• Phoenix Rising needs funds to operate: please consider donating to support PR

Non-Standard Anti-Anxiety Treatment

Messages
8
Likes
1
@jordan2tagg
I often take up 4000 mg of propolis, for its COX-2 anti-inflammatory effects, which I find helps reduce the anxiety levels of my generalized anxiety disorder. Are you looking for good anti-anxiety treatments? If so, you might want to look at an updated thread I started on anti-anxiety supplements: Completely eliminated my severe anxiety symptoms with three supplements!

Be careful with the DHEA dosing. I find that anything above around 15 to 20 mg daily starts to create an aggressive and argumentative stance in my mind. DHEA is an "Incredible Hulk" sort of hormone!
Yes I'm looking for anti-anxiety treatment, especially social anxiety... Sometimes in social situations I get cramps all over my body. My face muscles also contract etc. making it difficult to even talk and I get the fight or flight thoughts. It's all a building up into a panic attack unless I leave the situation and go for a walk to myself. I started jogging about a year ago and I've seen some improvement, maybe because my serotonin levels have risen, not sure...
I ordered the grape seed extract, the propolis and vitamin E. I'll try those supplements for 2-3 months and see if it has any effect on my situation. About DHEA I just discovered it recently, I'm just a bit worried what would happen if my cortisol levels are low and I would still take DHEA which will lower them further. But about becoming aggressive I'm not really worried, I've never been aggressive in my life so that would be a totally new experience if it would happen. I've read that some athletes take it to reduce body fat so although I'm rather young (31) it shouldn't be a real danger to my health hopefully. I don't know why but I really think think I have adrenal exhaustion due to some extremely stressful 5-6 years in my past. Although I'm a bit worried taking DHEA I'll still give it a shot I think, can't be that dangerous if it's just a supplement right

EDIT: I see that in your new thread you recommend different supplements. I'll try them if those that I ordered don't work for me. But you seem to have had some good results with the ones I ordered...
 
Last edited:

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
14,613
Likes
28,669
@jordan2tagg
Social anxiety is a different classification to generalized anxiety disorder. Social anxiety often involves anxiety over how people may perceive you, or anxiety concerning how what you say to people comes across to them. Choline bitartrate 1000 mg can work for treating social anxiety.

The new thread was started nearly two years after this thread, and by then I had discovered some better anxiety treatments. In the new thread, I list the anti-anxiety supplements in approximate order of efficacy (in my tests on myself). Propolis is still listed, but is placed lower down in the list. It is not as potent as NAG which is at the top of the list.
 
Last edited:
Messages
8
Likes
1
@jordan2tagg
Social anxiety is a different classification to generalized anxiety disorder. Social anxiety often involves anxiety over how people may perceive you, or anxiety concerning how what you say to people comes across to them. Choline bitartrate 1000 mg can work for treating social anxiety.

The new thread was started nearly two years after this thread, and by then I had discovered some better anxiety treatments. In the new thread, I list the anti-anxiety supplements in approximate order of efficacy (in my tests on myself). Propolis is still listed, but is placed lower down in the list. It is not a potent as NAG which is at the top of the list.
@Hip Thanks for the new suggestion I'll try it out too, great to have someone with your expertise to talk to!
 
Messages
8
Likes
1
@Hip I just noticed that you recommend Zyrtec in your other thread. I actually started taking Zyrtec 10mg this summer because of my allergies and indeed I noticed that it reduced my anxiety overall. I just kept taking it until today. You're absolutely right about that. The only negative thing about it is that one is extremely tired during the day
 

Kathevans

Senior Member
Messages
650
Likes
551
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
This is very late for this thread, but in case anyone is listening:

My son had terrible air-born allergies as a child and many food allergies (still does). For years he took Zyrtek to keep them in check. At some point, I noticed his nose was constantly stuffed and decided to take him off the Zyrtek and see if he was having some sort of rebound reaction. For nearly a week he woke up at night with night sweats that drenched the sheets--this in a ten or eleven year old. When it all settled out, he was much less stuffy without the Zyrtek. And the night sweats went away.

So, maybe not the best supplement for long-term anxiety use...
 

digital dog

Senior Member
Messages
646
Likes
1,026
ANYTHING that effects GABA gives me anxiety. I've tried a lot of the supplements that you mention and my anxiety got significantly worse.
I haven't tried the curcumin though.
Thank you for posting this.
 

digital dog

Senior Member
Messages
646
Likes
1,026
Hip, do you think that curcumin on its own would potentially help?
If it was going to help, you think it would be fairly quickly?
Does it work on GABA receptors because I can't take it if it does.
Thank you so much.
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
14,613
Likes
28,669
Hip, do you think that curcumin on its own would potentially help?
If it was going to help, you think it would be fairly quickly?
Does it work on GABA receptors because I can't take it if it does.
Thank you so much.
The anti-anxiety effects of most of these supplements I found start working within hours of taking them.

Curcumin does not work on the GABA system. Which supplements did you try that work on GABA, and made you feel worse?

You may be interested in a more recent anti-anxiety thread I started: Completely eliminated my severe anxiety symptoms with three supplements!
 

digital dog

Senior Member
Messages
646
Likes
1,026
I felt worse with theanine, GABA, glutamine and anything that affects serotonin. I felt better physically but mentally deranged.
I am very worried about LDN and its effect it will have on me. Doesn't that work on GABA and dopamine?
I would LOVE to try LDN but I am scared.
Five days of Fish oil made me suicidal for nearly two years. I kid you not!
I will read your posts.
Thank you so much Hip
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
14,613
Likes
28,669
I felt worse with theanine, GABA, glutamine and anything that affects serotonin. I felt better physically but mentally deranged.
I am very worried about LDN and its effect it will have on me. Doesn't that work on GABA and dopamine?
I would LOVE to try LDN but I am scared.
Five days of Fish oil made me suicidal for nearly two years. I kid you not!
I will read your posts.
Thank you so much Hip
It sounds like you are in the sort of position I was a few years ago, where I had severe generalized anxiety, constant suicidal ideation as a result of awful anhedonia, some mild anxiety psychosis, plus all the ME/CFS symptoms as well.

In this sort of position, when you try to make improvements to your brain and mind, there is often very little room to maneuver, because small changes that you make using drugs or supplements can cause some of your already bad symptoms to become even worse. So you have to be very cautious about what you take.

I would often start with very low doses of any new drug or supplement I was trying out, and build the dose up slowly, always on the lookout for any nasty side effects or worsening of my mental symptoms.



For me the most successful approach to treating my severe anxiety was the anti-inflammatory approach: treating the brain inflammation that I think underlies my anxiety. There are a number of anti-inflammatories that can be effective. N-acetyl-glucosamine is the star anti-inflammatory supplement, but there are many others, including:

• NAG, turmeric, flaxseed oil

• COX-2 inhibitors like: propolis, curcumin, Terminalia chebula, cat's claw — these all are anti-inflammatory

• NF-kB inhibitors like: grape seed extract, curcumin, ashwagandha — these can help lower inflammation too

Recent research is showing that brain inflammation (neuroinflammation) may be behind a number of mental symptoms or conditions, including depression, bipolar, schizophrenia. So treating anxiety by countering inflammation in the brain is a new and novel route to treatment. I think it works so well because it may target the root inflammatory cause of anxiety in many people.



Regarding GABA: there are actually several ways that you can play around with the GABAergic system:

• You can up-regulate levels of the GABA neurotransmitter, in order to increase GABA receptor activation. This is what L-theanine does, and also what SSRIs do. Although note that L-theanine also increases dopamine and serotonin levels.

• You can take a medication that agonizes the GABA receptor by mimicking the effect of the GABA neurotransmitter (a GABA memetic). This is how ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) likely works.

• You can increase the sensitivity of the GABA receptor (positive allosteric modulation). This is how skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) works, and also how benzodiazepines work.

• You can up-regulate the density of GABA receptors. This is how kava kava root (Piper methysticum) works.


Most of these GABA approaches have to some degree the problem tolerance and loss of effect, because the GABA receptor starts to desensitize with many of these approaches.

