So I’ve recently been doing a lot of research into some more homeopathic methods to help combat my anxiety and cravings and let’s just say, the vitamin shop is my new best friend. If I hadn’t decided to explore a variety of natural remedies to help deal with my emotional shortcomings, I am not sure I’d be as stable as I currently am.
At my worst, I couldn’t make it through the day without thinking irrational thoughts. I was so angry, I wasn’t working out, I couldn’t concentrate and the only way I knew how to handle it was with anti-depressants, benzos, or alcohol. Because I was prescribed my medication and the social acceptability of alcohol I truly didn’t realize how much damage I was doing to myself. Because I didn’t feel confident in my abilities to deal with my issues I ended up numbing myself to them. It took several extremely low-lows to wake me up and help me realize something needed to change. Change doesn’t happen overnight, so I started by cutting out drinking and doing some research. I had gotten to the point where abstaining from alcohol & certain medications suddenly gave me minor withdrawal symptoms. How scary is that? The worst of these symptoms were anxiety…because of course.
Before I go any further I just wanted to point out the importance of seeking medical advice/ supervision when quitting any substance you think you may be addicted to. You can even get withdrawal symptoms by eliminating coffee from your life so be extra cautious even if you think you’re fine because it’s legal or it’s prescribed. This is, of course, something else I learned the hard way…because you know I have this habit of not making things easy on myself…more on that some other time.
ANYWAYS since I was experiencing withdraw symptoms I started with ways to help ease those which in turn led me to ways to ease my anxiety. Through my research and trial and error, I have compiled a list of my favorite natural ways to relieve anxiety, depression, racing thoughts, restlessness, and cravings.
Before I get to the interesting stuff, just 1 more disclaimer before starting any sort of vitamin regime, do your research. Make sure nothing you take interacts with any prescribed medications and be aware of how much you are taking on what. You can actually overdose on vitamins! Also, there are A LOT of supplements that do not interact well with anti-depressants so please be super aware of you are taking. I currently still take Zoloft daily so I am super careful to make sure nothing I take interacts negativity with it because then whats the point, right? Anyhow without further ado here is what I’ve found works best for me.
In the morning
Vitamin B- Vitamin B is my not so secret depression weapon! I take a B Complex daily which includes 8 B vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 all of which play a crucial role in keeping my body running efficiently. And let me tell you, my life needs all the efficiency it can get! B Vitamins also help convert our food into fuel, allowing us to stay energized throughout the day. So pop the B’s when ya feeling Zzzzzz’s. As if efficiency and energy weren’t enough b-12 and 6 have been known to produce brain chemicals that affect mood and brain function. In fact, low levels of these vitamins have been linked to depression, so do yourself a favor and take some badass b’s!
Vitamin C- Vitamin C is a well-known vitamin and antioxidant. You most likely pop one when you feel a cold coming on. Lesser known, however, is that it can combat the damage caused by oxidative stress. Meaning it can help relieve symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue, and mood. Woohoo! I take 2 500mg of Ester C in the morning. Ester C is said to have quicker absorption, stronger availability, be less acidic and easier on the stomach than regular vitamin c supplements.
Vitamin D- As many people are aware sunshine is a great and free source of Vitamin D. But did you know that vitamin D also has the power to make grey clouds disappear (…..figuratively that is)? Healthy vitamin D levels can help prevent or treat depression, alleviating those grey clouds that often fog our thoughts. Unfortunately, deficiency is common which is why getting vitamin D from sun, food and proper supplementation is super important. I actually just found out I have a vitamin d deficiency, which kinda makes a ton of sense! I am now taking 2,000 IU of D3 a day in addition to whatever is contained in my multi. It is noteworthy to point out however that taking too much vitamin d can be toxic. Luckily you’re very unlikely to do so since it takes like 40,000 it daily to cause you harm.
Omega 3-6-9- Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids are nutrients essential to keeping your body and (especially) your mind, healthy. The internet has told me that Omega supplements have been known to treat mental health and mood disorders very successfully. Omega 3 seems to be the most popular of the omegas in regards to supplements and is most commonly found in Fish Oil supplements. I, however, have been taking Emu Oil which contains Omega 3-6-9 since I fear I may have an EFA (essential fatty acid) deficiency.
Magnesium- Magnesium is a calming and soothing mineral that regulates the nervous system and has the potential to help you cope with stress. It has long been acknowledged as a safe and efficient way to treat anxiety. It has even been known help stop panic attacks…which I seriously before all my research thought you could only do with a benzo!
Speaking on Anxiety Attacks…..
Kava Root- The root of kava is known to cause relaxation and it has been nothing short of amazing in aiding me with my anxiety and stress. It is actually considered just as effective in treating anxiety and insomnia as tranquilizers and benzodiazepines. The great thing about Kava though is you don’t develop a dependency for it. In fact, over time you need less and less kava to produce that same effects. Whenever I feel a panic attack coming on I take a Kava capsulese cut it in half and absorbed the powder under my tongue for quick relief. You can also Kava in serum or tea form. One downside though is Kava has been linked to liver damage, although this is rare. I suggest not taking kava in conjunction with regular alcohol use.
Valerian Root- A stinky supplement (it smells like feet) known to help with anxiety that I have done far less research on than anything else on this list.
In Part 2 of my supplementation documentation (see what I did there) I’ll go over the nighttime rituals I use to assist in my anxiety. Get excited because these supplements make you sleepy so you KNOW they work with calming you down. Also, expect me to use the word “efficient” “promotes” and “aids” about 100 more times. Until then….