Advertising & Sponsorship PolicyOpportunitiesAd Choices Care at Mayo Clinic Our caring team of Mayo Clinic experts can help you with your generalized anxiety disorder-related health concerns Start Here Treatment Treatment decisions are based on how significantly generalized anxiety disorder is affecting your ability to function in your daily life. The two main treatments for generalized anxiety disorder are psychotherapy and medications. You may benefit most from a combination of the two. It may take some trial and error to discover which treatments work best for you. Psychotherapy Also known as talk therapy or psychological counseling, psychotherapy involves working with a therapist to reduce your anxiety symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective form of psychotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder. Generally a short-term treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy focuses on teaching you specific skills to directly manage your worries and help you gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of anxiety. Through this process, your symptoms improve as you build on your initial success. Medications Several types of medications are used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, including those below. Talk with your doctor about benefits, risks and possible side effects. Antidepressants. Antidepressants, including medications in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) classes, are the first line medication treatments. Examples of antidepressants used to treat generalized anxiety disorder include escitalopram (Lexapro), duloxetine (Cymbalta), venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva). Your doctor also may recommend other antidepressants. Buspirone. An anti-anxiety medication called buspirone may be used on an ongoing basis. As with most antidepressants, it typically takes up to several weeks to become fully effective. Benzodiazepines. In limited circumstances, your doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine for relief of anxiety symptoms. These sedatives are generally used only for relieving acute anxiety on a short-term basis. Because they can be habit-forming, these medications aren't a good choice if you have or had problems with alcohol or drug abuse.