Anxiety has reached epidemic proportions in the United States with over 40 million people affected. Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year, almost one-third of the country’s total mental health bill.
Every year, millions of prescriptions are written for anti-anxiety medications like Xanax and Ativan making them some of the most commonly prescribed drugs. They belong to a group of drugs known as the benzodiazepines.
The exact mechanism by which benzodiazepines work is not fully understood, but it’s believed they raise levels of the calming neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or increase GABA receptor sensitivity. Other medications that belong in this group, commonly referred to as “benzos,” include brand names such as Centrax, Dalmane, Klonopin, Librium, Paxipam, Restoril, Serax, Tranxene, and Valium.
These drugs can stop anxiety or a panic attack in its tracks. Relief is experienced quickly — often within 30 to 60 minutes — and generally lasts 11 to 20 hours. While these drugs may at first seem like a miracle if you struggle with anxiety, there are many reasons to avoid taking them if at all possible. As the Chinese saying goes, “The bigger the front, the bigger the back.” And these drugs have a very big back.
The Downside Of Anti-Anxiety Drugs
Benzodiazepines like Xanax and Ativan come with a very long list of side effects. According to RXList.com, they commonly make people feel drowsy, dizzy, weak, confused, or unsteady. Other reported side effects include depression, disorientation, headache, mental confusion, irritability, aggressiveness, memory loss, and sleep issues. Long-term use can increase your risk of dementia. One study found that the more benzodiazepines you take cumulatively, the greater your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Anti-anxiety medications are designed for short-term use — a few weeks or months at best — since they are highly addictive. After four to six months they generally stop working which is typical of any addictive substance. Users develop a tolerance needing more and more to get the same effect.
While it often takes months for people to develop an addiction, for some it can occur much faster — in as little as a few weeks. Once you are hooked, quitting these medications is really tough. In fact, they are right up there in the “top 10” hardest addictive substances to kick along with heroin and cocaine.
If you do decide to quit taking Xanax, you can expect to experience some pretty severe withdrawal side effects, including anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, muscle tension, and irritability. You are right if you noticed that these sound a lot like all the reasons you decided to take it in the first place. But it can be much worse. Some users experience depression, nausea, blurred vision, sweating, hallucinations, delusions, and seizures.
There are certain groups of people who should never take these drugs. You should not take benzodiazepines if you are pregnant, over 65, or prone to addictions. You should never take them if you drink alcohol or take other drugs, either prescription or recreational. Benzodiazepines send over 100,000 people to the emergency room every year. Over 80 percent of these visits are due to interactions with other drugs or alcohol. In rare cases, these interactions can be fatal.
And lastly, these drugs don’t work for everyone. A minority of those who take them experience paradoxical reactions and feel more anxious, impulsive, and aggressive.
Natural Alternatives To Anti-Anxiety Medications
If you are thinking that these drugs, sometimes referred to as “mother’s little helper,” don’t sound all that helpful, you are absolutely right. Fortunately, there are many natural alternatives to anti-anxiety drugs.
Here are some natural alternatives to Xanax, Ativan, and other prescription anti-anxiety medications. Most of these have been shown to be effective without side effects in scientific studies, while all have a substantial and often long history of use in traditional and alternative medicine.
By combining GABA with niacin, picamilon provides a workaround to get GABA into your brain. This “new and improved” form of GABA provides prescription-strength benefits for anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and migraine headaches. It has nootropic qualities and is popular among college students who use it to increase focus and memory. It’s thought to specifically help with social anxiety.
Kava (Piper methysticum)
Kava should definitely be on the top of any natural anxiety relief list. This traditional tea has been safely consumed as an integral part of the South Pacific culture for over 3,000 years. When tested against the antidepressants Buspirone and Opipramol, kava was found to be equally effective for anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as the prescription drugs. Kava works, in part, by increasing GABA.
