Picture this: you’re at the grocery store doing your usual weekly shopping. Suddenly, out of what seems like nowhere, you feel a panic attack coming on- your heart pounds, your body temperature rises, your pupils dilate, your stomach starts to turn and you break out in a cold sweat. There’s no reason why you should panic at the grocery store, but it’s there all the same, you experience this crippling you when you least expect it. Your ears are ringing with the pounding of the blood in your veins, your vision becomes a tunnel and when you try to swallow it feels like there’s a vice on your neck. Your senses are overwhelmed and you’re suddenly unable to function for minutes that seem like hours. You are worried about something that seems to consume your mind all day.
This is what life is like for the 40 million adults in America living with anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Panic attacks can strike at anytime, anywhere, without warning, leaving the sufferer confused, shaky and even afraid to participate in daily activities. Many people with anxiety become agoraphobic, or afraid to leave their own home, for fear that they will struck with a panic attack. Those with anxiety can also typically experience symptoms of depression, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, sleep disorders, eating disorders, and a host of other associated problems. Just living from day to day can be a nightmare.
Treatment for Chronic Anxiety
What options are available for about 18% of the population that suffer from anxiety? The most common method is medication therapy. Medication categories include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (like Celexa), Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (like Cymbalta), Benzodiazepines (like Ativan) and Tricyclic Antidepressants (like Elavil). We’ve all have probably seen those commercials on TV and in magazines about the wonders those drugs can do. While they can help alleviate chronic anxiety to a degree these drugs carry a laundry list of side effects from weight gain, high blood pressure, constipation and low libido (sexual appetite) to thoughts of suicide. It can make you wonder if the these undesirable side effects are worth taking the medication. Many of them are unsafe to use during pregnancy or have adverse interactions with other medications a sufferer is already taking.
People living with anxiety may also use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to keep track of and manage their symptoms. Those using CBT as a treatment option are required to keep journals, attend therapy sessions, and do “homework assignments”. Therapy can be a great benefit to many people, but on the other hand, it can also be expensive. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reported that “Anxiety disorders cost the U.S. more than $42 billion a year. That is almost one-third of the country's $148 billion total mental health bill according to "The Economic Burden of Anxiety Disorders," a study commissioned by ADAA (The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 60(7), July 1999).” That’s a huge chunk of change! The sad part is that the report found about two-thirds of anxiety sufferers don’t receive any treatment at all,and cost could certainly be a reason why.
What are Natural ways to Treat Chronic Anxiety?
Medication and behavioral therapy are often not viable options for a person with anxiety for many people for many reasons, but what can they do? Scientists are finally catching up with what humans have known since ancient times. They are understanding that common plants, such as lavender and chamomile, have many therapeutic benefits. Ever since the time of the ancient Egyptians, healers have been distilling oils from flowers, roots, stems and leaves of therapeutic plants. These are called essential oils, and there are literally thousands of books and articles on the many uses and benefits of these powerful oils.
Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat all kinds of conditions, from digestive and respiratory disorders, hormonal imbalances, hair loss, and especially anxiety and depression. Since first being discovered over 2,000 years ago, essential oils are finally becoming mainstream! Why is that? People are looking for a more natural way to live, that doesn’t involve medication and expensive treatment. People are looking for ways to heal their bodies and minds naturally -- without synthetic elements. People are looking for simpler ways to de-clutter and de-toxify their daily lives. For millions of people, essential oils are the answer.
How do you use essential oils to treat conditions such as anxiety? First of all, you have to treat them carefully, as you would any other type of medicine. Most oils cannot be digested or applied directly to the skin. The most common way for people to reap the benefits of essential oils is through the use of a diffuser, a device that makes the essential oils easier to inhale through the nose. How does smelling something relieve anxiety? According to LivingWithAnxiety, “Aromatherapy for anxiety can help one to embrace their thoughts with comfort and softness and at the same time, embrace feelings. This is a science of translating smell of the aroma to a positive thought of what the oil reminds us of. Your sense of smell has the capability of traveling into the part of the limbic brain that is the base of our emotions and memories.”
BalticEssentials.com has a simple solution for anxiety sufferers that is not only effective, but fashionable, easy-to-use, and costs about as much (or less!) than a tank of gas. Check out their complete line of Essential Oil Diffuser Necklaces, available in a wide array of attractive styles for men and women (my personal favorite is the silver Tree pendant), that look just like ordinary jewelry. Only you will know the secret benefit of the oils inside, and that those oils are helping you manage your anxiety symptoms naturally.
*Source: National Institute of Mental Health, www.nimh.nih.gov
**Source: Anxiety and Depression Institute of America, www.adaa.org
***Source: National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health nccih.nih.gov