Anti Anxiety Drugs – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Dealing with Anxiety
If you have been prescribed anti anxiety drugs, you need to be informed about possible anxiety medication side effects. Anti anxiety meds are designed to stop anxiety in the short term – but do not reach the cause of acute stress, and are far from a miraculous panic attack cure.
For occasional anxiety, mild stress may be no big deal. You won’t require medication to get through a relatively nerve-wracking event.
This is especially true if the activity is short term, like giving a public speech and has a clear beginning and end.
Some people, however, find that their intense anxiety doesn't go away when faced with certain events such as flying in an airplane, crossing a high bridge or preparing for the death of a family member. These may be times when anti anxiety drugs may be used. In moderation, there is nothing wrong with that and it can certainly be better than self-medicating by getting drunk.
Anxiety Medication Side Effects
Prescribed drugs can help someone deal with a temporary cause of anxiety and may be useful in small doses for short periods of time. However, all drugs have side effects and most have the potential to be addictive, and can cause significant weight gain that affects mood and self-esteem.
One risk of anti anxiety drugs is the potential for building up a tolerance to the drugs. There can even be a rebound effect of extra anxiety if the dosage wears off too quickly or the body gets used to it. It is hard to get a precise dosage which will control all anxiety.
There are behavioral changes that can be caused by anti anxiety drugs, too. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to know who will suffer these side effects. They are particularly disturbing because they cause people to become more agitated instead of sedated, see things that aren't there or become angry, agitated or confrontational. Their moods may be volatile and they may have trouble sleeping. Clearly, this is not the intended effect of anti anxiety drugs but it is a risk. Bottom line? Instead of calming down, some susceptible individuals have the opposite reaction than what is expected.
Another possible side effect of anti anxiety drugs is reducing the amount of certain chemicals in the brain. When the drug is reduced or stopped, this can cause depression or agitation or weeping spells. Side effects of anti anxiety meds are increased when combined with certain over the counter drugs, including antihistamines, and if taken with alcohol can even lead to death. Because of this, great care should be used when prescribing medications to ease anxiety and patients should be warned of the potential side effects.
Ultimately, these drugs do not cure the underlying reason for fear and are best used in combination with therapy which helps patients get off the drugs as quickly as possible so that they can learn to handle life's stresses and challenges.
In my personal experience, I felt like my anxiety was the worst thing that anyone could ever experience. I was under the care of a psychiatrist, and he did the best thing for me by not even offering anti-anxiety medications. Some days, I was tempted to go to my doctor and ask for a prescription for drugs, just to get some relief from the constant pain and stress that comes from anxiety disorder.
But I never did that. I worked, and worked, and worked my way through cognitive therapy until I had trained my brain and body to cope with, and master, my anxiety attacks. I am so glad that I faced my anxiety disorder with a clear mind and did the hard work to get through this horrible illness and recover naturally.
New! CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.