Minnesota Depression and Anxiety Doctor
6 Things Your Doctor Does Not Know or Isn't Telling You
- Drugs do not fix the cause of your depression and anxiety.
- Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are not medically benign treatments.
- Antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs may not prevent suicide they may actually increase the risk!
- Your depression, anxiety, and brain fog are warning signals, like your check engine light!
- There is an underlying neurometabolic reason for your depression, anxiety, and brain fog.
- Your doctor may have no answers for you beyond SSRI drugs and exercise.
I am Dr. Greg Fors a Board-certified Chiropractic Neurologist (DIBCN), nationally certified in acupuncture and certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU). As a recognized expert in the field of chronic pain and brain health issues I would like a moment to personally speak to all who are being tormented by depression and anxiety. I want you to know that your brain it can heal, you can recover; there is a path to real healing, I have done this with numerous patients and I can do it for you! However to begin this journey you need to realize that depression and anxiety are not symptoms of a Prozac or Xanax deficiency, but a brain health issues. What do I mean by this?
Depression, anxiety, and brain fog is a brain health issue:
First and foremost I want you to understand that I am neither a psychologist nor a mental health counselor and I do not treat mental health problems. I do not put individuals on medications nor do I take them off their medications. I am a board-certified chiropractic neurologist and I help individuals improve their overall brain health and brain function. Why is this so important when it comes to mood issues?
It is well accepted that the health of our organs, for example the liver, is maintained by proper diet, necessary nutrients and that it can be harmed by toxins such as environmental chemicals and alcohol. When an organ, such as liver suffers from nutritionally deficiency and/or is harmed by toxic substances it no longer functions properly and this eventually leads to lack of proper function. As a society we seem to miss the fact that the brain is also an organ made of cells and tissues just like our liver. Our brain is actually the most metabolically active organ in our body and therefore more easily damaged by deficiencies and toxicity, and at a faster rate. At mere 3 pounds it is only 2% of your body weight, but utilizes more than 20% of the oxygen and at least 25% of the available calories you consume. To perform its complex functions, like any organ, the brain needs its cells to be maintained in optimum health.
This same fact applies to your muscles and joints. Nutritional deficiencies, toxic substances and other metabolic factors can lead to chronic inflammation causing pain, fatigue and stiffness. That’s because your muscles and joints have nerve receptors known as nociceptors that register the damage caused by nutritional deficiencies and toxic substances. Funny thing, your brain has no nociceptors, nothing to tell you that your brain is in trouble from nutritional deficiencies, toxic substances and subsequently inflammation. What are the actual signals to you that your brain is not healthy and is not working properly. As a neurologist I can tell you that research has shown that an inflamed unhealthy brain shows up as mood swings, depression, anxiety, poor focus and concentration, balance issues, sleep issues and memory problems.
What I’m asking is simply this: are you finding a loss of pleasure in usual interests, loss of enthusiasm for favorite activities, not enjoying friendships and relationships, unable to fall into restful sleep, loss of self motivation, inability to finish tasks, feelings of hopelessness, feeling overwhelmed, restless mind that will not turn off, feelings of dread and panic, what our society refers to as depression and anxiety. Then you have a brain health issue that must be addressed or as research shows it can lead to future brain disease such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease. This is not a Prozac, Cymbalta or Xanax deficiency, but signs of brain health issues!
Antidepressant medications are not medically benign treatments.
Antidepressants have serious side effects including increased risk of dying when combined with other medications. Antidepressants have been shown to create permanent brain changes that can predispose a patient to greater depression in the future. Long-term observational studies that follow patients in a natural setting have shown that patients on antidepressant drugs have more frequent and longer lasting depressive episodes then nonusers, (Moncrieff 2006). Most drug therapy trials are based on short-term studies. However, long-term follow-up studies on antidepressant drugs have shown these meds actually have very poor outcomes for people treated with them for depression.
You may think that’s all fine and good but what about depression and suicide, we must use antidepressant drugs to prevent suicide or so billboards announce to us along the highway. It is an extremely common argument made by supporters of antidepressant drugs. There is a cultural belief that individuals with depression are more likely to commit suicide without drug therapy. However analysis of the research data that compensates for erroneous methodologies and poorly designed studies have found that this is simply not true. Well designed clinical studies have shown that antidepressant drugs are no better than placebo in preventing suicide or suicide attempts. In reality an analysis of available data by Grace Jackson MD (Jackson 2005, p.122) found that antidepressant medications increase the risk of suicide by 2 to 4 times in adults and three times as much in children. Therefore, to prevent suicide it may be more beneficial for individuals to pursue alternative care for their brain when feeling depressed or anxious.
The important point for you here is that our society is missing the point. This is a brain health issue and drugs don’t work, if anything they make it worse. This very important fact seems to be ignored by society. The prevalence and use of antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs continues to rise and yet the occurrence of anxiety and depression does not decline. Between 2003 and 2007, in just four short years, prescriptions written for antidepressants increased by 25 million. Total cost for prescriptions written for antidepressants was $232.7 million in 2007. Drugs for depression and anxiety are the most widely prescribed drug in the US today. In spite of this tremendous increased use of antidepressant drugs the prevalence of depression and anxiety continues to rise in our society. (Fombonne 1994).
You can heal, naturally!
Here at the Pain and Brain Healing Center we provide an in-depth Brain-Based approach to your depression and anxiety. A better choice is to utilize nutritional and neurometabolic therapy. The guiding principle is simple: for the brain remove what is causing harm, restore what is missing, assist in repair of what has been damaged. Often there is an exaggerated response to specific foods allergies, toxic chemicals and toxic metals in your environment, that need to be identified and removed. Usually there are decreased levels and/or genetically an increased need for various nutrients: e.g. vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, anti-oxidants, and essential fatty acids that must be restored, all to assist in healing your brain and improving function. Then there is identifying what neurotransmitters in the brain need to be supported through laboratory testing and then providing the need precursors to improve their production.
A primary assistive technology utilized at the clinic to help you achieve optimal brain health is the Brain Wave Audio/Visual Entrainment device (Brain AVE). Your brain has a unique set of brain waves. In neuroscience, there are five distinct brain wave frequencies, namely Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Each frequency, measured in cycles per second (Hz), has its own set of characteristics representing a specific level of brain activity and hence a unique state of consciousness. Audio-Visual Entrainment (AVE) uses flashes of lights and pulses of tones to gently and safely guide you into various brain wave patterns to boost your mood, help with sleep, sharpen your mind, increase your level of relaxation and improve healing. Click Here for more information on Brain AVE.
Cranio-Electro Stimulation (CES) is also utilized along with the Brain Wave Entrainment Therapy. A CES device sends tiny impulses to the CNS through a stimulation cable attached to the earlobe. CES is an effective non-drug approach to relieve discomfort, assist with sleeping and calming of the mind. CES has been shown to increase serotonin and endorphins. Although individual levels of improvement may vary, medical research reveals dramatic improvements in mental functioning including, relaxation, improved memory, mental clarity, mood elevation, sound sleep and increased concentration. Click Here for more information on CES.
Acupuncture is a method of healing that encourages the body to repair naturally and improve function. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points. The acupuncture therapy I provide at the Pain and Brain Healing Center is extremely unique for multiple reasons. First and foremost, I was personally trained by a Japanese master acupuncturist here in the United States, Dr. Yoshiji Karasawa nearly 30 years ago. Since then I’ve been perfecting these specialized techniques in the treatment of pain, depression and anxiety. Click Here for more information on Acupuncture.
Dr. Greg Fors, DC