For the first time I have come across your blogs about amino acids and anxiety. I’ve suffered from severe anxiety since 2011, and have tried the SSRIs and hate them. I refused to take them, as they caused me to gain so much weight and [have] withdrawals. I’ve also read how bad they are for you.
In order to work, I am relying heavily on 0.5mg of Clonazepam up to 3-4 times a day. It makes me so drowsy in the mornings. I try for the most part to make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep because I can tell how when not having enough rest can trigger my anxiety. But I’m in desperate need of a solution. Not sure if the clonazepam is something I can continue to take long term, as I also know it’s bad for you.
I suffer from social anxiety (on a level 1-10, I would be 20!) and also some agoraphobia symptoms [an abnormal fear of being in crowds, public places, or open areas, sometimes accompanied by anxiety attacks.]. I am not able to go to stores alone, and I am afraid of everything.
I suffer at work the most, because I’m constantly busy and stressed and dealing with customers all day. Please help
The above question was recently posted on my blog and I’m sharing my response to her in case you are new to using the amino acids for neurotransmitter imbalances and may be able to relate to any of the above. This is my response to her:
Welcome to the community! I use the amino acids with clients and do a trial to find out if they are needed and how much to use. This blog post Anxiety and the amino acids: an overview has links to the amino acid questionnaire, the precautions and how to do a trial. When someone has fear and phobias I immediately think we need to be looking at low serotonin and a trial of tryptophan. It’s not uncommon to also see low GABA and blood sugar imbalances being an issue too.
Once you address low GABA, low serotonin and low blood sugar I would expect the work stresses to feel less overwhelming. In an ideal world it would be wonderful to be able to remove this stress so I encourage you to consider this too.
For social anxiety I start with the pyroluria questionnaire. The great aspect of this is the nutrients for pyroluria – zinc, vitamin B6 and evening primrose oil – help the social anxiety and help to make the neurotransmitters. They also happen to help with PMS and other hormonal imbalances too.
Keep in mind it’s a comprehensive nutritional approach that I use with clients so we are also looking at diet, blood sugar control, the gut, adrenals and thyroid health, quitting sugar and caffeine and so much more. My book The Antianxiety Food Solution (on Amazon here) covers everything in detail, including the amino acids and pyroluria.
I’m sure you’re aware that Clonazepam (or Klonopin) is a benzodiazepine and should be prescribed a maximum of 2 weeks and even then they can be problematic. It may likely be contributing to your anxiety. Here is one blog post to get you started with some information about benzodiazepines: World Benzodiazepine Awareness Day – say NO to Benzodiazepines for anxiety! It covers tolerance issues and resources for tapering. I encourage you to search the blog to find plenty of additional information about the benzodiazepines.
Be very careful with the morning drowsiness as there is an increased risk of being involved in a road accident as driver when on a benzodiazepine prescription.
I speak on selected online summits that I know will be of value to my community so do keep reading the newsletter. The summits are a great way to start learning about my work and other nutritional and functional medicine approaches for anxiety and other chronic health conditions so be sure to sign up and tune in. There is also a wealth of information on this blog.