Alternative Treatment Options for Anxiety Disorders

The desired and undesired effects of any medications for anxiety disorders are strangely correlated. In other words, pharmaceutical medication treatments are effective than the other non conventional treatments. Nevertheless, they come with various side effects as well.A typical class of medications is used in treating the anxiety disorders. Such medications often involve Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) that effectively control all sorts of anxiety disorders but they come with multiple side effects such as reduced sexual desire, Drowsiness, Nausea, Headaches etc… These reasons may be more than enough for intriguing the patients who are seeking various treatments.

A fair amount of people are able to respond to the treatments that involve the use of SSRIs. However, the conventional methods of treatment may not work with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). For Example, when compared with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), sufferers of OCD are often prescribed higher doses of the drug. Trying the alternative sources are preferable when patients are unable to find a permanent cure with all the other approaches.

Alternative Treatment Options for Anxiety Disorders

Herbal Remedies to Treat Anxiety Disorders:

Some people often try to use the alternative source of treatment or complementary medicine and a combination of both as well. Apart from this, there are several herbal remedies that offer a considerable relief for the disorder. Prior to their use, it is imperative to understand the benefits and risks that are involved in using them for the treatment. Here are some of the details about various herbs:

  • Theanine: Green tea consists of theanine in high quantities. This amino acid is also a part of various other supplements that are used for treating anxiety. Studies have shown that this acid has the capability of calming the senses.
  • Passionflower: Clinical trials have shown that passionflower might be considered as a remedial herb for treating anxiety. In many products, this is combined with various herbs which make it difficult to distinguish its properties. Consuming passionflower is considered as a safer option when it is consumed under the right directions. It can also cause dizziness, confusion and drowsiness in some cases.
  • Valerian: Some studies have shown that people who used Valerian showed lower signs of stress and anxiety. Before consuming even the smallest quantity of this herb, consult with the doctor. While these are considered to be free of side effects, many patients showed signs of kidney stones after consuming the concoctions made from Valerian. When they are consumed for a long time, most people found it difficult to stop.
  • Kava: Kava is considered to be a capable source of treatment, but with prolonged use, they tend to cause a serious damage to the liver. This is why; several Canadian and European markets have pulled this drug off from their list. Several warnings have been issued by the Food and Drug Administration against the use of this herbal remedy. It is advisable to consume Kava only after speculating the right thing and stay away if you have a weak liver.

Before consuming any sort of drugs or undergoing any herbal remedy, be sure to consult your doctor and take seek their help as well.

Trying a variety of alternative therapies can prove to be advisable in treating the anxiety disorder. The primary goal of any therapy is to improve the health and relieve the body from various symptoms with zero side effects.

Anxiety can be reduced by relying on various alternative therapies and it may take some time to generate significant results. If you are suffering from severe anxiety disorder or panic attacks, then alternative treatments is not sufficient. When combined with counseling and medication, alternative treatments work well and provide a permanent relief. It is, however, necessary to consult a medical practitioner for understanding the risks involved, especially if you have no knowledge about the herbs that you are consuming, a doctor will prove to be of great help. Some of these herbs might also have side effects and it can be harmful when combined with other prescribed medications.

Alternative Treatment Options for Anxiety Disorders

Relaxation Techniques for Anxiety Disorders:

Panic disorders and phobias can be treated with relaxation. By focusing on your positive thoughts through mental visualization, your senses can be calmed. Learn various breathing techniques, which will help you in controlling the breath during an anxious event or a panic attack.

Anxiety can be relieved by recognizing and controlling the physical signs that are related to a stressful situation. Practicing yoga can prove to be beneficial as it is a combination of meditation and exercise. It can also help in building postures. As per the studies of Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), yoga is ought to be amongst the best practices that are used for treating a variety of disorders.

Supplements to Relieve Anxiety:

Various studies are emerging every single day, which show the benefits of using herbal remedies for treating various degrees of anxiety. While there are some instances where herbal remedy has rendered calmness, there is no evidence of it being a permanent cure. The patients and doctors must carefully speculate the risks before consuming or prescribing any herbal remedy.Nutritional supplements and herbs used to relieve anxiety include:

  • Chamomile
  • Vitamin B12
  • Valerian
  • St. John’s wort
  • Fish oil
  • Inositol.

Before you even think about including these herbs as your medication, be sure to consult a doctor as it may have associated ghastly effects. Some drugs can interfere with the metabolism and damage the liver. Valerian consumption can cause headaches and result in upsetting the stomach. It is also avoided during pregnancy.

All the potential complications can be minimized by consulting the doctor before signing up with a new medical regimen. Nevertheless, if your goal is to be healthy, you can include these alternative treatments along with your medication as well.

Other Alternative Techniquesto Deal with Anxiety Disorders:

  • Pay attention to the dietary habits. Even if you are not struck with anxiety disorder, it is imperative to consume a balanced diet. This helps in the efficient functioning of the body and will keep you energized for an entire day. Try to include a variety of fresh produce that will increase the metabolism. Limit the consumption of sweets as well as fat or processed foods. Following an unhealthy diet often reduces the strength in the body and makes you more vulnerable.
  • Increase the water consumption. A major portion of the body comprises of water and this is why; it is considered as an important part of the diet. Consuming good amounts of water also helps in flushing out the toxins out of the body. It also increases the performance and helps in keeping the stress levels to the minimum.
  • Limit the caffeine intake. A morning cup of hot brew can bring your senses to life, but too much of it can hamper the way your body reacts. It can also decrease your capability to control the panic attacks.
  • Avoid nicotine and alcohol. Some people indulge in smoking and drinking to bring down the level of anxiety. Nevertheless, this relief is temporary. These methods will tend to trigger the symptoms of anxiety and worsen it as well. A prolonged use and consumption can often lead to addiction, which might be difficult to cure in the later stages.
  • Exercising daily will help in bringing down the levels of toxin in your body. Studies have shown that with a regular exercise, the stress levels are lowered and boost the immune system as well.
  • Cardiovascular exercises are also known for increasing your heart rate significantly.
  • Get quality sleep. A proper sleep of seven to nine hours will keep you energized through the day. Sleep deprivation can give rise to various negative thoughts, which would have been difficult to handle.
  • Relieve your muscles with a massage. All the bodily stresses are stored in the muscles and a thorough massage can help in keeping your body at ease.
  • Take some time from your daily routine for relieving the stress from your body through meditation.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 19, 2021

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