Anxiety and medication are seemingly joined at the hip. Anxiety sufferers who choose therapy are often prescribed drugs to help relieve or rid them implicitly of the symptoms that they are feeling. Drugs are not really necessary when it comes to treating anxiety but they can be quite helpful.
At best, prescription medications are a quick fix. They can help alleviate your symptoms but they do not address the underlying cause of anxiety and are therefore not a solution to your problem. Regardless, drugs are being prescribed because people want something that is convenient and makes them feel better.
If you are someone who is suffering from severe anxiety and medication is something you want to try, you need to be aware of the possible consequences. You should talk to your doctor so you can understand both the benefits and the risks that are involved. Once you have done this you will be in a better position to determine if medication is right for you.
One of the medications usually prescribed are the so-called "anti-anxiety" drugs such as Valium and Xanax. Their biggest benefit is that they are effective and work quickly, usually within an hour. However, some people who have used these for as little as a few weeks have become addicted to them. As with any addiction people find it extremely difficult to stop taking them since the body now craves it. If you try to reduce your dosage, or stop taking it entirely, you will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms.
Another aspect of these anti-anxiety medications is drug tolerance. This happens when you are no longer getting the help you seek by taking the prescribed dosage so you start increasing the amount you take in order to get the same relief you once had. These anti-anxiety drugs also lose their therapeutic effectiveness within six months and, since they are not a cure for anxiety, your symptoms will just come right back again.
It's doubtful you can buy any prescription medication that does not contain some warning about potential side effects, the same holds true for these anti-anxiety drugs. The most common side effects are drowsiness, confusion, slowed reflexes, dizziness, depression, impaired judgment, memory loss and blurred vision. Based on some of these symptoms it is easy to see why taking this type of medication has been shown to increase your chances of being involved in a traffic accident.
When you are dealing with high anxiety and medication used to treat your symptoms causes troublesome side effects, then you are really faced with a dilemma. Although rare, the most common symptoms of anti-anxiety drugs are irritability, agitation and an increase in anxiety. However, there can also be side effects that are far more such such mania, hallucinations, rage and aggression.
Other medications used to treat anxiety are antidepressants. These are prescribed often because they are not as addictive as anti-anxiety drugs, however, they can take up to a month or more before you start feeling any anxiety relief. Although drug dependence is not as much of an issue, you can still experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using them too quickly.
Anti-depressants also have some common side effects such as nausea, dizziness, decreased sex drive, weight gain, headaches and drowsiness. There is also the possibility that antidepressants will cause an increased risk of suicide which is more likely to happen in young adults and children. The risk is real enough that the FDA requires all antidepressants to carry a warning label of that possibility.
Anxiety and medication use can sometimes be a double-edged sword. But in spite of the possible side effects, these drugs do work for many people at relieving their anxiety symptoms and not everyone will experience side effects.
There are alternatives to drugs which you can try, such as deep breathing and relaxation techniques as well as some herbal remedies, which have shown to provide relief without all the possible risks. By implementing these methods, you will not have to struggle with both your anxiety and medication side effects as well.