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Anxiety and Nervousness

Everyone feels anxious and nervous to some degree throughout their life. While fear and anxiety can be strong emotions to deal with, they are also helpful in that they warn us to danger or threats and help keep us safe while adapting to a new environment. When fear or anxiety becomes so extreme that it causes an overwhelming amount of distress, or impairs one’s ability to function at work, in school or disrupts our relationships, an anxiety disorder may be the underlying cause. Anxiety disorders are an umbrella term used to describe several different conditions in which fear and anxiety are common factors. While it is not fully understood what causes some individuals to have an anxiety disorder, most mental health providers believe that there are multiple risk factors associated with their development including life experiences, environmental factors, genetic markers and neurobiological conditions.

Types of anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders types

Depending on who you are asking, there are five different anxiety disorders, but several subcategories can be distinguished as well.

5 Anxiety disorder types

Although each disease has unique characteristics, they can also have overlapping symptoms such as

Anxiety Symptoms

  • Panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Not being able to stay calm
  • Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Tense muscles
  • Dizziness

Individuals who are concerned about symptoms can take an online self-assessment quiz to determine their extent. While this quiz isn’t a diagnosis, it can help individuals decide if they need to consult a medical practitioner.

During an examination, your doctor will complete medical assessment and review the history as well as conducting tests to rule out any illness that might be causing the symptoms. Unfortunately, there are no lab tests that can identify or diagnosis anxiety disorders.

Anxiety Treatment

Treatment for anxiety disorders can include medications, coping techniques, and therapy. While there is often a stigma attached to counseling or therapy, neither should be discounted. Therapy can offer patients a safe space to talk about their anxiety and issues that may be contributing factors. Also, the counselor can help patients pinpoint their fears and focus treatment. While discussing the things that can be the source of anxiety is very helpful, patients often need medications to aid them in controlling all the physical effects that anxiety can produce.  

There are three different classifications of medications that can be used to treat anxiety, antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and Buspirone. Buspirone is an antianxiety medication that can be effective for generalized anxiety disorder but is used much less frequently than other medicines.

Antidepressants are often the first line of treatment for patients that have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Of these antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Lexapro are often the first choice. Despite what many may think, antidepressants aren’t addictive in the traditional sense and are very useful, although it can take several weeks to feel the effects entirely.

Benzodiazepines affect the chemical messengers that work in the brain’s fear response system. They are used as quick relief from the symptoms associated with anxiety. Because they act immediately, they are typically prescribed during the first few weeks of treatment while waiting for an antidepressant to take effect. Although benzodiazepines are considered reasonably safe, they are usually prescribed for a relatively short amount of time because the body can become accustomed to how they feel, making them less effective over time.

Side effects of anxiety medication

Side effects of Anxiety medications

While the effects of these drugs can vary from product to product, there are a few that seem to be shared among most, nausea, headache, and dizziness. Some of the most prescribed medications can result in weakness, loss of appetite, dry mouth, excessive sweating, and nervousness or weight gain and occasional difficulties with sexual function. Benzodiazepines, used for immediate relief, are known to cause personality changes in some individuals, including aggressiveness and violent behavior as well as suicidal thoughts. Although serotonin reuptake inhibitors can cause any number of these symptoms, they typically produce the least amount of side effects when compared to other antidepressants and anxiety medications.   

Anxiety Treatment at EZCare Clinic in San Francisco

Although any medication prescribed for anxiety can cause side effects that range from mild to severe, not getting treatment for such a life-altering condition can be much worse. The caring staff at EZCare Clinic is trained to help patients work through their disease with the least invasive methods possible. While no treatment is perfect, suffering from the effects of an anxiety disorder is unnecessary. Our goal is to design a treatment program that is safe and effective.

The clinic is open every day, including weekends from 11 am to 7 pm. Walk-ins are accepted, however, you can make an appointment online or give us a call at (415) 966-0848.


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Anxiety and Stress

The world that we live in can be very fast-paced and often stressful. Although some people seem to be able to work through those types of situations without much difficulty, others have a harder time. Anxiety or the feeling of worry, or unease about something that has an uncertain outcome is entirely normal. Unfortunately, individuals can become so focused on those troublesome things that they are unable to move on. Many of these people may suffer from an anxiety disorder. This is a term used to describe a group of mental illnesses whose distress can prevent someone from living a healthy life. Worry and fear are often constant and can be disabling.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

Types of Anxiety Disorder

There are several different types of anxiety disorders; panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. While each condition may share the same general symptoms, what triggers their reaction can be quite different.

Common anxiety disorder symptoms:

  • Panic, fear, and uneasiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Inability to stay calm
  • Cold, sweaty, numb or tingling hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Tense muscles
  • Dizziness

While researchers don’t exactly know what causes an anxiety disorder, they believe that they are the result of a combination of issues, including genetics or faulty circuits in the brain that controls fear and other emotions. Individuals who have symptoms should consult their doctor to rule out medical illnesses that could be causing the symptoms. Unfortunately, no lab tests can accurately diagnose an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety treatment options

Typically, anxiety disorders are treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both. While talk therapy can help individuals articulate their anxiety, most practitioners prefer individuals to begin treatment with an appropriate medication designed to lessen the severity of symptoms or to prevent them altogether.  Two of the most common types of medications for anxiety is Cymbalta and Paxil.

Cymbalta Prescription

Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SSNRI) antidepressant that affects the chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people who have depression as well as those who have a generalized anxiety disorder. While some medications of this type are not suggested for children, Cymbalta has been approved for anyone over the age of seven but must be used with caution.

