Can A Regular Doctor Prescribe Anxiety Medication
Anne was finally about to get laser eye surgery, which had been something she had wanted since middle school. She hated wearing glasses or contact lenses first thing in the morning and was very excited to kiss that morning routine goodbye. The only problem was that she was incredibly anxious about the surgery. She knew that it was the right thing for her and wanted it, but as the big date got closer, she found her anxiety worsening. Ultimately, she needed to get medication for her nerves to calm her down so that she could get through the surgery. The surgery, of course, was a success, and Anne was so happy to get rid of her glasses and contact lenses finally.
John wasnt happy with his current job as a Social Media Specialist for a big corporate and was looking for a career change. He applied for a Masters degree at his dream University and was selected for an interview! While he was over the moon, he was also very anxious about the interview. He found himself sweating and shaking even thinking about itso much so that his doctor thought it was a good idea to prescribe him anti-anxiety medication to get some relief from his physical symptoms. John went into the interview as confident as ever and was cleared on to the next round!
Technically, any licensed physician can prescribe medication for anxiety. However, many doctors are reluctant to prescribe medications for mental health without a patient having visited a psychiatrist.
Special Benzodiazepine Risk Factors
Anyone who takes benzodiazepines can experience unpleasant or dangerous side effects. But certain individuals are at a higher risk:
People over 65. Older adults are more sensitive to the sedating effects of benzodiazepines. Even small doses can cause confusion, amnesia, loss of balance, and cognitive impairment that looks like dementia. Benzodiazepine use in the elderly is associated with an increased risk of falls, broken hips and legs, and car accidents. Long-term benzodiazepine use also increases the risk of Alzheimers disease and dementia.
People with a history of substance abuse. Because theyre physically addicting and on their own and dangerous when combined with alcohol and other drugs, anyone with a current or former substance abuse problem should use benzodiazepines only with extreme caution.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women. Benzodiazepine use during pregnancy can lead to dependence in the developing baby, with withdrawal following birth. Benzodiazepines are also excreted in breast milk. Therefore, pregnant women need to have a thorough discussion about the risks and benefits of these medications with their prescribing doctor. If medication is necessary, the goal is the smallest effective dose.
The connection between benzodiazepines and accidents
Serotonin And Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors
If SSRIs don’t help ease your anxiety, you may be prescribed a different type of antidepressant known as a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor .
This type of medicine increases the amount of serotonin and noradrenaline in your brain.
Examples of SNRIs you may be prescribed include:
SNRIs can also increase your blood pressure, so your blood pressure will be monitored regularly during treatment.
As with SSRIs, some of the side effects are more common in the first 1 or 2 weeks of treatment, but these usually settle as your body adjusts to the medication.
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What You Need To Know About Anxiety Disorders Before Visiting A Doctor
According to the National Institute of Mental Health , what we know as anxiety disorders are a collection of conditions that are defined by intense, negative feelings of anxiety, unease and/or panic.
There are many versions of anxiety disorder, and they can have overlapping symptoms, ranging from more severe senses of panic for anxiety sufferers and for panic disorder sufferers, milder anxiety, too.
The anxiety symptoms youve heard about most tend to include restlessness, muscle tension, difficulty falling asleep or sleeping through the night, feeling on edge or wound-up throughout the day and night, difficulty with concentrating, frequent fatigue, regular irritability and uncontrollable worry.
Typically, a person with anxiety will feel those symptoms most days of the month, for at least six months.
These anxiety symptoms are common more than 30 percent of American adults have experienced or will experience an anxiety disorder at some point.
Within the larger category of anxiety, one of the most common forms is generalized anxiety disorder, commonly abbreviated as GAD, is defined by extended periods of excessive anxiousness or worry this can go on for months, years or more .
Anxiety is primarily caused by imbalances of the chemicals in your brain, similar to the way depression and other mood and mental disorders affect brain chemistry.
Side Effects Of Ssris And Snris
Many teens dont experience side effects when taking SSRIs or SNRIs. Those that do may find the side effects are often mild and usually go away within the first few weeks of treatment.
The most common side effects include:
- Loss of appetite
Parents and physicians should discuss side effects with teens so they know what to expect and can report on any they are experiencing. If one medication isnt working or its causing serious side effects, your teen may need to change medications.
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Referral To A Specialist
If you have tried the treatments mentioned above and have significant symptoms of GAD, you may want to discuss with your GP whether you should be referred to a mental health specialist.
A referral will work differently in different areas of the UK, but youâll usually be referred to your community mental health team.
These teams include a range of specialists, including:
- occupational therapists
- social workers
An appropriate mental health specialist from your local team will carry out an overall reassessment of your condition.
Theyâll ask you about your previous treatment and how effective you found it.
They may also ask about things in your life that may be affecting your condition, or how much support you get from family and friends.
Your specialist will then be able to devise a treatment plan for you, which will aim to treat your symptoms.
As part of this plan, you may be offered a treatment you havenât tried before, which might be one of the psychological treatments or medications mentioned above.
Alternatively, you may be offered a combination of a psychological treatment with a medication, or a combination of 2 different medications.
Anxiety In The Primary Care Setting
Anxiety is an emotional and physical health problem. It is marked by feelings of fear, unease, and worry that can sometimes be so severe as to make us feel physically unwell. The source of these feelings is not always known. Sometimes it involves past trauma or injury sometimes it involves fear about something uncertain in the future.
A patient might say to me, I need something for my anxiety. They might have had prescriptions in the past for quick-acting medicines such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium, or Klonopin. Those are benzodiazepines, medicines that should only be prescribed with great caution and awareness of the risk for tolerance and dependence. In some cases these medications are good solutions but they have limitations. As a primary care nurse practitioner I want to move beyond what seems like a quick-and-easy fix but doesnt heal over time. The use of these quick-acting medications is an example of seeking an external locus of control over ones emotional state. Making a lasting and effective change in the dynamic of anxiety is neither easy nor quick, like taking a pill might be.
