Update on treatments for anxiety-related disorders

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2023 Mar 1;36(2):140-145. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0000000000000841. Epub 2022 Dec 6.


Purpose of review: This review examines recent evidence that informs the treatment of anxiety-related disorders.

Recent findings: In addition to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and benzodiazepines, agomelatine has demonstrated efficacy in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Other novel products, such as ketamine, psilocybin and cannabidiol, are in the process of gathering evidence in support of the treatment of anxiety disorders. In psychological therapy, various psychological treatments for anxiety disorders, such as mindfulness-based intervention, acceptance and commitment therapy, psychodynamic therapy, emotion-focused therapy and dialectical behavioural therapy, have been tried. Still, most therapies have not proven superior to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). In very preliminary findings: Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) was effective in GAD; transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) was effective for social anxiety disorder (SAD) and GAD and augmented exposure therapy for specific fears. Internet and mobile-based interventions have comparable efficacy to face-to-face therapy.

Summary: Pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders is expanding to novel products. Despite trying other psychological therapies for anxiety disorders, most therapies were comparable to but not superior to CBT. rTMS and tDCS were also used and show early promise for GAD, but further studies are needed. Most internet or mobile app based psychological therapies were based on CBT, and some can be considered as alternatives to in-person face-to-face therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy*
  • Anxiety
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation*


  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors