Social Work Programs

September 22, 2009

Natural and Holistic Treatments for Anxiety, Panic and Insomnia

anxietypictureAnxiety is something everyone discusses and it varies in degrees. For some people it is incapacitating causing minimal sleep, shaking, panic attacks and inability to leave the home. For other people it manifests itself mostly under pressure situations such as exams, presentations or doctor’s appointments.

It is one of the most common diagnosis and in the DSM IV-R it includes generalized anxiety disorder and adjustment disorder with mixed emotional features. Anxiety can also manifest as phobias about space, bugs and germs. Counseling is very useful to verbalize the anxieties and to get at the root of them. Some patterns are learned and copied from one's family of origin. Using cognitive-behavioral techniques enables one to incorporate breathing , meditation and self-talk to be able to overcome the fears. Some people do well with prescription medication that helps to change one's perspective and diminish the sense of urgency and tension in one's life. Your doctor will monitor this to check for addiction issues, side effects or ineffectiveness.

Herbal formulas are also used for anxiety and it is best to be discussed with someone that is a natural health practitioner rather than through experimentation. Here are a few herbs that have been used over the centuries to alleviate anxiety:

Lavender: Lavender relaxes the nervous system and it's oil can be used in baths or even on one's pillow. It has a nice scent and can be very calming.

Valerian: Valerian is used both as a natural sedative as well as a pain killer. It has been reported to assist with sleeping issues and anxious moods.

Lemon Balm: Lemon balm is used for many issues including blood pressure problems, digestive difficulties and calming the nerves.

Passion Flower: Passion flower has been used to calm the mind, reduce anxiety, improve problems of hyperactivity and be a general tonic.

Be sure to check with a physician on any supplements or prescribed medications you take to see if they are right for you constitution and won't conflict with other meds or physical problems.

Group counseling is also helpful to process underlying emotions. Adding exercise and meditation to each day will also make many issues less magnified and this changes one's outlook. Using a holistic approach to anxiety will enable one to have many tools to cope with daily stressors.


  1. My sister was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and seems to worry and get more upset about things most people can deal with. She has had a lot of rejection in her life from guys so I wonder if that made her self-esteem really low and she gets nervous tension and sometimes agorophobia easily. She was always sensitive as a kid and now has thyroid issues too so that can make things hard.

    Comment by MIssy — September 22, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  2. For moderate anxiety issues sometimes it helps to take off a stress day from work. I couldn’t let go of something with a co-worker and by taking off a friday , I was in pretty good shape when I went back to work Monday. It helped to do some gym workouts each day and talk to my good friends for support.

    Comment by Minnie — September 26, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress | privacy