Because stress can readily lead to anxiety and depression, any stress medicine is really treating some form of anxiety or depression. This is when stress has reached the point of interfering with your life in some way.
You may not even realize that your stress has progressed to something more serious. Stress and hectic lifestyles are very common in our society. Unfortunately this means many people ignore the warning signs that stress is evolving into the next stage. Be sure to know the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. Stress medicine (this isn’t a medical term; just a simple reference within this article) is one of the best forms of treatment for these mental health conditions.
There are four major categories of medications for psychiatric symptoms; two of which correlate closely to stress: Antidepressants (covered in another article with a very similar title) and anti-anxiety medications. The remaining two categories will only be touched on.
Anti-anxiety and sedative medications: These help reduce anxiety and feeling overly stimulated. Some of these meds also help people sleep.
These particular meds are unique because they take only one or two hours to take effect. Also be aware some of them can be addictive and long-term use should generally be avoided. As always, work closely with your doctor.
They generally fall into a class of drug called “beta-blockers” or “benzodiazepines.” The beta-blockers are best for people with event-related anxiety. For example: extreme stage fright. They block the physical symptoms (rapid heart rate, sweating, tightness in the chest) without affective mental function.
Inderal is one of the more common beta-blockers. Side effects include weakness and cold hands and feet.
Benzodiazepines act as sedatives on the nervous system. Some of the more common ones are Ativan, Benadryl, Buspar, Centrax, Klonopin, Noctec, Restoril, Serax, Valium, and Xanax. Again, not everyone experiences side effects but they include: over-sedation, fatigue, and problems with memory or other cognitive abilities.
The other two categories: Just so you know what they’re called, the other two major categories are “anti-psychotic medications” and “mood stabilizers.” The anti-psychotic medications are designed to reduce symptoms of psychosis. This includes false perceptions (hallucinations), false beliefs (delusions), and confused thinking (thought disorders). Mood stabilizing medications help treat mood extremes. These include mania and depression.
There are many types of stress medicines available to combat stress and the depression or anxiety it may cause. Discuss your condition thoroughly with your physician. Share your symptoms and any other medications you may be taking. It generally takes time to find the best drug and dosage for you. There’s some trial and error involved.
Ask plenty of questions so you understand how the medication may affect your health. They all have potential side effects and some are serious. Again, keep in close contact with your doctor.
And any successful treatment program includes many actions you can take on your own. These activities include self help programs, exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding stressful environments. Chosen correctly and when used correctly stress medicine can have a wonderful impact on your quality of life.