The most prescribed anti-anxiety medications today are the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and the serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Popular SSRIs include Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro and Celexa.
The two main SNRIs include Effexor and Cymbalta.
The benzodiazepines used to be the most prescribed anti-anxiety medicine, but their addictive nature generated too much public backlash. But you could hardly argue against their effectiveness. Take a Valium, or a Xanax, and 30 minutes later you were ‘feeling fine’.
Or rather, feeling numb.
But because so many people are in such pain – often times feeling nothing seems better than feeling your own feelings.
“I want to separate from myself.”
Which carries a stiff price tag. At the very least, you’d commonly find yourself taking more and more of those little pills.
When it comes to the antidepressants – the SSRIs and the SNRIs, there’s also a high price to pay. Many people experience violent, horrifying withdrawal symptoms if they try to discontinue use. Even when tapering slowly.
(Interestingly, the very definition of addiction was changed when SSRIs came out. So these drugs would NOT be classified as addictive.)
And they generally take several weeks before any positive effects are noticed. Many people aren’t helped at all. Some people experience worse anxiety from these medications.
With the benzos, you pretty much know what you’re getting into. You could get addicted in as little as two weeks. But pop a pill, and you can count on feeling better, almost within minutes.
With the antidepressants, you don’t know. They could help. Or they could make things worse. Or nothing could happen at all. You don’t know when you start taking them.
A very small percentage of patients become suicidal. Or extremely delusional. Rare, but possible. This generally happens within the first few days after starting them.
You also run into the potential to experience any number of the hundreds and hundreds of side effects that have been documented with SSRIs and SNRIs. Nausea… weight gain… loss of libido.
Anxiety itself is also a side effect of all antidepressant medications.
The decision to take any anti-anxiety medication – whether it’s antidepressants or the anxiolytics – should not be taken lightly. You may wish to view them as last resorts; when life has truly become unbearable. Rather than viewing them as ‘happy pills’.
Being numb is not the same as being happy. Admittedly, there are situations when numbness is the best option. Temporarily. To gain some breathing room. Perhaps to sort things out. To make new choices; new decisions. To regroup. To get your ‘second wind’.
You can make an empowered choice to take anti-anxiety medication as a tool. ONE tool. Rather than a crutch. The problem comes when you relinquish control of your health – your LIFE – to a man-made chemical that basically is a poison to your body.
Because you don’t currently have a deficiency of medication in your body. Your body doesn’t crave it. Rather, it fights it. It’s forced to adjust to it. That’s why it’s a last resort. Especially for anxiety.
Anxiety is an emotion, not a disease. Emotions are constantly and continuously flowing into you. It’s easy to notice the constant flow of thoughts. It’s much harder to notice the flow of feelings. Because we’ve worked so hard to shut that flow off.
Anxiety comes as a consequence of attempting to dam up the river of feelings that are ALWAYS flowing into us. Actually, anxiety is one of the lesser problems that comes from trying to dam up your feelings.
The more you’re willing to face that flow – and LET it flow – the less problem you’ll have with anxiety.
That dam becomes like a painful wall – made of gunk and junk that won’t go away by itself. Like a clogged up drain.
The anti-anxiety medication will never get rid of your dam.
That’s your job.
It’s also important to understand the underlying causes that would lead someone to such a painful place.
I almost feel guilty because my life has become so enjoyable and so easy. Especially since I remember how miserable I used to be.
Basically it comes down to making one slight shift in what you do everyday, and you can watch in amazement as your life slowly begins to start working out in almost every way.
It’s such an important change that I’ve written a complete e-book about it. And I’d like to give you a copy for free. All you have to do is write your first name and primary email address into the space below, and you’ll be receiving a link to download the e-book right away.