Niacinamide Anxiety – Helps Social Anxiety, Depression, Panic Attacks?
Heard about taking niacinamide for anxiety? Niacinamide has been shown to be helpful for a variety of psychological and emotional problems such as social anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
Many people have turned to niacinamide for anxiety relief because it is inexpensive and widely available.
First, we want to make sure we don’t confuse niacinamide with niacin.
Niacinamide is not the Same as Niacin
Now, just to be clear, if you want to be able to increase your performance in the gym or on the field, you do not want to take niacinamide. Rather, you should be looking for niacin. For more about this, see our page comparing niacin vs niacinamide. The best way to take niacin is using an under-the-tongue strip which you can go here to see our review of Niacin max.
In that article we discuss why athletes should take niacin rather than niacinamide because it boosts their blood oxygenation, among other benefits. People generally turn to niacinamide because it has less of a likelihood of causing the niacin flush, an itchy redness of the face and neck that lasts 5 to 10 minutes.
But, the niacin flush is what tells you it’s working, so you don’t want to make the mistake of taking niacinamide instead because you won’t get the athletic benefits.
However, niacinamide has other viable uses.
Taking Niacinamide for Anxiety
Some people have reported that taking niacinamide can help to reduce anxiety, relieve depression, and help with panic attacks. It has a calming effect and is inexpensive and very easy to find. It requires no prescription, making it widely available. You can pick it up at practically anywhere vitamins are sold.
Niacinamide Side Effects: The primary side effect is nausea and is generally only occurring in people who take more than 6 grams per day. It has been found to increase the brain’s production of serotonin, noradrenaline, and dopamine, resulting in a overall feeling of well-being.
Another commonly reported side effect is sedation, although this result is not entirely unwelcome in anxiety patients taking niacinamide.
The Underlying Causes of Anxiety Are Left Untreated
Most psychologists agree that while taking niacinamide for anxiety can offer short term results, the real change must be mental and not only physiological if the changes are going to last.
The problem with taking anything to help relieve anxiety or depression is that it only helps you feel better by causing physiological and chemical changes in the brain, resulting in a feeling of relief or emotional well-being. But, once the effects wear off, the same mental and emotional habits return and the problem continues.
This is how addiction occurs.
It can be considered like a crutch. Certainly, a crutch can be beneficial if someone have injured themselves. But, there comes a point that if the crutch is not abandoned, the injury will not heal. The human body is incredibly efficient and adaptive. If the body becomes accustomed to a crutch bearing the weight of an injured leg, for example, then it will only heal to a certain point and stop.
This is why physical therapy is usually recommended for people who have sustained injuries for both athletes and non-athletes. Without using the body in the way it is supposed to be used, it’s functionality will diminish. It’s the old “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.
Here’s the point:
The brain itself is a physical organ, and can be thought of in a similar way to any other body part. If the brain has habits, ways of thinking and reacting, that are causing anxiety, then taking something for it is only a short term solution. Of course, natural and chemical remedies have their place, but the goal should always be to correct the underlying problem long-term, not just the symptom.
Anxiety is a symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. The problem itself is counterproductive psychological and emotional habits. These can be retrained in the brain like any physical body part and are the only viable long term solution.
For more information on how to actually do this, I suggest you learn more about cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. As a side note, I want to mention that if you haven’t heard of CBT before, it’s NOT some fringe pseudo-science. It is backed by decades of clinical trials and is the primary and most effective way psychologists use to treat and cure patients with a variety of conditions that involve anxiety. CBT is used for patients ranging from people with obsessive compulsive disorder to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
So, while taking niacinamide for your anxiety may help you short term, training such as cognitive behavioral therapy has a far greater track record of successfully helping people deal with the underlying causes of anxiety.
By using both where appropriate, you can address anxiety both in the short term and long term.