However, I imagine that GABA receptor desensitization will likely not occur with kava kava, because this herb actually increase the number of GABA receptors, so should increase GABA system sensitivity.
 
Messages
11
Likes
2
Hi Hip
I've been reading a few of your threads including some of the thread where you talk about your 3 supplements that have helped you the most and I must say I'm impressed and appreciative you sharing your info. I have been on a very similar mission the last 3 years and have ended up with chronic cold sores everyday, UTI's, inflamed bladder and severe chronic fatigue caused from the extreme anxiety my immune system shut down with adrenal fatigue.
I have tried so many things also and it's amazing how I have taken things for my immune system for example propolis and grapeseed and noticed a difference in my mood, as I'm very sensitive to foods and chemicals.

I looked into propolis at the time and I read that it has a protective effect on monoamines http://www.researchgate.net/publica..._Endotoxin-Intoxicated_Adult_Male_Albino_Rats though never read that it was an anti inflammatory.

I've also read that turmeric is an anti inflammatory but that it also works similar to a MOAI http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18766332.

BTW grapeseed also has neuroprotective properties http://www.researchgate.net/publica...and_Oxidative_Stress_in_Alloxan_Diabetic_Rats

"In addition a significant increase in brain neurotransmitters [epinephrine, noradrenaline (NA), serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine], MDA, superoxide dismutase (SOD) were recorded."

But it also says... "there were a significant decrease in brain glutathione (GSH), Vitamin C, nitric oxide levels and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities were reported." which I can't imagine is good?? my grapeseed extract contains 12g of grapeseed per pill and at one stage I was experimenting with 4 pills 3 times a day.

Also good fats help neurons receive and transmit signals and improve myelin sheath health etc so my point is these all have anti depressant effects aswell as having anti inflammatory effects. How can we assume that its the anti inflammatory effects that are causing improvement in anxiety when these natural drugs are creating antidepressant effects aswell by working on protecting neurotransmitters etc.

I have read that anti inflammatories can help depression and anxiety so maybe this is why as they are protective on feel good neurotransmitters. Ive also read that new information is coming out that SSRI's actually work as anti imflammatories and not how they originally thought. They have also always admitted they aren't sure exactly how SSRI's work.

I've never particularly looked into NF kappa-B mediated inflammation or COX-2 mediated inflammation and I have never gone on a forum before but I feel you are quite clued up on this side of things.

1) I also wanted to say that people that do not agree with SSRI's are usually overmethylators. Are you familiar with that term? And have you tried Niacin?

2) I'm curious also what your opinion is on NAC? and if you have tried that, I have read that NAC helps inhibit glutamate excito toxicity

3) What is your opinion on pyroluria and zinc picolinate and P5P?? I have read everywhere this is one of the best treatments for anxiety. Have you tried it? I have tried high dose zinc picolinate for the last year and for the life of me I feel it makes me worse but my integrative doctor insists on it.

4) What is your opinion on 5HTP? And high dose vit D? I'm alittle surprised they aren't on your list :)

I'll have to look into NAG as I'm curious about how that could work if its purely just an anti imflammatory.

Regards :)
 
Last edited:
Messages
11
Likes
2
I've been doing more reading and I've answered one of my own questions

In a study from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, it was determined that elevated cortisol secretion was so clearly correlated to decreased levels of serotonin as to be called a ‘textbook truism’.

There are a number of hypotheses as to how inflammation affects mood and depression or anxiety disorders. Below is the explanation that I would accept as having the greatest effect:

Inflammation is a form of physical stress in the body that directly upregulates levels of stress hormones, including cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Under chronic conditions of inflammation – as we see when one suffers from digestive problems – our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, an activated sympathetic state, in which our adrenal glands secrete excessive levels of the hormone cortisol.

