Treating Anxiety With Medication
Treating Anxiety With Medication
Almost everyone has experienced anxiety at some point in their lives. The good news is that it’s a normal response to stress and life events. However, if you experience excessive worry, you may want to seek professional help. Untreated anxiety can cause a range of problems, including depression and substance abuse. It can also interfere with daily life.
Panic attacks are characterized by intense feelings of fear that may last for minutes or even hours. An attack may begin without warning, and usually begins with a racing heart, muscle tension, and shortness of breath. In some cases, a panic attack can cause a person to avoid certain places, such as a public restroom. This is called agoraphobia. In addition to panic attacks, a person with agoraphobia may have other psychiatric disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive worry over normal everyday life events, such as a job interview or a trip to the doctor’s office. It may also include restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and muscle tension. These symptoms may be physical as well as cognitive, and are often more severe than anxiety attacks.
Anxiety disorders are often treated with medication and psychotherapy. However, the choice of treatment depends on the type of anxiety disorder and the preferences of the clinician. In general, medications are used to reduce tension associated with fearful situations and improve a person’s quality of life. If the disorder involves both cognitive and physical symptoms, a combination of medications may be more effective.
Antidepressants can also be effective in treating anxiety. These medications act by resetting neurotransmitters involved in fear. They also increase levels of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers. In addition, they may improve sleep.
Other medications include beta-blockers, which are used to treat heart conditions. Beta-blockers are also used for treating physical symptoms of anxiety. They usually do not cause side effects, but some people experience them.
In addition to drugs, many people also find that anxiety can be reduced through physical activities. Exercising can increase the release of endorphins, which can alleviate the physical symptoms of anxiety. Exercise can also lift a person’s mood and enhance overall well-being.
If a person’s anxiety disorder involves a phobia, the first step is to understand the phobia. Phobic people have intense fears of certain situations, including heights, animals, tunnels, water, and public places. These fears often lead to a person spending a great deal of time avoiding the situation. Some people may not leave their homes at all, and may fear having a panic attack in public.
Some people find that meditation and yoga are helpful in treating anxiety. In addition, people may find that they need to avoid caffeine. Caffeine can make you feel jittery, which can exacerbate anxiety.
Other treatment options include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and medication. For some people, patient support groups can also be helpful. However, these groups are not substitutes for effective treatment.