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Overcoming Your Worries: Anxiety Therapy

In broad lines, anxiety therapy refers to any type of clinical or non-clinical intervention which aims to help people manage and prevent anxiety disorders.

Over the last decades, researchers and healthcare professionals have focused extensively on this condition in hopes of determining the best possible treatment options.

From CBT and exposure therapy to medication and group therapy, today’s mental health professionals possess a vast arsenal of strategies that have been proven to reduce anxiety and help people regain control over their lives.

But before we get into more details on anxiety therapy and which treatment options guarantee the best possible outcomes, let’s take some time to understand.

Overcoming mental illness can be challenging especially if you don’t have someone who understands your problem and can lend a helping hand.

If anxiety is interfering with your personal and professional well-being, perhaps it’s time to see a specialist who can offer expert insights on how to overcome this problem.

Fortunately, help is at your fingertips.

ThriveTalk is an online mental health platform that puts you in touch with a licensed counselor or therapist who specializes in the exact problems you’re dealing with. You can access your therapist at any time, set up appointments easily, discuss your issues in a confidential space, and receive the help you need to overcome anxiety.

Mental health services have never been more accessible!

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a fundamental emotion without which our survival and development as a species would have been impossible. This ‚primal’ emotion helps us spot potential dangers and mobilize resources in the face of adversity.

The frequency and intensity with which we experience this emotion and the regulatory mechanisms that help us cope with anxiety vary from person to person. While some of us are perfectly capable of handling anxiety, others are completely overwhelmed by its unpleasant symptoms.

When it reaches a severe intensity, over a prolonged period, and interferes with our day-to-day business, anxiety becomes a severe disorder with potentially devastating effects on our personal and professional life.

Acute anxiety can manifest as a ‘bad’ feeling (like something terrible is about to happen). It can be either vague and without object or clearly oriented towards a particular event. It can also be accompanied by physiological symptoms such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, breathing difficulties, blushing, nausea, vertigo, and insomnia.

In broad lines, anxiety disorders are characterized by overwhelming fear, constant worrying, restlessness, and social isolation. Another central element of anxiety is represented by the chronic, worrying, and repetitive thoughts that can generate a lot of stress, making it difficult for us to attend school/work, enjoy fun activities, and engage in meaningful social interactions.

Depending on the cause and symptoms, there are several types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety
  • Specific phobias
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

But regardless of the form of anxiety you might be dealing with, there are plenty of effective strategies to combat this problem.

Stats About Anxiety

Anxiety disorders can affect all age groups. From children and adolescents to adults and seniors, everyone is prone to develop this unpleasant condition.

According to a 2017 report by The World Health Organization, approximately 264 million people are living with anxiety worldwide. [1]

The same report revealed that, regardless of the geographical region, anxiety disorders are more prevalent among women. For example, in the Region of the Americas, nearly 7.7% of all women suffer from anxiety disorders.

But the worst part is that only 36.9% of those who suffer from anxiety receive proper treatment. [2] Furthermore, 25% of all the American children between 13 and 18 years old are diagnosed with a form of anxiety which, if left untreated, can result in poor academic performance and substance abuse.

Anxiety Therapy Options

Since anxiety is among the most common mental health disorders, researchers and healthcare professionals have focused extensively on developing and implementing intervention strategies to help people overcome this condition.

Let’s look at some of the available options:

Traditional

Traditionally, anxiety therapy relies on individual sessions with a licensed mental health professional. If the person is struggling with a severe form of anxiety, healthcare professionals often recommend a mix of individual therapy and medication.

Group

When it comes to mental health, social support represents a crucial factor. It’s comforting to know that there are others who’ve been in your position and are willing to help you overcome anxiety. Support groups where anxiety sufferers can inspire and help each other have proven to be a viable option.

Texting/Chat Therapy

The development of text-messaging software has revolutionized human communication and interpersonal relationships. Online platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, or Instagram have rendered borders obsolete.

