You wake up at 4 am with a feeling of dread. Your chest pounds and you just can’t seem to catch your breath.
Something bad is going to happen today, you just know it!
You’re tired, but wired. You can’t turn your twirling thoughts off and it’s clear you’re never going to get back to sleep.
Some folks deal with anxiety symptoms like these all day every day. Maybe you’re one of them.
Unlike panic attacks which are temporary and go away after a period of time, people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder or GAD have a near constant feeling of anxiety that doesn’t ease up.
Chronic anxiety has health consequences
When you’re stuck in a loop of chronic fear, panic or anxiety eventually there are physical consequences for your body. Over time the continual stress wears your adrenals out and can lead to severe insomnia, depression and high blood pressure
GAD sufferers often expect the worse, when there’s no real reason for concern or they may fret about health, money, family or work issues. If you find that these kinds of intrusive thoughts are occupying much of your day, it’s time to do something about it.
As a pharmacist, I bet you think that I’m going to recommend a drug to help with your anxiety, but I’m not. You see that’s likely one of the worst things you could do. I very rarely recommend drug treatment for anxiety.
In fact, I want you to consider the possibility that a medication you‘re already taking may be causing your anxiety and mood changes. Because the truth is it’s possible that many, or even most, of the almost 7 million folks suffering with GAD are taking a medication that induces their anxiety.
The meds that may be responsible for countless cases of chronic anxiety are, believe it or not, tranquilizers!
Drugs designed to relax can trigger anxiety
Yes, a drug you’re taking to relax can actually lead to anxiety and panic attacks. In fact, according to a 1995 study, for almost half the patients seeking advice for anxiety, panic and phobias the cause was either alcohol or tranquilizer drugs known as benzodiazepine such as clonazepam, alprazolam and lorazepam.
Also included in this category are allergy meds, sleep drugs and even some asthma inhalers.
You see these drugs can have a rebound effect that triggers anxiety. This can make getting off them a real nightmare, so I’d say don’t even start. But if you’re already taking one don’t suddenly stop. Instead, call your doctor so he can help you with a plan to taper off them or replace them with a suitable alternative.
In addition to writing a syndicated column on health which reaches 20 million people each week, Suzy is the author of a number of books on natural health.
You may have seen Suzy on The Dr. OZ Show (6 different appearances), The View, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health and hundreds of morning shows. Quotes from Suzy, as well as her articles, have also appeared in major publications including Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, OK Magazine!, First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health and Better Homes & Garden and dozens more.
Read more from Suzy at suzyCohen.com
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