According to the National Institute of Health, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness among Americans, with some estimates reaching 40 million people. It’s generally accepted that effective treatment for most anxiety combines medication and psychotherapy. And, I agree. These protocals work and I’ve used them for years. The issue at hand is whether we can do better.At Issue: So, are drug interventions always needed?

A common trap that people get into with medications in general, and especially psychiatric ones, is thinking that a pill will end their suffering. This may be the case if the ailment has one simple cause, for example, if an improperly treated wound becomes infected by bacteria, an antibiotic can often clear the situation up quickly with minimal side effects. However, anxiety and other psychological issues are more complex, and the effects of medication are less fully understood. And, with all the breakthroughs of modern science, the functioning of the most important organ in our body, the brain, is still oftentimes a mystery.

Example: The placebo effect of psychiatric medications is very high. This means that taking medications does help, but often the effect is less because of the pharmacological action of the agent, and more about your mind “believing” that the pill will work. The message here is that what makes drugs work, may be more complicated than you think. In fact it may be because of the way you think…Read more