The Darkest Side of Anxiety and Depression

darkest side of anxiety and depression

Suicidal thoughts are more common than you may think and here’s why.

It’s been reported as many as 55% of the population have seriously considered suicide at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, suicidal behavior and completed suicides are also common. Often associated with untreated anxiety and depressive disorders, suicidal behavior often occurs when a person feels as though he or she has no other option in life.

Suicide devastates a family, often leaving parents, spouses, and children feeling abandoned, guilt-stricken, and depressed.

Suicide is the 8th Leading Cause of Death in the United States

Women attempt suicide three times as often as men, yet men actually succeed in killing themselves three times more than women. Women typically use suicide as a cry for help, while men typically hold back their feelings until they are overwhelmed and see no other option for healing their pain.

Treating Depression & Suicidal Behavior in a New Way

Brain SPECT studies have been useful in helping to further understand suicidal behavior. We have scanned more than 300 people who have attempted suicide. The majority of these patients had a tendency to get stuck on negative thoughts, had a short fuse, were easily irritable, impulsive and showed poor judgment.

Most suicidal thoughts are brief in duration. Suicide is possible when someone gets locked into negative thoughts and has a short fuse and problems with impulsivity. Half of the suicides in America are committed when a person is intoxicated, because alcohol further suppresses prefrontal cortex function, taking the lid off of impulse control.

How Brain Imaging Can Change Someone’s Life

Our SPECT studies provide a useful window into the brain of these patients and help bring together the diversity of biological findings. We have studied hundreds of children, teenagers, and adults who exhibited suicidal, cutting and violent behavior and compared them to people who have never had these issues.

Clearly, the brain patterns of these patients are different from those of the nonviolent person. We have found clinically and statistically significant differences between the suicidal aggressive group and the non-suicidal and nonaggressive group. The results cluster around three major findings: decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex, increased anterior cingulate activity, and increased or decreased activity in the left temporal lobe.

It is very important to determine the nature and origin of these violent behaviors because that will predict appropriate treatment. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts we would love to speak with you today. Please reach out at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit. You are not alone.


  1. My sister – in law goes through depression. I’m trying to find her some help. She knows not where to go

    Comment by Debbie — December 16, 2017 @ 10:12 AM

  2. My friend’s 17 years old son committed suicide last week. It is the most heartbreaking experience. While attending the funeral and looking at all his classmates so devastated, I was thinking this would be a good time to raise awareness at the school…to know about
    possibilities like this. Depression is such a silent killer 🙁 How can one tell if the other person is so depressed that wants to kill himself!? They don’t run go around saying I want to die

    Comment by Ildiko Gaspar — December 18, 2017 @ 3:53 AM

  3. My 22 year old granddaughter has depression.. she lives in Austin, TX. Can you recommend a clinic or a psychiatrist who uses your approach?

    Comment by Nancy Small — December 18, 2017 @ 5:37 AM

  4. I’ve been working as a co occurring counselor for 20 yrs. The most common addiction that results in suicide is gambling. Lets get some discussion on that suobject.

    Comment by Marsha Bernstein — December 18, 2017 @ 5:40 AM

  5. How do I help someone who struggles with anxiety and depression and has occasional suicidal tendencies . More so lately because her mother just passed away. She is resistant to conventional treatments such as meetings etc. But I believe I have broken through with a heartfelt letter. She may be open to possibilities. I want to take advantage of anything I can do before the door closes again. What do I do and where do I start?

    Comment by Debby — December 18, 2017 @ 5:40 AM

  6. My 40 year old daughter was told she has bipolar a few days ago when she went into a doctor for anxiety. Since then she has gone off the deep end of thought and now wont speak to anyone of us who are trying to help her. I got an email this morning from last night that she wants to end her life. I am not sure what to say to her cause she is so sensitive and I want to reach out to her gently What can I do and say to help her?

    Comment by Shai — December 18, 2017 @ 5:43 AM

  7. I have been deeply saddening from a situation with our son and our daughter. I can’t seem to get over the fact that they don’t want to be part of our family anymore. It’s like a death and I mourn them and love my children. I’ve been to counseling and it helped a little but I couldn’t afford to continue to go and this deep depression’s has lasted over a year now I do a lot of praying and asking God for a lot of help but it still keeps turning over and over in my mind it’s killing me please help me.

