Medication

Antidepressants

Antidepressants were developed to treat depression but are also effective for anxiety disorders. Although these medications begin to alter brain chemistry after the very first dose, their full effect requires a series of changes to occur; it is usually about 4 to 6 weeks before symptoms start to fade. It is important to continue taking these medications long enough to let them work.

Examples of antidepressants:

SSRIs
Tricyclics
MAOIs

Anti-Anxiety Drugs

High-potency benzodiazepines combat anxiety and have few side effects other than drowsiness. Because people can get used to them and may need higher and higher doses to get the same effect, benzodiazepines are generally prescribed for short periods of time, especially for people who have abused drugs or alcohol and who become dependent on medication easily. One exception to this rule is people with panic disorder, who can take benzodiazepines for up to a year without harm.

Clonazepam (Klonopin®) is used for social phobia and GAD, lorazepam (Ativan®) is helpful for panic disorder, and alprazolam (Xanax®) is useful for both panic disorder and GAD.

Some people experience withdrawal symptoms if they stop taking benzodiazepines abruptly instead of tapering off, and anxiety can return once the medication is stopped. These potential problems have led some physicians to shy away from using these drugs or to use them in inadequate doses.

Buspirone (Buspar®), an azapirone, is a newer anti-anxiety medication used to treat GAD. Possible side effects include dizziness, headaches, and nausea. Unlike benzodiazepines, buspirone must be taken consistently for at least 2 weeks to achieve an anti-anxiety effect.

Examples of anti-anxiety drugs:

Beta-blockers

For more information on medications for mental health, please click here.

Back to previous page

Almost Anxious

 

It is only human to worry about problems in our lives - but for some, obsessing for weeks and months, avoiding social events and situations due to feelings of panic can become a regular part of our lives. If any of these describe you or a loved one, then you or they may be almost anxious.
Read more

Praise

This book is a wonderful resource for anyone who has ever wondered if they are “a bit too anxious” and if there is anything they can do to feel more at peace. The text offers clear, scientifically-based information about adaptive levels of anxiety, anxiety disorders, and that “almost anxious” space in between. The use of diagrams, self-assessment tests, and self-help treatment forms guide the reader in a search to gain understanding of his or her symptoms, and the means to lessen their severity and impact. The best thing about this book, however, is Dr. Marques’ voice, energy, and engaging personality. You never feel as though you are stuck in an advanced psychology seminar. Rather, reading this book is like sitting with Dr. Marques in her beautiful office, overlooking the Boston skyline, and having a lovely, personal chat.

Risa B. Weisberg, Ph.D.
Associate Professor (Research)
Brown University

View all

This is simply a great book. It brings together so much information about anxiety and worry, even if it is “just” almost, and it does so in a way that is easy to understand and apply to one’s own life. The techniques presented for coping with anxiety and worry are practical, pragmatic, easily applied, and likely to be very helpful. This is an important book for persons troubled by anxiety and worry.

Richard G. Heimberg, PhD
David Kipnis Distinguished Faculty Fellow
Professor and Director
Adult Anxiety Clinic of Temple (AACT)
Department of Psychology
Temple University

View all

Whether you are almost anxious or suffer from a full-blown anxiety disorder, this book provides concrete and proven cognitive and behavioral strategies for effectively dealing with the debilitating problems of anxiety. Dr. Marques, an expert clinician, wrote a masterful book that provides the reader with the knowledge and skills to turn the scary anxiety monster into a harmless pet. It is a must-read for any consumer.

Stefan G. Hofmann, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
Boston University
and Author
An Introduction to Modern CBT (Wiley, 2012)

View all

One of the main goals of effective therapy for individuals with anxiety disorders is to “give away” as much of the treatment as possible – to have the patient themselves take over the role of therapist. In Almost Anxious, Dr Luana Marques, herself a master clinician and researcher, provides patients and their family members with critical insights and important tools that they can use to more effectively help themselves on the road to better health

Mark H. Pollack, M.D.
The Grainger Professor and
Chairman, Department of Psychiatry
Rush University Medical Center

View all

Almost Anxious is an engaging, informative, and evidence-based book. Accessible to the general reader, it provides an abundance of useful tips for people struggling to cope with symptoms of anxiety.

Richard J. McNally, Ph.D.
Professor, Harvard University
Author, “What is Mental Illness?”

View all