Possibly the most common question that is asked when people start to seriously research how to cure their anxiety is "Do you need medication to cure anxiety?"
This is a completely rational thought, and you're definitely not alone in wondering about it. Many health problems can be dealt with, often quickly, through appropriate medication directed by a health professional.
So what is the answer? Apparently not, according to Dr. Dan Lerner.
Dr. Dan Lerner is the world authority on the psychology of anxiety and has an international reputation for rescuing people hijacked by worry and fear. Dr. Dan is a trusted expert on anxiety and panic and has appeared on Network News, the American Psychologist, the Daily Record, and the Baltimore Sun.
He has written about medication and anxiety and has a few troubling observations:
- All drugs pose risks, and shouldn't be taken unless necessary. Many people approach popping a pill as a quick-fix solution and don't tackle the problem.
- There are solutions to manage anxiety and panic that don't involve drugs. The do require time, effort, and wisdom, but they work just as well, if not better. From a well-being perspective, they're preferable.
- Drugs can mask the symptoms and feelings you're experiencing, but leave fundamental problems unresolved. It is important to learn how to manage and reduce your anxiety and stress levels, not just cover them up with a pill.
Basically, most people's anxiety and/or panic can be effectively managed using simple techniques, life skills that reduce anxiety levels. In most cases if you apply these techniques you'll see results in under 30 days.
Take a look at the full post on his website:
Do You Need Medication to Cure Anxiety? - Dr. Dan Lerner
Manage anxiety without drugs
So if you're looking to reduce your anxiety symptoms without resorting to drugs, or reduce the amount of medication you're taking, what can you do?
Ellen Vora, MD is a holistic psychiatrist practicing in New York City. She has a few tips for managing anxiety naturally: Take a look on the Be Well blog
1. Maintain Stable Blood Sugar
Blood sugar crashes trigger a stress response in our bodies. Your body will release stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline which all need to be processed by your liver. The response will feel just like anxiety - which isn't great if you're already stressed. By managing your blood sugar levels across the day, you can avoid this response and decrease your anxiety.
2. Trial cutting Caffeine
We all know a great cup of coffee can pick us up, and often forms part of our daily routine. But after the caffeine enters your nevous system, your body is chemically fired up, and ready for a fight. If you then introduce a stressor, you can have a full anxiety response. If you haven't tried it yet, cutting caffeine might just help your symptoms.
3. Get better sleep
Good quality sleep is a great protection against anxiety. Sleep deprivation is linked to anxiety symptoms and affects many people. Ensure you're getting enough sleep each night, and you have a good routine before bed. Another tip is to keep the room dark and undisturbed throughout the night.
4. Review gut health
Exercise is a great natural strategy to manage anxiety - with the helpful benefit of improving your general health as well. Even just a few minutes of exercise will release endorphins and unwind tight muscles, helping you feel better. You don't need to jump into intense sessions if you don't exercise regularly, but can start with improving
Magnesium is a supplement that has been known to alleviate anxiety symptoms in some people, and provide a calming and destressing effect. Many people are deficient in magnesium due to their diet. You can top up by a variety of methods such as an Epsom salt bath or magnesium supplement.
How has your journey with anxiety progressed with or without medication? Have you tried managing your symptoms without drugs? Let us know in the comments.