What Are the Benefits of Anxiety Medication?
Anxiety disorders are the most common ailment affecting adults in countries such as the United States. There are at least 40 million people, over the age of 18 years, known to experience some form of anxiety in their lives. That translates to 18.1% of the U.S population, every year.
With the prevalence of anxiety in the U.S being so staggering, it is unfortunate that only 36.9% of those with anxiety disorders actually seek treatment. The U.S statistics offers us a glimpse of what to expect worldwide, although a developed nation like the U.S may have better access to healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
This is why online access is changing the face of treatment, in that almost anyone can now afford medication sold online and have it shipped to their EU or other address.
There are numerous medications available for the treatment of anxiety on the market today. These options are both affordable and have been scientifically proven to be efficacious in the management of anxiety symptoms.
The benefits of anxiety medication are vast:
- Anxiety is known to cause health complications, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Using a therapeutic to control the symptoms of anxiety can protect you from such conditions or the worsening thereof.
- There are many undesirable physical effects of anxiety which include elevated heart rate and nausea, to name a few. The use of a medicine to control anxiety may assist you in the event of these physical effects.
- Anxiety can also affect your concentration and memory, and this in turn can adversely affect your job, relationships and other aspects of life. These medications can help keep you functioning at a proper cognitive level.
What is anti-anxiety medication?
- These medications are used for the management of symptoms of anxiety. Some of the best anxiety medication includes benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam, non-benzodiazepines, such as zolpidem, as well as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
- The way in which a medicine works to relieve anxiety depends upon the mechanism of action of the therapeutic.
- Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines function in a similar manner. They bind to the receptors of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is the principal neurotransmitter of the central nervous system. This interaction elevates the inhibitory role of GABA, thereby bringing about feelings of calm and relaxation to an overly anxious mind.
- SSRIs function in a different way to treat anxiety. These medicines are the first choice for the treatment of social anxiety (a type of anxiety disorder) because they influence the brain chemistry by slowing down the re-absorption of the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone and neurotransmitter thought to regulate mood and anxiety as well.
How Do You Know if You Need Anti-Anxiety Medication?
Everyone has anxiety every now and then; it is a normal effect on the mind. There are situations, though, where some may find they are overly anxious about circumstances out of their control, and often in situations which do not call for anxiety.
Typically, you may require pharmaceutical treatment if the symptoms of anxiety interfere with your everyday life and functioning. There is no definitive time to begin treatment; you can start using these medications when you feel anxiety adversely affecting your life.
The first step to deciding if you require medicaments for the treatment of anxiety is determining the effects of the disorder on your daily functioning. Next would be to decipher which type of anxiety disorder you may have. Some of the different types of anxiety are:
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD): According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), GAD affects approximately 6.8 million adults, every year. This is a type of anxiety disorder which is characterised by extreme fear or worry, particularly for no reason.
- Social anxiety disorder: anxiety related to the fear of being in social situations is known as social anxiety disorder. The typical age of this disorder is 13 years, but the symptoms of this condition may arise at any time in one’s life.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): PTSD is associated with a traumatic event, and can take years to develop. These episodes may be triggered for any reason, and generally without warning. It has been suggested that approximately every 7 to 8 people, out of 1000, will experience symptoms of PTSD at some point of their lives.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): this is a mental illness characterised by the urge to repeat sensations over and over again (compulsions). The obsessive aspect of this illness may also be associated with unwanted thoughts. OCD is thought to affect 1 in every 50 people, and is regarded as more common than the bipolar disorder.
- Panic disorder: this mental health condition occurs when one experiences unexpected panic attacks. Those who have this type of anxiety disorder often live in fear of the episodes of panic. The prevalence of panic disorder is higher in women (3.8%) than it is for men (1.6%), according to a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study.
There are several forms of anxiety disorders, but the one thing all these conditions have in common is that they are typically treatable. Research shows that most of these disorders respond well to pharmaceutical approaches of treatment.
How Well Do Anti-Anxiety Medication Work?
The efficacy of these medicines has been reported by many research studies, but these therapeutics are not an instant cure for the symptoms of anxiety. In certain cases, if you do not treat the underlying condition, you may still experience these undesirable symptoms.
Furthermore, if you are prescribed the medication for the long-term treatment of anxiety, the therapeutic benefits may not be visible right away. You may require time for your body to adjust to the medicine before the benefits come to prominence.
In a study evaluating the treatment of anxiety disorders, Bandelow et al. (2017) found that there are many therapeutics, such as pregabalin, which can substantially improve the quality of life in patients with GAD, and other anxiety disorders.
Is Anti-Anxiety Medication Addictive?
- Anxiety tablets are normally prescribed for the short-term, that is, less than six months. There are situations, however, where some medications like the non-benzodiazepine, zolpidem, can be used for a longer treatment period.
- Addiction can arise in cases where the patient uses the anxiety therapeutic for durations longer than those prescribed, as well as in dosages higher than those recommended. Even the best anxiety medication can become addictive, if used outside the treatment guidelines.
- When used appropriately, these medicines are safe and effective for the management of anxiety symptoms.