Generalized Anxiety Disorder - Topic Overview
How is it treated?
Generalized anxiety disorder is treated with
medicines and/or therapy.
The two kinds of therapy that are
used to treat generalized anxiety disorder are called applied relaxation
therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. In applied
relaxation therapy, your therapist might ask you to imagine a calming situation
to help you relax. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, your therapist will help
you learn how to recognize and replace thoughts that make you feel
stressed and worried.
Some of the medicines that are used to treat
generalized anxiety disorder are:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as
fluoxetine and sertraline, and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs),
such as duloxetine and venlafaxine. These are the most common medicine types to treat generalized anxiety disorder. These medicines usually take several weeks to a few months to work
- Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam or diazepam.
- Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as imipramine.
- Buspirone, which is often used with other medicines
to treat generalized anxiety disorder.
- Trifluoperazine, an antipsychotic medicine.
Some medicines work better for some people than
for others. Be sure to talk with your doctor about how the medicine is working for
you. Sometimes you might need to try more than one type of medicine before you
find one that works best for you.
Taking medicines for anxiety during pregnancy may
increase the risk of birth defects. If you are pregnant, or thinking of
becoming pregnant, talk to your doctor. You may need to keep taking the medicine if
your anxiety is severe. But your doctor can help you weigh the risks of treatment
against the risk of harm to your pregnancy.
for generalized anxiety disorder helps reduce the symptoms. Some people might
feel less worried and stressed after a couple months of treatment. And some
people might not feel better until after a year or more.
Unfortunately, many people don't seek treatment for anxiety disorders.
You may not seek treatment because you think the symptoms are not bad enough or
that you can work things out on your own. But getting treatment is important.
If you need help deciding whether to see your doctor, see
some reasons why people don't get help and read about how to overcome them.