Thursday, December 8, 2022
HomeExclusiveWhen Should You Go On Anxiety Medication

When Should You Go On Anxiety Medication

The Role Of Medication In Anxiety Treatment

Should YOU Take Medication For Anxiety?

When youre overwhelmed by heart-pounding panic, paralyzed by fear, or exhausted from yet another sleepless night spent worrying, youll do just about anything to get relief. And theres no question that when anxiety is disabling, medication may help. But are drugs always the best answer?

Many different types of medications are used in the treatment of anxiety disorders, including traditional anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines and newer options like SSRI antidepressants . These drugs can provide temporary relief, but they also come with side effects and safety concernssome significant.

They are also not a cure. In fact, there are many questions about their long-term effectiveness. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, benzodiazepines lose their therapeutic anti-anxiety effect after 4 to 6 months of regular use. And a recent analysis reported in JAMA Psychiatry found that the effectiveness of SSRIs in treating anxiety has been overestimated, and in some cases is no better than placebo.

Whats more, it can be very difficult to get off anxiety medications without difficult withdrawals, including rebound anxiety that can be worse than your original problem.

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.

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.

Don’t Miss: How To Make Friends With Social Anxiety

Do I Have An Anxiety Disorder

Common signs and symptoms of anxiety include nervousness, restlessness or tenseness, a sense of impending danger or doom, increased heart rate, breathing rapidly, sweating, trembling, feeling weak or tired, trouble concentrating or sleeping, stomach aches and headaches and the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.

Anxiety disorders often develop from a complex set of risk factors. The risk factors may include exposure to trauma, certain medical problems like thyroid disease or heart disease, stress due to a severe illness and other mental health disorders like depression. The use or misuse of drugs and alcohol can worsen symptoms of anxiety.

Anxiety disorders are best treated with a combination of therapy and medication, Alonzo said. It takes time to find the perfect combination for your symptoms. Your primary care provider is the best place to start that journey.

How To Know When Its Time To Take Medication For Anxiety

5 Various Best And Effective Ways To Treat Anxiety ...

Until a couple years ago, I didnt think I was an anxious person. On the outside, Im easygoing. Im adventurous, spontaneous and social. Im not afraid of flying, public speaking or crowds.

But throughout my entire life, I have worried, silently and constantly, about almost everything. Ive worried about possibilities that I knew, deep down, werent at all rational. Ive always feared that worst-case scenarios would come true even though they hardly ever do.

I didnt realize that these thoughts stemmed from mental illness. Since I never had full-on panic attacks, I didnt think that I had anxiety. I thought it was normal to feel this way. I thought I was fine that is, until I went on anti-anxiety medication at 29 years old. And it changed my life.

Little did I know, I was one of the 40 million Americans adults dealing with an anxiety disorder about 18% of the population. And up until last year, I was also part of the majority of people with anxiety who dont receive treatment.

You May Like: How To Overcome Phone Anxiety

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.”

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.

Don’t Miss: How To Get A Service Animal For Anxiety

Why Do I Have Anxiety Even On Medication

Anxiety as an emotional state is an natural occurrence and something that an individual should expect to experience on a relatively regular basis throughout his or her life. Constant daily anxiety symptoms pertaining to the most trivial affairs and relentless rumination should not be accepted as a normal occurrence.

In cases like these its advised that the individual seek out professional treatment which usually involves medication.

But what if an individual still suffers from anxiety symptoms even when on medications like benzodiazepines or SSRIs? What steps should an individual take if this is the case? In this article we will cover why this happens and how cope with this residual anxiety.

Contents

  • 3 Constant Coping
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors

    Should I go on anxiety/anti-depressant medicine?

    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.

    You May Like: How To Get Prescribed Gabapentin For Anxiety

    Preparing For Your Appointment

    Before the appointment it might be helpful to write down what you’d like to talk about to make sure that you don’t forget anything. Take a few minutes before the appointment to write up a list of things you might want to bring up.

    Write down any symptoms of how you’re feeling and how your mood might be affecting you day-to-day life.

    Write down key personal information, including upsetting events in your past and any current major stressful events.

    Make a list of your medical information, including other physical or mental health conditions and the names and amounts of medications, herbal remedies or supplements you take.

    Feel free to take a family member or friend along to your appointment for support if it will help you feel more at ease.

    Write down a list of questions to ask. These may include:

    • what type of mental health problem might I have?
    • why can’t I get over my mental health problem on my own?
    • how do you treat my type of mental illness?
    • will counselling or psychotherapy help?
    • are there medications that might help?
    • how long will treatment take?
    • what can I do to help myself?
    • do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can have?
    • what websites do you recommend?

