- 06-21-2014, 05:03 PM
In recent months I have been in a very toxic work environment as well as challenged with many material/property/money issues. I had continued my regular cardio and resistance training as usual but experienced some anxiety from the stress.
To make matters worse, I tore my right bicep tendon and had repair surgery (May 1st), so my baseball and weight lifting days are on hold for a good long time. They had been an outlet for much of my stress and frustrations as well as an alternative outlet for a previous substance abuse issues some many years ago. To further increase my stress and subsequent anxiety to the breaking point - I was laid off May 27th.
During those periods of acute stress I experienced anxiety attacks with symptoms or elevated BP (140's/80's), rapid heart rate (80's BPM) as well as irregular heart beat and palpitations. I had done some research and I for the most part was relieved to find that it is not uncommon for someone with my triggers and exposures to experience stress induced elevated BP/HR, heart arrhythmia, anxiety attacks, etc. I recognized the triggers and eliminated other triggers like stimulants, alcohol, etc.
But to be honest the lay-off, at the presentation from HR, sent me into a severe (for me anyway) anxiety with rapid HR, elevated BP and palpitations and arrhythmia. It took me three plus hours to calms down. I am for the most part am very healthy and had even recently see a cardiologist at my annual physical and did a stress test, electrocardiogram as well as a heart ultra-sound. My resting HR is normally at about 60BPM and can be as low as the very low 50's when well conditioned. My normal BP is 120±5/70±5, often on the low end when very conditioned and often at the higher end when less conditioned and as I have aged. My exam revealed my BP and HR were normal and my heart and valves are normal and healthy for my age.
So aside from these factors above I came across some information recently regarding "GABA-ergic anxiety" and having appreciated what I found I remembered I had some NP's bulk GABA in my cupboards and just began to take some at 500mg two to four times a day. In the last couple days I have noticed a reduction in the overall unwell feeling I have recently been feeling. Granted I just found a new job yesterday so I am sure that there is some correlation but honestly this has been an issue for a while before only to become chronically acute after the layoff one month ago.
I can appreciate placebo effects as well as the understanding that GABA in supplement form has blood/brain barrier issues. Anecdotally, honestly, as I am writing this I am experiencing a calm from 500mg of GABA which I just took empty stomach just 10 mins before composing this post.
The two articles below kind of shed some light on the issue (aside from the EQ as it is not relevant in my case).
The role of GABA in anxiety disorders.
Anxiety stems from and perpetuates dysregulation of neurobiological systems, but the exact mechanisms of anxiety disorders are still only partially understood. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter known to counterbalance the action of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate. Several pharmacologic agents target the GABA system and modulate the overall effect of GABA. This article highlights multiple neurobiological interactions that play a role in anxiety and reviews selected studies of plasma neurosteroid levels, plasma GABA levels, and benzodiazepine binding site sensitivity and in patients with anxiety disorders. The article concludes with further support for the role of the GABA system in anxiety by summarizing the current evidence supporting the use of novel GABAergic agents including tiagabine in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
"Anxiety is felt to be related to GABA-ergic transmission in the brain. For some time, it has been known that some steroids, particularly boldenone (Equipoise - boldenone undecylenate - ) and stanazolol (Winstrol - stanozolol), affect GABA receptors in the brain. GABA is considered predominantly inhibitory, i.e. a "chiller". Equipoise - boldenone undecylenate - can strip the brain of its natural chillers, GABA, creating waves of panic as you experience and describe so eloquently. Some people are born without sufficient GABA-ergic transmission, predisposing them to panic attacks such as you experienced, but in the absence of any externally administered drug. If you external stress overrides your GABA-ergic transmission, you will panic. So some only develop panic after a traumatic event. You probably had sufficient GABA-ergic transmssion for everyday life, but you were closer to that critical line than you thought, so when Equipoise - boldenone undecylenate - stripped your GABA, you were pushed over that edge into panic. Some people are very far from that edge, so they can take a gram or two of Equipoise - boldenone undecylenate - , strip their receptors, and still have no problems. Treatment options include benzos (which directly enhance GABA-ergic transmission, but have terrible tolerance and addiction potential and are NOT recommended), antidepressants (which by influencing serotonin and norepinephrine can enhance GABA-ergic transmission or simply screen more external stress through their mechanisms), and lastly DON"T DO Equipoise - boldenone undecylenate - . This last one is simplest and best of course."
