• ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology
  • ADHD books published by NorthEast Books & Publishing, by Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology


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Book covers in this column are Amazon-linked (off-site). The small percentage of revenues from the purchase of books from Amazon.com or any other source helps to support the not-for-profit activities of the AYCNP. Unless otherwise stated, all text links are on-site to AYCNP pages.

A Life Less Anxious: Freedom from panic attacks and social anxiety without drugs or therapy by Steve Pavilanis, Patricia Alma Lee

A Life Less Anxious is genuine and practical. In a day and age where we "medicate first and ask questions later" it is great to have a resource to help people deal with their anxiety using proven techniques .... I highly recommend this book! --Tim Ursiny, PH.D., Founder, Advantage Coaching & Training

Panic Attacks Workbook: A Guided Program by David Carbonell

With methods and exercises based on the author's extensive clinical experience, Panic Attacks Workbook helps people understand the true nature of their panic attacks. It demonstrates the vicious cycle of habitual responses that lead to debilitating attacks, teaches how to halt this self-destructive process, and guides people along a proven path that promotes recovery.

David Carbonell outlines such cognitive behavioral methods as diaphragmatic breathing, progressive exposure, desensitization, relaxation, keeping a panic diary, and much more. Dr. David Carbonell is the founder and director of the Anxiety Treatment Center in Chicago and New York.

Principles and Practice of Stress Management (Third Edition) by Paul M. Lehrer PhD, Robert L. Woolfolk Phd, Wesley E. Sime PhD, David H. Barlow PhD

"This unusually comprehensive volume provides exceptionally broad coverage of a wide variety of stress management methods. Chapters are well organized and include theoretical foundations, reviews of the empirical literature, discussion of clinical issues, and illustrative case studies. This book will be a valuable resource for clinicians and researchers and a useful text for graduate courses on stress management."--Ruth A. Baer, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky

Stress Relief Today: Causes, Effects, and Management Techniques That Can Improve Your Life, D. K. Jefferson

The various types of stress are considered, as well as the universally common stressors. Jefferson gives practical advice for managing, reducing, and dealing with the things in our lives that keep us in a state of stress.

Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation, by Charles Barber

Comfortably Numb is an interesting general analysis of how antidepressant use has become so prevalent. Facts and information such as that women are prescribed much more in the way of antidepressants, that one in three women that goes to the doctor receives an antidepressant prescription for one reason or another.

Also, that family doctors are the largest prescribers of antidepressants, and that more often than not, there is no follow up care, and no serious information provided on potential side effects or dangers. Instructions on taking prescription drugs such as antidepressants are often lacking.

Barber describes how the DSM-IV psychiatric manual evolved, and how the DSM-III, which changed the face of the DSM diagnoses, as well as the face of modern psychiatry, was developed by one man, Robert Spitzer of Columbia. Informative reading and research.

Page updated: December 1, 2012

Anti Anxiety Medication: Effects and Side Effects

Anti-Anxiety Medication (minor tranquilizers)

Psychiatric Drugs-Types, Side Effects

Ativan - One of many anti-anxiety drugs
Ativan - Photo: Nsaum75. Wikimedia Commons

Most of the medications used to treat anxiety or as a sleep aid are classed as benzodiazepines, which include drugs such as Xanax and Valium (diazepam), along with others.

Benzodiazepines are sometimes prescribed for those with bipolar disorder (manic depression) to help regulate sleep, to alleviate anxiety, and to help with extreme manic episodes.

Benzodiazepine medications all act to depress the central nervous system. Various medications in the family are used.

  • Treatment of Anxiety - but not the type of anxiety brought about by everyday stresses and strains

  • Insomnia treatment- short-term treatment only

  • Relieve or reduce muscle spasms

  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms

  • Panic disorders

  • Epilepsy seizure treatment and other convulsive disorders
  • Above use list: About.com

    Anti Anxiety Medication:

    Generic: meprobamate
    Trade Name: Miltown, Equanil (rarely used today).

    Generic: diazepam
    Trade Name: Valium,

    Generic: chlordiazepoxide Librium

    Generic: flurazepam Dalmane

    Generic: oxazepam Serax

    Generic: clorazepate Tranxene

    Generic: alprazolam Xanax

    Generic: clonazepan Klonopin

    Generic: triazolan Halcion

    Generic: temazepan Restoril

    Generic: lorazepan Ativan

    Use: Nonpsychotic personality problems in which anxiety, tension or panic attacks are prominent features; also used as anticovulsants and as sleep-inducers (especially flurazepam, triazolan, and temazepan).

