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Hi Jay..i just want to say i'm sorry that this has happened to you, but you can and will make a recovery. This is something that has helped me get over a vicodin addiciton and depression as well... here is the supplement and article....

GABA: Anti-Anxiety Cure?

A breakthrough in mind medicine may be a hand with the study of the amino acid and brain chemical gamma butyric acid or GABA. GABA is a naturally occurring chemical found in the brain that is responsible for an upbeat mood, positive self-image, goodwill and sound sleep. A neurotransmitter, or chemical that allows brain cells or neurons to interact, GABA apparently regulates the "anti-anxiety" part of the brain. People who suffer anxiety attacks may have a chemical imbalance that includes GABA depletion.

An anxiety attack may include the following symptoms:

"Trembling, twitching, or shaking.
"Feeling of fullness in the throat or chest.
"Breathlessness or rapid heartbeat.
"Lightheadedness or dizziness.
"Sweating or cold, clammy hands.
"Excessive startle reflex.
"Muscle tension, aches, or soreness (myalgias).
"Sleep problems, such as the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, early waking, or restless, unsatisfying sleep."1
Anti-anxiety medications such as the class of benzodiazepines, including popular drugs such as Xanax, Valium and Ativan, are very effective because they target GABA receptors in the brain. They can also be very addictive and dangerous, both in short-term and long-term use. As many people know, it is very easy to overdose on diazepams, and mixing them with other drugs and alcohol - an unfortunately common practice - can be extremely hazardous.

Withdrawal from Xanax (aprozalam), Valium (diazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam) is considered more difficult than withdrawal from heroin. Symptoms of withdrawal include insomnia, acute anxiety and panic attacks, gnawing hunger, muscle pain, disturbing thoughts, despair, fatigue, exhaustion, eye soreness and vision disturbances. A variety of natural substances has been utilized to ease withdrawal or to replace these effective but hazardous drugs in the first place. One of these substitutes is GABA.

In doses ranging from 250-1000 milligrams daily, GABA has been shown to be very effective for many people in treating a host of physical, mental and emotional difficulties and disorders. Foremost among these are anxiety, panic attacks and insomnia. GABA may be highly useful in the treatment of addiction to drugs other than the diazepams and other prescription medicines, not limited to antianxiety medications. For example, the mood elevation associated with GABA may be helpful in treating addiction to heroin, cocaine and methamphetamines. Methamphetamine or "meth" addiction in America is rampant - and extremely destructive. The toll such addition is taking is not only not widely addressed but also appalling and frightening. Clinical research needs to be done to see if GABA can help with this debilitating condition. Interestingly, GABA is so effective in reducing tension that it has also been used topically in a similar way as Botox, by relaxing muscles so that associated wrinkles disappear.

The beauty of GABA is that it is a naturally occurring substance that has few if any side effects - and these would be temporary and mild, unless very large doses are used. GABA does not cause mania or psychosis, as do other mood enhancement treatments such as Prozac or Zoloft. Nor does it cause either depletion or retention of serotonin, the widely known brain chemical/hormone that enhances mood and sleep. Too much GABA, however, may cause odd sensations like those brought on by the ingestion of niacin, such as flushing, tingling and burning. Shortness of breath, a drained feeling and anxiety have been reported by those who have used GABA in large doses to stimulate the production of human growth hormone or HGH by the pituitary gland. These sensations and side effects can be mitigated through reducing the dosage. As is the case with many other substances, dosage is likely dependent on size, weight and metabolism, etc. GABA comes in capsules, but may be taken as powder, with 1/8 teaspoon equalling 250 mg. Mixed in water, GABA powder is mildly unpleasant tasting but very inexpensive.

The potential beneficial effect of GABA on anxiety and panic attacks and disorders cannot be overemphasized: GABA is a potent anti-anxiety medication. For some people, it works like a charm, at last providing reliable relief from an often severely crippling condition that negatively affects every aspect of life. The serotonin-precursor 5-HTP may also be useful in treating sleep disorders, anxiety and panic attacks. However, caution is necessary as 5-HTP is often recommended in extremely high doses of 100 to 1,000 mg., which could cause disturbing side effects, such as gastrointestinal distress and nightmares. Although like tryptophan it is generally required for 5-HTP to be taken over a period of time before its benefits are experienced, 5-HTP may be useful during a severe and long-lasting panic attack. Of course, it may be impractical for a sufferer of such an attack to be quick to the response with a capsule of 5-HTP! People taking medication for such ailments as anxiety and panic attacks are advised to check with their doctors before ingesting potent brain-enhancing chemicals such as 5-HTP and GABA.

Panic Disorder and Attacks
Other brain chemicals that help prevent panic attacks include serotonin and norepinephrine. Joe Barry, who wrote a book about panic disorder and who teaches a free "mini-course" on the net. Barry was able to successfully treat his own panic attacks in a number of ways, including a method that might seem odd and contrary: Barry recommends that, instead of avoiding the oncoming attack by trying to calm your mind, you instead welcome the attack and ask that it be brought on. Barry provides testimonials of many people who claim the technique works. It seems to work because by the very act of welcoming the attack you are strengthening your mind, possibly thereby releasing brain chemicals that in fact reduce anxiety and panic attacks. In other words, by saying "Bring it on!" you are acting confident and, possibly, joyful - and these emotions themselves will mitigate panic attacks. In using this method, Barry recommends that instead of blocking them you allow your thoughts into your mind, knowing that they themselves are harmless. He also recommends that you then look at your thoughts impassively and let them pass, which is in fact an old meditation technique. Using this welcoming technique, Barry says, "immediately disempowers the thing you are worrying about."

Another effective method for managing anxiety and panic disorders is aerobic exercise, especially walking. Along with such techniques, attempting to rectify a possible chemical balance within the brain by using GABA may be very useful. In addition to GABA, the amino acid glycine appears promising in the treatment of "acute panic attacks," as well as epilepsy and schizophrenia. The suggested dosage during a panic attack is 2 grams of glycine dissolved sublingually (under the tongue), repeated as necessary every few minutes. This method may cause the panic attack to subside within 10 to 15 minutes. Dr. David Williams suggests taking no more than 20 grams during such an attack, as more may cause nausea and stomach ache.

Sources:Williams, Dr. David, Alternatives: The Good Health Part of Milk, vol. 10, no. 22, April 2005
Barry, Joey, "Panic Away Program."

2007 Stellar House Publishing, LLC.

All material provided at Health & Longevity is for educational purposes only. Consult your physician regarding the applicability of any information provided here to your symptoms or medical condition.

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