You Regularly Fly Off The Handle
Do you find yourself getting annoyed or irritated by the smallest little things? If it happens a lot, it could be a sign of anxiety.
Researchers at Concordia University recently found a possible reason for this link. According to the researchers, when the outcome of a situation could be good or bad, anxious people tend to assume the worst. That results in heightened anxiety.
Calming your anxious thoughtsnaturally or with the help of an anti-anxiety medication prescribed by a cliniciancan improve your mood and relationships.
How Can A Psychological Treatment Potentially Reduce Anxious Feelings
Pill-giving is a get-rid-of-that-feeling-without-listening-to-its-message approach. Psychotherapists, by contrast, help anxious clients to identify the underlying concerns triggering their anxiety. They then help them to map a plan of action to address these concerns.
Therapists sometimes quote the mantra “the best antidote for anxiety is information.“ Think, for instance, of when you have worried that you have a serious physical problem. Speaking to a physician who explains that your symptoms are benignor tells you what the problem is and how to handle itdissipates the anxious feelings.
Therapists also reduce anxiety with cognitive-behavioral approaches . These techniques clarify thought patterns, such as worrying and catastrophizing, that exacerbate anxious feelings. CBT therapists then teach new options to diminish the likelihood of future anxiety episodes.
What Is The Best Treatment For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
For GAD and PD, psychotherapy can be as effective as medication, with cognitive behavior therapy having the most evidence. Successful treatment requires tailoring options to individuals, which may often include a combination of modalities. GAD stands for generalized anxiety disorder, and PD stands for panic disorder.
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What Do Brain Zaps Feel Like
Some people call them brain zaps, or a few different names. You may hear them referred to as brain shocks, and theyre usually described like an electric jolt that goes through your head, sometimes radiating outwards from the center of your brain . Others describe these sensations by saying it feels like theres actually shivering happening inside ones own skull though not all agree on what causes this feeling!
Figuring Out If You Have An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders come in many forms. What I have is known as generalized anxiety disorder , which is marked by consistent, excessive worries that are difficult to control or stop. It affects about 6.8 million American adults and women are twice as likely as men to have it.
Other types of anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Because anxiety has such a wide range of signs and symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose, according to Christen Sistrunk, a licensed professional counselor in Texas who specializes in treating anxiety disorders.
The first step to evaluating whether you have anxiety is to figure out the type of anxiety you have and how it affects you, said Justin Baksh, chief clinical officer of Foundations Wellness Center in Port St. Lucie, Florida. For instance, maybe you feel it because you brain cant shut off. No matter how hard you try, your mind wanders into the future about finances, work, family issues, and so on, Baksh said.
Or perhaps you experience more physical symptoms, like an upset stomach, digestive issues, sweaty palms, a constant uneasiness, heart palpitations or bouncing legs. Depending on the type of disorder, you could also experience specific fears, avoidance of social situations, shaking, dizziness, fear of losing control, a sense of unreality the list goes on.
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Types And Severity Of Depression
Depression is used as an umbrella term to describe a lot of different symptoms. There are actually several different types of depression. And depression can vary greatly in severity. People with mild depression may not even know theyre depressed and their friends and family may not recognize it either.
People who experience severe depression may struggle to function. Everyday tasks, like getting out of bed and taking a shower, can feel too overwhelming to tackle. Therefore, there isnt a one-size-fits-all treatment for depression. Depression treatments can range from self-help strategies all the way to inpatient hospitalization.
And while its unclear what type of depression you have or how severe it is based on your question, medication may not be the only way to feel better. There are other things you can try.
Give Yourself A Bedtime
With your busy schedule, theres no time for sleep, right? Some workaholics brag about only needing three or four hours of sleep a night, as if to say, Im more determined and committed than everyone else. But no matter what you might tell yourself, youre not a robot. Humans need sleep to function properly, so unless you beamed in from some nearby planet, this also applies to you.
Whether you deal with insomnia, purposely limit your amount of sleep, or youre a self-professed night owl, chronic sleep deprivation makes you susceptible to anxiety. Do yourself a favor and get eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Develop a bedtime routine to read a book or do something relaxing before bed. The better prepared you are to get a good nights sleep, the better quality of sleep youll have, which leads to a better morning as well.
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With All These Options How Can You Choose
Your doctor can recommend the best medication to help control your anxiety. There are different types of anxiety disorders, so different medications may be better choices for your type. Your doctor will also consider your other health conditions and medications, and whether you have a family history of responding better to a certain medication. Since you might be taking medication long-term, you may want to factor in affordability.
Observe Your Stress Levels Throughout The Day
If you think you might be suffering from stress, take a few minutes throughout your day to jot down whats on your mind. At night, review what youve written and ask yourself if any of those things might be causing undue anxiety. Then, consider taking steps to tackle those sources head-on by spending more time with loved ones or going for a walk outside. If youre feeling particularly stressed about something in particular, make an appointment with a therapist or counselor. At worst, theyll confirm that your concerns are unfounded at best, they can help alleviate some of your anxiety by providing guidance and advice.
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What If My Anxiety Medication Isnt Working
If youre not experiencing a positive response on one medication, you may have to try another or several others before you find one that is right for you.
In some cases, healthcare providers may give you two medications that work differently if you have anxiety. You may also get switched to a new medication if you dont experience any improvements within 6 weeks or if symptoms dont fully go away within 12 weeks.
Antidepressants Wont Make You A Zombie
Again, the goal is to help you enjoy your life, not to numb you. If somebody feels in a daze or zombielike, that can mean the medication is too high, and we need to lower the dose, Dr. Cox says.
