Treatments for Depression - Opting for Natural Anxiety Treatments

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Depression and the resulting anxiety can interrupt an otherwise productive and busy life. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. affecting over 40 million adults over the age of 18. This is 18% of the U.S. population that suffers from some degree of anxiety. Half of those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are also depressed. Almost one third of the country's mental health bill is spent trying to help people manage their anxiety, and many of these suffering from anxiety will end up being hospitalized and eventually on medication. Taking herbs for anxiety is an option that is beginning to appeal to more and more of those coping with mild to moderate anxiety who do not want to take the medications prescribed by to doctors.


What is Anxiety?


Anxiety can be something as simple as being constantly plagued by nagging worries that do not go away or seem to have a legitimate cause. There are a wide range of anxiety disorders, from a general anxiety disorder (GAD) to OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and panic disorders. In some cases sufferers may have little choice but to be under the care of a doctor and on medication, but for many general anxiety disorders, herbs for anxiety can help avoid the need for prescription medications and provide you with relief that is natural and side effect free.


Why Avoid Prescription Medications?


While the medications prescribed by the doctor can work to provide relief from anxiety they do not come without a price. These medications often have undesirable side effects such as weight gain, dry mouth, nausea, decreased libido, dizziness, and headache. To make matters worse your body can become dependent on these medications making it difficult to wean off of them. One of the best reasons to avoid prescription medications and to opt for herbs for anxiety, is that prescription drugs can mask the problems you want to overcome, making it difficult if not impossible to eliminate anxiety. Herbs for anxiety offer a mild cure that can allow you to work on the problems that have caused the anxiety, and leave you with the option of overcoming the problem on a permanent basis.


Herbs for Anxiety


• Chamomile - This is one of the mildest herbs for anxiety, and is perfect for those times when nervousness has taken a hold on your stomach and you need to calm down. Chamomile is mild enough to give to children, but potent enough to calm a bad case of nerves in both your stomach and your mind. Chamomile is not a long term treatment but best used as a short term solution.
• Valerian Root - These herbs for anxiety are much more potent and can be used as a longer term remedy than Chamomile. While used primarily as a sleep aid, it also makes a great muscle relaxer, and for reducing mental and physical tension. Valerian root should not be used by children, pregnant women, or anyone that is taking other anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drugs.
• St. John's Wort - This herb is best known for its use in fighting depression. Since anxiety is often linked to depression, it can also help to treat the anxiety. St. John's Wort is an excellent mood elevator, which can help to alleviate anxiety as well. St. John's Wort should not be used with other anti-depressant drugs, such as tricyclic antidepressants, SSRIs, or MAOIs, as it can interact with them and increase the potential side effects of these drugs.
• Passionflower - These herbs for anxiety are getting a lot of attention since they work similar to Kava. Kava was once considered to be one of the best herbs for anxiety, however reports of liver problems has caused European nations to pull it from their shelves, and the U.S. to post a warning about it. Passionflower is best for mild and moderate anxiety but also shows some promise in treating severe anxiety. It works by reducing muscle tension and calming the nerves to prevent agitation and mood swings. Passionflower should also not be used if you are taking any MAOIs.
• Skullcap - Of all of the herbs for anxiety this one works best to soothe overly twitching muscles which are both a result of an overly active nervous system and a cause of anxiety. The natural sedative effects can help with insomnia, restlessness, and rapid heartbeat.


There are many herbs for anxiety than can help calm and relax you, helping you to sleep, avoid excessive worry and stress, and lift your mood. These herbs for anxiety do to not necessarily eliminate anxiety but help you to cope with it as you learn to overcome it with the help of cognitive therapy, meditation, and a number of other anxiety treatments.


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