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tempnexus
Premium
join:1999-08-11
Boston, MA

1 edit

Best OTC anti-anxiety pill?

My wife thinks that she has general anxiety however she refuses to go to psychologist (???yeah Beats me) nor she wants to depend on SSRI's to treat it. Mainly due to side-effects and the lifelong commitment.
She wants to take some "natural remedies" that are not so "involved" as SSRI. She looked into something called GABA, St.Johns Wort and 5-HTP supplements??? Anyone has any experience with them? Do they work? Do you recommend it as a stop gap? Any side-effects (besides the main Major one...Serotonin Storm?). Any other pills that might work?

Thanks!

In my opinion she should go see a shrink at least that way her brain chemistry will be closely monitored.

P.S.
She is not depresses. She just worries a lot and is anxious about things that are either out of her control or way the hell down the road to the point that their existence is still a distant possibility. She is even anxious when driving, anxiously anticipating other driver's reactions and what ifs. Kind of painful to watch.


thegeek
Premium
join:2008-02-21
right here
kudos:2

1 recommendation

In my personal experience, many diagnosed mental illnesses (anxiety, depression, even bi-polar) can be effectively treated with good diet and exercise, social interaction (that doesn't include going to a bar), and having a constructive hobby. And thinking positively.

This may not work for everyone, but I was diagnosed with the three I mentioned above at one point or another and the best treatment I found was not medications, OTC or prescription. It can be hard to start thinking positively, especially when you feel like nothing will help, but with your help she can do it. I've followed these practices and have been fine for several years now. I've helped others follow these practices as well.


beck
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join:2002-01-29
On The Road
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reply to tempnexus
There are herbalists etc. Some don't know their butts from holes in the ground. But some are very good and have studied hard to learn the natural ways. Holistic medicine practitioners are out there too.

You can get way overboard on this. Fistfuls of pills are not the answer.

But many times a few can help tremendously. I used St John's Wort for years. It was a great help to keep me from killing at certain times of the month.

Some things work on some people and not much on others. Maybe she should get a book on herbs or holistic remedies and read about them.

Getting her whole body back in line can also help with everything you go through in life. Sound stupid to say that. But it's actually true.
--
Some people are like slinkies - not really good for much.
But they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs.


jjoshua
Premium
join:2001-06-01
Scotch Plains, NJ
kudos:3
reply to tempnexus
Give her some sugar pills and a good story and see if they work.

Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27
reply to tempnexus
Has she tried a simple way of taking 10 deep breaths whenever she gets anxious? Has she tried just working on her self control by means of working out, hobby or something else?

Jumping to pills, even OTC is never a best solution. Everything has side effects, and the thing you have to remember with all herbal solutions is that they are not reviewed by anyone. FDA has no control over these things, so any idiot with the means of production and a marketing campaign can push herbs out to the market.

Last point I would like to make is that if you seriously suspect that brain chemistry may be off balance, then self medicating is probably the worst idea, especially if you don't know what the imbalance may be.


Brat75
I remember 8-tracks

join:2003-02-05
Kent, WA
reply to tempnexus
There is no magic pill to fix general anxiety.

You're welcome to go to a naturopath or herbalist, but honestly? You'd either have to smoke a LOT of weed or drink a LOT of beer to get calmed down.

And, of course, you can't exactly grab a joint when you're feeling weird/wonky in the grocery store. There is no immediate effect that's legal in all 50 states.

First question: HAS she been diagnosed w/ this issue or has she been poking around online and done it herself?
Pay for a professional's opinion; PTSD is different from depression, and that's different from anxiety, but they all have some common symptoms and aspects.

Once that pro's opinion has been given, you can take THAT to a fam doctor and say, do you recommend anything around here for this?
The shrink DOESN'T have to watch over the meds; it is best, but that's usually done when a patient is doing a med/1-1 therapy treatment. Not a walk in, diagnose, pop pills, come see me in 2 months.

I have experience with GAD and Depression and some other crap in my head.
Personally, I use Effexor. (generic out now!) and I've found it works well. Cons? Somewhat expensive (used to be) and treats 3 different neuron chemicals in the head - it's hard to come DOWN off of it, even when supervised.

I've also used Celexa, and that's much cheaper, but it only treats Depression.

There are a few drugs out there that treat Anxiety - Lamictal is used for that I believe. Not a bad one, and not many side effects.

