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Medications for Anxiety-You Won't Even Believe It

Apr 15, 2008
It is almost beyond belief how many people are suffering from anxiety disorders. While statistics may vary,reports are that 40 million people of all ages are in the throes of some form of the various anxiety disorders and are frantically looking for much needed relief. That relief may come with the medications for anxiety, herbal or natural treatments or some sort of therapy such as cognitive/behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy or faith based therapy to name a few. Although this is not intended to be a scholarly analysis of these various medications, our purpose is to give you an enlightening overview of what they are, their use and their effects.

Let's take a look at the solutions out there for you, and there's more than one. This is not an advanced course in psychology or medicine - it's just to help simplify your way to getting help. Our information is from the ADAA, the Anxiety Association of America. You will learn the names of specific medications, briefly see what they do and how they do it. First a word of caution: medications for anxiety are to be used only under a doctor's care; and they are not a cure unto themselves. They are usually used before other therapies are introduced to reduce the debilitating symptoms so the individual is able to receive effective benefits from other therapies.

We'll start with the antidepressants which increase the concentration of the substance known as serotonin, which then alleviates the anxiety. There are three SSRI medications, the most recent antidepressants, and they are Zolaft, Paxil and Prozac, names most of you are familiar with. These are used to treat social and generalized anxiety; posttraumatic stress disorder; panic disorder; and obsessice compulsive disorder.

Tricyclics (TCA) are also antidepressants and these medications for anxiety are Sinequan (Doxeprin), Anafranil, and Vivactil, which, like the SSRIs, alter serotonin but also norepinepherine. Social anxiety is missing from the list of disorders treated by TCAs. Of all these classifications, SSRIs are the only ones federally approved; but generic equivalents are available for each of them.

This last group functions to prevent a brain enzyme from destroying the norepinephrine and serotonin, so they're called blocking agents. Their name is Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors or (MAOI). The drugs in this classification are Parnate, Nardil and Marplan which are used primarily for social anxiety, posttraumatic stress and panic attacks. They have been effect but as with most medicines, the side effects must be carefully checked.

Medications may be part of the therapy process either at the beginning or introduced later if other therapy is not doing the job. And it may be a good option for you, but it's important to understand that medications are effective only if taken according to your doctor's instructions. Please don't neglect to make a list of questions for your doctor, including both long term and short term side effects.

One of the main obstacles to be overcome in the decision to use medications for anxiety is the fear of the after effects - the fear and stigma that you may become addicted to the drug and will have withdrawal symptoms. While that is a real possibility, fear that you may become addicted to the drug and will have withdrawal symptoms. While that is a real possibility, just make sure you have a doctor well qualified to treat your specific anxiety disorder and that he knows his medicines and their side effects.

Hopefully this insight into medications for anxiety has been helpful and perhaps has given you a brighter perspective by knowing that anxiety disorders are definitely treatable by all the newest anxiety interventions now available to all who need them. May you be renewed in your quest for good health, physically and spiritually, and may you find it.
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