Nowadays, we can communicate instantly with people from all over the world. From a mental health standpoint, this technological advancement has given rise to texting/chat therapy.

Online Therapy

In a nutshell, online therapy merely is ‘traditional’ therapy transferred to the online environment. Whether it takes place via text-messaging or video chat platforms, online therapy can be an excellent option for those who wish to overcome mental illness but don’t have the time to visit a therapist’s office.

Anxiety Therapy Treatments

Regarding treatment options, healthcare professionals can use a wide variety of treatments and techniques through which they can deliver top-quality anxiety therapy.

Let’s look at a few science-backed techniques to overcome anxiety disorders:

CBT

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular options among mental health professionals specialized in anxiety therapy. The reason why CBT is used by counselors and therapists from all over the world that it offers a structured approach to treating anxiety.

Furthermore, researchers have repeatedly shown that cognitive-behavioral therapy is a practical approach for both managing and preventing anxiety disorders.

According to CBT experts, the reason why we end up feeling anxious is that we hold irrational and self-defeating beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world in general. These beliefs can trigger unpleasant emotions (anxiety, fear, stress) and dysfunctional behaviors that can negatively impact our personal, social, and professional life.

By challenging our anxiety-inducing thoughts and acquiring healthier coping strategies, we can keep anxiety in check and prevent it from ruining our life.

Anxiety Therapy

Exposure Therapy

Another popular strategy used by healthcare professionals to treat anxiety disorders is exposure therapy. This step-by-step puts us face to face with our fear and worries.

Exposure-based therapies reflect a variety of behavioral approaches that aim to help individuals expose themselves to anxiety-triggering stimuli. This strategy relies on the fact that anxiety is often fueled by avoidance, and therefore the individual does not have the opportunity to learn that he can tolerate the unpleasant reactions associated with this emotion.

Although this approach may sound a bit intimidating, keep in mind that exposure therapy is a gradual process that takes place under the guidance of a licensed mental health professional.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) aims to change the relationship individuals have with their own thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and bodily sensations.

By cultivating acceptance and present moment awareness, ACT teaches individuals how to reduce avoidance, put aside the worrying future, and live in the ‘here and now.’ As a result, anxiety sufferers learn to clarify their goals, discover their values, and engage in behavioral change.

The principles and strategies promoted by this approach can be successfully used by healthcare professionals specialized in anxiety therapy. Furthermore, experts also recommend ACT for problems such as depression, stress, eating disorders, and many more.

EMDR

Often, anxiety disorders are the result of traumatic events that have reshaped the way we interpret our environment. For example, if we’ve been bitten by a dog when we were kids, chances are we might develop a phobia.

To address the traumatic events that trigger mental illness, Francine Shapiro developed the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

Using hand tapping and side-to-side eye movements (which induce a state of relaxation) while recalling painful memories and distressing images, individuals can overcome the traumatic events that generated anxiety.

EMDR is especially effective in treating specific phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Medications

As in the case of any other form of mental illness, anxiety can be in part caused by a neurochemical imbalance. For that reason, anxiety therapy can sometimes include the use of psychiatric medication.

Some of the anxiety medication (or anxiolytics) mental health professionals are using these days are:

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Librium
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin
  • ProSom
  • Dalmane
  • Onfi

When dealing with a severe form of anxiety, a combination of therapy and medication is often the most effective intervention strategy.

Once the individual functions and feels better, the healthcare professional who’s in charge of his treatment plan will help him gradually go off medication, as many of the substances used can have unpleasant side effects. [3]

How to Find a Therapist

When it comes to anxiety therapy, finding a therapist is relatively easy.

Although word-of-mouth recommendation is still the most popular way to find a therapist, there are other ways to get in touch with a professional who can help you manage anxiety.

Nowadays, most healthcare professionals have web pages where you can contact them and find out more about their background and experience.

What Should I be Looking for in an LMHP?

Thanks to strict guidelines set by organizations such as The American Psychological Association (APA), mental health professionals have to go through an extensive accreditation process to obtain their license.

