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Anxiety is different for everyone. Some people get chest pain, body aches, fatigue, depression. Others can”t stop their minds from going 100 miles an hour, can”t focus, worry obsessively over every detail of a situation, and can”t perform regular tasks because of their worry, obsession, or lack of focus. All of us experience anxiety during our lives, but for some, it isn”t minor anxiety that can be shrugged off. When it interferes with your daily life, something”s gotta give.

Living With Anxiety  

It sounds simple in writing. But living it can be a nightmare, to say the least. You are stuck in a black pit in your mind, and you grasp and fight and feel so utterly alone. I know, because I”ve lived it. Every day, for too long. And I wish I knew back then what I know now. Sharing my story here isn”t easy, and it is uncomfortable; but so many people turn to drugs and mainstream medicine for anxiety and depression now. I”d like to offer an alternative, since none was offered to me, and I had to find it out all on my own.

Right after college, I got married and pregnant a few months later. I wish my diet had been better in college (but this is another post for another time). Pregnancy was difficult…but postpartum was even worse. Episodes of crying for hours without sufficient reason, needing to run to the toilet (yes, this is a symptom of severe anxiety), and the fears were indescribably awful: irrational fears that took over my life. I had pretty much every symptom of extreme anxiety at some point or another. And this was all through my son”s first year of life, not just directly after his birth! Something was off, but I just didn”t know what.

Searching for Help 

So out of desperation, I saw a doctor. She took ordered blood work, and before the blood was even taken, she wrote me a prescription for Zoloft “to balance your moods.” I asked her if it was safe for pregnancy (my thought is that if something isn”t safe for pregnancy, it isn”t suitable for me). She said, “Yes, it is.” For some reason, I felt the need to probe some more (doctors tend to not like me for this reason…apparently I care too much about my health). I then asked, “So, if I got pregnant in two weeks and came back here, you would still keep me on the Zoloft.” She replied, “No, I casino spiele would take you off of it.”

“So it isn”t safe for pregnancy, after all,” I said. She couldn”t answer this sufficiently. I refused the medication, and she wasn”t happy about it. Apparently drugs “fix” everything. I refuse to buy into that lie.

A week later, blood work showed a perfectly healthy 23 year old female. I actually cried when I got to the car after that visit. I was actually hoping they would find something wrong with me, so they could fix it. I left knowing I was on my own, and so very alone.

Over the next year, my anxiety waxed and waned. Some seasons were fantastic, and I felt great…like I could take on the world. And then a few months later, my world would crash down around me, and there were still no answers. How could a perfectly healthy, young person be so reduced to the walls closing in around her, and fears taking over her life? It wasn”t normal, but it was my reality. I considered the drugs, so many times. The homeopathic Aconite helped tremendously during panic attacks, but didn”t solve the problem.

I saw another doctor half a year later. She did a few tests, and told me the same thing: “All results are normal.” I got copies of the tests, scoured them for vitamin deficiencies, hormone levels, ANYTHING to get answers. This doctor, like the last one, didn”t seem to care about getting to the root of the problem, and advised me to take medication and be sure not to get pregnant. There is nothing quite like leaving the doctor”s office feeling worse than you did when you went in.

Doing Your Own Research 

Life goes on. In my life and experience (with my son”s doctors and my own) doctors aren”t always the angels in white coats we make them out to be. Surely, there are great doctors out there. But I am learning to be my own doctor first, and this is helping me the most. I KNEW there was something more going on, but nobody believed me. In terms of anxiety, an answer came in the form of another hardship. I had dealt with bowel issues for the last year, as well. My diet was decent, and nothing I did changed it. Until I started taking some powdered magnesium to help. And it did help.

Around that time, I learned that a magnesium deficiency could describe all the symptoms I had been having. Bowel issues were just the start. Tension, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, fatigue, and (drum roll please) anxiety! Some just to name a few, but the “anxiety” caught my eye. After all I had been through, could the answer be as simple as more magnesium? It was almost too good to be true. How could a doctor not catch that?? Apparently, magnesium deficiencies cannot be determined through blood work, but I wish a doctor had thought of finding the root cause instead of just treating the symptom.

On days where I don”t take my magnesium, I know it. I feel it. The darkness creeps around the corner of my head and tries to take hold. Sometimes it does, and I find myself on the couch in tears again. Then I go take my magnesium (while mentally beating myself up for forgetting it in the first place) and I cannot begin to describe the peace I slowly start to feel. Just recently I was beginning down the road of another bad episode. It was so bad, I had to leave the dinner table, and I considered asking my husband to take a day off work the next day (an all-too-common occurrence last year). Within minutes of taking my magnesium, I felt strength about facing the next day…not needing my husband to be home. The change was so fast, I knew that I had found my answer in supplementing with magnesium.

I am still learning about how to take magnesium, whether orally or transdermally (through the skin), and how much to take (yes, you can take too much!). It can also interact with some medications if you are on any. I don”t have all the answers, and there are a lot of different ideas out there, but what I do know is that I won”t ever be without my magnesium again. For some reason, spring time is the most difficult time for me…but this spring I will be armed with my magnesium.

If you are reading this and identifying with the anxiety and depression, I have been where you are. I pray you will find help. Magnesium isn”t the only thing that has helped me: good posture (to allow for more oxygen in the body through better breathing), herbs, chiropractic care, positive self-talk, and religious help have all been instrumental, as well as talking with friends who can relate. But the magnesium has definitely given me an extra boost in life. Extensively research what you try before you do it, and know your body. Best wishes to you!

Have You Ever Dealt The Anxiety? How Did You Overcome It?

