TRYING ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS
Many anxiety disorders, including GAD, can sometimes respond well to alternative therapies. Deep breathing exercises, biofeedback, yoga, tai chi, meditation, and hypnosis can be beneficial in reducing symptoms. Healthy lifestyle habits that promote brain health also help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Several nutritional supplements have been used to treat generalized anxiety as well. Kava has shown some benefits, but it can cause serious liver damage, so it is no longer available in Canada and some European countries. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings regarding its safety. Until more research is available, it is best to avoid kava, especially if you take other medicines that can affect your liver (including Tylenol) or have liver problems.
Although valerian has shown positive results in some studies, the findings are inconsistent, and it also can cause liver problems. Some small studies have
shown evidence for the calming effects of passionflower. Possible side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. Theanine is an amino acid that is present in green tea and several supplements. Some studies demonstrate its calming effects, but there is limited evidence for its effectiveness for generalized anxiety disorder.