Anxiety and Medication

A few thoughts on medications for anxiety:

  • Anxiety conditions often respond as well or better  to “talk therapy” than to medications.
  • Many people who use drugs, drink, or over-work are trying to “self-medicate” their anxiety
  • Medications can be helpful in the treatment of anxiety but are usually insufficient in themselves.
  • Medications are more useful for generalized anxiety states than they are for people with anxiety that is focused on specific situations (like meeting someone new, or getting to sleep at night)
  • When medication is used to help sleep, then over time higher and higher doses are often required to get a sedative effect. Once the maximum dose has been reached then – over time – the medications can lose their effectiveness. The problem then becomes “kicking” the sleep medication, because when you stop sleep medication there is often a rebound effect making it even more difficult to get to sleep.
  • Prescription of medications for anxiety (like those for depression) are best done by a specialist