NWPF

Treating Depression & Anxiety

Yoga (1)Depression and anxiety are treatable.

Treatment can be divided into broad categories as outlined below best treated by combining many of these therapies and lifestyle changes.

If depression co-exists with anxiety treatment will focus on both conditions.

Look for more information about these treatments in our blog.

 

Lifestyle therapies

Exercise, healthy eating, healthy sleep, creative expressions, experiences with nature, social contact with family, friends and loved ones are very important steps not to be overlooked.

Behavioral counseling

These therapies are administered under the guidance of a psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, social working or other mental health provider to help us explore our thoughts and feelings. Counseling helps us identify our feelings and find strategies or steps to take to improve reduce our sense of stress and anxiety. Counseling can explore the origins for many of our anxiety. 

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): explores the many conditioned negative thoughts we may not be aware of that lead to our increased stress and anxiety. Through CBT we can learn to recognize these triggers and replace them with more positive or productive thoughts or strategies that lead to relaxation. Counseling can also explore difficulties or problems in our lives adding to increased stress and anxiety.
  • Mindfulness and stress reduction:  Mindfulness therapy works on the premise that a physiologic balance exists in our bodies between the state of relaxation and stress. Mindfulness therapies include
    • meditation
    • breath work
    • guided imagery
    • hypnosis
    • prayer
    • spiritual practices
    • nature therapy.

These therapies are especially helpful in reducing anxiety given their focus on tapping into the physiologic changes that enhance the relaxation state and reduce the ‘fight or flight stress’ response that leads to physiologic changes in our bodies associated with stress. This can reduce our body’s response to acute and chronic stress, improve general wellbeing, and aid our ability to adjust to life stressors.

Medications
 If anxiety or depression is worse at the end of Parkinson’s medicine doses, treating your on-off fluctuations may be needed. Moderate to severe anxiety or depression may otherwise need medication. 
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors  (common antidepressants) that treat both depression and anxiety
  • Norepinephrine-Serotonin reuptake inhibitors- treat depression and pain
  • Tricycylic antidepressants- treat pain,sleep and mood
  • Other antidepressants
  • Benzodiazepines- sedatives used to treat anxiety