Depression and PTSD Kittys Recovery
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After being raped at a young age, Kitty suffers from major depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Listen to Kitty and her mother for a firsthand account of what it means to endure through these mental health issues.
Last Modified: 2012-10-18 | Tags »
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If you're haunted by a trauma that took place in the past, you may have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Check out our video to learn more about what PTSD is.
Transcript: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by a traumatic event....
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that is triggered by a traumatic event. Sexual and physical assault, military combat, natural disasters, serious accidents, and even the death of a loved one, are all examples of traumatic events. After an experience of this nature, it is normal to go through a period of difficulty coping or trouble adjusting. Emotional symptoms - like overwhelming feelings of loss or fear and physical symptoms - like difficulty sleeping - are common reactions to a traumatic experience. But most people find that these difficulties abate with time. For about 3.5 percent of people, though, physical and emotional symptoms continue for months or even years after a traumatic event. These people may find that their symptoms get more severe as time goes on...or that they may begin to interfere with normal, everyday life. In cases like these, it is likely that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is to blame. PTSD occurs with almost four times more frequency in women than in men, according to Mayo Clinic data. This may be because women are more likely to experience the types of violence - from rape to physical attack - that can cause PTSD to develop. But men and children can - and do - get post-traumatic stress disorder, too. Men with PTSD often have combat exposure to blame for the disorder's onset, though with a growing number of women now in active combat in the armed forces, this is becoming something that is now crossing gender lines. In fact, the condition was once referred to as "shell-shock," or "battle fatigue syndrome," for this reason. Children, meanwhile, may experience PTSD after a serious accident, or as a result of child abuse or molestation. It is important to understand that not everyone who gets PTSD has been through a traumatic event personally. Some people acquire the disorder after a friend or family member experiences severe danger. And others experience PTSD from witnessing an event, even if it's just on TV. So why do some people experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder while others recover without incident? No one is entirely sure, but we do know that some people have an inherited tendency to experience mental illnesses. And people who already have a mental illness at the time of a traumatic event have an increased risk of PTSD. Doctors also know that the more severe and long-lasting the trauma, the greater the likelihood that PTSD will result. Additionally, people who get hurt during traumatic experiences - and those who lack social support afterward - are also all at increased risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. No matter the reason for the onset of PTSD, the condition can be devastating. The good news is that psychological and medicinal treatment can help sufferers learn to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder. If you are concerned about PTSD, or just want more information about the condition, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-22 | Tags »
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PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, is an anxiety disorder extending from a traumatic event. While it's debilitating, there is treatment available. Learn more about PTSD treatment by watching this video.
Transcript: While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can be frustrating - and debilitating - there is still...
While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, can be frustrating - and debilitating - there is still a great deal of hope for people with this anxiety disorder! Currently, two types of therapies are used to treat the symptoms of PTSD: psychotherapy and pharmacology. Pharmacology is simply the use of prescription medication to treat a condition. There are two FDA-approved drugs for use in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sertraline, which you may know as Zoloft and paroxetine, which you've probably heard of as Paxil. The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that up 60-percent of PTSD sufferers have experienced relief from these anti-depressant medications. On the other hand, some psychologists report success using alternative prescriptions to treat specific symptoms of PTSD. For example, benzodiazepines are a class of medication that can help sufferers relax and sleep better. Valium and Xanax are both examples of benzodiazepines. Antipsychotic drugs, meanwhile, may be prescribed to help control hallucinations and mania in people with PTSD. Whatever the medication though, doctors agree that it's always more effective when used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is "talk" therapy, whereby a patient and doctor work through problems together. Generally, talk therapy is categorized as cognitive or behavioral. For example, exposure therapy is a behavioral approach, which involves introducing PTSD sufferers to their trauma in a safe and controlled way. Exposure therapy may include taking an assault victim to the scene of the crime or asking a war veteran to write about the experience in detail. Eye movement desensitization is another behavioral approach, which teaches people to use controlled eye movements to better process and control their symptoms. Cognitive therapy, meanwhile, includes stress inoculation training, which teaches sufferers healthy ways to reduce anxiety and cognitive restructuring, which is a technique designed to help people see trauma in a healthier way. Sometimes, doctors choose to combine both types of psychotherapy into what is known as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. 46% of sufferers find that CBT helps them better cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. But because no one treatment is perfect for everyone, it may take a few weeks, or even months, to get just the right mix. During this adjustment period, it's important to engage in open discussions with a doctor about medication side effects and other concerns. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a serious concern. If you or someone you love is suffering from the condition, make an appointment to speak to a professional who can help!More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | Tags »
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Soldiers with PTSD -- post traumatic stress disorder -- develop what's considered internal battle wounds as a result of engaging in combat. Watch this video to discover more about this disorder.
