How Does Medication Treat Anxiety Disorders
Medications cant cure an anxiety disorder. But they can improve symptoms and help you function better. Medications for anxiety disorders often include:
- Anti-anxiety medications, such as benzodiazepines, may decrease your anxiety, panic and worry. They work quickly, but you can build up a tolerance to them. That makes them less effective over time. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for the short-term, then taper you off or the provider may add an antidepressant to the mix.
- Antidepressants can also help with anxiety disorders. They tweak how your brain uses certain chemicals to improve mood and reduce stress. Antidepressants may take some time to work, so be patient. If you feel like youre ready to stop taking antidepressants, talk to your provider first.
- Beta-blockers, usually used for high blood pressure, can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of anxiety disorders. They can relieve rapid heartbeat, shaking and trembling.
Your healthcare provider will work with you to find the right medication combination and dosage. Dont change the dose without consulting your provider. Theyll monitor you to make sure the medicines are working without causing negative side effects.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Social Anxiety Disorder
When having to perform in front of or be around others, people with social anxiety disorder tend to:
- Blush, sweat, tremble, feel a rapid heart rate, or feel their mind going blank
- Feel nauseous or sick to their stomach
- Show a rigid body posture, make little eye contact, or speak with an overly soft voice
- Find it scary and difficult to be with other people, especially those they dont already know, and have a hard time talking to them even though they wish they could
- Be very self-conscious in front of other people and feel embarrassed and awkward
- Be very afraid that other people will judge them
- Stay away from places where there are other people
What Can I Do To Manage My Symptoms
You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.
Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery.
Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.
Breathing exercises can help to calm you when you are feeling anxious. Or having a panic attack. You will get the most benefit if you do them regularly, as part of your daily routine.
There is more information about breathing exercises in the further reading section at the bottom of this page.
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online.
Rethink Mental Illness have support groups in some areas. You can find out what is available in your area if you follow this link:
Or you can call the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service on 0300 5000 927 for more information.
You can find more information about Recovery by clicking here.
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Alternative Anxiety Attack Definition
Earlier we mentioned that “anxiety attack” is not a medical term, but rather a descriptive term for intense moments of anxiety. Most people, including some medical professionals, refer to panic attacks as anxiety attacks simply because it is easier for people to understand. When you say panic, people tend to think of someone running away from Godzilla. When you term them anxiety attacks, people tend to understand it better.
But because anxiety attack is not a medical term, not everyone uses it the same way. Some people use anxiety attack as a way of describing severe symptoms of other anxiety disorders. For example, those with obsessive-compulsive disorder may have an “anxiety attack” when they encounter a trigger of extreme anxiety that forces them deep into their compulsions. Those with an upcoming test in school may call their significant worry about the test an anxiety attack even though theyre really just talking about being very nervous.
Keep this in mind when people describe anxiety attack, as the term may lead to a bit of miscommunication. For the purposes of this article, however, were talking about panic attacks, because panic attacks are a very real, very common anxiety problem that most people are referring to when they say they have these attacks.
Why Youre Nervous Anxious Stressed On Edge Or Scared For No Reason
Do you suffer from waves of anxiety often apparently for no reason at all?Do you suddenly worry about anything and everything?Does logic not even seem to come into it?Are you feeling on edge all of a sudden or even all of the time?
You might worry that, behind your back, people call you weak or strange, but I certainly dont quite the opposite in fact.
Im so glad youve landed here to discover why you suffer from those waves of anxiety for no reason. Ill also give you some effective self-help strategies.
Just in case youre not familiar with what anxiety entails, Ill cover that now. If you already know too well, scroll on
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How Can I Overcome Relationship Anxiety
In order to overcome, relationship anxiety, we must shift our focus inward. We have to look at whats going on inside us, separate from our partner or the relationship. What critical inner voices are exacerbating our fears? What defenses do we possess that could be creating distance? This process of self-discovery can be a vital step in understanding the feelings that drive our behavior, and ultimately, shape our relationship. By looking into our past, we can gain better insight into where these feelings come from. What caused us to feel insecure or turned on ourselves in relation to love? You can start this journey for yourself by learning more about the fear of intimacy and how to identify and overcome your critical inner voice.
Learn more strategies for overcoming relationship anxiety in our Webinar with Dr. Lisa Firestone: Understanding and Overcoming Relationship Anxiety.
When To Seek Professional Help
While self-help coping strategies can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that theyre causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, its important to seek professional help.
If youre experiencing a lot of physical symptoms, you should start by getting a medical checkup. Your doctor can check to make sure that your anxiety isnt caused by a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, hypoglycemia, or asthma. Since certain drugs and supplements can cause anxiety, your doctor will also want to know about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, herbal remedies, and recreational drugs youre taking.
If your physician rules out a medical cause, the next step is to consult with a therapist who has experience treating anxiety disorders. The therapist will work with you to determine the cause and type of your disorder and devise a course of treatment.
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Test Anxiety Symptoms Causes And Treatments
If you or a loved one are struggling with an anxiety disorder, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
Many people experience stress or anxiety before an exam. In fact, a little nervousness can actually help you perform your best. However, when this distress becomes so excessive that it actually interferes with performance on an exam, it is known as test anxiety.
