If you suffer from anxiety, then you’re probably familiar with at least one of the following medication to help manage your condition. Most therapy for general anxiety disorder (GAD) consists of a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
While drugs won’t actually cure anxiety, they can be instrumental in helping someone suffering from GAD to better manage the disorder and lead a more normal life.
Category #1: Benzodiazepines
These are sedatives that relax our muscles and calm our minds. They enhance the efficiency of our neurotransmitters. These drugs include:
- Xanax – boosts GABA to create a calming effect in our brain. It is highly addictive.
- Librium – works directly on the Central Nervous System. It can worsen anxiety and depression. It can also create suicidal thoughts. It has an FDA Black Box warning. It’s a dangerous drug.
- Valium – Increases GABA activity. Interferes with judgement and slows down thinking. It also has an FDA Black Box warning.
- Ativan – boosts GABA in the brain. It effects both breathing and heart rate and can slow it down to a dangerous level.
Category #2 Buspirone
These are a class of drugs that effect various chemicals in our brain. They are used for short-term as well as chronic conditions to regulate mood.
Buspar – It has been withdrawn from sale in the US by the FDA in 2010.
Category #3 Antidepressants
These are a class of drugs that work by balancing chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotions. These depression medicines can help improve your mood, help you sleep better, and increase your appetite and concentration.
Prozac – Increases the amount of serotonin to help maintain it in balance within the brain. It is addictive and can cause suicidal thoughts.
Zoloft – A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It increases the amount of serotonin in our brain. It has a variety of side effects including drowsiness, insomnia, nausea, diarrhea, tremors & suicidal thoughts.
Lexapro – It works by helping to restore the balance of serotonin in our brain. It can, in addition to all the side effects of Zoloft, cause heartburn, upset stomach and constipation.
Category #4 Natural Remedies
There are ways to reduce anxiety without resorting to dangerous drugs. These natural ways include:
Reducing alcohol intake, caffeine, and tobacco smoking. Restful sleep practices, meditation, and deep breathing. Healthy eating, drinking herbal teas, aromatherapy, and exercise.
CBD oil also has been effective in the reduction of anxiety and many anecdotal studies have been performed with positive proof of the efficacy of CBD oil in reducing anxiety symptoms. More clinical studies are needed and as CBD becomes more accepted, we will begin to see more studies from individuals who have been tirelessly supporting research on the effects of CBD to the human Endocannabinoid System.