Are Supplements For Anxiety And Panic Attacks Effective?

Updated May 07, 2021

Anxiety and panic attacks can be hard to cope with, and they're both relatively common. Many things can cause anxiety, and there's often a direct link between feeling anxious and panic attacks. This can be distressing both for those who are prone to them and their friends and families. There are all kinds of possible solutions if you have anxiety or if you've experienced panic attacks, including prescription drugs, forums to discuss the problem, and therapy. In this article, though, we're going to focus on supplements for anxiety and panic attacks and whether or not they're considered to be effective.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety, as it relates to humans, is a fairly broad term. When people feel anxious or worried, it can be a normal reaction when faced with a stressful situation. As such, it is nothing about which you should be concerned. In this context, though, what we're talking about is an overabundance of anxiety that can lead to fear or apprehension that can interfere with a person going about their daily life.

What Are Panic Attacks?

Can Supplements Really Help Reduce My Anxiety?

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A panic attack is an onset of discomfort or fear that within minutes can reach a highly distressing peak for the individual who is experiencing it. A panic attack comes typically with at least four of the following symptoms: a sensation of shortness of breath, sweating, an accelerated heart rate, shaking, palpitations, and an inability to move or vocalize. Some people seem prone to them more than others, but it is possible for anyone to have a panic attack if the situation becomes stressful enough. Those who have never had one before might think at first that they are having a heart attack or stroke.

How Are Anxiety And Panic Attacks Related?

The relationship between panic attacks and anxiety is not difficult to surmise. If someone becomes anxious enough in any given situation, then that feeling can bring on a panic attack. People who have social anxiety or anxiety associated with some other trigger or aspect of daily life are much more prone to having panic attacks. Being faced with whatever it is that frightens them can be enough to cause it, leading that event to have a profound and long-lasting psychological impact on the person who is experiencing it.

How Do You Treat Anxiety Or Panic Attacks?

As we mentioned, some of the preferred methods of dealing with anxiety and the panic attacks that sometimes result include therapy, drugs, and participation in online or in-person forums. In the case of therapy, the idea is to identify what it is that's causing the anxiety. In many cases, it can stem from a deep-seated psychological trauma that has its roots in a person's childhood. It might be one particular incident that has led to ongoing feelings of anxiety, or there might be several contributing factors.

Medication

In modern times, the advent of various psychotropic drugs has been helpful for individuals with anxiety. These medications along with therapy can help the person deal with their issues so that when potentially stressful situations come up in their lives, they can either extricate themselves safely or they can face their fears and conquer them. Some of these medications are prescribed for a daily dosage, while others can be taken intermittently as they are needed.

Please consult with your doctor or primary care physician before considering any medication options.

Online And In-Person Forums

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Online forums and in-person meetings have proven effective for some individuals who have anxiety as well. Much as with one-on-one interactions with a therapist, the idea is for the anxious person to learn some ways to get past their trauma so that they can function normally in their daily routine. By being around many others who also have anxiety, some people gain strength that's tremendously beneficial in the long term. In some cases, they also cultivate lasting friendships, either online or in person.

What About Home Remedies For Panic Attacks?

But what about supplements or home remedies for anxiety and panic attacks? Does such a thing exist? Is there a scientific basis behind it?

It shouldn't be surprising that in the modern era, there have been people who have wanted to seek out Ayurvedic solutions to their anxiety and panic attacks. That's because some individuals are reluctant to use pharmaceutical solutions to their problems. After all, it's the rare drug that has no side effects, and some people don't like the idea of medicating themselves for one reason or another. An anxiety attack cure that would not be considered "a drug," strictly speaking, therefore becomes very attractive. As it turns out, several supplements have purported benefits for the person with anxiety. Let's go over some of them now.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm can be ingested in capsule form or as an extract which can be added to various drinks. It is considered a natural remedy for stress and anxiety, and it has been used that way since the Middle Ages. Lemon balm can also help relieve digestive issues and headaches. Many regular users have reported not only less anxiety but also an improvement in their daily mood.

Chamomile

Chamomile, which is usually drunk as a tea, can also be consumed in pill form. It is thought to be a gentle, natural substance for treating anxiety. Anxiety can also lead to insomnia, not to mention a host of other symptoms, and chamomile ingested before bed can help you fall asleep faster.

Passionflower

Passionflower is a lesser-known natural remedy for anxiety. Those who feel restless or anxious can take it in pill form, or it is also sold as a powder to be dissolved in water. It brings about feelings of drowsiness in some people, so you shouldn't take it when you're getting ready to start your day or if you're about to drive somewhere. It's best to enjoy its therapeutic properties before bedtime or after a stressful day at work.

Lavender

Can Supplements Really Help Reduce My Anxiety?

