Deutsch: Lorazepam / Español: Lorazepam / Português: Lorazepam / Français: Lorazepam / Italian: Lorazepam

Lorazepam in the psychology context is a medication commonly used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, and other conditions requiring sedation or anxiety relief. It belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which work by enhancing the effect of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain, resulting in a calming effect.


In psychology and psychiatry, Lorazepam is frequently prescribed for its anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), sedative, and muscle-relaxant properties. It is effective for short-term management of severe anxiety and stress-related disorders. The drug is also used in the treatment of acute agitation, status epilepticus (a type of severe seizure), and as a premedication before surgical procedures to induce relaxation and amnesia.

Lorazepam works by enhancing the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that inhibits certain brain signals and decreases nervous system activity. This action helps to calm the brain, reduce anxiety, promote sleep, and relax muscles.

Special: Usage and Administration

Lorazepam is typically administered orally, but it can also be given intravenously or intramuscularly in medical settings. The dosage and duration of treatment vary depending on the condition being treated, the patient's response, and potential for dependence or abuse. It is crucial to follow medical advice and prescriptions strictly, as improper use of lorazepam can lead to tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal symptoms.

Application Areas

Lorazepam is used in various psychological and medical contexts, including:

  1. Anxiety Disorders: Treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
  2. Insomnia: Short-term treatment of severe sleep disturbances.
  3. Seizure Management: Controlling acute seizures, especially status epilepticus.
  4. Preoperative Sedation: Providing sedation and anxiety relief before medical procedures.
  5. Acute Agitation: Managing acute agitation and severe stress reactions.

Well-Known Examples

  1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Lorazepam is prescribed to manage persistent and excessive anxiety that interferes with daily activities.
  2. Panic Attacks: Used to quickly alleviate the symptoms of panic attacks.
  3. Insomnia: Short-term use to help individuals who have difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  4. Preoperative Use: Administered before surgery to relax patients and reduce anxiety.
  5. Emergency Situations: Used in hospitals to control severe agitation or seizures.

Treatment and Risks

While lorazepam is effective for many conditions, it also carries risks and potential side effects:

  1. Dependence and Tolerance: Prolonged use can lead to physical and psychological dependence, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect.
  2. Withdrawal Symptoms: Abrupt discontinuation can cause withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, agitation, tremors, and seizures.
  3. Side Effects: Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. More severe side effects can include respiratory depression and paradoxical reactions like increased anxiety or aggression.

Symptoms, Therapy, and Healing


  • Symptoms treated by lorazepam include severe anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, and acute agitation.
  • Symptoms of overuse or dependence include increased dosage requirements and withdrawal symptoms upon cessation.


  • Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT): Often recommended alongside or as an alternative to medication for long-term management of anxiety and insomnia.
  • Gradual Tapering: Slowly reducing the dose of lorazepam under medical supervision to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
  • Support Groups: Participation in support groups for individuals dealing with anxiety or substance dependence.


  • Alternative Medications: Using non-benzodiazepine medications or therapies to manage anxiety and insomnia.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Incorporating relaxation techniques, regular exercise, and healthy sleep habits to improve overall well-being.
  • Medical Supervision: Regular check-ins with healthcare providers to monitor the effects of lorazepam and adjust treatment as necessary.

Similar Terms

  • Benzodiazepines: A class of psychoactive drugs that includes lorazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, and clonazepam, used for their sedative and anxiolytic effects.
  • Anxiolytics: Medications specifically used to reduce anxiety.
  • Sedatives: Drugs that induce sedation by reducing irritability or excitement.
  • Hypnotics: Medications that promote sleep, often overlapping with sedatives.


In the psychology context, Lorazepam is a benzodiazepine medication used to treat anxiety disorders, insomnia, seizures, and for sedation before medical procedures. It works by enhancing the calming effects of the neurotransmitter GABA. While effective, it carries risks of dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal, making careful medical supervision essential. Understanding its uses, benefits, and risks helps in managing conditions requiring anxiety relief and sedation.