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How Do You Know If You Need Anxiety Medication

Anxiety Disorder Treatments You Need To Know

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Anxiety disorders are a common mental illness that can cause a lot of anxiety and other unpleasant symptoms. There are many different anxiety disorder treatments you should know about if you or someone close to you suffers from anxiety, including medications, therapy, relaxation techniques, and lifestyle changes.

In this article, we will go over the most important anxiety disorder treatments that you should know about in order to get relief from your anxiety as soon as possible.

When You Might Need Medication

Anxiety disorders often require psychotherapy to see long-term results.

During this process, however, the symptoms you experience may be severe enough to affect aspects of your day-to-day life, such as your relationships, job performance, and school work.

If this happens, medication can be prescribed to help you manage your symptoms.

There are several ways you can tell that it might be time to consider medication:

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.

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Pros Of Medical Marijuana

Cannabis has been used for centuries both recreationally and medicinally with positive effects. Many people in the U.S. view the legalization of medical marijuana favorably, including members of Congress and the medical community. While many benefits of medical marijuana exist, some of the more prominent ones include:

  • Alleviate nausea and vomiting. Some studies found medical marijuana can decrease chemotherapy-related nausea which often comes when treating cancer. The herb almost eliminates vomiting.
  • Relieve muscle spasticity often linked with paralysis and multiple sclerosis.
  • Combat different forms of chronic pain like neuropathic pain.
  • Help with loss of appetite associated with certain types of cancer, HIV/AIDS and other conditions.
  • Be a safer option compared to some other medicines prescribed to treat the same symptoms. For instance, you can use medical weed instead of opioids for managing pain. Not to mention, opioids are typically not used long-term to treat chronic pain because they are highly addictive.
  • Be taken in other forms other than smoking cannabis to benefit from it medically. Products like topical pain relief treatments, cannabidiol oils, edibles and other applications you dont smoke are now available. However, smoking cannabis alone without using it along with tobacco doesnt increase lung disease risk.

Anxiety And Addiction Recovery

Anxiety Medication. Do You Need It?

When taking a potentially addictive drug for anxiety, dual diagnosis can occur. This is when you experience addiction as well as a mood disorder. Its more challenging to treat two disorders so recovery should incorporate a variety of tools. Benzodiazepine use in the United States is prevalent and many are admitted into treatment programs to help them recover. When a patient stops using anti-anxiety medication, they can become more acutely anxious. This is why group therapy and one-on-one therapy is essential. Some may find holistic treatments like meditation will help them find the mental balance in their life. Benzo addiction stories demonstrate that someone with anxiety cant remain on these medications for a long period of time. While on the medication, this is the time to learn how to better manage anxiety. To continue using benzodiazepines or abuse them will only exacerbate the issues youre trying to heal. Professional treatment for benzodiazepines addiction is likely necessary. The withdrawal can be dangerous so medical detox may be necessary.

Given the dangers of anti-anxiety medications its important to discuss all risk factors with your doctor prior to use. If youre struggling with ongoing misuse and abuse, please give us a call today at to discuss possible treatment programs that can aid in overcoming anxiety medication addictions.

Also Check: How To Fix An Anxiety Disorder

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 you’ll usually be referred to your community mental health team.

These teams include a range of specialists, including:

  • psychiatrists
  • occupational therapists
  • social workers

An appropriate mental health specialist from your local team will carry out an overall reassessment of your condition.

They’ll 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 haven’t 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.

Is Your Child Suffering From Anxiety

Take our 2-minute anxiety quiz to see if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment.

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors SNRIs work by increasing serotonin and norepinephrine and preventing brain cells from reabsorbing them. SNRIs can have side effects similar to SSRIs and can also take several weeks to achieve their full effects. Few studies have been conducted on SNRIs for treating anxiety disorders in teenagers, but venlafaxine XR has shown to be effective. Your teens doctor will choose between an SSRI and a SNRIs based on the potential side effects, the potential interaction effect with other medications they take, and your familys history of how these medications have been received.

Read Also: What Does Social Anxiety Look Like

Anxiety Medications May Limit Your Other Activities

Benzodiazepines can cause drowsiness, lack of energy, confusion, impaired thinking, and judgement, and blurred vision. These side effects may stop you from participating in other activities. You should not drive until you know how the medication will affect you. You may have problems at work or at school. You may feel sleepy or groggy.

I Need Relief And I Need It Now

How to Tell If You Need Depression Medication

So where does that leave you if youre suffering? Even when anxiety relief comes with side effects and dangers, that can still sound like a fair trade when panic and fear are ruling your life.

The bottom line is that theres a time and place for anxiety medication. If you have severe anxiety thats interfering with your ability to function, medication may be helpfulespecially as a short-term treatment. However, many people use anti-anxiety medication when therapy, exercise, or other self-help strategies would work just as well or better, minus the drawbacks.

Anxiety medications can ease symptoms, but theyre not right for everyone and theyre not the only answer. Its up to you to evaluate your options and decide whats best for you.

