The world is evolving day by day. All modern inventions, on one hand, are proving to be beneficial to humans but on another hand, they played a negative role in desocializing. The ratio of psychological disorders is increasing with time. Anxiety, depression, etc are the leading disorders prevailing in the common world.
But what exactly anxiety is and when should we call it a disorder? how are patients treated? and all other factors related to anxiety.
In this article, we are going to discuss Inpatient Treatment For Anxiety and Depression, medications, their types, and all the safety and preventive measures needed for inpatient treatment.
What is anxiety?
In simple words anxiety refers to trouble or fear. Trouble is mostly used in the current time or more technically the active phase while fear makes reference to the future phase of anxiety.
Anxiety is an emotional condition that is associated with somatic (dryness of mouth, high heartbeat, trembling), cognitive (no judgment of the situation), and emotional (fear, happiness) symptoms. The symptoms may arise either due to Physiological or psychological conditions.
Anxiety can be beneficial or harmful depending on the circumstances and severity of the situation. When one does extra care while driving or hiking etc. just to ensure own safety.
In such situations anxiety is categorized as good while when sensitivity to the unusual scenes, duration, and frequency of that particular situation increases to a level harmful to the body it can be categorized as bad anxiety.
Phenomena of anxiety
Any unusual set of circumstances that affects psychology and emotions, in a positive or negative way, will lead to the release of the Neurotransmitters in the body which will result in either somatic, cognitive, or emotional symptoms based on the stimulus from the environment.
let us consider an example. Mr. Alex is walking down the street and suddenly saw a person wounded in blood. This visual exposure causes the release of the neurotransmitter, Glutamate, which is an excitatory neurotransmitter.
The rod and cons in the eyes stimulate the release of glutamate on seeing the blood. Glutamate in return shows the symptoms. It should be kept in mind here that the symptoms may vary based on the person’s track record in dealing with situations like this.
Types of Anxiety
Based on the symptom’s development anxiety may be divided into the following types,
1. Phobic anxiety (fear)
In the phobic type, the emotional symptoms are predominant with mild cognitive and less somatic symptoms. A person may feel more emotion-based symptoms like happiness and fear. Phobias arise due to incompatibility with the environment. E.g., nyctophobia, photophobia etc.
Psychotherapy (counseling) is used for its treatment.
2. Panic anxiety
This type is often presented with somatic and cognitive symptoms with high severity. The arousal of symptoms is sudden and like the arousal, symptoms also relieve quickly.
Psychotherapy is suggested too for this type.
3. Generalized anxiety
This type is associated with an extended duration of the symptoms most often in months. Multiple symptoms arise with higher frequency.
In contrast to the other two types instead of psychotherapy, direct pharmacotherapy(drugs) is needed for its treatment.
Medication for anxiety
Anxiety medication can raise some questions about its effectiveness in long-term use however anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines are primarily used and new options like SSRI are also used for short-term and long-term use respectively.
American academy of family physicians stated in a report that benzodiazepines lose their effectiveness in treating anxiety after 4 to 6 months of regular use.
Before going towards proper medication following terminologies must not be confused with one another.
Sedation: to induce calmness, may or may not be drowsiness but without sleep. Sedatives are used for sedation.
Hypnotics: to induce and maintain sleep with a natural tendency or simply to improve the quality of sleep.
Anxiolytics: are drugs used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety to the baseline (where CNS activity is proper).
Some drugs may be anxiolytics, sedatives, and hypnotics based on the magnitude of the dose. E.g., a drug can give an anxiolytic effect in 2mg, a sedative effect in 4 mg, a hypnotic effect in 6 mg, and an anesthetic effect in 15 mg. At 50mg coma may be caused or even death occurs at 200 mg so the proper dose is needed for the required effect.
Benzodiazepines are the most widely used drugs in treating anxiety. It is classified into 4 classes based on their duration of action. Midazolam, bromazepam, alprazolam, and diazepam are the drugs classified as ultrashort acting, short-acting, intermediate-acting, and long-acting respectively.
They are administered either orally for anxiolytic and sedative effects or parentally for hypnotic and anesthetic effects.
Other effects of benzodiazepines include reduced latency time (time before sleep), thus treating insomnia or trouble sleeping, muscle relaxation, and epileptic fits. Long-term medications are mostly used for epilepsies.
Inpatient treatment For Anxiety and Depression
Inpatient means that a patient lives in a hospital under proper checkup. Primarily anxiety can be treated normally but in extreme cases, the patient should be hospitalized. Psychotherapy and medications are used for treating anxiety. On a trial-and-error basis, it is confirmed which therapy is needed primarily.
In hospitals, exposure therapy is mostly performed. Exposure therapy includes controlling the exposed environment to the patient and control of all the situations that trigger the anxiety attacks the patient.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also used to recognize and control all the unwanted triggers for anxiety attacks and the patients are counseled on how to avoid those unwanted thoughts.
Over-the-counter anxiety medication
It should be noted that any over-the-counter medication cannot treat anxiety permanently. Regular use of OTC drugs for anxiety can often lead to addiction and may worsen the conditions of the patient when not taken on a regular basis.
Sleep inducers like laxotanil (a drug) should only be taken for a brief period of time. Its use for more than 2 weeks regularly can cause serious harmful conditions.