Lowering Rates of Anxiety with SSRI's Compared to CBT
Anxiety disorders are the most common of all psychiatric conditions affecting an estimated 19.1% of adults and 7% of children in the United States (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2017). These disorders are treatable with medical intervention, however, only 36.9% of psychiatric patients seek treatment for their anxiety (Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 2021). Patients who seek treatment are usually treated with either cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). CBT is a form of psychological treatment that involves efforts to change thinking and behavioral patterns by the psychologist and patient working collaboratively (American Psychological Association, 2022). SSRIs are a medication taken orally that work in the brain by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin by neurons, this action allows for more serotonin to be available for us by patients (Mayo Clinic, 2019). Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter in the brain that plays an important role in regulating anxiety, happiness, and mood. The purpose of this Evidence-Based Practice review is to determine which treatment option, CBT or SSRI’s, are more effective in reducing rates and symptomatology of anxiety for psychiatric patients. Results from this study will provide nurses and other healthcare providers better direction on which treatment option to offer to patients struggling with anxiety disorders.