Self-Care in Mid-Life - Tips on Dealing With Mild Anxiety and Depression

Umbrella, Only, Sad, Depression
I was first diagnosed with anxiety with borderline depression 10 years ago when I was 51.  I was devastated. I knew something was wrong but for years had denied that I needed help.  Once it was all "out in the open"  I decided to educate myself as much as possible. I was determined to get rid of this horrible feeling I had been living with off and on for 20 years.
 At first, I was put on medication.  It did help the symptoms (sleeplessness, feelings of overwhelm, out of control fear) but I didn't like the side effect - weight gain.  After 6 months with my Doctor's help, I got myself off the medication and began using supplements and herbs.  
Below is a reprint from an article on healthline.com.  I used this information as a reference when it came to deciding what to use.  I kept track of my feelings and results in a journal and over time found the ones that worked best for me. 
Let me also say you should always consult your Physician or Holistic Practitioner when it comes to determining what supplements and herbs might work for you. 

Taking this approach to my mental and emotional wellness literally saved my life.  I am happy to report that 95% of the time my anxiety is gone.  When it comes back I use my tools and also the knowledge that if I beat it before I can beat it again! 


Supplements and Vitamins That Can Help With Anxiety and Depression 

Vitamin A
People with anxiety sometimes lackTrusted Source vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that’s been shown to helpTrusted Source manage anxiety symptoms.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 10,000 international units (IU), taken as a once-daily tablet.

2. B-complex

B-complex supplements contain all the B vitamins that your body needs. Many are vital to a healthy nervous system. They may also help improveTrusted Source symptoms of anxiety and depression.
How to use: Label dosages for B-complexes containing all B vitamins may vary. On average, dosages range from 300 milligrams (mg) to close to 500 mg. Either dose may be taken as one tablet per day.

3. Vitamin C

Antioxidants like vitamin CTrusted Source can help prevent oxidative damage in your nervous system. Oxidative damage can increase anxiety.
How to use: The average supplement dose ranges from 500 to 1000 mg. This may be split across two tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps the body absorb other vitamins. Vitamin D deficiencyTrusted Source can lead to other vitamin deficiencies, which may compound anxiety and make it worse.
How to use: The average supplement dose may range from 1,000 to 2,000 IU. Either dose may be split across multiple tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.

5. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another antioxidant. Your body uses this nutrient up quickly in times of stress and anxiety. Supplemental vitamin E may helpTrusted Source restore this balance and reduce your symptoms.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 400 IU, taken as a once-daily tablet.

6. Fish oil

Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are antioxidants. Omega-3 supplements like EPA and DHA have been shown to help reduce anxiety.
How to use: The average supplement dose may contain up to 2,000 mg of combined EPA, ALA, and DHA. Each dose may be split across multiple tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.

7. GABA

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GAMMA) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter in the brain.
When there’s not enough GABA, anxiety can worsen. According to a 2015 reviewTrusted Source, supplements with GABA may help replace lost GABA, though more research is needed.
How to use: The average supplement dose can range from 500 to 750 mg. Either dose may be split across multiple tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.

8. L-theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid. It’s a soothing property found in green tea.
2018 study showed it had antianxiety benefits in rats. A 2011 human study vouched for its calming benefits, too.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 200 mg. This is usually taken as a once-daily tablet.

9. Magnesium

Magnesium is a necessary mineral for human health. Your body doesn’t need too much of it. But if you aren’t getting enough, magnesium deficiency may lead to anxiety symptoms.
How to use: The average supplement dose may range from 100 to 500 mg. Either dose may be taken as a once-daily tablet.

10. 5-HTP

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a neurotransmitter. It’s a precursor to serotonin. That’s the “happiness neurotransmitter” in the human brain.
2012 studyTrusted Source found that 5-HTP supplements may help with anxiety. However, these are most effective only when used in certain therapies, and by recommendation from your doctor.
How to use: The average supplement dose may range from 50 to 200 mg. Either dose may be taken as a once-daily capsule.
11. Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogen and Ayurvedic remedy. Some researchsuggests that it may be just as effective as certain medications in reducing anxiety.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 900 mg. This may be taken as two 450-mg capsules taken one to two times per day.

12. Bacopa

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) extracts are studied for neuroprotective activity, or protection of neurons.
2013 study found Bacopa could also reduce cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. It can play a role in worsening your anxiety symptoms.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 500 mg. This may be split across two tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.

13. Chamomile

Chamomile comes from the Matricaria chamomilla or Chamaemelum nobile species. It’s widely accepted as a natural remedy for anxiety symptoms.
How to use: The average supplement dose may range from 350 to 500 mg. This may be split across two tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet.

14. Kava kava

Kava kava (Piper methysticum) is a plant from the Pacific Islands. It’s a traditional calming tonic.
One 2016 studyTrusted Source found that it targets the GABA receptors that manage anxiety symptoms. In this way, it enhances your body’s own natural ways of managing anxiety.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 250 mg. This may be split across two tablets or taken as a once-daily tablet. Daily use shouldn’t exceed four weeks.

15. Lavender

Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) has long been a soothing stress remedy. It has subtle sedative effects on the central nervous system that may also help with anxiety and depression.
How to use: Lavender tends to be found in anxiety supplement blends with other herbs. On its own, the average supplement dose is around 400 mg. This may be split across two capsules or taken as a once-daily capsule.

16. Lemon balm

A close relative of lavender, lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) also has purportedTrusted Source sedative properties.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 500 mg. This may be split across two capsules or taken as a once-daily capsule.

17. Passionflower

Better known for its sweet passion fruitpassionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is also a folk remedy for anxiety.
Researchers in one 2017 studyTrusted Source found that it was just as effective as a mainstream anxiety prescription. A supplement or tincture of the flowers is said to work best.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 500 mg. This may be split across two capsules or taken as a once-daily capsule.

18. Rhodiola

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is a plant native to alpine regions. It’s been used as a nerve tonic and calming agent for hundreds of years.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 500 mg. This may be split across two capsules or taken as a once-daily capsule.

19. St. John’s wort

The classic herb used for depression, St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), is also used for anxiety.
Current researchTrusted Source suggests that it’s better suited for depression-related anxiety. How St. John’s wort may help other forms of anxiety requires more research.
How to use: The average supplement dose is around 300 mg. This may be split across two to three capsules or taken as a once-daily capsule. You shouldn’t take this alongside antianxiety medication, so talk with your doctor about how or if this should be added to your treatment regimen.
ALSO...
Studies have found that relaxation, diet, exercise, a change of environment can all help with symptoms of mild depression and anxiety.   Click here to find out additional information about what might help you get rid of the overwhelming sense of stress, anxiety, and depression.  

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