Usually, anxiety disorders are the most common group of psychiatric disorders. Anxiety is known as the sensations of nervousness, tension, apprehension, and fear that emanate from the anticipation of danger, which may be internal or external. Therefore, anxiety disorders describe different clusters of signs and symptoms of anxiety, panic, and phobias.
On the other hand, a panic attack is a distinct period of intense fear or discomfort that develops abruptly, usually reaching a crescendo within a few minutes or less. Physical symptoms may include hyperventilation, palpitations, trembling, sweating, dizziness, hot flashes or chills, numbness or tingling, and the sensation or fear of nausea or choking. Psychological symptoms may include depersonalization and derealization and fear of fainting, dying, doing something uncontrolled, or losing one’s mind. A panic disorder consists of episodes of panic attacks followed by a period of persistent fear of the recurrence of more panic attacks. When the focus of anxiety is an activity, person, or situation that is dreaded, feared, and probably avoided, the anxiety disorder is called a phobia. Phobia-inspired avoidance behavior as well as travel and activity restrictions may become intense and incapacitating. The phobias include agoraphobia, social phobia, and simple or specific phobia; panic attacks and panic disorders are often but not necessarily involved.
Anxiety sometimes has value as a signal of danger. In the same way that being sad is an appropriate response to some situations, experiencing anxiety can be an appropriate response. When manifestations of anxiety occur without apparent triggers or are out of proportion to the situation, they can be considered anxiety symptoms. If the symptoms are persisting, maladaptive, and meet certain diagnostic criteria, then the symptoms can be described as a syndrome. Further, if specific criteria are met in terms of consistency, repetitiveness, and duration, then the symptoms can be considered an anxiety disorder
The first step is to rule out the possibility that your symptoms are being caused by a medical condition that is not psychiatric. Among the conditions that produce symptoms similar to those of anxiety are hyperthyroidism or other endocrine problems, too much or too little calcium, low blood sugar, and certain heart problems. Certain medicines also can sometimes cause anxiety. A thorough evaluation by your health care provider will determine if any of these conditions are the cause of your symptoms.
If no other medical culprit can be found and the symptoms seem out of proportion to any situation you are facing, you may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
There are some distinct forms of anxiety disorders, the maximum common of which encompass generalized anxiety disease, panic disorder, phobias, obsessive compulsive disease, and post-demanding strain disorder. Relying upon the kind and severity of signs, special medications can be more or less suitable. Every other issue, like substance abuse, might also play a part in determining which types of medicinal drugs – if any – should be utilized throughout treatment.
With the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), anti-anxiety medicinal drugs, antidepressants, and beta blockers are the maximum usually prescribed sorts of treatment whilst an anxiety disease is diagnosed.
It is important to observe that it would take some time to discover the right medicinal drug(s) and/ or dosage. It is also important to understand that no pill can cure an anxiety problem. Instead, a complete treatment program that makes use of various treatment services, which include medicine if essential, is the first-rate option for long-term and sustainable healing.
Also called benzodiazepines, anti-anxiety medicines are frequently used because they naturally act quickly and the immediate relief they can occasionally provide to sufferers. The benzodiazepines most generally prescribed to sufferers suffering with anxiety consist of:
- Klonopin (in particular social anxiety or generalized anxiety ailment)
- Ativan (in particular panic disorder)
- Xanax (mainly panic attack or generalized anxiety disorder)
Unfortunately, those medicines are always easily abused. Many patients take too many while feeling symptoms of anxiety or come to rely upon them psychologically, feeling that they may not be able to function without them. Addiction can increase whilst abuse of these medications continues for a long time, and overdose is a possibility as well, if the tablets are used in combination with other pills, including alcohol.
