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Antianxiety Medications

A range of antianxiety drugs (i.e., anxiolytics) is used to treat anxiety disorders, the most common of emotional disorders. Although anxiety as such is considered to be a normal defensive response to environmental stressors (e.g., change that challenges homeostasis or physiological equilibrium), it may become pathological whenever it causes clinically significant distress or interferes with daily functioning, thereby becoming detrimental rather than protective. Anxiety disorders therefore include a group of disorders in which anxiety and associated symptoms are irrational or experienced with such severity that the ability of the individual to lead a normal life is adversely affected. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), distinguishes among five types of anxiety disorder, namely (1) generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), (2) panic ...

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