What are my options for anxiety control if I have paradoxical reactions to Benzos and am unable to to take SSRI's? The last SSRI I took was about 2 years ago and I remember getting extremely agitated while on them. Any help would be appreciated.
Have you tried exercise, meditation, deep breathing, etc? A recently read a study where 1 hour of yoga increased GABA levels in participants by about 37%. Benzos give a boost to the GABA receptors in your brain, so yoga may be a possible alternative.
There are also a number of herbal remedies that people have had success with (Melissa tea, Rhodiola, Valerian root, and others). These can have side-effects of their own, but they tend to be less pronounced than those of "traditional" meds. Unfortunately, they'll likely be less effective than traditional meds as well. However, I have several friends who have had very good results going this route. You can try talking to your doctor about these alternatives, but he/she is likely to not know a lot about them. Instead, you can see a homeopathist to figure out the doses, monitor your progress, and be aware of any interactions (which can sometimes be serious).
How long did you try the antidepressants for? Increased agitation / anxiety is a common side effect of antidepressants; however, this tends to go away in the first week or two.
A homeopath won't know much about herbs, only homeopathy, which is a different mode of natural treatment. A naturopath is who you would want to see. Rhodiola can be energizing, so I don't recommend it for anxiety. It's not a relaxant, but what's called an adaptogen, which helps the body adapt to stress. Eleuthero and ashwagandha are better for people with anxiety problems. American ginseng can be helpful, too. Holy basil can help control cortisol levels. Passionflower and kava are the best natural relaxants, valerian is good, hops is good, there are a lot of them. 5htp is what the body uses to make serotonin. St. John's wort can help with depression, as can SAMe. Taurine makes GABA in the body. A good book if you're looking for a route other than medication is Natural Highs by Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist at UCLA. There is also another class of meds called tryclics that might help. Good luck. And never do this without therapy.
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