Risks And Dangers Of Use
Aside from addiction, benzodiazepine dependence carries with it a host of adverse health effects and dangers. These include:
- Alzheimers disease and dementia
- Congenital disabilities
- Sexual assault
Like all forms of drug use, individuals who use benzodiazepines frequently experience an extreme loss of quality of life. In many cases, the need to use the drug becomes so intense that it overrules a persons desire to take care of their family or fulfill other obligations, such as those relating to work or school.
Benzodiazepine use has been linked to increased risks of suicide and suicidal ideation . Chronic use of these drugs may change a persons ability to feel emotions. Some people struggle to feel any emotions at all, which is a state referred to as emotional anesthesia.
Prolonged benzodiazepine use can cause the problems the drugs are designed to treat. When a physically-dependent person quits benzodiazepines, withdrawal can set in. In some instances, withdrawal may last for several months. This is called post-acute withdrawal syndrome . Individuals facing PAWS experience anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Acute withdrawal from benzodiazepine drugs can become very dangerous, which means that professional treatment is necessary . Certain individuals may experience withdrawal so severe that their life is in jeopardy. In these instances, withdrawal may cause seizures or delirium tremens.
Other Herbs And Natural Medicines For Anxiety
Many other natural medications have been prescribed for anxiety, but their success rates vary and are not entirely clear. St. John’s Wort, for example, is an herb meant for depression but believed to have an effect on anxiety. Nevertheless, the research hasn’t backed up this claim. The three above have been successfully used for anxiety for years with minimal side effects, and research has often supported their success as a natural treatment for anxiety.
Still, you need to remember that you should never depend on medication alone, otherwise your mind will lose out on its ability to cope further. That’s why you need to make sure you’re complimenting your natural medicine with some type of medication free anxiety reduction strategy. And always consult your doctor before considering any of these options.
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Are There Any Over
- Medications should not be the only way to treat anxiety, but they are effective
- There are no over the counter medications for anxiety – but there are critical reasons for keeping medications prescription only
- There are several effective alternatives to anxiety medication that are available over the counter
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Stimulant Drugs: Strongest To Weakest
Addiction to any form of substance or behavior can wreak havoc on an individuals social, psychological, and physical life. Unfortunately, addiction to stimulant drugs is no exception. In 2012, studies found that an estimated 1.2 million Americans were addicted to prescription stimulant drugs, proving that stimulant addiction is only becoming more popular.
Stimulants can be used medicinally, however, there is a high probability for addiction when these medications are abused. Commonly, prescription stimulants are used in the treatment of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adults. On the other hand, stimulant drugs can be made and sold illegally, perpetuating the issue of stimulant addiction in the United States.
Stimulants are dangerous drugs that are typically abused in order to achieve a heightened sense of alertness, greater ability to focus, weight loss, staying awake for long periods of time, or a euphoric high. Stimulant drugs work by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain creating feelings of pleasure and euphoria in an individual. As a result, stimulant abuse often results in addiction.
Other Reasons To Avoid Medications
Another problem with anxiety medications is that they can make anxiety worse. In the short term, these medicines may provide some relief. But unfortunately, if you use these medicines for so long without any additional coping tips, your brain will start to depend on them as the only way to cope with stress.
So when you stop taking these medicines, youll have lost some of your natural coping skills which, if you suffer from anxiety, may already have been struggling. Thats a significant risk without alternative treatments and a doctors supervision.
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Benzodiazepines: Most Effective But Most Problematic
For short-term treatment of anxiety or treating anxiety on an as-needed basis, theres nothing that will work better than a benzodiazepine. The problem with benzodiazepines is that using them can deplete the brains GABA levels, which results in rapid-tolerance development and increased anxiety upon withdrawal. Additionally, many people dont like the impaired cognition and sedation that this class of drugs causes.
- Universally effective: For most people with severe anxiety, there is nothing that will work better than taking a benzodiazepine like Xanax. These are drugs that affect GABA in the brain, which depresses the central nervous system, and leads to sedation. They have a powerful anxiolytic effect in nearly everyone who takes them.
- Rapid anxiety relief: This class of drugs works quicker than any other class as well. Meaning you should notice reductions in anxiety within a few minutes of taking the drug. Certain benzodiazepines work for a longer period of time than others .
- Powerful anxiolytic: Benzodiazepines tend to result in the most potent anxiolytic effects. Meaning you should feel highly relaxed after taking this class of medication. Unfortunately these powerful anxiolytic effects cannot be maintained due to tolerance.
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
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Will Buspar Work For Everyone
No. No medication class other than benzodiazepines are considered universally effective for anxiety. Although Buspar may not adequately address anxiety in some individuals, it was approved for anxiety because it is significantly effective for many people when compared to a placebo. If Buspar doesnt work for you, it doesnt mean that its a bad drug for everyone it may work for another individual.
It should also be mentioned that many people find that Buspar takes awhile to work. For many individuals, it can take several weeks to a full month before they notice their anxiety levels drop. It is considered a slow-acting drug and requires constant administration for weeks before a person may feel the anxiolytic effects. For people seeking immediate relief, this discomfort while waiting for the drug to work may be a drawback.
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
Read Also: How To Survive Depression And Anxiety
What Is The Strongest Anti
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting roughly 14 million men and women over 18. The majority of people who struggle with anxiety suffer from moderate or mild generalized anxiety, though many other varieties including social anxiety and panic disorder. Most people experience a touch of anxiety on occasion, usually based on their current circumstances.
