Don’t want to treat your depression or anxiety with medication? Have a look at these alternatives…
If you had a less-than ideal upbringing, or if you’ve experienced any trauma or unusually high levels of stress, you’re more prone to depression and anxiety than the average person. Genetics also plays a role, so even if you haven’t experienced the above, you may still be likely to have bouts of depression and anxiety. In fact, about 30 million Americans currently take prescription antidepressants…
…but what if you don’t want them?
Pharmaceuticals are not the only potential treatment for depression and anxiety, and if you don’t like the idea of choosing medication, or if medication has been a disappointment, there are other treatments available that are proven to be just as effective (or more effective) than antidepressant medications. Yes, that’s right…proven more effective.
Here are my top picks for the alternative treatment of depression and anxiety:
This is delivered by way of a little pocket-sized electronic gizmo. Two tiny wires with sticky contacts plug into the unit, and you attach one to each earlobe. This stimulates your brain and relieves depression, anxiety, insomnia, migraines and many other disorders. (There’s even a unit that blocks physical pain as well).
The unit is used just a few minutes a day, and has a one-time cost of $595 USD. (The small sticky pads that attach to your ears and the fluid used need regular replacement). Some health insurance plans do cover the cost.
In most countries, you don’t even need a prescription to purchase the unit. In the U.S., you do need a prescription, but a very wide variety of clinicians can write one for you. Psychologists, psychiatrists, MDs, even dentists, therapists and social workers can write up a simple letter saying that you have one of the conditions it treats, and nothing more is needed. To check it out, visit www.alpha-stim.com
rTMS is a treatment that is delivered in a clinic on a regular basis. Treatment consists of placing an electromagnet near to the head; this affects the activity in the brain.
When compared under given circumstances to electroshock therapy (the most effective treatment that has ever been developed for depression) rTMS performed just as well, but without the bad side effects of memory loss. (Abrams, 1997) Astoundingly, rTMS treats depression and a huge list of other disorders such as OCD, anxiety, fibromyalgia, epilepsy, parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and more. For more information about how rTMS works and what it is used for, visit one of the sites maintained by an rTMS clinic.
When actress Margot Kidder found she was suffering badly from bipolar I disorder in 1996, she decided against the medications offered and chose to go the orthomolecular route instead.
Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the movie, “Superman”, has now been symptom-free for many years and speaks publicly about her successful treatment with orthomolecular psychiatry. She describes her experience with orthomolecular treatment as, “…nothing short of a miracle.”
The word orthomolecular means “right molecule”, which describes the practice of treating the brain with the natural building blocks that correct its chemistry and functioning. Depression, anxiety, and many other brain-based illnesses and disorders can be treated orthomolecularly. Orthomolecular therapy is typically administered and managed by a naturopathic doctor. For more about orthomolecular treatment and the conditions it treats, consult a naturopathic physician. Like the above treatments, orthomolecular treatment is used to treat many disorders. More information is also available from orthomolecular.org
Vagal Nerve Stimulation (VNS)
In 1997, a device, the vagal nerve stimulator, was invented to prevent seizures in epileptic patients. It was a small implanted device that stimulated one of the nerves that directly affects brain functioning. It worked well on the epilepsy of the patients who had the small device implanted — with one unexpected result — the patients who also happened to have depression were reporting to their doctors that surprisingly, their depression was lifting as well.
In 2005, the FDA approved the VNS for the treatment of “treatment-resistant depression”, which is defined as depression that does not improve after trying 2 different anti-depressants. Currently, researchers are working on a non-implanted form of the device, and this is expected to be completed by the year 2012. For more information about VNS, visit the site link above and consult your physician.
Join us next time – we’ll be discussing parentification in dysfunctional parents.
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