Many people believe anxiety is described as a state of worrying or being stressed out about a difficult situation. People believe that the feeling has a direct connection to a problem and when you fix the problem it will go away. However that’s a misconception, different people experience anxiety in different ways. The most common examples of the actual effects are having difficult breathing, negative thoughts following you around, feeling like a completely different person, and scattered thoughts. Some may not know but anxiety is known to be linked to depression. I personally suffer from anxiety and I usually have unwanted negative thoughts and scattered thoughts, however in more difficult situations my symptoms differ.
For young adults there are many categories of anxiety, anxiety is not just one thing. Some of the categories are general anxiety, Obsessive compulsive disorder, Phobias, Social Anxiety, Panic attacks, and Post traumatic Stress disorder. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America there are four major classes of drugs for anxiety disorders: Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, Tricyclic antidepressants, and Benzodiazepines.The United States Food and Drug Administration require all antidepressants to carry a black box warning relating to the risk of suicide in children and young adults.
Selective Serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs are classified to be a type of an antidepressant. SSRIs work by stopping nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing serotonin. Doctors usually make SSRIs their first line of treatment for someone diagnosed with anxiety, and they can take up to two or six weeks before they are able to take effect. These drugs are not habit forming therefore do not usually lead to dependence, although they have side effects like any other drug. The side effects of SSRIs include: Blurry vision, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, feeling restless, gaining weight, headaches, nausea, sexual problems, sleep problems,and/or an upset stomach. Some examples of SSRIs are Citalopram (Celexa), Escitalopram (Lexapro), Fluoxetine (Prozac), and Sertraline (Zoloft).
Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are also a class of antidepressants. Doctors may prescribe them to treat chronic pain. These drugs work similar to SSRIs, these drugs reduce the brain’s reabsorption of serotonin and norepinephrine. They can also take several weeks before effects start to take place. Some of the popular SNRIs are Duloxetine (Cymbalta) and Venlafaxine (Effexor Xr). The side effects may include:Constipation, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, headaches, increased blood pressure, gaining weight, loss of appetite, nausea, sexual problems, sleep problems, increased sweating, or an upset stomach.
Tricyclic antidepressants are in an older class of antidepressants. These medical drugs are not prescribed because of their side effects. Those side effects would include:Blurry vision, constipation, difficulty urinating, dry mouth, fatigue, increase in appetite, lightheadedness, low blood pressure after standing up, sexual problems, increased sweating, tremors, weight loss or gained. Examples of Tricyclic antidepressants would be Amitriptyline (Elavil), Imipramine (Tofranil), and Nortriptyline (Pamelor).
Benzodiazepines are different from the other three and are much more dangerous. Benzodiazepines is a Type of sedative that reduces the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as tense muscles, these drugs also encourage relaxation. These are short live and punch fast in a few minutes. They are rarely prescribed because they can be addictive and become less effective over time, therefore you have to be cautious while taking them. The side effects would include: Blurry vision, confusion, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, loss of memory or concentration, problems with balance, coordination, or speech. As mentioned before they also carry a risk of dependency and withdrawal symptoms, which may lead to: restlessness, depression, sleep problems, sweating, seizures. They also have severe risks, which may include:cognitive decline, hip fractures, motor vehicle accidents, or overdoses.
Medication is not the only option to help control anxiety but I believe it’s one of the most efficient ways to. I would like to conclude with some thoughts to remember, anxiety and depression are linked, not all anxieties are equal, unless you’ve been given permission, when it comes to someone else’s anxiety, you should probably listen instead of talk, and If you know someone with anxiety and you want to help them, ask them what would be helpful, during a time they are calm.