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Anxiety Message Board

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There are two types of medications usually prescribed for anxiety: SSRIs and benzodiazepines, and they work in totally different ways.

SSRI stands for "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor." Serotonin is a chemical that affects your mood. If you don't have enough serotonin in your brain, you can feel depressed or anxious. SSRIs allowed more serotonin to be available so that your mood isn't affected so much. These are drugs like Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Prozac, Lexapro.

Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers. They depress the activity in a certain part of your brain. They slow down your central nervous system. So, they calm you almost immediately, kind of in the way that alcohol does. Xanax, Klonopin and Valium are all benzos.

But you're right, medications often can't change the things you think, so therapy is important.

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