Transcript: About 3.5% of Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. But the Walter Reed Army Institute...
About 3.5% of Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. But the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research found that among veterans of war, that number is 4 times higher. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, was first formally recognized about 30 years ago among soldiers returning from the Vietnam War. At that time, doctors noticed that many veterans were RE-experiencing traumatic events of the war. They observed that these vets were avoiding people, places, and things that reminded them of their combat experience and that they appeared to be constantly anxious and on-edge. Doctors saw that these symptoms were often so severe, veterans found it difficult to return to normal life. But while Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a new phenomenon by psychology standards, we know that the experiences are not new at all. In fact, as early as the American Civil War, distraught soldiers were referred to as having, "soldier's heart." And until PTSD was officially recognized, it was called other names, like "battle fatigue syndrome" and "shell shock." So, while PTSD can occur among people who suffer all kinds of traumatic experiences, it is clear that the disorder is particularly prevalent among soldiers. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, about 30-percent of Vietnam veterans and 10-percent of Desert Storm veterans suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. More recently, they believe that six to 11-percent of Afghanistan vets, and 12 to 20-percent of Iraq soldiers also have the disorder. Why is it that some soldiers return from war without internal battle wounds, and others develop PTSD? Many experts believe that the more direct exposure to combat a solider has, the more likely that PTSD will arise. Additional factors that make veterans more likely to develop PTSD include having a history of mental illness, experiencing little support from family and friends, and being less educated prior to entering the military. Regardless of the reason, vets already suffering from combat-related symptoms often have a difficult time adjusting to "normal," civilian life. Some of the biggest problems hit close to home, when husbands and wives become re-acquainted and when growing children and an affected parent suddenly feel like strangers. Other vets find that they are very over-controlling and disciplinary in their families, which can lead to child and partner abuse. And still other soldiers find that they are generally short-tempered, angry, or resentful with others. Additionally, many veterans deal with alcohol or drug abuse after their discharge. But however PTSD manifests, it is alarming that many soldiers who need help are not seeking it. In fact, the AP reports that only 23- to 40-percent of veterans with ongoing symptoms of trauma seek medical attention. It is this fact that offers clues as to why the Army reports suicide rates at 11-percent higher than they were during Vietnam or why, according to Veteran Affairs, there are some 130,000 homeless vets in our country. This startling news is made even sadder by the fact that effective treatment options are available to soldiers with PTSD. So, if you are a war veteran, or if you're living with one, don't become a statistic! Allow yourself or your loved one to get the help needed.More »
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Generalized anxiety disorder treatment often involves therapy and medication. GAD affects more than 10 million Americans every year. Watch our video to learn more about GAD treatment.
Transcript: Generalized Anxiety Disorder takes it toll on 10 million Americans each year. For people who have been...
