By Dr William Epperly.
A common way of dealing with depression or anxiety is to use a medication such as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) like Prozac or Lexapro or Zoloft on an everyday basis. And a popular Rx choice for immediate effect is Xanax or Klonopin. But research shows that using such drugs on a regular basis actually CHANGES your brain (for the worse). And for that reason, I want to describe some non-drug alternatives.
First, there are the vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and herbal remedies. Things like B12, magnesium, lithium, L-theanine, L-tryptophan, 5-HTP, kava kava, chamomile, passion flower, valerian root, and a traditional Chinese botanical formula with 11 different herbal extracts called Serenagen by Metagenics.
Second, there is something called Tapping or the Emotional Freedom Technique. This involves sequential tapping with your fingertips on various acupressure points about your head, face, and upper body. It’s also called Thought Field Processing. You can learn more about these methods at www.Tapping.com and www.Emofree.com. They are reported to be quite effective. In fact, at least one Ph.D. psychologist in Wheaton, Illinois, I know uses this method as one of his tools in his psychotherapy practice.
The last technique for anxiety and depression is electrical stimulation. No, I am not talking about Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) which is used as a last ditch effort for people with very severe treatment-resistant depression. The amount of electricity used in these new therapies is TINY. The first device I’ll mention is one that has been around quite a long time, like 20 years, and it’s called Alpha-Stim microcurrent. It was developed by pain management expert, Daniel Kirsch, Ph.D. about 20 years ago, and continues to upgrade the devices on a regular basis. It utilizes a unique patented rectangular electrical waveform and has a very high level of efficacy for anxiety – 94% decrease in anxiety long-term and 60% decrease in anxiety in patients undergoing dental procedures. See www.Alpha-Stim.com for more info.
The second electrical device is one I just learned about recently from a patient of mine who had treatment resistant depression and anxiety for years. She came in this week sounding like a new woman. I did a Beck Depression Inventory and Beck Anxiety Inventory on her and both scores were remarkably improved from previous levels. And she was on NO medication. The only thing she was doing differently was using the Fisher Wallace Stimulator on a regular basis. This device is available online, by prescription, and costs around $650. See www.FisherWallace.com.
I think that way too many prescriptions are being written for depression, anxiety, and chronic pain in America, and that these other methods should be used much more often. And this article doesn’t even mention exercise, sleep, bowel health, diet, or cognitive behavioral therapy, all of which are important in these psychological disorders.