GABA is also vital for mood function and can especially be important in relation to anxiety disorders. GABA is a neurotransmitter synthesized in the brain in at least 2 compartments, commonly called the transmitter and metabolic compartments. The main enzyme required for the synthesis of GABA is glutamate decarboxylase. Two forms of this enzyme exist and differ in both molecular weight and how they interact with cofactor P-5-P (ie. activated Vitamin B6). GABA’s dependency on the amino acid and neurotransmitter glutamate is well established and, in numerous studies its conversion to GABA has been shown to be adversely affected by higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in the brain. In fact, it is also well-established that GABA may exert a positive effect in modulating inflammation in auto-immune disorders, so it makes sense that the relationship would be reciprocal. The more inflammatory chemicals you have, the less GABA you produce and vice versa. This is not even to mention that fact that lack of GABA is also related to decreased serotonin levels as well! What this spells for depression and anxiety is that a lack of GABA to initiate the active inhibitory process will affect the entire manner by which we approach our lives.
In summation, chronic inflammation, stemming directly from digestive problems, upregulates stress hormones (even if we don’t feel stressed!) which suppresses the production and function of necessary mood chemicals – serotonin, DHEA, HGH and GABA.
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
14,613
Likes
28,669
I have been on a very similar mission the last 3 years and have ended up with chronic cold sores everyday, UTI's, inflamed bladder and severe chronic fatigue caused from the extreme anxiety my immune system shut down with adrenal fatigue.
Hi @lovingthemindframe, glad you find these threads useful.

My severe anxiety, anhedonia and ME/CFS were all precipitated by an enterovirus infection. This virus I caught was pretty nasty. Interestingly enough, as this virus spread around my friends and family, several people started to experience massive herpes simplex I virus outbreaks when they first caught it (either cold sores, or recurrent mouth ulcers, which are often caused by HSV I). The full symptoms of my virus are detailed on my website here.

I usually find that topical zinc and topical resveratrol (obtained from crushed supplement tablets) are a good way to fight oral cold sores. Topical DMSO is also very effective (dilute 50/50 in water).



How can we assume that its the anti inflammatory effects that are causing improvement in anxiety when these natural drugs are creating antidepressant effects aswell by working on protecting neurotransmitters etc.
That is very a good question. Because all supplements affect multiple metabolic pathways in the body, when you observe as I did that certain supplements improve anxiety symptoms, it can be very hard to figure out the mechanism(s) of action.

But I settled for a probable anti-inflammatory mechanism of action, as there is evidence and a theoretical back up for this explanation from several different angles, which are as follows:

• Firstly, for some supplements such the COX-2 inhibitors, I was able to gather reasonable evidence that their anti-inflammatory mechanism was responsible for the anxiolytic effects. I did by trying out various different COX-2 inhibitor supplements and drugs (including celecoxib), and noting that all seemed to reduce my anxiety levels. So this tends to indicate that it is indeed the COX-2 inhibition, and not something else, that is anxiolytic.

• Secondly, nearly all of the supplements that I found were anxiolytic (from trial and error testing of hundreds of supplements) had anti-inflammatory properties. So either that is a huge coincidence, or there is something to this inflammation theory.

• Thirdly, I know that the virus I caught was ramping up inflammation in the body. I had constant sinus inflammation from it, for example, and one unfortunate person who caught my virus had such severe body-wide inflammation that she had to be placed on corticosteroids for several months. So I was reasonably sure that my chronic viral infection was inducing inflammation. So as my severe anxiety began with this inflammation-inducing virus, it is more suggestive evidence of an inflammatory etiology for my anxiety.

• Fourthly, there is a lot of new research showing that brain inflammation may be behind mental conditions such as depression, bipolar, OCD (a type of anxiety disorder) and schizophrenia. I have not as yet seen any study which specifically found brain inflammation in generalized anxiety disorder (but I don't think any researchers have looked); however, the fact that neuroinflammation has been found in these various other mental conditions suggest that it could also be involved generalized anxiety disorder (at least in a subset of patients).

• Fifthly, when you infuse glutamate receptor antagonists (aka: NMDA receptor antagonists) into the amygdala (a brain region known to mediate anxiety), this actually causes a decrease fear and anxiety in animals (refs: 1, 2). So here is a clear indication that glutamate, when raised, may cause anxiety.

