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How is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) treated in veterans?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a type of anxiety disorder, and anxiety disorders are usually treated with either psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. Many doctors consider medication with antidepressants to be the first line of approach to GAD in veterans. The antidepressants most often prescribed for GAD are the SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Brand names of SSRIs include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and Lexapro. SSRIs relieve anxiety symptoms by blocking the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin in the brain. This makes more serotonin available in the brain, which improves your mood and reduces anxiety.

Therapy can be extremely useful in the treatment of GAD, in particular cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Some studies have even suggested that therapy is as effective as medication in treating GAD for most people. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps GAD patients see and understand distortions in the way that they perceive the world and the people around them. These distorted views greatly contribute to the chronic “worst-case scenario” anxiety experienced with GAD.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.