What Can A Doctor Do For Anxiety?
When a patient presents with a chief complaint of panicking or being anxious during the crucial moments or sometimes without any scenario, then the doctor may strike the diagnosis of anxiety disorder or generalized anxiety. The patient can present with both physical as well as psychological symptoms of anxiety.
Depending on the type of symptoms, the treatment should be based on medical treatment or psychological treatment. If the patient is presenting with more of physical symptoms like increased heart rate (tachycardia), increased blood pressure (hypertension), sweating (perspiration), tremors, etc. then more commonly the beta-blocker group of drugs which are responsible for controlling such symptoms in a short period is used like propranolol, metoprolol, etc. Benzodiazepine group of drugs can also be used in acute episodes of anxiety disorder because they also so have sedative, hypnotic, anti-anxiety action on the body.
For the long-term treatment of generalized anxiety, phobias, panic disorders, and other anxiety disorders, various medications can be prescribed which has to be taken for a longer period. These comprise of tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline, nortriptyline, etc., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine, paroxetine, fluvoxamine, etc., serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors like venlafaxine, duloxetine, etc. and few other groups of drugs can also be given.(1)
These all groups of drugs are the first-line mode of treatment in medical therapy of generalized anxiety, especially with psychological symptoms. There has to be taken regularly and for at least 1 month because the steady concentration in the blood of these drugs is reached only after 3 weeks or 21 days. These are very effective drugs in controlling the anxiety disorder and can be prescribed by your doctor upon examining your symptoms thoroughly.
For psychological symptoms developing in generalized anxiety, psychological therapies can be used. Cognitive and behavioral therapy is the most commonly used therapy for the treatment of anxiety disorder. Exposure and response prevention, sudden flooding, systematic desensitization is some of the other psychological therapies which are used in anxiety disorder especially in phobias. Few other modes of treatment like paper bag ventilation etc. can also be done in emergencies for the panic which is also covered in anxiety disorder.
Do Muscle Relaxers Help With Anxiety?
Muscle relaxants the group of drugs that inhibit the sodium channels located at the neuromuscular junction to reduce the neuromuscular transmission and hence the muscle contraction. The role of muscle relaxants in the anxiety disorder is very limited and is not commonly used drugs in it. These can also be used in anxiety disorder but only when the symptoms involve tremors, abnormal body movements, tightness in the body parts due to fear or phobia.(2) These can symptomatically release the muscle tension generated during anxiety. Hence, it is safe to say that muscle relaxants have a role to play in anxiety disorders but they are not the first-line treatment in it.
Depending upon the patient’s symptoms and examination there can be a variety of treatments possible for the anxiety disorder. Treatment can be based upon the predominance of physical or psychological symptoms. If the physical symptoms are more than medical treatment is preferred whereas if the psychological symptoms are more than psychological therapies are the best mode of treatment. Muscle relaxants can also be used in addition to anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications to relieve the physical symptoms for a shorter duration of time.
Individuals suffering from anxiety disorder must not do any self-medication to reduce anxiety because it may do more harm than good and such people can also fall into traps of drug abuse to seek some relief from the anxiety. Whenever an individual gets symptoms of being anxious like insomnia then he should immediately contact the doctor for an expert consult.
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