A combination of medication and therapy is the best way to calm anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or talk therapy is the most common treatment for those affected by anxiety disorders. In fact, research has found CBT to be highly effective in the treatment of several types of anxiety disorders.
Medication often used to treat anxiety may include:
Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are not a standard option, but doctors sometimes prescribe them. It’s important to note that they are habit-forming sedatives for many individuals. If your doctor does decide to prescribe them, it will be for short-term use only. If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse, let your doctor know as you should avoid taking this medication.
Buspirone. Buspirone is a medication made explicitly for the treatment of anxiety. This is a type of antidepressant that you will need to take daily and long-term. It may not produce results for a few weeks.
Antidepressants. Antidepressants, such as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are among the choice to treat anxiety. Specific medications doctors may prescribe, include venlafaxine, escitalopram, and duloxetine.
Meditation can also be quite effective in calming anxiety. In fact, research suggests that even a single meditation session can help ease anxiety. Besides meditation, yoga has also been proven helpful in reducing anxiety. Research has also found that regular, high-intensity exercise programs can help reduce anxiety.
There are also a few things to do on your own to ease your anxiety symptoms. Deep breathing can help regain control if you experience breathing issues as a symptom. You can either do the breathing alone or as part of a meditation.
Either way, you want to focus on taking a deep breath in, holding it for a few seconds, and then releasing it slowly. Keep repeating this until you feel your body relax.
To help you determine if you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, take Monarch’s 2-minute, free anxiety quiz.
Need to find a therapist near you? Check out the Monarch Directory by SimplePractice to find licensed mental health therapists with availability and online booking.