It is normal to experience occasional anxiety in life. However, if it becomes excessive and irrational, it can interfere with daily activities, in which case you will be considered to suffer from an anxiety disorder. The term refers to specific psychiatric disorders including generalized anxiety disorders, panic attacks, social anxiety, selective mutism, and specific phobias. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the US affecting 19.1% of the adult population. Of these, only a third seek treatment options.
We at EzCare Clinic understand the burden of anxiety disorders in your life when left untreated. We provide personalized treatment solutions to clients across American both online and offline.
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a first-line psychotherapeutic method used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. CBT emphasizes on identifying negative changes and behavioral patterns in a patient’s life that could be causing their anxiety. Therapy focuses on changing the automatic negative thoughts that contribute to emotional difficulties, depression, and anxiety.
CBT is completed through sessions with a therapist to help you identify any underlying behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that worsen anxiety disorders. Through CBT, these thoughts are identified, challenged, and replaced with more objective and realistic thoughts. Therapists adopt role-playing, mental distractions, and journaling strategies to help patients overcome negative thoughts.
Interpersonal Therapy is the most common form of CBT as it helps patients identify root causes of their anxiety from interpersonal relationships. As its name suggests, IPT is based on the idea that personal relationships, events, and experiences are at the center of psychological problems. The goal of IPT is to help patients face their problems directly and come out better and healthier. Furthermore, IPT improves social interactions and communication patterns with others.
With the advancements of technology in medicine, computerized CBT (Fear Fighter) is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines for the treatment of panic attacks and phobias.
Hypnotherapy is an alternative method in the treatment of anxiety disorders. This treatment method is based on the idea that anxiety disorders are not inherent but rather learned through experiences and events throughout one’s life. The goal is to reprogram the subconscious mind.
During the early stages of lifespan development, overwhelming and embarrassing moments occur, but their effect lasts a lifetime. Later in life, a similar situation causes the body the react in a similar manner as it reacted in the past. These reactions result in panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorders that affect your daily life. Pragmatic brain-hack techniques can harness the power of neuroplasticity by training the brain with new techniques to approach recurring situations without triggering anxiety.
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to guide patients towards a trance-like state where you are deeply relaxed, hyper-focused, and more open to positive suggestions. In this state, the patient is able to tap into these experiences and confront them in a manner that blocks past negative memories. The hypnotherapy treatment process involves the patient being hypnotized by a qualified therapist followed by a series of questions aimed at relieving the memories and approaching them using a different perspective. During the hypnosis session, the hypnotherapist gives you pre and post-hypnotic suggestions to help you cope with the anxiety-inducing events.
Outside traditional therapies, natural remedies are sough as effective treatments for anxiety disorders. They are safe to use alongside conventional medical therapies. Physical exercise is one of the most effective natural remedies to alleviate nervousness, tension, and agitation. Regular exercise through walks and sports or routine workouts in the gym lets you focus anxiety energy on something else and release it in a way that benefits both the body and mind.
Meditation slows down racing thoughts making it easier to manage stress and anxiety. Different meditation styles including mindfulness and yoga are the most common types of meditation that you can incorporate in your physical exercise routine to improve the overall cognitive function. During these exercises, the body releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers.
In addition to physical exercises and medication, a cup of herbal tea will help calm frayed nerves. The compounds present in herbal tea keep you relaxed both physically and mentally. Since herbal teas do not have the side effects found in prescription anti-anxiety medications.
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Medication treatment for anxiety disorders is safe and effective. Medication may be used in conjunction with therapy as a short-term or long-term treatment option based on severity f the symptoms, interaction with other medications, and individual circumstances. However, it takes time and patience to find the drug that works best for you. Due to the chemical makeup and varying side effects, it is important to consult with your doctor before administering any medications.
Prescription Drugs for Anxiety
Prescription drugs used in the treatment of anxiety disorders are classified into two broad categories
This class of medicines combines benzene and diazepine to affect the neurotransmitters in your brain and produce a relaxation effect. They are effective in reducing muscular tension and other physical symptoms associated with anxiety disorders. Common drugs in this class include:
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Dalmane (flurazepam)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Halcion (triazolam)
- Klonopin (clonazepam)
- Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
- Serax (oxazepam)
- Tranxene (clorazepate)
Since each drug relieves anxiety differently among individuals, the effects will vary from person to person. The effects last from a few hours to days from the time of administration.
Antidepressant agents react in a similar manner as Benzodiazepines by acting on neurotransmitters in the brain.
The various classes of antidepressants effective in treating anxiety disorders include:
- SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors): SSRIs relieve anxiety symptoms by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin by certain nerves in the brain. This leaves more serotonin available, which improves mood. SSRIs are considered more effective as they have fewer side effects as compared to TCA antidepressants.
- TCA (tricyclic antidepressants): Concerns about the long-term use of benzodiazepines led doctors to adopt TCAs in treating some anxiety disorders. Despite their effectiveness, TCAs have significant side effects including drastic hypotension, blurred vision, urinary retention, and constipation. If you experience side effects when using TCAs, contact your physician. Do not stop taking the medication as abrupt discontinuation may cause other health risks.
- MAOI (monoamine oxidase inhibitors): They are an extremely strong class of antidepressants that prevent the breakdown of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine brain chemicals. This allows them to perform their functions in regulating moods.
The most common SSRI, TCA, and MAOI medications include:
- Anafranil (clomipramine)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Emsam (selegiline)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Tofranil (imipramine)
- Marplan (isocarboxazid)
- Nardil (phenelzine)
- Parnate (tranylcypromine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Viibryd (vilazodone)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
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Access to Anxiety Medication
Prescription drugs for anxiety disorders are highly regulated by the DEA, hence not easily available without a prescription from a qualified and licensed healthcare professional. Schedule an appointment at EzCare Clinic to know if you qualify for prescription medicine to treat anxiety disorders. Our DEA-Licensed physicians will provide examine you and recommend the prescription medicines based on your condition.