Anxiety Treatment Options

It is not a piece of cake to go through a day full of anxious thoughts of practically everything one can imagine himself to go through. It is not only difficult but also delimiting.

Anxiety is a chronic condition that is focused on worrying about things with no specific or actual causes at all. This explains why people with anxiety disorders experience constant anxiety without knowing what provokes feelings like restlessness and nervousness to arise. Thus, even when they have realized that they should not be anxious, they still could not control the sensations.

People with anxiety disorders are subjected to feelings of looming gloom. However, help could be found. There are varieties of anxiety treatment options available to help release the person from his fears. You must be reminded though that not all anxiety treatments would work for you. Also, the treatment that helped the other person would not necessarily help you as well.

Medications

Medications are not designed to cure anxiety disorders. These are often taken simultaneously with other forms of treatment options such as psychotherapy so as to relive symptoms.

Psychotherapy or talk therapy

Basically, psychotherapy helps the person deal with his condition through counselling that targets problems related with anxiety. Mental health professionals such as social workers, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists can best deliver services under psychotherapy.

Complimentary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs)

Complimentary and Alternative Medicines is a group of health and medical practices, procedures, methods and products that have diverse roots. The basic reason why methodologies under this group are considered as complimentary and alternative is that they are not yet taken into conventional medicine. However, this does not negate the fact that they work very well for some patients and could induce the healing process. Often, procedures in this group are backed with scientific research. The key matters are still questionable though.

A number of medical doctors are known to practice this kind of medicine combined with conventional medicine.

Acupuncture, for example, is a type of alternative medicine that is largely employed to cure a number of disorders that are often associated with behavioural and psychological difficulties. This method uses needles that are inserted on pressure points that are known to be the seat of life energy or qi. The general idea of this method is to seek the balance of life energies to achieve health.

Since this method encourages relaxation and has calming effects, patients of anxiety disorders are advised to take them.

Another method that induces relaxation is massage therapy. Obviously, this could not penetrate directly into the core of the problem. But this is efficient in delivering the person away from his anxiety provoking thoughts.

Meditation, on the other hand, involves a rhythmic breathing, comfortable sitting position and calming of the mind. Thus, it helps the patient seek rest from his mind-bothering thoughts that could build up towards anxiety.

Anxiety is fear and stress combined. The key element to alleviating the psychological state of the person with anxiety disorder is to remove these two. Breathing and rest is vital in any form of releasing stress. Thus, any treatment that creates condition with the least stress and fear would be helpful in treating anxiety.

Because of the benefits of both practices, the trend in medicine slopes toward integrated medicine. This means that both complimentary and alternative practices can be added to conventional medicine to promote maximized effects.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects Of SSRI Drugs Used For Treatment Of Depression And Anxiety Disorders

The term ‘SSRI’ is abbreviation for ‘selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor’. It is a family of drugs used for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. They are safer than most other anti-depressants because they act selectively on the brain’s ability to use serotonin, which is the principal neurotransmitter affecting a person’s mood. SSRIs do not significantly interfere with other physiological systems nor do they have any serious drug-drug or drug-food interactions except with other anti-depressants / anti-psychotic drugs

In a majority of cases, the side-effects of SSRIs – particularly Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) are mild and manageable if taken and discontinued strictly in accord with the healthcare service provider’s instructions. Nevertheless, some irritating side-effects are quite common (particularly with the older SSRIs such as Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft and others). One common set of side-effects affects the gastrointestinal system as described below:

  • Abdominal cramp/pain
  • Belching / burps
  • Bloating (due to excessive intestinal gas)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dyspepsia – indigestion
  • Flatulence (more than normal gas the digestive system)
  • Gagging (involuntary choking)
  • Gastritis (irritation of the stomach’s mucus lining)
  • Gastroenteritis (irritation of the stomach and intestines)
  • Acidity
  • Nausea (vomiting sensation)
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)

As seen from the above list, the side-effects are random and even somewhat contradictory, e.g., constipation and diarrhea. This shows that it is not possible to predict which of the side-effects a particular patient will experience. It can be surmised that side-effects are idiosyncratic to individual patients, with many patients not experiencing any side-effect at all.

How you should respond: As stated earlier, SSRIs are safe in most patients despite irritating but non-sinister side-effects. The side-effects are idiosyncratic and do not follow any pattern. The patient should know that all the symptoms listed above are temporary and occur only in the initial stage of treatment or, at worst, last as long as the treatment lasts without leaving any scar. Your healthcare service provider might prescribe additional medication to cope with one of more of the side-effects.

Remember however that you must not abruptly discontinue medication with an SSRI drug but instead follow a tapering strategy that the your healthcare service provider will advise. After all, temporary gastrointestinal side-effects are a very reasonable price to pay for the healing of the bigger psycho-somatic problem of depression or generalized anxiety disorders.