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It helped tremendously for me but I suspect the context matters and anxiety is varied and complex subject. In my case, the anxiety was due to the prolonged use of amphetamines and other stimulants and the severe calorie restriction that comes with it. It wasn’t a “mental” sort of anxiety that arises as a result of some stimulus but a constant, extreme physiological feeling of stress. In other words, it was a bodily sensation of anxiety minus the mental component.

The obvious answer was to eat more but it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. Originally I experimented with Eat For Heat and Peatarianism without success. I could take Cytomel (pure T3) and still be freezing. The linchpin, I found was a high caloric intake. It’s not enough just to eat pro-metabolic foods I had to sate my hunger. And after two years on speed I forgot what hunger and satiety really felt like. I didn’t see any relief until I made a conscious effort to stuff myself. There seems to be no anti-stressor like the feeling of being stuffed. I’ve come to believe that any metabolism-raising method whether it be EFH, Peatarianism, Thyroid or other drugs need high food intake to work. I really liked Diet Recovery 2 but I think Matt made a mistake taking out the parts of “eating past satiety”.

Unfortunately every body is different and your anxiety is a latent anxiety and not caused by drugs. Ultimately you need to find what works for you and that means experimentation. Everybody craves surety – to definitively know what will happen to their body with taking the risks – but you’re not going to get it. Some things you just have to find out on your own.

If you’re going to try going the food route, give yourself permission to go full bore. If you were hardcore restricting for a long time then in the beginning the amount of food you will need to feel sated will probably scare the crap out of you. You will have to consume an appalling amount to feel consistently full. You will be a pig at the trough. The good news is that over time (I’ve found) you develop a reverse tolerance and need less food to get the satiating and calming effect. If it works, the gluttony will recede and you’ll reach some sort of equilibrium eventually.

The drug route has risks of which you’re probably well aware but there can be a payoff. If they weren’t effective at all obviously no one would suggest trying it.

There are a lot of conservative people out there who an aversion (and perhaps an outright fear) of psychoactive drugs. Most of them have never tried them. They fear losing control or becoming somebody else – irrevocable changes to the psyche. I can say from experience that it’s not like that. If you’ve never taken them it’s easy to believe there will be a night and day difference but once you do you find the effects are subtler than you were led to believe. Even drugs like amphetamine, which are perceived as being hard(er) drugs with dangerous social consequences, don’t feel as “harsh” as you would think. At least in the beginning at reasonable doses. The obvious exception would be the hallucinogens. I imagine those are quite noticeable. They’re also all illegal. Psychoactives are not benign substances but they’re not to be dreaded either. It’s hard to explain and only experience can teach you.

SSRIs are the standard first line treatment for anxiety and OCD these days. There is considerable anti-SSRI sentiment on this board. Mainly because of the work of Ray Peat and because a lot of people have tried them and didn’t like them. Myself included. I’ve been on several and had a pretty crappy time. But this is all anecdotal. Just because I had a crap time doesn’t mean you will. There are plenty of reports of people out there who say SSRIs made a huge positive impact on there lives. Who am I to tell them they’re wrong? That’s not something an objective minded scientist would say. That’s something Tom Cruise would say.

Like any drug SSRIs have their horror stories but I think those horror stories are comparable to the propaganda surrounding drugs like marijuana. It’s blown vastly out of proportion. The chances of you taking Prozac and jumping out of the window are next to nil. Chances are you will still feel like you. SSRIs are very subtle drugs. If I could describe my experience with them in one word it would be “boring”. The effect was so slow and subtle that I became acclimatized to it without realizing it was happening. Personally, I didn’t like it. But you may, who knows. It’s your decision.

I have no experiences with benzodiazepines or other anti-anxiety meds so I can’t speak to them.

Despite Tucker’s hyperbole, Tianeptine really is an interesting drug. I haven’t tried it myself but, from what I’ve read it seems to hold a lot of promise – especially for those who didn’t respond well to SSRIs. That said it’s not a panacea or wonder drug either and I’ve read accounts of people who also had bad times on it. It’s also not available in North America which makes actually acquiring it a tricky ordeal into murky legal waters.