What’s the Best Option for Treating Anxiety and Depression?

Today I want to chat a bit about treatment options for anxiety and depression because I’d like to clarify a few things.

And in case you’re strapped for time here is what I want to say: Curing abnormal anxiety and depression has nothing to do with magic, voodoo, or instant anything.

Instead, treating abnormal anxiety and depression involves finding the right mix of remedies that work for you, committing to that treatment, and a little time.

This whole issue of anxiety treatments came up because I recently read a question posted on another website about what might work for treatment resistant anxiety and depression. Good question, I thought.

I know that many of you have tried all kind of things to cure your abnormal anxiety and depression and have been unsuccessful at it.

So today I want to talk about current treatment options and about where we’re at in terms of finding effective cures for these two stubborn conditions.

Now, as we all know, no two people are the same. As a result, no two people will respond to a particular treatment the same way. I say that only to highlight the fact that there is no one size fits all wonder cure. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t exist.

Up to this point in time treatment for anxiety and depression has involved talk therapy, drugs, exercise, meditation, and certain types of diets/foods.

On the extreme end of the spectrum, hard to treat depression has also been treated with things like electroshock therapy, which has proven effective but also comes with severe side effects.

There is also a newish treatment for severe depression called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) which has proven only marginally effective.

TMS involves blasting your grey matter with electromagnetic pulses (not shocks) in hopes of adjusting your serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrinen levels to help regulate your mood.

Researchers are also exploring the use of ketamine, which is a general anesthetic and tranquilizer, to cure treatment resistant depression. According to recent studies, ketamine works faster than many antidepressants and “Points to a potential whole new family of drugs for treating depression.”

On the anxiety front, Stanford University researchers recently discovered an “anti-anxiety circuit in the brain” that could lead to new treatments. It’s hoped that discovering this fear circuitry will help in the development of new drugs that can “shut off” fear and anxiety.

In short, there really isn’t anything new. Most novel treatments for anxiety and depression are still in the research and development phase. So what are we left with?

Well, we’re left with a whole host of good ole stand by treatments. The trick is finding the one (or two) that work for you.

The person that asked about what treatments are available said that he didn’t want to hear about talk therapy, drugs, exercise, herbs and the like. He said he’d tried all that and it didn’t work.

You know, I empathize with him. I can understand that level of frustration but, I would also warn against throwing out the old methods of treatment altogether.

Simply because it seemed as if he were asking for something that doesn’t exist yet, namely a fail proof treatment for anxiety and depression. We just don’t have that right now.

What we’re left with is talk therapy, drugs and all the rest of it, essentially all the stuff he said he didn’t want to hear about.

He said he’d also tried multiple psychiatrists and that failed too.

I can believe that because I know it can take awhile to find a solution, therapist, or whatever that speaks to you and your particular brand of anxiety or depression.

However, that doesn’t change the fact that you have to keep trying new treatments after trying ones that have failed.

Is trial and error a very efficient way of finding a treatment for anxiety and depression? No, not really. But what other alternative do you have?

In other words, don’t let passed failures at treatment make you feel like quitting is a good option or like you have to go on a hunt for a magic pill because both of those lines of thought will lead you nowhere.

Instead, try to be more realistic and accept that it’s going to be difficult work to solve this problem.

The fact is, no one just gets over abnormal anxiety and depression. It is a process that requires the help of medical professionals, experimentation, and patience.

Most importantly you gotta keep moving forward. Try not to dwell on what hasn’t worked, instead keep looking for what you think will turn the tide in your favor.

In my case, I relied on fish oil, exercise, and elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, that was my correct “mix.” And even though it may not be what helps you, you should keep up the search until you find what works.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Brian says

    I would like to add that don’t do just one thing and think it will work. Do EVERYTHING. You have to hit it at all angles. Medicine, meditation, talk therapy, support groups etc. You will get the best results if you do as many as you can. Just from this article I am going to add Fish Oil as another way to help. I got the Anxiety and Phobia workbook by Bourne and it has a lot of great exersises to help with anxiety.

  2. Heather P says

    Brian,

    Totally agree with you. You have to attack anxiety from all angles. Since starting a Fish Oil regimen in conjunction with Vitamin B, C and D my anxiety has improved greatly. The B vitamins are awesome actually, if you don’t already take them. The book you got is great too- good luck with it all!

  3. James says

    hi. i have been an avid podcast listener to anxiety guru. paul’s casts helped me tremendously in my most anxious, darkest hours. i think simply knowing there are others like me out there was the greatest help.

    i am almost completely cured of my panic and anxiety. i never thought i could say this just a couple of months ago.

    for me, there are 3 things: 1. accepting jesus as my lord and savior, 2. new awareness of my chronic heavy metal toxicity, and 3. dr. claire weekes’ “pass through panic” audiobooks.

    finally having pulled out of a anxiety / panic / depression dive, everything feels like a bad, but distant, dream. every day, every morning, i remember less and less of how terrible the on-set of panic and dreading anxiety felt like. it all feels a bit like a bad nightmare i once had, that you just forget over time. i can’t believe i actually made it through.

    no more pills. no more getting up in the morning with shakes. i sleep like a baby now. how did i get here… i never thought i could make it. praise God!

    jesus christ is indeed my lord and savior. i send this message out, in the hopes that someone out there will find it encouraging. in the hopes that someone will hang on for one more day, and one day at a time. have hope. have courage. take heart. god bless.

  4. mandy says

    I to have suffered the last six months. And, while in the early stages it is still very frightening. The physical symptoms can be debilitating yet frustrating on a daily basis. Headaches, neck tension, dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, churning stomach ache the list goes on…with the help and knowledge of a Naturopathic Dr. Massage therapy, chiropractic, reflexology and hypnotherapy I have slowly made major progress in my recovery. Reading and educated myself has helped me understand my anxiety disorder furthur. I recommend the book Hope & Help for your nerves by Dr.Claire Weekes. It wasn’t until I picked up her book that I could admit to myself that it was infact anxiety and not some unknown illness that Dr’s had over looked. Even though I was told that all my test results came back normal. To a person with anxiety nothing you can say will convince them otherwise. Until you accept, embrace and give it time will you then be on the road to recovery.
    God Bless,
    Mandy

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