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Offline Calikime

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Homeopathic remedies
« on: December 01, 2013, 02:39:38 AM »
Has anyone had success using homeopathic remedies for GAD?  I see the ad on this site for Anxietin and I wondered if anyone has tried it?  I know that doing deep breathing helps somewhat as a temporary measure, but I haven't found anything that has really helped.  I haven't tried very many things either so I can't say that I have really given other methods much of a chance.  Any feedback with your expereiences would be appreciated.
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Offline mta214

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2013, 06:30:04 AM »
I take a different herbal supplement for anxiety.  I'm not sure about the rules here for recommending brand names, products, etc, so I will refrain from doing so.  However, feel free to PM me and I will tell you what I use.
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2013, 04:21:18 PM »
The only supplements that I have read up on which actually alleviate the effects of a mild anxiety disorder are fish oil omega3 and Gingko biloba.  Their effectiveness has been documented through several trial studies

Yes, there are other supplements to take.  For me,though, I take what has been given results through clinical testing.   You can google these supplements  off the web.



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Offline japheree

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2013, 03:27:29 AM »
Just as a note of caution (and I hate to be *that guyy*) but the best thing to say about homeopathy is that it will help with placebo (no bad thing at all..works well even when you are aware of it). However, be cautious of people charging over the odds for this stuff. At the dilutions used it has been calculated you are looking at the equivalent of one molecule of active ingredient in a volume about the same size as the solar system. The water memory thing also makes little sense since water molecules are small and many of the molecules of active ingredient are large so can't see how it can 'imprint' upon them.

Just noting the caution in spending lots of money on this stuff. May do less harm than pharmaceuticals but unlikely to do better in my understanding.
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2013, 11:35:59 AM »

I always figure, what can be healthier? An herb, or a chemical?

Just like with meds, if youre interested in it...try it for 2 weeks. If it doesn't work, try something else. Im actually going to start trying St Johns Wort, and then PassionFlower.

For those with very mild anxiety, herbs alone can be of great use, with ginko biloba or fish oil.

However, the train of logic that "herbs" are healthier than a "chemical" is very misleading.  By chemical, you are referring to psychiatric drugs, such as one of the SSRIs (Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, etc), since these medications fix a "chemical imbalance."

Our brains produce chemicals, called neurotransmitters, naturally in order to deal with psychological pressure.  If not for these neurotransmitters, you would not have the various flucuations of mood.  So any mood is chemically dependent, or neurotransmitter dependent.

Antidepressant medications build up the brain to better produce damaged brain cells, that died due to atrophy or previous psychological stress.   Once built up, the brain can better hande the neurotransmitter distribution when
dealing with fluctuating moods that accompany much stronger stimuli, like fear and panic, over a prolonged period of time.

Herbs, such as Fish Oil3 and St John's Wort, also help the brain in producing these same neurotransmitters or "chemicals" to better manage stress. 

So whether you use herbs or psychiatric drugs, you are still building the same line of defense.  Now granted, antidepressants often have greater side effects than herbs, and not everyone can tolerate those side effects on antidepressants. 

However, to say "herbs" is healthier that "chemicals" is a faulty set of logic, because both psychiatric drugs and herbs have the same purpose in building up the brain to better tolerate stress through the distribution of neurotransmitters.
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Offline kutekat

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2013, 02:55:27 AM »
well for one, homeopathy is a scam. it is literally taking a sugar pill. if you have an anxiety disorder that makes daily life hard to deal with, you probably will not find ANY relief with herbal supplements. psychiatric meds exist for a reason, because they work. they have saved lives. yes, many come with side effects but i'd rather do trial and error and find the right drug(s) for me than sit in my house scared to go outside because i think i'll have a panic attack/faint. if you want a non drug approach, go to a therapist that specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy.
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Offline japheree

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2013, 03:28:49 AM »
What KuteKat just said. These mirror my above sentiments but in a more blunt manner.
To quote someone somewhere...

'If water imprints chemicals as memory then what happens to all the wee?'
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Offline Andrew90

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 08:29:58 PM »
With herbal supplements, it's really an unknown that one is dealing with. This is because a.) These encapsulated herbs are not regulated by any authoritative source such as the FDA, and b.) Not much is known about how these herbs affect each of us due to lack of studies, and c.) Placebo likely plays a much greater role with these homeopathic "remedies" than with psychiatric medications.

