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Fish Oil?

Just curious. I have OCD , panic attacks, mild depression, general anxiety, so basically the whole 9 yards. Anyways, I started seeing a new therapist and she recommended that I start taking fish oils. She claims that it alleviates some of the symptoms. So, my question is, has anyone else heard of this and is anyone taking fish oils for these reasons?
7 Responses
Avatar universal
I've heard it and tried it.

Honestly, it didn't make a difference. I was taking about two capsules of fish oil a day. Maybe I wasn't taking enough, but it didn't do much besides making me think I may get healthier (if that makes sense).
366811 tn?1217426272
Fish Oil? Omega-3 fatty acids maybe? I see some research that suggests that the fatty acids MAY be beneficial for alzheimers and people with chronic fatigue syndrom. But note the use of the word "may." I find no FDA studies which say that fish oil had demonstrated a positive effect on people diagnosed with panic and axiety. The stuff's good for you, so nothing wrong with taking it, but I question any suggestion that there is clinical, scientific data which commends it for panic and anxiety.

Your therapist may be suggesting it because he/she does not have the power of the pen when it comes to writing prescriptions for meds which DO have the clinical test results. I don't know all the details, so the best I can guess is that you may be taking the equivalent of chicken soup -or Jewish penicillin. That is, "can't hurt."

Otherwise, if fish oil were shown to be effective for panic you would have heard about it in the media. What we HAVE heard is that it is good for your heart -and that's becuse the results of research which prove it have been released to the media. But no news about panic and anxiety, that I'm aware of.

I hope you join the forum -we're glad you are here and glad you're asking!
203342 tn?1328740807
Fish Oil and Flax Seed Oil are both very good for you! They have the good fats we need, the Omega 3's. They can nurish the brain, the gut, the skin and hair and joints. It can't hurt to give them a try.

I had a friend who's two boys were diagnosed with ADHD and she didn't want to put them on the medication. She was very into healthy alternatives and so put them on Flax Seed Oil every day. She swears she saw a huge difference in their behavior when they were consistently taking it. It does take awhile though, probably at least 6 weeks or so of consistently taking it every day.
If you have problems taking pills, you can get it in the liqued form. It does have to be refridgerated though. You don't have to take it straight, either. You can mix it in a smootie or other foods.

I've always been interested in natural products and rememdies. I think our bodies do better when we try to be as natural as possible. Like I said, it can't hurt to give it a try and it would certainly be good for you. It doesn't appear to interfere with medications either. I checked with my doctor because I wanted to give it a try along with some other things since my health hasn't been the greatest the last few years.
Give it a few months and then check back with us and let us know what you think. I'm with you! I'm giving it a try to. Take care & hope you feel better soon.
Avatar universal
I now take salba instead of the fish oil. It is suppose to be many times better. Look up the Pain and Stress Center. The lady who started it had anxiety for 10 years and is now well. She claims that anxiety is not caused by a shortage of Prozaz, Pazil or other drugs but is caused by a shortage of amino acids in your brain. If you don't eat the right foods you should supplement. She has a variety of books and supplements. I found out that the best thing to take is two huge tblsp. of Brewer's Yeast in the am and again in the pm or whenever you feel anxious. This contains all of the B vitamins plus all of the amino acids except Taurine and I take a 500mg of that once or twice a day also. Another thing that you may need is a magnesium supplement. Lack of that can cause anxiety or make it worse. I also drink a cup of oat straw tea(calming) plus the Natural Calm magnesium stirred in before I go to bed. This has help me tremendously and I don't wake up in the night with anxiety attacks. Drinks LOTS of water. Since I have been doing this I no longer get the heart palpitations as I used to get every day.  Be mindful and concentrate on what you are doing instead of thinking of the past and the future. Do everything slower, eat slower, walk slower, talk slower, etc.  Your brain will love you for doing this and won't fire off the anxiety symptoms.
366811 tn?1217426272
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Time for a few words about medicine -and alternatives.

Medicines approved by the FDA have undergone strict testing over thousands of subjects (these tests re called "trials") so as to produce a statistically valid proof of their effectiveness and/or their safety. The published results of the trials always include a failure rate and adverse outcomes, because no substance, man-made or otherwise, acts the same way in every individual, 100% of the time. Missing from the FDA data are personal testimonies or any other claim for the drug or medication which has not been substantiated by the trials: actual tests on thousands of people administered in the same way on all subjects. And thus, the answer to the questions, "How often does this work, and how often does this do something bad?" can be answered statistically. Not surprisingly, no medication has yet been tested that failed to work or had adverse effects some of the time.