You may come across warnings that kava can cause liver damage, but this is a bogus scare. Decades ago, kava was implicated in a handful of liver-related deaths, yet 85 studies failed to definitively link them to kava. The NIH concluded that the risk of liver damage from taking a kava supplement is less than one in one million, making it several order of magnitudes safer than Xanax. If you are still concerned, you can learn more about the liver toxicity scare here.
Inositol, formerly known as vitamin B8, is found in high concentrations in the brain. All major neurotransmitters rely on inositol for relaying messages between brain cells. Inositol makes an effective natural anti-anxiety remedy.
One study found it worked as well fluvoxamine, a popular selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) medication, for treating panic disorder. Fluvoxamine is used to treat a variety of other mental disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety disorder, eating disorders, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and major depressive disorder (MDD). Study participants who took fluvoxamine experienced nausea and fatigue while those who took inositol reported no side effects.
Inositol is also an excellent choice for women experiencing the mood swings, depression, and anxiety associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and the more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Women who take inositol often experience significant improvement in PMS and PMDD symptoms.
Inositol is found in most foods but in very small amounts. The average diet contains 1 gram of inositol. If you are taking inositol for therapeutic purposes, you’ll need to take up to 18 grams daily. Since most inositol pills and capsules contain 500 mg, this would require taking a lot of pills. Instead, consider taking inositol powder which can be mixed with water.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
Unfortunately, the name Gotu Kola brings up thoughts of caffeinated cola drinks or kola nuts, but nothing could be further from the truth. Gotu kola is, in fact, a relaxing herb that’s an important part of some Asian cuisines. Yogis use it as a meditation aid since it’s thought to restore balance to the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Studies show gotu kola can increase calmness, contentedness, and alertness by 100 percent and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by 50 percent.
Arctic Root (Rhodiola rosea)
As the name suggests, Arctic Root (also know as Rhodiola rosea) is found mainly in cold regions of the world. It was used traditionally in Chinese medicine to increase physical stamina and reduce fatigue due to stress. One way Arctic root works is by increasing the activity of the feel-good brain chemicals serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Arctic root alleviates symptoms of anxiety and seasonal affective disorder. It can also help fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients overcome the stress and anxiety that frequently accompany these disorders.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
Holy Basil is an Indian Ayurvedic herb also known as tulsi, which means “the incomparable one.” Holy basil is thought to bestow its users with a long and healthy life. Holy basil alleviates anxiety by decreasing levels of stress hormones, especially cortisol. It provides significant relief to those with generalized anxiety disorder and related stress and depression.
Research supports the traditional belief that this revered herb offers a wide array of healing properties. It is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. It protects the liver, the heart, and the nervous system. It has anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties. It can also help with other brain-related disorders, including depression, memory loss, insomnia, and migraine headaches. With all of these benefits, holy basil is considered one of Ayurvedic medicine’s most important healing herbs.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is another important herb in the Ayurvedic healing tradition. Its name literally means “smell of horse,” which is appropriate since it smells like a horse and is said to give the strength and stamina of one to those who take it. Ashwagandha reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness. It works, in part, by increasing levels of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin while decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. One study found that taking ashwagandha decreases cortisol by an impressive 27 percent. It is very helpful for those with the anxiety disorder agoraphobia.
The efficacy of ashwagandha for anxiety is based more on the reported success of traditional use than scientific evidence. According to naturopathic doctor Dr. Peter Bongiorno, author of How Come They’re Happy and I’m Not, “Most of the understanding we have about ashwagandha is based on its substantial anecdotal history and animal studies. But more clinical studies are being done.”
Anti-anxiety drugs are thought to work by increasing the neurotransmitter GABA and you can buy GABA supplements. But they generally don’t work since GABA is too large a molecule to enter the brain. A convenient way to bypass this problem is by taking GABA’s precursor taurine. Taurine is an amino acid found in high concentrations in the brain, where it acts very much like GABA. It has a calming effect if you suffer from anxiety, stress, insomnia, or an overstimulated mind.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that’s often missing from the modern diet due to magnesium-depleted soil and water. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, magnesium deficiency can be a major contributor to anxiety and panic attacks. She explains that when you are under stress, your body creates adrenaline, which causes a cascade of physical effects, all of which consume magnesium.
