Thursday, May 19, 2011
Anxiety Attacks: How an International Pharmacy Can Help
At some point in life, almost everyone experiences anxiety. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable in the moments leading up to an important test, maybe you get the jitters the night before your wedding, or perhaps you have a case of the butterflies before you get up to speak in front of a group. This transient anxiety is simply a part of life, and while it is sometimes exacerbated by stress, it always goes away. This kind of normal social anxiety is very different from the anxiety experienced by those with an anxiety disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), "Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year." Anxiety disorders can be debilitating for those who suffer from them, as well as to family members and loved ones. What Are Anxiety Disorders? In a sense, "anxiety disorder" is an umbrella phrase for a number of more specific psychiatric disorders. According to the NIMH, anxiety disorders include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, specific phobias, and generalized anxiety disorder. Although these are distinct conditions, the one thing they have in common is a sense of fear and dread that is disproportionate to the actual events taking place. The symptoms of an anxiety attack can depend upon the type of disorder. According to the NIMH, panic disorder is "characterized by sudden attacks of terror, usually accompanied by a pounding heart, sweatiness, weakness, faintness, or dizziness. During these attacks, people with panic disorder may flush or feel chilled; their hands may tingle or feel numb; and they may experience nausea, chest pain, or smothering sensations." Treatment for Anxiety Disorders Some anxiety disorders respond well to a type of psychotherapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy. This can help alleviate the "self-talk" that contributes to the escalation of an anxiety attack. Systematic desensitization therapy often works well for people with phobias, as it gradually exposes them to that which they fear and lessens their negative reactions. Virtually all anxiety disorders can be treated with pharmaceuticals, either alone or in conjunction with psychotherapy. Antidepressants are often useful in treating panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, particularly those that are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Brand name drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are examples of SSRIs. There are also pharmaceuticals specifically for anxiety, such as the generic drugs buspiron, diazepam, and lorazepam. Brand name pharmaceuticals include Klonopin, Buspar, and Ativan. The Role of an International Pharmacy Although an online pharmacy isn't meant to replace a mental health professional's diagnosis and treatment of anxiety attacks, it can serve a much-needed purpose: access to the pharmaceuticals that can make life bearable for those who suffer. Those with anxiety disorders often can't go out of the house or are ashamed of their condition. They often end up self-medicating with illicit drugs or alcohol. With skilled doctors and licensed pharmacists, an international pharmacy can help those in need get the help they deserve.