The treatment options for anxiety, depression, or both depend upon a person’s individual symptoms and how their condition affects their quality of life.
A doctor may treat both conditions with psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both.
In many states, a nurse practitioner of psychiatry will prescribe antidepressants to treat depression or anxiety.
Examples of such medications include:
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine or escitalopram
- serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, such as venlafaxine or duloxetine
- tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline or nortriptyline
Some doctors may prescribe a short-term dosage of anxiolytic medications to help treat anxiety. These include alprazolam and diazepam. However, they tend not to suggest using these drugs for a very long time, as they are associated with abuse.
According to an article in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, an estimated 55–94% of people with anxiety in the United States take benzodiazepines. However, these can cause dependence and do not offer a long-term solution.
Most medications have side effects, so doctors should be sure to discuss the potential risks and benefits of taking these medications.
According to an article in the journal Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, cognitive behavioral therapy is a therapeutic approach that has the most substantial level of evidence related to its effectiveness in treating anxiety.
This is a type of therapy that involves a person reflecting on their thoughts and behaviors, then identifying how they can make changes that improve their symptoms.
Herbs and supplements
According to a 2017 systematic review, researchers have studied the benefits of several herbs and supplements in treating anxiety and depression.
Some commonly studied herbs include:
- lavender oil
- valerian extract
Herbal remedies may be helpful for some people, but research suggesting that they are as effective as pharmaceutical medications is currently lacking.
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