OK, there is a lively discussion going on right now on one of the Down syndrome groups I'm in after posting about my psychiatrist visit today. So I better post the info here - mom's of kids with special needs aren't the only ones who are stressed out these days!!
So, as I kind of mentioned in one of the last posts, I have been having a lot of anxiety. Some of which results in panic attacks. It hasn't been fun. And between raising Max and doing a house remodel, it wasn't going away anytime soon. My mom has suffered from anxiety for 30 years. I don't want to live like this for the next 30 years! So I decided it was time to seek professional help. So I made an appt with a psychiatrist. Soon after making the appointment, I read somewhere online, that the body depletes magnesium when stressed, so people who suffer from anxiety should take magnesium. I also read something about stress and stomach issues - I was having lots of stomach pains - and you should take a probiotic for this. I give Max probiotics because he has bowel issues at times, so I started taking his (I have since bought the adult version, although they're probably the same thing).
So, within 3-4 days after starting the probiotics and magnesium, I felt amazingly better!!! Several weeks later, I still felt stressed from time to time, but it didn't turn into a panic attack (I was almost at the point previously that I was having trouble leaving the house because the anxiety was getting so bad). Honestly, I didn't really even feel the need to see a pychiatrist any longer, but knowing these panic attacks have come and gone for several years now (they started after I had an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured and I almost died), I kept the appointment wanting to make sure I had tools for the next attack.
So... today was the appointment.
As we were reviewing my history, I was telling the doctor how much better I felt after taking these two meds. I also added B12 and fish oil, but that was before the magnesium & probiotics. And I didn't feel a difference from them, even though my mom swears by her B12's ;) They just made me jittery. The doctor was thrilled with my results, as she was ready to prescribe me meds if I was still having the same feelings as I was describing from the month before. She gave me all the science behind the probiotics, but basically, when you are stressed, you often have stomach issues, even just 'butterflies', and so immediately your stomach sends panic signals to your brain. There is a direct link between the gut and brain. The brain keeps getting these signals that something is wrong, so it tries to analyze what is wrong, and ends up creating the anxiety. So if your tummy feels ok, no panic signals get sent! Hooray!
So she was thrilled that I was already doing half of what she would have recommended! The other half is get better sleep and exercise. Ugh. But better than getting addicted to Xanax or something, right?!! I told her upfront that I didn't want meds to mask the problem, but wanted psychotherapy to fix my brain's reaction to certain stresses. Unfortunately, her practice is more the med side of things, so I have to start seeing someone else in her office for the 'talking' part of therapy. So that appt is still a few weeks out.
So in the meantime, she said keep on taking the probiotics and magnesium, get to bed earlier, and exercise. So I thought I'd throw this out there - everyone is different, but it works for me. I had also tried essential oils, and they worked a little, but I wouldn't rely on them alone. Just an FYI.......
And just for fun... look, we found a gray paint called "Piper"! I think we'll do the exterior in Piper paint. We also found a paint called "Tornado", but not sure I want tornado'd walls ;)
** I take a 250mg caplet of the magnesium/day and generally only one probiotic capsule/day, although the directions on the bottle say to take 2/day - I usually forget the 2nd one ;) I just got them at the grocery store - no fancy brand. I have been giving Max a powdered probiotic off and on for years because of his bowel issues - Culturelle brand - you just mix it in any drink and it doesn't have a flavor or texture...