Antidepressant medicines may be useful inside the treatment of certain anxiety problems. These can take time to accumulate inside the body and have an effect, making them slower than benzodiazepines. However, they may be not addictive so there is no chance of abuse or overdose. commonplace antidepressants prescribed for the treatment of anxiety include:
- SSRIs (e.g., Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa) particularly for the treatment of panic disease, social anxiety, PTSD, and OCD
- SNRI (e.g., Effexor) especially for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder
- Antidepressants (e.g., Wellbutrin)
- Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., Tofranil, Anafranil) specifically for the treatment of panic disorder and OCD, respectively
- MAOIs (e.g., Parnate, Marplan, Nardil)
Physical signs of anxiety can be correctly addressed through the usage of a beta blocker like Inderal. Sweating, shaking, hyperventilating, coronary heart palpitations, and other anxiety-related signs that arise during panic assaults, while confronted with the object of a phobia, or in anticipation of managing an anxiety-inducing situation can help to control those problems particularly. These can be prescribed for short periods.
Different anxiety disorders have different medication regimens. Some are preventive and some are designed to cure the problem.
Therapy for Anxiety
Several specific forms of psychotherapy have been described in research studies as helpful for alleviating the symptoms of GAD. Two — psychodynamic psychotherapy and supportive-expressive therapy — focus on anxiety as an outgrowth of feelings about important relationships. Another form of psychotherapy, called cognitive-behavioral therapy, involves learning behavioral relaxation techniques as well as restructuring patterns of thinking that foster anxiety.
Biofeedback is another helpful tool. In a series of sessions with a therapist, you watch your own brain-wave patterns on an electroencephalograph and gradually learn to control the waves. This teaches you to achieve a more relaxed state at will. Practitioners estimate that after about a dozen sessions, you will be able to exert control over mental activity without the help of the therapist or monitoring instrument.
Lifestyle Modifications to Alleviate Anxiety
Daily exercise can be another helpful treatment for anxiety symptoms. If you find that exercise works for you, push yourself to go for brisk walks or undertake an active sport that you enjoy. Get your heart rate into the target range for your age for at least 30 minutes each time you exercise.
Since anxiety is often accompanied by shallow breathing, deep breathing exercises can also be helpful. Try the following form of yoga breathing:
- Lie on your back in a comfortable place.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose, using your diaphragm to suck air into your lungs while allowing your abdomen to expand. (Put your hand on your abdomen just below the navel to make sure the abdomen is being pushed up and out by the diaphragm.) After the abdomen is expanded, continue to inhale as deeply as possible.
- When you breathe out, reverse the process: Contract the abdomen while exhaling slowly and completely.
- Repeat several times.
Progressive relaxation is another helpful technique. It begins by tensing and then relaxing one part of the body, usually beginning with the toes. When this part of the body is relaxed, another part of the body is tensed and relaxed until the entire body is free of tension.
Relaxing visualization can also help. A therapist or meditation trainer suggests relaxing images for a person to hold in mind. Once the image is in place, the person imagines soothing sensations such as pleasant scents and sounds. Eventually people can learn to do this themselves when they anticipate — or find themselves in — stressful situations.
Dangers of Anxiety Treatment Medications.
Depending on the drugs, there are regular side effects that can occur whilst using anxiety treatment drugs. For some, the side effects are minimal or a far worse than the anxiety signs and symptoms experienced while no longer taking the medication. For others, multiplied psychotherapy and holistic measures to control signs and symptoms are the desired strategies of treatment.
Moreover, the lengthy-term use of benzodiazepines can mean the risk of developing a substance abuse trouble which can grow to be an addiction.
Prescription drug addiction can fast grow to be deadly, either because of the improved risk of injuries whilst under the impact or to overdose.
Does Your Loved One Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment?
The presence of an anxiety disorder is regularly intrusive in the patient’s existence making it tough for him or her to function well so treatment is the handiest solution to successfully cope with the symptoms in addition to the underlying problems.
While substance abuse too is a thing, dual diagnosis treatment may be the maximum useful alternative.
Research more on how a twin diagnosis treatment can offer your loved one with the well-rounded treatment application they need to discover ways to control drug and alcohol abuse in addition to anxiety when you reach us today.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.