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Various mechanisms have been postulated including norepinephrine, endogenous opioids, and decreased inflammation. The people who hate fat says high-fat diets cause anxiety.
The people who hate carbs say high-carb diets cause anxiety.
To be tried after diet and lifestyle interventions when possible.
Medication can work either instead of or in addition to therapy.
This shouldn’t be taken too seriously – the confidence intervals overlap and there’s a wide range of efficacy for different medications – but you won’t be doing any worse by going for the therapy first.
None of it seems super credible, but Mayo Clinic has some suitably bland advice. My hospital gives people these handouts on breathing techniques and progressive muscle relaxation.
The one very important connection – if you drink too much coffee, or any other source of caffeine, that will make you anxious. I’ve made fun of Heart Math in the past, but I only learned about them because many people find some success, probably placebo-ish, with their quick coherence technique.
You can get psychotherapy from any qualified psychotherapist, a category including counselors, social workers, psychologists, and sometimes psychiatrists.
Ones who use “a school” (for example, describe themselves as practicing cognitive behavioral therapy) are usually considered better than those who don’t (“Oh, I do a little of everything with every patient”).