Prozac: Anxiety Solution For Everyone?

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Many people who suffer from severe, chronic anxiety aren’t helped by non-chemical, self-help methods. They find that no matter how many breathing exercises they do, or how many vacations they try to take, their minds will always return to their favourite activity: worrying.

For these people, chronic fear makes everyday life a misery. Ordinary activities, like leaving the bed, become a nigh-insurmountable challenge. Without some kind of medical intervention, these people’s lives become disappointing, and existence becomes a chore. These people’s last hope lies in a class of pharmaceutical drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These drugs include paroxetine, escitalopram, and, most famously of all, fluoxetine, better known by its brand name, Prozac.

Anxiety sufferers take Prozac primarily for help with obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks. Even more frequently, Prozac is prescribed to patients suffering from depression. However, the drug can also effectively help severe cases of generalised anxiety disorder.

SSRIs work by changing the brain’s chemical composition, such that serotonin, a chemical associated with feelings of self-confidence and well being, reabsorbed by the brain at a slower rate. Along with therapy and cognitive techniques, Prozac can be useful in alleviating anxiety. However, Prozac should not be used by itself to treat anxiety, without the attendant care of a trained therapist.

No matter the mental disorder that it is prescribed for, Prozac must be taken continuously for a period of two months or more before its shows any effectiveness, due to the slow rate at which this drug accumulates in the brain. Another important note of caution:the body is likely to become dependant on Prozac. To stop taking Prozac, it is crucial to do so gradually by taking smaller and smaller doses. Otherwise severe depression, accompanied by unpleasant physical symptoms, is likely to occur.

Is Prozac for everyone who suffers from generalised anxiety disorder? The answer is, “no.” Indeed, because of the dangers of chemical dependency, as well as many other potential negative side effects, Prozac should only be prescribed for generalised anxiety sufferers if cognitive therapy and other non-chemical methods don’t work. The other possible negative side effects of Prozac include sexual anorgasmia, loss of bowel control, headaches, and vomiting.  Insomnia is also a common negative effect of Prozac, as well as restlessness and an irrational desire to keep moving. In clinical tests, 7% of Prozac users also developed rashes. People with a history of liver trouble should use caution when taking Prozac.

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