Depressed? Are You Getting Better?


Depression can make everyday life feel draining.  Low energy and lack of sleep are the most common symptoms of depression we tend to see at Amen Clinics. Quite often, these feelings can stem from your depression medication – and wind up not solving your real problem, which leaves you feeling even more helpless and frustrated. Have you been on antidepressant medications or mood stabilizers, and have seen little to no improvement?

Restlessness and Depression

When people have been on antidepressants and are not getting any better, they tend to have lower energy than normal. This type of fatigue is different for people who just didn’t get enough sleep last night, or do not live healthy lifestyles. This type of energy lag has a flow.

This sort of depression consists of starting your morning feeling groggy and tired. Then by mid-morning, you have a jolt of energy. Around the late afternoon, you are starting to feel extremely worn out. By night time, when you should be falling asleep, you find yourself staying up and unable to rest.

Not only is this cycle toxic to your body but it isn’t helping the depression problem that’s occurring in your body.

Depression and Low Energy Explained

When symptoms occur, a great amount of stress is placed on your body. Over time your poor body begins to secrete a neurohormone called cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that has been linked to depression.

When your cortisol secretion level is too high, your adrenal glands cannot keep up, resulting in:

  • Rather than normal or too high, your cortisol levels dip low
  • Profound tiredness
  • High sensitivity to stress and feeling overwhelmed
  • Weight gain and possible cravings

Testing Your Cortisol Hormone or Stress Levels

At Amen Clinics, we offer a salivary cortisol test* four times per day (call for locations that offer this test). Unlike most of our human hormones, cortisol levels fluctuate. They go up in the morning and then throughout the day they slowly decrease, making us want to go to sleep by bedtime.

If your stress hormone levels happen to run backward, that is when you’ll feel the effects of stress, low energy, and weight gain.

Optimizing Adrenal Function From Stressors

With this salivary test, we are able to optimize your adrenal gland functions and help your brain stay clear and bright.  Balancing your stress hormones also allows you to lose weight, and keep it off.

We also test you for depression and cortisol levels:

  • Using adaptogen supplements, which help the body adjust to stress.
  • Using adrenal extracts – dried, desiccated adrenal glands from other animals such as pigs. These extracts may revive and rehabilitate your cortisol levels.
  • If neither of these methods help, try an internist. He or she can prescribe medication like Cortef. Cortef is a type of corticosteroid, which can help get your levels up. A corticosteroid is a class of steroid hormone used to respond to low levels of cortisol in response to stress and low blood sugar.

Why It’s Important to Receive a Proper Diagnosis

In Dr. Daniel G. Amen’s book, “Change Your Brain Change Your Life” he refers to how most people struggling with depression are diagnosed by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional who is searching for a “symptom cluster”.

For example, if a patient says they are depressed they are most likely to get a diagnosis of depression and be prescribed antidepressant medication or psychotherapy for depression. However, these diagnostic labels don’t tell us about the underlying biology of these problems. That is why a one-size-fits-all treatment plan for depression, just isn’t realistic. Find a specialist who compassionately comprehends your needs and fears.

If you or a loved one is depressed and not getting any better, you might suggest that cortisol hormones are checked, and full physical. For more expert advice, watch: Amen Clinic’s Live Chat on Facebook or contact us here.

*Salivary tests are not available at all Clinic locations. Please call 888-288-9834.


  1. Nice Information Sir

    Comment by Nilesh Bhatt — January 24, 2017 @ 10:59 PM

  2. I wish you had a clinic in Oklahoma City.

    Comment by Jan — March 2, 2018 @ 3:48 AM

  3. We live in Canada. Would u be able to send the salivatory tests here?

    Comment by Marg — March 2, 2018 @ 6:49 AM

  4. Diagnosided with endometrial cancer 2 years ago. That’s when my anxiety started. Dr tried several antidepressants. They left me feeling more anxiety. I have been on Xanax 3mg for 2 years. I also take remeron at night 15mg. Then my Husband passed away in October. Feeling sad and heartbroken. I have a loving family and many friends. Feeling more anxious due to loss of my Husband of 44 years. I see a psychiatrist, psychologist and a grief counseling. I still do everything I did in the past, Tai Chi, yoga, meditation, bowling go and work at my church. Am I feeling alone because of the loss of my Husband. They were able to get all my cancer but I did have 6 treatments of chemo for any microscopic cells. I eat and sleep good. Probably from the remeron.

    Comment by Kathy Dominczak — March 2, 2018 @ 7:50 AM

  5. Hello Jan, we also hope to have a clinic near you! We are expanding to bring clinics to more areas. Stay tuned!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 2, 2018 @ 8:28 AM

  6. Hello Marg, thank you for reaching out. As you are in Canada, the best first step would be to follow-up with your primary care physician about this test in your area. If you’d referrals of practices that follow The Amen Clinics Method, you can call our Care Coordinators at 888-288-9834.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 2, 2018 @ 8:29 AM

  7. Hi Dr. Amen:
    Hoping you would have a clinic opening in Massachusetts!….I really want to be able to get the help I need from your clinic!…I have several diagnoses: PTSD. Depression. with high anxiety…I have been on numerous meds over the years and all have stopped working….I will be evaluated for TMS therapy but I know that a PET Scan would be a valuable test for me… thank you. Deborah

    Comment by Deborah Lalicata — March 2, 2018 @ 9:59 AM

  8. Any chance you will be opening a clinic in Louisiana? Time frame?

    Comment by Marnie Schember — March 2, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

  9. Hi Marnie, the closest we have to you now is Atlanta and we hope to open a clinic in Texas which would be the next closest. Hopefully we can further expand! Stay tuned!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 2, 2018 @ 1:10 PM

  10. Where is your closest office to Denver Colorado

    Comment by Brenda — March 2, 2018 @ 5:44 PM

  11. It would be great to have a clinic opened near the reknowned Cleveland Clinic., since that brings people from all over the world. Is this a possibility? Do you have any clinic affiliiates overseas?

