What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal human emotion. It's the feeling you get when you're nervous about something, or even just excited. Anxiety can be caused by many things, including stress at work or school, family issues and financial problems.
Anxiety disorders are much more than just worrying too much or feeling anxious from time to time; they're serious conditions that disrupt your daily life and keep you from doing what matters most to you. Left untreated, they can lead to depression or substance abuse problems as well as other health issues such as heart disease or diabetes–even suicide attempts!
What is Xanax?
Xanax is a brand name for alprazolam, a drug that belongs to a class of medications called benzodiazepines. It's used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks.
Xanax comes in different forms:
- Xanax XR (extended release) – taken once daily as needed or twice daily; lasts up to 24 hours
- Xanax IR (immediate release) – taken three times daily; lasts four to six hours
How Does Xanax Work?
Xanax is a benzodiazepine, which means that it's a type of drug that works on the brain by enhancing the effects of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter, meaning that it helps to calm down your nervous system. When you take Xanax, the drug increases the amount of GABA in your brain and this causes relaxation and relief from anxiety symptoms.
Xanax also has sedative effects because it slows down activity in certain parts of your brain that control movement, thinking and judgment. This can make you drowsy or sleepy; however, some people experience little to no sedation after taking Xanax at recommended doses for treating anxiety disorders
How to Take Xanax for Anxiety
The recommended dosage of Xanax for anxiety is 0.25 to 0.5 mg, taken once daily at bedtime or as directed by your doctor.
Xanax should be taken on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating a meal.
If you miss a dose of Xanax and you are taking it regularly, take the missed dose as soon as possible on the same day if it is almost time for your next dose (within 4 hours). Do not take two doses at once unless instructed by your doctor or pharmacist; this can lead to overdose symptoms such as confusion, depression and memory loss which may require medical attention if left untreated
Alternatives to Xanax for Anxiety
There are other options for treating anxiety, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy. This type of therapy focuses on changing your thoughts, feelings and behaviors to help you feel better. You might meet with a therapist once or twice a week and practice relaxation techniques at home in between sessions.
- Lifestyle changes (such as getting enough sleep).
- Herbal remedies such as kava root or valerian root can help reduce symptoms of anxiety by calming your nervous system without causing drowsiness like prescription medications do. However, there's not enough scientific evidence yet to say whether these herbs are safe for long-term use or if they work better than other treatments for people with general anxiety disorder (GAD). If you decide to try them out yourself make sure that any product you buy has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
When to Seek Help for Anxiety
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it's a good idea to seek professional help:
- You feel like your anxiety is interfering with your ability to function in school or at work.
- Your anxiety is so severe that it causes physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath and dizziness.
- Your symptoms are so severe that they interfere with your personal relationships (for example, if you're afraid of being around people).
Tips for Managing Anxiety without Medication
- Breathing exercises
- Relaxation techniques, such as yoga and meditation
- Exercise, which can also help you sleep better at night
- A healthy diet that includes enough fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein sources (such as chicken or fish)
In this article, we've covered everything you need to know about Xanax for anxiety. If you want to learn more about the drug and its side effects, check out our comprehensive guide on Xanax here.
If you're interested in learning how to treat your anxiety without medication, take a look at our other articles on natural remedies for anxiety or meditation techniques for stress relief!