Anxiety disorder is prevalent among many adults, sometimes without knowing its existence. It affects around 284 million people worldwide, 40 million of whom are American adults, making anxiety a common mental illness in the country. Once you realize that you are suffering from this condition, you find yourself looking for a psychiatrist near you in hopes of restoring your life’s balance.
Anxiety has negative and life-changing impacts. It affects your work or study habits, social interactions, and personal relationships. Experiencing intense worry every day and other side effects from your anxiety can affect your ability to make decisions, motivation, mental well-being, and physical health.
It’s best to find a good anxiety psychiatrist who will give you proper treatment instead of a 15-minute talk a week, provide you with a prescription, and send you on your way. Like it or not, it’s been the standard treatment procedure conducted in many psychiatric centers around.
Seeing this flaw in the psychiatric treatment method, the psychiatric care providers at Peak Wellness Psychiatry have managed to distinguish themselves by forming a comprehensive and holistic anxiety treatment approach that is individualized and focused. First, the team gives you a better understanding of the illness before proceeding to in-depth treatment, including prescription medication for anxiety.
Anxiety in Focus
Anxiety may differ from one person to another. Some people define it as inner restlessness, apprehension, tension, and discomfort. Basically, it’s a normal response to stress. Major problems at home, school, or in the workplace may make you feel anxious or worried. That anxiousness can lead to either increased focus or make you feel discouraged.
Worrying vs Anxiety Disorder
From an evolutionary standpoint, worry and anxiety are emotional responses to threat or danger. This can be compared to today’s society, where we face pressure and stress from work and everyday life. And amid the COVID pandemic, remote work added pressure to that WHILE being at home, where we usually feel safe and rested. The psychiatric care providers at Peak Wellness Psychiatry say, “We can think of anxiety as rest deprivation. It seems you are always in a state of alertness and hypervigilance.”
This means the difference between simple worrying and anxiety is sometimes hard to differentiate, as you most likely won’t be able to identify the moment the change from one to the other happens.
When short-term anxiety becomes significant and constant, it develops into an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorder can last for a long period and worsen over time if left untreated. Because of the severity, anxiety disorder can impair your daily life and impact your relationships and social skills in a destructive way.
Movies may portray symptoms of anxiety as more like a panic attack. However, there are many less obvious ways anxiety can manifest itself, especially in those with high-functioning anxiety.
Generally, the symptoms of anxiety include:
- An uncontrollable feeling of anxiety and fear of things that have not yet occurred
- Physical and emotional tension
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Headaches and pain
- Behavioral changes
- Uneasiness and nervousness
- Having a feeling of impending doom
Symptoms can vary depending on the anxiety disorder that you have, your circumstances, and your personality. Diagnosing based on symptoms alone can be complex when you have comorbidities or co-occurring mental health disorders that overlap in symptoms. Sometimes, symptoms may not be obvious to you, but changes in your behavior may be noticed by a close friend, family, or significant other.
Types of Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorder is a universal term, but there are many different types of anxiety disorders. This varies based on the root causes and symptoms displayed. Here are three well-known types of anxiety:
If you worry excessively about a wide range of issues and situations like work, school, family, health, and money over a period of at least six months every day of your life, you are likely suffering from GAD. With GAD, your mind seems to multi-task with great struggle, which keeps you from relaxing. Often, the worries are unnecessary.
A phobia is an intense or exaggerated feeling of fear of something, even without real-life threats. You may feel overwhelmingly and irrationally afraid of insects, animals, people, situations, events, or activities.
With panic disorder, panic attacks happen suddenly and repeatedly, even when there is no danger. You may experience these panic attacks accompanied by intense fear when triggered. Usually, these last for a few minutes, and there is no specific time of day when it happens.
Social Anxiety disorder is more than just feeling nervous about a date. Everyone will have some fears associated with some social interactions, but when the fears become an everyday occurrence (or frequent in general) and interfere with normal social interactions and everyday living, and cause you anxiety and embarrassment from fear of being scrutinized or judged by others, it may be social anxiety. Social anxiety medication can be a valuable component of treatment for individuals experiencing this condition. Medications, often prescribed by mental health professionals, can help alleviate symptoms and support individuals in managing social anxiety effectively
What Are the Ramifications of Living Without Proper Anxiety Treatment?
Frequent stress greatly affects your physical health. Research shows that long-term cumulative stress leads to various types of physical and other illnesses. Individuals who are continuously anxious, tense, and lack proper rest and sleep are prone to developing a compromised immune system. They also have difficulty focusing on important issues, leading to indecisiveness, meaning anxiety is also an illness that affects your social well-being.
