As a certified hypnotherapist, I have observed that the use of medication is not the only solution for treating anxiety disorders. While they can provide short-term relief, they have their drawbacks, such as side effects and the potential for dependency. It is essential to understand that medication does not address the root cause of anxiety and does not offer tools to assist patients in coping with it.
In this sixth part of our anxiety series, we will learn more about the medications commonly used to treat anxiety disorders as well as their drawbacks and ways in which hypnotherapy can provide a more introspective and longer-lasting solution.
Common Categories Of Anxiety Medication
Some of the common categories of anxiety medication include Atypical Antidepressants, Benzodiazepines, Beta Blockers, MAOIs, SSRIs, SNRIs, and TCAs. While these medications provide physical relief, they do not address the underlying cause of anxiety. They may also have side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, and changes in mood, among others. Let’s explore further:
- Atypical Antidepressants: Atypical antidepressants are a newer class of antidepressant medications that work by affecting levels of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Some common atypical antidepressants used for anxiety include Bupropion, Mirtazapine, and Trazodone. Side effects of these medications may include dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and changes in appetite.
- Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are a class of sedative-hypnotic medications that work by increasing the activity of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain. Common benzodiazepines used for anxiety include Alprazolam, Clonazepam, Diazepam, and Lorazepam. Side effects of these medications may include drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. Benzodiazepines may also be habit-forming, leading to dependence and withdrawal symptoms.
- Beta Blockers: Beta blockers are a class of medications that are primarily used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions, but they can also be used for anxiety. Beta blockers work by blocking the effects of adrenaline on the body, which can reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a rapid heart rate and trembling. Common beta blockers used for anxiety include Propranolol and Atenolol. Side effects of beta blockers may include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and a slow heart rate.
- MAOIs: MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) are an older class of antidepressant medications that work by blocking the activity of the enzyme monoamine oxidase, which breaks down neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Common MAOIs used for anxiety include Phenelzine and Tranylcypromine. Side effects of these medications may include dry mouth, dizziness, constipation, insomnia, and changes in blood pressure.
- SSRIs – SSRIs: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors are a class of antidepressant medications that work by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Common SSRIs used for anxiety include Fluoxetine, Sertraline, and Escitalopram. Side effects of these medications may include nausea, diarrhoea, drowsiness, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction.
- SNRIs – SNRIs: Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors are a class of antidepressant medications that work by increasing the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. Common SNRIs used for anxiety include Venlafaxine and Duloxetine. Side effects of these medications may include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, and increased sweating.
- TCAs – TCAs: Tricyclic Antidepressants are an older class of antidepressant medications that work by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, in the brain. Common TCAs used for anxiety include Amitriptyline and Imipramine. Side effects of these medications may include dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, drowsiness, and changes in blood pressure.
It is important to note that the side effects of these medications can vary widely depending on the individual, the specific medication, and the dosage.
Complementary Tools to Assist in Managing Anxiety
Apart from medication, several complementary tools can assist in managing anxiety, such as relaxation techniques, exercise, and dietary changes. These tools can help improve overall well-being and reduce anxiety levels.
These can be used in conjunction with medication or as an alternative treatment solution for causes and symptoms alike.
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Deep breathing exercises
- Tai Chi
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Support groups
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Journaling or expressive writing
- Time management strategies
- Regular exercise and physical activity
- Adequate sleep and rest
- Good nutrition and a healthy diet
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine
- Massage therapy
- Biofeedback therapy
Additional alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbal supplements, and prayer, are also considered by some individuals. These treatments do not have the same side effects as medication and can provide additional benefits, such as improved sleep and reduced stress levels.
Hypnotherapy For A More In-Depth and Introspective Treatment Alternative
In my professional opinion, hypnotherapy is a powerful tool to assist in managing anxiety. Hypnotherapy can help individuals shift their mindset and deal with the core of their anxiety. It is also free of side effects and can offer long-term relief. However, it is essential to note that hypnotherapy is a process, and it requires patience and commitment.
Let Us Address The Root Cause Of Your Anxiety Together
If you are struggling with anxiety, please consult with a healthcare professional to explore the best treatment options for you. Note that while medication can provide short-term relief for anxiety, it is essential to explore complementary tools and alternative treatments to address the root cause of anxiety. Hypnotherapy is an effective alternative that can provide long-term relief without side effects.
Reach out to me today to start your journey to healing with hypnotherapy.