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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Relieving Anxiety Attacks

06/28/2004

Question:

I`ve had anxiety attacks for the past 2 years, from stress, what can you do to make these goes away? Breathing, etc. I haven`t had any help from my primary care physician. Thank you

Answer:

The two most successful forms of treatment for anxiety are medications and therapy.  The medications most studied, and most effective, are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are also useful for depression.  These medications include prozac, zoloft, celexa, lexapro and others.  The medications take a while to take effect (weeks) and often doses need to be slowly raised for several months before the anxiety decreases as much as wanted.

Therapy, especially what is called "cognitive-behavioral therapy,' also is very effective in treating depression.  Again, therapy often takes several months to achieve a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms.

If you don't feel you are getting success with your primary care physician, either bring him some information about anxiety treatment, seek a second opinion from another primary care physician, or seek help from a mental health professional.

Good luck.

Related Resources:

anxiety disorders of america
NIH NIMH anxiety

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati