Don’t Take Anti-Anxiety Pills Until You Read This
Everybody feels anxious from time to time. You get a knot in your stomach when you’re going on a first date, your hands get sweaty when you have a job interview, or you can’t stop those racing thoughts about your financial situation. For some people, the nervousness, worry, and panic feel constant. You’re not alone.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the nation with 40 million American adults experiencing feelings of tension, apprehension, and fear each year. Seeking treatment often results in a prescription for medication. But anti-anxiety pills can be bad news.
The Problems with Anti-Anxiety Pills
Beware that traditional treatment with anti-anxiety medications can be harmful to the brain. For example, benzodiazepines—including Xanax, Valium, and Ativan—suppress brain activity and can make the brain look toxic (shriveled or low in activity). They have also been found to increase the risk of dementia.
Even more alarming is the fact that deaths from overdoses involving benzos quadrupled from 2002 to 2015, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And a 2016 study found that the number of prescriptions being doled out for benzos has jumped by 67%. Now, an estimated 13.5 million American adults are popping these harmful and addictive antianxiety pills.
Because of their addictive nature, getting off benzos can be challenging. Stopping the pills abruptly can cause withdrawal symptoms, including a worsening of anxiety.
Fortunately, pills aren’t the only option to ease your anxiety.
Natural Ways to Soothe Anxiety
Here are 6 things you can do to lower anxiety before resorting to medication.
1. Check for underlying medical causes.
Low blood sugar, anemia, and hyperthyroidism can cause symptoms associated with anxiety. When necessary, addressing those medical issues can help alleviate symptoms.
2. Just breathe.
Slow and deep belly breathing, as well as meditation, can immediately increase a sense of calm.
3. Try hypnosis.
Hypnosis and guided imagery can be very powerful in helping you overcome symptoms of anxiety.
4. Do calming exercises.
Yoga and qi gong can help you achieve a more peaceful mindset.
5. Learn to kill the ANTs.
The automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) that invade your thinking can make you feel awful. You do not have to believe every stupid thought you have.
6. Start with nutritional supplements.
Nutraceuticals—such as l-theanine, GABA, and magnesium—have been found to promote a sense of calm and relaxation. Try these before resorting to antianxiety medications that can be both addictive and toxic to your brain,
Find out more about these and other natural strategies to calm anxiety in this “Skills or Pills” episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast with Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen.
Amen Clinics has helped thousands of people overcome anxiety and panic attacks. We use brain SPECT imaging to help identify your particular type of anxiety to help find personalized solutions as part of a brain-body approach to healing.
If you or a loved one is experiencing debilitating anxiety, speak with a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit online.