So, I would like to hear any input form those who are educated in the area of brain chemistry, chronic acute stress and in regard to GABA in it's role in anxiety and/or any other support supplements and their role in treating anxiety. I apologize for the long winded post but I wanted to provide some history for insight and accurate assessment for those who may be helpful.
Thanks in advance,
Your friendly neighborhood MOD
- 06-21-2014, 11:28 PM
I am not quite sure if I am understanding the post so I apologize in advance if I am misinterpreting this. But if you were looking for OTC suggestions Picamilon crosses the blood brain barrier where it breaks into GABA and Niacin. Niacin in itself can also affect GABA.
06-21-2014, 11:50 PM
I am otherwise healthy with a clean cardiac report and am beginning to believe that the deficiency in the "GABA-ergic transmission" and it's deficiency (as stated in the two quote I posted) as a result of chronic stress may be responsible for the symptoms associated with the panic or anxiety attacks.
Anecdotally I just started using an old bulk powder GABA I had laying around and noticed an immediate calming response despite the blood brain barrier issues that it is purported to have. I know than phenebut is purported to breaks the blood brain barrier and likely there are others.
The issue I am most concerned to have answers to is does chronic acute stress actually reduce the "GABA-ergic transmission" and or diminish GABA in the brain removing my ability to cope with the acute stress resulting in anxiety and or panic attacks as described.
06-21-2014, 11:53 PM
06-21-2014, 11:57 PM
Yes. Having previously used 1-2 gram on an empty stomach prior to bed used to cause tingling and breathlessness. That is not exactly the calming response I am looking for. So I chose to try to get that 2 grams throughout the day.
06-22-2014, 12:23 AM
It is reasonable to believe that chronic stress would have an effect on the ability to cope with further stress, if you look a little further into the subject of the effects of chronic stress it could lead to changes in the brain (neural networks). http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/...ental-illness/
06-22-2014, 12:27 AM
06-22-2014, 12:36 AM
Interested to hear other peoples thoughts as I have experienced panic attacks a few years ago very similar to yours. I ended up in the ER 3 times during one summer.... My heart goes out to you!
06-22-2014, 12:37 AM
Many childhood traumas (divorce, abandonment, molestation, alcoholic father abuse) in addition to my own young adult and present day environmental and some self-inflicted stresses.
5htp never seemed to do much in the past but that too is still in my cupboard.
06-22-2014, 12:40 AM
06-22-2014, 12:43 AM
I understand. My father passed at 40 from a massive heart attack. Divorce and my own personal divorce. Abusive step father working 70+ hours a week for 8 years, chrons disease etc etc.
Unless you personally have had one it is impossible to understand what it's like.... I hope you find answers my man....
06-22-2014, 03:09 AM
06-22-2014, 09:14 AM
The pathogenesis of anxiety is very complex, but GABA is certainly one of the key players. People with anxiety generally experience increased norepinephrine release from the locus ceruleus, decreased serotonin release from the raphe nucleus, and decreased gaba release from the nucleus accumbens. This is why benzos are so effective for anxiety, as they target GABAergic pathways. This is also why we don't use GABA itself lol, because it is too short-lived and unable to penetrate the BBB. Serotonin is also a really key player in anxiety, which is why agents like buspirone and SSRIs are virtually first line for anxiety treatment.
The shortness of breath from GABA is depression of extra-BBB respiratory centers, which is actually indicative of its inability to penetrate the BBB (as concomittant anxiolysis doesn't exist during this phase). So the GABA probably is placebo, but if you want a pharmacologic approach with pretty much no addictive/withdrawal potential and decent efficacy, ask your doctor about buspirone. Fairly mild on the side effects (relative to other meds for anxiety, which I guess isn't saying a whole lot)
06-22-2014, 12:40 PM
I do have an old prescription of Buspirone. I may revisit it's use.
Thanks for the reply.
06-22-2014, 03:37 PM
06-22-2014, 05:44 PM
David, first of all congratulations on your recent employment. I am studying currently in a psychological field and have just finished looking at a lot of this in depth..... Here's some things I know.....
1. Anxiety disorder is very common, and stress factors that make anxiety attacks increase to the point you seem to be having is actually a good sign. I say this bc most people who have attacks set off by recent amounts of large stress situations are most likely to return to a more balanced, "normal" state when those stressors are removed or lessoned. This is not to say that you will not continue to have anxiety, rather it will most likely return to a more manageable state.
