There are basically two main treatments for GAD or generalized anxiety disorders. They are medications and psychotherapy. While in some patients only drugs are given, there are others who are treated only with psychotherapy. Quite often both the options are used for better results. Let us have a look at the various medications that are used for treating GAD.
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Generalised Anxiety Disorder Treatment
There are several types of medications that are used for treating GAD.
Antidepressants play a big role in influencing the activity of chemicals in the brain which is also referred to as neurotransmitters. A few examples of antidepressants are Paroxetine, Sertraline and Venlafaxine, which come in different brand names.
Busiprone is also a commonly used anti-anxiety drug which is usually given on a long term basis. As is the case with most of the antidepressants it could take several days before the effects could be seen on patients. However Busiprone has a few side effects such as nervousness, headaches, insomnia and nausea.
Benzodiazepines are also used in limited dosages for short term relief from the various problems associated with anxiety related symptoms. A few examples of benzodiazepines include Lorazepam (Ativan), Diazepam (Valium), Chlordiazepoxide (Librium) and Alprazolam (Xanax). The problem with benzodiazepines is that they become habit forming and could cause a number of side effects such as drowsiness, reduction in muscle coordination, memory and balance problems, etc. There are some medical practitioners who could also try out unapproved medicines for treating GAD symptoms. Using such drugs is legal way to treat GAD.
Psychotherapy is also known as talk therapy and psychological counseling. This method of treatment involves finding out the main reasons for stress and anxiety and addressing it through changes in behaviors. It is considered to be one of the most effective methods of treating GAD.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is another effective and frequently used method of psychotherapy for addressing problems related to GAD. This is however a short term treatment. It focuses on teaching the patient certain specific skills which helps him or her to identify negative thoughts and behaviors and makes them replace the same with positive thought and behaviors. Though it may not be able to change an undesirable situation completely, it can help a lot in reducing stress and enable the patients to take better control o their lives.
At the end of the day, there is no doubt that treating GAD has to be a multi pronged approach of medication, CBT and psychotherapy.