I am a naturopath with an interest in assisting people with of all ages who would like to naturally manage anxiety, panic attacks, and the effects of excessive stress. I also recommend my services to those who would like natural alternatives to pharmaceutical antidepressants, anxiolytics, and hypnotics (sleeping aids). Herbal medicines as used by qualified naturopaths and herbalists present an effective, non-addictive, and safe way to assist in the management of these conditions, including assisting withdrawal from pharmaceutical and other drugs. I have significant personal experience with this, allowing me to create a safe, confidential, and empathic listening space for people to share their story, and help them get to a much more comfortable and happier place using natural treatments.
It may not always be obvious that stress and anxiety are the cause, but signs and symptoms can include:
- regular or constant feelings of fear and apprehension
- an overactive mind with repetitive thoughts
- difficulty concentrating, and poor memory (sometimes described as brain fog)
- excess sweating
- muscle tightness or stiffness
- palpitations and tachycardia (racing heart), cardiac arrhythmias
- shortness of breath (feeling as though one can’t get enough air) or choking
- chest pain
- nausea (feeling sick) and gastrointestinal distress (upset tummy, perhaps with alternating diarrhoea and/or constipation)
- sleep disturbances (insomnia, trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, or both), waking up tired
- trembling, shaking or other feelings of physical, mental or emotional instability
- fatigue (feeling tired all the time, not enough energy to do things)
- mild depression (feeling unhappy, disinterested in normally pleasurable activities, tired)
Pharmaceutical drugs used to treat these conditions might also cause side effects including:
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Dry mouth
- Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
- Sexual issues including reduced libido and erectile dysfunction
- Weight gain
- Gastrointestinal upset
Psychoactive drugs that are being abused can also lead to many of these signs and symptoms, also including cravings, paranoia and hallucinations. These drugs include cannabis (marijuana and hash), tobacco, alcohol, amphetamines (speed/ice), psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline), opiates (morphine and heroin) and others.
Withdrawal from drugs, legal or illicit, can be a challenging process, and can cause many of the symptoms listed above. Herbal medicine has a significant role to play in reducing the severity of these symptoms, improving quality of life, and assisting the body in repairing itself.
Note: some of the above signs and symptom (such as chest pain), can also be associated with life threatening conditions. While this is usually not the case when they occur because of anxiety, it may be necessary to seek emergency medical attention, particularly if it’s the first time they are being experienced, or the person is in a higher risk group such as the elderly.
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