In order to understand what exactly anti-anxiety drugs are, and their uses, we need to know what is anxiety and anxiety disorders are.
Anxiety includes in a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times in their life. The word anxiety is a ‘Latin’ word. People when face a problem like before taking a test, or making an important decision, they show anxiety or nervousness. It is a normal reaction against stressful conditions. Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling of dread, which does not control easily. People experience anxiety in three ways:
1. generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
2. panic attacks
People with GAD show worrying, nervousness and tension. This is towards any particular situation but is connected to your whole life.
These are the extreme attacks of anxiety that comes in an unpredictable way and last for 10minutes.people going through these attacks having difficulty in breathing and behave in an uncontrolled way.
These are the feeling of fear towards a current particular situation or thing. Although the situation or that thing is not dangerous to them but they behave so anxiously and nervously about that. It may include social phobia-fear to go on social events or to meet people, animal phobia-fear from animals etc.
There is difference between anxiety and fear. They are actually are two common and a different phenomenon that are misunderstood as same thing.
Fear is a feeling of uneasiness and being threaten on current situation, but on the other hand Anxiety leads towards feeling of threat, intense nervousness, and uneasiness for future situations. Anxiety and fear are not always harmful but in some situations they are quite healthy, beneficial and necessary for our survival.
Anxiety disorder is different. They can cause such distress that it interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life. An anxiety disorder is a serious mental illness. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.
Anxiety disorders can be defined as, ‘Constant feeling of threat for future events when there is no need to feel threaten that ultimately make you unable and incapable for normal functioning.’
Severe anxiety that lasts up to six months is considered as abnormality and thus categorized as Anxiety disorder.
Anxiety becomes a disorder when the symptoms become chronic and interfere with our daily lives and our ability to function. The reason behind this could be the family history of that person or gene or it could be certain trauma from which that person is suffering. For e.g., it is seen in many people with depression have panic attacks at some point. Some people who are anxious have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder OCD.
Anxiety is not always distressful but it can help you stay alert and focused, spur you to action, and motivate you to solve problems. But when anxiety is constant or overwhelming, when it interferes with your relationships and activities, it stops being functional’that’s when you’ve crossed the line from normal, productive anxiety into the territory of anxiety disorders.
In addition, studies have shown that anxiety disorders run in families, which means that they can at least partly be inherited from one or both parents, like the risk for heart disease or cancer. Moreover, certain environmental factors such as a trauma or significant event may trigger an anxiety disorder in people who have an inherited susceptibility to developing the disorder.
ANTI ANXIETY DRUGS:
Anti-anxiety drugs are the set of medications that are made to treat anxiety disorder and relieve the patient from the feelings of tension, nervousness and discomfort by regulating heart rate and normalize breathing.
When a person is suffering from anxiety disorder, Anti-anxiety drugs are recommended, but these drugs should be taken under the administration of doctor, because they have serious side effects which cannot be ignored.
If symptoms of an anxiety disorder are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by asking you questions about your medical history and performing a physical exam. Although there are no lab tests to specifically diagnose anxiety disorders, the doctor may use various tests to look for physical illness as the cause of the symptoms. If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or another mental health professional that is specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for an anxiety disorder.
Anti-Anxiety Drugs include:
– Benzodiazepines (BZDs): diazepam, Chlordiazepoxide, Oxazepam, Lorazepam, Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Flurazepam.
– Azapirones: Buspione, Gepirone, Ispapirone.
– Sedative: Hydroxyzine.
– Barbiturates: Amobarbital, Pentobarbital, Phenobarbital, Thiopental.
– Beta blocker: Propranolol.
These medicines are helpful in reducing the symptoms of anxiety disorders include anti-depressants and anxiety-reducing drugs. Like,
In panic attacks: it helps in to enhance the patient motivation and accelerate progress toward facing panic and all of its repercussions. Those drugs which are helpful in these area must be helpful in one of the two stages of panic. The first stage is anticipatory anxiety: all the uncomfortable physical symptoms and negative thoughts that rise up as you anticipate facing panic. The second stage is the symptoms of the panic attack itself.
In general anxiety: medications help reduce some of the symptoms of anxiety.
In phobias: medications can help to reduce the tensions associated with entering the fearful situation.
Certain therapies are also used to treat anxiety disorder like:
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy (a type of counseling) addresses the emotional response to mental illness. It is a process in which trained mental health professionals help people by talking through strategies for understanding and dealing with their disorder.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy: This is a particular type of psychotherapy in which the person learns to recognize and change thought patterns and behaviors that lead to troublesome feelings.
Dietary and lifestyle changes And Relaxation therapy.