How effective is Lexapro for treating anxiety?
Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant medication that is used to treat anxiety in adults and major depressive disorder in adults and adolescents who are at least 12 years old. Anxiety disorders are estimated to affect 40 million American adults as well as 8% of teenagers and children.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety can be a complex disorder to understand because everyone has some level of anxiety at some point in their lives. Though it is hard to imagine, anxiety can offer a wide range of positive outcomes.
- Protection: Because anxiety is very often related to fear, it is nature’s way of protecting individuals from something dangerous.
- Attention: Anxiety has a way of focusing our attention on the things that are important to us.
- Motivation: Anxiety can be a mighty force that drives us to accomplish things. Fearing the consequences of our actions can be the motivation that we need to complete a task or project.
- Preparation: For some people, concerns about how a scenario will play out will drive them to prepare for the situation. The adage, “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” always comes to their mind.
- Communication: When people are anxious, they naturally feel compelled to talk to someone to find support or encouragement
Conditions of anxiety
Anxiety disorders are a classification of mental illnesses that are characterized by significant feelings of anxiety and fear. Several conditions can be classified as an anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety, specific phobias, social anxiety, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Though each may manifest in different ways, several physical symptoms tend to be associated with each of them, such as an increased heart rate, shakiness, numbness, or tingling in one or more extremities, sweating, and heart palpitations.
Causes of anxiety
The medical community has yet to determine the exact cause of anxiety disorders, but they believe that it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Certain risk factors can include abuse, family history of mental disorders, and brain chemistry. It is not uncommon for anxiety disorders to occur with other psychiatric diseases, particularly major depressive disorder, personality disorder, and substance use disorder.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Anxiety
In order to be diagnosed, symptoms typically need to be present for at least six months and decrease functioning in day to day living. Treatment may include lifestyle changes, counseling, and medications. While counseling, typically a cognitive behavioral therapy, is a valid option; medicines such as antidepressants, benzodiazepines, or beta-blockers can also help to improve the symptoms of anxiety disorders.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is an antidepressant medication that affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression or anxiety. It is a selective, serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs enhance the function of nerve cells in the brain that regulate emotion. The body and brain communicate with signals through chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. As the neurons (brain cells) send signals to one another, they release a portion of the neurotransmitter. They then take the chemical messenger back that they released in order to send the next message; a process called “reuptake.”
In individuals who are living with depression, the area of the brain that regulates the movement of messages may not function properly. SSRIs inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, allowing it to build up between neurons and send messages correctly.
Effects of Lexapro
Several clinical studies have shown that depression and generalized anxiety disorder are effectively controlled by Lexapro. In fact, a long-term study concluded that it could help to prevent depression relapses in some patients. Although it is very effective in adults, Lexapro has only recently been approved for use in adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.
Lexapro side effects
As with any medicine, side effects can occur with Lexapro use in some but not all patients. Typically, when side effects do occur, they are often minor and either require no treatment or can be treated easily. More severe side effects are less common in adults.
Reported side effects:
- Extreme tiredness
- Ejaculation problems
Lexapro is a useful tool in treating anxiety disorders. Individuals who suffer from severe or prolonged bouts of fear or anxiety should seek professional help. Although many people do not recognize the dangers of these disorders, or how they are affecting virtually every aspect of their lives, serious complications do occur. With such effective treatment options available, there is no need to allow anxiety to control your life.
EzCare Clinic in San Francisco has a wide range of services geared towards your well-being. The caring and dedicated staff can provide the necessary testing, therapy, and if needed, medications to treat all your medical or mental healthcare needs. Anxiety disorders aren’t something that is going to go away on its own, seek professional help today. Visit EzCare Medical Clinic in San Francisco to schedule your appointment with a licensed Anxiety Doctor today.