After decades of studying magnesium, she has found the link between anxiety and magnesium to be so strong that she flatly states, “To put an end to anxiety, magnesium must be replaced.” Note that there are many forms of magnesium and some are more bioavailable than others. Magnesium oxide, for example, is a popular, inexpensive form, but studies show that its fractional absorption (bioavailability) is only 4 percent. Dr. Dean recommends magnesium citrate as a good all-purpose magnesium supplement. You also might want to look into magnesium oil which is applied topically, especially if you are susceptible to oral magnesium’s laxative effect.
Switch To Green Tea
People around the world have a love affair with caffeine. Over 80 percent of Americans drink coffee every day and millions more get their caffeine from energy drinks, soda, and tea.
But one of the best tips to reduce anxiety is to go caffeine-free. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the American Psychiatric Association’s compendium of mental health conditions, recognizes four caffeine-induced disorders. The link between caffeine and anxiety is so strong that one study concluded that, “Assessment of caffeine intake should form part of routine psychiatric assessment and should be carried out before prescribing hypnotics” and that, “Decaffeinated beverages should be provided on psychiatric wards.”
If you aren’t ready to go totally caffeine-free, consider switching to green tea. Its modest amount of caffeine is offset by the compounds l-theanine and EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). These relaxing compounds have the unique ability to alter your brainwave patterns to induce a mental state similar to that achieved during meditation.
Even More Alternatives
Just as no one prescription medication works for everyone all the time, no one natural remedy is effective for everyone either. These aren’t the only natural alternatives to prescription anti-anxiety drugs by a long shot. If you try these and they don’t help, don’t get discouraged. There are many other alternatives to try.
Other supplements to consider include B complex vitamins, chamomile, valerian, bacopa, ginkgo, ginseng, and oregano oil. The appropriate use of calming essential oils, especially lavender oil, can soothe away stress and anxiety.
And lastly, not all natural alternatives to Xanax, Ativan, and anti-anxiety drugs are physical substances that you ingest or apply — some are things you do. Physical exercise, breathing exercises, meditation, and mind-body healing techniques like biofeedback, hypnosis, or Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) should be considered as well. These techniques can help you address the root cause of your anxiety, ultimately freeing you from the need to take anti-anxiety pills of any kind.
Man is able to induce controlled hallucinations without psychotropic substances
The human brain is so cunningly designed that accidental damage or malfunctions in the neural network can generate large-scale effects that do not harm a person, but, on the contrary, deliver a lot of new sensations.
We are talking about hallucinations, influences on the sensory system, which stem from the inside of the brain itself. Modern technologies make it possible to purposefully launch such reactions without harm to humans.
The technique of guided hallucinations is based on the Ganzfeld effect, which states that when the brain receives a powerful stimulating signal in only one area, it automatically begins to “think out” signals in other areas.
For example, if you peer into the darkness and listen to white noise, the brain draws an imaginary picture, although the eyes do not receive a single photon of light. And if you run noise on the screen in absolute silence, the brain will complement them with sound hallucinations.
One interesting experiment with guided hallucinations was conducted by TV host and inventor Derek Müller, who locked himself in an anechoic and completely darkened chamber for 45 minutes to conduct a sensory deprivation experiment.
His brain, which at once lost 90% of the signals from the outside world, remained fully functional, and Derek did not go crazy. Moreover, in the absence of external stimuli, he began to feel the subtlest vibrations of his heart and the flow of blood through the veins.
It was not a hallucination, it was just that the brain switched to processing the signals that remained at its disposal, amplifying them and presenting them in the form of sensations understandable to the mind.
Angels showed the End of the World to a child from Indonesia?