How does this link to inflammation? Well, high levels of glutamate have been hypothesized to arise from brain inflammation (refs: 1, 2). Assuming this hypothesis is correct, we get the causal chain:

Brain inflammation ➤ raised glutamate ➤ activates amygdala NMDA receptors ➤ precipitates anxiety

What I found corroborates this theory that raised glutamate causes anxiety is my experiments with high dose magnesium (applied transdermally, in order to get a sufficient dose). In high doses, magnesium is a good NMDA receptor blocker, which blocks the action of glutamate on this receptor; and sure enough, I found high dose transdermal magnesium has significant anti-anxiety effects for me. So this offers some further evidence for an elevated glutamate etiology of anxiety. And as mentioned, elevated glutamate may be generated by brain inflammation (a published hypothesis).


So when you add all the above up, brain inflammation looks like a reasonable (but of course unproven) hypothesis to explain how generalized anxiety disorder may arise in some cases, and to explain how supplements which reduce neuroinflammation may treat this anxiety.



1) I also wanted to say that people that do not agree with SSRI's are usually overmethylators. Are you familiar with that term? And have you tried Niacin?
That is interesting. I reacted very badly to SSRIs, and have always suspected (by indirect evidence from taking methyl donor supplements) than I am an overmethylator.

Having said that, when I once tried some SSRIs before I caught this virus and its apparent brain inflammation-inducing effects, I was fine with those drugs. I only got bad effects from SSRIs after I caught my virus.

I have tried niacin and niacinamide (nicotinamide). I don't notice much from it, other than that doses of more than around 500 mg daily seem to worsen my anhedonia symptoms.



Ive also read that new information is coming out that SSRI's actually work as anti imflammatories and not how they originally thought.
I think you mean that SSRIs work as pro-inflammatories. It is their pro-inflammatory action that induces an increase in BDNF, which then has an antidepressant effect. Anti-inflammatory NSAIDs have been shown to reduce the effectiveness of SSRIs.



2) I'm curious also what your opinion is on NAC? and if you have tried that, I have read that NAC helps inhibit glutamate excito toxicity
I have tried N-acetyl-cysteine at dose up to 400 mg twice daily, but noticed no particular benefits.



3) What is your opinion on pyroluria and zinc picolinate and P5P?? I have read everywhere this is one of the best treatments for anxiety. Have you tried it? I have tried high dose zinc picolinate for the last year and for the life of me I feel it makes me worse but my integrative doctor insists on it.
I have tried the zinc + B6 / P5P protocol, but noticed no benefits. There is scant research on pyroluria and its possible connection to anxiety, so it's hard to know just how legitimate this pyroluria – anxiety connection is. However, it's easy enough to take zinc + B6, so it's probably worth trying this to see if it helps.



4) What is your opinion on 5HTP? And high dose vit D? I'm alittle surprised they aren't on your list
I have tried 5-HTP, and though it offers some mild reductions in anxiety and a mood boost, it tends to stop working after a few days. I am not the only one who has noticed that 5-HTP only works temporarily.

The serotonergic booster I have found effective for generalized anxiety disorder, even after long term use, is high dose inositol.

Vitamin D I have tried in doses of up to 50,000 IU daily, but did not notice much. I even tried the prescription drug calcitriol, which is the active form of vitamin D, but did not notice any benefits. Vitamin D supplementation is perhaps more helpful when there is a deficiency.
 
Last edited:
Messages
11
Likes
2
*I don't know how to include quotes in my response sorry..

Hi Hip!!! Thankyou so much for your time and such a resourceful response!!! :)

I find all this so fascinating and love learning as much as I can, I've lost faith in the medical profession and I feel I am all I have left to crack the code so to speak.

You have come along way and I really respect your discoveries.

Hip wrote....
I think you mean that SSRIs work as pro-inflammatories. It is their pro-inflammatory action that induces an increase in BDNF, which then has an antidepressant effect. Anti-inflammatory NSAIDs have been shown to reduce the effectiveness of SSRIs.

