Millions of people across the country suffer from some form of depression or an anxiety disorder. Is medication their only hope, or can they help themselves get better? Dr. Eve Wood, author of 10 Steps to Take Charge of Your Emotional Life , talks with Dr. Oz about how she helps her patients recover.
Dr. Wood says she believes in the power of the mind-body connection, and she uses simple tools with her patients to affect their emotional responses and anxiety levels. An important piece of her therapy is cognitive intervention, or the role of thought in affecting a response. "[I use] a thought-stopping tool that tells people how to identify particular thoughts they routinely tell themselves and how to interrupt them," Dr. Wood says. By reprogramming the brain circuitry, the whole physiology of the body shifts. "You do it by identifying the thought, stopping it and substituting something else—specific affirmations that address the stuck thinking you have," she says.
While this sort of thinking sounds similar to The Secret and the law of attraction , Dr. Wood says it goes beyond that example. She believes that what we tell ourselves has a very powerful role in the way our brains work and what happens in our lives. "I think we can, to some extent, affect the degree to which we respond to what we've been given, but we don't control what we've been given," she says. It's a combination of many elements of your life that create the outcome, which is what she teaches her patients: "What have you been born with, what are your unique vulnerabilities, what does your story tell you about who you are, how can you work with it, and what is the combination of tools that make sense for you?"
For some patients, medication is an important part of their treatment. Dr. Wood discusses the potential benefit of medicine with her patients, given the degree of their symptoms. Then they work together to determine if medication is necessary. "Many times people who literally need [medication] to make any other step consider it a stigma or failure," Dr. Wood says. "Other people are prescribed medication when they don't even meet the criteria for it." Dr. Wood says the key questions to ask about medication are: Is it being prescribed for a diagnosis that I really have, and is it bad enough that I need to do something?
Published on July 02, 2007