Anxiety help. Learn what can be done.
Anxiety, irrational fear, palpitations, poor sleep – these are the main symptoms of the disease, which is quite widespread today – the anxiety disorder. Typically, people with anxiety disorder at first avoid seeing a psychiatrist. “Am I crazy?” – they exclaim in response to an offer to see this “unpopular” physician and then they are trying to get help from other specialists (usually neurologists or psychologists) for a long time. Psychological support and treatment is certainly of a great importance for the patients, suffering from anxiety disorders, which makes it possible to find and eliminate the underlying reasons of the developed disease and prevent a relapse. However, the treatment of anxiety disorder (with already existing symptoms) without the use of specific drugs, prescribed by a psychiatrist, usually brings no results.
What drugs are used by psychiatrists for anxiety help?
The basis for the drug treatment of this disease are antidepressants. Essentially, anxiety and depression are the consequences of the same pathological changes in brain biochemistry, therefore antidepressants are effective in the treatment of anxiety as well. However, there are antidepressants with stimulating effect, for example, Prozac, which can increase anxiety, thus antidepressants certainly are not used in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Many antidepressants have a so-called cumulative effect, that is, the effect of treatment can be seen only after some time (few weeks) after the onset of therapy. Therefore, on the initial stages of treatment with pronounced symptoms of anxiety, psychiatrists use tranquilizers. Patients usually “like” this treatment as it can quickly alleviate the condition, which often leads to uncontrollable use of tranquilizers. This is completely unacceptable, because it can lead to development of the substance abuse problems.
The experience shows that this dependence often is much more difficult to treat in comparison to alcohol abuse. In addition, long-term tranquilizers abuse decreases intelligence and memory. Nevertheless, being valuable remedy in an emergency, tranquilizers are not suitable for the long-term maintenance therapy and the treatment of anxiety disorders. For this purpose antidepressants are used, which, despite the fears of many patients, do not cause addiction. Another class of drugs, which is often included in the treatment of anxiety disorders – are mild antipsychotic drugs, such as Sonapax.
The severity of symptoms of the anxiety disorder may be different. Moderate and situational anxiety treatment may include only psychotherapy and a course of herbal medicines. In case of the full-scale clinical picture of anxiety disorder with the presence of panic attacks the hospital treatment is needed.
One of the major mistakes in the treatment of anxiety disorder is an independent discontinuation of drugs by the patients. Sometimes it occurs due to the side-effects – lethargy, drowsiness, dry mouth; and sometimes with the self-assured confidence of the patients, who “have decided” that they are back to full health. Unfortunately, the period of anxiety disorder treatment, even with sustained improvement is rather long – up to six months. Thus, you can stop taking your medications under the medical advice only.
Finally, an important role in anxiety help plays psychotherapy. This method of treatment allows a person to develop new strategies of stress responses and strengthen the nervous system. Often in the course of psychotherapy, the patient develops the self-care techniques of relaxation and enhances one’s self-esteem for the future.