Generalized Anxiety Disorder takes it toll on 10 million Americans each year. For people who have been diagnosed with GAD, what treatment options are available? Fortunately, most patients who have Generalized Anxiety Disorder respond well to treatments like therapy and medication. Although each of these can be used individually, patients are most commonly treated with a combination of both.There are several kinds of medicine that can help treat GAD, and which are especially helpful for people whose anxiety is interfering with their day-to-day life. The primary medications currently used to treat GAD come from a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, sometimes referred to as ""tranquilizers."" Common tranquilizers like Xanax and Valium produce a feeling of calm and decrease the physical symptoms of GAD like muscle tension and restlessness. However, drowsiness may be an unwanted side effect. Another kind of medicine used to treat GAD is BuSpar, a medication that specifically targets anxiety by affecting the levels of serotonin in the brain. Although it is not as universally effective as tranquilizers, BuSpar does not cause drowsiness as a side effect. Also, antidepressants like Paxil and Effexor are sometimes used to treat GAD. Therapy is also an important part of treating GAD. One type of therapy in particular, known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can be useful for GAD sufferers because it teaches them to change the thought patterns and behaviors that lead to anxiety.Most people get substantial relief with a combination of therapy and medication, although some people with GAD do experience ongoing symptoms. People who are trying to cope with the symptoms of GAD can take some everyday steps that will help. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes a mix of food groups and exercising daily are good ways to help reduce these symptoms. It is also smart to reduce the consumption of products that contain caffeine, like coffee, tea, and soda, because caffeine is a stimulant that can heighten anxiety. Over-the-counter medicines and herbal remedies sometimes contain chemicals that can increase anxiety symptoms - it is smart to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking these products. Also, make sure to seek counseling after a traumatic experience or particularly severe symptoms. If you think you have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, be sure to contact your doctor so that you can get treated, and start to feel better. If you are interested in learning about treatment options for GAD check out additional videos on the topic.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-20 | Tags »
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When stress adversely affects your physical and emotional health, it may be time to learn the facts on anxiety disorders. Watch our video for information.
Transcript: Anxiety is often described as a feeling of uneasiness, nervousness, worry, or dread of what might happen....
Anxiety is often described as a feeling of uneasiness, nervousness, worry, or dread of what might happen. These emotions are usually accompanied by physical symptoms, like tense muscles, sweaty palms, an upset stomach, or a racing heart. Normal, healthy anxiety usually occurs in reaction to a real stressor. That stressor can be as relatively minor as a doctor's appointment, a first date, or a work review and as major as a job layoff, or the end of a relationship. A person experiencing everyday anxiety can usually pinpoint this stressor, and can take steps to make unpleasant feelings abate. But the National Institute for Mental Health attests that - for 40 million Americans - anxiety is more than a passing emotion it's a debilitating mental illness. Unlike the relatively short-lived anxiety we all experience, generalized anxiety disorders lasts at least six months and individuals who have it find the symptoms to be so crippling that it interferes with normal, everyday life. Frequently, people with anxiety disorders cannot pinpoint what causes their symptoms. Some sufferers find that they worry almost constantly, even if there is little or no reason for their anxious feelings. Other individuals with anxiety disorders have specific phobias to run-of-the-mill things, like flying, spiders, or even social situations. Still other sufferers have compulsions, or rigid rituals that they employ in an attempt to control their constant worry and fear. And some people with anxiety disorders find themselves occasionally struck with sudden and very intense physical distress known as panic attacks. If you are experiencing any of these severe symptoms, you may have an anxiety disorder. Make an appointment with your doctor immediately! After all, the sooner anxiety disorders are diagnosed, the sooner they can be treated.More »
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Some 40 million Americans experience anxiety disorders. The most common include obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder and various phobias.
Transcript: Anxiety disorders are much different than the normal anxiety we all experience on occasion. Instead,...
Anxiety disorders are much different than the normal anxiety we all experience on occasion. Instead, these mental illnesses last at least six months and affect a person's ability to lead a normal life. Generally, anxiety disorders are classified into SIX categories: Specific phobias, social phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. While some individuals have symptoms of more than one anxiety disorder, most fall largely in one distinct group. Affecting some 19.2 million Americans, phobias are the most common anxiety disorder. A phobia is an intense fear of a specific situation or thing. Some of the most common phobias include fear of heights, flying, dogs, highway driving, water, tight spaces, and blood. While people with phobias tend to know their fears are irrational, they often have trouble facing them. A similar disorder, social phobia, is overwhelming embarrassment or fear surrounding normal social situations. About 15 million Americans have social phobias, which can be as distinct as eating in front of others and as broad as being around anyone other than close family. Often, social phobias manifest physically as blushing, trembling, and trouble talking. And no matter what the phobia, it may produce what is known as a panic attack. Panic attacks are the cornerstone of another anxiety disorder called Panic Disorder. For the 6 million Americans with Panic Disorder, intense fear is accompanied by unexpected and severe physical symptoms. These symptoms, or panic attacks, may manifest as dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, and a racing heart. Ironically, it is often the fear of having a panic attack that causes one to occur. Another well-known anxiety disorder is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD, which affects about 2.2 million adults. People with OCD tend to become focused on a disturbing or frightening thought, called an obsession. An OCD sufferer will then create an elaborate ritual, or compulsion, to cope with the obsession. Sometimes an obsession - like avoiding germs - matches the compulsion, like repeated hand washing. But sometimes, the two don't seem to relate at all. For example a person may believe that repeatedly checking, touching, or counting things will ensure that a loved one doesn't die. A fifth anxiety issue - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - follows from a traumatic event, like military combat or sexual assault. The 7.7 million Americans with PTSD relieve their trauma through flashback. They often become emotionally numb, losing interest in previously enjoyable activities. Conversely, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is a mental illness that often exists for little or no reason. People with GAD spend each day filled with intense worry or tension about day-to-day life. For the 6.8 million Americans with the disorder, it can be tough to sleep, eat, or ever feel relaxed. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, make an appointment to speak with your doctor about anxiety disorders!More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-02 | Tags »
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The causes of anxiety can be numerous, and the reasons are often individual. But if left untreated, anxiety can trigger other health problems, too. Learn more about anxiety and its treatment here.
