• Dr. D

Treat Anxiety on Your Own

Some Anxiety Can be a Good Thing

Let me say first that a little bit of anxiety is okay. Lots of times it keeps us doing what we need to do. Take for example an upcoming event, maybe a test. Being a little anxious about it may be enough to get us to go back to the book to recheck a fact we’re not sure about.

That could be a good thing. (Being anxious about a test you didn’t study for, well, you probably deserve that. )

On the other hand, sometimes anxiety can be so bad it’s disabling. Maybe you become short of breath, can’t get your air, feel like the world is closing. Maybe you feel as though you’ll faint or actually do pass out. It’s pretty obvious that kind of anxiety isn’t helpful to anyone.

Medications and Therapy Can Help with Anxiety

There are medications that can help with the kind of anxiety that doesn’t seem beneficial. And of course there are many good therapists who can teach ways to deal with anxiety. However, many people I work with want to be able to take control of their anxiety or mood but don’t want to use drugs that may potentially be addictive, nor do they have the money

or time to see a therapist.

For these individuals, I will cover some of the herbal or "natural" ways to address anxiety and other problems.

Find Good Sources for Information on Herbal treatments

Before I go on, I strongly urge anyone interested in herbal approaches to health issues to visit the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (www.nccih.nih.gov). It summarizes what’s known about different substances based on good studies. It doesn’t have a stake in the issues. It’s not trying to sell you anything so you can generally rely on what it says.

On the negative side, often entries with NCCIH will end with “…not enough data …” and “…further study is required…”. It’s quite conservative about endorsing any particular substance because it is an institution that relies on well established information, not just opinion or personal testimonials like “My auntie took that for her (fill in the blank) and it never bothered her again,” to base its recommendations.

Armed with information from the NCCIH you’ll be in a better position for judging what you

read from other sources. It’s not the last word about herbals. But it can give you some unbiased data to start with.

Image of chamomile flowers by: ESchweitzer

Image of lemon balm by: nahhan

Image of lavender by: Elenathewise