If you struggle with anxiety, you're definitely not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting about 18% of the population. That's a lot of people who are looking for ways to find relief from their symptoms.
A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry compared two different methods for treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): medication and meditation. The study included participants who were randomly assigned to either take an antidepressant (Lexapro) or participate in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program.
The results of the study were fascinating. Both groups reported a 20% reduction in symptoms, which is great news for those with GAD. However, the side effects of the medication were much more common than those of the mindfulness program. Nearly 80% of the medication group reported at least one side effect, while the mindfulness group only had to commit to twice-weekly group classes and daily meditation for 45 minutes.
So, what does this mean for those of us who struggle with anxiety? Well, it's important to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. That being said, the study does show that both medication and mindfulness can be effective in reducing symptoms of GAD. The choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and what works best for you. If you're struggling with anxiety, it's important to talk to a healthcare provider about your options and find the treatment that's right for you.
It's also worth mentioning that both medication and mindfulness require dedication and effort. Taking medication as prescribed and consistently practicing mindfulness can both be time-intensive, but the results can be incredibly rewarding. Finding a way to manage your anxiety can greatly improve your quality of life and help you feel more in control. Don't be afraid to reach out for help and explore your options. You deserve to feel your best!