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Author Bio:- Ralph Macey has been working with an upscale psychiatric facility for quite sometime now. His work involves removing the social stigma associated with chronic mental disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dementia, ADHD, depression, loneliness, PTSD, etc. His work focuses on the integrated interventions to improve mental health and the alternative approaches to healing.
Anxiety in autism spectrum disorder – 6 Effective natural remedies
Parents often feel helpless when their children have anxiety along with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both are quite complicated medical issues and they need to be dealt with carefully. Autistic children with anxiety disorder have the same tensions and apprehensions as others. But when they get an anxiety attack, their behavior appears more like the symptoms of ASD. They resist any change in the routine. They show obsessive and ritualistic behavior and so on.
Medications can help. But are they enough to take care of these complex medical issues? Well, not necessarily. Some medications take a lot of time to start working in the body. Some medications don’t work at all. Plus, there are a lot of side effects of these medicines, which can lead to further complications. This is why people often look for natural remedies for anxiety in autism spectrum disorder.
Natural remedies or alternative treatments are an essential part of the integrated interventions in mental healthcare. Many people think that alternative treatments or natural remedies don’t go well with medication. But this is not true. Integrated interventions in mental healthcare include medication, psychotherapy, and alternative treatments. When they are used with cutting-edge technologies, the mental condition of individuals improves a lot.
6 Natural remedies to cope with anxiety in autistic people
Parents can try natural remedies even when their children are on medication or are undergoing therapies. Usually, individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy can help to bring some positive behavioral changes in autistic people with anxiety. When parents give natural remedies along with medications and therapies to anxiety-prone autistic children, they can adopt a holistic approach for mental well-being. This is essential for the overall mental care of the child.
Here are a few natural remedies you can give when you see anxiety symptoms in autistic individuals.
1. Vitamin B supplements: These supplements help to reduce stress. The dosage depends on the stress level. If someone is too stressed out, then he has to take more vitamin B supplements. If someone is stressed out occasionally, then he has to take supplements in small quantities.
Vitamin B supplements are water-soluble. As such, they need to be replaced often. The ideal candidates for vitamin B supplements are kids, adults, and caregivers who are under tremendous stress.
For best results, request the patient to swallow this supplement.
2. Osteomatrix: It’s a calcium-magnesium supplement, which acts as a relaxing agent in the body. You can give this supplement every day at any time. There is no fixed time for taking this supplement. If your child refuses to take this supplement, then you can crush it and mix it with any food item that he eats. But make sure you ask the psychiatrist before taking such a step. This supplement helps to prevent aggressive outbursts of the patients.
3. Omega-3 fatty acids: It’s the good fat in fish oils that you can get in supplement form in the medicine stores. Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely good for brain development and its smooth function. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to moderate the repetitive behaviors of an autistic child. According to the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, omega-3 fatty acids help to improve the social skills and behavior of a child with an ASD too.
4. Stress relief complex: This supplement is usually given to patients with OCD, Asperger’s Syndrome, and anxiety issues. It helps to calm the agitated mind and body with clinically tested components like beta-sitosterol, l-theanine, L-tyrosine, ashwagandha, etc. This supplement works in the body within 15 minutes and has no adverse effect when it’s taken with medicines.
5. Lecithin: This supplement helps to improve various functions of the body including the brain. Lecithin (more popularly known as Choline) is a component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, whose main job is to transmit messages in the nervous system and the brain. So somewhere down the line, this supplement helps to improve the brain function and nervous system.
6. Melatonin: Some autistic children with anxiety disorder suffer from sleeping problems like insomnia, restlessness, problems in falling asleep, etc. Lack of sleep can aggravate anxiety and the ASD symptoms, which shouldn’t be ignored at all.
A natural supplement known as melatonin helps autistic children to have a good sleep and reduce symptoms. However, many doctors say that melatonin should be used only when the reason behind sleep problems is autism.
When the anxiety level is very high, you may need to give more than one supplement to the autistic child. You can give one supplement in the morning and the other one at night. If you want to use only one supplement, then give the stress relief complex to your autistic child. Otherwise, you can ask a psychiatrist about the right combination of supplements.
How to know if your autistic child has anxiety
Usually, people with an anxiety disorder are always anxious and worried about others’ opinions. They are always worried about how other people will react or what they will think or feel about them. As such, they feel stressed out and worried.
Now think about the condition of autistic children with an anxiety disorder. They can’t even tell their parents that they are tense or worried. Instead, they show behavioral changes like:
- They throw tantrums and show temper
- They tend to stick to routines
- They scratch skin continuously or bite nails incessantly
- They bang their hand and hurt themselves
- They can’t sleep at night
- They try to avoid the social circle
- They tend to depend more on obsessions and rituals
Once you find these symptoms in your child, take him to a psychiatrist as quickly as possible. The psychiatrist can suggest various ways to cope with this new mental condition of your autistic child.
Undoubtedly, integrated interventions in mental healthcare have helped to treat anxiety in autism spectrum disorder to a great extent. The typical signs of anxiety in autistic individuals are irritation, aggressive behaviors, escapist attitude, suicidal tendency, etc. If your child has both autism and anxiety symptoms, then try to give integrated interventions in mental healthcare. This will help to bring a harmonious balance between the brain and the nervous system.