Treatment For Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The good news for anyone suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is that there are a number of effective treatment options available. While it sometimes takes a bit of time and works to find the treatment or combination of treatments that offer the most benefit, most GAD sufferers will find something that works to help keep their constant anxiety manageable and under control.

Some type of therapy is almost always indicated for people with GAD, with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) recognized as one of the most effective. In CBT, patients learn to evaluate and alter the patterns of thinking that are perpetuating their anxiety. CBT therapists teach techniques for controlling physical and mental responses to anxiety, as well as skills like time management and problem-solving that help to increase feelings of control.

For people who need a bit of additional help, there are medication options that can be effective for anxiety control. There are three main types of commonly prescribed anxiety medications, each with advantages and disadvantages:

Benzodiazepines are a fast-acting anxiety drug that is very effective in treating symptoms, but they are best used sparingly for episodes of very severe anxiety because they are known to cause both physical and psychological dependence with frequent use.

The anti-anxiety drug Buspirone is a safer and non-addictive alternative for treating anxiety. It only lessens anxiety symptoms rather than eliminating them entirely, and does not work immediately like benzodiazepines.

Antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft are a common choice for a more long-term treatment strategy, especially among people with both anxiety and depression. They take up to 6 weeks to reach full effectiveness.

Most experts agree that for long-term success in treating GAD, it is important to incorporate some type of therapy into your treatment. A doctor or therapist can help you determine what combination of treatment options will lead to the best outcome for you.

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