Alternatives to medications approved as safe AND effective include "alternative" medications which may be 1) approved by the FDA as safe, or 2) not approved by the FDA as safe. Some of these have been tested, some have not. Any preparation which is found by the FDA to be BOTH safe AND effective is, by definiton, NOT an alternative medication -it is now "mainstream." The FDA maintains laboratories specifically for testing alternative medications.

The basis for the claimed benefits of alternative medications is often "anecdotal evidence," which simply means observed or reported effects and reactions from sources which have not been shown to be unreliable; and "testimonials," which are in the nature of personal claims purported to be made by individuals who have used and benefitted from the substance. As you might imagine, the difference between these two kinds of evidence is often very blurry. What is missing from the evidence is objective testing on thousands of individuals and comprehensive statistical data from which one might reasonably conclude the substance is safe, or effective, or both, or neither, or positively harmful. Frequently, perhaps most always, alternative medications, herbal remedies, natural substances and the like are promoted or advertised ONLY with positive results displayed -data on adverse or no effect outcomes is missing.

Among the important methods (protocols) observed in FDA testing are these. 1) They must be "double-blind." That is, neither the person administering the test, nor the subject knows what is being administered -the actual medication -or a "placebo," which is a harmless pill often made of sugar. 2) test results include the effect of the placebo itself. Years of study have shown that many subjects improve when given ANYthing -even something completely inert. And so, the FDA tests are measuring the medication NOT on the basis of "with and without," but rather, on the basis of comparing to something the subject might believe or hope will work. Some alternative medicines and natural remedies HAVE been tested the same way -or so it is claimed- but NOT with thousands of subjects and usually NOT under control of the FDA itself.

Finally, the people involved in manufacturing, testing and distributing FDA approved medications are educated and trained in scientific, technical and medical specialties appropriate to their work; education and training that requires years of schooling and from which many fail to qualify or graduate. Their degrees and certifications are recognized by university and health care organizations everywhere and are of proven value and credibility.

By contrast, alternatives to FDA approved substances are often channeled through organizations and people whose credentials have no such positive association and which may have been obtained in a very short period of time, with no particular demonstrated academic or scientific accomplishment required. On the other hand, the fact that a medically qualified individual happens to endorse a non-FDA substance does not make that substance effective -the effectiveness will either be documented in FDA tests -or not.

That said, unquestionably, mother nature herself has been and continues to be the leading source of manufactured medicinal remedies; it would be difficult to identify any medication whose origins are not in nature itself. And thus, unscientific and unsubstantiated anecdotal reports have been and are today a source from which modern medicine draws.

What this all means is that when any of us are offered some alternative to mainstream medication, we may find it to be helpful, or not. In the absence of bona-fide scientific support for the substance, are primary concern should be that it is NOT HARMFUL. If it is NOT harmful, then the worst that can happen is nothing. Except of course for those of us who -as the statistics will predict- happen to have an adverse reaction. With the possible exception of water, no substance, regardless of source, has an unblemished record of benefit. And thus, reliance on "natural" substances is no escape from statistical reality -someone is going to be hurt -or worse.

The summary:

1. The fact that something happens to be natural, herbal, organic, alternative or some other claimed quality does NOT change the operation of statistical reality. Some one -maybe many- can or will suffer an adverse reaction. The label is no escape from the way the real world works.

2. Because FDA tested and approved as safe and effective medications have undergone strict testing, the statistical impact on the population using it can be known with reasonable accuracy. The same cannot be said of anything which has NOT undergone such testing.

3. If you are considering using "alternative" substances, because effectiveness cannot be known, at least attempt to determine chance of harm. If minimal (such as normal dosages of vitamins, eating foods with high fiber or lots of Omega-3 fatty acids, etc.) then you may reasonably conclude that using them won't hurt you and MIGHT help.

Please be guided accordingly.
Avatar universal
I appreciate everyones responses. I do plan on experimenting with them. At the very least, I will have a healthy heart. So, nothing here to lose and potentially something to gain. Even if it only takes my anxiety down a notch, I'd feel it to be worth taking.
Avatar universal
ive just found out about this and trying it and i can say that the fish oil realy works in fact i feel im almost cured of anxiety disorder. it realy takes the edge off. but you still have to change your way of thinking and not be afraid of the attacks. thats what realy keeps the anxiety going. med companies wont tell you this cause they lose money off cures. they specialize in band aids and filling there pockets with sick peoples money
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