What Are The Best Anxiety Medications?
When we see an individual who is clearly not able to function adequately or profit from psychotherapeutic measures then we really want to consider the use of medication. And by functioning adequately we mean is not able to live out their ordinary roles, and responsibilities, getting to work, taking care of household responsibilities, living out their commitments and relationships or to children
Psychotherapy is very effective. However, if you are in such distress that learning new material becomes impossible then really medications are required. An analogy I like to use is it's possible to learn complicated math equations when the room is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, but if we can turn the room down to just 70 degrees Fahrenheit it's much easier to learn a new skill.
Psychotherapy really involves learning new skills. Most individuals can profit from psychotherapeutic involvements. But when the distress is so high or the anxiety is so overwhelming that it's getting in the way of new learning, then medications are really warranted and can be very effective.
One other way in which anxiety interferes is with extreme avoidance behaviour. When an individual is avoiding situations that would ordinarily be preferable to get into, for instance, driving, travelling, going long distances, flying. When the anxiety is interfering with that level medications can also be warranted.
Common medications that are used in the case of anxiety disorders fall into a couple of categories. Probably, the most common is something called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. These are very effective well-known medications designed to increase the availability of a mood regulating neuro chemical or chemical in one's brain.
While they're typically antidepressants, they have a tremendous impact on anxiety disorders, as well. They can actually create a very protective effect so that one does not feel the full impact of there's an individual symptom such as panic attacks, chronic worry, tremendous obsessions, the distress that goes along with.
Another common class of drugs that are used in the case of anxiety disorders is those known as benzodiazepines. These are very quick acting drugs that can put a stop to anxiety in a very quick period of time. Thye is sometimes used on a regular basis maybe taken twice a day - once in the morning and once at night to help with anxiety management.
But these are very quick acting drugs, they get into your system quicker than those other antidepressants would and they don't stay around as long. While they provide pretty quick and immediate relief, they they run their course very quickly too.
If people can start to develop an appetite or want to use this more and more that can be problematic. We really find that people do well when they're taking these medications on a daily basis once or twice a day rather than an as-needed basis. When people start to take them as needed, they start to anticipate the need a little too much.
These are medications that generally we don't want to keep people on more than a few months if possible. Sometimes people will require the longer-term use of these medicines. You really need to be in close contact with a mental health professional psychiatrist when you're taking these medications. Their use should be monitored carefully and you don't develop a habit because getting off these medications can be very difficult.
Even in the case of other antidepressant medications you need careful monitoring by your physician or psychiatrist so that both getting on and getting off these medicines is a careful process. Oftentimes there are side effects with all these medicines.
Sometimes you might take two or three trials of medicines before you find one that is particularly useful for you. It requires a great deal of patience and a great deal of care, and more than anything a great alliance between you and your physician.
Can I Cure My Anxiety Completely?
There are no cures to eliminate anxiety completely, but medications and therapy can be used to manage, reduce and help prevent symptoms from occurring.
Many who complete a prescribed treatment are able to function normally with only occasional symptoms. Approximately 40 million adults in America have an anxiety disorder.
Disorders usually last for at least six months and continue to worsen over time if they are not treated. Many attempts to deal with anxiety on their own, but it is difficult to manage without professional help.
Treating anxiety depends on the type of anxiety disorder a person has. The most common disorders include:
- generalized anxiety disorder;
- panic disorder;
- social anxiety disorder;
- post-traumatic stress disorder;
- obsessive-compulsive disorder;
- individual phobias.
Treatment for all of these disorders is usually a combination of therapy and medication. The exact medication and type of therapy vary based on the disorder.
Antidepressants, especially SSRIs and SNRIs, are prescribed to treat the majority of anxiety disorders. Other common forms of medication include benzodiazepines, azapirones and beta blockers.
Due to the side effects and possible dependency issues doctors may only prescribe medications for a certain period or they may change the dosage to limit side effects.
Individuals who do not want to or cannot use prescription medication may be prescribed just therapy to treat their disorder. These types of therapy usually lasts 12 to 20 weeks depending on the disorder.
Therapy is designed to teach patients to respond more positively to their stress. they are taught how to recognize symptoms and triggers. These treatments are not cures but provide individuals with control over their illness.