After my hypnotherapy sessions, my mental state had drastically improved. I was able to enjoy the moment for the first time in more years than I can count. I didn’t feel that, “I should be doing something else” feeling I would get whenever was doing anything. I felt good, however, I was still having some of the physical manifestations of anxiety though the symptoms were much milder and less frequent.
It is amazing how life works but getting sick helped me find what I view as the “cure” for my anxiety. I ended up getting one of the worst colds I have ever had and was sick for a couple of weeks. I lost my voice, and my ears plugged up with fluid. I tried everything to unplug them and nothing worked. I finally went to the doctor and he prescribed Prednisone, a cortisol steroid, to help with the swelling and allow the Eustachian tubes, in my inner ear, to drain. After being on Prednisone for a few days my ears began to get better but I was still very sick. The odd thing is I began to feel extremely happy. I was euphoric and full of energy despite being sick. I felt like getting things done and my mind was clearer than ever. During this time I started this website and began working on “the Room” video. I actually did the voice over during this time just to work on the timing and ended up keeping the raspy sound in the final cut.
I searched online to see if euphoria was one of the side effects of Prednisone and if so, could I keep taking this as it made me feel awesome! It turns out, it can cause extreme euphoria, but it has many nasty side effects and could cause irreversible harm if used long term. But I wanted to know what it did. It seemed like I was on to something and that it held some answers to my anxiety. I was right.
Prednisone is a synthetic form of cortisol, which is a naturally occurring hormone in your body. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland and is released with adrenaline as part of the “fight or flight” response. It gives you energy and makes you alert and focused. Adrenaline increases heart rate, contracts blood vessels, dilates air passages, and gives you that anxious feeling that something is threatening.
Well, this started to make sense. Anyone who has been pregnant or has had a wife who is pregnant knows how much hormones can affect mood. I had to ask the question, “was my anxiety being caused by my perception of “danger” which told my adrenal glands to trigger the “fight or flight” response? Or maybe the adrenal gland fired easily causing me to perceive non-threatening situations as a threat? Was it from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the threat of death as a child? The biggest question was if there was something out there that could help my adrenaline/cortisol be balanced? The short answer is YES to all of the above.
The first and most important thing I found was a natural supplement called Ashwagandha. As I said before, I didn’t believe in in many of the homeopathic, natural remedies so I was very skeptical. I have to say though that it is simply amazing. I believe Ashwagandha has reduced by anxiety by 80%. I have been on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication that caused lethargy, drowsiness, and some even caused increased anxiety. Some had no affect at all. Ashwagandha is said to have many health benefits and no real side effects. It helps not only your adrenal gland but other glands such as your thyroid as well. It is an anti-inflammatory and is high in cancer fighting anti-oxidants. It can be found online or at health food stores for about $6.00 for 60 450 mg capsules.
I started doing more research and found similarities in people with anxiety and depression. Many suffer from IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Anxiety uses up certain nutrients to fuel the body that is in a constant state of “fight or flight.” When adrenaline is released, your potassium and magnesium levels drop. When your adrenaline levels return to normal, potassium levels return to normal but the magnesium levels do not, leaving you magnesium deficient. So why is this important?
We are always told that we need to “get in our calcium” to build strong muscles and bones. What they don’t tell you is that there needs to be a balance between calcium and magnesium. Calcium excites your cells, much like adrenaline excites our nerves. Magnesium calms and neutralizes the calcium to get your body balanced. I have found that the one thing that has helped with IBS is magnesium. As long as I take magnesium, I don’t have the problem. Also, anyone who has had a salt water fish tank knows that if you start getting calcium build-up in your tank you add magnesium to balance it out. The most common form of kidney stone is made of excess calcium that crystallizes in your kidney and begins to form a stone. I have had 8 kidney stones. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to a myriad of health problems including migraines, high blood pressure, IBS, anxiety, depression, ADD, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, PMS, and many many more. For more information on magnesium, I suggest reading “The Magnesium Miracle” by Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D.
Minerals and supplements can be very effective in treating anxiety and depression:
- Eluthero Root
- St. John’s Wart
- Valerian Root
- B Vitamins
Foods that may contribute to anxiety and depression:
- Refined Sugar
- High Protein Diet
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Food Additives
- Processed foods
I encourage you to seek as much information as you can to find the best treatment for your symptoms and health needs. Before taking or avoiding any foods or supplements, it is important to talk to your doctor first.