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When Should I Get Anxiety Medication

Other Medications For Anxiety

Should YOU Take Medication For Anxiety?

Many other medicines may help treat anxiety, although doctors usually only prescribe them if SSRIs or similar drugs do not work.

Other medications for anxiety include:


Beta-blockers are a common medication for people with high blood pressure and heart conditions. However, doctors may prescribe them off-label for anxiety in certain situations.

Beta-blockers reduce the effects of norepinephrine, meaning that they can relieve some of the physical symptoms of anxiety. Examples of beta-blockers include atenolol and propranolol .


This anti-anxiety medication may treat short- or long-term anxiety symptoms.

Buspirone works much more slowly than benzodiazepines and may not treat all types of anxiety disorder, but it causes fewer side effects and has a lower risk of dependency.

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors are one of the earliest types of antidepressant. Doctors may prescribe them off-label to treat the symptoms of panic disorder and social phobia. Types of MAOI include:

  • isocarboxazid

The United States Food and Drug Administration require all antidepressants to carry a black-box warning relating to the risk of suicide in children and young adults.

People under 25 years of age may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors while taking antidepressants, particularly within the first few weeks of use.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK , and it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Should You Take Medication For Anxiety

by Health Writer

When diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you probably have questions about medication. Should you take it? Will it help? If you take medication, do you need to do anything else? Are there side-effects of medications? Is it worth it?

While we can’t answer the last question or even decide for you whether anxiety medication is a good option for you, we can give you some information to help you and your doctor decide whether medication will be a part of your treatment.

Many people with anxiety disorders choose to use medication to help reduce symptoms. But medication does not cure anxiety and often doesn’t entirely get rid of your anxiety. It can, however, help to reduce the symptoms, allowing you to implement some lifestyle changes and begin other treatment options so you can learn how to manage your anxiety symptoms.

Responding to a question on ABC News about anxiety medications, Philip G. Levendusky, Ph.D. said, “Medication is one component of an effective treatment program for anxiety disorders. Most typically, the combination of medication with other psychological interventions is looked at as the ultimate strategy for dealing with anxiety disorders.”

What Causes Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders are like other forms of mental illness. They dont come from personal weakness, character flaws or problems with upbringing. But researchers dont know exactly what causes anxiety disorders. They suspect a combination of factors plays a role:

  • Chemical imbalance: Severe or long-lasting stress can change the chemical balance that controls your mood. Experiencing a lot of stress over a long period can lead to an anxiety disorder.
  • Environmental factors: Experiencing a trauma might trigger an anxiety disorder, especially in someone who has inherited a higher risk to start.
  • Heredity: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. You may inherit them from one or both parents, like eye color.

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Deciding If Anxiety Medication Is Right For You

  • 1Determine if a non-medication treatment is better. Medication can help manage symptoms during bad times. However, before you take medication, you should explore other treatment options. Many doctors and mental health professionals believe that non-medication treatments are more effective than medicine.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source
  • Non-medication treatment options include therapy, behavior therapy, relaxation and breathing techniques, cognitive therapy, diet and exercise, and working on assertiveness and self-esteem.
  • These other types of treatments can help you address the underlying reasons for your anxiety and the emotional and psychological symptoms. They can also help you learn skills to manage your anxiety in your daily life.
  • 2Know that medication is not a cure. Medication can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. However, no anxiety medication will cure you of your anxiety. Treating and curing your anxiety includes a variety of different approaches. Medications should provide short-time help while you work through issues. For some, medication can help in the long-term with chronic disorders.XResearch source
  • Discuss with your doctor before you take medication what other treatments are available for long-term management and treatment for your specific anxiety disorder.
  • Your doctor may suggest alternatives to medication. Consider trying other forms of treatment in place of or alongside the medication.
  • Why Not Take Anti

    Should I Take Medication for my Anxiety, Depression, or ...

    Medication as the first line of treatment for anxiety feels great. It’s just the later down-the-line results that can prove to be significantly problematic.

    The growing awareness of the dangers of taking opioid medications for physical pain gives an important perspective on the downsides of anxiety-pain pills.

    Twenty years ago, physician Russell Portenoy, a prominent New York pain specialist, spearheaded the movement that encouraged doctors to prescribe painkiller medications. This movement helped many suffering patients and at the same time was based on naivete with regard to the dangers of addiction.

    Now Portenoy has come full circle. He has become a leader in warning physicians and the general public of the addictive potential of painkillers. For brief acute pain like when someone is recovering from a surgery, painkillers pose less addiction risk. For on-going long-term problems, addiction is a major issue. The high from these drugs, and the body’s craving for the drugs, takes over.

    The Wall Street Journal reported back in December 2012 that 16,500 people die of overdoses annually from pain medications, more than from all illegal drugs combined. Opioid use has only increased since that time. Like Dr. Portenoy, many doctors by now have dramatically decreased the frequency with which they prescribe opioid pills to quell physical pain.