 

This is the writings of:

Sara of A Joyful Mother is a follower of Christ, married to a strong man with a leader’s soul, and Mama of a sweet little boy who is more like his Daddy every day. Sara is passionate about natural health and the vibrancy it brings, the powerful role of the stay at home Mama, Christianity, herbs, real food in all its deliciousness, and natural birth. You can find her at her blog (www.ajoyfulmother.com) writing about abiding in the home with joy (Psalm 113:9) and finding fulfillment in the little things Mamas do every day.

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20 Comments

  1. Thank you. Thank. You.

    Reply

  2. Sara, what form of Magnesium do you recommend, what dose, and where do you recommend getting it?? I have all these symptoms & then some! I have had anxiety my whole life and meds have never worked. This gives me hope as I am trying to get out that dark hole too! Thank you for posting this!!!

    Reply

    • Kelly, there are options. You can take pill form magnesium, a powdered magnesium, or apply it through your skin through a bath or magnesium oil. MAM just did a post on magnesium oil lotion (http://www.modernalternativemama.com/blog/2012/12/17/monday-health-wellness-magnesium-lotion/) and it looks interesting. Something I definitely want to try some day. Personally, I take Natural Calm right now; it is a powdered magnesium that you mix with water. You have to work up to the right dose, and start small. You look for bowel tolerance to know when you have the right amount. Boiling water activates it. I do plan on trying different things, but the Natural Calm works for me right now. I am a big fan of “baby steps” and do what works at the time with my life :) . Do some research on it and see what you think will work for you :) . Best wishes!

      Reply

  3. What perfect timing! I have gone through many of these same issues. Referred to cardiologists, neurologists, therapists etc. No one can help me. I will definitely try magnesium. It’s ironic actually. My son has autism and I give him magnesium citrate capsules and rub magnesium sulfate cream on his feet. Extra when he’s stressed. Never thought to take it for my own anxiety. Thanks you for sharing your story. I know it’s difficult to be so candid about things like this, but you are really helping others.

    Reply

  4. A dear friend just send this article to me. I was so happy to read it, Sara. I’ve been dealing with anxiety for most of my life but took a turn for the worse in 2007 with a death in the family. My family and I have sruggled for answers for years, I get better and feel as if I can deal with anything and then somedays I completly break down. It’s been a difficult struggle. Getting a job was one of the most difficult things I have had to deal with. Managing my anxiety and work. I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. I am taking celexa in the evening and lorazapam for the moment I can’t stop the anxiety. I will be dealing with this for the rest of my life but how I manage it will determine if I let it control me. I knew I wanted a life, I wanted to be able to manage without anxiety attacks. Several of the same things you have mentioned also help me. Accupuncture, chiropractor, my trust in God, a strong support from a wonderful family, YOGA was a big strees reliever, a good diet, a “tool kit” of ideas that help me stay calm, exercise (specifically walking, listening to the birds took my mind off the stress) and a plan for the day. I still struggle sometimes, but I’m going to try what you suggested. I’ve always felt alone, but I know there are other people out there that are struggling with the same issues. Thank you for your post.

    Reply

    • I can identify with you, Kat, I truly can. Thank you so much for sharing. Please do research the magnesium for anxiety. And also research Aconite homeopathy for panic attack times. Check with your doctor too, because you don’t want any mix ups with your meds. But I truly hope something works out for you.
      Something you said resonated with me, “I will be dealing with this for the rest of my life.” I have been there, and still visit that feeling more than I’d like. My magnesium makes me feel human again, and I can only hope to be better as time goes on. I will pray for you! Thank you!

      Reply

  5. Read this and went to town today to purchase myself some magnesium! I did more research online before doing this…talked to a staff person at our local natural foods market…and thought it safe to try! Funny connection…when I am diligent and mindful to have daily green smoothies, I can feel the calm effects from the greens! I just didn’t know about magnesium (or that magnesium is in greens)…and lately I’ve been off my smoothies and have been noticing how much my body misses them (churning bowels, headaches, muscle tension, fatigue). Thank you for this article!

    Reply

  6. [...] unbearable Anxiety attacks began when E was 6-8 months old. You can read more about that journey here at Modern Alternative Health, where I am so blessed to contribute as a [...]

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  7. [...] need magnesium. I have learned how to read my body and how to handle my anxiety. You can read more about that here. Some times adrenal problems or thyroid problems can contribute to lack of inner peace, and the [...]

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  8. Thank you so much for having the courage to post this article, Sara. I have been dealing with anxiety for many years and have seen countless doctors who attempted to address the symptoms versus the root of the problem. I recently went off my medication in search of a natural way to control my anxiety and balance my hormones (thinking that was the root cause) and started reading about how magnesium plays such an important role. I’m ordering some today! Again, thank you so much! I think so many people suffer in silence and feel so alone and misunderstood. Sometimes all it takes is knowing one person’s story to know we really are not alone. Here’s to better days ahead!

    Reply

    • Patty, your comment made me smile, thank you! You are right, we often feel so alone. For so long, I was ashamed and kept it a secret. It was terrible. I can’t believe that I made it public, but the truth must be told! I pray the magnesium helps you as it did me!!

      Reply

  9. [...] made this latest concoction after reading this article, which reminded me about the importance of magnesium. shawnna pointed me back to horsetail [...]

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  10. I so needed to hear this today. :) Thank you thank you thank you. I’ll discuss this with my midwives at the next appointment – but this is something I’ll at least try. I’ve been in denial about my anxiety since it started probably two years ago but lately it’s gotten worse and worse. So thank you for this post!

    Reply

    • I am so glad! I hope you find something that helps :) . I can take a few weeks to see results, so be sure to talk with your midwives, especially if you are expecting (hope it is ok to assume since you said “midwives” :D ). Wish you the best!

      Reply

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