    Comment by Janie — March 3, 2018 @ 4:16 AM

  12. What about Israel, where can we get tested?

    Comment by Anya Liss — March 3, 2018 @ 9:47 AM

  13. Wish you had a clinic in New England. I’m in central NH.
    After more than a year of almost daily workouts, I’ve found it to be working and believe it’s better then any antidepressant I’ve tried in the past 35 years.
    Thanks for all you internet info.

    Comment by Scott — March 3, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

  14. I live near Orlando. Is a Florida clinic in the future,?

    Comment by Sheryl — March 3, 2018 @ 10:50 AM

  15. Your information could lead to proper diagnosis and help for so many but your inability to accept insurance especially for those who cannot work to be able to afford your fees make your clinic only accessible to the rich and useless to those who are not.

    Comment by Marilyn — March 3, 2018 @ 3:09 PM

  16. Hello Dr. Amen, i called 888-288-9834 from toronto ontario canada and this number is out of order. how do canadians find physicians in toronto who follow the practices of the Amen Clinics method? thanks

    Comment by elisa — March 4, 2018 @ 6:52 AM

  17. need closest location to Denver as well

    Comment by Carol k — March 4, 2018 @ 2:20 PM

  18. Do you have a clinic near Memphis, TN ?

    Comment by Sylvia maharrey — March 5, 2018 @ 4:14 AM

  19. Hello Sylvia, thank you for reaching out to us. Our current locations are listed here –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 5, 2018 @ 8:57 AM

  20. Hello Carol k, thank you for reaching out. We hope to come to Colorado soon! For now, our current locations are listed here – Stay tuned for new clinic openings!

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 5, 2018 @ 9:12 AM

  21. Hello Elisa, internationally you can reach us at 949-266-3715 or by completing this form on our website –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 5, 2018 @ 9:20 AM

  22. Hello Sheryl, thank you for reaching out. We are expanding and hope to come to FL, for now our current locations are listed here –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — March 5, 2018 @ 9:37 AM

  23. About 40 years ago I saw an “orthomolecular psychiatrist” for depression. He gave injections and pills. The pills were not antidepressants but were related to cortisol levels somehow. The injections were very expensive and I could only afford the pills. The pills, however, took so long… and were large and difficult for me to swallow. I gave up.
    I had friends though that did take the injections . I think it was once a week that they went into the doctor’s office for them. And they worked.
    I went back on Elavil at higher and higher doses and I can see now, looking back, that I became more depressed and tired.

    Comment by jennie snyder — March 6, 2018 @ 7:45 AM

  24. Contac my.

    Comment by Luz Maria Ortiz Ortega — June 5, 2018 @ 3:47 PM

  25. Hello Luz, we will have a Care Coordinator reach out to you right away. Thank you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — June 6, 2018 @ 7:40 AM

  26. The description of the energy fluctuation levels during the day are dead on! I’m a 59 year old female that has, and continues to be, treated with meds and psycho therapy for depression and anxiety the majority of my adult life.

    Type A, overachiever who in her early 40’s could no longer “pull it off”. I have subsequently had periods where, although often a “fake it ’til you make it” situation – exhausting, had some sense of daily functionality, purpose and contribution to society.

    It’s been approximately 4 years since I’ve realized any semblance of daily functionality. Sitting on the sidelines of life, unable to get back time lost and have very little hope of “getting off the bench”. I’m a student of the importance of nutrition and exercise, able to counsel others regarding one of the many vital pieces of a plan of action, at a novice level albeit. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole to the point where I have difficulty doing those things I know will put me back on the path of consistent daily functionality.

    The efforts are made a few days a week, weekly visits with psychologist using both talk and EMDR therapy and the annual med check visit with the psychiatrist. This is not where I expected to be nor is it what I’ve signed up for. I’ve worked hard on my education, my professional career only to have it taken away from me by depression. I’ve done the work with my therapist, the nutritional and physical work necessary realizing improvement only to fall down “the hole” again. Frankly, and at my age, hope is slipping away. I’m tired of working hard, having a taste of normalcy only to have it taken away.

    What’s been done in the past and what I’m doing now is just not working long term. I do the work then something disrupts the forward progress.
    The Amen clinics are the gold standard and there are plenty others that are exemplary. However, I don’t have “Chalene Johnson” type of bank account to afford the diagnostics and treatment that could possibly help. What are people of modest means to do? There is a growing need for, but deficiency of, access to quality mental health treatment. I have so much to offer and I don’t want to quit but option do I have? Should you know of a quality program that accepts Humana Gold Plus, please advise.


    Nancy Causey

    Comment by Nancy — November 17, 2018 @ 10:24 PM

  27. Do you treat depression co-occurring with addiction?

    Comment by Cathy — November 19, 2018 @ 6:09 AM

  28. I noticed your locations are in the most populated cities. Hoping you can expand to Memphis soon. Number 25 on the list. But we’ve got alot of depressed folks down here in the South.

    Comment by Ryan Johnson — April 3, 2019 @ 3:28 PM

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