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Do You Have To Take Medication For Anxiety

How Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome Related To Anxiety Disorders

How Do I Take “As Needed” Anxiety Medication?

Some people feel the effects of stress in their stomachs. People with IBS have uncomfortable problems with digestion, including stomach pain, constipation and diarrhea. They also frequently have anxiety and depression, which can make symptoms worse.

The connection between IBS and anxiety comes from the nervous system partly controlling the colon. The nervous systems response to stress may affect the stomach. Among people who get treated for IBS, anywhere from 50% to 90% may also have an anxiety disorder or depression. Treatment for IBS may include stress management and psychotherapy to relieve symptoms.

What If I Take Too Much

The amount of escitalopram that can lead to an overdose varies from person to person.

Urgent advice: Call your doctor straight away if:

You have taken too much escitalopram by accident and experience symptoms such as:

  • feeling agitated
  • a fast heart rate
  • seizures

If you need to go to A& E, do not drive yourself. Get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.

Take the escitalopram packet or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine, with you.

Side Effects Of Anxiety Medications

Just as it is important to know about how the different types of medications can help, it is also important to be aware of possible side effects.

All medications have some side effects, although not all people have difficulty taking medications. Some may not feel side effects at all, others may have only mild side effects, and some may find the side effects disappear after a few weeks. You will need to weight the benefits of taking the medication to the potential for side effects.

Some of the common side effects of benzodiazepines:

  • Drowsiness

  • Clumsiness and inability to react quickly

  • Dizziness

  • Forgetfulness, loss of memory, impaired judgment, confusion

  • Nausea

Some of the common side effects of beta-blockers:

  • Nausea

  • Light-headedness or dizziness

  • Sleepiness

Again, each person may experience side effects differently and each type of medication may have many different side effects. Do some research on the medication you have been prescribed so you know what to expect.

Also Check: How To Get Over Hangover Anxiety

Memory Impairment Is One Possible Long

One side effect of anti-anxiety medication that is more commonly associated with long-term use of the drug is memory loss resulting from slowed cognitive function. An article in Psychiatric Times shared that these effects are sometimes underestimated because those with anxiety disorders are generally more likely to have trouble concentrating or paying attention in the first place.

In addition to potential memory impairment, your thinking and learning may be impacted, so use of anti-anxiety medication could potentially affect your reaction time and motor coordination, according to American Family Physician.

Additionally, recent research shows a possible link between anti-anxiety medication and dementia. Another Psychiatric Times article noted that the ongoing use of anti-anxiety medication “may increase the risk for developing dementia among older adults.” This is just another thing to think about when considering whether anti-anxiety medication is right for you.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

Anxiety Medication, Drugs For Anxiety, Anxiety Medication ...

In most cases, the first medication you’ll be offered will be a type of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor .

This type of medication works by increasing the level of a chemical called serotonin in your brain.

Examples of SSRIs you may be prescribed include:

  • difficulty achieving orgasm during sex or masturbation
  • in men, difficulty obtaining or maintaining an erection

These side effects should improve over time, although some such as sexual problems can persist.

If your medication isn’t helping after about 2 months of treatment or it’s causing unpleasant side effects, your GP may prescribe an alternative SSRI.

When you and your GP decide it’s appropriate for you to stop taking your medication, you’ll normally have your dose slowly reduced over the course of a few weeks to reduce the risk of withdrawal effects.

Never stop taking your medication unless your GP specifically advises you to.

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You’re Having Trouble Leaving Home

Depending on what type of anxiety you have, you mind find yourself feeling too worried to leave the house. “If the world outside of your walls is scary/anxiety-provoking/overwhelming, you may feel a tendency to stay where you are ‘safe,'” Barnes says. And yet, just like everything else, this can spiral out of control. It’s a good idea to get help before you get even more stuck.

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder

With GAD, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension even if theres nothing to trigger these feelings. Most days, you may worry a lot about various topics, including health, work, school and relationships. You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next.

Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems.

Read Also: Does My Cat Have Anxiety

Drug Interactions And Overdose

While benzodiazepines are relatively safe when taken only occasionally and in small doses, they can be dangerous and even deadly when combined with other central nervous system depressants. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before combining medications.

Dont drink on benzodiazepines. When mixed with alcohol, benzodiazepines can lead to fatal overdose.

Dont mix with painkillers or sleeping pills. Taking benzodiazepines with prescription pain or sleeping pills can also lead to fatal overdose.