In early October, on many eschatological and conspiracy sites (The End Times Forecaster , 444prophecynews.com), a video was posted by a girl named Jacqueline, who lives in South Africa. The video tells that on September 16, in some altered state of consciousness, similar to a lucid dream, Jacqueline was given a warning: on October 10, 2020, there will be some kind of nightmarish geological catastrophe – either a volcanic eruption, or an earthquake.
Jacqueline does not specify where the catastrophe will occur, but immediately after the volcanic eruption, she saw President Trump in Washington and the destruction of the Washington Monument with fiery stones falling from the sky. The full text of Jacqueline’s video was posted on the forum and can be viewed at the link, but her revelation itself is not very informative. It is only clear that on October 10 something may bang, and very strongly. Another thing is much more interesting.
Since Jacqueline was shown truly creepy things, she, like anyone in her place, doubted that all this was true. However, she noticed that in her dream, before the horror broadcast began, she was shown a calendar on which she read the KIMIKO inscription.
“Kimiko” is a popular Japanese female name that literally means “wonderful unusual child”, so Jacqueline decided: if she got it right, then she needed to look for a girl from somewhere in Japan who would kind of hint at her deciphering what was shown in her dream.
Kimiko was never found, but another girl named Catherine was found. She lives in Indonesia, is in 4th grade and is 9 years old. Jacqueline had her dream on September 16, and on September 18 some angels took this Catherine to heaven in a dream and showed her what would be on Earth in the very near future.
According to Catherine, everything will begin on October 10, 2020, when some kind of catastrophe occurs – a catastrophe, most likely of a geological nature. Buildings will collapse and coastal cities will suffer from terrible tsunamis. At the same time, a terrible rain will pour, which in some regions will flood buildings up to the fourth floor. Thunder will thunder in the sky, which is 10 or even 20 times stronger than ordinary thunder, and after the thunder, hail will fall the size of a car windshield. But besides the hail, all the planes located there fall from the sky.
However, the End of the World will not happen as life goes on and Trump wins the US election. After that, Israel will begin to restore the Temple, but they will not have time, since a war will start around. At this moment, the Earth will face unprecedented catastrophes.
A huge new planet will appear in the sky and the atmosphere will take on a reddish tint. It will get hotter. H achnut erupting volcanoes, and terrifying winds will become commonplace. And further, in the region of the Bermuda Triangle, a hole is formed in the lithosphere, and armada of some strange flying machines will appear from there. On TV they will say that these are good aliens.
In parallel , a total vaccination will take place on Earth, after which people who have received the vaccine will be endowed with some unthinkable ability to communicate with their gadgets – phones will show them everything at the click of a finger and connect to subscribers with the power of thought. But happiness will not last long, because then the skin of the vaccinated will begin to turn green and many will be covered with ulcers. Further, these people mutate into a kind of zombie who will engage in cannibalism and those who have not taken the vaccine will become their preferred food. And for those who will not be eaten by mutants, aliens will chase in their flying cars, kidnap, throw bombs at them and burn them with rays.
Finally, to top it all off, mutations will affect flora and fauna. So, insects will become gigantic, and algae will begin to crawl ashore and whoever gets into their nets will be devoured. Mutations will affect birds, jellyfish, and the rest of the fauna. Dinosaurs and real fire-breathing dragons will appear, which will fly everywhere and pour fire on everything.
In general, the girl tells something that is impossible to believe – no reality can stand that. However, the probability that reality is real, according to estimates of the theory of probability, is no more than 50%. That is, we live in the Matrix with a probability of 1/2, although nothing can be proved / disproved somehow. But if we take into account various strange quantum effects and other miracles, then the probability of the Matrix is already seventy percent and 30% remain for a flat / round Earth, for the rest of “natural science”. Therefore, maybe we are now on the eve of the reboot of the Matrix, during which we will begin to load characters from other entertaining games.
It is possible, of course, that all these stories were invented by her mother, but similar stories are told by other children, and even adults, who were thrown either somewhere into the astral plane, or into the next world, or generally into the deepest warp. Different, unrelated people cannot tell the same tale. Therefore, most likely this is not a fairy tale and there is something in all this. But what – here we do not know, so we just have to wait and see.
