Anxiety can stop you from healing. Fear often causes you to not want to try new things. Always speak to your healthcare professional about medications and treatment.
Healing requires learning tools and accepting many different ways to improve your life. The page, Lower Inflammation, has tools to lower inflammation in the brain and body and by doing that lowering stress. Medications can also be very helpful when you have anxiety.
B Blockers lower the alarm in our flight fight freeze area of the brain – the limbic system. Lowering the alarm slows the body down – they slow the heart rate down. They can raise low blood pressure or can drop high blood pressure – the freeze response causes low blood pressure and the fight, flight response raises blood pressure.
If have asthma, then propranolol is not advised. If you have a pulse of under 50, then also not advised. The B blocker also helps slow your breath. Slow abdominal breaths make a humungous improvement on anxiety.
I see the Limbic system as a second brain. The first brain is our thinking brain. B blockers relax the body which then feeds information to your second brain, the limbic system, and it reads lower alarm and relaxes. When the second brain is not wo aroused, the thinking brain is lit up and can do the work to concentrate and learn new things.
Be careful of new medications. B blockers slow reflexes down, so if you are driving, keep long travelling distance between cars.
Always test new drugs out first – take a small dose when you’re at home.
Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, SSRIs, side effects are many. Especially in the beginning. They can make you more anxious, give you gut upsets, dizziness, whooziness and have other side effects.
Unlike b-blockers, they take a while to work, but the side effects start early. After a week or two, the brain adjusts and then the effects of lowering the alarm center is similar to b blockers.
Unlike the b blockers, they work directly on the nervous system. They improve the thinking part of the brain which then gives feedback to the alarm center – this is called downstread regulation of alarm system –second brain. B blockers relax the body and that regulates the alarm center with upstream regulation.
Body and Brain connected!!
The interesting thing about SSRI’s – there are links to improved brain function structurally – not just operating to help you function better. We know the brain is plastic – neuropasticity – so there is proof that it works to improve brain in the long term.
Long term harms – after years and years – they can cause or increase risk of osteoporosis
In terms of doses in SSRI – low doses cause increased anxiety in the beginning. A prof used to say me, the more side effects you have, the more you need the medication. It’s your body resisting change – typical of anxiety. Go low and go slow, but usually someone with anxiety needs higher doses of SSR than people with depression. Having said that, everyone is different. Listen to body.
The SSRIs take usually 6 to 8 weeks to work. Some people actually feel better after two. I find the people using tools for anxiety actually get better faster and I’ve seen improvements in 2 weeks. B blockers work much faster – within about 30 minutes.
Another long term consequence is that people can feel so regulated with the medication, they ignore the most important part of healing – using every tool you can to eventually be free of medications. If possible. No shame if you need meds.
The meds can, however, help give you the energy and motivation to start using these important ways to heal, like the ones found on the Daily Program and Lowering inflammation (and stress).