Honestly, she's skipping the issue if she just wants to pop a pill and fix her head.
Almost always people have a chemical imbalance AND core issues to work on. You must work on both, can't just do one.

PM if you have other questions.

Brat75
--
2008, 2009; both were sh...2010 is ok so far.


Tzale
Proud Libertarian Conservative
Premium
join:2004-01-06
NYC Metro
reply to tempnexus
kava kava (natural herb), enjoy. I'm SERIOUS... PM me for details.

-Tzale


Sober
Just Say No
Premium
join:2003-02-24
Crack House
Dont get her on the klazypins(kolonpin) or zombie bars(xanax).


pog4
Premium
join:2004-06-03
Kihei, HI
reply to Tzale
said by Tzale:

kava kava (natural herb), enjoy. I'm SERIOUS... PM me for details.

-Tzale
I used to drink ava with some Tongan in-laws all the time. I can easily see how it would be great for anxiety.
--
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CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 recommendation

reply to tempnexus
No need to see a psychologist - a good GP should be able to prescribe something or give you info on any natural\herbal issues. Natural does not necessarily = safe.

It is not necessarily a life long commitment either no matter what road she goes down. It definitely sounds like she could use a good counselor to talk to that might help a LOT as well.
--
Brian

"It drops into your stomach like a Abrams's tank.... driven by Rosanne Barr..." A. Bourdain


Mchart
First There.

join:2004-01-21
Kaneohe, HI
reply to tempnexus
Exercise.

I'm a pretty anxious person by nature. Coupled with my fast metabolism and ADD - I get anxiety bad if I don't work out at least every other day.

Not saying this is her problem - But you might want to see if it helps.
--
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Coma
Thanks Steve
Premium
join:2001-12-30
NirvanaLand
kudos:1
reply to tempnexus
said by tempnexus:

. . . she should go see a shrink . . .
+1

My shrink has me on Trazodone and Buspirone for depression and anxiety. No more panic attacks or impending doom and the side effects are tolerable.

--
. . . slightly confused . . .


BryanInPHX
Premium
join:2001-03-06
Phoenix, AZ
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Reviews:
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1 edit
reply to tempnexus
St. Johns Wort and a good B vitamin supplement do work well for minor to less than moderate anxiety. If it is more severe than that or combined with panic attacks and paranoia, then she should see an MD, not necessarily a psychiatrist, or see a psychologist to try Cognitive behavioral therapy.


SparkChaser
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Downingtown, PA
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Reviews:
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1 recommendation

reply to Coma
said by Coma:

said by tempnexus:

. . . she should go see a shrink . . .
+1

+2

While I think exercise should be one of the treatments, telling somebody that they should be able to fix themselves, sets them up for some major problems and disapointments. Sometimes, some people can change but speaking as someone who has had problems for 50 years, you can't always undo what nature has done.
--
--
--
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

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way2evil
Premium
join:2007-09-14
New York, NY
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to tempnexus
If she wants to take "natural" medicine go buy a bottle of that crap, and a bottle of sugar pills and swap the pills. Give her the sugar pills int he natural crap bottle and tell her its herbal medicine. Watch for result.


koma3504
Advocate
Premium
join:2004-06-22
North Richland Hills, TX
reply to Brat75
youre smokeing the wrong kind of weed. and cheep beer.
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Tzale
Proud Libertarian Conservative
Premium
join:2004-01-06
NYC Metro
reply to SparkChaser

Re: Best OTC anti-anxiety pill?

said by SparkChaser:

said by Coma:

said by tempnexus:

. . . she should go see a shrink . . .
+1

+2

While I think exercise should be one of the treatments, telling somebody that they should be able to fix themselves, sets them up for some major problems and disapointments. Sometimes, some people can change but speaking as someone who has had problems for 50 years, you can't always undo what nature has done.
It usually isn't nature. Unless you consider the horrible people who cause these problems for others (usually in early life) to be part of nature.

-Tzale
--
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BryanInPHX
Premium
join:2001-03-06
Phoenix, AZ
kudos:2
Reviews:
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reply to tempnexus

Re: Best OTC anti-anxiety pill?

It isn't OTC, but it is generic and not habit forming, works again only for mild anxiety.

Hydroxyzine is used primarily as an antihistamine for the treatment of itching, allergies, hyperalgesia, motion sickness-induced nausea, and insomnia, as well as notably for the treatment of mild anxiety. Even though it is an effective sedative, hypnotic, analgesic, and tranquilizer, it shares almost none of the abuse, dependence, addiction, and toxicity potential of other drugs used for the same range of therapeutic reasons.

