What is the Effect of Diazepam on Anxiety-Related Cognition?

Effect of DiazepamDiazepam is popular as an anti-anxiety medication and many people worldwide are prescribed to take it. The therapeutic effects of this benzodiazepine are said to be powerful enough effectively control the symptoms of anxiety. For a long time medical researchers did not know the exact working mechanism of benzodiazepines like Diazepam and how exactly the anxiety symptoms were subdued. In this regard, a study was undertaken to assess the effects of the pill on anxiety-related cognition.

Anxiety-related cognition can be said to be a symptom wherein the person processes threats differently. This is termed as cognitive bias as the inferences made by the person are different from reality. Patients who have some form of anxiety disorders usually have different perceptions of things around them, which act as triggers. By subduing the cognitive bias it is possible for the person to lessen the severity anxiety. The study on Diazepam was conducted to see if the drug has any influence on the anxiety-related cognition in an individual undertaking treatment with the anxiety medication.

Details of the study on Diazepam and anxiety-related cognition

The common perception is that benzodiazepines like Diazepam work by influencing the mood. This is because anxiety medications work right away in helping to overcome the symptoms, whereas antidepressants take at least a few weeks to improve the condition of the person. The medical research team undertook to examine if it had any direct effect in reducing anxiety-related cognitive bias. The study was conducted by presenting a modified Stroop color-naming task to the participants. The results were used to understand and measure the bias related to the processing of material that is considered to be threatening.

The study results showed that the subdued anxiety symptoms were not accompanied by any changes or reduction in cognitive bias when it came to processing threatening material. Hence, Diazepam does not actually improve anxiety-related cognitive bias in those who are clinically anxious. However, the drug does indeed work to improve the mood levels as many anxiety conditions have been successfully treated with the drug. Since there was no evidence of improvement in cognitive bias with the pill, this does not mean that this drug does not work as expected.

What should I know about taking Diazepam for anxiety?

Taking the medicine for anxiety should be done with the help of the healthcare provider for best results. Anxiety therapy is never a standalone process with just medications. A number of relaxation therapies are used to help control the anxiety symptoms non-medically. Also, some patients undergo cognitive behavior therapy to modify their stressors. All these, combined with Diazepam, are what work for treating the anxiety disorders in the right manner according to the individual needs of the patient.