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Correlation Between Anxiety and Benzodiazepine Use: Anxiolytic Disorder

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What Are Benzodiazepines?

These drugs possess sedative properties and often prescribed for individuals stricken with anxiety disorders, ailments that precipitate seizures or frequent bouts of insomnia. Medical professionals opine that these health maladies may be caused by overactive nerves situated within said person’s brain. Benzodiazepines are thought to improve the function of the important neurotransmitter (substances that enable brain cells to communicate) Gamma-aminobutyric acid. Improved transmission amongst brain cells are believed to offer some relief for the aforementioned conditions.

Benzodiazepine Addiction

Such substances often produce a calming effect that can enhance a user’s mood and overall feeling of well-being. Due to these properties, benzodiazepines cane become habit forming and precipitate addictive behavior in certain individuals who ingest these chemicals. As addiction develops, the user’s brain and body necessitates greater quantities of the substance to produce the desirable impacts. Eventually, addiction could lead to an illness known as Anxiolytic Disorder. Common benzodiazepine drugs include Valium, Ativan and Klonopin.

What Is Anxiolytic Disorder?

Benzodiazepine addiction that morphs into systemic intoxication and anxiolytic disorder might cause the afflicted individual to experience numerous bothersome, if not potentially serious health issues, as well as disturbing behavioral or psychological changes.

The Symptoms Of The Anxiolytic Disorder

This malady can produce any number of physical and psychological manifestations such as:

  • Memory impairment
  • Wild mood fluctuations
  • Overly aggressive tendencies
  • Speech problems
  • Movement and coordination disturbances
  • Involuntary bodily movements
  • Coma

In addition to the above symptoms, other physical manifestations include increased sweating, elevated pulse rate, hallucinations, seizures, nausea, vomiting and sleeplessness.

Mental health professionals place certain criteria on the factors necessary for someone to be diagnosed with this medical problem. Typically, the main guideline an individual must meet is that they have ingested excessive quantities of a benzodiazepine drug for at least one-year or longer. Additional criteria include:

  • Ingesting the substance for far greater durations or in dosages far exceeding what was originally intended or prescribed
  • The inability to cease usage of the substance
  • Continuing to ingest these drugs despite illness or the side effects precipitated by the substances in question
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when drug usage is interrupted

Furthermore, there are certain members of the mental health community who opine that anxiolytic disorder might contribute to the eventual development of major brain diseases like dementia.

Treatment Options

Treatment if often dictated by many factors including the stricken person’s age, general health, the severity of said individual’s addiction, the specific drug being abused and the dosages the impacted had been ingesting. That said, different treatment options may be employed.

Naturally, the first step to overcoming dependence on these substances is to rid them from an addicted person’s body. As someone stops using these drugs, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. If the individual in question possesses a moderate to severe addiction, medically supervised withdrawal will likely be recommended to wean recovering addicts off said substances at a gradual pace that will help them avoid severe, potentially dangerous withdrawal manifestations.

Following the detoxification process, former addicts face the challenge of remaining clean. Such an endeavor may be accomplished by spending extended durations inside treatment centers, participating in psychological counseling sessions with trained mental health professionals or partaking in benzodiazepine drug rehabilitation efforts like 12-step programs.

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