Understanding the Effects of Anxiety Medication – Pros and Cons of Treatment Options

Anxiety impacts up to 40 million Americans every day. Despite the astounding number of individuals battling this mental health condition, anxiety continues to put up a good fight.

Natural remedies, such as exercise or meditation, do the trick for some people. Others alleviate anxiety through more advanced treatment options, or otherwise known as anxiety medication. For that reason, understanding the effects of anxiety medication is beneficial to those dealing with the condition.

If you or a loved one struggles with anxiety and are considering medication, here are a few pros and cons to help you make your decision.

Understanding the Effects of Anxiety Medication

Anxiety is an innate response to perceived dangerous and threatening situations. However, the notorious fight-or-flight response can, unfortunately, stick around for an extended stay. When this occurs, you tend to feel on edge, tense, and worrisome for a significant part of your day.

Remember that your body and mind connect profoundly. When one struggles, the other does, too. Therefore, anxiety can infiltrate your muscles, digestive system, and even your skin.

Various anxiety medications treat troublesome and often debilitating symptoms. The most common of these treatments include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medication (aka anxiolytics)
  • Beta-blockers

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety mediations work by influencing the balance of crucial brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Beta-blockers have a sedating effect, and they mainly address a variety of physical symptoms. Following is more information on each treatment option.

Antidepressants: Pros and Cons

Although each diagnosis calls for a different medication, antidepressants are typically the first line of defense against most types of anxiety, including:

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • General anxiety disorder

Mainly, the aim of antidepressants is to restore emotional balance, helping you to sleep better and feel less anxious or worried. Because so many medications fall under the antidepressant category, it’s difficult to predict how well they’ll work for each case. However, antidepressants have proven to help numerous individual facing anxiety. So they may help you, too.

The most significant con is that a slew of adverse side effects can accompany this treatment. Dizziness, weight gain or loss, and blurred vision are a few common side effects. Combining antidepressants or overlapping medication uses can also result in severe side effects. Of course, it’s crucial to talk about details with your healthcare provider.

Anti-anxiety Medication: Pros and Cons

Anti-anxiety medication is typically used to treat general anxiety disorder. Benzodiazepine is the drug doctors most often prescribe. Hundreds of people have attested to the powerful combination of therapy and anti-anxiety medication. You’ve probably read about some claiming the combo to be life-changing.

This treatment option is useful for those willing to contend with its side effects. Drowsiness, dry mouth, and impaired breathing are a few adverse reactions connected to anti-anxiety medication. Also, it’s often challenging to stop this treatment abruptly as withdrawal symptoms can occur.

Beta-blockers: Pros and Cons

Beta-blockers are frequently prescribed for social anxiety disorder, performance anxiety, and sometimes panic disorder. They’re often known as the “Jack of All Trades” in the medical world because they treat more than anxiety symptoms.

Relaxing your heart and lowering blood pressure, this medication addresses physical symptoms of anxiety. In short, taking these will make your body feel calmer.

Beta-blockers tend to mask signs of thyroid disease and hypoglycemia. Your heart will also suffer if you suddenly stop taking this medication, sometimes resulting in heart palpitations. And you may experience shortness of breath, sleeping issues, and depression.

Truly understanding the effects of anxiety medication requires a more in-depth conversation with your healthcare provider. Your health, specific issues, and desired outcome all weigh into the final decision. One blog post certainly can’t give one treatment option the stamp of approval, and yet, it can guide you in the right direction.

If you’re ready to explore anxiety treatment options, please reach out to me today. Or visit my anxiety treatment page to learn about how I can help.

All images are used for illustrative purposes only. Any person shown is used as a model only.