Anxiety / Depression

Anxiety and depression are extremely common public health problems that are at epidemic levels in the United States—according to the National Institutes of Health, they affect 38 million Americans each year. Additionally, twice that number (75 million) will suffer from an anxiety or depressive illness during some point in their lives. The loss to our society from these illnesses is staggering: individual pain, family strife, school and relationship failure, lost work productivity, and death. People actively seek out a cure for anxiety and depression, and are put on prescription medications that can harm them in other ways.

Our work and the research of many others have demonstrated that anxiety and depression are brain illnesses, not the result of weakness or flawed personalities.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY ARE:

  • Anxiousness
  • Fearfulness
  • Tension
  • Irritability
  • Headaches and stomach aches
  • Panic attacks
  • Negativity
  • Obsession
  • Sadness
  • Low energy
  • Mood swings
  • Irregular sleep and appetite habits
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts

UNTREATED ANXIETY AND/OR DEPRESSION AFFECT NEARLY EVERY ASPECT OF A PERSON’S LIFE AND HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH:

  • Failure to reach potential at school or work
  • Family conflict
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Lack of interest in things the person used to be enthusiastic about
  • Disturbing thoughts
  • Drug abuse
  • Legal and criminal problems
  • Low self-esteem
  • Chronic stress
  • Suicide

Typically, doctors prescribe anti-anxiety medications, such as Xanax, or antidepressant medications, such as Prozac or Lexapro, to treat anxiety and depression. While these medications are helpful for many people, they also make symptoms much worse for other people. The side effects of these medications can be extreme, and include hallucinations, violent outbursts, volatile tempers, psychosis, and suicidal behavior.

HOW AMEN CLINICS CAN HELP

The specialists at Amen Clinics understand how debilitating anxiety and depression can be, and treat people suffering from these illnesses with utmost respect. We treat each patient as an individual, and take a full personal history before beginning SPECT imaging or recommending any treatment program.

SPECT IMAGING

SPECT imaging (which stands for single-photon emission computerized tomography) is a special kind of photograph we take of the brain to help us better understand how it works and what is going on inside of it. SPECT can specifically help people with anxiety and depression by:

  • Helping evaluate whether or not the person has anxiety, depression, or a combination of both
  • Helping determine the type of anxiety or depression to inform treatment decisions
  • Helping determine if treatment is working correctly
  • Helping determine if there could be co-occurring conditions that need treatment
  • Reducing emotional pain and stigma by demonstrating that symptoms and behaviors are not imaginary
  • Increasing treatment compliance by showing pictures of results
  • Helping people gain a better understanding of the illness through visuals

Learn more about SPECT

Visit our SPECT Brain Imaging page to learn more about how SPECT works.

DR. AMEN’S DISCOVERY: TYPES OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

It became obvious to Dr. Amen during his studies of SPECT imaging in the early 1990’s that there were groups of patterns in the brain activity of people with anxiety and depression. Over time, and with careful research, he was able to identify the following types of anxiety and depression below, and to observe how each type responded to different treatment programs.

“Knowing your anxiety or depression type is essential to getting the right treatment for yourself.” — Dr. Amen

Schedule a Visit

At Amen Clinics, we want to help you learn more about the brain and how to feel better. Call us today at 1-888-208-0037 or tell us more to schedule an appointment.