Key Areas That Cause Anxiety Disorder

By | May 4, 2016

According to researched in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), three brain areas of a patient with panic disorder lack a key component which is a chemical messenger system that regulates emotion. Following a series of brain scans done on panic disorder patients to find anxiety disorder treatments, it is revealed that a type of serotonin receptor is reduced by nearly a third in three structures straddling the center of the brain. The finding published in January 2004 in the Journal of Neuroscience, is the first in living humans to show that the receptor, which is pivotal to the action of widely prescribed anti-anxiety medications, may be abnormal in the disorder, and may help to explain how genes might influence vulnerability. This research was conducted by Drs. Alexander Neumeister and Wayne Drevets of the NIMH Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program.

Statistics show that about 2.4 million Americans have panic attack strikes suddenly, and experience feelings of intense fear and physical symptoms sometimes confused with a heart attack. If these symptoms go unchecked, the disorder often sets in motion an unbearable psychological syndrome of agoraphobia, which is avoiding public places. Researches have long suspected that panic disorders are genetic components since it runs in families but the new finding suggests that genes might increase the risk of disorder by coding for decreased expression of the receptors. These findings have evidence in recent animal testing. In 2002, Dr. Rene Hen and her colleagues from Columbia University reported that a strain of gene “knockout” mice, engineered to lack the receptor during a critical period in early development, exhibit anxiety traits in adulthood, such as a reluctance to begin eating in an unfamiliar environment.

Various researches with successful results have enabled the scientists in overcoming panic disorder. Most of the anxiety disorder treatments are concerned with controlling the symptoms panic attacks, reduce their number and severity, and reduce the anxiety and fear associated with having another attack. The effect is doubled if the medication if it is combined with some natural methods of treatments; for example counseling and home treatment, therapy and relaxation courses. Medication choices to treat panic disorder come in the form of SSRIs which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac, Zoloft and Paxil. Benzodiapines such as Xanax, Valium,
Ativan and Klonopin are also prescribed besides SSRIs. Along with the above mentioned, antidepressants with mixed neurotransmitter effects, such as venlafaxine but this type of medication is only given in later stages. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as Tofranil, Norpramin, or Anafranil and Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as Marplan, Nardil, or Parnate are also given at a certain level to treat panic attacks.

Most of the medical professionals would prefer a combination of medicine and other approaches. However the best medication for panic disorder is considered to be cognitive-behavioral therapy, which focuses on the way a person thinks and altering certain behavior patterns. It allows the person to build an optimistic approach and would tell the about some efficient ways to handle a panicky situation. Combining these two therapies results in less frequent panic attacks. A combination of anxiety attack medication would make the symptoms disappear in some time. The dosage of medicine and the therapy sessions are generally increased if the patient does not see the results within 6-8 weeks.

Overcoming panic disorder takes quite awhile as it depends on the severity of the case. Normally, medication is continues for a year or longer and then decreased gradually over several weeks. In some cases, panic attacks tend to occur after medication is stopped; hence doctors will continue the medication for a few more months for you just so that you can keep the symptoms under control. Most medical practitioners would advice and recommend patients to seek for therapy and self-relaxation techniques before administering medication to them. This is because once medication is given; the patient might be depended on the drug. Self relaxation methods come in the form of yoga and pilates. A walk on the beach and even jogging can help cope with panic attack and stress. Apart from that, patients are advised to join a group therapy in order to talk their feelings out and share with one another as well as help other people overcome their problems.

As a leading expert in the field of treating anxiety disorder, Beth Kaminski is always on the lookout for ways to treat panic attacks. Visit her site for more information on her anxiety treatment center and much more.

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