Would a benzo like Ativan be better for anxiety or is an ssri like lexapro (escitalopram) better for anxiety relief. I need it to be quick acting.

Anxiety. An SSRI would be the best bet for longer relief, would be once a day dosing, and you’d not have to think about it, being benefited by having the anxiety treated 24/7 with minimal commitment and medical repercussions. However, it takes time to work; in that case, a benzo works faster, and sometimes using a benzo while waiting for the SSRI to take effect can be useful in some cases.