How To Ask Your Doctor For Anxiety Medication
Ryan is an experienced health writer helping educate and inform people on all types of important health topics. He lives in Salt Lake City, UT and can be found recreating in the local mountains.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Masters of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety illnesses are the most common mental health conditions in the United States. There are various types of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, derealization, post-traumatic stress disorder, OCD, and more.
An estimated 19.1% of adults have had some sort of anxiety disorder within the last year. Its often more common in females than it is in males. But how does one get diagnosed with anxiety? And how do you ask your doctor for anxiety medication? A trip to your doctor or an online appointment with a physician can tell you a lot more about your mental health than you may realize.
Diagnosed Gad That Has Not Improved After Step 1 Interventions
Low-intensity psychological interventions for GAD
For people with GAD whose symptoms have not improved after education and active monitoring in step 1, offer one or more of the following as a first-line intervention, guided by the persons preference:
- individual non-facilitated self-help*
- psychoeducational groups.
*A self-administered intervention intended to treat GAD involving written or electronic self-help materials . It is similar to individual guided self-help but usually with minimal therapist contact, for example an occasional short telephone call of no more than 5 minutes.
Key points to raise related recommendations:
Individual non-facilitated self-help for people with GAD should:
- include written or electronic materials of a suitable reading age
- be based on the treatment principles of cognitive behavioural therapy
- include instructions for the person to work systematically through the materials over a period of at least 6 weeks
- usually involve minimal therapist contact, for example an occasional short telephone call of no more than 5 minutes.
Individual guided self-help for people with GAD should:
- include written or electronic materials of a suitable reading age
- be supported by a trained practitioner, who facilitates the self-help programme and reviews progress and outcome
- usually consist of five to seven weekly or fortnightly face-to-face or telephone sessions, each lasting 2030 minutes.
Psychoeducational groups for people with GAD should:
Have You Been In Treatment Before Or Will This Be Your First Time
If you’ve never had mental health treatment before, and you’re interested in trying medication, your primary care physician’s office is often the best place to start your journey.
Its less intimidating to go to your doctors office than to go to a mental health clinic. And if you have a good relationship with your doctor, its probably easier to talk to them than to reach out to someone youve never talked to before.
If you havent yet learned through trial and error what does and doesnt work for you, it makes sense to start with the most straightforward options and medicationswhich are also likely the ones your PCP will be comfortable prescribing.
On the other hand, if youve been in treatment before, you probably already know a little more about what works for you and what you want. In this case, it can still be a good choice to go to your PCP, especially if they were the one who treated you before and if that treatment was at least somewhat successful.
But at this point, it might make more sense to see a psychiatrist, especially if your first attempt with a PCP wasnt very successful. Primary care doctors have less specialized training in mental health than psychiatrists, and they arent always comfortable making clinical judgement calls about psychiatric treatment when their patients want to go beyond the basics.
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Who Can Prescribe Antidepressants
Millions of people experience depression and anxiety each year in the United States.
And the numbers are growing, especially for younger generations: Over 2.5 million youth have severe or major depression, but over 60% of them dont receive any kind of mental health treatment.
Additionally, more than half of American adults with a mental illness report an unmet need for treatment.
To help address the pervasiveness of mental health conditions, a diverse range of treatment options are available, including antidepressant medications.
Antidepressants help many people with depression and anxiety disorders.
In fact, these medications are so common that around 13 percent of American adults have taken them in a 30-day period between the years of 2015-2018.
If youre looking to learn more about whether or not antidepressants can help you, its important to understand who to speak to in order to obtain a prescription.
What To Ask Your Doctor Before Taking Anxiety Medication
If you have anxiety, its a good idea to tell your doctor, because anxiety is treatable, says Dr. Dubovsky. If your doctor recommends a medication, then ask the following questions, suggests the ADAA:
- Will this medication interact with any other medication, over-the-counter drug, or supplement Im taking?
- What side effects can I expect and what should I do if I notice them?
- How should I take this medication ?
- How long will it take to start working?
Anxiety can be a chronic or acute problem. Chronic anxiety often requires long-term treatment, says Dr. Dubovsky. Acute anxiety is a response to stress, and once that specific stress is over, then you may be able to stop the medication.
Before you do that, however, talk to your doctor before stopping any medication. Sometimes patients will say that theyre feeling better, but maybe the thing that was helping them was the medication, says Gallagher.
