It’s Not Depression, It’s PTSD

It’s Not Depression, It’s PTSD.

Susan first heard about Amen Clinics when one of her children benefited from their services. At that time, she was very impressed with the success of the targeted treatment plan, but she had no idea she’d eventually seek Amen Clinics services for herself.

Several years later, a traumatic event triggered a deep emotional shift for Susan. “I was numb for several weeks, but then started sinking into a deep depression,” Susan explained. It was much more than a case of the blues. The depressive state was compounded by other symptoms that were making her day-to-day life unbearable.

When Everyday Life Becomes Unbearable

Susan was only able to sleep for about two hours each night, had virtually lost her short-term memory, and was struggling with long-term memory. She even lost her sense of direction. “All I wanted to do was stay in bed all day with my door locked,” Susan said. “I had to take a leave of absence from work and was just doing the minimum to care for my children.”

In the midst of this frightening time, Susan remembered Amen Clinics and made an appointment. Her Amen Clinics psychiatrist recommended specific anti-depressants, but also strongly recommended the Amen Clinics’ Full Evaluation protocol, including brain SPECT imaging.

SPECT Imaging Reveals The Truth Behind Susan’s Struggle

The medication did help some, but Susan decided to follow up with the Full Evaluation. She wondered if the brain SPECT scan might reveal any additional clues about her symptoms. The neuroimaging provided a remarkable insight. “My SPECT scan showed a high degree of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” Susan said. Both anxiety and depressive states were cycling repeatedly, and her brain couldn’t shift out of that pattern.

With that new information, Susan’s Amen Clinics psychiatrist had a much clearer understanding of her brain’s needs. He explained that Dr. Amen’s research has shown there are actually seven types of anxiety and depression, with each requiring unique treatment strategies. In fact, for some of the types, common anti-depressant medications are not effective.

Susan’s psychiatrist knew of an alternative treatment that had been helpful for her particular anxiety-depression pattern. “He recommended Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) as a supplement to the anti-depressants,” Susan said. TMS uses large magnets to train neuro-circuits to function appropriately. It acts upon neuro-circuits somewhat like certain medications, but without side effects. Susan “hoped and prayed” that this alternative therapy would work.

It did. Within the first week of treatment, Susan felt some improvement. During the next two weeks, her memory came back, she started sleeping better, and she felt hopeful for the first time. “At the end of my course of treatment, my memory was better than ever,” Susan said. Her sense of direction returned, and she felt comfortable taking care of her children and completing day-to-day tasks. “I was able to return to work, and I felt positive about my situation and my future.”

Today, Susan enthusiastically refers friends and family. Since her experience, she has recommended Amen Clinics to dozens of people. “Everyone has been very pleased with the life-changing care that they have received.”

Innovative approaches to treating anxiety and depression can yield transformative results. Brain SPECT scans often reveal factors that cannot be fully addressed by medication alone. It’s time to open the door to a bright and hopeful future! For information on scheduling an appointment please visit us online or speak to one our skilled professionals by calling 888-288-9834.


  1. My adult daughter is diagnosed with schizophrenia, adhd, bi-polar disorder, and severe ptsd, along with thyroid problems. She has survived being beaten nearly to death, DOA from being stabbed in the liver, but has never had an MRI or SPECT scan. She was a forcepts baby and had migraines in that pattern as a preteen, seen in a CAT scan. She also experienced 3 kidnappings at gunpoint by my exhusband during age 2 that were very traumatic. After being unable to get police help, I found someone to kidnap my daughter back. She had a severe depressive episode at age 15 after a traumatic experience and then exhibited manic behavior in residential treatment. She later disclosed taking LSD that was smuggled in, so I don’t know if she was actually manic. However, in high school, she also took a sandwich from some boys who wouldn’t share, only to discover too late that it was full of LSD. The boys hid her to avoid getting in trouble, gave her alot of alcohol and by the time I found her she was a mess. I don’t know if she has TBI, but am positive she has PTSD. My daughter has not lived with me since age 18 and she is now 40. During manic episodes as a young adult she became too violent while using drugs and alcohol to the point that, although hospitalized, sometimes involuntarily, I couldn’t let her live with me anymore. I did what I could to work with case managers, social security and payees, but she just got worse. Do you think there is any hope for her? If it were pisdible, I would like to help her use hyperbaric oxygen, orthomolecular psychiatry, and whatever therapies that might actually help her, rather than just antipsychotics. She lives in Tucson currently. Thank you

    Comment by Darci — April 27, 2018 @ 5:28 PM

  2. Hello. Where can I get a brain SPECT done at and how much does it cost? Does insurance cover it?

    Comment by Amanda Lewis — June 13, 2018 @ 9:33 AM

  3. Hello Amanda, thank you for reaching out. We’d be happy to have a Care Coordinator reach out to you via to explain everything in detail and to discuss cost, insurance, insurance reimbursement, and financing options.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — June 13, 2018 @ 11:12 AM

  4. Is there a doctor or clinic in my area that does brain SPECT ?

    Comment by Judy Truex — June 13, 2018 @ 12:18 PM

  5. Is it possible to have a SPECT scan done without the use of a contrast agent? Chemically-sensitive people, like myself, are at risk for adverse reactions to the chemicals in contrast agents.

    Comment by Penni — June 13, 2018 @ 2:23 PM

  6. Darci my heart goes out to you! That’s a lot for anyone to handle. There is hope for most people but no one really knows. There is help for you, however. During to the nature of your daughters history I would suggest you look into a local al anon group. This helps family members struggling with issues beyond alcohol and drugs.

    Comment by Theresa — June 13, 2018 @ 4:03 PM

  7. My son had a spec scan done in Seattle Washington. His response to my question about what the spec scan showed was that “he was screwed “ He believes that there’s no hope in treating his brain. He is a veteran from Iraq and the VA has been no help. I am desperate to help him pursue this further. Who would you suggest we contact to explore possible help?

    Comment by Billie Jo Ellis — June 13, 2018 @ 7:57 PM

  8. Hi – I’m having vision problems that no one can seem to do anything about. I’ve seen multiple eye specialists including retina and vitreous physicians. They can’t find anything wrong. Is SPECT imaging appropriate to help with a diagnosis? I live in the D/FW metroplex. Thank you!
    Lora White 817-412-0078

    Comment by Lora White — June 14, 2018 @ 6:34 AM

  9. Work with TBI adults love your summary about brain injuries

    Comment by Elaine Wilson — June 18, 2018 @ 1:37 AM

  10. I echo the question about vision- my father is seeing double for some time- currently it is being corrected with prism glasses, but it is worsening. He lives an almost opposite lifestyle to your suggestions… can SPECT show vision issues?

    Comment by Lisa S — June 19, 2018 @ 9:14 AM

  11. EMDR helps for PTSD. Check it out on youtube

    Comment by Deb — June 28, 2018 @ 5:06 AM

  12. Deb, you’re correct. EMDR is a wonderful treatment option. Here is a video for more information:

    Comment by Amen Clinics — June 28, 2018 @ 7:43 AM

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