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what anxiety medicine should you take
If you suffer from anxiety attacks you will need an anxiety medicine to treat the actual anxiety disorder that you suffer from. There several medicines used in the treatment of anxiety disorders; although medication can help sufferers relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety but an anxiety medicine does not cure the underlying problem of anxiety disorders and it also does not proffer a long-term solution.
Anxiety disorders and popular treatment include:
1) Panic attacks
A panic attack is a very sudden distinct period of intense anxiety. Panic attacks are typically accompanied by shortness of breath, faintness, dizziness, racing heart beat, hot or cold flashes, trembling and shaking. Other common symptoms of panic attacks are; fear of losing control, fear of dying or “going mad.”
“Tricyclic antidepressants” are mostly used by physicians to treat panic disorder. Another popular anxiety medicine used for treating panic disorder is the “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s)”. SSRI’s are one the most commonly prescribed medicine for treating panic disorders because it has fewer side effects compared with tricyclic antidepressants. These include Citalopram (Celexa), Paroxetine (Paxil) Fluoxetine (Prozac) etc.
2) Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
This anxiety disorder is when constant worries and fears distract the sufferer from his or her daily activities. People who suffer from GAD often worry and feel anxious all the time (and the funny thing is that they do not know why they worry!). Symptoms include; sleeplessness, tummy ache, fatigue and restlessness.
For people who suffer from general anxiety, anxiety medicines that help reduce some of the symptoms of anxiety are; tricyclic antidepressants, all of the SSRIs have been to be very beneficial in treating GAD. Other drugs prescribed for treating GAD are buspirone (BuSpar), venlafaxine, trazodone and many of the benzodiazepines, which include alprazolan (Xanas), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium) lorazepam (Ativan) and oxazepam (Serax).
This disorder involves unrealistic or exaggerated fear of specific situation, object or activity which in reality presents very little or no danger at all. Common phobias include fear of heights, certain animals (e.g. snakes), fear of the ocean etc.
For patients with simple phobias, an anxiety medicine can help reduce the symptoms associated with entering a fearful situation. A phobia sufferer is advised to take a low dose of a benzodiazepine one hour before exposure to an anxiety trigger situation in order to help the patient reduce anticipatory anxiety.
4) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
This anxiety disorder may occur in the aftermath of a near death or traumatic experience. The usual symptoms of PTSD include easily startled, hyper vigilance, nightmares or flashbacks about the past incidence, withdrawing from others and avoiding anything or situation that reminds you of the event.
SSRIs seems to be the preferred anxiety medicine for treating PTSD, although studies have shown benefits of using tricyclic antidepressants, MAOIs and anticonvulsants in treating PTSD.
5) Social Anxiety Disorder
Also known as social phobia, this is the fear of being humiliated in public or being perceived negatively by others. It can also be considered as extreme shyness too.
Medication is used to help bring sweaty palms and racing hearts under control and to reduce the sufferer’s level of shyness. Physicians usually prescribe medications such as benzodiazepines, SSRIs, beta-blockers, venlafaxine and trazodone.
6) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
This disorder involves uncontrollable thoughts or behaviour. The sufferer is troubled by obsessions such as a recurring worry that you forgot to switch off the lights or that you might endanger someone. He or she might also suffer from uncontrollable compulsions such as cleaning their hands several times in one day.
OCD can be treated using the SSRIs, and anti-depressants such as venlafaxine (Effexor) and clomipramine (Anafranil) are useful in the treatment of OCD.