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How Are Panic Attacks Treated In The Emergency Room
If you are also worried about having another panic attack, then you need to report panic disorder to the nearest emergency room. Diagnosis and treatment of panic attacks. There are three main treatment options available in emergency rooms for panic attacks. These are cognitive behavioural therapy, exposure therapy and medication treatment.
What Is The Best Medication For Anxiety And Panic Attacks
SSRIs are generally safe and have a low risk of serious side effects.
SSRIs are typically recommended as the first choice of medications to treat panic attacks.
SSRIs work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain.
SSRIs can help to relieve anxiety and panic symptoms.
It is important to continue taking SSRI antidepressants even if the symptoms of anxiety and panic begin to improve.
It is important to speak with a doctor if you are considering taking SSRIs for the treatment of panic attacks.
It is also important to be aware of the possible side effects of SSRIs.
SSRIs can have some side effects, but these are typically mild.
It is important to continue taking SSRIs even if the symptoms of anxiety and panic begin to improve. In addition, it is important to speak with a doctor if you are considering taking SSRIs for the treatment of panic attacks.
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Is Your Primary Care Clinic An Integrated Clinic
Primary care doctors are already treating their patients mental health conditions by default.
How Much Mental Health Treatment Do Primary Care Doctors Provide?
According to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, primary care doctors prescribe nearly 80 percent of antidepressant medications and see 60 percent of people being treated for depression in the United States. They also frequently see and treat people with anxiety disorders.
However, while PCPs are trained in mental health in medical school, they lack the same expertise in mental health that a mental health specialist has. This means many PCPs are uncomfortable helping patients with more complex or severe mental health issues.
However, a new trend in healthcare called primary care integration is making it easier to get specialized mental health services at a primary care doctors office.
How Do Primary Care Offices Integrate Mental Health Care?
Different ways to achieve mental health integration in primary care include:
- Hiring mental health specialists to work in primary care clinics,
- Setting up telehealth rooms in primary care clinics where patients can receive mental health services from a remote clinician, or
- Adding psychiatrists to the primary care team and having primary care doctors regularly consult and collaborate with them, whether remotely or on-site.
You can sometimes even get therapy at an integrated primary care clinic.
How To Discuss Starting Anti
Once you are ready to have this important conversation with your doctor, prepare what you want to say and ask at your appointment. Bring notes and a list of questions with you.
Its perfectly normal to feel nervous ahead of time.
Mental health is a deeply personal issue and one that not everyone is comfortable discussing. However, its important to be direct and honest with your doctor.
This will ensure you receive the best care. Keep in mind their ultimate goal is to help you.
To help you get started, these are my best tips for having a productive conversation with your doctor about anxiety medication.
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What Are The Treatments For Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Medication for Anxiety
Medication is useful for alleviating the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and is often prescribed in conjunction with other therapies. Some types of anxiety drugs can be habit-forming and are usually prescribed on a short-term or as-needed basis.
Different anxiety disorders have different medication regimens. Some are preventive and some are designed to cure the problem.
Antidepressants, particularly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors , are widely used to treat and prevent a variety of anxiety disorders. Examples of SSRIs that are commonly used to treat chronic anxiety include citalopram , escitalopram , fluoxetine , paroxetine , and sertraline . The antidepressantsduloxetine and venlafaxine , SNRIs which act on the brain chemicals serotonin and norephinephrine, and some of the tricyclic antidepressants like imipramine , may also help. Novel antidepressants such as mirtazepine are also prescribed at times.Ã
Another anti-anxiety drug is busprirone . It has fewer side effects than the benzodiazepines and is not associated with dependence. Buspar, however, can have its own side effects and may not always be as effective when a person has taken benzodiazepines in the past.
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Things To Tell Your Doctor
This information will help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis of your condition.
- Make a list of your symptoms and when they began. Note when your symptoms occur, how they affect your life, and when theyre better or worse.
- Write down any major stresses in your life, as well as any traumas youve experienced, both past and present.
- Write down all of your health conditions: mental and physical.
- Make a list of all medications and supplements youre taking. Include how much you take and how often.
List any other substances you use or consume, such as:
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Drugs Commonly Prescribed For Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the United States. More than 40 million Americans live with one. This kind of anxiety is more than the usual temporary anxiety problems we all experience. disorders are persistent anxiety that interferes with daily living and relationships. Fortunately, anxiety treatment is often effective in helping people reclaim full, healthy lives.