Some studies have shown that Taurine has some level of interaction with anxiety disorders, mainly in that it leads to increased synthesis of GABA production in the synapses, and it also lowers blood pressure. Passionflower, Valerian, and L-Theanine are some other well known supplements that may help with anxiety/sleep, but it's still not all that well documented how these herbs affect our brains.

If you are absolutely seeking an alternative to FDA regulated drugs, then perhaps it's worth a try with some of these homeopathic solutions. Ultimately though, drugs like SSRI's & Benzo's are the tried and true medications for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
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Offline insights

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 10:02:24 PM »
These encapsulated herbs are not regulated by any authoritative source such as the FDA

The biggest problem with supplements is the lack of standardization. Studies into herbal products almost always use a standardized product with a known potency, however OTC supplements vary wildly in the amount of active ingredient, not only between brands but also between batches. This may not be of much concern if you're taking, say, vitamins as preventatives, but with mental disorders consistency is vital.

On homeopathic remedies specifically, the whole concept has no proven basis. It is merely a hypothesis of one man unsupported by any evidence, and the methodology defies belief. Diluting a substance to the point there cannot be a single molecule of it in the bottle and expecting it to have any effect is quackery.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2013, 02:06:12 PM »
Just to add to this thread's discussion, if someone chooses alternative health practices such as homeopathic remedies, herbs, alternative therapy, or even some of the mind exercises advertised in many self-help books -- just be careful.  I can understand your reasoning to not take psychiatric medication, based on stories of nightmare side effects that users have advertised about them, or the perception that psychiatric medications are not natural.   Even family members can push that 'unnatural' perception on us, without knowing the ramifications it may cause.

Just do as much research as you can on your anxiety condition, however you should be more open minded when hearing constant attacks against antidepressants, based on side effects, because there are many people who can tolerate antidepressants, without intolerable side effects.  My reason for the self-education is that therapists, alternative practitioners, doctors, herbal companies can't fully cure you.  Only you can cure yourself, based on what path you decide to take for managing your anxiety disorder.  And for some, the best path is medication, and whether you accept it or not, you may be part of that mean.  And the best way to determine that path is partly experience, as well as educating yourself as much as possible about your anxiety condition.

At least with antidepressants there are more stringent tests that are required for these medications to be FDA approved, in order for insurances to cover them.

Alternative practices are still in their infancy, in terms of curing mental health.  They don't have a lot of stringent tests that have been devoted to antidepressant medications.  Also there is no formal curriculum that approves most alternative remedies, like herbs, so you are on your own when you encounter the herbalist or the other alternative practitioner. 

Basically you become a test subject on whether the therapy or substance works, or doesn't, since the alternative practitioner is still learning about the herb, or alternative therapy themselves.  They don't have as much training for their profession, because on the lack of certified curriculums for alternative practices, with state and country educational systems. 

At least with medical school, we know psychiatrists can obtain that profession, based on years of hard work and studying, as well as supervision from other professionals on how to treat patients..  There are flaws in psychiatric model, but there are just as many flaws in alternative therapy model, if you decide to educate yourself more about both.
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Offline mta214

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2013, 11:03:48 AM »
Abraham, I totally agree with you about each of us educating ourselves!  I further agree with you that the doctors, therapists, etc, can't cure us. We each have to discover and decide what works best for us.  However, just because a psychiatrist has gone through years of studying and hard work, doesn't mean they know for certain what will and will not work.  As we all know, everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another!   I have had many psychiatrists tell me that psychiatry is a "crap shoot."  That is extremely discouraging to me.  Additionally, no med or supplement alone is a magic cure all.  I, myself find that there are many things that I must do each and every day just to be able to carry out the everyday tasks that others without anxiety or any other mental illness take for granted.  Rarely have I come across a psychiatrist who, along with prescribing meds, talks too me about what other things I can do to manage my anxiety disorder.  So, I have had to implement those on my own, as well as with the help of my therapist.  That's fine, but I think there needs to be more discussions about what lifestyle changes can and should be made to manage a psychiatric illness.  It really is so important, and since it's not a discussion that many of the psychiatrists I've dealt with have had with me, I've had to seek out self-help books, support groups and do my own research.  Just my experience.
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Offline e77

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 04:01:10 PM »
Makes a lot of sense mta214. Lifestyle management equally important.
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2013, 07:02:45 PM »
Hi mta,

Abraham, I totally agree with you about each of us educating ourselves!  I further agree with you that the doctors, therapists, etc, can't cure us. We each have to discover and decide what works best for us.  However, just because a psychiatrist has gone through years of studying and hard work, doesn't mean they know for certain what will and will not work.  As we all know, everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another!   I have had many psychiatrists tell me that psychiatry is a "crap shoot."  That is extremely discouraging to me. 

