Anxiety: Do You Need Medication?

Are there alternatives to prescriptions for anxiety?Are you stressed? The answer is probably yes.

How are you dealing with your stress? Would you say you’re coping fairly well? Or like many people, do you go through the day with too much worry and tension?

Nearly 7 million Americans deal with exaggerated worry and tension on a long-term basis. This condition is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD. Many people with GAD are able to get through their lives relatively well, without need for additional help. However, others would like to consider treatments for their anxiety.

We should first state that if you feel your anxiety is causing disruption to your life, and you have been dealing with feelings of unfounded worry and tension for months, it is best to speak with your doctor about your health right away. Only you and your physician can determine if you are in need of medication.

Anti-anxiety medications, when used properly, can often work beautifully to decrease overwhelming feelings of anger, worry and tension. For others though, medications may not be the proper solution. What are other options you can consider to deal with anxiety besides prescription drugs? Dr. Charles Raison believes there are several options that work well.


Physcotherapy, or counseling, has been studied extensively as a treatment for depression and anxiety. The results of years of research shows that counseling by a qualified professional can bring about a huge change in our way of thinking and reacting to the world around us. Of particular note is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); a method of counseling that teaches the patient to be aware of their inner feelings and reactions to those feelings. It is very important that a patient finds a professional with whom he or she feels mutual respect. Usually, within a few weeks patients begin to lessened anxiety.


Is there nothing that exercise cannot cure? Studies show that exercise can be very beneficial in reducing anxious feelings. Both aerobic and strength training exercises are helpful, though a combination of the two seems to be most effective. Many people will feel improvement with moderate exercise, but for full effect, get your heart pumping 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Supplements That Show Promise

Two supplements that have done well in certain studies to treat anxiety and depression are SAMe and L-methylfolate. Though these supplements have been tested as an additional treatment along with prescription medications, Dr. Raison and others believe that the supplements may work by themselves. More data is needed to prove this conclusively.

Supplements That May Work

The following supplements have inconclusive evidence to substantiate a claim of treating anxiety or depression effectively. However, some evidence does suggest that the supplements may benefit those with anxiety.

  • St. John’s Wort
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • N-acetyl-cysteine

We hope that this information has been helpful to you. Remember – before starting any course of treatment for anxiety or depression, speak with your health care provider or your pharmacist to rule out unwanted and dangerous side effects.

We care about your health! Don’t waste your days by being anxious – there is help available, whether in prescription or other form. Talk to your health care provider and seek options.


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