Paxil Prescription Medication

Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that, like Cymbalta, affects specific chemicals in the brain. Paxil can be used to treat depression, anxiety, or other disorders as well as improving mood. Unfortunately, it can have more unwanted side effects than other medications that work as it does.   

Cymbalta vs. Paxil

Cymbalta vs Paxil

While both medications have been proven to be very effective, some people or their physicians may prefer one over the over. The following chart highlights some of the things that should be considered before taking either medication.

Paxil

Cymbalta

Pros Pros
   
Available in generic Available in generic
Taken once a day May help alleviate nerve pain from diabetes and other forms of chronic pain
  Has several uses which may be suitable for individuals with multiple conditions
   
Cons Cons
   
More likely to increase the risk of some sexual dysfunction than other antidepressants Not recommended for heavy drinkers or have liver or kidney problems
May not be appropriate if you are elderly or have dementia Can increase high blood pressure
Can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and children Can cause a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors for patients under 24 years old

 

How to get a Cymbalta or Paxil prescription in San Francisco

Cymbalta or Paxil prescription medication in San Francisco

Although occasional anxiety can be a normal part of life, those who find that they are dealing with the effects on a routine basis or that it impairs day to day living should seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner such as those at EZCare Clinic. During your initial consultation, the experienced staff will work with you to determine the root causes that contribute to your anxiety and will design a treatment regimen that will include medications to ease or prevent symptoms and therapy or counseling. With the addition of counseling, patients can learn effective coping techniques that can help with any future issues. At EZCare Clinic, our goal is to treat the whole patient.

If you live in the San Francisco area, make an appointment with EZCare Clinic today. Our staff of caring and knowledgeable professionals have the experience necessary for all your healthcare needs. From routine medical issues to weight management, or mental health concerns and everything in between, EZCare Clinic is dedicated to providing our patients with a comfortable, non-judgmental environment that promotes whole body healing based on proven methodologies, medications and support services. Although an appointment is preferred, walk-ins are accepted Monday thru Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm.

 


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Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety can be a normal part of life; in fact, it can be helpful in some ways. From helping us recognize dangers to motivating us to get things done, moderate anxiety is beneficial. Unfortunately, for some individuals, anxiety can spiral out of control and overwhelm to the point that it interferes with everyday living. Once the physical and emotional symptoms begin to degrade the quality of life a person has, what was once thought to be “normal” could be an anxiety disorder.

Typically, medical professionals group several conditions under the umbrella term “anxiety disorder.” These may include panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorders. Having multiple mental health conditions at the same time can also occur. Depending on what type of disease a person has been diagnosed with will determine the kind of treatment they should begin. Regrettably, there is no medical test to determine the type of anxiety a person has.

Once patients take that first step on what can be a long road to recovery, they often find that they have several choices to make. Do they seek therapy or medications? Is a combination approach better for them? While some patients may avoid counseling due to the negative connotation associated mental health, many find that talking does help, but it may not be enough. For some, pharmacological help in addition to therapy is the only way to get control over their condition and to get their lives back on track.

Anxiety Treatment Options

Several medications can be prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. The two most common types are anti-depressants and benzodiazepines. Benzos are typically only used for short-term treatment since it is a fast-acting treatment method and because it can cause dependency if used too long. Anti-depressants, on the other hand, aren’t addictive in the traditional sense and can be easily adjusted if needed. Most often, physicians will prescribe both anti-depressants and benzos to be used together during the first few weeks of treatment. Once the patient begins to respond to anti-depressants and therapy, the benzos are generally discontinued unless something changes.  

The most common anxiety medications are:

The most common anxiety medications

Anti-depressants

  • Prozac
  • Zoloft
  • Lexapro
  • Paxil
  • Celexa

Benzodiazepines

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Klonopin
  • Ativan

Types of Anxiety Therapy

While there are several types of therapy for individuals who are living with anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is most often used. It works by retraining the person how to think through the anxiety causing event. Other forms of treatment might include hypnotherapy or biofeedback, a method that uses bodily awareness as treatment. Although many patients choose to use therapy and medications at the same time, not all do. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, these measures do not always work.

When Anxiety treatment methods don’t work

Despite going to therapy, taking the medications as directed, and following all the advice, some still may not feel like their old self. So, what now? Waiting on the medicines to work can be frustrating, but giving up isn’t the answer.  Most experts will tell you that there are a few things you can and should do throughout the treatment process.

  1. Talk about the options and be willing to ask your physician the hard questions. How can I get the most from my medications? How long should it take for my prescriptions to work? What can I do to manage any side effects? Can I do more to alleviate the anxiety?
  2. Give the medications time to work. While some anxiety medications are fast-acting others are not. Anti-depressants typically take six to eight weeks to affect the brain’s chemistry. While anyone who has an anxiety disorder wants to feel normal immediately, it’s usually going to take some time.
  3. Manage depression symptoms as well as any other health conditions. Though it may not seem like it, things that affect other areas of the body can exacerbate your anxiety. Getting enough sleep, exercising, and socializing with others also helps to combat depression.

Anxiety Treatment at EZCare

Anxiety doctor San Francisco

Adequately designing the treatment for an anxiety disorder rarely happens the first time. Often patients, physician, and therapist have to try different medications and methods to find the right one. Don’t give up hope if the first medication doesn’t make you feel better overnight. The goal of treating anxiety as well as many other mental health conditions is for remission. Don’t give up until you feel like your old self again.

Call EZCare Clinic when other treatment methods don’t work. Our experienced medical team includes physicians, therapists, and counselors who are dedicated to finding the solution that will fulfill all your medical needs.

Our practice is open seven days a week from 11 am to 7 pm. Although appointments are appreciated, walk-ins are welcome. You can reach us at (415) 966-0848 or schedule your appointment online.


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