Off the Record
anonymous Asks ...
What is the best natural supplement to use as an everyday anti anxiety medication instead of Xanax? I need a constant low grade anxiety remover to help me deal with constant worry and rumination but I do not want to get involved with Xanax ever again. I am looking for something that is not addictive and that I won’t develop a tolerance to and keep needing more and more. And also something that is safe to use every day for probably the rest of my life? And also something that helps me with my anxiety but doesn’t put me to sleep or make me feel high or drunk or thinking impaired… a tall order, I know! Is there anything you could recommend to me that would fit my parameters?
Dr. Mark Abrahams Says ...
The recommendation of substances that may be used medicinally is not the province of a non-medical, mental health professional, so I am not going to recommend anything to you for ethical and legal reasons. However, I would direct you to your own physician and inquire about the amino acid L-Theanine. A former colleague of mine used to use it in an aerosol delivery system for rapid onset panic attacks with very good results, according to her report. I have had good results myself from 100 mg of L-Theanine prophylactically, with an additional 100 mg later in the day, if needed.
But, as I said, I am not in a position to recommend a substance, so please run this past your medical practitioner, who is familiar with you and can warn you of any contraindications for its use. There is no drowsiness or impairment in my experience, but concentrations of amino acids can cause dramatic results, wanted or unwanted! For examples, certain popular energy drinks are loaded with the amino acid L-Taurine. Concentrations of L-Arginine, which is touted for sexual enhancement and body-building can bring on a Herpes Simplex outbreak for those people whose body harbors the virus, almost immediately. L-Phenylalanine can be very dangerous or even fatal for people with the disorder Phenylketonuria (PKU). Just because a substance is available without a prescription does not mean that it is automatically harmless - to you. There are probably additional conditions in which concentrated amino acids are contraindicated, so ask your physician first. Be safe!