Transcript: One of the most common reasons people feel anxious, on-edge, worried, or tense is that an external concern...
One of the most common reasons people feel anxious, on-edge, worried, or tense is that an external concern is on their mind. Stress at work or school difficulties in a personal relationship and financial concerns, are all examples of external causes of anxiety. Experiencing a traumatic event, like a car accident or battlefield combat, is another common example. Yet another potential external precursor to anxious feelings is using illegal recreational drugs, like cocaine or LSD. And even legal, prescription drugs may have this unwanted emotional side effect. On the other hand, a person with anxiety may have an internal, physical reason for their symptoms. Common anxiety symptoms - like heart palpitations, tremors, and shortness of breath - could actually point to a physical condition. For example, a rapidly beating heart could be a sign of a heart condition and shortness of breath could be related to asthma. On the flip side, having a physical condition like this could lead to the development of anxious feelings. Any of these factors may cause short-term, mild anxiety. But for some people, that normal anxiety balloons into a serious mental disorder. Among the individuals most predisposed to anxiety disorders are those with a history of mental illness in their family. Additionally, many people with recurrent anxiety have a chemical imbalance in their brains that makes it hard to regulate emotions properly. Personality also plays a roll. Individuals with low self-esteem and poor coping mechanisms are more prone to anxiety disorders. And, of course, many people who develop anxiety disorders have a history of traumatic or disturbing external factors in their pasts. While there are clearly many causes for anxiety, there are also many treatment options! Medications, therapy, and hypnosis are just a few of the ways in which doctors treat anxiety disorders. So if you think your own anxious feelings could point to an anxiety disorder, make an appointment to discuss them with your physician!More »
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Most of the time, anxiety stems from stressors. You can prevent anxiety by learning how to avoid these stressors and using tactics to help you calm down. Get advice on anxiety prevention in this video.
Transcript: With few exceptions, everyday anxiety stems from a specific mental or physical stressor. Stressors vary...
With few exceptions, everyday anxiety stems from a specific mental or physical stressor. Stressors vary from person to person, and what terrifies one, may exhilarate another. Unfortunately, many stressors - like job interviews and doctor's appointments - are tough to avoid. The good news is that once a person realizes the particular events that cause the anxiety, it becomes easier to develop coping mechanisms. One of the easiest ways to prevent anxiety is to exercise regularly, which prompts your body to release feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins into the brain. Exercising also elevates body temperature, which can have a calming effect on the body. It's also important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. This includes cutting back on caffeine, which can make anxiety symptoms worse. Similarly, it's vital to get the sleep your body and brain need to recharge. Aside from these lifestyle adjustments, one of the best ways to prevent anxiety is to learn relaxation techniques. Some people find that meditation, a state of focused, intense concentration, is an effective option. Others circumnavigate anxiety when they imagine, or visualize, a positive series of events or outcomes to a situation. And still other individuals relax by focusing on their breathing. This method is particularly effective, as people tend to hold their breath in moments of anxiety, which just aggravates symptoms! Often, the best anxiety prevention is a mix of lifestyle changes and relaxation techniques. Remember though, that while you can prevent some of life's everyday anxieties, most people cannot prevent an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are a group of mental illnesses that are hard to control without proper treatment. So if you find that your anxiety does not respond to prevention techniques, or that anxious feelings dominate your day-to-day life, speak with your doctor about what you are experiencing.More »
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Anxiety disorders symptoms are not always clear cut. To help, your doctor will use a tool called the DSM IV to help diagnose your disorder. Learn more in this video.
Transcript: Generally, a person with an anxiety disorder finds that nervous emotions interfere with the ability to...
Generally, a person with an anxiety disorder finds that nervous emotions interfere with the ability to lead a normal life. Unlike the short-lived anxiety we all face, an individual with an anxiety condition finds that the symptoms are fairly constant. If this sounds like you the first step toward a diagnosis is making an appointment with your general practitioner. During this appointment, the doctor will take detailed notes regarding your medical history and current symptoms. She'll perform a basic physical exam and may use various laboratory tests, like blood work, to ensure that the problem is not rooted in a physical cause. If no physical medical condition is found, your general practitioner will refer you to a mental health professional. It's VITAL that you feel comfortable with this individual! If you do not, ask for another recommendation. Once you find a psychiatrist or psychologist that you like, he will want to talk to you about your symptoms. Your practitioner will then use this information - and information from his own observations - to determine if an anxiety disorder is present. Although there is no laboratory test to confirm this diagnosis there IS a manual of mental illnesses compiled by the American Psychiatric Association. Known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, or DSM IV, this book is the gold standard for diagnosing anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses in the United States. Remember, there ARE treatment options for anxiety disorders! If you're concerned about your own levels of worry, make an appointment to speak with your doctor.More »
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Anxiety and depression are different mental health conditions. They surely coexist, but can anxiety cause depression? Check out this video to find the answer.
Transcript: Although they often occur hand-in-hand, anxiety and depression are different mental illnesses. People...
Although they often occur hand-in-hand, anxiety and depression are different mental illnesses. People with anxiety disorders find that their near-constant fears and worries make it hard to lead a normal life. They may also experience physical symptoms like muscle tension, headaches, stomachaches, and heart palpitations. Meanwhile, a person with a depressive disorder is regularly burdened by feelings of hopelessness, insignificance, and despair. Lethargy, severe fatigue and various aches and pains are physical symptoms that may accompany depression. In most cases where depression and anxiety occur simultaneously, anxiety sets in first. That may be because people with anxiety disorders spend a great deal of time in an agitated, tense, and uneasy state. This can take a huge emotional toll, causing a person to become clinically depressed. On the flipside, a depressed person may spend a great deal of time worrying, which can, in turn, lead to anxiety. There also seems to be a genetic connection between anxiety and depression. Research indicates that both disorders occur with more frequency in people who have a first degree relative with mental illness. That's bad news, because when symptoms of depression and anxiety occur together, they are often more severe than when the conditions manifest separately. Plus, depression that is exacerbated by anxiety is more likely to lead to suicide than depression on its own. While this is disturbing, there are effective treatments available for both depressive and anxiety disorders! Often, antidepressants like Paxil and Zoloft can help ease emotional symptoms of both conditions. And participating in long-term talk therapy can also produce great results. If you, or someone you love, seems plagued by feelings of depression, anxiety - or both - talk to a psychologist.More »
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Over 7 million Americans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Find out about some of the common PTSD symptoms in this video.
Transcript: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a debilitating psychological condition, which affects more...
