Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Causes of Morning Anxiety

photo by piotr zurek
It seems that there is a lot of interest in morning anxiety. I was curious about this because when my anxiety is the worst, its always in the mornings. So I decided to do a little research on my own. Interestingly, Jerry from rxlist says,

"Yes, depression and anxiety are worse in the morning. That is when your body's cortisol level is the hightest(cortisol is stimulating) and that accounts for probably part of what you are feeling. Cortisol is the stress hormone, your body produces when you are under stress.
The paradox of stress/cortisol is that anxiety produces cortisol, which produces anxiety which produces more cortisol, which causes you to feel more anxious...etc....
Soon you find yourself in this never ending cycle of anxiety and depression.
What you must do to get well is ACCEPT your anxiety. You must ACCEPT your feelings and not try to fight them. Do this long enough and an interesting thing happens, the anxiety goes away."

Deanne Repich from her article Understanding Early Morning Anxiety says,

"Another reason why symptoms can be worse in the morning is because your blood sugar is low when you first wake up. You have gone all night without food.
It's important to maintain a constant blood sugar level because the brain uses sugar, also known as glucose, as its fuel. If blood sugar levels are too low or drop too fast, then the brain starts running out of fuel.
This causes the brain to trigger the "fight or flight" response. The "fight or flight" response sends a rush of adrenaline, cortisol, and other neurotransmitters through your body to prepare you to fight or flee the perceived threat (low fuel).
This process can trigger physical reactions ("symptoms") such as trembling, rapid heartbeat, sweating, panic attacks, fatigue, insomnia, mental confusion, nervousness, dizziness, and more."
That makes sense to me. It couldn't just be a coincidence that so many people seem to have anxiety around the same time. Other reasons I strongly believe we have morning anxiety are because of anticipatory anxiety and Negative Self Talk.

So how can we overcome our morning anxiety? I did a post awhile back on some interesting habits you can get into that's worth checking out. Also, here are more from Deanne about making your environment more friendly,

"...get a radio alarm clock that wakes you up to your favorite music. Another alternative is a Zen Alarm Clock (R). It wakes you up gradually with pleasant chimes of increasing volume and frequency (found at http://www.now-zen.com/).
Keep a robe and slippers next to the bed so that you can warm up quickly and minimize a drop in body temperature as you get out of bed.
If the bright lights of the room bother you, install a dimmer switch near your bed. You can gradually increase the light's intensity over a period of several minutes after you awaken."
Furthermore she recommends having a snack next to your bed to eat when you first wake up to help get your blood sugar going. For me what worked best was putting positive statements around my morning routine. I had one on my alarm clock that read "This may be hard today but I CAN DO IT". Then on my bathroom mirror and closet drawer I had a couple more affirmations that lifted my spirits. Also listening to my favorite music in the morning on my mp3 player helped to distract me from my loud morning thoughts.


UPDATE: Because this is such a popular topic, I have revisted it the more I learn. You may be interested in reading:

    I would love to open this up for any other suggestions people have.

    If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to The Reality of Anxiety


    ShamWOW! said...

    This is truly a great post. I have known about the cortisol thing and the bloog sugar level makes intuitive sense, too.

    I've never been a morning eater, and in fact have always gotten sickly feeling (at best) when I eat in the morning (for my entire life). So I'm not sure that's universal for everyone, but a snack probably would help most people.

    I find that my anxiety is worse in the mornings, just like everyone else. Part of it is anticipatory, as you said, and part of it is physical (the cortisol).

    My new morning routine?

    I don't know if this has anything to do with cortisol levels or not, but one thing I've found is that when I wake up, I go straight to the bathroom where I have two fifteen pound dumbbells. I do fifteen reps curling and fifteen reps lifting them high over my head before dropping for fifteen push-ups. Then I wash my face with soap and warm water followed by a rinse of cold water. That whole procedure wakes me up and reduces my anxiety. The face washing gives me a clean feeling. Then I go to work for a little while (I office at home), and then take a break with a shave and shower. And THEN I eat.