In broad lines, a licensed mental health professional is required to have both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Psychology, Social Work, or any other related field. Aside from that, LMHP’s receive extensive training in one or several therapeutic approaches.

The purpose of this extensive accreditation process is to ensure top-quality mental health services. And since the Internet is bristling with self-proclaimed experts, getting more info about your therapist’s background and certification should be a priority.

Questions to Ask a Potential Therapist

Before you set up an appointment, make sure the therapist you wish to see is in fact specialized in anxiety therapy.

Here are some questions that will help you gain valuable info about a potential therapist:

  • What’s your academic background?
  • How long have you been working in the mental health field?
  • Have you ever worked with clients who were dealing with anxiety?
  • Can you tell me a bit about your approach to anxiety?
  • Can you prescribe medication?

Find a Therapist Now

Here at ThriveTalk, we’re all about providing honest therapy for everybody. We understand therapy can feel like a big commitment and that it can feel scary or shameful. That’s why we’ve created this blog, to talk about tough subjects and demystify the world of mental health and therapy. And that’s also why we try to be straightforward and upfront in everything that we do. We have our pricing here. You can meet some of our therapists here.

Through all of this, our job is to help you in whatever way we can, whether that’s answering your questions or helping walk you through the hard times in your life. So if you think you might need therapy, just have a few simple questions, or just plain don’t know what to do, get in touch with us here, and we’ll do everything we can to help you make the best choice for your life. We’re here to help you take care of you.

Final Thoughts on Anxiety Therapy

All and all, anxiety therapy is a collection of techniques and explanatory models which aim to help individuals manage and prevent one of the most common mental health issues – anxiety disorders.

Whether it’s through individual, group, or online therapy, healthcare professionals can quickly and effectively provide the support you need to overcome mental illness.

From cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication to EMDR and ACT, today’s counselors and therapists possess an impressive collection of intervention strategies that have been scientifically proven to ease anxiety.

Meta description:

References

World Health Organization, “Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders,” World Health Organization, Geneva, 2017.

n.a., “Facts & Statistics,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, [Online]. Available: https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics.

n.a., “Getting Help for Anxiety,” GoodTherapy, 13 3 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/issues/anxiety/getting-help-for-anxiety.

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How to Deal with Anxiety: 7 Easy Steps for Big Improvements

Everybody experiences anxiety. This is natural – even healthy. Why? Because anxiety is a normal response to situations which are stressful or dangerous. It can keep you out of harm’s way; and it can also motivate you, as in the case of preparing for an exam or presentation, for example.

In certain cases, however, anxiety can have a devastating impact on your quality of life, which is when an anxiety disorder might be diagnosed. This article covers the basics of anxiety and anxiety disorders, including seven evidence-based pointers for how to deal with anxiety.

The seven strategies that we outline here today can go a long way in showing you how to deal with your anxiety. However, if you find that these self-help methods aren’t quite enough, there’s absolutely no shame in seeking a bit of extra input! ThriveTalk is a platform that makes it incredibly easy for people to do just that. With affordable rates and an expansive team of qualified and licensed mental health care professionals, we can team you up with the right expert for your needs. Furthermore, you’ll be shown how to deal with anxiety from the safety of your own home.

What is Anxiety?

Before we discuss how to deal with anxiety, we need to define this term. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension, stress, fear or worry. These experiences manifest in our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Furthermore, anxiety can affect the physiological functioning of our bodies. You may experience a pounding heartbeat, breathlessness, sweating, nausea, dizziness and muscle tension, among others. These symptoms are especially common in people who suffer from panic attacks.

However, experiencing anxiety is not the same as having an anxiety disorder. This would only be diagnosed if your anxiety is so severe and persistent that it seriously interferes with your ability to live a normal life. Anxiety can manifest in various ways, and so there are many different forms of anxiety disorders. These include generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and a range of phobias.

