Are Prescription Antidepressants Effective In Treating Anxiety
For the sake of getting to the point with this anxiety help guide, we will not name all the reasons why you should not take prescription medications. We already written a rather thorough article on this called The Dangers Of Antidepressant Drugs which you can bookmark and read anytime
For now we will just summarize the top four reasons why you should not take these dangerous drugs to start with.
1. They Are Not Effective
I dont know where these drugs came across to be called the magic pills but they certainly dont work like magic. In fact, studies show that they are no more effective than a sugar pill. In other words, you may get the same results simply using a placebo pill. Combined studies provide little to no evidence that antidepressants are effective as they are intended.
2. They Worsen Anxiety
There is sufficiently new evidence that antidepressants actually worsen depression and contribute to severe behavioral abnormalities. Doctor Peter R. Breggin, a psychiatrist from Harvard University has concluded through a series of clinical studies that people taking anxiety medications lose interest in daily activities, develop social anxiety, have no feelings of enjoyment, and become even more depressed. In conclusion, they become like zombies with no interest in life whatsoever.
Another study reveals that the initial improvement made by the drug is followed by a negative brain response causing drug resistance and long term anxiety.
Why Do I Feel Like This When Im Not In Any Real Danger
Early humans needed the fast, powerful responses that fear causes, as they were often in situations of physical danger; however, we no longer face the same threats in modern-day living.
Despite this, our minds and bodies still work in the same way as our early ancestors, and we have the same reactions to our modern worries about bills, travel and social situations. But we cant run away from or physically attack these problems!
The physical feelings of fear can be scary in themselves especially if you are experiencing them and you dont know why, or if they seem out of proportion to the situation. Instead of alerting you to a danger and preparing you to respond to it, your fear or anxiety can kick in for any perceived threat, which could be imaginary or minor.
How To Cope With Panic Attacks
When you have had a panic attack, you might worry about if – or when – you are next going to have one. This can make everyday tasks like going to school, leaving the house or meeting up with friends much more difficult. But remember, you are not alone and there is support available to help you get through this. If you are worried about when you are next going to have a panic attack, here are some things that can help you cope.
Speak to someone you trust. If you are feeling anxious or worried that you might have a panic attack, talk to friends or family. They can help you take your mind off what is making you feel panicked and support you to find the help you need. If you are struggling to say how you are feeling, you can always write your thoughts down or put them in notes on your phone if you are planning to speak to a teacher or your GP.
If you are worried about having a panic attack at school, college, or university, speak to a teacher or a member of staff. They can work with you to help you with things like finding a safe space to take some time out if you are feeling anxious or panicked.
If you feel like youre struggling to cope with everyday tasks, speak to your GP. They can listen to how you are feeling and suggest different types of treatments like therapy or counselling to help you tackle your panic attacks.
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How Are Panic Attacks Managed Or Treated
Psychotherapy, medications or a combination are very effective at stopping panic attacks. How long youll need treatment depends on the severity of your problem and how well you respond to treatment. Options include:
- Psychotherapy:Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy, or talk therapy. You discuss your thoughts and emotions with a mental health professional, such as a licensed counselor or psychologist. This specialist helps identify panic attack triggers so you can change your thinking, behaviors and reactions. As you start to respond differently to triggers, the attacks decrease and ultimately stop.
- Antidepressants: Certain antidepressant medications can make panic attacks less frequent or less severe. Providers may prescribe serotonin selective reuptake inhibitors , serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants . SSRIs include fluoxetine and paroxetine . SNRIs include duloxetine and venlafaxine . TCAs include amitriptyline and doxepin .
- Anti-anxiety medications: Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication to treat and prevent panic attacks. They help with anxiety but have risks of addiction or dependence. These medications include alprazolam and lorazepam .
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Fear is one of the most powerful emotions. It has a very strong effect on your mind and body.
Fear can create strong signals of response when were in emergencies for instance, if we are caught in a fire or are being attacked.
It can also take effect when youre faced with non-dangerous events, like exams, public speaking, a new job, a date, or even a party. Its a natural response to a threat that can be either perceived or real.
Anxiety is a word we use for some types of fear that are usually to do with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, rather than right now.
Fear and anxiety can last for a short time and then pass, but they can also last much longer and you can get stuck with them. In some cases they can take over your life, affecting your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can hold you back from doing things you want or need to do, and it also affects your health.
Some people become overwhelmed by fear and want to avoid situations that might make them frightened or anxious. It can be hard to break this cycle, but there are lots of ways to do it. You can learn to feel less fearful and to cope with fear so that it doesnt stop you from living.