2. I think it's good that the GABA seems to be helping some with the anxiety. The major approach you are looking at seems to be strictly a biological one. Another words you acknowledge the stress but may be simply looking for a chemical "fix" to the problem... When it comes to this there are a couple different other options as well.... Psychotherapy is often used in conjunction with medication to treat this type of disorder. The least effective, psychodynamic therapy would tell you that you have some unresolved issues in your past or childhood that need to be dealt with. Studies show that the most effective forms of treatment involve antidepressants, in conjunction with cognitive therapy..... In other words medication alone proved to work well, but when coupled with some type of cognitive therapy it showed the greatest success.
For you, I know bases on your past resurrection of some spiritually significant threads I know you are a praying man.... You may want to look into some form of counsel, along with meds. I'm not an expert or a "therapist"..... Just a guy who's studying this stuff in school at the moment..... By no means am I an expert.... I hope things continue to get better for you my friend.... Regaurds
06-23-2014, 11:29 AM
you'll get no argument from me in this regard. But like any process my desire was and is to get the acute symptoms under control to develop a sound plan2. I think it's good that the GABA seems to be helping some with the anxiety. The major approach you are looking at seems to be strictly a biological one. Another words you acknowledge the stress but may be simply looking for a chemical "fix" to the problem... When it comes to this there are a couple different other options as well.... Psychotherapy is often used in conjunction with medication to treat this type of disorder. The least effective, psychodynamic therapy would tell you that you have some unresolved issues in your past or childhood that need to be dealt with. Studies show that the most effective forms of treatment involve antidepressants, in conjunction with cognitive therapy..... In other words medication alone proved to work well, but when coupled with some type of cognitive therapy it showed the greatest success.
. I used to be very well connected with men's ministries, serving, leading, mentoring. Recent struggles with the stresses have dampened my attitude to where I have had nothing at all positive to share and have withdrawn and isolated. This as we know is where my enemy wants me - alone to wallow in my pain. I have recently renewed my commitment to my fellowship.
As you stated the unresolved issues are a strong and steady underlying current of stress and tension. I will again try to find my dad despite my reservations. You surely understand the magnitude. And depth of such a wound. Great pain but also a great opportunity for peace.
The deviant mind and spirit of a molestation victim runs quite deep and is entwined and twisted in every area of my life. I don't act out anymore but my peace is fleeting. This is an area where I do need to seek some council.
I greatly appreciate your investment. Thanks!For you, I know bases on your past resurrection of some spiritually significant threads I know you are a praying man.... You may want to look into some form of counsel, along with meds. I'm not an expert or a "therapist"..... Just a guy who's studying this stuff in school at the moment..... By no means am I an expert.... I hope things continue to get better for you my friend.... Regaurds
06-29-2014, 08:14 PM
06-30-2014, 06:49 AM
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12559480 ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15260907) but please note that this is only a subset of anxiety. Many people with anxiety, most in fact, do not get actual panic attacks. I mean, since they're anxious they probably perceive that they're having one, but in order for it to be of real physiological consequence, it typically needs 10+ minutes of severe autonomic and systemic symptoms like tachycardia, chest pain, dyspnea, vomiting, tremor, etc.
07-02-2014, 03:45 PM
Last year I had a very similar situation to our trusty MOD's...I had a severely toxic work environment, albeit it was a contract, at the same time I lost my primary contract that was my main financial support for my family, my wife's pregnancy was fraught with complications and sickness, my mother went psycho on my wife and was disowned, and my health status declined sharply causing me to fall away from my fitness regime, put on fat, and be plagued with small injuries.
I was waking up with panic attacks 1-2 x per night. They were mild in comparison to many of the descriptions I've read..but still no fun. The anxiety was compounded by deep depression, emotional numbness, and ahedonia.
As per some of the recommendations stated in "The Mood Cure", I used 100-300mg(taken sublingually) of GABA at night with good results and no tingling. I think that reaction is from too high of a dose in most cases. GABA was used alongside 5-HTP at 200-300mg per day taken morning and midday, as well as D-phenylalanine (1500 mg) and L-tyrosine (1500mg), Jarrow's B-Right (2 caps) also taken in the morning. Stimulant use was reduced by 70% (too addicted to caffiene to stop cold turkey). These supplements helped a lot as did having a lot of down time. The lack of employment coupled with the need to be present at home to take care of my newborn daughter acted as meditation and an avenue to detox all the negativity. Things aren't 100% perfect, but they are leagues better than last fall/winter.
07-02-2014, 04:54 PM
07-02-2014, 06:08 PM
Perhaps better known as "Having a Pretty Sh*tty Year" Syndrome
I can certainly accept that explanation, however the depressive part was pretty significant as were the overall stessors. It was certainly situational and probably compounded by being physically/mentally stressed for far too long. My job is fairly physical.
