Do Not Use Alprazolam For Generalised Anxiety
Both patients and doctors appreciate the rapid relief that benzodiazepines provide from psychiatric symptoms. For most patients, however, the initial medication for anxiety should be an SSRI. Patients who continue to experience anxiety despite a maximum-tolerable dose of SSRI may benefit from augmentation with a benzodiazepine. Of the benzodiazepines, alprazolam is particularly problematic due to its very short half-life and rapid onset of action, which makes its use highly reinforcing. Moreover, alprazolam can induce recurrent bouts of rebound anxiety that may intensify the anxiety experience, thus heightening the risk for increased frequency of use and potential dependence. If it is determined that a benzodiazepine would be beneficial, long-acting agents such as clonazepam are strongly preferred., Alprazolam is best reserved for patients who experience intense anxiety or panic attacks in infrequent, predictable situations, such as exposure to specific phobias . Benzodiazepines should generally be avoided in patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
Usually those with mood disorders need psychotherapy or medications to get anxiety and depression under control. However,lifestyle changes also can make a difference.
- Move your body. Develop a routine so that youre physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a great stress reducer and can improve your mood. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your exercise.
- Get good rest. Do what you can to ensure you are getting adequate sleep.
- Use relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation and yoga are great ways to ease anxiety.
- Eat healthy. Healthy eating may be linked to reduced anxiety and depression, but more research is needed. Generally, healthy eating can improve physical health, which can improve your immune systems and mood.
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. Substance abuse can worsen anxiety and depression.
- Quit smoking and limit caffeinated beverages. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.
Symptoms of both conditions usually improve with psychotherapy, medications and lifestyle changes.
If you believe you are suffering from depression or anxiety, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. If youre reluctant to seek treatment, talk to a friend, a faith leader or someone else you trust.
If you or a loved one need immediate help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Know That Today Isnt Indicative Of Tomorrow
Todays mood, emotions, or thoughts dont belong to tomorrow.
If you were unsuccessful at getting out of bed or accomplishing your goals today, remember that you havent lost tomorrows opportunity to try again.
Give yourself the grace to accept that while some days will be difficult, some days will also be great. Try to look forward to tomorrows fresh start.
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What Medications Are Used To Treat Anxiety Disorders
When treating anxiety disorders, antidepressants, particularly the SSRIs and some SNRIs ,Ã Ã have been shown to be effective.
Other anti-anxiety drugs include the benzodiazepines, such as as alprazolam , diazepamÃ , buspirone ,Ã and lorazepam . These drugs do carry a risk of addiction or tolerance , so they are not as desirable for long-term use. Other possible side effects include drowsiness, poor concentration, and irritability. Some anticonvulsant drugs , some blood pressure medications , and some atypical antipsychotics are also occasionally used “off label” to treat anxiety symptoms or disorders.
What Are The Standard Treatments For Anxiety Symptoms
Despite the impact that an anxiety disorder can have on your life, its a treatable condition, especially with the right combination of medication, therapy, or both. Remember, your treatment journey should start with a conversation between you and a mental health professional you trust. You have input and control over what you ultimately decide to do to treat your anxiety.
Therapy is often one of the first treatment options considered when you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. According to Dr. Gold, therapy plays a significant role in the recovery of anxiety disorders because it can help address the most significant component of anxietythe mental component. A lot of anxiety is mental, she explains, so therapy is definitely the gold standard.
As the American Psychological Association explains, there are a handful of different therapy approaches that can be considered when treating an anxiety disorder. However, one of the most widely used types of therapy for anxiety is cognitive-behavioral therapy . CBT can help you recognize and change the way you view or react to certain thoughts, which can in turn help you change the feelings and behaviors related to your anxiety.
Medication also plays a huge role in the recovery of anxiety disorders because it can help decrease both the short-term and long-term symptoms of anxiety.
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If Youre Up For It Go For A Walk Around The Block
Research suggests exercise can be an effective treatment for depression because its a natural mood booster and releases feel-good hormones. However, for some people, exercise or a gym can trigger anxiety and fear. If thats the case for you, look for more natural ways to move, such as walking around your neighborhood or looking for an online exercise video you can do at home.
Seeing A Doctor About Depression
Big changes in your life, like bereavement, losing a job, or even having a baby, can cause symptoms of depression. You’re also more likely to experience depression if you have a family history of depression. However, it’s also possible to become depressed without there being an obvious reason.
You can learn more about depression causes here.
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Multivitamin And Mineral Supplements
If you struggle with anxiety and depression, you may benefit from multiple supplements. A study in 2019 found the following nutrients help with anxiety.
- B vitamins
So, if you are looking for a holistic approach to anxiety, adding a multi-vitamin is beneficial. However, each brand of vitamins is different. For this reason, its best to ask your doctor about vitamins for depression and anxiety.