    Comment by Llf — December 18, 2017 @ 5:50 AM

  8. Are you doing a study or clinical trial on this, or would the usual fees apply?

    Comment by Shari — December 18, 2017 @ 6:05 AM

  9. I’ve always had problems with mood swings &!depression but after i suffered a small stroke in my left frontal lob in 2013 my depression & anxieties & suicidal thoughts have worsen. I’ve tried different medications but after a few months they stop working and the Dr. tries a new medication. I’ve recently lost my job due to my attendance or lack of. And most days I feel hopeless. I hope one day your kind of accesment & treatment will be more readelly available. Thank you!

    Comment by Aida Echevarria — December 18, 2017 @ 6:07 AM

  10. My 45 year old son commuted suicide in June of this year. He was diagnosed with depression in 2016. He was alcoholic and was drunk when he shot himself. I felt very sorry for him and tried to help in anyway. I try not to have guilt, I know its the way his brain worked. I miss him very much. I also had no idea that he wanted to do that.

    Comment by Veronica Pedregon — December 18, 2017 @ 8:15 AM

  11. I’ve held my “secret” for decades. Now, over 50, I can barely hold down a job for long. I have learned to control outbursts through anxiety medication, but the depression just does not go away. Through a traumatic incident that happened to me when I was 14, and years without counseling or anyone to help me, the depression and anxiety worsened. I have never had a job longer than 2 years…and that was decades ago. Now, I have jobs for only months; my sadness worsens each year. Finding a reason to live (no spouse, no close family) is truly tough.

    Comment by Tamara — December 18, 2017 @ 11:55 AM

  12. I have suffered terribly with depression and digestive issues this year. I have been through several medications without much help. I have began a nutritional approach to eliminate inflammatory issues in my system. I am noticing some improvement. Do you deal with any of this?

    Comment by Crystal — December 18, 2017 @ 12:10 PM

  13. Hello Debbie, thank you for your response. Amen Clinics can assist you with resources for your sister-in-law, our Care Coordinators are able to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us at 888-288-9834.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 1:38 PM

  14. Hello Nancy, at this time we don’t have a location in Texas but we do have one in Atlanta. We have plans to come to Texas real soon. You can view our locations here – – or give us a call for treatment options at 888-288-9834.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 1:40 PM

  15. Hello Debby, thank you for your question. We understand how emotional this journey is with a loved one who is suffering. We have many treatment options available to start our patients on their road to recovery. You can call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834 to ask questions about options and how to approach those options with your loved one. Starting the conversation is a difficult first step, you’re doing a great job.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 1:43 PM

  16. Hello Crystal, thank you for your response. Yes, we do treat issues relating brain health to gut health; the two are directly in connection with one another. Inflammation is also a risk factor for more severe health issues down the line ( To speak to a Care Coordinator more in depth, please call 888-288-9834.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 1:47 PM

  17. Hello Tamara, we admire your courage in reaching out to us today. You are not alone. We have many patients and members of our Amen Clinics community that are experiencing similar trials in life. Your strength is admirable, and if you’d like to speak to a Care Coordinator on treatment options or a SPECT scan to diagnose your depression accurately, please call us at 888-288-9834. We also have an online form if that is a more comfortable route for you –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 1:49 PM

  18. Hello Shari. Yes we do perform trials and research on many conditions and the outcomes of treatment options. 78% of our patients improved their outcome with treatments from Amen Clinics after just 6 months. Our SPECT scans allow us to treat your specific brain. For more information please call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 1:54 PM

  19. Hello Aida, thank you for reaching out to us today. We hope to be able to offer you the resources you need and can get you on your road to recovery. We have many treatment options available and if you’d like to explore some options please call us – 888-288-9834. There are many ways to begin treatment with Amen Clinics, we hope to be able to help.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 1:56 PM

  20. Hello Llf, we admire your strength in reaching out to us today. We can only hope to help our community as much as possible, we have many resources on hand to provide to our patients. If you’d like to speak to a Care Coordinator today, please feel free to call us at 888-288-9834. We understand how difficult it is to find a path that works for your needs, and we develop custom treatment plans tailored to you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 2:00 PM

  21. Hello Ildiko, unfortunately there is no way to know for certain how depressed a person is and if they’d want to take their life. We can do so much more for our community to raise awareness and open lines of communication. There are many hotlines available for people who are depressed and possibly suicidal to seek help. Our community just needs to know that they are not alone, and that communication is a key element; reaching out is okay, and it takes strength to do so. We need to empower those that may silently be suffering to reach out.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 18, 2017 @ 2:04 PM

