The information below is presented as a generalized and educational overview. The specific details of treatment protocols mentioned in this article may not reflect the protocols utilized by A Mission for Michael.
If you would like to learn more about AMFM’s individualized programs to aid those struggling with mental health disorders, please reach out.
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AN INTRODUCTION TO UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY
Valium is an anxiety medication that can be useful for short-term anxiety treatment. Anxiety can negatively affect someone’s life in many ways. However, it can be treated, and you can learn to cope with anxiety symptoms. Valium for anxiety can be useful for those who struggle with moderate to severe anxiety as it helps people manage symptoms while working on a long-term treatment plan.
What is Anxiety?
When someone struggles with anxiety, they may have other co-existing conditions. To get the best results from treatment, both their anxiety and any co-existing conditions should be treated simultaneously. Common co-existing conditions with anxiety are major depressive disorder, panic disorders (anxiety attack), bipolar disorder, and social phobia. All of these conditions are treatable, and you can learn to manage the symptoms over time.2
Symptoms of AnxietyAnxiety disorders can consist of a variety of symptoms that will depend on the individual and the severity of their anxiety. There are some common symptoms to look for to determine if you or someone you know is struggling with an anxiety disorder. Common anxiety symptoms include:3
- Avoiding situations that cause anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating
- Fast breathing (hyperventilation)
- Increased heart rate
- Not being able to stay calm or sit still
- Panic or fear
- Shaky hands or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Tense muscles
- Thinking about problems over and over
- Trouble sleeping
There are risks associated with prolonged symptoms of anxiety. These risks can negatively affect someone’s life in many ways which is why proper treatment and support are necessary to manage anxiety symptoms. Common risks associated with anxiety include:
- Chronic pain: Those who deal with anxiety are more likely to struggle with chronic pain. This issue is often due to a stress overload on the mind and body that leads to chronic joint or muscle pain.
- Depression: Those who struggle with anxiety are more likely to develop symptoms of depression. Both conditions can co-exist and can lead to worsening symptoms.
- Digestive problems: Anxiety can often lead to digestive problems that contribute to feelings of nausea or trouble eating.
- Insomnia: Mental health issues like anxiety are one of the main causes of insomnia. Lack of quality sleep will lead to a lack of energy and can make anxiety symptoms worse.
- Problems at school or work: Daily activities like school and work can feel very stressful for someone with anxiety. This issue can lead to poor performance in daily tasks that can have many negative effects.
- Social isolation: When someone struggles with anxiety, they may try to isolate themselves from social situations since these situations will often create feelings of worry or anxiousness.
- Substance abuse: When someone struggles with anxiety, they may lean on addictive substances as a form of self-medication, which can ultimately lead to worsening the symptoms of anxiety.
WHAT IS VALIUM?
Valium (diazepam) is a medication that can be used to treat anxiety as well as alcohol withdrawal and seizures. Valium also has a sedative effect that is useful for treating muscle spasms. Valium for anxiety works by calming the brain and nerves. Studies have shown that diazepam for anxiety is an effective anxiety medication that can help reduce anxiety symptoms for individuals who are struggling with this disorder.4
Generic NameValium is also known by the generic name diazepam. If someone takes the generic version diazepam for anxiety, they will receive the same effects as taking the brand name Valium. Diazepam belongs to the benzodiazepines drug class. Benzodiazepines are known as tranquilizers or sedative medications that can have a calming effect for those who struggle with anxiety.
How Long Does Valium Last?The effects of Valium last about four to six hours. However, the drug has a very long half-life that lasts about twenty to seventy hours. This means it will take up to six weeks before the drug will entirely leave the body.
WHAT IS VALIUM USED FOR?Valium is best known as an anti-anxiety medication. Valium for anxiety treatment is effective because of the sedative and calming effects it has on the mind and body.
FDA–Approved UsesValium is FDA-approved for short-term treatment of moderate to severe anxiety symptoms. Valium for anxiety is meant to be used as a short-term anxiety medication while you work with a medical professional on a long-term treatment plan.5
Non–FDA–Approved UsesValium is not FDA–approved for long-term anxiety treatment or for the treatment of less severe anxiety symptoms that are associated with everyday life. It is only meant as a temporary treatment option for those who have moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety.
