The Side Effects of Anxiety Medication


If you visit your doctor complaining of anxiety then their first port of call is likely to be therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy or a support group to try and get to the bottom of your problem. However, when anxiety takes over a person’s life and they are unable to even attend therapy or get a hold on their problem to work through it then the symptoms of anxiety need to be numbed or slightly removed. Fortunately, this is easily done with anxiety medication, but unfortunately these anxiety medications often have negative side effects.

The main anxiety medications prescribed are beta blockers, anti-depressants and benzodiazepines but there are different types of each, which are best prescribed for the many anxiety disorders that exist. Most anxiety medication drugs have a calming, tranquilizing effect that provides a lot of relief, but because they work on the central nervous system they also dumb down the emotions too. Many artists, songwriters and people in creative careers complain that they anxiety and depression medication stops their creative edge and that they would rather put up with the condition than become ‘robot-like’. Another very common side effect is feeling drowsy and overly relaxed to the point of being unable to carry out complex tasks. This can effect someone’s ability to do their job and often a very low dose is needed. On higher doses people may have slurred speech and feel confused, forgetful and clumsy.

Anxiety medication dependence is another common side effect and often people don’t realize they have become physically dependent upon their medication until they try to give up. Obviously this kind of dependence is easier to reverse the quicker it is noticed, so if you begin to feel you need to take extra pills during stressful situations, carry them with you at all times and/or start to feel you don’t get the same relief from them anymore then visit your doctor as soon as possible who will provide you with alternative treatment.

Doctors do prefer to proscribe anxiety medication as a temporary way to relieve the negative symptoms of anxiety so that its route cause can be worked through with therapy. However, when therapy doesn’t work and a person is experiencing a severe decline in their quality of life they may be put on a long-term course of anxiety medication. For these people the negative side effects of the medication are particularly devastating and it’s often difficult to decide whether to stick with it or keep trying to eradicate anxiety through therapy.

If you have been put on anxiety medication then it’s essential that you understand this is designed to provide temporary relief until you have dealt with the cause of your anxiety directly. You should also remember that just one form of therapy rarely works for everyone, so if counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy are both ineffective for you then go ahead and try support groups and hypnotherapy too. It may take a while to find something that works, but it’s essential not to give up and become dependent on anxiety medication as this will become ineffective after a certain period of time.

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Stan Tian

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