However, once the circumstance or situation resolves, the anxiety subsides, continuing with their day-to-day life. Unfortunately, for people struggling with a diagnosable anxiety disorder, this panicked feeling never goes away, and over time it becomes entirely crippling. Therefore, if a person is diagnosed with any type of anxiety disorder, they are often treated with a combination of intensive psychotherapy and anti-anxiety medication.
While Some Medications Used To Treat Anxiety Are Habit
Medications with addictive properties are best avoided when there is a non-addictive medication option available. This is especially the case for people with a history of addiction. People with anxiety disorders are more vulnerable to addiction because they may naturally seek to self-medicate their anxiety with medications that numb their symptoms.
Benzodiazepines are a common class of anxiety medication. These drugs are addictive and are also a controlled substance in the U.S. The common myth that all anxiety medications are addictive keeps some people with treatable anxiety disorders from seeking help. In fact, there are many non-habit-forming alternative medication options for treating anxiety, and many of them are effective alternatives to benzodiazepines.
This article reviews a list of non-addictive anxiety medications and treatments in the form of non-habit-forming anxiety medication and non-medication options.
Read Also: Are Anxiety And Panic Attacks The Same Thing
Safety And Other Considerations
It’s also important to realize that the long term use of a mental health medication is going to have an effect on your wellbeing. Some cause digestion issues. Others cause extreme fatigue. These side effects can have a disruptive effect on your life.
Similarly, some anti-anxiety medications cause dependency with severe withdrawal symptoms if you stop taking it or miss too many doses. Some medications may also lose their effectiveness over time . Keep this in mind and discuss with your doctor when you are choosing the right medication for you.
What Are The Strongest Anti
- #1 10-12-2009 01:22 AM by GVRI was prescribed 1 mg a day of clonazepam recently. It wasn’t strong enough so the doc prescribed 2 mgs. Still not strong enough. Also made me dizzy. I was wondering…what are the strongest anti anxiety medications on the market? I need something powerful because I’ve got it bad
- #2 10-12-2009 07:29 PM by lonelygurl2Re: What are the strongest anti-anxiety meds?The only things that have helped a bit with my severe anxiety is Seroquel and Ativan. Buspar helped a little as well.
- #3 10-15-2009 01:09 PM by confusedman304Re: What are the strongest anti-anxiety meds?I just started on klonopin yesterday and I can feel the difference already….
- #4 10-15-2009 02:49 PM by ExtremelyWiredRe: What are the strongest anti-anxiety meds?The strongest types of anxiety medications are going to be certain SSRI antidepressants. If Clonazepam at 2 mgs daily isnt strong enough, you should probably try something else. If you exceed 2 mgs of Clonazepam daily you are going to have some addiction and withdrawal issues to deal with. I would talk to your doctor about trying an antidepressant.
- #5 10-16-2009 07:27 AM by confusedman304Re: What are the strongest anti-anxiety meds?If you have tried the anxiety meds….xanax, ativan, klonopin, and valium….then an AD may be the way to go….I hope you get some help….
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Next Steps For Anxiety
Its simply not a quick fix. Its something that you need to work on regularly and learn the skills necessary for reducing the way your stress affects you and preventing your anxiety from becoming unmanageable. It involves long term solutions, but in the end, these solutions can be very effective and reduce any chance of your anxiety coming back.
There are no over the counter medications for anxiety since any medication that affects the brain needs to be carefully monitored, and because the medication is not the only treatment a person should take. Luckily, there are many natural treatments and exercises that can help with anxiety in its place.
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What Other Treatment Options And Resources Are Available For Social Anxiety Disorder
CBT can also be a first-choice treatment for people with social anxiety disorder. During CBT, people are encouraged to focus their attention outward instead of on themselves to help reframe their thoughts about social situations. Multiple studies suggest that CBT significantly improves social anxiety symptoms.
According to the ADAA, the most effective part of CBT involves exposing people to feared social situations . CBT that includes exposure therapy is an effective option for managing multiple types of anxiety conditions, including social anxiety disorder.
For some people, combining CBT with medications may help manage social anxiety disorder. A randomized controlled trial showed that adding CBT to antidepressants was successful in relieving anxiety symptoms in almost 50% of people with social anxiety disorder who continued to have symptoms despite taking medications.
Support or self-help groups can also be helpful for some people in managing this condition. In these settings, people are encouraged to share their challenges and accomplishments with others dealing with similar problems.
Support groups are available both in-person and online. Although internet forums and chat rooms can be accessed easily, you should talk with your healthcare provider before following any medical or mental health advice that you receive online.
There are also different resources available to help you get connected with therapies for managing social anxiety disorder:
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Can A Placebo Replace Your Antidepressant
Media outlets were abuzz early this year with the news that antidepressant drugs don’t get rid of depression. The source was a Jan. 6, 2010, report in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association analyzing data from six clinical trials of antidepressants conducted between 1980 and 2009, involving 718 patients. The study concluded that when people with mild or even moderate depression took a pill, their symptoms improved. The kicker: The improvement was the same, on average, whether the pill was a real drug or a lookalike placebo. Only among people with more severe symptoms did the real drugs have an edge over the placebo.
Studies like those make great headlines. Far more complicated is how to apply the findings in real life. You can’t diagnose or track depression with a blood test or an X-ray. Assessing improvement relies completely on the patient’s subjective reporting of his or her state of mind. Plenty of studies have shown that the drugs work, though placebo effects are notoriously high in antidepressant trials, and the drugs’ advantage over placebos is usually modest.
If you’re not sure you need an antidepressant any more, talk with your doctor about reducing the dose or weaning off of it. Never stop an antidepressant suddenly or on your own you may be risking severe withdrawal symptoms.