A natural calm

One of the things middle aged women can face is high anxiety especially when you enter the stages of peri-menopause.  Since peri-menopause can last a decade or more for some people, why suffer?  

The reason we go through these changes is our body is aging and things begin to change.  One major change is our menstrual cycle and the ability to produce the proper amounts of estrogen and progesterone.  This can lead us down a path that can cause us to be forgetful, angry, sad, and so on.  

For the past couple years, I have suffered through peri-menopause.  I finally decided I am only in my mid forties.  I am not dying and I am going to try to make healthy and simple changes to make life easier.

I have taken roughly five years of psychology courses when earning my BA in Psychology and my certification in Family Studies.  One thing I learned is that anti-depressants can be very dangerous especially when therapy is not included.  It seems doctors hand this out like candy far too often.  It is a quick and easy fix.  However, your body becomes dependent on these drugs no matter what they say about addiction.  Most people forget about the therapy portion of it and remain on these drugs for an extended period of time.  These drugs were never created to work this way.  The drugs were made to calm you for a period of time while therapy was taking place.  Once you started feeling better and therapy began to work, you would be weaned off the drug.  Unfortunately, this is not how it seems to be working.  

I have always been one to believe in behaviorism type therapy.  I always believed our behaviors and how we change them can change who we are along with our mentality.  I still hold true to this idea. However, hormonal related issues and body changes can make this extremely difficult. Often times, we have no control over our emotions.  

Do not get me wrong, Some people have suffered greatly and they need the aide of anti depressants to get them through.  People with issues of severe abuse and PTSD are prime examples.  They need both the drugs and therapy to help get rid of the terrible memories they are plagued with.  This is why having these around is so important.  I always suggest to people who have normal issues like peri-menopause to try every route first before considering anti depressants.  

I have been offered anti depressants from doctors as well.  I have refused so far. I have found ways to help curb my emotions and one of the ways is using the amino acid called L-Theanine.  

 

Facts on L-Theanine

What is it?

An amino acid that is found in tea and some mushrooms. 

Side effects

There are mild side effects if any at all.  Headache and sleepiness may be one of the effects.  It also may lower blood pressure. Be cautious using it if your blood pressure is all ready low. 

What is it used for?

Anxiety, stress, depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and more.  It also helps with mental functioning such attention. 

It has been known to reduce blood pressure, prevent flu, and help with side effects of cancer drugs. 

Pregnant moms and Children

To be safe, it is advised that pregnant and breast-feeding moms avoid taking this simply because there is not enough information on its effects.  

It appears to be safe when given to children in dosages of 200mg by mouth twice a day.  Dosages for children were based on a study of boys ages 8-12 years of age

Is it safe?

 It appears to be safe when taken short term.  The long term effects are unknown.  Therefore, no one can determine whether it is safe to take for extended periods of time. The most solid research has shown that up to 5 months of continued usage causes no problems. 

Dosage

This drug can be taken randomly when under stress or prior to a stressful event to help calm you.  You can also take this daily.  Short term is the better option simply because there is no studies showing what this drug can do if taken long term.  It is recommended not to take any more than 200mg twice a day.  

The fact sheet above was information provided by WebMd

How I use it

Peri-menopause comes with every mood swing on the planet.  When I start feeling highly stressed or upset, I will take this medication.  I do not take it daily, but will often take it twice a day when I am having a bad time.  It has been useful in calming me. 

Final thoughts

I find it very important the you do your research on any drug or supplement you choose to ingest. It is easy to want to take a bunch of things to make you feel better especially when you are depressed or nervous.  Take everything with precaution and try one at a time.  This way, you will know how your body reacts to it and what will work for you.  

I always offer tips on ways to calm ourselves that does not involve anti-depressants.  I always urge others to only use that option as a last resort.  If you choose that route, please couple it with therapy.  Therapists will help you retrain your thought processes so you can eventually get off the anti-depressant and lead a normal life.  Being stuck on anti-depressants all of your life is not good for you.  

Peri-menopause has been one of the most difficult and challenging times of my life.  I can fully understand and relate to anyone suffering from it or other bouts of depression and anxiety.  Give this amino acid a try.  It appears to be a much safer option and it is helping me.