What might my patient try for anxiety that’s not a medication or behavioral approach? There are herbs, dietary supplements, homeopathy, and aromatherapy. Remember that some of these can poison the user, cause dangerous medical effects such as liver or bleeding issues, drug interactions, or just not work. None clearly work…or are ineffective either, according to … Continue reading More on natural treatments for anxiety
A patient asked if any herbs or supplements might help her anxiety symptoms. She worries frequently during the day and feels constantly tense. She’s not alone in seeking help from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). According to the medical source UpToDate, one-third of patients treated in primary care use CAM. Two-thirds of American adults use … Continue reading Natural meds for anxiety?
While it’s hard to believe in early September in Houston, fall will eventually arrive. Fewer hours of sunshine means seasonal depression for some people. Light therapy, under a doctor’s care, may offer great help. Wirecutter, a NY Times site that reviews all sorts of consumer products, offers a new and useful shopping comparison: “The Best … Continue reading Choosing the best light therapy
Sarah, an alcoholic patient in recovery, comes in with her husband. A question comes up: how can they watch for signs that she is headed for relapse. Any warning flags? Michael Weaver, MD recently wrote in the Carlat Report Addiction Treatment: these clues may say “someone has relapsed, or may be headed that way.” He … Continue reading Red flags of relapse
I recently met with Javier, a college sophomore, who sought help for his anxiety attacks. In a follow-up session that included his mom, he disagreed with her about how helpful marijuana may serve in treating his anxiety. Javier said that smoking weed is the best way to calm himself down. Mom worries about its safety, … Continue reading Cannabis: a safe treatment?
I’m not sure who coined the phrase “discontinuation symptoms” for what many patients feel when they go off antidepressants. “Withdrawal” seems to better describe the feeling that as many as a third of patients get: Agitation, anxiety, chills, sweating, dizziness, feeling down, fatigue, headache, insomnia, irritability, muscle aches, nausea, numbness, runny nose, and tremor, as … Continue reading Stopping SSRI antidepressants
One of the problems with writing a blog is procrastinating: putting off starting and completing one. According to writer Cari Tuna in the Wall Street Journal, an approach called Structured Procrastination can help when you delay tasks. “The brainchild of Stanford University philosophy professor John Perry, structured procrastination involves doing small, low-priority tasks to build … Continue reading Procrastination