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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 Risk Factors
Anxiety Risk Factors – What factors will trigger anxiety and how Lexapro can help?

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:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Ejaculation problems

Conclusion

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.

 

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Zoloft is an antidepressant drug that can be used to treat several mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. It works as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that slows the reabsorption of the chemical messenger serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is believed to help regulate mood and anxiety. Speak to a licensed doctor to get anxiety treatment from EzCare Medical Clinic in San Francisco. 

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal occurrence in everyone’s life. It is characterized by the feelings of worry, nervousness, or unease about a forthcoming event that can’t be controlled or of uncertain outcome. Occasional anxiety isn’t something serious. Unfortunately, some individuals have excessive or prolonged bouts of anxiety that that may include a compulsive behavior or panic attacks that are disruptive to everyday living. When the tension reaches this level, an evaluation for an anxiety disorder should be sought.

Anxiety disorder is a group of mental disturbances characterized by anxiety as a central or core symptom. Typically, the following conditions are included as forms of an anxiety disorder:

  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Stress or PTSD
  • Specific phobias
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

How to take Zoloft

Approved by the FDA in 2003, Zoloft is the only medication that has been approved for long-term use. The dosage prescribed will depend on the age of the patient and the medical condition being treated. Depending on how well a patient responds to treatment, the physician may reduce or increase the dosage.

In most patients, the full effects of Zoloft are not noticeable for six to eight weeks, but it can vary. Prescriptions are written either for a liquid or tablet form depending on the age and preference of the patient. While the liquid form of Zoloft must be combined with a half cup of water, ginger ale, soda, lemonade or orange juice, the tablet form should not be altered or crushed.

Patients should continue taking Zoloft for as long as the doctor instructs, even if they begin to feel better. Withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, tremors, lightheadedness, muscle pains, weakness, insomnia, and anxiety can occur if you abruptly stop taking this medication.

Side Effects of Zoloft

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dyspepsia
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Loose stools
  • Nausea
  • Tremor
  • Headache
  • Paresthesia
  • Anorexia
  • Decreased libido
  • Delayed ejaculation
  • Diaphoresis
  • Ejaculation failure
  • Xerostomia

When patients first start Zoloft, or when the dosage is changed patients should watch for more severe side effects such as agitation, nervousness, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, tremors, seizures, persistent vomiting or nausea, severe abdominal pain, changes in urine or stools, or yellowing of the eyes or skin. If any of these are experienced, report them immediately to the doctor. It is also important to contact your physician if symptoms of a serious allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, severe dizziness, swelling, itching, or a skin rash are experienced.

While the risk of a fatal overdose of Zoloft is low, patients or loved ones should know the signs. Symptoms of an overdose include dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, increased or slow heart rate, and coma.

Zoloft prescription in San Francisco

Individuals who are concerned about how they deal with anxiety may find an anxiety self-assessment helpful to help determine if they need to seek professional treatment. While this self-assessment is in no way a replacement for mental health consultation, it can be helpful in recognizing issues that are related to anxiety.

With the self-assessment in hand, individuals in San Francisco should make an appointment with their anxiety doctor or another healthcare provider. EZCare Clinic is a full-service medical practice dedicated to treating the whole patient. With a full range of doctors, clinicians, therapists, and counselors, we can assist you from diagnosis to recovery and every step in between.

During your initial consultation, your healthcare team will assess your overall health and discuss any possible medical conditions that may be a contributing factor in anxiety. Once completed, your physician will determine the type of treatment needed and write any prescriptions required. During the consultation, your doctor may also recommend therapy services for anxiety.

While some people do not understand the value of therapy, many who’ve used this service learn a great deal about how to combat the overwhelming feelings associated with an anxiety disorder. Therapists can work with individuals alone, or sometimes, they may recommend a group setting in which effective coping techniques can be taught.

Anxiety help in San Francisco

Having an anxiety disorder is frustrating enough; not getting help only makes it worse. Take time to begin the process of getting better. Medications like Zoloft are designed to get you back to your normal self by curbing the feelings of fear and panic that can sometimes weigh us down.

EZCare Clinic is open Monday through Sunday, from 11 am to 7 pm. You can schedule appointments online, or call us at (415) 966-0848. Walk-ins are always welcome.

 


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Anxiety is a word that seems to be used more commonly today than in years past. By definition, it is the overall feeling of excessive unease, nervousness or worry that a person experiences even though there is not a real threat lurking just around a dark corner.

It would seem to those who have not experienced overwhelming anxiety that sufferers should simply be more firm with their own imaginations or emotions and calm down. Sadly, it is just not that simple. Such disorders are hard to control and quite frequently interfere with everyday life.