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a debilitating psychological condition, which affects more than 7 million Americans. PTSD symptoms usually arise soon after a traumatic event although they may not happen until months, or even years, later. While trauma ranging from an accident to combat can cause PTSD, the symptoms tend to follow predictable patterns. Generally, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will manifest as: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and hyperarousal symptoms. Re-experiencing symptoms include various ways in which a PTSD sufferer relives the traumatic event. Recurrent, frightening dreams of the experience and regular, waking flashbacks of the event are both examples of re-experiencing symptoms. Flashbacks are often caused by a trigger, like the sound of a car backfiring for a war veteran or a news story about sexual abuse for a rape-survivor. Avoidance symptoms, on the other hand, are almost the opposite. PTSD sufferers with avoidance symptoms often evade people, places, events, or objects that remind them of their particular trauma. They may turn to alcohol or drugs to avoid dwelling on their negative experience. People experiencing avoidance symptoms often report feeling numb, or emotionless. This means they are often unable to engage in meaningful relationships, or to find enjoyment in previously pleasant activities. Finally, people with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may experience hyperarousal, or constant feelings of anxiety. Hyperarousal often involves near constant watchfulness and wariness. As a result, PTSD sufferers can have a hard time achieving restful sleep, and they often find it difficult to concentrate. Unsurprisingly, hyperarousal frequently leads to angry outbursts and irritability. Meanwhile, younger children with PTSD may experience bedwetting, loss of speech, and acute separation anxiety. If even SOME of these symptoms are present, it's important to visit a doctor for a thorough psychological examination. Your doctor may also conduct a medical exam to ensure that symptoms are indeed psychologically based. A diagnosis of PTSD isn't made unless a person is experiencing at least one re-experiencing symptom, two hyperarousal symptoms, and three avoidance symptoms. Various symptoms must be present for at least a month, and they must cause significant distress in a sufferer's daily life. Finally, symptoms must always follow from a traumatic event, often involving severe injury, death, or the potential of either. Unfortunately, many people are unwilling or unable to discuss a traumatic experience. As a result, PTSD is very frequently undiagnosed and untreated. Knowing this, it's even more important to be up-front with your doctor about potential Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Doing so will ensure that you get the medical and psychological treatments necessary to help you deal with PTSD.More »
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Antidepressants for anxiety are also used to treat disorders such as depression. Learn more how antidepressants work to restore your body's chemical imbalances.
Transcript: Although antidepressants were originally developed for people suffering from medical depression, they...
Although antidepressants were originally developed for people suffering from medical depression, they are also quite effective at treating the symptoms of anxiety. To understand how antidepressants treat anxiety, consider that part of the brain is constantly releasing brain chemicals that act like messengers, called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine have been shown to have a calming, positive effect on mood. But after release, these chemicals have only a short time to do their job before they are reabsorbed by the brain. After this reabsorption, or reuptake, neurotransmitters cease to have any effect. In anxious people, this quick release and reuptake process may be the root of dizziness, racing heartbeat, and other panic symptoms. To counteract these symptoms, antidepressants decrease neurotransmitter reabsorption, in turn lessening anxiety symptoms. The newest antidepressants focus on limiting the reabsorption of anxiety-reducing serotonin in the brain. As such, they are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. SSRIs are most effective at treating certain types of anxiety disorders, like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, social phobia, and Generalized Anxiety disorder. The most frequently prescribed SSRIs that have been FDA-approved to treat anxiety include: fluoxetine, which is branded as Prozac, Sertraline, or Zoloft and Paroxetine, which is known as Paxil. SSRIs have a close cousin in a type of antidepressants called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs. Venlaxfaxine, or Effexor, is one SNRI helpful for treating the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Both SNRIs and SSRIs have few side effects and are among the most common medications prescribed for anxiety disorders. Another type of antidepressants, tricyclics, act to decrease reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Imipramine, which is branded as Tofranil, is a tricyclic prescribed for both GAD and panic disorder and clomipramine, or Anafranil, is a tricylic used for treating OCD. Although the tricyclic antidepressants can be very effective at treating anxiety disorders, their side effects like weight gain, dizziness, and drowsiness may make them less desirable than SSRIs. Finally monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs, are the oldest and final class of antidepressants. MAOIs also reduce reuptake of all three-mood neurotransmitters. MAOIs, like phenelzine, which is also known as Nardil, may be useful in treating panic disorder and social phobia. But because these medications can have serious side effects like increases in blood pressure and seizures, and severe reactions to certain foods like cheese, beans, wine and beer they are very infrequently used today. All antidepressants have no risk of addiction as compared with the benzodiazepine medications that are also used to treat anxiety disorders. The downside is that four to six weeks are required before a real reduction in symptoms is noticed. Antidepressants should always be taken under the direct supervision of a doctor, so talk to yours if you're concerned about anxiety.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-05 | Tags »
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