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What Does Anxiety Medicine Do

Want To Beat Depression For Yourself Or A Friend

Does anxiety medication work?

W. Nate Upshaw, MD

Dr. William Nathan Upshaw is the Medical Director of NeuroSpa TMS®. Since receiving training from the inventor of TMS Therapy nearly a decade ago, Dr. Upshaw has been a pioneer, champion and outspoken advocate of TMS Therapy. Dr. Upshaws holistic experience in the field has transformed him into Floridas leading advocate for widespread accessibility to TMS Therapy.

All anxiety medications come with a long list of potential side effects. The side effects of anxiety medications, also called anxiolytics, include sleepiness, fatigue, and a slowing of mental functioning. Depending on their class, these medications may also be habit-forming or even addictive. They can help level out panic attacks and reduce anxiety attacks to a manageable level. Some can produce lasting relief, while others shouldnt be used for more than a short-term period.

What Are Common Classes of Anxiety Medications?

If youre exploring how to find the right anxiety medication, its important to learn all you can about them. Physicians prescribe fast-acting anxiety medications to reduce either the immediate effects of an anxiety attack or to work over the long term to reduce day to day anxiety thats uncomfortable but doesnt rise to the urgency of a panic attack or anxiety attack. Some of the most common medications include Valium and Xanax.

Common Anti-Anxiety Medication Side Effects

Benzodiazepine side effects

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors Side Effects

    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.

    Anxiety And Addiction Recovery

    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.

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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

    Are There Any Vitamins Or Supplements To Help Treat Anxiety

    What to Do When Anti

    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.

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    How Experts First Treat Anxiety

    Once you understand the type of anxiety youre dealing with, you can start to explore measures with a physician or mental health professional who can help you manage the symptoms. While anxiety can present itself in many different forms, all anxiety disorders have one thing in common: They are highly treatable, and most of them respond well to medication, said Chelsea Hudson, licensed therapist in Chicago and founder of Cityscape Counseling.

    However, that doesnt mean you should immediately head to your doctor to get a prescription. Many people think medication is a magic bullet to feeling better, Baksh said, but in reality, its part of a comprehensive treatment plan that should also include other interventions, such as lifestyle changes and therapy.

    Seeking professional help from a counselor, guided imagery, family and peer support and meditation have all been shown to help alleviate anxiety, Baksh said. Cognitive behavioral therapy in particular has been shown to be effective in treating anxiety disorders, Sistrunk said.

    Lifestyle changes can also play a big role in managing anxiety. Incorporating more exercise into your day, improving your sleep and eating healthier can all help, said Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Connecticutand owner of Wisdom Within Counseling.

    Are There Any Non

    Anxiety can consume peoples lives and prevent them from living fully. It is a challenging issue and can be a clinical mood disorder that demands medication. Its important that along with anti-anxiety medication, you also utilize the other therapy that can help manage anxiety. Its understandable to look for alternatives for your anxiety based on the benzodiazepines addiction rate. There are anti anxiety herbs on the market that may help ease the body and mind from stress. Natural supplements may not cause addiction but they are still potentially harmful. Kava, for example had promise of being a viable natural anxiety medication. Reports found that it caused serious liver damage even when its used for a short period of time. Herbs like kava are somewhat sedating which is why they can relax you. They are non-addictive relaxants. Some will consume excessive herbs to try to get to a relaxed place in their mind. Passionflower, chamomile, and lavender are all means of relaxing. If someone has an anxiety disorder, these options probably arent potent enough to prevent panic attacks and other serious anxiety symptoms.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Anxiety And Depression

    What Is An Anxiety Disorder

    Severity of symptoms and a persons ability to cope separate everyday worries or anxious moments from anxiety disorders. National surveys estimate nearly one in five Americans over 18, and one in three teens ages 13 to 18, had an anxiety disorder during the past year.

    If anxiety is persistent, excessive, or routinely triggered by situations that arent an actual threat, tell your doctor, who can discuss treatment options or refer you to an experienced mental health professional.

    You Avoid Things That Are Good For You

    What is Anxiety Medication?

    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.

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    Youre Perpetually Nervous And On Edge

    If you feel edgy almost every day, its a good idea to seek help. Talk therapy will sometimes do the trick.

    However, if you often feel like youre standing at the edge of a cliffheart racing, palms sweating, feeling like you might faintyou could be having panic attacks. In that case, bring that up with your clinician or find one who can explain what is happening to you.