But sometimes people actually feel dazed or foggy because of high levels of anxiety or depression, she says, and taking medication helps them feel more clearheaded.
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Antidepressants Are Not Just For Depression
Antidepressants are a class of drug that includes selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors and atypical antidepressants .
These drugs might be called antidepressants, but they also work to treat anxiety. Typically, higher doses are needed for anxiety than for depression.
What If The Anxiety Doesn’t Go Away Once You Have Received Its Message
Track down earlier life experiences that may have triggered a similar frightened feeling. For instance, if a dog once bit you, you are likely to feel anxious any time a dog comes near. Once those root experiences have come to light, overly strong feelings in response to a current situation make sense. Your body is reacting now as if the earlier experience were about to happen again.
Clarifying what is different now, in the present situation, from in the earlier one can release the anxious feelings. Practice this visualization on your own, or with the help of a friend or a therapist.
Here’s a summary list of a number of non-pill anti-anxiety treatment options:
- Visualization self-help techniques
- Deep relaxation, yoga, exercise, sunshine, adequate sleep, time with friends, meditation, or use of the device called Resperate that trains your breathing to slow down to meditative-like rhythms
- EMDR to release impacts of prior trauma
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How Is Anxiety Treated
Anxiety is a serious mental illness that can have dire consequences if left untreated. Although there is no cure for anxiety at the moment, certain treatments can help manage the symptoms.
The treatment options vary depending on the disorder and severity. They include counseling, psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Severe cases of anxiety may require a combination of two or more treatment options or the use of non-traditional treatments like ketamine therapy.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder so they can help identify which type of treatment might work best for you.
A Visual Guide To Generalized Anxiety Disorder
The main symptom of generalized anxiety disorder is a constant and exaggerated sense of tension and anxiety. Because many people are unaware that they have it, they miss out on treatments that can lead to a happier life. Medically reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on February 16, 2020.There is no lab test for generalized anxiety disorder, so the diagnosis is based on your description of your symptoms. Medications may be used as part of your treatment plan. People with generalized anxiety disorder are more likely to develop depression, alcoholism, or drug addiction.
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Foods That Help Or Hurt Anxiety
There are several types of medications used to treat anxiety disorders.
Within each of these categories, there are subgroups of drugs that work differently and have their own benefits, risks, and possible side effects.
Theyre supereffective in treating anxiety disorders, says Beth Salcedo, MD, the medical director of the Ross Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders and a past board president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Its not known exactly how SSRIs work on serotonin to alleviate anxiety, says Dr. Salcedo, but what is known is that theyre not addictive like benzodiazepines are .
Its important to follow your doctors instructions when taking any prescription drug. Talk to your doctor if youre concerned about the side effects of a medication, or if the drug youre taking doesnât seem to be alleviating your symptoms.
Other antidepressants that may be prescribed for anxiety include:
- Wellbutrin, Zyban, Aplenzin, Budeprion, or Buproban
- Tricyclic antidepressants, such as Amitid, Amitril, Elavil, or Endep Aventyl, Pamelor or Tofranil
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What Does Anxiety Feel Like
For most people, living with anxiety is characterized by a constant sense of dread that never goes away and always keeps them on the edge. Anxiety can feel like pressure in your chest, shortness of breath, or tightness in your throat. It also might make you think about things over and over again without being able to stop worrying.
Anxiety disorders often cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, sleep problems, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle aches, headaches, elevated blood pressure, sweating, and heart palpitations. People who suffer from anxiety are also likely to experience depressive episodes.
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When You Dont Like The Side
Unfortunately, many teens stop taking their medication because they dont like how it makes them feel. The side effects can hamper their daily activities. For example, its difficult to go out with friends, let alone drive, when you have blurred vision. Its hard to eat when you dont have an appetite. This all leads to medication incompliance.
In fact, one study found that almost 68% of children taking medicine for their ADHD stop by age 15 . Many adolescents cited loss of appetite as an adverse effect of the medication.
Keep Taking Your Medication Unless Instructed Not To
Dont stop taking your medication until you speak to your doctor. Quitting any medication earlymeaning, before the prescribed dateneeds to be a decision made together with your psychiatrist.
Keep in mind that many side effects can get better over time. Sometimes, starting a medication may give you unpleasant reactions, but as your body gets used to it, the side-effects may ease up.
Its also helpful to think of the bigger picture herethe reason why youre taking the medication to begin with! In most cases, teens have the best chance of recovery from depression, anxiety, and other mental health/behavioral issues when they take medication along with psychotherapy .
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Considerations When Starting Anxiety Medication
What Are The Treatments For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Medication for Anxiety
Medication is useful for alleviating the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and is often prescribed in conjunction with other therapies. Some types of anxiety drugs can be habit-forming and are usually prescribed on a short-term or as-needed basis.
Different anxiety disorders have different medication regimens. Some are preventive and some are designed to cure the problem.
Antidepressants, particularly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , are widely used to treat and prevent a variety of anxiety disorders. Examples of SSRIs that are commonly used to treat chronic anxiety include citalopram , escitalopram , fluoxetine , paroxetine , and sertraline . The antidepressantsduloxetine and venlafaxine , SNRIs which act on the brain chemicals serotonin and norephinephrine, and some of the tricyclic antidepressants like imipramine , may also help. Novel antidepressants such as mirtazepine are also prescribed at times.Ã
Another anti-anxiety drug is busprirone . It has fewer side effects than the benzodiazepines and is not associated with dependence. Buspar, however, can have its own side effects and may not always be as effective when a person has taken benzodiazepines in the past.
Therapy for Anxiety
Lifestyle Modifications to Alleviate Anxiety
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