If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, chances are that you will be given an option of different treatments. These treatments may include anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication and therapy. There are pros and cons to all of these types of anxiety treatments. Here is a run-down of what to expect with each:
Today, most anti-Depressants are used in combination with anti-anxiety medication. Anxiety does not often come on its own – it is usually the result of an underlying cause and, in most cases, depression. Anxiety can be a very disabling illness if not treated. So can depression. This is why most doctors will want to treat the cause of the anxiety rather than just the symptoms.
Anti-depressants today are a host of SSRI medications. They include Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac. They have side effects that include dry mouth, sexual side effects and drowsiness. When you first start taking the medication, it takes a while to get into your bloodstream. For most people, it will take about two weeks before you start to feel better.
The long term side effects of these medications is that you have to monitor your blood work to make sure that they do not impair your liver or kidneys. For most people, taking the recommended dosage of these medications will help them overcome their anxiety. The drawback is that they take a while to get into the system and many people give up when they feel that they are not working. Others feel that they are cured from the depression and take themselves off of the medication. It is not advisable for anyone to withdraw from these medications without the advice and supervision of a doctor.
Most anti-anxiety medications today that are very commonly prescribed are Xanax and Klonopin. They take the place of the less efficient and more addictive anti-anxiety medications of the past that included Valium. Anti-Anxiety medications are safe to use on a short term basis and should be used when you are having an anxiety attack. They will help to calm you down and make the anxiety disappear.
The problem with anti-anxiety medications is that they build up a tolerance in your system and will cause severe withdrawal when you try to stop taking the medication. If you think the anxiety attack is bad – just wait until you start withdrawal. Doctors have a way to help you withdraw from anxiety medications without making you feel as though you are losing your mind. They wean you off the medications with the use of other drugs. If you take anti-anxiety medications, use them sparingly and do not develop a dependency on them. If you find that you are taking them more than prescribed, talk to your doctor about a withdrawal program.
Therapy will also help to get to the root of your anxiety. While someone who is suffering from anxiety will often focus on something insignificant, this is not usually the cause of the anxiety. Therapy is a great way to get to the heart of the matter. The problem is that it is not the instant cure that everyone these days wants. But in the long run, therapy can do wonders in helping to relieve your anxiety as well as your depression.
Chances are that if you have an anxiety attack, you may be prescribed anti-anxiety medication. If it happens again, you should talk to your doctor about getting anti-depressants to cure the underlying problem as well as get into a therapy class that can help you in the long run. Anti-anxiety medications work well for the instant cure, but are not the answer for the long term problem.