Sometimes it ends up being that way yes,some people simply need meds as therapy alone wont work. Other times therapy by itself can be enough.
Hello again greenpc. You're correct that very often, people will have a concurrent diagnosis of anxiety and depression. One usually comes before another and that can vary. For people with chronic anxiety, a secondary depression can present simply due to the rough situation and feelings of hopelessness. I've experienced secondary depression along with my panic disorder.
As with all mental illnesses, doctors and scientists really only have THEORIES as to what causes these disorders and even how the medications work to help them. The theory behind the SSRI antidepressants (ie Zoloft, Paxil, etc) being used to treat anxiety is as follows....(this may help you understand a bit better about the meds and why they're thought to help so many people).....
SSRI stands for " selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor". Serotonin is one chemical (norepinephrine is another) present in the brain that is responsible for feelings of well being and happiness. Basically a "happy" (naturual) drug. There are receptors in the brain that are constantly grabbing on to the serotonin and taking it out of the brain circulation to allow balance. Those receptors are supposed to keep a normal amount of serotonin circulating in the brain. It is beleived that some people just have a smaller than normal amt of the serotonin, or an increased rate of reuptake, which can cause depression and anxiety. So, what the SSRI med does is PROHIBIT (or prevent) the reuptake of so much serotonin into those receptors, allowing more serotonin to circulate, and hence causing an improved sense of well being and calm.
In the event of anxiety disorders (and depression), even if a person truly didn't have a chemical imbalace (which is very difficult to determine anyway)...the simple allowance of more serotonin to be present in the brain typically improves the overall mood, decreasing anxiety and depression.
Making the choice to try medication is a personal one, something you should discuss with your doctor and decide on after weighing the pros and cons. It's not for everyone. I strongly advise though, if you're considering meds...go in with an open mind and try not to get hung up on the stories out there...either success stories or nightmarish stories. Allow yourself to have your OWN unique experience. Everyone reacts diffferently to these meds. One person may have a horrid experience and the next person may have had a life changing one. Personally, for ME...these meds have been a life saver at many times in my life.