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The Peace of Mind Prescription: An Authoritative Guide to Finding the Most Effective Treatment for Anxiety and Depression

About the Authors

Dennis S. Charney, M.D. is chief of the mood and anxiety disorder research program and the experimental therapeutics and pathophysiology branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). In 2000 Charney spearheaded the National Institute of Mental Health’s ten-year strategic plan for research on depression and anxiety disorders.

Awards & Honors
• The Institute of Scientific Information named him one of the three most highly cited authors of psychiatric research in the decade 1990–2000.
• Award, the American College of Neuropsychiatry
• Award, National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association
• Award, American College of Psychiatrists
• Listed in Best Doctors in America (since 1992), "Best Mental Health Experts" (Good Housekeeping)

Charles B. Nemeroff M.D., Ph.D., chairman and professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, is a leading researcher in psychopharmacology. He chairs the scientific advisory board of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and is past president of the American College of Psychiatrists and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology.

Awards & Honors
• Elected to the National Academy of Sciences’s Institute of Medicine
• Past president, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
• Past president, American College of Psychiatrists
• Named one of the "Best Psychiatrists in America" (1996–present), American Health magazine
• American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
• American College of Physicians
• American College of Psychiatrists
• National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Disorders Association
• American Psychiatric Association
• Society of Biological Psychiatry
• Young Scientist Award, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
• Listed in American Men and Women of Science (since 1986), Distinguished Physicians of America (since 1991), Best Doctors in America (since 1994), Best Psychiatrists in America, American Health (since 1996), Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare (since 1995), Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (since 1992), The International Who's Who in Medicine (since 1994)

Cutting-edge Treatments

Some Cutting-edge Treatments for Anxiety and Depression Discussed in The Peace of Mind Prescription

Vagus Nerve Stimulation via electrical impulses
"A nonpharmacological treatment initially developed to reduce epileptic seizures. A pacemaker-like device is implanted under the skin in the upper chest and an electrode is threaded up the neck into one of the vagus nerves, which connect the brain to most of the organs in the body. Mild electrical impulses are delivered by the device twenty-four hours a day."

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
"Magnetic fields are focused for several minutes on the right prefrontal cortex of the brain using a head-mounted apparatus. A study with nondepressed volunteers found that stimulation of the left prefrontal cortex produced short-lived sadness, whereas stimulation of the right prefrontal cortex brightened mood. How TMS works is a mystery, and the small-scale studies to date have produced mixed results."

Electroconvulsive Therapy
"Modern ECT is a controlled, painless, brief, and highly effective treatment for both depression and bipolar disorder. Unlike antidepressant and antimania medications, the effects of ECT are usually felt within a day or two. Because ECT does not involve a drug, it is particularly appropriate for people who cannot take an antidepressant due to adverse reactions with other medications or because of a desire not to expose a developing fetus."

"ECT is conducted under general anesthesia and with muscle relaxants to minimize overt convulsions. A tightly controlled series of mild electric currents is delivered to the brain via electrodes placed on the scalp."

Complementary and Alternative Medicine
"Some complementary and alternative medicines, such as acupuncture, have been proven safe and effective for certain applications and are being adopted into conventional health care. But many techniques have not yet been studied scientifically. This doesn’t mean they might not have value, it just means that we, as medical scientists, cannot recommend such techniques without reservations."

• Chinese medicines and Ayurveda
• Mind-body interventions like meditation, prayer, mental imaging, creative outlets
• Biologically based therapies like herbs, foods, and vitamins
• Manipulative and body-based methods like chiropractic manipulation and massage
• Energy therapies involve the use of alleged energy fields and include qi gong, Reiki, and Therapeutic Touch.

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