The psychiatric community has done a lot of positive work for people diagnosed with mental illness.   Prior to about 1950, if you were diagnosed with a mental illness, and fortunate enough to get care, your best form of treatment was to live in a mental institution, often for the rest of your life.   Although we do have inpatient mental clinics today, patients aren't intended to live in them for life, because they can be monitored outside the hospital with psychiatric medications.  In fact the framework for live-in *mental communities* has fairly much been phased out, due to psychiatric medications.  Some facilities do exist, but many who live in them, don't stay for life.

So if you were to see the psychiatric community from another angle, you could be more open to what has worked, with psychiatric medicine, then what hasn't.  We can't immediately assume all psychiatrists, and their prescribing of medications, don't always work.  Personally, regardless of any preconceived notions about psychiatric medications, I'd rather take a psychopathic medication for life, than to spend my life in a psychiatric community.  So thank God we're no longer living in the early 1900's to 1950's, and thank God now, we have these psychotropic medications to take, instead of cohabiting in a life long mental-health community.
 
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Additionally, no med or supplement alone is a magic cure all.  I, myself find that there are many things that I must do each and every day just to be able to carry out the everyday tasks that others without anxiety or any other mental illness take for granted.  Rarely have I come across a psychiatrist who, along with prescribing meds, talks too me about what other things I can do to manage my anxiety disorder. 

Just to give you another angle, psychiatrists and doctors see many patients, not just you or me.  If you go to a psychiatrist covered by insurance, these doctors are given patients from insurance companies, and at very large numbers.  We have to consider psychiatrists, like any hard working adults are people who need jobs to feed families and send their kids to school.  Not to mention psychiatrists and doctors also have student loans from medical school still looming that need to be paid off.  They have to make a living, and their bosses are in a way 'insurance companies.'  It's not easy to attract patients with mental illness by just by word of mouth, posting an ad on the internet, or filing an ad in the Yellow pages.   Doctors need patients to fund their practices, and these patients are often collected from insurance companies.

During a typical eight hour work day, if an insurance company sends a doctor 4 patients per hour, that doctor has to budget their time appropriately.  She has to first observe your outward symptoms like any doctor, based on whether you take the medication prescribed, and then answer questions.  Often these questions entail psychological problems in relation to mental health, which are best answered by a counselor, not for the doctor.  So if a psych doctor has 32 patients that day, he may not have the extra time to add a quick educational training session on how to manage mental health. 

Of course, if a patient is dissatisfied with their treatment, and argues, "Well I deserve a better doctor," then a wise consumer would start researching other psych doctors in the area to go too.  Of course, that research will require work and time.  Yet no matter who that person hires, that doctor will never have plenty of spare time to educate a client beyond brief questions on psychiatric medicine.    Doctors weren't hired as full time teachers, instead they were hired as doctors to manage a case load of patients.


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So, I have had to implement those on my own, as well as with the help of my therapist.  That's fine, but I think there needs to be more discussions about what lifestyle changes can and should be made to manage a psychiatric illness.  It really is so important, and since it's not a discussion that many of the psychiatrists I've dealt with have had with me, I've had to seek out self-help books, support groups and do my own research.  Just my experience.

Nothing wrong with your choice of being your own doctor, or even your own therapist.  If you're researching and educating yourself, it's always good to broaden your knowledge, because you maybe studying areas that may not have all the answers.

We can say psychiatrists don't have all the answers. Likewise we can also say, writers who write self-help books, and practitioners who works in the area of alternative therapy, like homeopathy, don't have all the answers either.






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Offline mta214

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Re: Homeopathic remedies
« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 08:06:33 PM »
As I mentioned in my reply, I was only speaking of what has been my experience with psychiatrists.  I was not putting down the profession, and if that's how my reply was perceived, I apologize.  I have a very good friend who adores her psychiatrist.  I'm not trying to be my own doctor and/or therapist.  As a matter of fact, I have a psychiatric nurse practitioner and a therapist, both of whom, at times, have gone above and beyond for me! 

The point I was trying to make is that patients need to take an active part in any treatment they receive, whether it's for a physical ailment or a psychiatric illness.
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