We all face anxiety at some point in our life and it is a normal process in how we react to stress. Stress can be beneficial in some situations as it allows us to prepare for flight or flee during a situation. However, anxiety disorders differ from this normal sense of anxiousness as it involves excessive anxiety or fear which can take a toll on your daily habits. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common disorders that affect roughly 30% of adults somewhere in their lifetime. However, anxiety disorders are often treatable. There are different types of anxiety disorders that interfere with daily living.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) occurs when it involves constant and excessive worrying. Overtime, the symptoms involve restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, muscle tensions or problems sleeping. Typically, the worry is regarding an everyday responsibility including family, health or even minor tasks when the stress is repetitive.
Some examples of medications that are prescribed include selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which is an anti-depressant. They aid to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms as well. Examples of SSRI include Escitalopram and Paroxetine to help to maintain a balance of your hormones that affect your mental health. However, there are some side effects of SSRI medication such as nausea, insomnia or sexual dysfunction. Other examples of medication that could potentially be used include selective norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitor (SNRIs) such Duloextine or Venlafaxine. Sometimes Pregabalin can be used as it has initially been used for any nerve pain but has been approved for GAD. Benzodiazepines are a sedative which can aid to reduce anxiety and its symptoms. However due to its fast effects on the body, an individual can be at risk for becoming dependent on it as a result it is not often recommended.
Panic disorder occurs when an individual feels an overwhelming sense of physical and psychological distress. These panic attacks are recurrent and unexpected where an individual has an intense fear which can last for few minutes. These panic attacks can be cued, meaning it is expected from something that triggers the response or uncued where it is unexpected.
There are different types of medication which can be prescribed which some include SSRIs or SNRIs, beta-blockers or benzodiazepines. The beta-blockers are used to control some of the physical symptoms which arise from panic attacks such as rapid heartbeat. An example of a beta-blocker could be Propanolol to treat for irregular heartbeats to help slow down your heart rate.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorders occur when an individual has a significant discomfort or anxiety in social interactions as they may feel they will be embarrassed, humiliated or rejected. Individuals will often try to avoid social situations as it can cause great anxiety. Some examples of extreme fear include fear of public speaking or meeting new people. Similar medications including SSRIS, SNRIs, beta-blockers or benzodiazepines can be prescribed as well to reduce the symptoms. Overall, despite hearing the various types of medication that can be prescribed, it is important to know that everyone’s body can react differently to anxiety. Some medication may work well for some people; however the same medication may result in more side effects to another individual who takes it. Some people may notice that there medications may be changing, however this may be done to understand what medication is optimal to support an individual and their levels of anxiety.
For more information, you can speak with your healthcare provider or our pharmacists at Guildview Pharmacy to learn more about anxiety disorders and the possible medications that can be prescribed.
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Written by: Shenen Sivakumar