Psychiatrist Questions Psychiatrist

Are anti-anxiety medications safe?

I have anxiety and want to take medications. Are anti-anxiety medications safe?

2 Answers

I am not a medical doctor. I am a psychologist. However, I work with the backlash or the high personal price of taking addictive medications. These medications have been available for several decades now. Most patients end up staying with them and increasing their amount over the years, as their bodies become acclimated to the medicine. I have a few patients from UCLA where the prescription dosages have alarmed the pharmacists. Detoxing becomes more than people can bare, but some methods of withdrawal are being formulated lately, and one book is expected to come out this year, on specific ways to withdrawn from specific anxiolytics and antidepressants.=20 Anxiety is either the result of an early childhood attachment trauma or otherwise. If you have experienced anxiety as far back as you can remember, that might be the case, because babies were sometimes held back in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or put into daycare before the age of two or three or five (kindergarten, when we are good to go). The earlier the =E2=80=9Cother care=E2=80=9D as the government calls it, the more anxiety and/or depression for life. However, anxiety is not inborn. It is a belief or a philosophy or an expectation that develops from such early experience without understanding. It might be, =E2=80=9CI=E2=80=99m not likable.=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9CMom doesn=E2=80=99t love me.=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9CIf I can=E2=80=99t trust her, I can=E2=80=99t trust anyone.=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9CYou never know when the next person will leave you.=E2=80=9D These beliefs translate to other relationships and in adulthood, we end up asking, =E2=80=9CWhy do you love me?=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9CAre you sure you love me?=E2=80=9D And, then, as a self-fulfilling prophesy, our insecurity drives people away.=20 There is another one that may or may not be related to early failed attachments. If your parent(s) rescued you from natural consequences so that now that you are on your own, you are not prepared to do the hard thing. "Who will take care of you now?" "How many things do I have to unlearn and relearn the hard way?=E2=80=9D In some cases, it=E2=80=99s not like that. It=E2=80=99s =E2=80=9CI expect to be taken care of.=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9CI have a right to be taken care of.=E2=80=9D =E2=80=9CNo =
Anxiety disorders are treated with psychotherapy when mild to moderate, and typically antidepressants when moderate to severe. Antidepressants do not have tolerance and dependence potential if that is what you mean by "safe." The pure anxiety medications, benzodiazepines (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, etc.), do have the potential for tolerance and dependence and hence should be used cautiously.