Young woman suffering from a severe depression/anxiety (color toby Tracy Schelle, Psy NPStrategies for Success

Anxiety is a feeling everyone experiences. People with excessive anxiety often fear they do not have the ability to cope with stressful situations and may experience chronic worry. Physical symptoms of anxiety may include:  rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, restlessness, muscle tension, nausea, and headache.  Someone with anxiety may have negative thoughts about themselves, the situation, and their ability to cope.  If left unaddressed, this uncontrolled anxiety can impact a person’s physical and mental health.  Anxiety is treatable and recommendations for treatment may include medication, therapy, or a combination of the two.

Benzodiazepines, buspirone, antidepressants, or a combination of these medications may be prescribed to treat anxiety.  Benzodiazepines are effective at rapidly decreasing anxiety symptoms but can result in addiction, sedation, and impaired coordination, so these medications should be not be used for extended periods.  Buspirone and antidepressants are not addictive or sedating, but take a few weeks to work fully.  Some antidepressants are recommended as first line treatment for anxiety disorders due to the tolerability and effectiveness of these medications.  The best treatment outcomes for anxiety usually come from a combined approach of medication and counseling.

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