Anxiety:What It Is And Treatment

Dr. Purushothaman
October 8, 2013

Understanding Anxiety Disorder

Firstly Anxiety is a protection mechanism that the body uses to alert us of trouble. It puts our body in �fight or flight mode� and alerts us so we can react. Anxiety is also a normal reaction to stress. We cannot get rid of anxiety because this is how the human body is designed. Anxiety is designed to protect us and help us face challenges.

When our body is constantly or too often in this fight or flight mode and as a result we start to experience psychological, physical or emotional stress this is called anxiety disorder. This we can control and minimize to the point where it does not disrupt our daily lifestyle.

However the first step in controlling anxiety is to understand what it is. Firstly there are 5 classifications of anxiety.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder-Individuals that this affect are always anticipating something terrible to occur. They have extreme concerns about health, money and family etc.GAD occurs more often in women than in men.
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder-This disorder is characterized by obsessive behavior and compulsions. Individuals perform rituals (such as hand washing) in hopes that obsessive thoughts would go away.
3. Panic Disorder-People that suffer from this disorder experience feelings of terror that come on without warning. They are often left in fear of certain situations and worry constantly about the next panic attack.
4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-This disorder usually develops after an individual experience some terrifying situation usually involving physical harm. The individual is left with fearful thoughts about the ordeal.
5. Social Anxiety Disorder-With this disorder individual�s experience excessive anxiety or excessive self consciousness in social situations. There is a general concern examined or criticized.

Some Anxiety Symptoms

Individuals that suffer from anxiety disorder usually exhibit several symptoms which may include.

� Extreme Fear
� Shortness of breath
� Insomnia
� Irritability
� Feeling of lump in throat
� Muscle spasm/twitching
� Irregular heart beat
� Heart palpitations
� Fever/chills

Because some of these symptoms usually occur with other illnesses it is important to not try and self-diagnose this condition. A physician should be the one to diagnose if you have anxiety. It is always best to first rule out other very serious illnesses. Ruling these out sometimes bring some peace of mind and can go a long way in reducing some of your anxiety related symptoms.

If this diagnoses is made you can discuss possible treatment options with your physician.

Anxiety disorder can greatly reduce your quality of life, but rest assured that it is treatable and can be controlled. It helps by researching and gathering information so you can fully understand this disorder. Research symptoms, medications, natural remedies etc.

Anxiety Medications

There are quite a number of medications used to treat anxiety disorder. The most popular of these being a class of medicines called Benzodiazepines. These include {{{Xanax, Valium, and Atival|Valium, Atival and Xanax. I have had experiences with each of these drugs.

While these medicines do bring some sort of relief, they are accompanied by side effects, some very serious. These come about as a result of the medicines ability to greatly affect activity of the brain. Side effects usually include:

� Headaches
� Diarrhea
� Insomnia
� Irritability
� Loss of appetite
� Change in sex drive/performance
� Mood changes
� Allergic reactions
� Muscle cramps
� Tiredness
� Depression
� Confusion
� Difficulty speaking

Medicine Usage

It is important to research any medication before you start a regimen. Learn about side effects, interactions, storage and other useful information. Make note that not all medications work the same for every individual. Each person is unique and has different levels of tolerance.

Anti-anxiety drugs should be used for a short duration. Long-term use can cause addiction. This can be physical or psychological. After addiction quitting or taking less normally results in withdrawal symptoms. Some of these symptoms closely mimic actual anxiety symptoms. Whenever you decide to stop these medicines discuss with your physician and work out a plan to gradually reduce your dosage. This would greatly {{{reduce|diminish}} your withdrawal reaction.

Natural Anxiety Remedies

Because of the side effect of prescription drugs, a lot of people opt for more natural solutions. These sometimes include hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, yoga, meditation, exercise, and herbal remedies.


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