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Anxiety (cont.)

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What are the side effects of anxiety medications?

As anything that is ingested carries risk of side effects, it is important for the anxiety disorder sufferer to work closely with the prescribing doctor to decide whether treatment with medications is an appropriate intervention and if so, which medication should be administered. The kinds of side effects caused by a medication are highly specific to the specific medication itself and the medication class as a whole. The person being treated should therefore discuss potential medications with their treating physician and be closely monitored for the possibility of side effects that can vary from minor to severe and can uncommonly even be life-threatening. Due to the possible risks to the fetus of a mother being treated for anxiety with medication, psychotherapy should be the first treatment tried when possible in pregnant women.

What are complications of generalized anxiety disorder?

There are many possible complications associated with anxiety. Mothers who struggle with anxiety during pregnancy are more likely to have babies who are of low birth weight. Children with anxiety often also suffer from depression, behavioral problems, and substance abuse. They are at risk for having anxiety as adults, as well as attempting suicide and becoming psychiatrically hospitalized. In terms of achievement, children and teens with anxiety experience a higher rate of failing in school and as adults, of having low paying jobs.

Can anxiety be prevented?

Just as inhibited temperament, parental anxiety, and family and friends supporting avoidant coping mechanisms are risk factors for developing an anxiety disorder, encouraging the use of healthier ways to deal with stress can help prevent anxiety. Educating parents on how anxiety fits into their understanding of childhood development and the role of over protecting parents in developing anxiety disorders have been found to help prevent anxiety disorders in children. Maintaining a regular exercise program can be key to minimizing and perhaps preventing anxiety.

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