Antihistamines amplify their effects. Antihistaminesfound in many over-the-counter sleep, cold, and allergy medicinesare sedating on their own. Be cautious when mixing with benzodiazepines to avoid over-sedation.

Be cautious when combining with antidepressants. SSRIs such as Prozac and Zoloft can heighten benzodiazepine toxicity. You may need to adjust your dose accordingly.

Paradoxical effects of benzodiazepines

The benzodiazepines work because they slow down the nervous system. But sometimes, for reasons that arent well understood, they have the opposite effect. Paradoxical reactions are most common in children, the elderly, and people with developmental disabilities. They include:

  • Increased anxiety, irritability, agitation, aggression, and rage
  • Mania, impulsive behavior, and hallucinations

Anxiety Medication For Children

Depression and Anxiety: Do I need to take a medication?

Most experts in the field of childhood development and child psychiatry will tell you that healthy children are often anxious. This is also a matter of common sense. A parent who has had several children can also tell you that anxiety is a normal part of being a child.

However, anxiety in children can also be unhealthy. There are three general criteria that tell you that a childs anxiety might be unhealthy and needs to be treated. They are:

  • The anxiety is more intense than is usual for a child
  • The anxiety is more prolonged than usual
  • The anxiety happens more frequently than is usual
  • The anxiety interferes with your childs ability to develop and take part in social activities.

In addition, a child with unhealthy amounts of anxiety will have the symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms will fall into three categories as follows:

  • Bodily Symptoms: Frequent headaches, stomach aches and muscle tightness. They can also have episodes of a racing heart and shortness of breath.
  • Psychological Symptoms: Anxious children often worry and have lots of negative thoughts and they are children that will cry easily.
  • Behavioral Symptoms: Children who are anxious might resist going to school because they are afraid of being there. Or they might be afraid of going to bed because they are afraid of what they will experience.
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    Symptoms Of Klonopin Misuse And Abuse

    Some will abuse Klonopin because it makes the user feel totally relaxed and euphoric. Signs that someone is abusing Klonopin include:

    • Clumsiness due to dizziness
    • Paranoia
    • Drowsiness

    Klonopin can cause life-threatening problems. If the following side effects occur, the person needs to seek help immediately.

    • Unable to breathe properly to the point of suffocation
    • A rash develops
    • The person may have a seizure

    Focus On A Breathing Exercise

    Individuals who experience panic typically dont breathe from the diaphragm, which can lead to hyperventilation, said Kevin Chapman, a Kentucky-based clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety-related disorders. Breathing is a portable tool to decrease hyperventilation.

    He recommended slowly inhaling through your nose for four or five seconds and then exhaling out of your mouth for six seconds.

    Imagine you are breathing from your belly hence the term belly breathing instead of taking more shallow breaths from your lungs, Gitlin advised. The focus should be on expanding your stomach and rib cage, and going as slowly as possible, with the exhale being longer than the inhale.

    You can place your hand on your stomach to feel the breath going in and out. Try to count it out and repeat the cycle multiple times.

    Apps like Headspace and Calm offer guided breathing exercises some are even available through the in-flight entertainment offerings on certain airlines.

    Read Also: How To Treat Anxiety Disorder

    What Are Ssris And Snris

    Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft and Prozac, and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like Effexor and Pristiq are antidepressant medications, but they can help with anxiety symptoms as well. For this reason, many providers will prescribe an SSRI or SNRI if you have a combination of depression and anxiety.

    SSRIs and SNRIs are not an instant fix for symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder, nor do they even provide immediate relief, Alonzo said. They work by interacting with the neurotransmitters and receptors in your brain, which can help regulate mood, sleep and energy levels. It is important for patients to understand that these medications may take four to six weeks for full effect.

    Some patients may respond better to one of these medications than others. If after taking the medication for two weeks and symptoms have not improved, talk to your provider to have your medication regimen adjusted. Treatment trials with more than one medication are not uncommon.

    You Experience Physical Effects

    Safest SSRI Antidepressants For Anxiety In Children: Is ...

    Constant anxiety and stress can cause many physical symptoms, including:

    • stomachaches
    • headaches
    • muscle tension

    These aches and pains can do more than just make you uncomfortable. You also may find that you experience:

    • a change in eating habits
    • a fluctuation in your weight
    • an inability or unwillingness to do activities you used to enjoy

    Heart palpitations, which can make you feel as though your heart is fluttering or skipping a beat, can happen during moments of intense anxiety.

    You may even feel shortness of breath as your body attempts to increase the levels of oxygen going to your muscles.

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    Personalize Your Treatment Plan

    If your clinician recommends an anti-anxiety medication, ask if pharmacogenetic testing can help personalize your treatment plan based on your genes.

    Genomind® Professional PGx Express, for example, looks at 24 genes related to mental health treatment. It provides guidance across 10+ mental health conditions, including anxiety, and 130+ medications to help clinicians determine:

    • Which medications will likely be the most effective
    • Which medications may have side effects
    • How you metabolize medications for personalized dosing guidance

    The Genomind test requires a prescription. Wondering if it can help you? Learn more about Genomind here.

    Putting Anxiety Depression And Self

    Drug dependent is the same as addicted but without feelings of craving. Ceasing the use of antidepressant medications once you have been on them for some time can trigger an intense withdrawal-induced depression, a depression that may be even worse than the original anxiety and/or depression. The drug withdrawal reaction may also include physically ill feelings. Your doctor can help you to taper off very slowlyand sometimes even then ending the pills may trigger a drug-withdrawal response.

    Also Check: How To Control Anxiety Without Medication

    Urgent Advice: Call Your Doctor Straight Away If:

    You’ve taken too much venlafaxine by accident and experience symptoms such as:

    • feeling sleepy
    • a racing heart
    • seizures

    If you need to go to a hospital accident and emergency department, do not drive yourself – get someone else to drive you or call for an ambulance.

    Take the venlafaxine packet, or the leaflet inside it, plus any remaining medicine with you.

    Medication Management And Risks


    If your teen is taking, or considering taking, medication for anxiety, it is important to speak with them consistently about their experience with the medication, especially about any side effects they may be experiencing. Report side effects to their doctor and talk to their doctor before you and your teen decide to discontinue any medication. It may take more than one try to find the right anxiety medication for your teen and some doctors may recommend genetic testing that can help them determine which class of medications may work best.

    Also be sure to talk to your teen about the risks of using alcohol and other drugs while taking anxiety medication. Drinking alcohol can worsen side effects of any anxiety medication and drinking while taking benzodiazepines is extremely dangerous. Remind your teen that they should not give or sell their medication to anyone else, nor should they should take medication prescribed to anyone else. If your child is taking benzodiazepines, talk to them about the risks of habit-forming potential and monitor their use of the medication.

    Antidepressants like SSRIs and SNRIs carry warnings that they may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and self-harming behavior, particularly among young people. Although the risk is low, communicate with your teen about side effects so that you will know if they are experiencing any suicidal thoughts.

    Also Check: What Medication Is Used To Treat Anxiety

    You Avoid Things That Are Good For You

    Worried about giving a presentation or talking to other people?

    If youre anxiously imagining all of the things that could go wrong and avoiding the things that scare you, anxiety is holding you back.

    You could miss out on a promotion because youre afraid to participate in a conference. Or you might avoid an uncomfortable conversation with a significant other that could improve your relationship.

    Instead of avoiding conflict, it is possible to reduce anxiety by getting more comfortable with it. Behaviors that we learn as little kids, such as not talking back to our parents, can stickand our brains dont always realize that now were adults. So those fears we learn as children can still be at work when were grown up.

    Are There Any Vitamins Or Supplements To Help Treat Anxiety

    Vitamins and supplements generally dont have a lot of evidence that say theyre effective for anxiety. Many vitamins and supplements also have potential interactions with prescription anxiety medications.

    If youre interested in starting a new vitamin or supplement while taking a prescription anxiety medication, its recommended to speak to a pharmacist to make sure its a safe combination.

    Read Also: Does Zoloft Work For Anxiety

    Can Anxiety Be Good For You

    Anxiety, like physical pain, can serve as a valuable signal. It tells you that a troubling situation is brewing. Like a blinking yellow traffic light, anxious feelings signal, “Pay attention. There’s a problem ahead that merits addressing!”

    Because anxiety warns you to a potential danger, a best first response to anxiety is to gather information about the problem. Then map an effective plan of action. With an action plan, the anxiety is likely to lift.

    Anxiety in this regard is like a good angel. It arrives to give you an important message. Once you have adequately addressed the problem that the anxiety is warning you about, the anxiety will have accomplished its mission. It then usually disappears of its own accord.

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