Off-Label UsesValium may be used in certain instances that are known as off-label uses of the medication. Common off-label uses are sedation in the ICU and short-term treatment of spasticity in children who struggle with cerebral palsy.
Controlled SubstanceThe DEA classifies valium as a schedule IV controlled substance. Substances that fall under Schedule IV are drugs that have defined medical uses and have a low potential for abuse or risk of developing a dependence.
HOW FAST DOES VALIUM WORK FOR ANXIETY?When taking diazepam for anxiety, the amount of time it takes to kick in will vary depending on the individual, the dosage, and the type of diazepam being used. Valium anxiety pills that are taken orally will generally take fifteen to sixty minutes to kick in. If a Valium anxiety injection is taken, it will kick in much faster, approximately one to five minutes. However, since diazepam for anxiety has a longer half-life, it may take one to two weeks to feel the full effects of the medication.6
Valium Dosage for AnxietyThe Valium dosage for anxiety will vary depending on the individual and the severity of anxiety. When taken orally, Valium for anxiety may be taken in 2mg, 5mg, or 10mg tablets. These oral doses of Valium are generally taken between two to four times a day depending on the individual. When you are being prescribed Valium, your doctor will help you figure out what dosage is right for you to ensure the best possible results.7
Side Effects of ValiumSome Valium side effects may occur when you are taking Valium for anxiety. The type of side effects and severity will vary depending on the individual and their biological makeup. Due to the sedative effects that Valium has, it can cause symptoms of confusion, dizziness, fatigue, and lack of coordination. Other valium side effects that may occur are:
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness
Valium Interactions with Other DrugsIf you are prescribed diazepam for anxiety, you should let your doctor know about any other medications you are currently taking. Diazepam can have interactions with other drugs that range from mild to severe, so it is essential to avoid an adverse interaction to keep you safe and ensure you get the best results.
Many people who struggle with anxiety also struggle with depression, meaning they may be taking antidepressants if also prescribed Valium. Zoloft (sertraline), one of the most common antidepressants, is known to have a mild interaction with Valium.
If you are taking Zoloft or any other antidepressants, you should check with your doctor to see if they may have an interaction with Valium before taking it.
Prozac, another one of the most common antidepressants, is known to have a moderate interaction with Valium. You must let your doctor know if you are taking Prozac or any other antidepressants before taking Valium. Other medications that are known to have a moderate interaction with Valium are:
SevereSome medications may have severe interactions with Valium. Taking Valium with any of these drugs can lead to many negative side effects. Medications that are known to have severe interactions with Valium include:8
- Norco (acetaminophen / hydrocodone)
OTHER TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR ANXIETYIf you have anxiety that is less severe or you do not want to take medications for anxiety, there are other treatment options you can try. If you are taking Valium or other medications for anxiety, using these other treatment options can also help you make additional progress and learn to cope with anxiety symptoms.
Psychotherapy is a term used to describe treatment options for mental health that involve talking with a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health care providers. Psychotherapy sessions will help you learn about how your moods, thoughts, and behaviors are affecting your anxiety.
This treatment can help you reduce anxiety symptoms and develop effective coping mechanisms to manage anxiety during daily activities.
CBTCognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT) is a behavioral therapy that can be used to treat mental health conditions. A CBT therapist will help you learn how your thoughts affect your behaviors. Certain thinking patterns can often contribute to anxiety. Learning about your thought patterns can help with emotional regulation and learning coping strategies to deal with anxiety in your everyday life.
Family therapy can be useful for those whose anxiety stems from issues within the family, or if you want your family to act as a support system as you work on learning to manage anxiety symptoms. Through family therapy, all family members will be educated about anxiety, how it affects your life, and ways they can act as a support system to help you make progress.
Home RemediesOther home remedies may also be helpful when treating anxiety. These are things you can practice on your own that will lead to a healthier mind and body.
Exercise is a positive physical activity that is known to be good for both your mental and physical health. Participating in a regular exercise program will help you create healthier habits, give you energy, and build confidence that can help you better manage anxiety symptoms.
Yoga and Tai Chi
Yoga and tai chi are other activities that can help with both mental and physical health. These activities are often very relaxing and can have a very calming effect on those who struggle with anxiety.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness can also have a calming effect on people struggling with anxiety. Participating in regular meditation or mindfulness activities will help you become more grounded and develop more positive thought patterns that will help manage anxiety symptoms.