Medication. A Cure for Anxiety?

There are several types of medications that can be used for anxiety, depression, and related mental illnesses. Each medication has its own set of side effects, which patients may experience. While some of these side effects might seem terrifying, especially, if a person is already suffering from anxiety, not taking medications, can have just as many side effects. In fact, anxiety itself, is a side effect, which can disrupt the way someone functions, in day-to-day life. Some patients will see positive results from a specific medication, while others may see negative results.

Are Medications a Cure?

Someone who has the flu, might take a medication to help improve their health, and shorten the amount of time in which they are ill. The idea, is that, once the medication has run its course, the symptoms won’t return, and the patient can return to their normal day-to-day activities.

Anxiety is a mental illness, and it’s unlikely that any medication will prevent the symptoms from returning, once the patient is no longer taking the medication. Instead, these medications can help the patient manage their anxiety, allowing them to use other methods, such as meditation, or cognitive therapy, to improve their overall health.

While one patient might have success with a specific method, another may not. The symptoms of anxiety might be very similar from patient-to-patient, however, the exact method to manage those symptoms, will likely be different. As an example, some patients might find that drawing, or coloring, reduces their symptoms, while those same methods, might not have any effect with another patient.

Many patients might expect, that taking a medication will cure their symptoms, and allow them to live a “normal” life; however, these medications often need to be combined with other activities, to get the best result. If a patient simply relies on medication to solve their problem, they might find that the anxiety returns quickly, after the medication is stopped.

Are Medications for Everyone?

Medications may not work for everyone. Some patients may need to rely solely on a non-medicated approach, such as cognitive, or exposure therapies.

Cognitive Methods

When using these methods, a patient will adjust their thinking processes, to help them avoid, or quickly reduce, the symptoms that arise with anxiety. This process can help rationalize the thinking process, and the thoughts that are racing through a patient’s mind.

Exposure Therapy

When used correctly, exposure therapy can help a patient conquer their irrational fears, by facing them head on. If a patient has a fear of being in public, or being around other people, they can try going to a public library, and finding a quiet place to sit. There might be a strong urge to get up, and run out, however, doing so only reinforces those fears, and makes it harder to cope with them next time.

The idea is, that the longer a patient stays at the public library, the easier it will become to remain there. This type of therapy might start off with short 5, or 10, minute sessions. Each time a session is completed, the timeframe can be slightly extended, until the patient no longer fears the situation.

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