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Lavender is another home remedy for panic attacks. It is widely used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation, which is why you see it in so many candle varieties. You also encounter it amongst the ingredients of soaps and shampoos. You can get it in pill form or as an essential oil. In pill form, you can swallow it when you get up in the morning and see if it has a positive impact over time. You might also consider placing a pot of lavender by your bedside or elsewhere in your bedroom. Lavender is another substance that's thought to help you sleep better, and if you're better rested then potentially stressful situations may not affect you as dramatically as if you're sleep-deprived.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola is also sometimes known as golden root. It's a bright, yellow-green plant that is often used in Eastern medicine. It is an adaptogen, meaning that it can lower your stress levels significantly. Purveyors of traditional or non-Western medicine swear by it. It can be found as a supplement, usually in pill form, at several different nutritionists. Many online retailers also stock them.

Kava

Kava, also sometimes called kava-kava, is a well-known anxiety remedy that can be purchased in pill form through many online emporiums or at certain health food stores. The kava root is known to improve cognitive abilities and relax the muscles as well as relieve anxiety. It can react negatively with alcohol, but it's best to avoid alcohol anyway if you're dealing with stress or anxiety.

Valerian Root

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One last home remedy for anxiety attacks is valerian root, which is commonly used as a sleep aid, though it also lessens anxiety and feelings of stress. The use of this root goes back centuries to the time of the Greeks and Romans. It has an odor that some people don't like, but you can avoid this by consuming it in pill form, which nullifies the odor entirely.

Does Medical Science Recommend The Use of These Supplements?

The question of how much medical science endorses any of these natural remedies is an interesting one. If you see a doctor in rural India or China, then it is possible that they will be perfectly willing to endorse any one of them, while if you see a doctor on Park Avenue in New York City, then you might get a different reaction. In some cases what you'll hear is that the effect from these supplements is going to be mostly psychosomatic, but that's going to depend entirely on who it is you choose to consult.

If you have questions about any supplement that you are considering taking, then you can contact one of our medical professionals at BetterHelp. They can tell you what they know about any one of these that you're thinking about trying.

You Have To Find What Works For You

What's most critical to remember about any of these supplements or any of the other treatment methods that we mentioned, for that matter, is that what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. That is because not only are all of us different from a physiological standpoint but we all have different anxiety levels. One person might have relatively mild feelings of anxiety in certain situations, while someone else might struggle mightily just to get out of bed in the morning and go to work.

The supplements we mentioned, if used correctly, are highly unlikely to be dangerous in any way. Because of that, the most you have to worry about is probably going to be them being ineffective in curing or alleviating your feelings of anxiousness or nervousness. You might want to sample any one of them for a while to see if it's working, and then you might choose to discontinue the use of one to give another a try. Much like with therapy, prescription drugs, or forums, you need to find either one thing that works or a combination that gets the job done.

What's evident is that if you do nothing, then you're likely to keep being anxious, and you might keep having panic attacks as well. Apathy and an unwillingness to explore your options mean your quality of life will continue to be poor and that is perhaps the most important lesson you can learn as it relates to your mental health.

If you think you might need more than supplements to deal with your anxiety and panic attacks, seeking the help of an in-person or online therapist can be your next step to getting better. A therapist can help you learn to manage your anxiety and identify possible triggers for panic attacks. You’ll learn how to face your fears, a little at a time, so you can overcome your panic attacks and get back into life.

Anxiety and panic attacks can prevent us from getting help outside of our homes. If this is the case for you, consider online therapy. A literature review of 21 articles found that participants showed significant improvement in their generalized anxiety symptoms. In the same study, online therapy was also found to be effective in treating panic disorder, social phobia, and social anxiety disorder.

How BetterHelp Can Support You

BetterHelp has many licensed online therapists and counselors who are trained and have the expertise in helping people who are experiencing anxiety and panic attacks. With their support, you will learn how to effectively deal with anxiety and panic attacks through techniques and exploring possible emotional issues that could be triggering them. You’ll be able to meet with a therapist at any time that works for you and in the comfort of your home. Please see below counselor reviews from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“Jessica is amazing, in only 3 weeks she has been more helpful than any other therapist or doctor that I have worked with in my 20-year history of dealing with Panic Disorder. She has gone above and beyond in terms of her availability, responsiveness and genuine interest in my issues.”

“Yesenia Palomino has been an excellent counselor for me. She listens and gives me opportunities to really express myself. She asks questions in a way that allows me to dig deeper and find the root of certain issues. She is able to be direct when I need directness, providing me guidance as I navigate anxiety. I feel that I have made great improvements in my mental health under her guidance and would easily recommend her.” 

https://www.betterhelp.com/yesenia-palomino/

 

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