Stats About Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are diagnosed more frequently than any other form of mental illness. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 40 million people in the USA have an anxiety disorder. Just to put this figure into perspective, that’s one in six people! Phobias represent the most commonly occurring anxiety disorder, followed by social and generalized anxiety.

What Are the Traditional Treatments for Anxiety?

Before we describe how to deal with anxiety at home, what are some of the traditional approaches?

Therapy for Anxiety

There are many different forms of counseling or talk-therapy that may be used to treat depression. Popular options include Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Psychodynamic Therapy. While these treatments are effective, therapy requires a commitment in terms of time, energy and money.

Today, more and more therapists are providing their services online. Many people – especially those who struggle with anxiety – appreciate that they are now able to do therapy from the comfort of their own homes.

Medications for Anxiety

The medication most commonly used to treat to anxiety is a form of antidepressant known as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (examples include Celexa and Prozac). Benzodiazepine medications (e.g. Xanax or Valium) may also be prescribed at times, but these carry a risk of addiction and other negative side effects.

What Are Other Ways of Dealing with Anxiety?

Given how prevalent anxiety disorders are, it’s not surprising that many creative strategies have been developed to help people take back control. Let’s explore three alternate options for how to deal with anxiety.

Exposure Therapy for Anxiety

When we’re anxious, we naturally strive to avoid the source of our anxiety. But this avoidance inadvertently strengthens our fear. How? By denying us the opportunity to prove to ourselves that we are in fact capable of surviving the things that make us anxious. Exposure therapy is all about overcoming avoidance and directly exposing you to the source of your fear.

For example, let’s say you have a phobia of spiders. Your therapist would train you in some effective relaxation techniques, before gradually exposing you to spider-related stimuli that trigger your anxiety. You might start by looking at a photo, followed by a video and then viewing a real spider that’s contained within an aquarium. All the while, your therapist would help you to maintain a state of calm. The goal would be to gradually bring you to a point where you’re confident enough to, say, handle a real (non-venomous!) spider without being overwhelmed by anxiety.

While the prospect of exposure therapy is terrifying for many, this is a highly effective approach. You need not worry too much – your therapist will seek out your full consent and allow you to set the pace as you work to overcome your fear.

Meditation/Mindfulness for Anxiety

For many years, people have used meditation to still the mind. But can it be used to treat anxiety? Research suggests that a specific form of meditation known as Mindfulness is especially helpful in this regard. Derived from Buddhist principles, Mindfulness emphasizes the importance of being fully present in the now, rather than allowing yourself to get swept away by worries about the future. This approach also encourages non-judgmental acceptance, whereby you learn to let go of critical thoughts about yourself and the world.

In recent times, Mindfulness has been wholeheartedly embraced by the West as an evidence-based way for people to reduce stress and increase their wellbeing. These techniques have also been incorporated into many different forms of psychotherapy and medical practice.

CBD Oil for Anxiety

CBD oil contains a chemical called cannabidiol. This is a natural substance found in marijuana and hemp plants. This chemical binds to receptors in our brains that lead to changes in levels of a brain chemical called serotonin. Anxiety disorders are thought to be linked to altered levels of serotonin and research shows that CBD oil may be effective for reducing anxiety symptoms. But is it legal? In the USA, certain states permit the use of hemp-derived CBD oil for medicinal purposes, in which case you would need to have it prescribed by your doctor.

7 Ways to Start Dealing with Anxiety Now

We’ve already covered some of the formal treatment approaches – but what can you do right now? The following can be used as an evidenced-based guide, showing you how to deal with anxiety at home.

1. Keep an Anxiety Journal

There are two ways in which you can ‘journal away’ your anxiety. First, you can write about what you’re experiencing in the moment, when you’re feeling anxious. Describe what you’re feeling emotionally. Choose the words that most accurately capture your experience. Then, write down any thoughts that are passing through your mind. Finally, make note of any physiological anxiety that you might be experiencing.

You can also schedule in a time at the end of your day to track any moments of anxiety that you may have felt during the day. This can help you to recognize patterns, trends and triggers for your anxiety, which ultimately can help you gain more control in the long run.

2. Challenge Negative Thinking

The key to challenging negative thinking patterns is by first becoming aware of them. Often, these sorts of thoughts pass through our minds without us even noticing them. For example, anxiety is often caused and reinforced by negative thoughts such as: “I’m a failure”, “It’s not going to work out”, “I’m defective” or “I’m unloveable”.

Next time you feel anxious, stop and take note of what just passed through your mind. If you identify what appears to be a negative thought pattern, evaluate the evidence for and against this thought. How accurate is your thought? If your friend was having a similar thought, what advice would you give them? Is there a different, more helpful thought that you could use to replace the negative thought?

How to Deal With Anxiety

3. Practicing Acceptance

If you’re wondering how to deal with anxiety, practicing acceptance is a great starting point. Acceptance is about learning to relinquish your need for control. It’s about acknowledging and embracing your situation for what it is.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re giving up and resigning yourself to misery and discomfort. Rather, acceptance is about choosing to acknowledge the reality of your situation instead of expending energy on fighting the unchangeable. By making a conscious choice to accept your situation, you’re likely to end up generating the mental clarity and vigor which you need to tackle your anxiety more effectively.

4. Practicing Positive Self-Assurance

Positive self-assurance is a way of using targeted phrases, or mantras, to help you cope throughout the day. Research shows that basic acts of self-assurance can activate parts of your brain that are associated with emotional wellbeing. How can you implement positive self-assurance in your own life?

Choose a phrase that is short, simple and easy to remember. This strategy is most effective when you’re able to create your own mantra – one that speaks directly to your individual experience. Nonetheless, here are some phrases which you could adopt or adapt as a way of reassuring yourself:

“I am strong”

“I’m a good person”

“I’m a survivor”

“My anxiety does not define me”

You may find it helpful to write down your mantra on a post-it sticker, which you can look at periodically throughout the day. For best effects, recite your mantra not just when you’re feeling anxious, but make a routine of reciting it to yourself at the same time every day – before each meal, for example.

5. Set Up a Routine

People who struggle with anxiety are often plagued by a perceived lack of control – regarding themselves, their lives and their futures. However, establishing routine within one’s daily life can help to restore a sense of calm and predictability. How? If you know what to expect from your day, that’s one less thing that you need to worry about.

Start by establishing a predictable morning routine. For example, you might choose to specify the order in which you shower, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, recite your mantras and leave home for work. Try to eat meals at the same time every day and be sure to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, as this can improve the quality of your sleep which in turn can help reduce anxiety.

6. Practicing Relaxation Techniques

A Google search will reveal an extensive list of possible relaxation techniques. These range from breathing methods and meditations to exercises involving muscular contraction and mental distractions. Controlled breathing, for example, is a highly effective way of interrupting your brain’s fight-or-flight response – the reflex that underlies many symptoms of anxiety.

Practice controlled breathing by taking slow, steady and regular breaths. Aim to breathe deeply, right into the pit of your belly; and hold your breath for one or two seconds before slowly emptying your lungs. You may find it helpful to imagine a balloon in your belly which expands as you inhale and deflates as you breathe out. This will help to ensure that you’re taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths which promote relaxation.

7. Get Some Exercise

Moving your body can change your brain chemistry for the better. For starters, exercise triggers a release of endorphins, which may lead to improvements in your mood. Furthermore, exercise reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, both of which serve as triggers for anxiety in the body and brain.

How much exercise do you need? The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week, or alternatively, 1.25 hours of vigorous activity spread out across the week. Walking, running, hiking, aerobics, Pilates, dancing, gym, Zumba, hockey, Yoga, weight-lifting, baseball and mountain biking are all great options. For best effects, try to do something that you enjoy!

How to Find a Therapist

Here at ThriveTalk, we’re all about providing honest therapy for everybody. We understand therapy can feel like a big commitment and that it can feel scary or shameful. That’s why we’ve created this blog, to talk about tough subjects and demystify the world of mental health and therapy. And that’s also why we try to be straightforward and upfront in everything that we do. We have our pricing here. You can meet some of our therapists here.

Through all of this, our job is to help you in whatever way we can, whether that’s answering your questions or helping walk you through the hard times in your life. So if you think you might need therapy, just have a few simple questions, or just plain don’t know what to do, get in touch with us here, and we’ll do everything we can to help you make the best choice for your life. We’re here to help you take care of you.

Bottom Line: How to Deal with Anxiety

Do you wish you knew how to deal with anxiety? Would you like to eliminate it from your life completely? If so, you’re not alone. However, anxiety is an inevitable part of life. If someone says they never get anxious, they’re either lying or speaking from the grave! Rather than trying to eliminate it completely, we should be learning to roll with the punches by finding effective ways of managing anxiety. The seven strategies that we have discussed here will allow you to do just that, helping you to create a calmer, healthier and happier life.

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Gabapentin for Anxiety: Case Study You’ll Never Forget

Are you suffering from anxiety? Or a panic disorder? Well, interestingly enough, there’s an anti-seizure medication can help you out! Gabapentin for anxiety is a drug that’s been used to treat all sorts of nerve pain and seizures. But, recently, this drug has become more widely used for treating psychiatric disorders such as anxiety. Are you curious to learn more about how Gabapentin can help you? Read on to learn more about this amazing drug.

Here at ThriveTalk, we’re all about providing honest therapy for everybody. We understand therapy can feel like a big commitment and that it can feel scary or shameful. That’s why we’ve created this blog, to talk about tough subjects and demystify the world of mental health and therapy. And that’s also why we try to be straightforward and upfront in everything that we do. We have our pricing here, and you can meet some of our therapists here.

Through all of this, our job is to help you in whatever way we can, whether that’s answering your questions or helping walk you through the hard times in your life. So if you think therapy could be helpful, just have a few simple questions, or just plain don’t know what to do, get in touch with us here, and we’ll do everything we can to help you make the best choice for your life. We’re here to help you take care of you.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin for anxiety may more commonly be known as Neurontin. Gabapentin is a type of prescription drug that is mainly used to treat conditions involving seizures and nerve damage, so it is known as an anticonvulsant or antiepileptic drug. More recently, however, Neurontin has become increasingly popular when it comes to treating mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder

Gabapentin can come in the form of an oral medication, this may be more commonly sold under the name Gabapentin Enacarbil. The major difference between Gabapentin and Gabapentin Encarbil is that the Gabapentin Encarbil drug is a prodrug of Gabapentin. This means that the medication is broken down and converted to Gabapentin when ingested, making it a lot more bioavailable to the body.

Gabapentin: How Does It Work?

Gabapentin-Neurontin is a class of drug that has analgesic effects, this simply means that this drug reduces pain. The mechanism to how Gabapentin works and metabolizes in our body can be quite complicated. But, if you’re really interested in learning more about the pharmacology of this drug, we’ll keep things simple.

First, it’s important to know that Gabapentin is an analog of the neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid  (GABA). The term analog simply means that the Gabapentin molecules will structurally look very similar to the GABA neurotransmitter. Now, in order for our bodies to release a specific neurotransmitter, there has to be an influx of calcium through the cell membranes. The influx of calcium occurs as a result of channels called “voltage-gated calcium channels”.

Now, you might be wondering, why are these calcium channels important? what do they do? and how do they affect Gabapentin?

Voltage-gated calcium channels play an important role in maintaining intracellular function. Two of their major functions often involve the contraction of the muscles and normal brain functioning.  if we want to get more into the physiology, then another important point to consider is the fact that Gabapentin seems to have an effect on these channels, inhibiting the threshold for a sub-unit of voltage-gated calcium channels. This subunit is believed to play a role in the attenuation of pain and the neurons associated with it.