My response...
I actually did mean SSRIs are anti inflammatory I'll give you the resources http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20021334 and this is where I first heard it http://undergroundwellness.com/tag/antidepressants/ in a podcast by Kelly Brogan, MD: The Serotonin Myth? from 35min on wards she talks about this theory but from 30min on wards it's worth listening to :)

And thankyou for your suggestions on coldsore treatments it got so bad it covered my face, back and chest for a year :( I am over it for the first time for a week fingers crossed I can keep it at bay... though the bladder inflammation is still reoccurring which goes with your inflammation theory and it all came together. I'm interested in trying the NAG and my parents have sinus problems so I've ordered them a tub to try also as we all have ANXIETY!!! I will keep you updated. I have hypoglycemia and I'm hoping NAG wont exacerbate that. I'm unsure how it will effect me as I have just recently gone on 5mg of Lexapro which has helped, I experimented with so many supplements and things helped ie magnesium, 5htp, propolis, inositol, glycine to name a few etc... but nothing that would last for longer than an hour or two. I will have to look into the pro-inflammatory action alittle more that induces an increase in BDNF from anti depressants. I did read that antidepressants regulate pro & anti inflammatories and we need both to function.

I'm still trying to work out if grapeseed, resveratrol, B5, B1 are stimulating or not or which one is? Something is creating a speed like effect and its hard to work out when I'm taking 10 different supplements a day :) I read that grapeseed helps people with ADHD by either regulating or stimulating (they unsure of how it actually works) dopamine and nor-epinephrine if my memory serves me correctly.

BTW 5htp definitely has not worn off on me i'm 100% addicted to it :( if I move it within 8 hrs or forget to take it I'm a suicidal mess!! Short half life nightmare[/QUOTE]
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
14,613
Likes
28,669
The main enzyme required for the synthesis of GABA is glutamate decarboxylase. Two forms of this enzyme exist and differ in both molecular weight and how they interact with cofactor P-5-P (ie. activated Vitamin B6). GABA’s dependency on the amino acid and neurotransmitter glutamate is well established and, in numerous studies its conversion to GABA has been shown to be adversely affected by higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in the brain.
Regarding this conversion of glutamate to GABA by the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase (aka: glutamic acid decarboxylase): if you can increase this conversion by increasing glutamate decarboxylase levels in the brain, this may have an anti-anxiety effect.

However, I have never been able to find much info on this pathway, nor have I been able to find any interventions that increase glutamate decarboxylase levels, apart from caloric restriction (which I have tried).

In some diseases like type 1 diabetes, autoantibodies to glutamate decarboxylase are found.


There is an interesting article here about the possible role of glutamate decarboxylase in fibromyalgia.
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
14,613
Likes
28,669
*I don't know how to include quotes in my response sorry..
To create a quote, you just highlight the section of text you want to quote, and then click on the reply button that automatically pops up next to your highlight.



though the bladder inflammation is still reoccurring which goes with your inflammation theory and it all came together.
Is that interstitial cystitis (IC) that you have, which is causing the bladder inflammation? IC is definitely linked to anxiety symptoms. I suspect IC may be causing anxiety via a vagus nerve pathway. The vagus nerve runs to most organs in the torso, and when this nerve detects inflammation in the body or organs, it signals to the brain, and tells the brain to increase brain inflammation, which by my hypothesis, may then lead to anxiety, or worsen existing anxiety.

So this is how inflammation in the body may affect mind state.



BTW 5htp definitely has not worn off on me i'm 100% addicted to it :( if I move it within 8 hrs or forget to take it I'm a suicidal mess!! Short half life nightmare
One thing that worth looking into is the herb kava kava. This works on the GABA receptors, but unlike many supplements and drugs which act on the GABA system, kava is not subject to tolerance and loss of effect problems. The reason for this I think is because kava actually works to increase the GABA binding sites on the GABA receptor, and so sensitizes the GABA system (whereas with most other GABA supplements/drugs, they desensitize the GABA system over time).

When buying kava, it's the root of the plant you want, not the leaves or stem (the root I believe is safe, but the leaves/stem have been linked to rare cases of liver damage).


I think kava may have benefits for interstitial cystitis, if that is what you have. DMSO is also beneficial for IC.
 
Last edited: