Thoughtful Thursday: Anxiety in Today's Society
The other day I read an article from the Wallstreet Journal that stated in 2013 over 274,000 infants (0-1 year olds) and some 370,000 toddlers (1-3 years age) in the U.S. were on antianxiety (e.g. Xanax) and antidepressant (e.g. Prozac) drugs. This report also found over 1,400 infants were on ADHD drugs.
This is wild. Babies being put on meds for anxiety and depression? What is going on?!
This story rings true to me as when I was a child doctors wanted to put me on drugs for ADHD. I was around 6 and a wild child.I played in the mud, I climbed trees to the tippy top, I rode my bike crazily around. I was so wild that one of my favorite uncle's called me Animal- yep based on the guy to the right and below.
When the doctor recommended to my mother that I should take meds she told them basically that they were crazy and that I was just being a kid. As many of you know as an adult I am quite a calm, peaceful, relaxed individual so my "wildness" was just a phase. If you think about it I was only 6- I had so much vitality and energy to offer the world!
The fact is today our society is one full of stress and anxiety. We are always on the go. If you look at traditional chinese medicine we live in a very Yang oriented society. For those that don't know what I am talking about- you probably remember this symbol below on the right.SeriousIy think in the 1990's everyone had a necklace with this symbol on it. Anyway the white is the yin energy and the black is yang energy. Yin energy is feminine,soft, night, reflective, moon, nurturing. The black is Yang energy, Masculine, passion, sun, energy, drive.
Our society is based on the early bird gets the worm, you have to work hard to succeed, working alot is applauded by society and due to this so many people are stressed, depleted and just exhausted!
Stress can cause a whole slew of problems from digestive issues, highblood pressure, to anxiety. Which goes back to the babies -how can you gauge if an infant has anxiety? The fact of the matter is you can't. This issue seems to me that perhaps the parents are having anxiety and transferring it on to their children.I believe all of our close relationships are mirrors- thus often reflecting things going on inside of us. I personally don't think it is ethically okay to be giving babies who are still developing strong pharmaceuticals unless it is absolutely necessary. A fussy or detached child could be due to a number of things and I believe all options should be explored before giving them Psychiatric drugs- that could mean looking at foods in the diet, peers, homelife ect.....
Anxiety is something we all face at times and when you are in the midst of feeling really anxious it is hard to escape that feeling. This past week I moved and was extremely anxious. I was wallowing in the feeling until I remembered " Wait Katie Munn you are an Herbalist- be proactive!" So I praticed a little herbal, dietary and lifestyle changes and feel SO much better.
So what should you do if you are anxious and you want to go a holistic route? Here are my recommendations:
1. Probiotics baby! If the flora in your gut isn't enough it can attribute to anxiety. Go for a good brand- I love HMF powder. It is made from apricots so it's gluten and dairy free!
2. Magnesium: This stuff is amazing for stress and anxiety. The average american doesn't get enough so more then likely you may be deficient. I love CALM or Trace Minerals. If you do get Magnesium make sure you don't get it as Oxide as it is really hard to break down & absorb. If you take too much the only side effect is you will be running to the bathroom alot.
3. Be prepared: That's right plan your day for success! Pack snacks, water, tea, lotion whatever you need to have a stress free day. Have your little comfort things around that help support you throughout the day. This week being anxious the last thing I wanted to stress about was food- being gluten, dairy, egg and coconut free can be stressful in itself so I made sure to have snacks so I didn't even have to worry about it!
4. Affirmations: That's right re-training your brain. My mantra this week was " As I move througout the day my body relaxes, my mind calms and my heart opens." Whatever mantra feels good to you. Make sure you say it over, and over and over until you really start to feel it.
5. Castor Oil packs! I LOVE these. They are energetically grounding, help with inflammation of the digestive tract, and much more. Here is a direction how to do one.
6. Flower essences: I have been taking Mimi's along with Cherry Flower essence
6: Herbs! My favorite for stress are the following:
Linden- ( Tilia Europa) Linden is such a lovely tree. It is often called Bass Wood or Lime Wood. The flowers are amazingly fragrant and the bees love them. The tree is native to New England. Linden leaves and flowers have been shown to shorten duration of viral infections. Along with this it has calming effects that help soothe the body and mind from every day stresses. Myself and others have noticed when they take this plant it is like they are receiving an herbal hug. It supports the nervous system and calms the spirit.
Skullcap -(Scutellaria lateriflora) Skullcap is wonderful for nervous tension and exhaustion. It is ideal for the individual that is hypersensitive and feels frayed or at their wits end. Skullcap is also mild sedative and antispasmodic. It promotes an overall feeling of wellbeing and relaxation--> Note I find the tea sedating and the tincture relaxing
Lemonbalm- (Melissa Off.) Lemonbalm is known as the happy herb. It relieves stress and mild depression. It is also to help with SAD. Along with its relaxing properties it also has amazing antiviral properties. I usually use this herb when I’m feeling a little anxious or tense and need to calm the spirit. I love this one because it doesn't make you sleepy it just calms the nervous system
So my friends if you are feeling anxious I would encourage you to try a more holistic approach. If you have a little one and really believe they are having issues with anxiety and depression I would strongly encourage you to go to an naturopathic doctor, herbalist, or another alternative health professional before opting for Psychiatric drugs.
Love yourselves. Nuture yourselves. Take Care of yourselves. Until Monday Lovelies!
Here is a little song on how I feel the drug companies act sometimes: