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How Effective Is Diazepam for Anxiety?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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Diazepam is a type of anti-anxiety medication that is sometimes prescribed for people who suffer from various types of anxiety disorders, including those who experience an accompanying panic disorder. The drug can also be used to treat certain types of seizures and even help with insomnia. As one of several different types of drugs classed as benzodiapezines, the use of diazepam for anxiety is based on the drug’s ability to compensate for chemical imbalances that can escalate to the point of causing severe distress. As with any other benzodiapezine, some users respond very well to diazepam while others either experience no real relief or even see a noticeable increase in their anxiety symptoms.

In most countries around the world, the use of diazepam for anxiety requires an assessment by a qualified health professional, and the issuance of a prescription for the medication. The dosage will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the anxiety, the range of symptoms present during an attack, and any other health issues that the patient may also deal with. Strict instructions are given regarding when and how to take the medication, with those instructions ranging from set time each day or to allowing the patient to use up to a certain amount as needed during any 24-hour period.

When using diazepam for anxiety, there is the potential for certain side effects. If the dosage is too high, it may result in the patient feeling lethargic and unable to concentrate. Apathy may also occur, with the patient exhibiting little interest in activities that are normally considered enjoyable. In some cases, people who try diazepam for anxiety may find that the medication does not alleviate the symptoms of anxiety at all, but in fact magnifies anger, nervousness, frustration, irritability, and other emotions that are often part of the experience of having an anxiety disorder.

For people who do receive benefits from taking diazepam for anxiety, the improvement in temperament and general emotional well-being can be very noticeable. With the nervous illness under control, patients run less risk of developing various phobias such as health anxiety or agoraphobia, and can go about their daily routines with confidence. While there is the potential to become addicted to this and any other benzodiapezine, monitoring usage closely and working with a doctor helps to keep this danger under control. While there is some potential for rebound anxiety to occur when weaning off the drug, this can usually be avoided by following a carefully proscribed cessation program over a period of several weeks.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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