• Virgil Stucker

Season 3 Episode 3: Creative Psychiatry: Learn about the benefits of oxytocin for psychosis

Dr. Marotta - “Rocky” - is one of the most compassionate, committed, and creative psychiatrists we have known. He is a leader at Silver Hill Hospital in CT. Our Mental Horizons podcast explores his innovative work and gives insight into what has driven him for decades to help some of the most vulnerable in society. In particular we discuss how use of oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone, can help people with psychosis.

Season 3, Episode 3

Per Dr. Marotta in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry, May 2020 (Full report attached; Silver Hill Hospital poster; Letter to Editor)

BACKGROUND: Debilitating symptoms of schizophrenia often persist after sustained treatment with atypical antipsychotics. To date, clozapine has been the most effective of the atypical antipsychotics; however, negative symptoms may persist, indicating a critical need to develop augmenting treatment approaches.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review evaluated outcomes for 5 young adult inpatients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia who were prescribed off-label oxytocin…The augmented treatment was well tolerated and continued for at least 1 year after discharge from the hospital… Evaluation included the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and clinical review based on both self and parent/guardian reports.

RESULTS: The augmentation of clozapine with… oxytocin in young adults with treatment-resistant schizophrenia appeared to reduce negative symptoms, maintain lowered positive symptoms, and increase occupational and social functioning (eg, return to work or school), as noted by family members.

Dr. Rocco Marotta currently serves as the Service Chief of the Transitional Living Program at Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University and is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Licensed Psychologist.

Dr. Marotta graduated from Manhattan College where he majored in Psychology and Western Civilization. After earning his Ph.D. from The City University of New York in Psychology and Neuroscience, he completed a three-year NIH Fellowship in Biological Psychology and Psychiatry. Dr. Marotta then earned his Medical Degree from Cornell University Medical College, and completed his Residency in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine’s Payne Whitney Clinic. Prior to Silver Hill, Dr. Marotta was also a leader in psychiatry at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, Danbury Hospital in Connecticut, and New York Medical College at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.

Dr. Marotta focuses on patients with severe bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as on patients with behavior disturbing, brain damage. Currently, he and his collaborator General Steven Xenakis are also building an intervention program for treating stress reactions in patients recovering from COVID-19.

A mantra of Rocky’s are the words of Winston Churchill. "Never, never, never give up."

Rocky doesn’t give up. If you have questions, you may email Rocky at: rmarotta@silverhillhospital.org.

Visit our website to learn about Virgil's book, “A Family Guide to Mental Health Recovery”


Disclaimer: As a therapeutic consultant, Virgil advises, advocates, recommends, facilitates and empowers, but he does not treat mental illness or addiction. While offering 30+ years of mental health experience, he is not a licensed mental health professional, but will often refer clients to professionals and programs for treatment. 


Note: Virgil has no financial relationship with any of these programs, except for Houston Methodist Hospital and McLean Hospital for whom he has been a consultant. Any consultation he gives is for educational, informational and motivational purposes only and is not meant to replace professional psychiatric, psychological, programmatic, legal or financial advice the client may need for him or herself or their family member from a licensed professional. 

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