Gamma-aminobutyric is crucial for serotonin production. It is an amino acid and transmitter in your brain. Specifically, its known as the feel-good neurotransmitter. Because serotonin is the nervous systems most powerful neurotransmitter, GABA helps with mood regulation and relaxation. Although many vitamins help with anxiety, GABA taken directly reduces anxiety symptoms.
Passionflower is a herb commonly used to calm anxiety. It aids in promoting positive moods, ease nervousness, and improve sleep. Passionflower is typically added to teas. However, its available in tablet form.
Valerian root has been around since ancient Greek times. It has many different medicinal purposes. Although it mainly aids in sleep, it also helps reduce anxiety. Valerian root works by turning acids in the herb into feel-good neurotransmitters. As a result, it relaxes the mind and body and also regulates stress. You can consume Valarian root extract in capsule, liquid, or tea form.
Small Steps Big Impact
Depression can drain your energy, leaving you feeling empty and fatigued. This can make it difficult to muster the strength or desire to seek treatment.
However, there are small steps you can take to help you feel more in control and improve your overall sense of well-being.
Read on to learn how to incorporate these strategies in a way that makes sense for you.
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Differences Between Depression And Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are mental health conditions that can affect how you think, feel, and act. Both disorders are influenced by levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, including chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Anxiety may occur as a symptom of depression. It’s also not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression. Nearly one-half of individuals who are diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Though depression and anxiety share some symptoms, each disorder has its own distinct symptoms that distinguish them as separate mental health conditions.
Where To Find Help For Anxiety
Whether youre already in recovery for an anxiety disorder or just want to have a better understanding of what its like to live with these conditions, Dr. Gould recommends checking out the following resources:
- Looking for a therapist or support group? You can search through resources like the Anxiety & Depression Association of America site, Psychology Today, Mental Health America, or Therapy for Black Girls. Check out SELFs guide on how to find an affordable therapist for various tips on navigating your mental health on a budget.
- In a mental health emergency, the National Alliance on Mental Illness can help you figure out what to do in a crisis. You can also call the confidential National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 or start a chat here 24/7.
- For easy-to-understand educational resources, the National Institute of Mental Health is a good place to start.
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Can I Have Depression And Anxiety At The Same Time
Depression and anxiety are two different mental health disorders that are often comorbid. Meaning, they occur at the same time.
Depression is a mental disorder that is commonly identified with intense feelings of hopelessness, despair, worthlessness, and overwhelming sadness. Around 10% of Americans experience major depression , according to theCleveland Clinic. While most people will experience feelings of sadness at some point, with depression, these feelings are prolongedlasting two weeks or moreand severe enough to impact daily life.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive worry, nervousness, or fear that impacts everyday functioning. Without treatment, anxiety can get worse over time. There are a number of anxiety disorders, with their own set of unique symptoms.
About 2% of people in the U.S. have generalized anxiety disorder . According to Richard Shelton, MD, a psychiatrist and the vice chair of research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, GAD symptoms include persistent fear and worry that is often difficult to control. Other anxiety disorders include:
- Panic disorder
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
Depression and anxiety have the following symptoms in common: feelings of despair like nothing good will ever happen, physical symptoms , and exhaustion.
Reach Out To Someone Youre Comfortable Talking To And Talk About Whatever You Feel Like Whether Thats How Youre Feeling Or Something You Saw On Twitter
Strong relationships are one of the best ways to help you feel better. Connecting with a friend or family member can provide a natural boost and let you find a reliable source of support and encouragement.
Symptoms that last two weeks or more may be an indication you have depression, anxiety, or both. Severe symptoms may include:
- problems with sleep
- sudden loss of interest
- feelings of worthlessness or helplessness
If youre not feeling like yourself and want help understanding, make an appointment to see your doctor. Its important to be open and honest so they can fully understand whats happening and get a clear picture of what youve been feeling.
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How Is Depression Syndrome Diagnosed
Everyone may feel sad or down from time to time. However, clinical depression has more intense symptoms that last two weeks or longer.
To determine whether you have clinical depression, your healthcare provider will ask questions. You may complete a questionnaire and provide a family history. Your healthcare provider may also perform an exam or order lab tests to see if you have another medical condition.
Be Sure To Frame Expectations Appropriately When Initiating An Antidepressant Medication
Appropriate education for patients starting medication should include:
potential side effects
expected time frame for observing improvement
the necessity of consistent daily dosing
the minimum duration of treatment .
This instruction is crucial because non-adherence often occurs if the patient has unrealistic expectations and does not experience immediate relief, has uncomfortable initial side effects, or has resolution of symptoms early on and feels medication is no longer needed. A focused, brief education about these topics can enhance adherence and improve outcomes.
For patients who experience agitation or increased anxiety upon starting an antidepressant, options include reducing the dose by half, adding a low dose benzodiazepine during the initial adjustment period or switching the patient to an alternative treatment. Any patients who report this kind of activation side effect should have a safety assessment as their risk for suicidal ideation is increased.