Gabapentin for Anxiety

Gabapentin Vs Pregabalin

Gabapentin and Pregabalin are drugs that are often mistaken as synonymous with each other. However, pregabalin is a lot different from Gabapentin. Here we have listed the common similarities between the two drugs:

  • They both are considered antiepileptic drugs
  • They both are used to treat nerve pain
  • Both Gabapentin and Pregabalin are used to treat nerve pain associated with post-herpetic neuralgia
  • The major difference between both drugs is that Pregabalin is often given in lower doses, thus decreasing the risk of  adverse reactions
  • Pregabalin also seems to have a more potent effect when it comes to treating disorders such as post-herpetic neuralgia and other pain-related disorders

What is Gabapentin Used For?

Over the last 10 years, scientist and mental health practitioners have been using Neurontin to treat different forms of mental illness. These include:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Preoperative anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Gabapentin for Anxiety

Whether or not Neurontin can be used to treat anxiety disorders, has become a subject of much debate. To date, numerous studies show that Neurotonin has the potential to treat anxiety disorders. For example, Neurotonin can be beneficial to women’s health such that it can be used to treat anxiety in breast cancer survivors.

More commonly, a double-blind placebo-controlled study, done in 1999 discovered that Neurotonin demonstrated that it had the potential to treat patients who had social phobia. Conversely, other similar placebo-based study discovered that Neurotonin was able to effectively treat anxiety disorders such as panic attacks,  agoraphobia, perisurgical anxiety, and decrease the risk of hot flashes.

Gabapentin Dosage

The dose of gabapentin for anxiety may be variable depending on a multitude of factors, such as patient’s mental health, medical history, and age. Thus, it is highly recommended that individuals seeking Gabapentin consult their mental health practitioner. Nevertheless, a 2017 case report concluded that the dosage for these anti-anxiety drugs can be estimated at:

  • <600 mg/day for severe anxiety
  • >≥ 900 mg/day for mild anxiety

Gabapentin Side Effects

According to the FDA one of the major side-effects of Neurotonin includes an increased risk in suicidal thoughts, This side effect is particularly important in patients who have been diagnosed with psychiatric dysfunctions such as generalized anxiety disorder. Studies demonstrated that a medication classed as an antiepileptic drug result in a risk of suicidal thoughts one week after the medication has been administered.

Other common side effects associated with Neurontin include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Increased risk of viral infections
  • Double vision
  • Fever
  • Patients may have a hard time speaking
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Tremors
  • Changes in mood
  • Swelling of the feet, hands, or ankles
  • Depression

If you experience severe symptom,s such as an inability to swallow, shallow breathing, or if you notice symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, rashes, swelling around the tongue, face, and throat, then contact your physician or the emergency hospital as soon as possible, as these symptoms are indicative of a serious allergic reaction.

Gabapentin Withdrawal

Gabapentin is a type of anti-anxiety drug, and when used as a form of long-term treatment, can result in severe withdrawal symptoms. This medication is can often be abused by patients, and when taken away, the individual may experience physiological dependence.

Gabapentin for Anxiety

Physiological dependence simply means that the overuse of the medication results in the neurons adapting to the chemical. Therefore, the neuron now relies on the drug in order to maintain normal functioning. When the medication is taken away from the patient, then the neurons and chemicals of the brain become dysregulated—this is the primary cause of Neurontin or gabapentin withdrawal symptoms.

Gabapentin Withdrawal Symptoms

In general, people may experience the effects of gabapentin withdrawal symptoms 12 to 48 hours post medication withdrawal. During the first 24 hours, a person will experience withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • severe anxiety
  • headaches
  • perspiration
  • hand and body tremors

By the third day, a person experiencing gabapentin withdrawal will start to feel restless and disoriented. Hallucinations, confusion, increased heart rate, agitation, fever, and trembling are all symptoms associated with withdrawal. Unfortunately, a person may experience withdrawal symptoms for up to 10 or more days.

Should you continue to experience symptoms of withdrawals for more than 30 days, then it’s important to contact your psychiatrist and/or physician in order to discuss your condition.

