Anti-Anxiety MedicationsAnyone and I mean anyone who is suffering from an anxiety disorder will just about do anything to make it stop and stop now. Unfortunately there is no magic anti-anxiety potion or pill that will accomplish the immediate relief that you are seeking. Treating anxiety disorders takes time and frequently a lot of work. Do not give up hope as there are effective tools that can reduce the symptoms of fear, anxiety and constant tension.
Frequently, an anxiety disorder, such as social anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and social phobias respond well to psychotherapy, support groups, cognitive therapy and other psychological treatments. However these approaches take time. In addition individuals with severe symptoms need to reduce their symptoms before they can effectively be treated using these methods. This frequently requires the use of anti-anxiety and/or anti-depression medications.
For many people that thought of taking a drug or medication to alter your mental state can be disconcerting if not downright frightening. Of course the best way to receive the right medicine that is designed to specifically deal with your symptoms is to talk to your physician and mental health professional. They will discuss the different medicines that are available how they work and any possible side effects. Frequently changes in medications are required to achieve the desired results.
Ok so what kind of anti-anxiety or anxiolytic medicines are available and how do they work. Basically they work to relax and calm the patient, but they do it in different ways. As with all medicines there are potential side effects. A number of medications that were originally approved to treat depression can also help with anxiety disorders. You may not see the results right away and it may take several weeks for symptoms to fade. So do not get discouraged and more importantly do not stop taking your medications until told to do so by your physician.
A new group of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are very effective in treating depression and anxiety disorders. They basically work by maintaining higher levels of serotonin. Serotonin is a natural chemical in the brain that basically makes you feel good and at ease. The best thing about SSRIs is that they have fewer side effects than other anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. Many people will feel a little more jumpy or nauseated when they initially take the medication. These side effects will subside within a week or two. In all cases you should you should discuss any side effects with your doctor.
Paxel, Citalopram, Fluoxetine and Fluvoxamine are common SSRIs that your doctor may use to control your symptoms. Again whenever you take any anti depressant or anti-anxiety medications you must take them continuously for up to 60 days to receive maximum benefit from the medicine.
Benzodiazepines including Chlordiazepoxide and diazepam (Valium) are frequently used to treat anxiety and are especially effective in treating cases of moderate anxiety. These medications are addictive and should only be taken for short periods. They can occasionally cause problems with hand eye coordination and concentration. Additional medicines in this group include Alprazolam (Xanax) and Lorazepam (Ativan). Withdrawal symptoms can be tough when this medicine is discontinued.
Buspirone is another effective anti-anxiety medication that has somewhat different side effects than the benzodiazepines. This anxiolytic has almost no risk of addiction and greatly reduced hand eye coordination problems. As with many depressants it can cause stomach problems and jumpy feelings when first taken. Again these initial side effects will diminish over time.
Recently many doctors have prescribed beta-blockers for anxiety disorders. They are commonly used to control blood pressure. For people with anxiety disorders they are used to control physical symptoms. Basically these are taken prior to entering a high stress environment. They reduce the amount of heart pounding, tinnitus, sweating and shaking that normally accompany an anxiety attack.
Recent findings have highlighted the increased risk of using anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication in teenagers and young adults. In all cases your doctor will closely monitor you when you begin to take any medication. If you have any suicidal thoughts or if your symptoms worsen immediately contact your physician. Failure to do so may lead to dire consequences.
No matter what medication your doctor prescribes you will still need to work with your mental health professional to address the root cause of you anxiety disorder. Anti-anxiety medications will assist you in this process by reducing your symptoms. There is no instant cure for anxiety disorders but there are effective tools to reduce your symptoms. These medications need to be taken according to prescription and you need to continue your regime of counseling therapy until the causes of your disorder are discovered and overcome. It is a tough job but you can do it if you just hang in there.
James A. Kesel, MS, Anti-Anxiety Medications www.stop-anxiety-attacks.net