There are lots of things that excite me about developments in therapy. Helping people feel better and change their lives is a privilege for me! One big change I have incorporated in my practice is looking at how hormones can be a culprit behind depression and anxiety. This is big! Because if you experience depression and/or anxiety and you are trying to break through using only therapy you may be hitting your head against a brick wall. So here is what I am finding – if you have anxiety, be sure to have your cortisol levels checked. Cortisol is the hormone that helps us deal with stress. It is produced in the adrenal glands. If we have little or no cortisol, it is very difficult to deal with stress and anxiety and that fight or flight sensation goes crazy! How is low cortisol treated? You take cortisol. That is it and in two weeks you will begin to notice your anxiety going down. Will it be THE answer? No. But it will lower the anxiety enough that you will have a platform to work from to reduce your anxiety to background noise. Depression can be caused by a number of physical problems but I want to highlight thyroid issues. Low thyroid is a very common cause of depression. No amount of therapy or anti-depressants will help if the thyroid is a problem. Is the solution to low thyroid simple – yes! You take either Amour thyroid or a synthetic thyroid to replace what your body is not producing. It may take a while for your doctor to regulate your thyroid levels but you will get there! For men, low testosterone can be a producer of depression and low energy. For women, testing your estrogen and progesterone levels are equally important. For many of my clients, going to a doctor specializing in hormones as described above, has been a game changer. Depression has been lifted and anxiety reduced. Therapy is still needed (and occasionally anti-depressants/anxiety drugs are needed – it can just be a brain problem!) but the progress we make is much faster. My clients are thrilled and so am I! My two favorite doctors in the area are Dr. Arem in Houston and Dr. Davis here in The Woodlands. If you have had lingering depression and anxiety it is worth a visit to the doctor. Depression is not fixed through one medium. Talk to your doctor about your hormones, talk to a psychiatrist about your brain and come see me to work on changing your thoughts and patterns of behavior due to depression and anxiety.