Causes of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can begin in childhood, in the teen years, as a young adult or even in adulthood. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that almost 4 percent of the world’s population suffers from anxiety disorders.

There is no research that has pinned down any specific anxiety causes for these disorders.  However, researchers believe genetics, traumatic events, changes in brain structure and other environmental factors such as work and family life may be contributing factors. Anxiety may even be caused by other disorders such as PTSD and OCD.

Signs You May Have Anxiety Disorder

If you worry that you may be experiencing anxiety and that it is negatively impacting your life, it is best to make an appointment with an anxiety doctor in San Francisco or certified therapist. Some of the warning signs include:

  • Higher than normal heart rate
  • Unexplained feelings of panic
  • Inability to breathe or catch your breath
  • Hands shaking for no reason
  • Numbness of arms or legs
  • Fear of leaving the house
  • Mind going blank suddenly
  • Stomach Upset
  • Insomnia

These professionals can not only help determine which type of anxiety disorder you are suffering with, they can also help find ways to make the symptoms less severe.

Types of Anxiety

common types of anxietyThere are several different types of anxiety disorders and working with a mental health professional can help determine which type you might be suffering from. Once this diagnosis is made, a doctor or therapist will be better able to recommend the right type of prescription medication, therapy and/or lifestyle changes that will help combat the anxiety symptoms.

Phobias

People who suffer from phobias generally have overwhelming fear about something, and this fear makes them unable to go about their daily lives as most people do. Some are afraid of bugs and spiders while others are afraid of tight spaces or of heights. There is help for coping with phobias both in the form of cognitive therapy and medication.

General and Social Anxiety

Over 6 million adults in the United States suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but less than half are getting any type of helpful treatment for these symptoms. Unfortunately, women are two times as likely to suffer from GAD symptoms. This disorder causes people to be extremely uncomfortable or nervous much of the time.

Social anxiety is much like general anxiety but is typically only experienced in social settings. People who experience social anxiety often find that it is difficult to go to school, to work or to any type of social situation. There is help available for both general and social anxiety sufferers, and the first step is to make an appointment with an anxiety doctor in San Francisco.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD

Those who have ever experienced a traumatic situation could be experiencing signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) without even realizing it is happening. This disorder frequently presents with nightmares, flashbacks and an overwhelming need to avoid specific situations or events. The trauma and resulting conditions frequently lead to anxiety attacks, substance abuse, and compulsive behavior. A doctor can not only prescribe helpful medications, but they can also suggest effective group programs and alternative therapies that have been proven to help PTSD sufferers.

Anxiety Prescription Medications that May Help

Individuals who have a confirmed diagnosis of anxiety are frequently prescribed anxiety medication that may help to lessen the symptoms of the disorder. The types of anxiety medication fall into several different classes and include:

  1. Benzodiazepine – Most commonly prescribed for those with short-term anxiety, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder, this type of prescription anxiety medication works to increase the communication of the chemicals that help bring messages to a patient’s brain. Overall, these sedatives help relax muscles and calm the mind.
  2. Buspirone – Though the reason this type of medication works is somewhat of a mystery, buspirone is frequently prescribed to treat short-term and longer-term anxiety.
  3. Antidepressants – Used in the treatment of anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and dysthymia, this category of medications is one of the most highly used and must be prescribed by a doctor or psychiatrist.
    1. SSRI’s – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors trigger the brain to have a higher level of the neurotransmitter, serotonin which can affect the ability to sleep, remember details, and even have an appetite.
    2. Tricyclics – This older group of drugs is not prescribed as frequently today as it once was due to frequent side effects such as dizziness, dry mouth and lack of energy to name a few. They work by helping to increase how much serotonin is available in the brain.
    3. MAOI’s – Typically used in the treatment of panic disorder and social phobias, this type of prescription helps to boost the number of a mood-regulating neurotransmitter in the brain.
  4. Beta-blockers – Though these are used most commonly to treat patients who have heart conditions, they have also been found to help some of the physical symptoms of anxiety and are especially effective for treating social anxiety disorder.

Prescription Medication for Anxiety

Treatment of Anxiety

The best news for those suffering from anxiety is that there is help available, no matter what the anxiety causes are. Medical professionals in the San Francisco area can help direct individuals to counselors, therapies and medications which have proven to be beneficial. Some can also recommend more holistic therapies such as meditation, Tai Chi, diet recommendations and overall stress management.

In this day and age, there is simply no need for anxiety to rule your life. EZCare Clinic in San Francisco offers regular appointments and walk-in care to make the process one step simpler. Call our office or schedule an appointment online. Whether you are looking for a first diagnosis or a prescription refill for anxiety meds, our medical professionals are here to help.

READ MORE

Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder — Diagnosis and Treatment – WebMD


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