Anxiety is a typical reaction to stress. It is a condition that involves nervousness, apprehension, unrealistic fear and worry.
Fears and worries dealing with a tense situation in the office, study harder for an exam, keep focused on an important matter are some examples of anxieties in most individuals.
Anxiety disorders are very common. In fact, it is estimated that they affect about 13% of the U.S. population.
Anxiety disorders affect people of all ages, including kids and teens. But just like in many illnesses and diseases, treatments and medications are also available to cure anxiety disorders.
Several types of anxiety disorders & Anxiety Cures:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD is a common type of anxiety disorder. It affects about 3 to 4 percent of the population and about twice as many women than men. People with this disorder go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it.
A combination of therapy and medicated drugs is a good way of treating GAD. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is likely said to be the best therapy which can be applied to a person with GAD.
It changes a person’s distorted ways of looking at the world. It diminishes bad and negative thoughts and ideas. While possible drugs that a patient can take are: Benzodiazepines, Buspirone and other anti-depressants.
Panic Disorder is a real illness that can be treated. It is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear with sudden attacks of terror, usually accompanied by dizziness, faintness, a pounding heart, sweatiness, or weakness.
People having panic attacks sometimes believe they are having heart attacks, losing their minds, or on the edge of death. And the idea that they can’t actually predict when or where an attack will occur more likely harden their situation.
Several treatments possible include cognitive and behavioural, pharmacologic, or a combination of the two. The most commonly used is graduated exposure, primarily to reduce phobic avoidance and anticipatory anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral approaches, developed more recently, also treat panic attacks.
Pharmacologic treatments include monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and high-potency benzodiazepines. Some patients do not easily tolerate certain tricyclics antidepressants, whereas benzodiazepines are better accepted.
Agoraphobia’s literal meaning implies a fear of “open spaces”. However, this is not true. Agoraphobics are not necessarily just afraid of open spaces. Thus, they are afraid of having anxious feelings, wherever these fearful feelings or phobia may occur.
It arises from an internal anxiety condition that has become so severe.
In addition, Agoraphobia is a severe anxiety condition and phobia, as well as a pattern of avoidant behaviour.
The occurrence of such a disorder is likely to be reduced with medications and therapy. Behavior and cognitive therapy are the two main therapy methods used for those with agoraphobia. Medicated drugs as anti-depressants, benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, buspar, and beta-blockers are also advised to patients.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social Anxiety Disorder is characterized by such physical symptoms as dry mouth, increased heartbeat, blushing, trembling and shaking, difficulty swallowing, and twitching in the muscles. Many people with the social anxiety disorder also experience depression.
The Social Anxiety Institute suggests that almost 90% of people who suffer from social anxiety are misdiagnosed. Oftentimes they are told that they have depression, schizophrenia, panic disorders, or personality disorders. But research shows that social anxiety can also be cured gradually.
Behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, and relaxation techniques are some non-pharmacological medications for social anxiety. However, it is also recommended for people with this disorder to also take medicated drugs as: Paxil, Zoloft, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and Beta-Adrenergic Blockers.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is an anxiety disorder caused by anxious unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repeated rituals (compulsions) you can not control. It is a type of anxiety that happens when there is a problem with the way the brain deals with normal worrying and doubts.
Treating OCD can be in two ways: with medicine and behaviour therapy. Medicines that help brain chemicals work properly can help people with OCD. Sample medicines are: Luvox (fluvoxamine), Anafranil (clomipramine), Prozac (fluoxetine), and Paxil (paroxetine). Psychotherapy, Counseling and Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) are also best ways of relieving a person with OCD.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a horrible event or test in which serious physical harm occurred. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include accidents and violent personal assaults.
Individual psychotherapy, engaging in peer group support and medication are the tools for treating PTSD. For patients with PTSD, longer-term psychodynamic psychotherapy is usually given. In psychodynamic psychotherapy, there is a focus on past traumas and how they are replenished by the present experiences.
Exposure and cognitive therapy are also good for patients.At present, drugs approved for post-traumatic stress disorder at this time include the SSRIs, sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil).
If the patient also suffers from bipolar disorder (manic-depressive), a mood stabilizer, such as lithium or divalproex sodium (Depakote), should be added. For sleep disturbance, trazodone (Desyrel), zolpidem (Ambien), or nefazodone (Serzone) are often recommended.
Phobias are called one person’s severe and excessive fears. It is characterized by excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject.
In the treatment of phobias, systematic desensitization and exposure therapy were mostly used. Thus, benzodiazepines or beta-blockers are sometimes recommended.