Rumination, or focusing on negative ideas, is associated with both anxiety and sadness. Women tend to ruminate more frequently than men, which contributes to the higher prevalence and longer duration of depression in women. One effective approach to reduce rumination is to use medication and behavioral therapy to address the underlying anxiety and sadness. Some treatment options include:
- In-Person or Online Counseling for Psychotherapy
- Yoga meditation
- Positive self-reflection
- Nature walks for exercise
- Medications for anxiety, sadness, or substance misuse
Anxiety Disorders’ Causes
Anxiety disorders can be triggered by life events such as traumatic experiences, but genetics can also play a role. In certain individuals, anxiety may be linked to underlying health conditions.
Specific health conditions that may be associated with anxiety include heart disease, diabetes, drug misuse, irritable bowel syndrome, withdrawal from alcohol or drugs, and thyroid difficulties.
The exact causes of anxiety disorders are not fully understood. Like many other mental illnesses, they are believed to result from a combination of chemical changes in the brain, environmental factors, and genetic predisposition.
Anxiety Disorder Types
Anxiety Disorder in General
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by experiencing intense anxiety almost every day for at least 6 months. Various factors such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday living conditions can trigger anxiety. Generalized anxiety disorder can significantly interfere with social relationships, education, and employment.
Anxiety Disorder in Social Situations
Individuals with social anxiety disorder have a fear of social settings where they may embarrass themselves. They worry that their anxiety-related behaviors will be negatively perceived by others, leading to feelings of shame. This fear often leads people with social anxiety to avoid public places or social gatherings.
OCD is an acronym for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by persistent thoughts, urges, or repetitive behaviors that are beyond a person’s control and significantly impact their daily life, education, and relationships. OCD is different from anxious behaviors such as nail biting. Obsessions may involve beliefs that not following a specific routine or performing certain actions will result in harm. Compulsive behaviors can include repeatedly checking locks or switching lights on and off a certain number of times.
PTSD is an acronym for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious and potentially debilitating condition that can develop in individuals who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events.
Which Benzodiazepines Are Used to Treat Anxiety?
Benzodiazepines work by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter in the brain, producing a calming effect and alleviating anxiety. They act quickly and provide relief from anxiety for several hours. Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed for individuals with generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder.
Due to their rapid action and the potential for tolerance development, benzodiazepines are usually prescribed for short periods of time, typically no longer than a month. Abrupt discontinuation of these medications can lead to withdrawal symptoms, so it is important to follow the doctor’s guidance when tapering off the prescription.
They can also be used in combination with antidepressants initially, as antidepressants take time to take effect.
Commonly prescribed benzodiazepines include:
- alprazolam (Xanax or Niravam)
- clonazepam (Klonopin)
- lorazepam (Ativan) (Valium)
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