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Symptoms And Causes Of Depression
Symptoms of depression can be very different from person to person. However, as a general rule, if you are depressed you feel hopeless, sad and lacking interest in things that used to make you feel happy.
Depression symptoms are bad enough to interfere with work, social life and family life, and can persist for weeks or months.
Doctors describe depression in one of three ways, depending on how serious it is:
- mild depression it has some impact on daily life
- moderate depression it has a significant impact on your daily life
- severe depression this makes it nearly impossible to get through your life day to day
A few people with severe depression may have symptoms of psychotic depression.
Below is a list of depression symptoms it’s unlikely that one person would have all of them.
Tap Into Your Spirituality
Religion can be an impactful source of support for many people dealing with depression, but there is no need to join a church, synagogue, or mosque unless you wish to. Simple daily practices such as meditation or adding to a list of things you’re grateful can help boost mood and overall well-being.
Meditation can have a range of beneficial effects such as lowering stress levels and helping people to become more aware of their thoughts and reactions.
Research indicates that an intervention called mindfulness-based cognitive therapy , which combines elements of cognitive behavioral therapy with mindfulness meditation, can be helpful in treating depression and preventing future relapses of symptoms.
Studies also suggest that different types of mindfulness meditative practices can also be effective in the treatment of depression.
There are many different types of meditation, but you can get started with a simple meditative exercise with these steps:
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Sleeping Patterns And Depression
Depression can disrupt sleep patterns. Its essential to try to restore a regular sleep pattern to make a full recovery. Some tips for restoring a regular sleep pattern include:
- Try to go to sleep and get up at about the same time each day.
- If youre worrying about things during the night, set aside some time for problem solving during the day.
- Avoid drinking caffeine after 4 pm and try not to drink more than two cups of caffeine-type drinks each day.
- Avoid using alcohol to help you sleep. As the alcohol is broken down in your body, it causes you to sleep less deeply and to wake more frequently.
- Allow yourself time to wind down before going to bed. If you are working or studying, stop at least 30 minutes before bedtime and do something relaxing.
- Give your mind a break from online activity such as social media for an hour before bedtime, and consider putting your phone in a separate room from your bedroom at night time.
Make Specific And Appropriate Referrals To Psychotherapy
Just as there are specific medications, there are specific forms of psychotherapy. Patients with anxiety disorders in particular, benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy , in which they undergo exposure to their fears and gain mastery over them. There are several forms of effective psychotherapy for depression, including CBT and interpersonal therapy. Non-specific supportive therapy can help people in times of crisis or stress but is typically not efficacious for serious mental health disorders. Family therapy or behavioural marital therapy can be effective when dysfunction in families or couples is a primary driver of the patient’s depressive symptoms. Providers should be aware of local therapists who practice evidence-based forms of treatment.
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Do Not Use Bupropion As A Firstline Treatment For Patients Who Have Significant Anxiety
Bupropion has features that both patients and doctors like specifically, low rates of weight gain and sexual dysfunction. However, unlike the SSRIs and SNRIs, bupropion is not approved for the treatment of any anxiety disorder. It is often activating, which causes great discomfort for anxious patients. Bupropion may be a reasonable choice for depressed patients without prominent anxiety, but for highly anxious patients it should usually be reserved as an augmentation agent after partial improvement with an SSRI or SNRI.
Do Something You Enjoy
Depression can push you to give into your fatigue. It may feel more powerful than happy emotions.
Try to push back and do something you love something thats relaxing, but energizing. It could be playing an instrument, painting, hiking, or biking.
These activities can provide subtle lifts in your mood and energy, which may help you overcome your symptoms.
Research suggests people who spend time in nature have improved mental health.
Exposure to sunlight may offer some of the same benefits. It can increase your serotonin levels, which can provide a temporary mood boost .
Consider taking a walk at lunch among the trees or spending some time in your local park. Or plan a weekend hike. These activities can help you reconnect with nature and soak in some rays at the same time.
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You May Still Have Questions Or Concerns About Depression Treatment
Whats the difference between taking medication for my depression and seeking counseling?
While antidepressants are helpful in alleviating depression symptoms, they may not be enough. They may not get to the root of your unique issues which may have started building early in your life. With help from your doctor, you might find that therapy and antidepressants in combination may be the most worthwhile route.
Im skeptical of therapy for depression. Can it really help me?
Counseling can do a lot to reduce your depression. It can help you manage the symptoms of your depression, while working on the deeper themes that cause it to persist. Having access to a professional, properly trained depression counselor and a safe space helps alleviate a significant portion of the burden.
Ive been able to handle things myself. Why would I see a counselor now?
Many guys wait to seek out counseling until things in their lives have gotten too hard to handle. You might be employing similar thinking: that youre the only one in your head, so youll just handle it yourself and maybe it will eventually go away.
Its okay to admit you might not know how to deal with your depression. But we cant solve problems with the same limited thinking and seeing that are creating the problems to begin with. You need to give them a fresh pair of eyes and ears.