Does anyone ever avoid taking anti-anxiety medication to avoid the risk of addiction?

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Hi all

I have been suffering with anxiety for about 2 years now and probably 1 year of not knowing i had it. I had only taken medication once in hospital when i had a severe panic attack...i tried excercising and distracting myself but i also take Kalms from time to time. I wanted to know if it is okay to avoid strong medication and stick to herbal or would the stronger medication have faster treatment?

Thanks and i hope everyone is having a positive day.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    it is really up to you what course of treatment you take but as far as I know, SSRIs are not addictive smile So if you want to take them but are nervous of addiction, don't be. I was on one for over a year and while you can have withdrawal symptoms while your body adjusts, you don't get craving for one or feel like you need one. 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply biggrin, do you have a specific method to avoid withdrawal?I was prescribed 3 Benzodiazepine(xanax) tablets of 1mg so i freaked out even more because of the name and only took one...starting to believe am i hindering my recovery because of this caution. Thankfully im okay and i hope you are getting better too
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    • Posted

      Usually withdrawal is managed by cutting down your dosage gradually. Unfortunately I was silly and didn't do this so I got withdrawal symptoms for a few weeks but they didn't really bother me! I was on Lexapro, I think 10 mg smile I lasted for about two years without them before my anxiety came back in my final year of uni! 
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  • Posted

    Hello bf2014

    Several posts on this site today have mentioned Fluoxetine......I have been taking this for a long, long time.  I do not feel addicted, just glad it is available.  Your GP will monitor any dosage you are given, and it can be adjusted according to your needs.

    I do not disagree with herbal meds, but, in my experience, I paid a lot of money to a practitioner, but results (if any) were so slow, that I went down the other route.  I also found that most liquid herbal mixes taste obnoxious!  Each to his own, I suppose.  Good Luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi CruiseLady

      Im glad im not the only person who has noticed that herbal tablets taste sooooooo bad eek. Thank you and i will look into your recommendation

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    • Posted

      Hi CruiseLady and bf2014

      I was prescribed Fluoxtine last September after horrendous PMT which started on the first day of my period and made me cry at everything and nothing for 5 days in a row. The doctor suggested taking them for about 2 weeks every month - the week before, and the week of, my periods.

      However, I looked them up online, having read all the warnings on the attached leaflet, and seeing they were Prozac I took them for 3 days only then stopped as I felt better. Same again the following month. Then I had a temporary job til Christmas, which gave me a sense of purpose and self worth, making me feel more positive and less depressive, so I took no more Fluoxetine.

      Having recently had some very bad PMT symptoms again, I was wondering if I should do as the doctor instructed next month? I, too, worry about possible side effects of these antedepressants and find it difficult to come to an informed decision.....

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    • Posted

      Hi madcow,

      I too was a little concerned about "Prozac", but as far as I know, the only possible side effect I have experienced are;

      Weird dreams ( which are a bit worrying at the time)

      Feeling a bit lethargic in the morning, but this wears off.

      You say you only took tablets for 3 days......well, as most people write on takes several weeks  for them to get into your system, so......?

      Maybe there is an alternative for PMT, if that is basically the only time you suffer.

      My Fluoxetine is prescribed specifically for anxiety and agitation, nearly always casued by influences beyond my control.  eg. Family Bereavement, neighbour problems, and so on.  So Fluoxetine keeps me fairly stable.  I wish I did not need it, but I have always been of a nervous disposition,  but as I have said before on this site, somehow I have managed to live a very full life, always emplyed in responsible jobs, and worldwide travel, plus raising a family, and enjoying lots of family take heart.....keep smiling, and try not to cry! x   That is very wearing in itself.  Good Luck. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you CruiseLady,

      You are an inspiration to us all - whether anxiety / depression sufferers or in the throes of peri menopause!

      My depressive symptoms do seem to be cyclical, but I know they can be very much influenced by outside circumstances so some months are better than others.

      The 2 side effects you experienced are quite commonplace for me without any drugs - so I might not notice any difference! I would just love to get back to sleeping all night like I used to be able to do - I thought sleep would improve now I am feeling happier and calmer (so calm that I was polite to an annoying cold-caller this morning - during PMT they would have had their head bitten off!).

      Thank you again, and may you long continue living life to the full x

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