Sedative, hypnotic or anxiolytic dependence can be caused by a variety of factors including genetic predisposition, environmental stressors, and drug misuse. The use of these drugs for a prolonged period of time can lead to physical and psychological dependence.
To diagnose sedative, hypnotic or anxiolytic dependence, a patient will be evaluated to determine the severity of their symptoms and the amount of drug use. The patient will also be assessed for the presence of any co-occurring mental health issues. Diagnosis is based on criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Differential diagnosis is used to rule out other possible causes of the patient’s symptoms. These conditions include substance abuse, sleep disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
Treatment for sedative, hypnotic or anxiolytic dependence typically involves a combination of medications, counseling, and lifestyle changes. Medications may include benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Counseling and psychotherapy can help the patient deal with the underlying issues that led to their dependence. Lifestyle changes may include avoiding the use of substances and engaging in healthy activities such as exercise, yoga, and meditation.
With proper treatment, sedative, hypnotic or anxiolytic dependence can be successfully managed and sustained full remission can be achieved. Treatment success is dependent on the patient’s commitment to recovery and ability to maintain lifestyle changes.