Medication for Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health condition in the United States. It affects approximately 18% of the adult population (40 million people). What is a good medication for anxiety is a common question and now there are alternatives to consider as well.
Those who have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders know that medication can be a necessary addition to manage symptoms. If medication is recommended by a doctor, the prescription usually falls into one of four major categories:
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs block the “reuptake”, or reabsorption, of serotonin (the happiness and wellbeing chemical) in the brain, allowing for more serotonin to be available. Common SSRIs include Prozac and Zoloft. These are commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, and are thought to be a relatively safe medication compared to others. However, side effects of SSRI medications vary, and often include negatively impacting sleep, digestive issues, and reduced sex drive.
Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Similar to the category above, SNRIs block the reabsorption of both serotonin and norepinephrine (a stress chemical that helps you focus and pay attention). Common SNRIs include Cymbalta, and the side effects are roughly the same as those above. Some SNRIs may cause an increase in blood pressure. Like SSRIs, SNRIs are considered some of the less-risky medications for anxiety and depression.
Medications For Anxiety
Tricyclic Antidepressants: Tricyclic Antidepressants were one of the first medications developed to treat depression and anxiety. They operate similar to SNRIs while also affecting various other chemical messengers in the brain. These antidepressants come with significant side effects and is considered one of the least-safe options for treating anxiety and depression symptoms. These side effects can include weight gain, blurred vision, tremors, and increased seizures for those who experience seizures.
Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines are sedatives, or tranquilizers, that are generally prescribed as short term solutions to anxiety and depression symptoms by alleviating physical tension within the body. Long term use can lead to an array of issues involving tolerance and dependence on the substance. Common forms of benzodiazepines are Valium and Xanax. They are misused and abused and can be lethal when mixed with alcohol.
Find a full list of side effects here
Many people with anxiety and depression are looking for an alternative to the synthetic.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural substance from the hemp plant, known to treat symptoms of both anxiety and depression. In fact, research suggests that CBD could even act as a healthy replacement for many of these medications. Side effects of CBD are generally minimal to nonexistent in users, but can include drowsiness, light headedness, and dry mouth.
Of course, it is always recommended to consult your doctor before adding CBD to your lifestyle. It is not recommended to stop taking any prescribed medications for anxiety or depression until you consult with your doctor.
While general society tends to stigmatize mental health conditions, it is not shameless or weak to seek out medical treatment for anxiety disorders. CBD is an all-natural substance that comes in a variety of forms to fit in with your daily lifestyle and support overall health and wellbeing.
If you are interested in learning more about CBD, or would like to try it out for yourself, you can visit our store here.