When you don’t seek help for your anxiety, you have a great risk of developing ADHD, depression, or other mental health conditions at the same time. They can co-exist, which may pose a bigger threat to your mental well-being alongside your physical health. When this happens, you are setting yourself up for disaster, as it can lead to a lack of productivity and poor performance in various areas of your life, on top of physical pain and ailments.
Worse, it becomes a vicious cycle. Overwhelming work can make you feel anxious, so you stay up late out of your need to reassure yourself until you are exhausted. Working too much results in rest deprivation, which feeds into the physical decline your body may be experiencing. The next day, you feel less productive, and the anxiety is still there on top of physical problems. Now, you have adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue: What Is It?
Adrenal fatigue is an offshoot of extensive physical and emotional stress. This is one of the physical side effects of anxiety (and plays into the mental repercussions of going untreated). The adrenal glands, which sit on top of the kidneys, produce hormones, like cortisol, that regulate the immune system, metabolism, and blood pressure. They produce epinephrine and various catecholamines as well. With anxiety, your brain communicates with your adrenal glands, so it releases more epinephrine or adrenaline. After receiving the message, the adrenaline will prepare your physique by increasing your heart rate and constricting your blood vessels.
If this process happens repeatedly, the important hormones can be depleted, and there’s a huge chance of becoming exhausted, if not developing a range of more serious complications.
Anxiety Treatment Options for Patients
Anxiety can be accompanied by any other psychiatric condition, such as ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). These psychiatric conditions may have similar symptoms, and it’s why Peak Wellness Psychiatry’s anxiety specialists hold a thorough discussion with patients: it helps them identify the key issues and any possible underlying conditions. Getting the whole picture gives our psychiatric care providers an idea of an appropriate anxiety treatment option for you.
Commonly Prescribed Medications for Anxiety Treatment
Various medications can help you cope with your anxiety disorder, but there is no one-size-fits-all medication. Which medication you take depends on your symptoms and your body’s response. Because of the continuous research on the condition, people have more options now than ten years ago.
For our specialists in San Diego, it is important to identify the root cause of the problem first so your anxiety psychiatric care providers can offer more suitable medication and treatment lineups.
The symptoms you display, assessments of your health, disposition, and other factors help the psychiatric specialists at Peak Wellness Psychiatry determine the right medication. Today, there is a wide range of choices, such as SSRIs, SNRIs, Tricyclic antidepressants, and Benzodiazepines, among others. Below is a rundown of medications for anxiety disorder.
SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
SSRIs are antidepressants, but doctors also prescribe them to individuals with an anxiety disorder or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) as first-line treatment.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, feelings of happiness, sleep, digestion, and memory. People with anxiety disorder experience an overproduction of serotonin, so SSRIs keep the brain from reabsorbing it and avoid anxious thoughts and behaviors.
Below is a list of common SSRI medications:
- Zoloft (sertraline) – has minimal side-effects, creates a calming effect
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Pexeva (paroxetine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors)
SNRI medicines are anti-depressants that also work for anxiety disorders and chronic pains. They increase the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, and they regulate breathing, blood flow, and heart rate. Compared to SSRIs, studies show that SNRIs produce more side effects, which is the reason it’s important to have a psychiatric care provider monitor the intake. Among the SNRIs include:
- Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Pristiq (desvenlafaxine)
- Effexor (venlafaxine)
Benzodiazepines, “benzos” or “minor tranquilizers”
Benzodiazepines reinforce the brain chemical GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) and block the neurotransmissions or brain signals. GABA regulates sleep, creates a feeling of calmness, and helps with muscle relaxation. Examples of benzodiazepines include:
- Xanax (alprazolam)
- Valium (diazepam)
- Ativan (lorazepam)
- Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
Benzodiazepines can be addictive, especially if used continuously for more than a month, which is why doctors do not often prescribe them. As well, they lose their effects over time. Ideally, these medicines can work as a treatment for short-term anxiety.
Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
TCAs are antidepressants that increase the brain chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin, which regulate mood, and other neurotransmitters. Doctors prescribe them for the treatment of a variety of other mental or psychological conditions like anxiety disorder, OCD, or even bedwetting. Among the FDA-approved TCAs are:
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
- Imipramine (Tofranil)
- Desipramine (Norpramin)
Although not addictive, patients taking any of the TCA medications should not quit taking them cold turkey or even miss a dose. Otherwise, the person may experience withdrawal-like symptoms.
