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 determine if you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, take our 2-Minute Anxiety Online Assessment.
If you suspect you might be living with an anxiety disorder, be sure to talk with your primary care physician and/or a licensed mental health counselor about your concerns.
The Monarch Directory by SimplePractice can help you find a licensed mental health professional near you who specializes in anxiety.
Talk therapy or psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT),can help us manage our anxiety by learning coping strategies and diving into what needs to change in the present to help us cope better.
CBT helps us focus on our thought processes and behaviors.
When we understand what is driving our anxiety, we're in a better place to cope with anxiety in a healthy way.
While it may be possible for our anxiety to be successfully treated with only medication or only therapy, in most cases, a combination of both treatments is recommended.