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The Best Anxiety Medications

Nail biting, cracking knuckles and sweaty palms. Does any of these actions sound familiar to you? They would be familiar to anyone who had suffered a bout of anxiety at any given time in their lives. Anxiety is so prevalent in our society that it affects over 40 million people in the United States alone. That means 18% of the US population is suffering from anxiety at any given year. Anxiety disorders cost approximately $42 billion a year in the USA. It is almost one-third of the country’s $148 billion total mental health bill per year. This is how big a problem that anxiety has become in the US society.

St. John's WartAnxiety is harmful, deteriorative, dangerous and destructive. It has a negative impact on you as an individual. Your social life and family life can be affected negatively when you suffer from anxiety. Your self esteem, self confidence and positive outlook of life can be seriously affected with anxiety. It is vital to get to know the symptoms and causes of anxiety before we embark on an effective treatment plan for anxiety.

Anxiety can strike you at any point of time in your life, and the most common symptoms are listed below.

. Sweaty palms
. Worrying
. Nausea
. Tense muscles
. Nail biting
. Nervousness
. Cracking knuckles
. Stomach problems
. Numbness
. Vomiting
. Diarrhea
. Restlessness

The causes of anxiety may differ according to each individual and each situation. The origins of anxiety predominantly lies in stress. A little amount of stress is natural and essential to maintain a healthy mentality. But too much of stress is bad for a person, and it could lead to anxiety and panic disorders. People are habituated to gather too much of stress into their system by thinking too much. Most of these thoughts are negative and will eventually instigate worry in these people’s minds. This is one cause of anxiety and panic disorders. Not being able to control the self-talk, which is mostly negative, is another reason for anxiety. There could be genetic and environmental causes too, in developing anxiety and panic attacks. Anxiety should be treated immediately, or else, it could lead to more serious mental diseases and issues.

There are many medications to cure anxiety and panic attacks. Antidepressant (Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft) and anti-anxiety (Xanax, Valium) medications could be administered initially to curb the nerves and soothe them. Antidepressants need to be taken on a regular basis for some time until you are able to relax your nerves. It takes time for these drugs to be effective on the symptoms of anxiety. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are also a group of drugs (Prozac, Lexapro) that are effective in treating anxiety. SSRI’s act faster than antidepressants and would help to curb the symptoms of anxiety. These drugs would act in a very little time as 30 minutes to an hour of taking them. However medication alone will not help in curing anxiety for good. They will only help to curb the symptoms of anxiety temporarily. The best anxiety medication is a combination of antidepressants and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach which addresses dysfunctional emotions and thoughts that could result in maladaptive behaviors and cognitive processes. The underlying concept behind CBT is that our emotions and thoughts play an important role in out outward behavior. For example, if a person spends a lot of time thinking and worrying unnecessarily about motor accidents, he or she may inevitably avoid driving a vehicle. The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to teach the patient that while he or she may not be able to control every event of the world around them, they can definitely take control on how they interpret and deal with certain things in their environment.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has become immensely popular among patients and professionals in the mental health field. The reason being that CBT is a short term treatment method, and it is more affordable than many other treatment methods in the field. CBT has also helped many patients to get rid of anxiety and panic attacks for good. It helped these patients to modify their maladaptive behavior to more acceptable patterns. All in all, CBT combined with antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications are the best anxiety medications available right now.

Treatment Options For Anxiety

Mental health disorders are on the rise, and anxiety is among the most common. The severity of the disorder can range from mild to completely debilitating, and what treatment a person requires can be specific to the individual. Typically a doctor will advise that the a sufferer undergoes psychological therapy, a course of medication, or a combination of the two.
counselling

In the long term, psychological therapy has been shown to treat anxiety disorder more effectively and the results will normally be more long lasting. However, that is not to say that it is the best course of treatment for everyone. Your family doctor can discuss your specific needs with you, and come up with a course of treatment which is best suited to your individual requirements.

Psychological Treatments For Anxiety

Although many of the symptoms of anxiety are physical, it is predominantly a psychological disorder both in terms of how it manifests and the root causes of the problem. Therefore many of the treatments focus on helping the patient to develop cognitive strategies for coping with anxiety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common anxiety treatments, and the one which demonstrates the highest success rate. In over half of cases, patients will make a full recovery through the use of CBT alone.

CBT helps the patient to identify unrealistic and unhealthy thought patterns and beliefs, and helps you to develop techniques to replace these with more realistic beliefs and balanced behaviors. Since anxiety involves a lot of faulty thought processes -such as fixating on events which will probably never happen – this can be an effective treatment approach. Many patients learn to respond to situations positively, where they may have become anxious in the past.

Applied Relaxation

Applied relaxation is a form of therapy which was originally developed to treat phobias, but it has also proven effective for disorders such as generalized anxiety. A trained therapist teaches the patient to relax their muscles in a specific way, when in a situation where they would normally experience anxiety. Controlling the body’s physiology can have big benefits for the body’s psychological response too.

Learning to use applied relaxation effectively takes time. On average, an anxiety sufferer will need 15 hour long sessions before they become proficient. Studies have shown applied relaxation to be just as effective as CBT when used properly.

Medication For Anxiety Disorders

A range of medications are used to treat anxiety. Most doctors prefer to only try medication if psychological therapies have proved ineffective, or if the patient’s anxiety is particularly severe. This is because medications simply mask the signs of the disorder, rather than offering a cure for the root cause. However, if the anxiety is controlling a person’s life then the medication can provide enough relief for them to start dealing with the psychological aspects of their condition. Here are some of the medications which may be prescribed.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

SSRIs are actually antidepressants, but since many people with anxiety also have low levels of serotonin the medication can also be used for anxiety and panic disorders. This medication gradually increases levels of serotonin – one of the brain’s feel good chemicals – by inhibiting the amount of serotonin the receptors can take in. It will take time for the brain to adapt to this artificial stimulation, so the patient will be started off on a low dose.

When it comes to anxiety medication, SSRIs are one of the safest. However, many patients will still experience mild side effects at first. This can include a dry mouth, loss of appetite, nausea or insomnia.

Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)

If SSRIs do not work for a patient, then a doctor will normally switch them to a drug such as venlafaxine. This is a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, which helps to rebalance chemicals in the brain. It has similar side effects to SSRIs.

Antihistamines

Most people know that antihistamines are used to treat allergies, but they can also be used as a short term treatment for anxiety. This is because they have a calming effect on the brain. If the anxiety is mild, this inhibition of symptoms can give the person the time they need to recover.

Only a doctor can advise you which form of treatment is the best for you.

Anxiety Treatments Your Doctor May Prescribe

Anxiety is a disorder that is very treatable. Many people who suffer from anxiety find that once they are undergoing treatment, the anxiety is under control and they feel much better. Treatment time can vary from as little as just one or two treatments to treatments that are ongoing. Here are some treatments your doctor may wish to consider for treating your anxiety.

Counseling

If the anxiety has been caused through substance abuse such as drugs or alcohol then the doctor may put the patient into a counseling situation to help get the substance abuse under control. Once the substance abuse is under control the anxiety (if there is any left) can then be dealt with. Often anxiety is caused by something underlying such as drug or alcohol abuse.

therapy

If your anxiety isn’t caused by drugs or alcohol your doctor may still recommend counseling in either one on one sessions or group therapy sessions. Often just discussing the anxiety issues in group will help you to learn to cope better with the anxiety and be enough to keep you off of medication.

Medications

Doctors have a wide variety of medications available to treat anxiety with. The medication your doctor selects will depend upon the severity and specific symptoms of your anxiety. Since everyone is different and everyone’s anxiety is different the medication the doctor puts you on may not be the same one that he put your siblings on. You may be required to take medication a few times per day or once per day. You may only need medication for a short time or it may be for the rest of your life. Your doctor will work closely with you to determine what the best course of treatment is for your specific case.

Clinical Trials

Some doctors will ask you to consider a clinical trial. In this trial you will be assigned a specific protocol and then come back for interviews or group sessions where you may fill out some questionnaires. You may or may not take a medication in this clinical trial. You’ll be asked to fully participate in the trial in order to help the medical field gain a fuller understanding of the disorder and how the specific protocol works on patients.

Your doctor will assist you in selecting the clinical trial that will work best for your specific situation.

New treatments are being discovered almost daily for the care of anxiety. Patients will be required to see their doctor either every six months or every year. At this visit the doctor will evaluate how you’re doing and whether or not you will benefit from further treatment or a change in medication or treatment.

It’s important to be honest with your doctor regarding your symptoms and not hide them. It’s important to take your medications exactly as the doctor prescribes them in order to remain healthy and well.

If you’re in a therapy session it’s important to attend them until your doctor tells you otherwise.

Anxiety is treatable, you don’t have to suffer.