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Zoloft is FDA approved for several indications: obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, & social phobia...these are all different types of anxiety disorders. It is also approved for 2 mood disorders: major depression & premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
They are generally well tolerated & safe. The advantages over a benzo are as follows: benzos can be highly addictive. Also, some people develop tolerance to benzos which is a problem...you can't just keep increasing the dose. Tolerance to zoloft or other SSRIs can occur, but usually takes a much longer time.
Either way, I think it's important to have a comprehensive treatment plan for the anxiety. In other words, not just relying on medications. It's important to focus on at least 4 other things: psychotherapy, relaxation therapy, nutrition, & exercise.
I always recommend learning some formal relaxation therapy (yoga, tai chi, meditation,etc). All these treatments (and psychotherapy) are proven by studies using sophisticated brain scans to calm down the brain. There are also many good self-help books for anxiety.
I hope this helps. Good luck & take care.
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