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3183328 tn?1351187117

Anti Anxiety Medication?

What's your opinion on anti anxiety medication? I've been going out more but I have a hard time getting in the car, then I have a hard time getting out. And I freak out. I'm seeing a therapist, and she said it's all up to me. She has anxiety too and she takes medication. So I was wondering which did you have the best results with, do you think i should take a low dosage, and also, what side effects do they have.
6 Responses
61536 tn?1340701763
What works for one person may not work for another.  Anxiety medication is a tool, not the solution.  It can be a helpful tool, but ultimately this is yours to conquer, and there's no right or wrong selection across the board.
480448 tn?1426952138
Hi again haley!

I agree with the above poster that the decision to use medication as one tool in the treatment of anxiety, is a unique and personal one.

Peronally, for ME, anti-anxiety medication gave me the "courage" if you will, to face a lot of my fears.  When the anxiety would get severe, I just couldn't do certain things (like drive, or go far from my home, etc).  

I took Ativan "as needed" and would often take one before an anxiety-producing situation.  It helped a LOT.  Once my antidepressant started working, I needed the Ativan less and less.  Eventually, I seldom took one, but just knowing they were in my purse made me feel better.  I knew if I had a panic attack, I had medication that would help me deal with those intense moments.

Have a discussion with your doctor about it.  I think, when used carefully, and sparingly, anxiolytics are wonderful!
Avatar universal
Ditto.  I would only use meds as a last resort, if different types of therapy didn't work, natural relaxation methods and substances didn't work, and your life was severely impaired.  But you'll still have to work on it; drugs help but don't cure and they don't solve the problem.  If you do need them to have a life, then it's time to consider them, but do your homework first and get a good psychiatrist who knows the downsides as well as the upsides and listens to you.
3183328 tn?1351187117
Well I'm seeing my therapist tomorrow. Yesterday I went to school and today I got enrolled. I didn't panic much yesterday, I did really good. Today, I think I was so panicky because I only got 4 hours of sleep.

I know medication doesn't cure it, I need to. And I'd say I'm doing a great job. I'm going to school Mon. and Wed starting next week and I'm surrounding myself with friends and family a lot more often now. And like I said, I have an amazing therapist I can call anytime I have a panic attack and sees me once a week.

Would it be possible for me to only take it when I say I'm going to school, and I decide to take one that morning so it keeps me calm the entire time, would that be okay? I'm not as panicky anymore, like I feel safe in my mom's and grandma's car now, I feel safe at my grandma's house, I feel safe in my house and my bedroom now, everything's getting better. I'm getting used to going in my dad's car, going to school and seeing everyone again and going to his house.

I don't know, I wouldn't say I'm depressed so much anymore. I get really sad and disappointed in myself and just absolutely hate myself when I don't achieve my goals for that day, but in general I'm happy now.
Avatar universal
Given you're on an improving incline, it sound like you're doing well with the therapy.  If the therapist isn't a cognitive therapist, it might be time to try that.  If I were improving as much as you are, I personally would just keep on doing what's working, but I tend to be very cautious about meds given the difficulty of stopping them and the side effects.  If you can do without, that's what I'd do.  You might try some natural relaxants, which are milder in effect but easy to quit taking, and see if that's enough to keep you on track.  But I know others on here are much more pro medication than I am, so I'm sure you'll get other input.  Try finding a book called Natural Highs by Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist at UCLA who uses natural medicine in her practice, just for some added education if nothing else.  For me, I never had any progress in therapy, so I ended up on meds, but if I had experienced progress I wouldn't have needed them.  Good luck.
480448 tn?1426952138
I agree with Paxiled, keep doing what you're doing, and try some other things, at home.  Ask your therapist to recommend books, exercises for you to work on yourself.  A great book is "The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook".  Check that out.

I think anxiolytics are SUPER for situations where we really need them.  To use them sparingly, is okay.  For ME, I almost had no choice.  I was not functional without them.  I couldn't even leave my house without massive panic.  Taking an anti-anxiety med here and there actually helped me be able to work on my therapy, so I could learn coping for the long term.  The actual length of time I ended up needing them, was brief, because the antidepressants and therapy started doing the job for me.

In your case, it sounds like you're already making some serious improvements, which is awesome.  Be patient with yourself, it's OK that you're not reaching every goal.  That takes time.  You need to be celebrating all of your accomplishments, big or small.  If you aren't taking any -anti-anxiety meds now, hold off a bit, and keep working your treatment plan.  

If a time comes where the anxiety is pretty high, or you'rer starting to struggle more, then by all means, talk about it with your doc.  If you DO decide to take something, like Pax said, just be sure you are using them very sparingly, literally ONLY when you need them. Keep up the GREAT work, and be sure to keep uodating us...you're doing amazing!
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