Definition via Wikipedia(that I had to look up);
An adjustment disorder (AD) occurs when an individual is unable to adjust to orcope with a particular stressor, like a major life event. Since people with this disorder normally have symptoms that depressed people do, such as general loss of interest, feelings of hopelessness and crying, this disorder is sometimes known as situational depression. Unlike major depression the disorder is caused by an outside stressor and generally resolves once the individual is able to adapt to the situation. One hypothesis for adjustment disorder is that it may represent a sub-threshold clinical syndrome.
The condition is different from anxiety disorder, which lacks the presence of a stressor, or post-traumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder, which usually are associated with a more intense stressor.
Its common characteristics include mild depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and traumatic stress symptoms or a combination of the three. There are nine types of adjustment disorders listed in the DSM-III-R. According to the DSM-IV-TR, there are six types of adjustment disorders, which are characterized by the following predominant symptoms: depressed mood, anxiety, mixed depression and anxiety, disturbance of conduct, mixed disturbance of emotions and conduct, and unspecified. However, the criteria for these symptoms are not specified in greater detail. Adjustment disorder may be acute or chronic, depending on whether it lasts more or less than six months. According to the DSM-IV-TR, if the adjustment disorder lasts less than 6 months, then it may be considered acute. If it lasts more than six months, it may be considered chronic. Moreover, the symptoms cannot last longer than six months after the stressor(s), or its consequences, have terminated. Diagnosis of adjustment disorder is quite common; there is an estimated incidence of 5%–21% among psychiatric consultation services for adults. Adult women are diagnosed twice as often as are adult men. Among children and adolescents, girls and boys are equally likely to receive this diagnosis. Adjustment disorder was introduced into the psychiatric classification systems almost 30 years ago, but the concept was recognized for many years before that.
Thanks for your input, as always.
07-03-2014, 02:21 AM
Yeah I mean it's fairly normal. Few people will go through life without having some sort of psychological crisis for a few months. I just think we need to draw a line here between MDD/panic disorder and a lot of what is reported in this thread, which appears to be situational. The former diseases have a strong genetic component and have intrinsic components that create psychological issues regardless of what's going on in the outside world. This of course matters quite a bit because treatment approaches will be very different between these conditions
07-29-2014, 04:10 PM
Thanks for everyone's support.
I wanted to follow-up with my status. I am leaning toward the "having a ****y year adjustment disorder" as my diagnosis
i have been reemployed for a month now. A lower level position with the same gross income and none of the stress of the last. I'm working hard and am busy all day. It can be stressful but not in the toxic way of my previous position.
I am back to the gym doing a hybrid full body split avoiding direct bicep recruitment. I am also doing regular steady state cardio at 60-65% max heart rate.
i am eating regularly and have become very conscious of by hydration.
My BP is down to normal and my RHR is back under 60 even with caffeine. Not more palpitations or irregular heart beat. The unwell feeling has passed. My mood is elevated and it's a good day to be alive. Overall I am blessed and able to feel so too.
edit - I'm not illiterate..my smart phone is
07-29-2014, 05:55 PM
Awesome! Glad to hear you're in a better place and even more glad to hear we are not genetically screwed. Looking back, the upswing to the panic attacks/low point serves as a valuable reference point. A reference point to never go back to, hopefully.
07-30-2014, 10:55 AM
I've gone through these times and being someone that is very in tune with myself, I start diagnosing everything- to a fault. It is usually some outside cause or some stress that is involved because I am unusually sensitive to stress factors and allow it affect my sleep, diet, etc..Sometimes I think it would be better to not always know when something might be off like most people.
In any case, glad to hear this is one of those moments and there may be more in life, but at least you have this as a reference to look back on to know how you got through it.
07-30-2014, 11:16 AM
07-30-2014, 11:52 AM
07-31-2014, 08:22 AM
07-31-2014, 07:23 PM
Glas your feeling like life is invigorating instead of a chore just to get through the day. Ive also had a less than stellar year, got divorvced, bought a house, adjusting to a single income when the ex made more than myself, the ex turning her back on our kids and watching them suffer, working for a company thats moving equipment to Mexico, and in the past few years been to the ER 3 times thinking I was having a heart attack. They found nothing wrong each time, I think what I was having was more situational stress that I wasnt handling well at the time. Life will kick all of our a-- at some point in time, makes myself more appreciative of the good times I have and focus more on those things. I have SO much more than alot of others who are less fortunate...
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