Anxiety is a symptom that can be part of different mental illnesses within anxiety disorders. These include panic disorder, agoraphobia, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder or phobia, and generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety usually occurs associated with somatic complaints, such as palpitations, tremor and sweating, which indicates hyperactivation of the autonomic nervous system.
Anxiety can have multiple causes, so it is necessary to first rule out an organic origin before establishing its mental origin. Once its psychological cause is clear, it is usual to begin treatment through psychotherapy or psychotropic drugs. Because the beneficial effects of psychotherapy take time to appear and it is usually difficult to lower the level of anxiety, most people agree to start treatment with psychotropic drugs concomitantly, in order to reduce discomfort more quickly.
The most accepted psychological treatments for the treatment of anxiety are cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Regarding treatment with psychotropic drugs, the most common indication is the use of an antidepressant associated with a benzodiazepine.
Usually, when the anxiety is acute, the treatment of choice consists of Benzodiazepines. In case the anxiety is persistent, the concomitant use of antidepressants is preferred to achieve greater effectiveness. Whenever there is insomnia associated, it is necessary to minimize this problem since it is not possible to reduce anxiety if sleep is not previously normalized.