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Tips On What To Do When A Panic Attack Hits And How To Manage Chronic Anxiety
You feel the restrictive sensation of your chest walls caving in as if someone is standing on your ribcage. Youre becoming alarmingly aware of the rhythm of your breathing and wonder if your next breath will be your last. Its like youre drowning without being underwater. You think, “I can’t breathe. Im going to die. Just breathe. Just breathe.”
Heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and rapid heart rate are just some of the scary reactions that occur during a panic attack. These symptoms can intensify and increase, leading to uncontrollable trembling, sweating, tightness around the head, and the feeling of suffocation.
As anyone suffering from chronic anxiety understands, you cant control when a panic attack hits; and, in fact, trying to control it can sometimes make it worse. The greatest fear for someone dealing with anxiety is losing control in public, feeling trapped in an uncomfortable situation and experiencing humiliation. When anxiety hits, it can make you feel like youre going crazylike you have absolutely no control over your own mind.
“Anxiety can be defined as the response of an organism to a threat, real or imagined. It is a process that, in some form, is present in all living things.” Kerr, Bowen
What Causes Panic Disorder
While the exact causes are not known, what researchers do know is that panic disorder does sometimes run in families. And it is often seen in individuals who suffer from other anxiety disorders explains Cole.
For example, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder may experience a panic attack when their schedule or compulsions are interrupted. Individuals who struggle with specific phobias are also susceptible to panic attacks. A person with an extreme fear of heights may experience a panic attack in a penthouse apartment.
And for someone with generalized anxiety disorder , a condition characterized by extreme fear or worry, the unending anxiety can escalate to a panic attack. People with post-traumatic stress disorder have a higher incidence of panic disorder than the general population.; Illness or traumatic events increase the chances of panic attacks.
People with hyperthyroidism , mitral valve prolapse, and other conditions or diseases also may be more easily triggered.
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Tips On How To Manage Anxiety
The best way to combat anxiety is to commit to a comprehensive treatment program. Overcoming anxiety needs to be a lifestyle, meaning that it is something you work towards on a consistent basis. Think about the last time you wanted to get fit for the summer. You knew you had to exercise, but you couldnt just do it sporadically; it required consistent healthy eating and exercise to achieve your fitness goals. This is the same with managing anxiety.
That being said, there are various tactics that can help you better manage anxiety and can be integrated into your life at home, without medical intervention.
Cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of talk therapy can be useful, but the following represent how to overcome anxiety without medicine.
How To Stop An Anxiety Attack
People have this powerful idea to make the anxiety attack stop, Carbonell says, but you cant make it stop through force of will. However, if you look back at your history, you’ll see that every anxiety attack does indeed stop, even if it feels awful for a while.
Your best first step stopping an anxiety attack is to simply notice your;symptoms;and accept that you’re having an attack. This can be challenging if it’s one of your first anxiety attacks, but after that you’ll know more about what to expect.
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What Is A Panic Attack
A panic attack is an intense wave of fear characterized by its unexpectedness and debilitating, immobilizing intensity. Your heart pounds, you cant breathe, and you may feel like youre dying or going crazy. Panic attacks often strike out of the blue, without any warning, and sometimes with no clear trigger. They may even occur when youre relaxed or asleep.
A panic attack may be a one-time occurrence, although many people experience repeat episodes. Recurrent panic attacks are often triggered by a specific situation, such as crossing a bridge or speaking in publicespecially if that situation has caused a panic attack before. Usually, the panic-inducing situation is one in which you feel endangered and unable to escape, triggering the bodys fight-or-flight response.
You may experience one or more panic attacks, yet be otherwise perfectly happy and healthy. Or your panic attacks may occur as part of another disorder, such as panic disorder, social phobia, or depression. Regardless of the cause, panic attacks are treatable. There are strategies you can use to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic, regain your confidence, and take back control of your life.
Strategy #5: Slowly Inch Into Panic Situations
One client of mine had a panic attack in a spin class and not only didnt go back, but also stopped exercising entirely. She wouldnt even take the stairs. She was worried that getting her heart rate up would induce another panic attack, something she never, ever wanted to experience again.
So, to fight her panic, in addition to challenging the thought that her heart couldnt handle exertion, she also started slowly inching back into exercise and getting her heart rate up a little at a time. First, she jogged a few steps, then a block, then around the block, and slowly, she got herself back to the gym.
If its a place you fear, like being worried youll have a panic attack in the middle of the grocery store, start by going in to buy one item close to the checkout lane. Next time, grab a basket and browse, deliberately taking a little longer. When thats boring, grab a cart and do a weeks worth of shopping. Dont try to rush through it and get out. Take your time. Dont move on to the next level until the current one is easy. Remember: Your brain has to get bored.
