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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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Medical Help For Anxiety

According to The National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older have an anxiety disorder, although only about one third are getting adequate anxiety treatment.

Typically, occasional stress or anxiety is a normal part of life and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. However, some individuals experience a prolonged or excessive amount of tension that interferes with their everyday life. For these individuals, medical help is necessary to regain control of their lives. While some individuals are concerned with what others may think, many may not understand how detrimental their illness has become or that there is someone who can help. In San Francisco, EZCare Clinic can help individuals who are burdened by stress, anxiety, and depression as well as other mental health issues.

Anxiety disorder is a term used to describe one or more mental health conditions. Although there are several different types of anxiety, each ailment may have similar or overlapping symptoms. Treatment is dependent on what kind of disorder the patient has and how it affects the individual.

  • Panic disorder is characterized by the random feeling of terror.
  • Social anxiety disorder or social phobia results in worry and self-consciousness in everyday social situations.
  • Generalized anxiety disorder causes excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.
  • Specific phobias are an intense fear of a particular object or situation that goes beyond what’s appropriate and causes individuals to avoid everyday situations.

How to know when to seek treatment?

Anxiety disorder

Individuals who routinely find themselves battling anxiety may be wondering when they should seek treatment. While the answer may be different for each person, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to any, seeking professional help may be the best option for you.

  1. Does my anxiety affect my physical health? Anxiety, as well as other emotional issues, can adversely affect both the mental and physical health of the individual. Physical symptoms may include dizziness, stomachaches, shortness of breath, chest pains, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, individuals who already have a preexisting condition may find that the increased anxiety inhabits the ability to get better.
  2. Is my anxiety affecting my work? People who have uncontrolled anxiety may find that they have difficulties at work, such as showing up late, frequent absences, or even difficulty performing the job itself.
  3. Does my anxiety affect my relationships? Anxiety can cause individuals to have unhealthy feelings of jealousy, avoidance of social gatherings with both friends and family, and the inability to communicate effectively. Often these issues become so dramatic that they begin to withdrawal from virtually every aspect of their life and severing any connections to those that they love.
  4. Do I abuse drugs or alcohol to help cope with my anxiety? Often individuals who are suffering from anxiety, as well as other mood disorders, will turn to alcohol or medications to help them overcome the symptoms of their disease. For many people, this quickly spirals out of control, and they become addicted, creating other possible life-threatening circumstances.
  5. Does my anxiety cause me to miss out on the things I used to enjoy? Individual who often find themselves making excuses not to participate or avoid certain situations? Anxiety can make someone feel like a prisoner and withdraw from living. They may feel trapped, isolated, and fearful.

Types of treatment

Seeking professional help is the first step to recovery. While many individuals are scared to talk to a medical professional, it is crucial that you make that first step. Anxiety, like any illness, is nothing that should make you feel ashamed. At EZCare Clinic, a team of medical professionals will help you find answers and treatment for your anxiety disorder.

For most patients, treatment can include medications as well as therapy or counseling. While many may shy away from this type of treatment, most mental health professionals believe that talking about the things that cause the most distress can help patients come to terms with any underlying issues. Typically, counseling will also include the patient learning some coping techniques that can help calm them when they feel anxious.

Effective medications

Effective anxiety medications

Several anxiety medications are useful when treating anxiety disorders. Depending on which condition the patient has, physicians can prescribe Paxil, Cymbalta, Zoloft, Effexor, or many others. Patients must be seen by a qualified medical professional to get a prescription. These professionals can monitor for any adverse reactions as well as adjust the dosage as necessary.

EZCare Clinic in San Francisco can see patients Monday through Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome. You can schedule an appointment online or give us a call at (415) 966-0848.

If you are suffering from uncontrolled anxiety, call today. Don’t let yourself be held prisoner any longer; there is an effective treatment for you.


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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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