Hi there. Glad you found us. One thing I really like about this day and age is that we DO have options and so much better ones that generations before us. Mental health has become a much better served population of patients. So, do you see a doctor? My primary care doctor is very savvy and would absolutely trust her to work on medication with me. But a psychiatrist specializes in it. So, up to you where you start. I agree that benzos can become problematic so a more chronic medication might be wise if the situation of anxiety is ongoing. There are lots of things to try that are not medication as well. Talk therapy can be very helpful. Daily exercise helps in a big and is like medicine in itself. Proper sleep can be a game changer. There are things like meditation and the apps like headspace work well to introduce it to the general person. Deep breathing exercises can help. And knowing triggers. I find having a journal really helps to uncover those triggers and get a picture of what is going on that you can reflect on. So, all of that is worth incorporating. But then medication classes that are available are things like SSRI's (paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, etc.) SNRI's (Effexor, Cymbalta, etc.), tricyclic antidepressants (older class of drugs. Elavil is an example, Work very well but side effects make them used less often now), MAOI's (REALLY old, lots of side effects, example is parnate) and then Atypicals which they throw everything else into (whole basket of meds like Wellbutrin, Remeron, etc.). Probably the drugs that work well while having a decent side effect profile that is tolerated are the SSRI's and SNRI's. Talk to your doctor about what might be good for you to try if it is agreed that you should start one. Remember to start at a low dose and tritrate up. And then you would absolutely need to be sure to titrate back down if you stop the medication. And most have start up side effects. These happen in the first 4 to 8 weeks of beginning a medication as your body gets used to it and they peter out once the medication is working fully. Let us know what is going on too, more information and we'll try to help!
You haven't said how disabling your problem is, which is what determines if you need meds at all. If your life is still functioning pretty well overall, the first course of treatment is therapy. While medication can help mitigate symptoms, it doesn't cure the problem, but therapy might. A good psychologist who specializes in treating anxiety -- most therapists don't -- will tell you if things aren't working and they think you need medication. But assuming you do need medication, benzos are only short-term aids. They wear off. So they're good when you have episodic anxiety. If you have to take them all the time however they are addictive drugs and very hard at that point to stop taking. Antidepressants, usually either the tricyclic or SSRI categories, if they work work all the time. They can also be difficult to stop taking, but that's a very individual thing. If you think your life has gotten so bad you need medication, a psychiatrist is the person to talk to. There are other meds that are also used, though the results are less well proven. For social anxiety some docs prescribe beta blockers, but again, not a lot of evidence shows they work for most types of anxiety. Neurontin, a drug to treat nerve pain, is sometimes used, usually as an adjunct to an antidepressant. There's a pretty ineffective drug that's been floating out there for a long time called Buspar, but that's also used mostly along with an antidepressant these days. So there are several kinds of meds that are used. There are also a lot of natural remedies that are used as well.