No. They do different things, and target different neurotransmitters. Zoloft is an ssri, which targets selected serotonin receptors while also blocking the body's natural process for breaking down and eliminating used serotonin so used serotonin can circulate longer in the targeted receptors (and only those receptors -- other receptors will shut down because the brain will perceive them as no longer needed). Xanax targets GABA receptors, a completely different neurotransmitter. So they work on separate mechanisms of tamping down how bad we feel when we have emotional problems that medical science does not yet know the cause of unless it's from some known physiological cause such as blood sugar or hormonal problems, just to name two examples. Neither cures you, they just make it not hurt so much. Xanax is an addictive drug that is safest if not taken regularly. Zoloft isn't officially classified as addictive but can be just as hard to stop taking for some people, but it has to be taken daily to work. Overall antidepressants are probably safer to take than benzos because for most people they are easier to stop taking and have a lower chance of permanent side effects, but this is very individual. If an antidepressant works, you don't need to take the benzo. Some people who only have occasional problems don't need a daily drug and the occasional benzo is enough. If therapy works, you don't need either of them. They are often combined not because of synergy but because one alone doesn't work well enough. Often, doctors prescribe both because they are bad doctors. Sometimes, they prescribe both in the beginning because benzos start working immediately while antidepressants can take 4-6 weeks to start working. Through experience, I would have preferred that my first psychiatrist had just tried an antidepressant rather than putting me on both at the same time, addicting me to benzos. Only then would I have known if just one med would have done the trick.
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