When we develop the ability to recognize harmful self-talk, we can practice changing the way we speak to ourselves each of us can exert powerful restorative effects on our emotional and physical well-being.
John Todd, APRN, FNP is a family nurse practitioner at Putney Family Healthcare, a department of Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.
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Can Therapy Work With Anxiety Prescriptions
There is an unlimited array of tools to assist you in combating anxiety. In fact, if you forgo prescription medication, there are still plenty of resources available to combat your anxiety.
You can try online therapy with licensed psychologists who can assist you in helping you help yourself.
Support groups give communal acknowledgment to help you begin your journey in healing from your anxiety challenges.
Types Of Anxiety Medications
Some of the most common medications used to help with anxiety are Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin. These drugs are classified as benzodiazepines Many doctors are reluctant to prescribe these at will because of patients risk of becoming tolerant or dependent on them.
Suddenly stopping a benzodiazepine medication after even a few months of therapy will cause mental withdrawal symptoms A sudden medication stop can also induce physical symptoms like sweating, vomiting, tremors, muscle cramping, and even seizures.
Anxiety medications are risky and cannot be prescribed to patients with previous drug abuse problems Additionally, anxiety medications do not permanently fix anxiety. At best, they are a band-aid for a much deeper issue. Medications are external fixes when anxiety is an internal, mental issue.
Suppose you want to deal with anxiety on the most effective level. In that case, you must also attend regular cognitive or behavioral therapy to tackle the fear, depression, or deep-rooted trauma behind the anxiety.
Benzodiazepines are typically taken in conjunction with therapy, so many doctors do not wish to prescribe these drugs unless there is proof of psychiatric help and or previous approval of the said drug. No one wants to be responsible for someones psychoactive drug dependency, as addiction can seriously derail someones life.
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When To Use A Pcp For Mental Health Medication
If you think you need medication for a mental health condition and arent sure where to turn, you can always start with a visit to your primary care provider , says Dr. Cliff Hamilton, a psychiatrist with Summit Health in New Providence, New Jersey.
PCPs are generalists, but they typically have enough mental healthspecific training to recognize, diagnose and treat common issues. Depression and anxiety, for instance, are well within most PCPs wheelhouses, says Dr. Nathan Kakish, an internal medicine and pediatrics physician at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital in McHenry, Illinois.
Starting with a PCP has a few benefits. For one, they already know your medical history, which means they might think of potential underlying causes before making a mental health diagnosis. Say you go to the doctor because youve been anxious or moody your PCP might run lab tests to rule out other medical issues that can cause those symptoms, such as thyroid dysfunction, rheumatological disorders, low vitamin D levels and anemia, before prescribing an anti-anxiety medication or antidepressant.
Do I Need This Treatment
A certain amount of anxiety or insomnia is a normal reaction to what is happening in your life. You may worry or feel stressed, and sometimes these feelings can keep you up at night. Most often, these feelings pass and are not a problem. However, these feelings can become a problem when they continue over a longer term, cause severe distress, make you feel physically ill and affect your behaviour. This kind of anxiety may be triggered by a challenging life event. It can also be a symptom of a mental health problem.
The ability to fall asleep and to sleep through the night can be affected by many types of health problems. These include physical conditions that cause pain or trouble breathing, as well as mental health problems. When sleep is disrupted, health can be further affected.
While each situation is unique and different treatment approaches may be called for, benzodiazepines can help to provide relief.
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Who Can Prescribe Antidepressant Medications
Thankfully, its reported that between 80-90% of people with depression respond well to treatment, and nearly all people experience some relief from their symptoms with treatment.
Antidepressants are a prescription medication and therefore require a prescription from a health care professional.
Generally, you can obtain a prescription for antidepressant medication from two types of health care professionals.
In Sum Should You Use Medications For Anxiety
Ending worry habits and utilizing the other non-pill psychotherapy techniques listed above generally can quell anxious feelings without your needing to resort to drugs. Use medications as a last resort.
For anxiety arising from a clear problem that you see ahead, start by using the following recipe:
For the problem-solving sequence above it can be helpful to talk with a friend or relative about the problem. Two are better than one for generating new ideas about a strategy for dealing with tough situations.
So next time you feel anxious, aim first and foremost to relieve your anxiety by addressing the anxiety-engendering problem. This strategy will reap additional bonuses. Find the blessing in the curse by gaining deepened self-understanding, self-acceptance, and psychological wisdom. Go for it!
Susan Heitler, educated at Harvard and NYU, trains therapists across the U.S. in anxiety therapy techniques and authored Prescriptions Without Pills.
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Ssri Antidepressants For Anxiety
Many medications originally approved for the treatment of depression are also prescribed for anxiety. In comparison to benzodiazepines, the risk for dependency and abuse is smaller. However, antidepressants take up to 4 to 6 weeks to begin relieving anxiety symptoms, so they cant be taken as needed. Their use is limited to chronic anxiety problems that require ongoing treatment.
The antidepressants most widely prescribed for anxiety are SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. SSRIs have been used to treat generalized anxiety disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Common side effects of SSRIs include:
- Increased sweating
Can You Prescribe Antibiotics
Yes, however, any prescription of antibiotics must be accurate and professional. We understand the negative consequences that may result from over-prescribing, and thus our doctors will only write prescriptions in instances where such medication is absolutely necessary.
Antibiotics arenÃ¢t always the right treatment. Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. Instead, the doctor may provide a treatment plan that includes symptom relief for viral infections. Learn more on the CDC website
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