Medication Management for Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder pic
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Dr. Lester Sandman, who runs a referral-based private psychiatry practice in Washington state, develops medication-based treatment plans for patients with mental illnesses. Lester Sandman, MD, has developed such plans for individuals with varying forms of anxiety disorders.

An individual with generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, experiences chronic worry that is out of proportion to the topic of concern. They may feel extremely nervous about such everyday issues as money, work, or parenting, and they report being unable to control these feelings. For such patients, anti-anxiety medications or antidepressants may be effective in achieving that control.

Many antidepressants used for anxiety are selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), which improve mood by increasing the amount of serotonin available in the brain. Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI’s) also stand out as common primary prescriptions for GAD. These drugs have an effect similar to that of an SSRI but also act on a second brain chemical.

Some patients, however, require one or more of a variety of medications, some off- label for anxiety disorders. Benzodiazepines are used for the short term, but in long term use have problems with dependence & sometimes addiction. Often there is also psychological learning & a “fear of fear cycle”. Fear of fear requires “unlearning” either through time after medication treatment or through cognitive behavioral psychotherapy. No one drug will work for all patients, and it is important to seek the advice of a qualified psychiatrist before beginning any treatment regimen.


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A licensed psychiatrist, Dr. Lester Sandman claims more than 20 years of experience in the treatment of patients coping with mood and anxiety disorders. Dr. Sandman was educated at the University of Washington, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Psychology in 1974; and at Antioch University, where he received a Master of Arts in Psychology in 1977. After earning his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1986, Dr. Sandman completed an internship and residency in psychiatry at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Following the completion of his of his Residency, Dr. Lester Sandman served as a Senior Teaching Fellow for the Department of Psychiatry at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and as an Administrative Chief Resident at Walter Reed Medical Center. From 1989 to 1993, Dr. Sandman served as an Instructor for Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, teaching medical students, interns, and physician assistants at three hospitals. Over the course of his tenure with the military, Dr. Lester Sandman was recognized on several occasions for excellence and dedication above and beyond the call of duty. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Dr. Sandman was deployed to Saudi Arabia as the 86th Evacuation Hospital’s Chief of Psychiatry Service. His support of the Army’s 18th Corps during the war earned him the Army Commendation Medal. While serving as the Chief of the Department of Psychiatry in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Dr. Sandman received the Meritorious Service Medal for his implementation of programs that resulted in budgetary savings of $1 million. In addition, Dr. Lester Sandman was awarded an additional Army Commendation Medal for his work as the Chief of Inpatient Services for the Department of Psychiatry at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado. Dr. Sandman moved to the state of Washington in 1993, where he has lived since, and began his private practice in Bellevue. He also at various times worked for Social Security Disability Services, and Fairfax Hospital in Kirkland. Since 1998, Dr. Lester Sandman has devoted his time exclusively to his private practice, where he specializes in medication management for the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in addition to providing consultations services for local primary-care physicians.

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