Prescription Medications for Anxiety and Depression.

Since the 1950s when the first antidepressant was discovered by chance, the mood-enhancing class of drugs has quickly become the go-to solution for anxiety and depression. As many as 1 in 10 Americans are now on some variety of the antidepressant pharmaceutical class.

As time progressed, pinpointing exactly which chemical processes affect mood became much more refined – until finally, in the late 1980s, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were born. Prozac was the first of its kind, and hit the market by storm, offering patients relief from these debilitating conditions like never before. Although a huge improvement was seen in symptoms thanks to this newly discovered realm, SSRIs failed to completely eliminate the vast majority, while simultaneously providing their own set of unpleasant side effects. Full remission from these common psychiatric disorders still remains elusive, and the variety of options available today seem to only put a bandaid on an underlying, more complicated ailment. However, increased exploration in the field of phytomedicine is beginning to offer a promising future for those who wish to ditch the pharmaceuticals and treat their symptoms from a more holistic approach.

Two Debilitating Conditions. Innumerable Explanations.

Unless anxiety and/or depression have been personally experienced, it’s often difficult to describe the frustration that comes from not only dealing with the symptoms, but also the failure of so many attempted routes towards treatment. The two disorders oftentimes enable one another; for example, if the symptoms of a panic disorder are not properly controlled, the result can be the perfect storm for a debilitating depressive episode. Or vice versa, a very common symptom of depression can lead to crippling panic attacks due to the plethora of side effects that erupt when someone suffers from the condition. It’s common that these two afflictions actually mimic one another, and their symptoms frequently overlap:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Problems sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating

Countless other signs of these weighty disorders come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in presentation depending on the unique individual at hand. It’s common to write off every case as being the result of a “chemical imbalance” in the brain, but in reality, so many other factors are at play. It is essential that the level of detail put into each treatment plan directly reflect the individualized nature to each and every patient that suffers from these conditions – this could include any combination of western or phytomedicine, and in some cases, both. However, growing evidence is beginning to suggest that implementing the use of medicinal plants towards treating these conditions offers an incredibly similar effect to that of their pharmaceutical counterpart, without the negative side effects. For some, relief from symptoms could be waiting in their garden.

No Rx Needed.

Alternative methods are rarely presented as an option after one is diagnosed with anxiety or depression. Oftentimes, the patient will be instructed to take a pill every day and hope for the best; this approach makes long-term relief extremely unlikely, and the return frequency seen with these conditions can attest to that observation. Instead, an approach that considers all of the unique subtleties that arise from each individual case, and one that encompasses a healing regimen for the mind and body, are far more indicative of a future free from suffering.

A healthy diet and regular exercise are the foundational building blocks onto which additional alternative methods can be contributed. Many natural remedies effective in treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression are just as accessible, if not more so, than your standard SSRI. Several can be grown at home (for example, lavender), providing not only an appeal towards convenience, but a monetary allure as well.

Reclaim Your Power. Take Back Your Life.

Conquering anxiety and depression may seem like an impossible endeavor, but with a firm commitment to healing, relief may not be that far out of reach. Embracing a strict observational eye in regards to how these conditions manifest personally is an essential step towards tailoring a unique treatment plan most indicative of long-term success. Mindful meditation can offer an incredibly effective method for clearing the muddied waters of a brain exhausted by these conditions, and can help illuminate the more subliminal requirements for the individual whose symptoms manifest in an endless variety of ways. No two people suffer from these complex ailments the same, so the path towards healing will always require a fresh approach. The answers no longer have to come strictly from the drug store — a simple walk in the backyard could provide the first stepping stone towards reclaiming your power, and inadvertently, your health.

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