Clinical death helped the inveterate egoist to change his attitude towards life. He is grateful for this experience
William F. did not live the most righteous life. His selfish, authoritarian behavior caused a lot of suffering to the people around him, especially his wife. And it is not known how his marriage would have ended if one day William had not had an accident.
On that fateful day, November 6, 2019, a man was riding a motorcycle and crashed into a truck as it changed lanes. William tried unsuccessfully to get out from under the heavy truck, as his helmet got stuck under the front axle of the car.
A policeman was the first to come to help, then an ambulance arrived. The motorcyclist was evacuated by helicopter to the hospital. The man in the helicopter told William not to sleep, but he collapsed into unconsciousness.
What William saw in oblivion made a strong impression on him and changed his future life.
William’s near-death experiences
The next thing I remember happened on a large field. There was a fence about 100 meters away from me. There was a black hole in the fence on the other side of the gate.
I was drawn to the gate. The closer I got, the more love and warmth I felt, the more selfishness and bad feelings went away.
When the gate was about five steps away, and I was about to open it, someone’s hand stopped me, grabbing my forearm. Looking at this man, I noticed a few more.
– You need to stop. I watched you for a long time, son, you made a lot of mistakes. Do you know where you are? The man asked.
“I’m not sure,” I said, looking around.
“You are dead,” he said.
“You’re scared,” he remarked.
“Then [during your life] you were always afraid of it for no reason,” he said softly. I nodded in agreement, and our dialogue continued.
– Do you feel that everything is under your control?
“I don’t know… no.
– You have never controlled anything in your life. It’s an illusion …
– Yes, you’re right, – I nodded again.
– You are given a choice that many do not have. God gives you a choice: come back and correct your mistakes, or you can go through the gate. If you enter this gate, all the regrets of life will torment your soul until you are given another chance. It will feel like eternity.
I still have regrets about my past life, ”he added after a pause. – If you come back and do not start working on yourself to become better, if you do not find happiness in the righteous way, you will always remember and crave the feeling that you are experiencing in this place now, but you will not get here again.
When you return, recover, heart and mind will be restored. You are given something great … But you understand that God already knows your choice.
Then he looked at me and asked:
– What are you going to do?
“I’ll be back,” I replied.
At that moment, the feelings that gripped me were gone, and I let go of the gate.
“See you again very soon,” he said at last.
Then I woke up and saw my mother. I told her that I was back for good and that I would not go anywhere. She had a tired face.
“You’ve been in a lot of pain,” she said.
I said that everything would be all right with me, and told that I saw Him. She clarified who exactly. I replied that I did not know for sure, but they gave me a second chance. Mom laughed and said that probably my grandfather kicked me in the ass to bring me back here.
William’s life has changed
William underwent several operations, but the doctors said that physically he would not be the same. Among other things, the man had to learn to walk again.
About a month after the accident, thoughts of the pain inflicted on his loved ones and loved ones flooded into William, so he focused on correcting the mistakes of the past and changing his future.
Five months later, William was walking without limping. Now she runs for several kilometers, and the only evidence of an accident is scars.
The biggest proof of the reality of what he saw during clinical death is a complete change in himself, says William.
“I saw mistakes, especially in my relationship with my wife, and I understand things that I didn’t understand before. It is strange to think that someone was watching my life from a distance and knew about my actions. If I had not changed, I would have yearned for death. “
“I used to have sociopathic tendencies and no empathy. I have never felt guilt or remorse. Now I am selfless and empathetic, I feel the emotions of others, and it is overwhelming. I know how people feel just by looking at them. This is a kind of intuition.
Remorse and guilt help me re-evaluate the past. I also notice that when I do something instinctively, in the old way, I realize it and I can stop. “
“People believe when I share my experience because they see a big change in me.”
Yes, fear is the power of control
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