The therapy is what's left to you if you don't want meds. It will take time. And make sure your therapist specializes in anxiety treatment. The best is supposed to be CBT. Talk therapy can take years to work, CBT is quicker assuming it takes with you. There's also the natural medicine approach, which would combine therapy, natural remedies treating different areas of your body involved in anxiety, dietary and lifestyle changes. Also takes time. If you get to a point where you can't live life anymore, medication does work more quickly, and antidepressants work all the time. So if it gets beyond you, sometimes you have to bite the bullet to get some distance from the crisis. But if you work hard on the therapy and the therapist actually knows techniques to help, and it works, you're better whereas with meds you're just controlling symptoms. Hope you find what works for you.
I really feel for you. I know exactly what you are going through. I feel like my life is 24/7 fear and anxiety and it is horrible to live like this. I finally went on Prozac. First month was hell with side effects but things settled in and it started to work. It was worth the wait thru side effects. I am on a low dose (10 mg) and have my doctor's permission to go to 20 if needed. I had been on Lexapro before but I gained a lot of weight and felt like a zombie. I do not have those effects with Prozac....I actually have more energy and a lower appetite. I also tried to stay away from Prozac and did try therapy but should have asked for a different therapist. For now, the Prozac helps. I wish you much luck...living in fear and anxiety is exhausting.
I hate anxiety too. I have more cyclic anxiety that is hormonally related. And when it spirals, ugh. I do not like things like Xanax that numb me. I'm not a drinker either. And all of that kind of goes into the same category for me. I do know that Xanax has it's place though. I also think everyone needs to keep in mind that nothing will ever fully alleviate all anxiety. Having stress and periods of anxiety is normal. I've accepted that. And even on medication, you are still going to have 'more' anxious times. But it is when it is stopping our life or feels so bad we can't stand it! Then doing something about it is important. I like what Monica is saying about her medication. That is a good choice for her and for many. Whether it is for you or not, I'm not sure. That is for you to decide.
I do manage without medication. But again, my anxiety is not daily. The things I do is journal and know triggers and prepare for it. I try to exercise and get enough sleep.
I have a son with anxiety and he is currently working with a therapist. Wish I knew what they talk about. Ha. but he's a teen and that is between him and his therapist. but he is meditating and using an app called "head space". His psychologist is trying to help him not go to thinking of what could happen or obsessing over what did happen and to 'stay in the moment'. And learning that THIS moment is okay without jumping to the next one that might not be. He's also learning to relax his body.
Prozac has a pretty good reputation. Well tolerated and works. But, of course, every person is so different. This is a little trial and error and that can be a little scary. But I'd rather take something like Prozac than Xanax. Personally, that's how I feel.