There are several approaches to treating anxiety disorder including talking therapies, self help methods and medication. Doctors will usually try non-medicinal approaches first because they have higher long term success rates and come without the risk of side effects. But for some people medication is the best solution.
Medication for anxiety tackles the symptoms instead of focusing on the root cause of the problem. However, the relief the drugs offer can often give sufferers the emotional resilience they need to resolve any issues that may be exacerbating the anxiety. Some people will also find that simply breaking the cycle of symptoms will cure them of the disorder, with the symptoms failing to return even after the medication has ceased.
There are three types of medication which are commonly used to treat anxiety disorder. You may have to try several types before you find the medication which suits your needs best.
There is a lot of crossover between mental health disorders, so many of the drugs which are used for depression will also work for anxiety. Most antidepressants work by boosting levels of chemicals such as serotonin in the brain. This can promote a feeling of calm and wellbeing, and thereby reduces the panic and stress felt by people with anxiety disorder.
Although antidepressants are an effective treatment in around sixty percent of cases, a small number of people do find that the drugs make their anxiety worse. It is also inadvisable to try antidepressants if one of your anxiety symptoms is insomnia, as drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can cause sleep issues.
When examining how to treat anxiety disorder, doctors may consider beta-blockers if one of the predominant symptoms is palpitations or tachycardia. This can help the patient to feel more in control and lessen any associated feelings of anxiety.
Beta-blockers are a very effective treatment if the patient’s anxiety or panic attacks have a particular trigger, such as flying, or if the overall levels of anxiety are relatively mild. However, they can be less effective for people with moderate to severe general anxiety. This is because they treat only one specific physical symptom and do not tackle the cognitive side of the disorder.
The final option for how to treat anxiety disorder with medication is tranquilizers, such as benzodiazepine. These are only used if the symptoms are very severe and other treatments have failed. Benzodiazepine is considered a temporary measure because it can cause addiction when used for prolonged periods, and is also known to cause serious withdrawal symptoms.
The effectiveness of a medication when treating anxiety disorder will depend on many factors such as the patient’s physiology, their symptoms and the level of their anxiety. Studies have shown medication to be a less desirable option than talking therapies, which teach the patient cognitive strategies to break the negative thought cycle. However, medication can help to ease psychological and physical symptoms when the anxiety is disabling, thereby giving the sufferer enough resilience to try alternative treatments. Before you start to medicate your panic and fear, explore a more