To date, I’ve only been on one medication for anxiety. I felt well enough while on it, but I was worried about the side effects associated with the drug. I’m also stubborn when it comes to my health, so I wasn’t going to give the drug the opportunity to give me more problems to treat. I was fortunate to have stopped the medication in a way that didn’t cause the awful withdrawal symptoms I had read about. I got those crazy brain zaps, but I’m fairly accustomed to weird sensations in my brainal region (you know what I mean), so withdrawal wasn’t so bad.
I tend to search for things that will actually help my body to produce the chemicals/neurotransmitters that will genuinely improve my state of being. I’ve been lucky to have spent the last ten years working in the health food industry; I’ve been able to try different supplements to find what works for me. It’s been hit or miss, so I’ll share some of the “hits” with you in hopes that you might find something that helps.
1. Irwin Naturals: Brain Awake
Serving Size: 3 Liquid Soft-Gels
Servings per Container: 20
Amount per Serving % Daily Value
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride) 10 mg 500%
Folate (as Quatrefolic (5-MTHF) [6S]-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic acid, glucosamine salt) 200 mcg 50%
Vitamin B12 (as Methylcobalamin) 500 mcg 8333%
MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil 1000 mg †
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (as Acetyl-L-Carnitine Hydrochloride) 500 mg †
Bacopa extract (50% bacosides) (whole plant) 300 mg †
Holy Basil (Tulsi) extract (2% ursolic acid) (leaf) 200 mg †
AlphaWave L-Theanine 100 mg †
InnovaTea Natural Tea Extract (standardized to 95% Caffeine) 52 mg †
Lemon Balm extract (10:1) (aerial) 30 mg †
Rosemary extract (3% rosmarinic acid) (herb) 30 mg †
BioPerine Black Pepper extract (95% Piperine) (fruit), Ginger extract (5% gingerols) (rhizome) 6 mg †
†Daily Value not established
I’ve personally had success with many “Irwin Naturals” products, but I purchased this one yesterday and loved it. I’ve been wanting to punch everything in the face lately, and while we were out and about I was absolutely seething with anger. I decided to stop at a vitamin store for an anti-stress drink. I wanted more than a one off deal, so I ended up finding the “Brain Awake”. It isn’t labeled as a mood enhancing supplement, but most of the ingredients will do just that. It didn’t hurt that it says “…works fast” on the bottle; my experience with the company is that the product typically backs up that claim. As soon as I paid for it I’d practically inhaled three of them before we’d walked out of the store. We made our way to the movies and I still wanted to punch everything, but I could feel the edge coming off. Once the lights went out and the movie started, I was feeling quite calm. Instead of wanting to shove the child who had on light-up sneakers in a purposefully dark movie theater, I thought “I want a pair of light-up sneakers!” That felt like an accomplishment. By the end of the day I was more willing to try and understand where people were coming from, rather than be annoyed at seemingly careless and inconsiderate behavior. I also felt a general clarity and peace. So far I’m pretty impressed by this supplement.
When I had to talk about supplements on a daily basis, my go to recommendation was to take a “B-complex”.
B-vitamins are essential to good overall health. Depression, adrenal fatigue, anxiety, skin problems, PMS, cardiovascular disease, and a whole host of other ailments can be helped by your B-vitamins. This article will give you more information on why they do what they do: http://m.med-health.net/B-Complex-Benefits.html. Ideally you’ll get the bulk of your micronutrients from your diet. The body knows real unprocessed food better than anything else, so you’ll want to feed it with that in mind. The article above gives a list of foods that contain B-vitamins. Start with food unless you know for a fact that you have a B-vitamin deficiency; then you may want to supplement. Take them with enough food so that they don’t cause stomach upset; and your pee will probably be bright. Drink more water.
L-Theanine is sort of an amino acid that can help reduce anxiety by putting the brain in an alpha state. The alpha state is basically where you feel relaxed but not drowsy. You can use the following links for more information on L-Theanine, brainwaves, and anxiety:
4. Holy Basil
These two brands are my favorites!
A good Holy Basil can make the world alright. Holy Basil is an adaptogen, so rather than temporarily masking symptoms, it helps your body to function the way that it’s supposed to. (See: http://www.medicinehunter.com/holy-basil.)
I love the pairing of Holy Basil with L-Theanine! In fact, you can find a bit of L-Theanine in green tea. There’s nothing like a cup of hot “Organic India: Cinnamon Rose Tulsi” tea paired with any good green tea, and some “Sons of Anarchy” on the tube.
5. Ridgecrest Herbals: Anxiety Free
Serving Size: 2 capsules
Servings Per Container: 30
Amount per serving % Daily Value
Thiamin (B1) 25 mg 1667%
Riboflavin (B2) 8 mg 441%
Niacin (B3) 25 mg 125%
Vitamin B6 25 mg 1250%
Folate,Folic Acid,Folacin 400 mcg 100%
Vitamin B12 25 mcg 417%
Biotin 400 mcg 133%
Pantothenic acid 25 mg 250%
Choline 25 mg*
Inositol 25 mg*
GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) 250 mg*
L Theanine 50 mg*
Tonic Herbal Stress Release Complex 293 mg*
Ayurvedic Herbal Stress Complex 163 mg*
This stuff was a Godsend for me. You know how I said that I tend to want to punch everything in the face? That primarily comes from my current job. With my particular wiring, my job frustrates me to no end. I’m well aware of the fact that I’ve made a poor career choice; I’m getting that worked out. An upside of work are the random sample packets of “Anxiety Free” sometimes lying around. I pop those things like candy because they make me love everything. They’ve reliably produced positive results for me. The only problem has been the difficulty of finding the full sized product in a brick and mortar store. I’m sure they’re out there though. I ordered a bottle from Amazon.com once, but I never received it. I’m assuming it simply got lost in the mail. I would definitely try to order again from a different vendor.
There you have it! These are basically different combinations of the same herbs and nutrients, but these products seem to combine them in ways that work well for me. I do these things in addition to eating well for my body, and I work out five or six days a week. I’m clearly not a doctor or health professional, so don’t take my word for it. Every body is different and you should do what works for you. I don’t know your allergies or current dietary habits. Do your research, and speak with a professional about any questions or concerns that you may have. My battle has been a long one, but it has been nice to make some notable progress. These supplements have been of great help to me. I hope that someone else can find at least a bit of relief through them.