Long-term use of benzodiazepines for anxiety remains a widespread, despite guidelines that recommend against it, according to a roundtable discussion at the annual conference of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Benzos alleviate anxiety symptoms, but do not resolve the disorder in the long term, with posttreatment relapse rates as high as 63%. Associated learning impairment “significantly diminishes the effects” of cognitive-behavioral therapy, said one speaker; “…the result is reduced anxiety in the moment but worse long-term anxiety reactions documented in both animal and human studies.”
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.