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Anxiety is a mental disorder that is a natural response to stress by the human body. Initially, it is an apprehension or a fear about what’s to come. It can be seen on the first day of school, while giving a speech or when going to a job interview.
Generally, it can occur as nervousness during critical events. But if this feeling of anxiety is extreme or lasts longer than 240 days and is interfering with daily routine, it may be an anxiety disorder.
Types of anxiety disorder
- Phobia: excessive fear of certain objects, activities, and situations.
- Panic Disorder: feeling recurring panic attacks at any time. An individual with such a condition may live in fear of the next attacks.
- Social anxiety disorder: it is an extreme fear of being judged by others in social events.
- Separation anxiety disorder: fear of being away from loved ones or home.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: recurring irrational thoughts that lead an individual to perform repetitive behaviors.
- Illness anxiety disorder: anxiety about health
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: anxiety following a traumatic event.
People who have any of given above symptoms, they may be a victim of anxiety disorder and need help managing anxiety. Treatment typically consists of medication and psychotherapy.
While medications don’t cure anxiety, they can help individuals manage his/her symptoms, so the individual can function well and feel better in their day to day life.
A number of drugs are available in the market for the management of anxiety disorder or symptoms associated with anxiety. And doctors try these several medications to find the right option for an individual.
Benzodiazepines are sedatives that are known for muscle relaxation and calming effects in the human mind. They work by enhancing the results of the neurotransmitters, which are responsible for the transmission of messages between the brain and cells.
They are also known as benzos that help treat several conditions associated with anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, a social anxiety disorder.
List of Benzodiazepines
- Alprazolam (Xanax)
- Clonazepam (Klonopin)
- Diazepam (Valium)
- Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
- Lorazepam (Ativan)
They are believed to act primarily through the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid called GABA; Benzos bind to stereospecific receptors that facilitate the inhibitory acts of Gamma-aminobutyric acid. The mechanism of action may also affect the antagonism of serotonin and diminished liberate or turnover of acetylcholine in the CNS (central nervous system).
In other terms, we can say – benzodiazepines work by interfering neurotransmitters in the brain. GABA is one of these neurotransmitters that suppresses the activity of nerves. Medical experts believe that excessive exercise of nerves may be the reason behind anxiety and other psychological conditions.
Benzos are typically known for short-term treatment of anxiety. Long-term use of Benzodiazepines can produce memory problems and increase drowsiness. Benzos can also be habit-forming. So, there is a risk of the increasing epidemic of benzodiazepine misuse.
These drugs are controlled substances and should only be used on a legal prescription by a doctor.
In addition to memory problems and drowsiness, benzodiazepine use can also cause vision problems, confusion, headaches, and feeling of depression.
If someone has taken benzos regularly for more than 14 days, it is crucial not to discontinue pills suddenly; it can lead to seizures problems in some people. Instead, they should talk to their doctor about slowly tapering off their dosage to reduce the risk of seizure.
Common side effects of anxiety medications can include
- impaired coordination
- vision problems
- feelings of depression
Note– It is a shortlist of benzodiazepine side effects. They can cause specific life-threatening effects. Users should talk about their healthcare provider to other information.