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It is a common thing for doctors to prescribe antidepressant medications to patients who suffer from some type of anxiety disorder. But the question is “why do doctors prescribe antidepressant drugs in order to treat anxiety disorders anyway?” There are reasons why antidepressant medications are used to treat anxiety disorders.

1)    Low Serotonin Levels
Doctors usually prescribe Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), which are antidepressants which help to boost serotonin levels – but it takes about a couple of weeks for the medication to take effect. The user is sure to see some improvement in his or her condition in about three weeks. According to findings, negative emotions are said to make the brain serotonin production level low and when serotonin production is low, chances of getting panic attacks is higher in individuals who are prone to anxiety attacks.
2)    Antidepressants are very effective in treating certain anxiety disorders
Antidepressant medications such as tricyclic antidepressant, imipramine (Tofranil) is known to be the standard treatment for anxiety. Tricyclics are well researched and they also help to guard the user against depression.
3)    Antidepressants are not addictive
Because antidepressants are slow acting, the risk of it being addicted to it, is extremely very low; that is why most doctors prescribe it to patients who suffer from some type of anxiety disorder.  Other fast-acting anxiety medications usually cause users to become addicted, thereby leading to other hosts of problems.

Doctors also warn patients about the various side-effects of antidepressant medications even before they start to use the medication.  The side-effects of using antidepressants include:

    Dry mouth
    Reduced sex drive or libido
    Nausea
    Constipation 
    Tremors
    Weight gain or loss
    Restlessness
    Sweating
    sleepiness
    Sleeplessness
    Anxiety
    Dizziness
    Diarrhea
    Fatigue
    Head aches

Antidepressant medications are very effective in treating anxiety and they are not addictive as some other well known anxiety drugs. But antidepressants are also known to make its users feel like committing suicide! Although suicidal thoughts are usually experienced by an individual(s) who is just starting on his or her antidepressant medication or if the drug doses have been increased from the usual dose.

Doctors also advice that any individual who is using antidepressants should watch out for warning signs such as:

    Suicidal thoughts and even attempts
    Aggression and anger
    Feeling of depression
    Hyperactivity
    Anxiety increases or worsens
    Feeling agitated or restless
    Acting on dangerous impulses
    Unusual changes in behavior
    Having trouble sleeping
    irritability

Individuals who are considering using antidepressants to treat their anxiety should first and foremost know more about antidepressants and their many side-effects before making their decision to use this medication. You must understand that although antidepressants are commonly used for relieving symptoms of anxiety disorder, they DO NOT cure anxiety disorders.

Antidepressants are also not meant for everyone, so you should consult your doctor because he or she can prescribe an anxiety medication that is just right for you.