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6,100 Patients with Anxiety Report Which Treatments Work Best

For the live-updated, interactive version of this infographic, click here.

Over a year ago, we published one of our first infographics – 9 most effective anxiety treatments. I went ahead and repeated the analysis today, and now we have 25 treatments that people rate as most effective for anxiety.

This chart is based on 6,118 people with anxiety who participated in CureTogether surveys, compared to 1,303 people last year. Anxiety is still our most populated condition community.

Here are the top 25 treatments for anxiety you may not have tried that thousands of others say worked well for them:

1. Exercise
2. Xanax
3. Yoga
4. Spending time with animals
5. Meditation
6. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
7. Inspiring music
8. Ativan
9. Clonazepam
10. Massage therapy
11. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
12. Deep breathing
13. Diazepam
14. Exposure therapy
15. Relaxation
16. Psychotherapy
17. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
18. Interpersonal therapy
19. Osteopathy
20. Zoloft
21. Lamictal
22. Bio-identical hormones
23. Avoid caffeine
24. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
25. Prayer

To navigate the graph above:

The top right quadrant shows the most popular and effective treatments (e.g. Exercise), and the top left quadrant shows treatments that not many people have tried but that have above-average effectiveness, so they may be options to think about (e.g. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).

Treatments in the lower right quadrant are ones that lots of people have tried but that have below-average effectiveness (e.g. Wellbutrin), and treatments in the lower left quadrant are reported as neither popular nor effective, so you may want to consider this when choosing a treatment (e.g. Paxil).

Where did this data come from? CureTogether members have been anonymously sharing symptoms and treatments for almost 3 years now. We analyzed and visualized the data into infographic form to make it more accessible. To thank everyone for their contributions, we’re releasing this result back to the community for free.

This is part of our regular series of research findings. Of course, with each of these findings, there is a potential bias in patient self-selection and recall. We present these findings as just what they are – patient-reported data – to stimulate discussion and generate new insights for further research. Stay tuned for more and please let us know in the comments below if this was helpful or interesting for you.

Please tweet, blog, or pass this along to anyone who can benefit or is interested in Anxiety. Thank you!


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9 Responses to “6,100 Patients with Anxiety Report Which Treatments Work Best”

  1. Sertraline is the generic name for Zoloft.

  2. I really like these charts because they’re free of political correctness, as against what the health personnel says.

    So for example you’re much more likely, at least here, to get prescribed an anti-depressant (like Wellbutrin) for anxiety than a benzo like Xanax, even though most patients respond much better to benzo. That shows in this chart too: Xanax is near the top, and Wellbutrin is at the absolute bottom, often making the patient worse.

    (What about benzo and addiction? The studies I’ve seen and my own experience don’t support all those horror storied I’ve heard from health personnel, but it does seem like some people get addicted.)

  3. Brian Gallegos Says:

    Sad to see Xanax listed as #2 versus CBT at #6 :( … my hope is that we see the usage of benzos go down.

  4. If people are interested in trying Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; #11 on this list and not yet that well known) there is a list of ACT therapists around the world maintained on the website of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (www.contextualpsychology.org). Go there and click on “Find an ACT Therapist.” There is also a free list serve for the public that supports people who are exploring ACT (in therapy or through self-help books) for their problems called “ACT for the Public”. You can link to it through the “mailing lists” tab on the site or directly at “http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/ACT_for_the_Public/join”

    Steven C. Hayes
    Foundation Professor of Psychology
    University of Nevada

    Author of the ACT self help book “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life” (plug, plug)

  5. Thanks Steven!!! Your book was a life-changer for me. :)
    Alex, co-founder, CureTogether

  6. [...] an ad-hoc survey of over 6,000 people who suffer from anxiety, they were asked about the keys to their recovery and at the top of the list were exercise, quality [...]

  7. [...] The ACT formula below is part of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. CureTogether.org, a place where patients of almost any health problem come together to share their self-experiments, found Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to be one of the most effective yet hidden solutions for anxiety treatment. [...]

  8. I already do exercise, spending time with animals, meditation, deep breathing, relaxation, avoid caffeine, and several medications, and I’m still an anxious mess.

    …but then, it’s nothing compared to what it was…

  9. Hmm maybe Xanax is so high vs. SSRI Anti-depressants because its effects are instant. Also funny to see that Sertraline was ranked as 1.5x as effective as Zoloft despite them being the same thing

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