Hydroxyzine has shown to be as effective as the benzodiazepine drug bromazepam in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder
»en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxyzin ··· roxyzine
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DavisPhotog
Flyingphotog
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join:2001-08-26
Santa Rosa, CA
reply to Mchart

Re: Best OTC anti-anxiety pill?

said by Mchart:

Exercise.

I'm a pretty anxious person by nature. Coupled with my fast metabolism and ADD - I get anxiety bad if I don't work out at least every other day.

Not saying this is her problem - But you might want to see if it helps.
I'm the same way. As a kid, I was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, but have no serious lasting effects. It mostly manifests itself as minor ADD and some general anxiety from time to time. The regular exercise is what makes me feel sane, too. A good friend of mine with ADD would run 5 miles a day just for that reason.
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Packeteers
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Forest Hills, NY
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Reviews:
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4 edits
reply to tempnexus

Re: Best OTC anti-anxiety pill?

St. Johns Wort is useless and potentially toxic.

Kava Kava is great, but is only a short term fix,
and may work badly if you are on other drugs.

Meletonin 2-3mg may be useful for some people

SAM-E 200mg may be useful for more people,
is expensive and requires a few weeks to kick in.

Nelson BACH Rescue Remedy works for some PEOPLE

Benedril 125mg is calming but can make you sleepy

Breathing exercises are free, and work wonders.


nightdesigns
Gone missing, back soon
Premium
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AZ
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reply to tempnexus
I take a low dose of Prozac (yes, I admit it). I was going through a tough time at work earlier this year and little things were really bugging me and I was getting easily agitated. Started taking it and I've really calmed down. Now when something comes up at work I can just shrug if off and get my work done.

It was prescribed by my GP.

Also used to take Xanax on the rare occasion when i would get really stressed out or nervous. Haven't needed any since taking the Prozac regularly.
--
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keyboard5684
Sam

join:2001-08-01
Pittsburgh, PA
reply to tempnexus
Over the counter... Benadryl.
It relaxes the body and muscles, might help.

I would recommend Klonopin or Ativan from the doctor.
Any benzodiazepines have little side effects except maybe sleepiness.

I would stay away from SSRI/SSNIs or anti-depressant type of stuff. Many doctors these days push those because benzos are abused often just like any narcotics. But if she has no history of any kind of abuse of alchohol/drugs she should be fine.

No shrink needed as anxiety is common and if it is severe enough a primary care (regular doctor) physician can handle it.

If she is throwing things, a danger to herself or others in anyway, then a shrink would need to be seen.


DavisPhotog
Flyingphotog
Premium,MVM
join:2001-08-26
Santa Rosa, CA

1 edit
I once tried Clonazepam (Trade name Klonopin). 1/2 mg, too. Doctor prescribed and everything. It killed the anxiety but made me feel out of it, too.


Annmarie
Lillian
join:2000-11-11
kudos:5

1 edit
reply to tempnexus
It is painful to watch and painful to feel.

Just sharing my own experience: suggest to your wife she discuss these anxieties with her regular doc. She needs to be very honest. Some docs actual have a questionnaire that the patient fills out to help narrow things down so to speak.

Yes there are antidepressant prescriptions that help with anxiety.
Yes there are OTC meds and supplements that may offer anti anxiety benefits.

OTC does not always equal safe and effective.

All meds have side effects. Some are more tolerable than others.

There are also prescription medications that specifically target anxiety. Some mentioned earlier are in the family of benzodiazepines .

In my experience, if used properly as prescribed by a doc, and sometimes only as an as needed basis, they work very well. Especially in conjunction with therapy.

If she is so incredibly anxious that she is not living a healthy balanced life and a prescription helps her deal with that then is that an addiction? IMO no.

But as another member or two mentioned there are some issues that surround anxiety besides chemical imbalances that probably need to be worked out.

Support her, as I can tell you are already doing, but try to get her to talk with her doc. Maybe even go with her to fill in any blanks she glosses over? You seem very concerned and I hope she appreciates that. It will help her just knowing you have her back.
--
"Go then, there are other worlds than these."

markopoleo

join:2003-04-02
Bonne Terre, MO
reply to tempnexus
I just thought that was how EVERY woman was. She sounds pretty normal to me..