Need to talk to someone?

Get affordable online counseling from BetterHelp or visit HelpGuides directory for free helplines and crisis resources. HelpGuide is reader supported. We may receive a commission if you sign up for BetterHelp through the provided link. Learn more.

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You Experience Physical Effects

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.

How Long Do I Have To Take Medication For My Anxiety Disorder And Can I Stop If I No Longer Have Symptoms

Dr. Mark Pollack answers the question: ‘Stopping My Anxiety Disorder Meds?’

Question: How long do I have to take medication for my anxiety disorder, and can I stop if I no longer have symptoms?

Answer: It’s very common when people are on medication for treatment of anxiety disorders to wonder, “Am I going to have to be on this the rest of my life?” The truth is we don’t yet have definitive answers for a lot of people in terms of how long they have to stay on medication. General guidelines for treatment suggest that for a first treatment episode, keeping people on medication once they fully respond and are essentially free of symptoms for somewhere around a year or two years seems prudent and reasonable. And then, if the individual wants, to try to taper them off their medication and see how they do.

For patients who, whenever they’ve tried to come off medication in the past, have relapsed or had retuning symptoms, for those individuals, longer durations of treatment maintenance therapy, probably over a course of years, is certainly warranted. With cognitive behavioral therapy — psychosocial treatments — for some people, a single course of 12 to 15 sessions will help them feel better, and they may continue on without necessarily requiring more treatment. But here, too, it’s not uncommon for people to require ongoing treatment even with cognitive behavioral therapy to maintain their benefit.

Also Check: What To Give Someone With Anxiety

You Just Need A Break

It’s OK to take medication as a way of giving your mind a break, while also allowing the chance to your thoughts patterns. “Medication can be helpful to take the edge off and make life more manageable,” says NYC-based therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW. “This will allow you to develop healthy coping skills to deal better with your anxiety.”

When To Talk With Your Doctor

Everything you need to know about anxiety medications ...

Anxiety is linked to many medical conditions, so its always a good idea to speak with your doctor about it. If youre concerned about your feelings of anxiety, thats reason enough to talk with your doctor theres no need to wait.

You dont need to have all of the anxiety symptoms to speak up about them, and you shouldnt wait until they worsen, or you develop new ones. Today is a great time to talk about anxiety with a medical professional who cares about your well-being. With both physical and mental health, prevention always benefits you.

The sooner you have an open and honest conversation about anxiety with a health care professional, the sooner you can feel better.

Also Check: How To Calm Anxiety Now

How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal reaction to many things in life that may cause us to feel threatened, challenged or under pressure. Feeling anxious from time to time is no great cause for concern. However, if you experience persistent anxiety that feels overwhelming, unforgettable and interferes with your daily life, you may be dealing with the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. Always reach out to a mental health professional for expert advice on whether your symptoms meet the criteria for a diagnosis.

Ask Why They Recommend A Specific Medication And If Other Options Are Available

Some doctors may have a specific medication they start most of their anxiety patients on because they feel it has the highest effectiveness with the fewest side effects.

Other doctors may take a variety of factors into consideration before recommending a specific medication.

Always ask your doctor why they recommend the medication they did and if other options might be more appropriate for you.

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Ssri And Snri Antidepressants

Interestingly, medications that treat depression also work for GAD. In fact, the first-line treatment for GAD is either an SSRI or SNRI antidepressant. Popular SSRIs include , , and , while popular SNRIs include and .

Compared to other medication options for GAD , SSRIs and SNRIs offer the best combination of effectiveness and safety. Benzodiazepines, for instance, work to treat GAD but have some concerning side effects and are not for patients who also have depression.

Of the SSRIs and SNRIS, which drug is best for GAD?

All SSRIs and SNRIs have been found to be equally effective for treating depressionand its no different with GAD. So, your final choice might come down to how these drugs differ in terms of side effects, how they might interact with other medications youre taking, and/or which drug has worked for you in the past.

How long will it take to start working?

The time it takes for an SSRI or SNRI to make meaningful improvements to anxiety symptoms varies from patient to patient. On average, it takes about 4 weeks before patients experience noticeable relief.

What Is Hypertension

How to Find the Right Antidepressant Anxiety Medication

Hypertension, the medical term for high blood pressure, is a condition in which the pressure in your arteries is consistently high. The American Heart Association defines hypertension as a blood pressure reading higher than 130/80. If high blood pressure lasts only for a short period of time , this is not necessarily a concern. But, when your blood pressure is high most of the timelike in people with hypertension it can lead to damage to organs such as the kidneys and the heart, and can increase risk of stroke, heart attacks, and even death.

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How Accurate Is It

This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by licensed healthcare professionals.

Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns arent legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.

Risk Of Drug Interactions With Other Medications Or Substances

Benzodiazepines, when used alone, are considered safe for short-term use. However, when these medications are combined with alcohol, prescription painkillers, antihistamines, or sleeping pills, they can be dangerous. Speak with your doctor before combining your anxiety medications with any other medications.

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