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What Is It Like To Have Panic Disorder
One day, without any warning or reason, a feeling of terrible anxiety came crashing down on me. I felt like I couldnt get enough air, no matter how hard I breathed. My heart was pounding out of my chest, and I thought I might die. I was sweating and felt dizzy. I felt like I had no control over these feelings and like I was drowning and couldnt think straight.
After what seemed like an eternity, my breathing slowed and I eventually let go of the fear and my racing thoughts, but I was totally drained and exhausted. These attacks started to occur every couple of weeks, and I thought I was losing my mind. My friend saw how I was struggling and told me to call my doctor for help.
The 2 Relaxation Techniques For Ending Panicking Quickly
Before we start talking about the long term procedures for curing panic disorders through diet, nutrition and remedies, lets first discuss the immediate approach for stopping an panic episode or anxiety attack on the spot as you feel it coming. There are two vital steps that will help overcome panic attacks that you can start implementing them immediately .
1. Breathing Exercise to Stop Hyperventilation
Panic attack symptoms tend to manifest quickly, with the most common symptoms being uncontrollable breathing, rapid heart rate, and sweating. Panic and anxiety attacks are normally followed by hyperventilation; experiencing excessively rapid deep breathing, which causes the body to lose its normal carbon dioxide and oxygen balance. When hyperventilation occurs, the body removes more carbon dioxide from the blood than necessary, leaving you feel sweaty, numbness, dizziness, and nausea.
If you can take control of your breathing, then you will have a better chance of reversing your panic attack before it gets out of control. Hence, your first goal should be to stop hyperventilation before it occurs. Follow the procedures below:
2. Mental Exercise to help halt panic attacks:
Use your mental thoughts to help suppress your fears and anxiousness while simultaneously focusing on the breathing exercise outlined above. Follow this procedure:
3. Other Crucial Steps that Can Help
Now lets look at some very effective home remedies for anxiety relief
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Use Your Smartphone For Distraction
My Words With Friends addiction is a tad out of control, but it sure comes in handy when Im feeling eclipsed by panic.
Games like crossword puzzles and word searches , says Dr. Masand. The idea is it can act as a distraction to the fear or the body symptoms of anxiety. Our smartphones offer a plethora of great coping tools and this is something the majority of us already carry with us. Download some games that will distract you and get your mind off of the unpleasant symptoms you are feeling. You can also download relaxing music and guided relaxation sessions.
What Do Panic Attacks Feel Like
During a panic attack, physical symptoms can build up very quickly. These can include:
- a pounding or racing heartbeat
- feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
- feeling very hot or very cold
- sweating, trembling or shaking
- pain in your chest or abdomen
- struggling to breathe or feeling like you’re choking
- feeling like your legs are shaky or are turning to jelly
- feeling disconnected from your mind, body or surroundings, which are types of dissociation.
During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that you’re:
- losing control
- going to die.
Find Some Private Space To Normalize With This Posture
While you shouldnt, say, bolt from the company meeting if youre having a panic attack, you may want take a break in a quiet place where you can sit.
When you feel one coming on, if possible, try and go to your nearest bathroom or a private conference room, then, lower your head until it’s almost between your knees and focus on taking slow, deep breaths, says Wright. You may be able to self-regulate and de-escalate the panic attack by doing this. If you can’t go somewhere private and this happens in a meeting, pretend you have to lean down to tie your shoe or accidentally drop your phone on the ground and stay down until you feel yourself normalizing.
Treatment For Panic Attacks And Panic Disorder
The most effective form of professional treatment for tackling panic attacks, panic disorder, and agoraphobia is therapy. Even a short course of treatment can help.
Cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on the thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering your panic attacks and helps you look at your fears in a more realistic light. For example, if you had a panic attack while driving, what is the worst thing that would really happen? While you might have to pull over to the side of the road, you are not likely to crash your car or have a heart attack. Once you learn that nothing truly disastrous is going to happen, the experience of panic becomes less terrifying.
Hotlines and support
NAMI Helpline; Trained volunteers can provide information, referrals, and support for those suffering from anxiety disorders in the U.S. Call 1-800-950-6264.
Find a Therapist; Search for anxiety disorder treatment providers in the U.S.
Support Groups; List of support groups in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and South Africa.
Anxiety UK; Information, support, and a dedicated helpline for UK sufferers and their families. Call: 03444 775 774.
Anxiety Canada; Provides links to services in different Canadian provinces.
SANE Help;Centre Provides information about symptoms, treatments, medications, and where to go for support in Australia. Call: 1800 18 7263. .
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