5 Facts You Need To Know About Gabapentin for Anxiety!

  1. Gabapentin is the analog of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid GABA. The GABA neurotransmitter is actually unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, but the Gabapentin medication is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Scientists believe that this can be clinically beneficial to patients suffering from partial epilepsy.
  2. Some studies show that people who take Gabapentin may develop a fatal condition known as paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria, which is a disease that results in the destruction of the red blood cells.
  3. The drug known as benzodiazepines has been commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. Some studies suggest that Gabapentin can be used to treat patients who suffer from the withdrawal of the benzodiazepines drug.
  4. Gabapentin is also used to treat a condition called Restless Legs Syndrome.
  5. Gabapentin can also be used as an “off-label” prescription. This means that it can commonly be used to treat conditions like alcohol withdrawal, Neuropathic nerve pain, Fibromyalgia, and Trigeminal neuralgia

Gabapentin—Like Any Drug, You’ll Need To Be Careful

All medications have their pros and cons. Generally, they will effectively treat the ailments they are designed to heal. However, like any medication, drugs like Gabapentin do have the potential to cause mild to severe side-effects. If you’re interested in trying this medication out to treat your anxiety, then talk to a mental health professional.

References

 

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Anxiety Disorders & You: How They Affect Your Life & How to Get Help

 

It may begin with a sense of dread that you just can’t shake.

You might be irritable, anxious and fearful. All you do is worry. You cancel plans with your girlfriends. You can’t sleep.

And it’s not going away.

If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. This article examines what an anxiety disorder is, how it can affect the sufferer’s life and where to get help.

Anxiety Disorder Definition

Everyone feels anxious from time to time; that is a normal part of life. An anxiety order is different. People with an anxiety disorder suffer fear or anxiety that is disproportionate to the situation, interfering with their ability to function in everyday life. People with an anxiety disorder find that it affects their work, relationships and socializing.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million Americans age 18 and older, according to the  Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The good news is there are numerous effective treatment for anxiety disorders available — if you ask for help.

There is a broad range of types of anxiety disorders, but the two of the most common ones are generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Generalized anxiety disorder. People with generalized anxiety disorder face feelings of fear, anxiety and worry for months. Symptoms include an inability to control their worry and fear, becoming easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability and sleep disruption. Symptoms may get worse over time.
  • Social anxiety disorder. People with social anxiety disorder have a significant and debilitating fear of social or performance situations. They feel incredibly anxious at the idea of being around other people, are overly concerned about feeling embarrassed or rejected by them, and may feel nauseous around other people. They go to great lengths to avoid such situations.

Anxiety Disorders Affect Every Area of Your Life

Relationships, personal success, professional success — having a generalized anxiety disorder or social anxiety disorder touches every area of life. You may find:

  • Dating is difficult. The fear of being judged and rejected is so big; it makes it seem not worth it — not to mention the physical shaking, stammering and sweating of the first date.
  • Romantic relationships are difficult. Is he cheating on you? Is he mad at you? Is he going to leave you? You sense your fears are unreasonable, but you can’t control them… and he’s growing frustrated with you.
  • Family and friendships are difficult. It’s difficult to make friends, or you worry that the friendships you do have are on the brink of disintegration. The fear of judgment and rejection is so nerve-wracking, you find yourself declining social invitations.
  • Work is difficult. You’re struggling to deal with everyday work issues, such as setting and meeting deadlines, managing staff, contributing to meetings and public speaking. You may even be losing out on promotions and other career opportunities. 

Treatment Options

According to the Mayo Clinic, therapy and medication are the two main treatment options. A combination of the two can significantly control symptoms and help you get back to leading a full and joyful life but be patient while you find the right combination. It may take a bit of trial and error. Don’t give up. Millions of people have successfully treated generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety disorder; you can, too!

Taking Action

If you recognize yourself in any of the above, please don’t suffer alone any longer. Reach out to a professional counselor. Thrivetalk provides online therapy that helps you learn new coping mechanisms, manage your anxiety and get through this difficult time.