the owner of such content or intellectual property has expressly granted-SBMD a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, world-wide nonexclusive license to use, reproduce, create derivative works from, modify, publish, edit, translate, distribute, perform, and display the communication or content in any media or medium, or any form, format, or forum now known or hereafter developed. SBMD may sublicense its rights through multiple tiers of sublicenses. If you wish to keep any business information, ideas, concepts or inventions private or proprietary, do not submit them to SBMD.

5.2 SBMD Community and Member to Member Areas

If you use a Public Area, such as message boards, blogs, Ask The Doctor, you are solely responsible for your own communications, the consequences of posting those communications, and your reliance on any communications found in the Public Areas. SBMD and its licensors are not responsible for the consequences of any communications in the Public Areas. In cases where you feel threatened or believe someone else is in danger, you should contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. In consideration of being allowed to use the Public Areas, you agree that the following actions shall constitute a material breach of these Terms and Conditions:

      1. Using a Public Area for any purpose in violation of the laws;

      2. Posting material that infringes on the intellectual property rights of others;

      3. Posting material that is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, hateful, or embarrassing to any other person or entity as determined by SBMD in its sole discretion;

      4. Posting advertisements or solicitations of business;

      5. After receiving a warning, continuing to disrupt the normal flow of dialogue, or posting comments that are not related to the topic being discussed;

      6. Impersonating another person;

      7. Distributing viruses or other harmful computer code;

      8. Harvesting, scraping or otherwise collecting information about others, including email addresses, without their identification for posting or viewing comments;

      9. Allowing any other person or entity to use your identification for posting or viewing comments; or

      10. Engaging in any other conduct that restricts or inhibits any other person from using or enjoying the Site.

SBMD or its licensors have no liability or responsibility to users of the SBMD Site or any other person or entity for performance or nonperformance of the aforementioned activities.

6. Advertisements, Searches, and Links to Other Sites

SBMD may provide links to third-party Site to allow advertisers to respond to certain search terms with advertisements or sponsored content. SBMD does not recommend and does not endorse the content on any third-party websites. SBMD is not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites, sites framed within the SBMD Site, third-party sites provided as search results, or third-party advertisements, and does not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites.

7. Indemnity

You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold SBMD, its officers, directors, employees, agents, licensors, and suppliers, harmless from and against any claims, actions or demands, liabilities and settlements including without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, resulting from, or alleged to result from, your violation of these Terms and Conditions.

8. General

SBMD is based in Newport Beach, California, in the United States of America. SBMD makes no claims that SBMD Site and the Content are appropriate or may be downloaded outside of the United States. Access to the Content may not be legal by certain persons or in certain countries. If you access the SBMD Network from outside the United States, you do so at your own risk and are responsible for compliance with the laws of your jurisdiction. The following provisions survive the expiration or termination of this Agreement for any reason whatsoever: Liability, Indemnity, Jurisdiction, and Complete Agreement.

9. Jurisdiction

You expressly agree that exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute with SBMD, or in any way relating to your use of the SBMD Site, resides in the courts of the State of California, County of Orange, and you further agree and expressly consent to the exercise of personal jurisdiction in the courts of the State of California in connection with any such dispute including any claim involving SBMD or its affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, contractors, officers, directors, telecommunication providers, and content providers. Notwithstanding any other provision, you agree to a final and binding arbitration in Orange County, State of California to resolve any dispute between you and SBMD and/or Dr. Sayeh Beheshti arising from or related to your use of the SBMD Site in any way, shape or form.

These Terms and Conditions are governed by the internal substantive laws of the State of California, without respect to its conflict of laws principles. If any provision of these Terms and Conditions is found to be invalid by any court having competent jurisdiction, the invalidity of such provision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions of these Terms and Conditions, which shall remain in full force and effect. No waiver of any of these Terms and Conditions shall be deemed a further or continuing waiver of such term or condition or any other term or condition.

10. Complete Agreement

These Terms and Conditions and the SBMD Privacy Policy constitute the entire agreement between you and SBMD with respect to the use of the SBMD Site, and its content.





This website contains questions, answers, graphics, drawing, and other content and material, all of which are for informational purposes only, and are public information. Any questions submitted will be reviewed, and if they are to be answered, the content of the question may be edited for purposes of making it easier to read, and to protect the submitters' identity.

The content of this website is not intended for forming a doctor-patient relationship. Whether or not you get a response to your question, you should be aware that you have not formed a doctor-patient relationship with Doctor Beheshti, and she is not liable for your medical and mental health or wellbeing. Use the responses provided on this website at your own risk, and do not use them in place of a physician's advice.

This website is not intended to replace seeking advice from your physicians. Always seek the advice of a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other health care professionals for issues concerning your physical and mental health. If you submit a question which does not get a response, do not consider that as a sign that you should not seek out the care of a physician.




Helpful Resources


About Doctor Life Advice

Doctor Beheshti

I am a compassionate and well trained psychiatric doctor, and I spend my days talking to others and helping them with their daily issues and problems. I have come to understand that all of us, regardless of our backgrounds and our life stories - every one of which is unique - share similar wants and needs.

I love my job which allows me to hear unique stories and help each of my clients individually. Although I cannot take the place of your doctor, I would love to hear your story too and perhaps provide some advice that will be useful to you, as well as others that will benefit from your story.

I have a sense of humor which comes through in my writings. Please know that I NEVER intend to make light of anyone's painful or sensitive situation. I only use humor because I think sometimes a smile and a little chuckle can go a long way in helping us feel better.

Doctor Life Advice is written and maintained by Sayeh Beheshti, M.D., M.A., a private practice psychiatrist in Newport Beach, CA.