Anxiety has many causes that range from situational anxiety, to performance anxiety, to panic disorder. Many people experience feelings of anxiety before certain events, especially events that involve stress or large amounts of preparation. Often, once the event is over, the anxiety is completely relieved. People with this type of situational anxiety usually do best with exercises in coping with stress. Medications have not been shown to be helpful in these situations and often lead to excessive sedation.

People with performance anxiety may benefit from certain medications such as beta blockers, which are normally used to decrease the heart rate and decrease blood pressure. These medications are particularly helpful for people who feel anxious before presentations and speeches.

People with true anxiety disorders or panic disorders often need both medications and psychiatric consultation. People with panic disorders have intense physical complaints along with associated feelings of dread or fear. Panic episodes can occur with no warning as often as once a week. If you have these symptoms, contact your physician for treatment.