    If talk therapy isnt enough to help control your anxiety, your clinician may recommend prescription medications to treat it.

    Can My Anxiety Medication Cause Long

    Benzodiazepines may have a long-term impact on your central nervous system your brain and spinal cord. They might change your brains reaction time and ability to think. But more studies are needed to confirm these long-term effects. These effects are less likely to happen if youre taking a benzodiazepine for a short period of time.

    The impact of long-term antidepressant use on your brain also isnt well understood. More studies are needed.

    While most medications dont cause long-term changes to your brain function, people with anxiety may have physical changes in their brain. This can affect how they respond to normal situations and their ability to process emotions. Medications and therapy can help with this.

    Read Also: How To Cope With Relationship Anxiety

    Excretory And Digestive Systems

    Anxiety also affects your excretory and digestive systems. You may have stomachaches, nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive issues. Loss of appetite can also occur.

    There may be a connection between anxiety disorders and the development of irritable bowel syndrome after a bowel infection. IBS can cause vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

    The Role Of Medication For Treating Anxiety Disorders

    Does Benadryl Help With Anxiety

    If a doctor considers medication necessary, there are different types to choose from. Again, they can be combined with psychotherapy, which typically takes the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, or used on their own. A doctor should continually monitor the treatment plan and make adjustments when necessary to achieve the best results.

    Anxiety medications are given by prescription only, and different medications are used for different types of anxiety disorders. It is important to note that medication is generally used to treat and relieve symptoms of anxiety disorders and should not be considered a cure-all. The major types of anxiety medications include:

    Read Also: How To Deal With High Functioning Anxiety

    How Do I Know If I Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    The first step is to rule out the possibility that your symptoms are being caused by a medical condition that is not psychiatric. Among the conditions that produce symptoms similar to those of anxiety are hyperthyroidism or other endocrine problems, too much or too little calcium, low blood sugar, and certain heart problems. Certain medicines also can sometimes cause anxiety. A thorough evaluation by your health care provider will determine if any of these conditions are the cause of your symptoms.

    If no other medical culprit can be found and the symptoms seem out of proportion to any situation you are facing, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

    Risks Of Anxiety Disorder Medications

    Like any medication, those designated for anxiety disorders can carry some risks. There are a range of side effects, which, depending on the medication, can include dry mouth, diarrhea/constipation, lower appetite, sleep issues, nausea and heartburn. Some medications can also spark feelings of nervousness, irritability or, in severe cases, suicidal thoughts. Because these side effects can pose significant health problems, a doctor should be consulted if any of them appear.

    Patients should also make sure their physicians know about anything they may be taking that could interfere with anxiety disorder medications. That includes over-the-counter drugs, herbal or vitamin supplements, other medications or even regular consumption of caffeine or alcohol.

    Finally, anxiety disorder medications such as benzodiazepines carry the risk of abuse and addiction. Some medications can have a powerful effect on the brain and if they are taken frequently, a tolerance can develop. That means more of the medication needs to be taken to obtain the desired effect, and continued, accelerated use can lead to dependency. If the medication dependency interferes with a persons daily life and take the drug becomes the sole focus, it can indicate a possible addiction. People who abuse antidepressants and benzodiazepines over a long period of time may also suffer withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop using the medication.

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    Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

    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.

    Creating A Treatment Plan

    Anxiety medications: WHAT THEY DO TO YOU / Prozac/Fluoxetine Review

    According to a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, treatment that combines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with medication is most likely to help children with anxiety disorders, but either treatment on its own can also be effective.1

    Creating a treatment team that helps children and adolescents across multiple domains is also important. This can include the parents or guardians, the treating physician, the psychotherapist or psychologist, the classroom teacher, and the school psychologist. Family therapy and education can also be effective in helping an anxious child thrive in the home environment, and accommodations in the classroom can help children and adolescents manage their symptoms in the classroom setting.

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    You Have Mysterious Aches And Pains

    One of your bodys ways of coping with stress is to tighten your muscles and get poised to fend off an attack. You may find yourself clenching your jaw or hunching your shoulders. No wonder youre constantly achy or in pain.

    Mindfulness, relaxation exercises, and yoga can help relieve your anxietyand those aching muscles. But if those solutions dont ease your symptoms, you may not be successfully controlling your anxiety.

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