Before opting to treat performance anxiety with medication, it may be recommended to attempt non-drug approaches first. This can include cognitive behaviour techniques that aim to help the sufferer manage their performance anxiety. These techniques can include performance practice, as the associated anxiety may stem from not having mastered the required skills. Meditation is another technique that, for some, has proved beneficial. It works by clearing the mind and regulating breathing.
You can also consider using online mental health services, which, in some cases, are available on the NHS. To find out more ask your GP or mental health professional for further information.
If these techniques prove unsuccessful, using the beta-blocker Propranolol, may be recommended. Beta-blockers, like Propranolol, are generally used to treat hypertension, heart conditions and certain types of tremors. In some cases, a beta-blocker can also be used to prevent migraines. However, Propranolol has proven highly effective in helping to manage the symptoms of performance anxiety.
If taken an hour before performing, Propranolol will reliably ease symptoms, such as a pounding heart, and trembling voice or hands.
Other beta-blockers are not appropriate for use to help treat performance anxiety as they work in a different way, making them less effective.
If using Propranolol to treat performance anxiety, the risk of experiencing side effects is low. This is due to the medication only being used intermittently and at lower doses when compared with treating other conditions.