  22. I have a friend who has wonderfully accepted that she has a “real” biologically based illness of anxiety and depression but unfortunately she and I have a mutual friend who tries to tell her she does not have this illness because the mutual friend thinks it some how keeps her from getting healed from God from it. At least she hasn’t encouraged my friend from taking her meds at all but insists that she gets her doctor to lower the dose cause she does have some sedation side effects but her husband now I learned after getting a I know them better said the doctor is certain she’s on what he doctor considers the most effective low dose with the least amount of side effects possible any lower her husband and she would not be getting any positive eff cya of the med. She mutual friend is more hurtful than helpful to my friend I wish some Christians wouldn’t think it bad to take medicine for brain diseases cause there are a lot of medical cubes I’m sure she wouldn’t object nearly as much for more”physical” kinds of illnesses. What say you? Thanks Julie

    Comment by Julie DeCoster — December 18, 2017 @ 5:10 PM

  23. I’ve been a patient since 2012. I have GADD, PTSD and depression.
    I went at this alone as I no where or anyone to turn too as wife was divorcing me due to the blind symptoms.
    I strongly recommend this treatment center. Don’t get me wrong , it is the hardest thing you as a human will ever encounter. The people care. I still take my supplements ever day and only one prescription for anxiety. ‘By choice’ could be a pill tester for the drug companies.
    Do it and save your life, best money ever spent.

    Comment by Richard — December 18, 2017 @ 6:35 PM

  24. Hello I have suffered depression and anxiety for over 30 years. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have had near suicidal moments but thanks to my faith in God I have pulled through. I believe my life will end at my own hand. Share this feeling everyday a struggle and battle to put on a game face. I am e,hausted All the time. I sleep for hours now. All day and all weekend, all night. Suffer from loss of interest in relationships and only have energy or interest now in spurts. Lack desire for much of anything and really hate the way I feel all the time. Life just has to be better than this?? I noticed over the past 2 years my memory has gotten worse. Simple things like completing sentence or remembering what I did yesterday. I read and often times can’t remember what I just read and reread. The words often do y m sf ke sense. My doctor says it comes with age but I don’t believe him. I am only 51 and this just doesn’t feel right for my age. Is it??. Worried, tired, and very medically concerned. Symptoms got worse after recent surgery and the loss of my father.

    Comment by Susanne Harris — December 18, 2017 @ 9:32 PM

  25. Is there any hope for your help if a patient has no health insurance?

    Comment by T. Gardner — December 18, 2017 @ 11:03 PM

  26. Good morning,
    What types of insurance do you all accept? We live in New Mexico, so California would
    be closer I believe.


    Comment by Lucy Acosta — December 19, 2017 @ 9:07 AM

  27. Hello Julie, there are live-saving medications that when used appropriately are the right solution for some patients. If you have an interest in alternative medicine solutions for your friend, such as supplements, you can inquire with our clinic to get more information. You can call 888-288-9834 or fill out this form to receive a response – Thank you for reaching out.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 19, 2017 @ 11:33 AM

  28. Hello Richard, we appreciate your feedback very much. Thank you for commenting here about your experience, it is our mission to get our patients back on track to a healthy lifestyle and our clinics will love to hear this!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 19, 2017 @ 11:34 AM

  29. Hello Susanne, thank you for having the courage to reach out to us today. Being proactive about your condition and symptoms you’re feeling is the right track to begin. There definitely are links to depression and memory issues such as dementia, we have published studies on it ( We have a memory program at our clinics as well, but treating the root cause of your depression will be the best step to get you started on a road to recovery. We admire your strength, you are certainly not alone. Having issues with memory is not normal and doesn’t have to be a part of aging, we have proven that we can make it better. To speak to a Care Coordinator about your treatment options, please call 888-288-9834 or fill out this form if you are more comfortable with that route and someone will reach out to you –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — December 19, 2017 @ 11:39 AM

  30. My son is 24 years old and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for the past five years due to his bipolar and schizoaffective disorder. How will the brain scan benefit him?

    Comment by Ruth — March 30, 2018 @ 7:08 AM

  31. Hello Ruth, thank you for reaching out and sharing with us. A SPECT scan can ensure first and foremost if the diagnosis of bipolar and schizophrenia are accurate. In addition, through SPECT we’ll be able to see what specific areas of the brain are affected, and how to target treatment to the right places. Here are some examples of cases we’ve documented with these conditions - If you’re interested in learning more, our Care Coordinators are available to answer your questions and work with you to develop treatment options. They can be reached at 888-288-9834 or by completing this form –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 30, 2018 @ 7:45 AM

  32. How soon? Houston possible??

    Comment by Ceast — June 4, 2018 @ 4:52 AM

  33. Hello Ceast, thank you for reaching out. We just opened our 8th Clinic in Los Angeles, and we hope to continue expanding! Stay tuned for more on new clinics as we move through this year! Thank you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — June 4, 2018 @ 9:04 AM

  34. Good morning. I suffer from depression & anxiety & have for yrs. I’m 63 yrs young. I do take anti-depressant & anti-anxiety meds. I do seek Psychitriatric treatment. I was wondering if there’s any natural substances I can try in order to treat my problems. Also, do you have location in Raleigh, North Carolina?

    Comment by June Kaufmam — July 9, 2018 @ 4:40 AM

  35. Hello June, thank you for reaching out. At Amen Clinics it’s our mission to treat patients with the least toxic, most effective natural and alternative medicine practices. We have several clinics on the East Coast, our locations are listed here: To reach our Care Coordinators for further questions, please call 888-288-9834 or submit this form to receive an email response:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — July 9, 2018 @ 8:01 AM

  36. Will you ever have a clinic in Arizona??

    Comment by Lindsay — July 26, 2018 @ 2:18 PM

  37. Hi Lindsay, we plan to continue to expand! For now, we have 8 locations:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — July 26, 2018 @ 2:45 PM

  38. Do you know if Medicare covers SPECT brain scans??

    Comment by Pat — August 7, 2018 @ 8:13 AM

  39. I think this is an extremely bias study. It completely ignores non-violent suicidal people. Impulsive behavior may contribute, but you can be impulsive within parameters of your definition of control. And yet having no control, no hope, and no outlet (through anger/violence) can lead a person with chronic depression to suicidal thoughts/behaviors/attempts. Unless there’s another diagnosis and view entirely for this personality type?

    Comment by Adrienne — February 20, 2019 @ 5:21 AM

  40. Two of my sons friends committed suicide and I constantly worry that with the constant stress he is under at his job and in other things a young man faces, that there is a possibility created for a future action… He had a hard life as a young child and in spite of that he has turned out really well. I worry though and it affects my ability to get out of his way. Where are the books for people who cant let go?

    Comment by Adelia Hitt — February 20, 2019 @ 6:35 AM

  41. Please share where in TX. Hopefully Houston.

    Comment by Debra — February 20, 2019 @ 6:37 AM

  42. Does Medicare cover SPECT scans?

    Comment by Deb — February 20, 2019 @ 6:40 AM

  43. My son is 30 , he has bipolar and is very angry.He is compliant with medication but wants to smoke marijuana to help him with depression.The family supports him but we are worn out.We are currently trying to get him to stand on his own 2 feet….Iam interested in anything that can help the mentally ill have a life.what do you have besides care coordinators and vitamins ? Anger is a Bigger problem with those who have mental illness…our jails are full of them.If you have solutions that work let’s get them into the mainstream so we can help the masses not just those who can afford the scans.

    Comment by Kj Price — February 20, 2019 @ 7:24 AM

  44. Second opinion. If she can afford it seek help with this clinic. I heard Dr. AMen speak once and I would trust him. Misdiagnoses and callous care are really common in psychiatry.

    Comment by BAJ — February 20, 2019 @ 12:51 PM

  45. My 26 year old son has battled depression and anxiety for several years. He uses alcohol to cope which gets extremely out of hand. In 2018 he was in a 30 day rehabilitation facility twice. He goes right back to his coping with alcohol when he gets out and life hits him in the face. He knows he needs to talk to someone but he won’t. There has to be an answer for him, for us all. It is extremely hard to see him hurting and there is nothing we can do to make it better. Please advise us on this treatment.

    Comment by Susan — February 20, 2019 @ 3:24 PM

  46. I have lived with severe depression for many years + tried many treatments. Nothing has worked for long, including a large variety of treatments with anti-depressants. Now my resources are so depleted I can’t pay my rent anymore + need to move out of my place. I am truly desperate.
    You mentioned you offer participation in clinical trials. How can one access those, please. I need some active + practical help.
    Thanks in advance for your response.

    Comment by Chris — February 25, 2019 @ 10:11 AM

  47. Can the brain be regenerated after electroshocks therapy which worse my depression. No any longer a normal life and more frecuent suicidal thoughts.

    Comment by Karma — April 27, 2019 @ 4:47 PM

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