What does it feel like to experience test anxiety? You paid attention in class, took detailed notes, read every chapter, and even attended extra study sessions after class, so you should do great on that big exam, right?
When the test is presented, however, you find yourself so nervous that you blank out the answers to even the easiest questions. If this experience sounds familiar, then you might be experiencing test anxiety.
Anxiety Is Not Uncommon
Anxiety is scary. It gnaws at you wherever you go, sapping the joy out of life. You could be safe at home with your family and still feel it a constant worry buzzing in the back of your mind that can grow into panic. It can make your most important tasks feel impossible. Who can work, drive a car, or care for children when they can only focus on their intense feelings of fear? Its even worse when you have no idea why youre anxious. If you cant understand it, how can you explain it to your family, friends, or co-workers? Anxiety can make you feel isolated, and no one should have to go through a scary time alone.
If youre experiencing anxiety, youve got company. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in our country, afflicting about 40 million adults a year. And although effective treatment is available, only 36.9% of sufferers are treated. People may feel embarrassed about admitting that theyre anxious. They may be dismissive of their anxiety. Or, they may not be aware that frequent anxiety is a mental health problem. But awareness of your anxiety is the first step in getting treatment for itand in understanding its causes.
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Why Am I Anxious For No Reason
Anxiety can be caused by a variety of things: stress, genetics, brain chemistry, traumatic events, or environmental factors. Symptoms can be reduced with anti-anxiety medication. But even with medication, people may still experience some anxiety or even panic attacks. The best treatment combines medication with therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy. If the anxiety is rooted in trauma, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing may be the best course.
Anxiety usually has a triggeran event or thought that provokes an anxious response. However, most people arent aware of their triggers, and believe they have become anxious for no reason. As human beings evolved, our species developed an instinctual response to danger, known as fight, flight, or freeze. The sympathetic nervous system makes our bodies and minds react quickly when we are in danger, and we may choose to stand and fight, run away, or stay totally still as if playing dead, known as the freeze response.
Our anxiety, or fear, evolved as an alarm bell to move us into life-saving action. In our modern world, we encounter conflicts that arent actually life-threatening. But our nervous system doesnt know this, and so we can react to a variety of stimuli with the fight, flight, or freeze response, even when it is inappropriate. Add this to the fact that anxiety can also cause confusion or disassociation, and you can see why the exact causes of your anxiety are often so hard to pin down.
What Happens If I Dont Get Treatment For My Child With An Anxiety Disorder
Getting your child help for an anxiety disorder can improve their development and self-esteem. But untreated anxiety disorders can harm:
- Family relationships.
- School performance.
- Social functioning.
Your child may also end up with more serious mental and physical health problems. Fortunately, there are several treatments for anxiety disorders. The right treatment can help your child manage their symptoms and feel their best.
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When Are Both Useful
Anxiety and fear also have upsides. Anxiety and fear can signal that something is very important to us. For example, if you are worried about your children, it is likely because you really care about them. If you didn’t have a strong relationship with them, you may experience less worry.
If you are anxious about a job interview, it may be because you really want that jobit matters to you. If you didn’t care about the job or didn’t really need it, you likely would not find the situation so threatening or anxiety-provoking.
Sometimes it can be important to override our anxiety and fear system. Even if our body is telling us to avoid something, we can move forward anyway, especially if we are moving toward something that is meaningful and consistent with our goals.
We may not have much control over our emotions or thoughts however, we can always control our behaviors. At any moment, regardless of what we feel on the inside, we can make a choice to engage in behaviors that are consistent with our goals.
Why We Feel Anxious
But what is anxiety? Unlike fear, which involves the perception of imminent unambiguous danger and the mobilization of immediate action, anxiety is a persistent apprehension regarding potential future threats. While fear is associated with an immediate “fight or flight” response that produces terror, anxiety provokes a stop, look and listen response and produces anticipatory worry. In other words, anxiety is what you feel on the night before the big battle. Fear is what you feel during battle.
Why do we get anxious? Evidence from evolutionary psychology suggests that the capacity to experience anxiety is a selected species-wide adaptation serving to alert and protect us from various environmental threats. Particularly, anxiety functions to alert us to threats to our reproductive chances. Thus, the anxiety alarms ring loudly not only in the face of threats to life and limb, but also when encountering threats to our property, status, reputation, or skill. In other words, anxiety is effective in alerting us to the myriad risks of loss.
Contemporary evolutionary psychology is not alone in arguing that anxiety serves a purpose. Several other schools of thought in psychology have advanced their own ideas about the uses of anxiety.
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Weight Loss Supplements Can Have Anxiety
Many over-the-counter weight loss supplements come with anxiety-producing side effects. Use of St. John’s wort may lead to insomnia, and green tea extracts contain plenty of caffeine. Guarana, an ingredient in some OTC diet products, can contain up to four times as much caffeine as coffee beans. And beware of any product containing ephedra it can cause increased heart rate and anxiety. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra in 2004.