When doctors diagnose an anxiety disorder, they typically recommend cognitive behavior therapy and medication. The combination of these two types of treatment is usually the most effective approach to managing an anxiety disorder. Drugs for anxiety work to relieve symptoms, such as nervousness, panic and . CBT helps you understand and address the root of anxiety. With time, CBT can give long-term control over anxiety symptoms.
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Can Gp Prescribe Anxiety Medication
Your GP can prescribe a variety of different types of medication to treat GAD. Some medication is designed to be taken on a short-term basis, while other medicines are prescribed for longer periods. Depending on your symptoms, you may need medicine to treat your physical symptoms, as well as your psychological ones.
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Nonmedical Use Abuse And Dependence
In the overall sample, 11.8% of respondents had received prescriptions for anxiety medication. As shown in Table 1, 16.0% of that subgroup reported lifetime nonmedical use and 4.6% reported abuse of or dependence on these drugs. Compared with those who had never received a prescription for anxiety medication, those with a prescription had significantly higher odds of lifetime and past-year nonmedical use and lifetime DSM-IV diagnoses of abuse and dependence , controlling for sociodemographic characteristics only. Adding any anxiety disorder into the models did not affect significance but reduced the magnitude of associations, especially for dependence . Adding anxiety disorder severity further reduced the magnitude of associations, although all associations remained significant.
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Ask About Potential Negative Side Effects
Before starting medication, its important to know any unpleasant side effects. Ask your doctor to go over these.
Some negative side effects may be mild and temporary, while others may indicate you should discontinue the medication.
Make sure you understand all of these. Additionally, know the course of action you should take if you experience severe side effects and how to communicate these to your doctor.
If there are negative side effects that you are not comfortable risking, dont be afraid to speak up.
Ask follow-up questions.
How susceptible are you to these effects? Are there alternative medications they recommend? What are the risks versus the benefits?
To be clear, most medications carry some risks. Your doctor can help you understand the scale of those risks and advise you accordingly.
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Ssri Antidepressants For Anxiety
Many medications originally approved for the treatment of depression are also prescribed for anxiety. In comparison to benzodiazepines, the risk for dependency and abuse is smaller. However, antidepressants take up to 4 to 6 weeks to begin relieving anxiety symptoms, so they cant be taken as needed. Their use is limited to chronic anxiety problems that require ongoing treatment.
The antidepressants most widely prescribed for anxiety are SSRIs such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa. SSRIs have been used to treat generalized anxiety disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Common side effects of SSRIs include:
- Increased sweating
Ii How We Chose The Best Online Doctors For Anxiety Treatment And Prescriptions
Consumers can choose from a growing number of telemedicine and telepsychiatry options that focus on treating anxiety. The best providers typically offer convenient appointments, short wait times, multiple consultation options, and individualized care. These criteria generally result in higher satisfaction ratings. Although online doctors are more affordable than their local counterparts, we included providers at various price points, including options for patients with and without insurance.
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What Is The Process For Getting Anxiety Medication
The process of getting anxiety medication depends on whether the medication is a prescription or over the counter. If you have a prescription, you can go to a local pharmacy to fill it. First, you need to have a prescription. This means your doctor needs to have written a note on a prescription pad. They will then send this to a pharmacy where you can pick up a prescription. If a prescription is not needed, you can buy the medication over the counter. To do this, you need to have a store receipt to show you have paid for the medication. The pharmacist will ask to check your ID as well as the prices of the medication you are buying..
How To Talk To Your Doctor About Anxiety Medication
To learn more about whether anxiety medication is right for you, you can start by talking to your doctor or provider about your concerns. Share what symptoms you are experiencing, for how long, and how these symptoms affect your life. It is helpful to be specific.
For example, you might explain how you have been dealing with fear of social situations for the past year, which has led you to avoid social gatherings. If there are any specific events that triggered your anxiety, or anything that makes your anxiety worse, then share these points as well. The more information that you give your provider, the better they will be able to help you. It also can be useful to know any details about the mental health and treatments that your biological relatives may have had.
Your provider will decide whether anxiety medication is right for you based on your symptoms. Your symptoms will also help them decide what medication is best. Certain anxiety medications target acute anxiety and panic or panic disorders, while others are more effective for chronic anxiety. Different medications have different recommended daily doses.3 Your provider will also take into account factors like your biological sex and weight when determining the right dose for you.
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