    Again, great post. I may link to it depending on what I choose to write about tonight.


    Aimée said...

    Thanks D,

    I doubt I will be lifting 15 lb dumbells anytime soon lol. I do try to do reps using 5 lbs. when I am feeling adventurous. I would love the link if you want to. I wish I could work from home, but knowing me, I would never get any work done. I don't have the self discipline.
    P.S. I like Agent Reyes, I think he'll be a great addition to your blog.

    elphf said...

    I just wanted to say, you are a life saver. I also have morning anxiety and everything in this post makes sense. The thing that I'm really excited about though is that it also made me think about another situation. I always get anxious when I end up at work really late and I just thought it was stress (because I have too much to do and have to stay late). It happened tonight and suddenly I thought, "Wait a minute, its 9PM and I haven't eaten anything since noon. Maybe this is a blood sugar thing too." Duh!

    Aimée said...

    Hi edie! I am so glad this was useful for you. It was definitely an ah hah! moment for me. :)

    Anonymous said...

    Such an informative and well formed post!Thank you for sharing that.

    There are Many people with an anxiety disorder experience the start of each day with fear. Do you awaken filled with anxiety, feeling like you just want to curl up under the covers and not face the day ahead? If your answer is yes, then there are some things you can do to minimize your morning anxiety.

    If I have trouble with anxiety during the day, I can use relaxation techniques that will calm me down.I am in control.
    Anxiety is a normal human emotion, and it is my cue to relax.
    Anxiety therapy technique without medications

    Anonymous said...

    Some of the striking informative tidbits associated with the anti-anxiety medication valium make it apparent that valium is a prescription-based drug for treating anxiety, it belongs to the medicine group termed as benzodiazepines and is duly approved by the FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) for treating anxiety disorders.

    shelley said...

    if you get drunk the night before that erases morning anxiety. Yes.. I am being a little silly but I just thought I would add this in, mostly for comedy.. Its been great to read of the more sensible cures though so I shall be eating bags of sugar in future!


    CNA Training said...

    I like the tips mentioned to overcome this anxiety however the technical description has gone over my head.
    I will follow these tips to strap anxiety.

    Anxiety Treatment said...

    I think the reality of waking , anxiety can just catch you.Like if you wake up and think ahh im relaxed, then suddenly its like of not anxious ? then boom we are anxious again.

    EllieJay said...

    I discovered this blog a few weeks ago when I was searching for morning anxiety information and it has truly been a lifesaver. I have suffered from on and off panic attacks for most of my life but about 6 months ago began getting horrible morning and general anxiety from a medication I was trying. I am off the meds now, but unfortunately the habit of morning anxiety has stayed. Your blog helped pull me out and made me, for the first time in 6 months, think I could work through this and get past it. Thank you for all the tips and keep them coming!!

    Anonymous said...

    My anxiety is terrible in the mornings. Especially at the moment as I have just started seeing someone new and dread staying over his house. The problem with mine is that I have stress related IBS to go with my anxiety.
    So the food thing really won't help me!
    Any suggestions?

    tinkerbell said...

    I also have anxiety and it is so bad in the mornings, usually when I don't have to work or be there til later. The IBS is there too. I take clonazipam-1 mg, but only a 1/2 pill. Maybe I need more. How do you decrease the cortisol level?

    Aimée said...

    Hi Tinkerbell,

    Not sure how to decrease the cortisol level, but you can try taking a full pill and see if that helps. Especially if you are just at home and not having to be at work. If its too much you will feel sleepy as opposed to normal.

    Hope that helps!

    Anonymous said...

    A therapist told me that anxious thoughts and feelings are always oriented towards the past or the future, and are never about the present. Using visualization to bring myself into the present and helps momentarily reduce the anxiety to clear my mind. My favorite visualization is cuddling with my dog, who is always grounded in the present.

    The blood sugar connection caught my attention. I have been exercising more regularly and vigorously for several weeks now and my morning anxiety about my job has gotten much worse. I am also not hungry at all in the mornings where I use to be. I now wonder if my new level of exercise has changed my blood sugar levels and is causing my morning anxiety.

    Also, exercising in the morning does help lower my morning anxiety, but I hardly feel like getting out of bed let alone doing yoga, lifting weights, or having sex.

    Anonymous said...

    I have had morning anxiety my whole life, I am almost 30 years old now. I have obsessive compulsive disorder, but only with thoughts, not much with washing hands or moving around weird, etc. So, I must agree with the negative self talk contributing to morning anxiety. OCD makes me think way too much, it keeps me single, it keeps me at a constant worry.

    It's unfortunate, because I have so much potential, I used to make a "wealthy" salary, I look like a model, I run 5 to 10 miles consistently, yet I have terrible anxiety.

    This anxiety goes away when I smoke marijuana, but I don't want to need an outside substance to live my life, I want to just be normal. I wish there was help for a bad brain.

    Anonymous said...

    Unfortunately I dont awake and then have anxiety.

    My anxiety begins whilst I am asleep and slowly waking, as such I awake with it - and then at 5am rather than 7am and I cant go back to sleep afterwards

    That of course along with songs continually playing a loop in my head.

    Advice welcome

    Reduce Stress said...

    Anxiety can sometimes be a killer. Simply put I make an effort to take care of it every day by using tension meditation strategies.

    Allison said...


    I really appreciate your posts on morning anxiety. I have struggled with anxiety (on and off) since I was in grade 12 (I just turned 40).

    I hate waking up and then feeling my brain starting to rev up. I can work myself into a right frenzy and even get all sweaty before getting up. It sucks.

    I tried a high protein snack before bed (peanut butter on corn thins and a piece of mozzarella) and it really helped. I was much calmer this morning.

    I'm going to get back into meditating in the morning too- that will be much easier if I am calmer when I wake up.

    Your blog is brilliant...I will follow you from now on...we're all in this together.

    Thanks again.

    Anonymous said...

    I hate waking up to Anxiety!! I feel like my nerves are SHOT! As soon as I wake up Anxiety starts & so does my racing mind...It really bothers me....This started about 2 months ago. I was just recently told that I have Major depression & Anxiety. This is all new to me. It's pretty scary for me. Any suggestions to help me? :(

    Anonymous said...

    I have the same problem. I take 1000 IU of Vitamin D, 100mg of 5HTP and 500 MG of Rhodiola in the morning and within an hour, the anxiety is gone. then I take another 5HTP before I go to bed and I sleep like a baby. not everone is the same but allot of anxiet and depression is due to an imbalance of seratonin in the brain and 5HTP or (hydroxy typtophan) which is a natural substance found in Turkey converts to seratonin in the brain. read up and give it a try.

    cc said...

    I'd like to address what Anonymous said about waking with anxiety. I don't have nightmares or anything, but I wake from anxiety. My heart is pounding and I'm anxious before I've had time for a thought. It's definitely physical and not the result of ruminating( which is my problem in the daytime). I share a bottle of wine every night with my husband, so 2 1/2 glasses to me, and I wonder if the sugar crash by 4:30 is a trigger.

    twinsmom said...

    I am very glad I found this site. My anxiety started with divorce and it is kind of comes and goes but morning anxiety is always there. It is always worse on Mondays. It almost brings me to tears every morning. But I know I have to get my kids ready for school and have to go to work. I am the only source of income in my family. Due to this condition I know I am slacking as a mother and as an employee which is not helping either...I am almost constantly lightheaded. My dr already checked my brain and heart and everything looks normal. So he attributes all these to anxiety. I am on 100mg of Zoloft and afraid to go any higher. My life became very unpredictable since I never know how I am going to feel next minute. I've always been very upbit and ready to go person. I am certainly going to use some of the suggested techniques and certainly hope for the best!!!

    Anonymous said...

    I sympathise with you all!! I get night terrors so I often wake up in the night in a high state of anxiety thinking there are things in my room that aren't there. But when I first wake up in the morning for work it usually takes about 5 minutes for my mind to go into overdrive and the anxious feelings to start up. Sometimes it's so hard to even put your finger on what you're feeling anxious about but if you can work that out you are at a huge advantage!!! Two things have really helped me, I started taking a B vitamin stress relief supplement last week and almost immediately felt so much more relaxed and positive every day. The other thing is the book "The Law of Attraction, by Michael J Losier" - this book has changed my life. I have been working on this stuff for 6 years and it is incredible - the more time goes on the better it works. SO if you can pinpoint what you are feeling anxious about there are exercises from the book that you can do to completely turn your negative thoughts around and get excited about things going great rather than fearing them all going wrong.

    Anonymous said...

    This was helpful! My anxiety is triggered the minute I wake in the morning. i experience VERY rapid heartbeat, the shakes extreme nervousness which makes me feel naucious i get in my head and my thoughts race. its not fun! but i come to find like most everything, it is mind over matter, if i pick up a book and start reading and getting into it, it takes my mind off of it after about 5-10 minutes and it goes away. or actually facebook or internet searching things of interest to you, like im doing right now i actually just woke up and pulled this site up on the computer and am typing as we speak and my anxiety has disipated. weirdly though i have to sit down at my desktop it doesnt seem to work if i do these things on my phone i still feel anxious and im more likely to be disinterested and just put my phone down. yeah, im weird. but it works! so yeah id reccomend trying waking up a little earlier and reading a chapter of a book before you start your day to calm your nerves.

    Anonymous said...

    I have suffered from anxiety and depression all my life. I will go years without feeling anxiety with the help of Zoloft. But then WHAM something triggers it and i am back feeling anxious again. It is so much worse in the morning. I am trying a natural supplement called Resoral to help. Will let you know how it works. It's comforting to know that I'm not the only one because when you are going through this you feel alone.

    Anonymous said...

    Finally, someone that also is light headed. I wake up with anxiety, almost scared to start the day, and at nite when I want to rest it comes on strong again. After 10 years, its getting old!

    Anonymous said...

    Guys, i am glad to know that i am not the only one suffering from Anxiety, i always felt that i am the only one who feels this.

    Any recommendations for food to be eaten before going to sleep that can maintain the sugar level.


    Unknown said...

    i am suffering from Anxiety and 30 minute exercise help me to get ride of anxiety,most of the time
    and I will try to eat for blood sugar
    any recommendation for snack?

    far said...

    yes I need Any recommendations for food to be eaten before going to sleep that can maintain the sugar level.

    And 3 days a week at least 30 minute group exercise help a lot every time I am disciplined to do 3 times a week my anxiety is going away I just started 2 months a go to go to gym and i have seen the magic of reduction in anxiety by going to gym.

    Anonymous said...

    I have had the anxiety since March of 2011, woke up out of a sound sleep with very rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, and became fearful of even leaving my bed for six weeks. Have been on anxiety meds and meds for depression. This has been to the point of agoraphobia with fear of even being around my own family or getting in the shower while alone in the house. I still wake up with anxious feelings but have gotten some better by eating a banana every night about 8:00 PM and peanuts. I also found that my hormones are very imbalanced and working on that. So for you women, have your hormones checked. I am better and praying this is going to be my answer. I think the meds for anxiety may make me feel worse than helping. Don't let them put you on them if you can keep from it. They are really hard to get off of once you have taken them for a while. Good Luck to you all. This has been one heck of a ride for the past year and a half but I believe God is going to get me on through it. He has been with me this far through the midst of the storm and I know He won't leave me now.


    Ann said...

    Hi Folks! Fellow panicker here. LOL! Sorry, I have to make light of such a stupid situation. I have been treated for anxiety with Paxil since it hit the market in 1994. Lucky for me, it is my miracle drug (despite helping me to gain 50 lbs., but that's for another blog).
    Lately, my morning anxiety is back. What's weird is that I can basically set my clock to it. By about 3 p.m. in the afternoon I feel find again. In the morning I feel blah and weepy. I started working out recently, and as I recall, about 5 years ago I joined a gym and went religiously 6 days a week. I even hired a personal trainer (I was trying to lose some excess baggage). I only lost 4 lbs in 4 months, and I noticed that my morning anxiety was back. It seems that if I just sit around and feel fat, then I have no anxiety. But if I work out and get some exercise, I tend to feel more anxious. I eat pretty healthy and never skip breakfast, so I doubt it's blood sugar (lab blood tests come back fine). I'm reading a lot about cortisol levels spiking in the morning. Perhaps that has some implications from working out. I'm gonna go do some research.
    Hang in there people! We are not as alone as we think we are.

    Anonymous said...

    Aimee, is your morning anxiety getting better? How are you doing in general? I said a prayer for you last night. You WILL overcome this Aimee.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi, I have been experiencing early morning anxiety for some years now. Reading about you all is reassuring. Sharing it with my spouse was did not help much. Your suggestions seem to be useful. Finally, I understand this vicious cycle and the physiological reasons behind my suffering.

    Anonymous said...

    I have always been a stressed out person even when I was in school. But since becoming a mother I have so much anxiety it makes me have suisidle thoughts which then make me feel guilty and then its a vicious circle! It happens all day everyday I feel like the only rest I get is when I'm asleep! I can concentrate on anything I feel sick all the time nervous shaky get chest pain and heart palpatations. I drank a lot of alcohol for 2 years to deal with it but it only made it worse I know that it got to the point I was drinking half a bottle of wine a night sometimes most of the bottle. I haven't had a drink in 5 weeks now and I've also quit smoking for 4 weeks and altho my I feel abit better psyically I feel worse mentally. My brain goes over n over n over stuff all day and I feel bad because I should be enjoying my little girl and I'm not and that makes me feel even worse. I don't know how to get through this all I know is I don't want to take meds because I feel they will make me worse when my doctor gave me citalapram ( bad speller) it made me worse I couldn't sleep. And now I've stopped drinking and smoking I haven't got an apetite at all untill late evening. I haven't a clue what I'm panicking about half the time. I hate being alone. Yet I am alone 90percent of the time apart from my daughter. I do get more help off my mum recently after having a blood transfusion for aneamia. I just need to get my life back on track .... But how?

    Anonymous said...

    hi there, just started reading your blog. its very well written and informative. Ive just started writing my own anxiety blog and it would be great it you could have a look and give some feedback. Thanks D


    Anonymous said...

    The Lord Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
    Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
    For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

    custer said...

    My morning anxiety has been on and off for almost 2 years. I often felt depressed when I'm alone in my room with no one to talk to. Even as I want to talk to someone, I shy away in group.. As much as thoughts are racing in my mind, I felt difficult to speak out. And I was not like this before I got depressed. I am always filled with negative thoughts as much as I tried to be positive. I could see my stomach moving each time my heart pounds. There are so many things racing in my head. But if u ask me I have no idea what I was thinking. It's very exhausting

    Anonymous said...

    Just wondering how you are doing now? This sounds familiar as I to have had a similar experience and I have found it is so helpful knowing I'm not alone. It is great that you aren't drinking anymore. In my case I alway feel worse after drinking even if its only a half if glass of wine. I think there's a lot to be said about blood sugar. Please take care of yourself

    Anonymous said...

    I left my position of 13 years when the company said it way going to downsize. Since then I have I have not been and happy and have racing anxiety in the morning when waking out of sleep. It is the fear of unknown of the future and the the regert for my decisions made in the past (I'm in my early 40's). It's not easy, but I know I have to get these thoughts outs of my head. The only way to have some kind of peace is to get into a mode of living day by day.

    Anonymous said...

    Have your vitamin D levels tested. I had gotten to the point I couldn't physically relax and no meds were helping. Several doctors later discovered a vitamin D deficiency. It takes about six months to a year to get them back to normal. At the point of a deficiency just going outside isn't going to get you caught up. Once the vit. d started to build up in my system I was finally able to relax! You have to get the correct vit. D test. There is one that tells you what the levels are at that moment and one that tests the stored levels. You want the one that shows your stored levels. Living a God-centered life has helped tremendously with mental stress.

    Anonymous said...

    I have always been an anxious person. It could be a genetic thing or something learned over time. But, either way, today's demands on us to perform in so many areas of life can be a drain on some people. Some were not born to cope as well as others. Everyone handles stress differently.
    Mine became more pronounced after I dedided to quit my job and return to college. The stress is different. At least when the work day was over, I could head home and not worry until the next day. My college work is always there--in class and at home. Being somewhat of a perfectionist makes any less than acceptable grades a hit on my self esteem.
    I noticed that after one semester was over, I developed more anxiety. I couldn't sleep that well. Maybe it was because I didn't have any place to focus my energy. I started worrying about my lack of sleep, which gave me sleep anxiety.
    What I did notice on the mornings I got up after a sleepless night was that I was less anxious. Could the restless night put a damper on the production of Cortisol? Could my exhaustion overcome the effects of that hormone? It could be, but as result of not being anxious, I was also less mentally focused. Sleeplessness is not really the best way to overcome anxiety, because it will rob me of the brain power I will need in my studies. Until the new semester begins, I will need to find a way to focus my thoughts and energy. Perhaps more exercise will work to help me sleep more and to burn off the anxiety I get from a good night of rest. Meditation never really worked for me because it just made me dwell on the reason I was meditating in the first place. Being focused on busy work seems to do the trick. When the new semester begins, I should have plenty of that to keep my mind occupied.

    Anonymous said...

    For the past three years I have struggled with anxiety and depression. The anxiety is extremely bad in the mornings. I wake up and the racing thoughts of impending failure has consumed my thoughts. It is strange because I never knew what anxiety was until my father passed away three years back. I am 37 now and the anxiety started at 34. Before then I woke up every morning with a smile and could not wait to get each day started. I woke up with urgency and to conquer the world each day. Now I lay in bed and go through the motions. My thoughts are so rapid I can not remember simple things like eating for example. I also loose my keys and I have become unable to complete task and my confidence has compleatly diminished. I wass once the person who had positive thoughts which ran through my mind 24/7 and I thought I could accomplish anything in the world. Now I am unsure and scared to seek out a new career in fear that I will just let others down as I e have myself. I put so much pressure on myself and I have become unable to think clearly and find myself chasing my own tale and running in circles all day.. Please if anyOne has any suggestions please repost. I am on Effexor which has helped a little and I take trazadone for sleep. I would like to lower my cortisol levels as I know my depression and stress is producing extremely high levels.

    Anonymous said...

    Need to focus more on the possitive then the negative!

    Anonymous said...

    A have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, which seems to be closely related to my morning anxiety, which is the thing that wakes me up like clockwork at around 3 AM every day. I have found that It is completely relieved by going to the medicine cabinet as soon as I wake up and taking 1/2 of a 5 mg tablet of hydrocortisone with a large glass of water. After I lay back down and before I know it, the anxiety has dissolved and I am back to good quality dreaming sleep for the rest of the night. Upon awaking for the day, I take the other half of the HC tablet with another big glass of water. No one gave me this dosing protocol, I just happened upon it myself through experimentation with the HC that had been prescribed by my doctor for the adrenal fatigue. Hope this might help someone. I had tried changing my attitude for years but to no avail, as in my case there is something more physiologically complex going on.

    Lina said...

    Throughout my life (I'm 29) I've experienced normal anxiety for certain situations I'd be nervous about. Within the past 5 months I've noticed the anxiety increase major. I've been trying to conceive (with no luck) for the past 7-8 months, from researching online I think not being able to conceive has made my anxiety worse. And to top it off I've been dealing with more intense pms symptoms which I believe also worsen the anxiety. This anxiety has debilitated me to the point that I can't go out and enjoy the things I used to because I'm scared of getting physically ill. I'm glad I came across this blog and hoping these tips will help me get through this.

    Cindy said...

    Hi! I am new to blogging or group discussions. I know its been months since any new postings but here goes anyway.
    I am suffering with severe morning anxiety, every day, that only responds to riding my exercise bike in the garage. I ride for an hour and it helps some. I have seen psychiatrists and therapist and am on several medication--none of which are really helping. But I have also been diagnosed with clinical depression so some of the meds are for that. I would be grateful for any answers as to how to get my life back. I have lost interest in many things I used to enjoy. I sleep ok but wake up with severe generalized anxiety that usually focuses on one topic but it is the "topic of the day" and usually not the same each day. I've enjoyed the posts so far. Thanks.

    Anonymous said...

    For morning anxiety try these actions/supplements (after extensive research for myself):

    a) 5-HTP time release
    L-Tryptophan (sustained release if available). These supplements are precursors to serotonin that cross the blood brain barrier. Do not take in combination with SSRI or other serotonin enhancers because too much serotonin can be seriously toxic and cause Serotonin Syndrome. If you do want to combine them, try with the very lowest possible dosage first and work your way up slowly if needed under the supervision of your doctor. Pharmaceutical companies are not interested in marketing these supplements because they cannot be patented or sold exclusively (= no profit). They achieve similar effects of SSRIs with lower side effects.
    b) Rhodiola rosea (with at least 3% rosavins). It helps with mental clarity, energy and has serotonergic effect.
    c) Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus) mushroom extract (choose a product obtained by ethanol extraction of both the fruit body and roots because it is the strongest form available); it is one of the few substances that improve neurogenesis (new neurons in the brain) especially in the hippocampus region. Adult hippocampal neurogenesis is one of the new theories behind depression and anxiety and that explains why SSRI take up to 4 weeks to work (the time needed for neurogenesis to take effect).
    d) a good Vitamin B complex, possibly in the biologically active form.

    20/30 minutes of running/cross trainer that releases endorphins in the brain and increase serotonin levels in the long term. First in the morning is important because it helps stopping the anxiety feeding cycle.

    3) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Meditation

    Check your sex hormone levels, if you are in the low range it can cause anxiety.

    Read this great scientific based (not marketing based) forum post at http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/54028-treating-anxiety-safely-effectively/

    If you really want to take SSRI choose one with escitalopram which, in my personal experience and according to drugs.com http://www.drugs.com/condition/anxiety.html, is one of the most effective SSRI for anxiety. SSRIs have more side effects compare to 5-htp or L-Tryptophan

    7) DO NOT TAKE benzodiazepines in the long term
    They are habit forming and create dependence.

    Hope it helps


    Jane said...

    I started having morning anxiety about 3 weeks ago. Without fail, I begin to wake at 5a.m. with a tingling sensation in my chest & the most overwhelming feeling of doom. It's there before I'm even awake. I'm still sleepy but I can't turn off the bizarre thought loop going through my brain so I can return to sleep.
    My mind races, it's terrible. If I don't get up immediately & start doing something the day will be ruined. I take 5 HTP as soon as my feet hit the floor & it does help. I like it much better than any SSRI. I tapered off Prozac over a 5 month period after having taken it for 6 years. I really don't want to go down that road again.
    I did take a progesterone cream topically for a month before the morning anxiety started & wonder if that may be what prompted it.
    Sometimes i am able to not let it get to me & get on with my day.

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