    In addition to the questions that you’ve prepared, don’t hesitate to ask questions to your GP if you don’t understand something.

    You aren’t alone

    In Sum Should You Use Medications For Anxiety

    Ending worry habits and utilizing the other non-pill psychotherapy techniques listed above generally can quell anxious feelings without your needing to resort to drugs. Use medications as a last resort.

    For phobias, PTSD, chronic anxiety, and social anxiety, I recommend acupoint tappingalso called Emotional Freedom Technique or else Emotion Code.

    For anxiety arising from a clear problem that you see ahead, start by using the following recipe:

  • Look squarely at a problem that has triggered anxious feelings.
  • List all the concerns that come to mind as you think about the problem.
  • Gather further information about it, as needed.
  • Create a plan of action for dealing with the situation more effectively.
  • For the problem-solving sequence above it can be helpful to talk with a friend or relative about the problem. Two are better than one for generating new ideas about a strategy for dealing with tough situations.

    So next time you feel anxious, aim first and foremost to relieve your anxiety by addressing the anxiety-engendering problem. This strategy will reap additional bonuses. Find the blessing in the curse by gaining deepened self-understanding, self-acceptance, and psychological wisdom. Go for it!

    Susan Heitler, educated at Harvard and NYU, trains therapists across the U.S. in anxiety therapy techniques and authored Prescriptions Without Pills.

    Also Check: What Is An Anxiety Attack Like

    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.

    What Is An Anxiety Disorder

    The Best Medications For Anxiety â OTC Anxiety Treatments

    Anxiety is a normal human emotion. Most people experience some anxiety when facing a new, unknown situation, a stressful event happens or something goes wrong in their life. However, some people find themselves worrying or feeling anxious so often that it interferes with their day-to-day life. This is a sign that you have an anxiety disorder.

    Anxiety disorders are very common. Approximately 1 in 4 New Zealanders will be affected by an anxiety disorder at some stage in their lives. At any one time, 15% of the population will be affected. The types of anxiety disorders include:

    • anxiety disorder due to another medical condition.

    Recommended Reading: Does Anxiety Increase Blood Pressure

    Is There An App For That

    There are a variety of mobile phone apps for anxiety, stress, depression and general mental health. They can help you learn about your condition, figure out whether your medication is working, record details about your symptoms and, in some cases, provide tools to help you manage mental health problems. The Health Navigator team has reviewed some mental health and wellbeing apps that you may like to consider.

    Do Anxiety Medications Have Any Serious Risks Or Side Effects

    Of all the medications described here, benzodiazepines have the highest risk for side effects. Its possible to become dependent on them and build tolerance to them. Over time, you may need higher doses to experience the same effects.

    These effects can happen to anyone. This is because of the way benzodiazepines work in the brain.

    Withdrawal symptoms can develop if benzodiazepines are suddenly stopped after being used for a while. To avoid withdrawal symptoms, its recommended to gradually lower your dose. Your healthcare provider can help you with this. But because of these potential side effects, benzodiazepines arent recommended as first-choice medications.

    Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are a serious side effect associated with antidepressants. You should talk to your healthcare provider right away if you experience this while taking an antidepressant.

    Read Also: Can Anxiety Cause Weight Gain

    Considering Medication To Help Your Teenager Deal With Their Anxiety Here’s What You Need To Know About Anxiety Medications Including The Side Effects And Risks

    Article by:

    Being a teenager can be stressful, both for kids and their parents. Many teenagers experience overwhelming anxiety and lack the tools to cope with it. Some adolescents worry intensely, struggle to sleep, obsess over the same negative thoughts, and have trouble socializing with others. They may even experience physical symptoms like nausea, fatigue, or muscle aches. In these cases, a teenager might have a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

    An untreated anxiety disorder puts a teenager at risk of lower school performance school, poor social skills, and risky behaviors like substance abuse. Mental health professionals generally agree that therapy should be one course of treatment for teens with anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most commonly-used type of talk therapy for teens. CBT helps adolescents challenge negative thoughts they have about themselves or the world and also engage in positive ways of coping. Many therapists also use exposure therapy techniques with teens, helping them face their fears and learn to navigate being an adult in the world.

    Some mental health professionals may recommend that teens take anxiety medication in conjunction with psychotherapy. For teens, medication may be prescribed in the short-term or the long-term, depending on the nature and severity of symptoms. Lets take a look at the most commonly prescribed types of anxiety medications for teens.

    RELATED ARTICLES
    - Advertisment -

    Most Popular

    - Advertisment -