    Effects and Side Effects:
    Somewhat variable in achieving intended purpose of tension reduction. Used often to treat alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Side effects include drowsiness and lethargy.

    Recurrence rate is very high as one discontinues use of anti anxiety medication,
    up to 80%.Benzodiazepines may be habit-forming, causing physical and/or mental dependence if taken over a long period of time or in high doses.

    Withdrawal effects, especially if discontinued abruptly, can be severe. They may include:

    Benzodiazepines may be habit-forming, causing physical and/or mental dependence if taken over a long period of time or in high doses. Withdrawal effects, especially if discontinued abruptly, can be severe. They may include:

    Irritability; nervousness; trouble in sleeping (most common, even in slow withdrawal)
    Abdominal or stomach cramps
    Fast or pounding heartbeat
    Increased sense of hearing
    Increased sensitivity to touch and pain
    Increased sensitivity to light (eyes)
    Increased sweating
    Loss of sense of reality
    Muscle cramps
    Nausea / vomiting
    Tingling, burning, or prickly sensations
    Trembling / shaking
    Convulsions / seizures

    Withdrawal symptoms can be minimized by tapering the medication off slowly.

    New anxiolytics
    buspirone - Buspar
    Description: BuSpar (buspirone hydrochloride tablets, USP) is an anti anxiety agent that is not chemically or pharmacologically related to the benzodiazepines, barbiturates, or other sedative/anxiolytic drugs.

    Use: Generalized anxiety disorder
    Effects take 1-4 weeks to occur. Not useful in treating acute anxiety. Not addictive or sedating.

    Barbiturates are used in treating symptoms of epilepsy and seizures, and in the past were used heavily for anxiety and sleep. They are still used at times for sleep. However, because of the high potential for addiction an overdoes, they are not used often for treating anxiety today.

    Beta-blockers control some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as trembling and sweating. Propranolol (Inderal) is a beta-blocker usually used to treat heart conditions and high blood pressure. The medicine also helps people who have physical problems related to anxiety. For example, when a person with social phobia must face a stressful situation, such as giving a speech, or attending an important meeting, a doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker. Taking the medicine for a short period of time can help the person keep physical symptoms under control.

    Hypnotic drugs are sleep medications. This prescription is used to treat several types of sleep problems - difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and waking up too early in the morning.

    Some drugs in other categories, such as antidepressants, may also have a sedating effect.

    Tranquilizers and How They Work - Potential Problems

    Depressants decrease the rate of brain activity. Alcohol prevents some nerve cells from starting action potential. This calms some parts of the brain that sense fears, and relaxes the individual. Long-term use (of depressant drugs) can lead to problems. Depressant drugs reduce effects of natural inhibitors of these neurons (nerve cells). As a result, the user comes to depend on the drug to relieve the anxieties of every day life, which may seem unbearable without the drug. From the book, Biology, The Living Science, (2000). Miller, Levine. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

    Anti Anxiety Medications References

    1. Anti-Anxiety and Sedative Drugs. (Retrieved June 25, 2009). About.com.

    2. Biology, The Living Science, (2000). Miller, Levine. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

    3. Carson, C. C., Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S. (2000). Abnormal Psychology and Modern Life. Eleventh Edition. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. p. 635.

    4. Medications to treat anxiety. (June 15, 2009). NIMH. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/what-medications-are-used-to-treat-anxiety-disorders.shtml

    Two books for overcoming anxiety with exercise

    Exercise for Mood and Anxiety: Proven Strategies for Overcoming Depression and Enhancing Well-Being Michael Otto Ph.D., Jasper A.J. Smits Ph.D.

    Exercise has long been touted anecdotally as an effective tool for mood improvement, but only recently has rigorous science caught up with these claims. There is now overwhelming evidence that regular exercise can help relieve low mood-from feelings of stress and anxiety to full depressive episodes.

    Conquering Depression and Anxiety Through Exercise Keith Johnsgard

    Exercise has proven to be of benefit in self-help for depression and other mental health disorders. Regular exercise can help stabilize bipolar disorder, and relieve symptoms of ADHD and anxiety. This book endeavors to provide clinical proof that exercise is effective in treating depression and provides numerous case studies as well as clinical studies.