Beta-blockers are prescribed to patients with heart conditions and hypertension, but some doctors also recommend them to individuals with anxiety disorders. Beta-blockers or beta-adrenergic blocking agents prevent adrenaline, a stress hormone, from reaching the heart’s beta receptors. This way, the heart is prevented from pumping blood faster and harder. Examples of TCAs include:
Buspirone belongs to a class of anti-anxiety medications called anxiolytics. Like other anxiety medicines, it regulates the levels of neurotransmitters and helps an individual feel more relaxed, less worrisome, functional, and less irritable. It also helps the patient sleep better.
Anti-Anxiety Medications and Holistic Treatment Approach
There is no one-size-fits-all medication, so we combine it with other treatment options. While taking prescription medicines, we also encourage and guide our patients to:
- Make lifestyle changes
- Restructure workdays
- Optimize habits
- Engage in wellness activities
Our holistic approach to treating anxiety looks at the whole picture, which breaks the prison of treating one symptom of one condition and not addressing the root cause. Most psychiatric care providers in San Diego don’t approach treatment through this lens, and their patients seek out answers because they don’t see the results they want. At our clinic, on the other hand, our patients are having long-term results.
Why Does Anxiety Medication Have to be Guided by A Professional Mental Health Provider?
Like many people, you may have several apprehensions about taking SSRI medications for anxiety, including addiction. But this is far from the truth. As Peak Wellness states: “These drugs are not addictive if the intake is proper, monitored, and controlled.” Needing a specialist to keep you from getting addicted is a misguided concept. If anything, patients have to look out for symptoms similar to that of another condition. And it takes a specialist to identify, distinguish, and understand the different symptoms. Consider that these symptoms are the tip of the iceberg or pieces to a puzzle.
Peak Wellness’ anxiety psychiatrists monitor and explain that any medication can have side effects or allergic reactions. “We identify the focus issues and prescribe the right medicine, dosage, intervals of intake, or what other medicines to combine it with if needed.” Only trained professionals can make a sound judgment when it comes to these medications, and self-medication is strongly discouraged. Their role is to assist you with your medications and try out treatments at small intervals to prevent relapse or severe side effects.
The Risks of Self-Medication
Peak Wellness understands how tempting it is for patients to identify and address the issue right away and self-medicate, but there may be more to it than meets the eye. In many cases, an individual may be treating just one aspect of the entire problem. Sometimes, people may take a specific drug as a quick fix for certain symptoms while worsening the other. Other times, the symptoms could be from a bipolar or other mood disorder, while a patient may interpret it as an anxiety disorder.
But self-medication is not only inspired by the patient’s willingness to get better as soon as possible. Some patients have limited time or access to a good psychiatric care provider because of work, education, financial issues, or proximity. That is why we accept health insurance and offer telehealth consultations.
No Psychiatrist Near You for Anxiety? Try Online Consultations!
I strongly recommend patients not to self-medicate. As much as possible, follow up with a trained and certified psychiatric nurse practitioner. For those seeking medicines prescribed for anxiety, this telehealth service becomes even more relevant. The process is streamlined, allowing you to connect with a specialist from the comfort of your own space. It’s a convenient and flexible solution for busy people who do not have time to personally see a doctor.
Aside from face-to-face interaction, patients now have the option to get the same quality assistance online through Psychiatrists San Deigo, Psychiatric Care NPS telehealth service. It is the ideal form of consultation for people who are unable to be physically present for scheduled or emergency sessions. You can be on a lunch break and still get seen by a specialist online.
HOW CAN YOU GET THE BEST MEDICATION FOR ANXIETY THAT WORKS FOR YOU?
Many mental health clinics will come up when you search for a psychiatrist near you for anxiety, but the psychiatrists and psychiatric care providers at Peak Wellness Psychiatry will make sure you get not just the best but the right anxiety treatment program so you can come out a winner after multiple sessions.
Our approach is systematic. We want to know the root cause of these symptoms, so we look at all aspects, from diet, habits, medical history, past experiences, or traumas. We look at the whole picture and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will tackle issues one by one, specific to the patient.
In turn, patients can have a better outcome and have a better quality of life, improved relationships, and increased productivity, among other positive results. In the end, consulting a specialist is a win-win for the patient.
If you’re searching for the best online anxiety prescription, look no further. Our team is dedicated to providing top-notch care and support to guide you on your journey towards improved mental well-being. Contact Us today and take the first step towards a healthier, anxiety-free life.