Anxiety and depression can accompany stress and are often treated with drugs.
The group of drugs most commonly used to treat anxiety and stress are benzodiazepines. These basically slow down the activity of the central nervous system.
- GABA is a neurotransmitter that is the body's natural form of anxiety relief. When it is released, it has a quitening effect on many of the neurons in the brain. It does this by reacting with GABA receptors on the outside of the recieving neurons.
- When GABA locks into the receptors, it opens a channel which increases the flow of chloride in the neuron. Chloride makes it harder for the neuron to be stimulated by other neurotransmitters. This slows doen the activity of the neuron, making the person feel more relaxed.
- BZS enhance the action of GAVA and boost their actions. This allows more chloride to enter the neuron. This makes it even more resistant to excitation. The brain output of excitatory neurotransmitters is reduced and the person feels calmer.
- Kahn et al followed 250 patients over 8 weeks and found that BZS were significantly superior to a placebo.
- Hildago et al conducted a meta-analysis and found that BZS were more effective at reducing social anxiety than other drugs such as anti depressants.
Stress leads to arousal of the sympathetic branch of the nervous system. One of the symptoms of this is increased blood pressure and heart rate. These symptoms can lead…