    Recommended Reading: How To Prevent Anxiety Attacks

    When To See A Doctor

    Anyone experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder should see their doctor, who can recommend therapy, medications, or a combination of both.

    To diagnose an anxiety disorder, doctors will typically carry out a physical examination to check for any underlying conditions and ask a person about their symptoms.

    They may also perform a psychological evaluation and compare the personâs symptoms to the American Psychiatric Associationâs criteria for anxiety disorders.

    Can I Get Diagnosed With Anxiety By An Online Mental Health Provider

    While online assessments can let you know whether you are experiencing symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder, its best to see a health care professional in person to rule out or discover and treat any physical causes of your symptoms. Only qualified health care professionals can make an accurate diagnosis and start you on a treatment plan.

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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.

    It’s Affecting Your Ability To Function

    Should You Take Anxiety Medication? 7 Reasons To Consider Taking Anxiety Medication

    If you can no longer make it to work or school due your anxiety, or if you’ve been canceling plans with friends, take note. As Klapow says, “someone who is having a hard time with their day-to-day activities ,” should consider medication. It â along with therapy and taking great care of yourself â can help get you back on your feet and feeling functional again.

    Also Check: Can Anxiety Cause Upset Stomach

    Other Treatments And Lifestyle Changes

    Medication is only part of the overall treatment for anxiety. To effectively treat anxiety, you want to make lifestyle changes, such as adding exercise to your daily routine, eating right, getting enough sleep and learning relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.

    In addition, therapy methods, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, have been found to be as effective, if not more effective, than medication for some people. Even if you choose to begin medication, you may want to begin this type of therapy. Many individuals have been able to lower or discontinue medication after completing CBT.


    “How to Get Help for Anxiety Disorders,” 2009, July 7, National Institute for Mental Health

    “Medication,” Date Unknown, Author Unknown, Anxiety Disorders Association of America

    “What Medications Are Used to Treat Anxiety Disorders,” 2011, Feb 25, National Institutes for Mental Health

    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.

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    How Do I Get Tested For Anxiety

    While online quizzes like this can help someone understand their feelings, they should be followed up with a professional assessment. Your medical doctor or a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker, can help.

    According to NYU Langone Health, an anxiety test for adults from a health care professional will include a physical exam, a lot of questions about your symptoms and any medications you are taking , and potentially a blood test, to rule out any physical conditions that could be causing anxiety like hypothyroidism.

    If physical or pharmaceutical causes are ruled out, a health care professional will then conduct a psychological evaluation, asking more questions about your symptoms including how long youve experienced them and whether they persist or come and go and whether anyone in your family has had a history of anxiety disorder or depression. This eval can also detect or rule out the presence of conditions like PTSD or an eating disorder, which can accompany anxiety disorders.

    How Do I Know If I Have Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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

    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.

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    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:

    You Can No Longer Concentrate

    If you feel like your brain is scattered due to your anxiety, medication can help. “Concentration difficulties happen when anxiety is present,”psychologist Dr. Christopher Barnes, LP tells Bustle. “If you think about it, if most of your cognitive energy is going towards worry overthinking, … you have less energy to actually focus on things.” And that’s not something you have to deal with.

    Recommended Reading: Is There A Cure For Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    How To Fight Mild Anxiety

    The only advantage to having mild anxiety over more severe anxiety is that those with mild anxiety are less likely to fear the symptoms of their anxiety in the way that those with severe anxiety do. That helps because severe anxiety attacks can set you back for your treatment in a way that those with mild anxiety shouldn’t experience.

    You may be able to control mild anxiety with simple lifestyle changes. Strongly consider the following:

    These are extremely basic strategies for coping with mild anxiety, but they’re generally effective ones and may be enough for those whose anxiety is otherwise manageable. Don’t be afraid to also seek help if you need it.

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    How Do I Know If I Have Anxiety

    Anti-anxiety medication | Month one

    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.

    Also Check: How To Tell If Nausea Is From Anxiety

    Management Of Depression In The Primary Care Setting

    The aggressive and appropriate management of depression in the primary care setting is crucial, not only from a clinical perspective, but from a health economics perspective as well. Untreated or inadequately treated patients are more likely to have negative medical consequences of their depression, including a substantial risk of suicide and longer, more treatment-resistant episodes of depression. Such patients will continue to use valuable health care resources inappropriately, including significantly more general medical services.

    Thus, the challenge for clinicians is to make a rapid and accurate diagnosis and then to ensure adequate and effective treatment. Not surprisingly, a study from the early 1990s showed that only 30% of depressed patients seen at a tertiary care center were given any antidepressant medication, and as many as 50% were treated incorrectly with anxiolytics rather than antidepressants. Furthermore, when evaluating the results of the Medical Outcomes Study in depressed patients given minor tranquilizers and antidepressants, Wells et al. noted that more patients used minor tranquilizers and that of those who were taking antidepressants, 39% were taking inappropriately low dosages.

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