We at ANP have done a fair number of prepping and survival articles where we have discussed prepping to survive catastrophe, whether it is economic, terror-related, grid down scenario or even massively severe weather events. Those preparations include what we should have on hand before a SHTF scenario, to what people should have planned out to do on day one to offer a better chance to survive the aftermath of disaster, to long term survival tips and ideas.
While we know that hungry people, unprepared, and unable to obtain even the basics food-wise, can and will be dangerous to those that are prepared, what we rarely see discussed in prepping pieces is the amount of American adults that will suddenly be unable to refill or obtain their psychiatric medications, and believe me, in researching the numbers, there are a whole lot of them.
80 MILLION AMERICANS ON PSYCHIATRIC DRUGS
In 2016, using the numbers from 2013, reports showed there were approximately 40 million American taking psychiatric drugs, and that number, according to the largest vendor of U.S. physician prescribing data, IQVia Total Patient Tracker Database for 2017, extracted April 2018, has doubled to more than 80 million Americans.
Sadly, over 7 million of those are children aged 1-17, which in and of itself should be criminal and makes it clear that doctors are definitely over-prescribing these types of medications. That leaves around 72 to 73 million adults on psychiatric drugs in America.
Should the SHTF scenario in question be a nationwide catastrophic event, then running to the pharmacy for a refill will not be in the cards, meaning that within the first month or two, there will be tens of millions of people running out of their psychiatric medications.
According to the information I could find, there are range of symptoms that would compound the original mental issue they were prescribed the medications for in the first place. Withdrawal is just one, but others include disturbed mood, emotional liability, irritability, poor stress tolerance. Post-withdrawal symptoms are listed as "anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety and panic attacks, tardive [developing slowly] insomnia, and depressive disorders including major depression and bipolar illness. Anxiety, disturbed mood, depression, mood swings, emotional liability, persistent insomnia, irritability, poor stress tolerance, impaired concentration and impaired memory are the more frequent postwithdrawal symptoms reported online."
The symptoms according to multiple studies, are dependent on what type of psychiatric drugs the patient was taking, but in many cases the symptoms from stopping the use of the drugs can last weeks, months, and in some cases, years.
As the numbers show, should SHTF, it isn't only people trying to steal your survival supplies, or you having to defend your home from raiders and thieves that still have their mental faculties, but there will a significant amount of those that survived the initial event that will quite literally be mentally unstable, whether from the initial mental issue, or from the withdrawal from the psychiatric drugs, or both together.
Note- Not everyone taking psychiatric drugs is "crazy." Some take them for simply anxiety and/or stress, with others dealing with more volatile mental issues, but between the initial diagnosis, exacerbated by withdrawal symptoms, on top of the stress of living in a post-SHTF world, will undoubtedly leave many unable to deal with reality.
SOME NATURAL REMEDIES THAT MAY HELP
While there is no way a pharmacists is going to just offer up a years supply of psychiatric medications in advance, there are a few natural remedies out there which may not address the original mental issue, but could help mitigate the withdrawal, and even maybe help a little with the original ailment.
One of those natural remedies is called Valerian root. Historically Valerian has been used as a mild sedative, to treat nervousness, trembling, headaches, and heart palpitations, and during WW II was used to relieve the stress of air raids in England.
While Kava is banned in Europe and Canada due to liver issues from overuse, it is legal in the U.S. It is used to treat a variety of issues, including but not limited to: Anxiety, stress, and restlessness, to treat sleeping problems, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs, epilepsy, psychosis, depression, migraines and other headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), common cold and other respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis, muscle pain, and cancer prevention.
As always, if you are already taking any type of prescription medications, anything else you take, whether herbal or over the counter could cause reactions from drug interactions, so it is advised to check with your doctor before adding anything else into your system.
There are multiple sites where you can check drug interactions by typing in what you are taking, along with anything you may add, but it is still advised to use those only in order to specify what questions you want to ask your doctor, rather than replacing your doctors advice with them.
Natural herbal remedies, especially in preparation for a SHTF scenario, makes sense for a variety of reasons. Unlike pharmaceuticals and psychiatric drugs, there is no limit on how much one can stockpile or buy at once, or even in increments, they are not regulated. Another benefit is that even if one isn't taking any psychiatric drugs, in a SHTF scenario stress levels are going to be off the charts, so they are handy just to have on hand for any anxiety.
Readers are encouraged to add any of their favorite stress relief preferences, or prepping tips, or even other prepping topics that are covered less often but should be spoken about more, in the comment section below.
A few other natural anxiety remedies are discussed below by Dt. Tracy Marks, and she also offers a little more information on Kava and Valerian.
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