The message boards are so loaded with discussions about medication, I thought this excerpt from mc2method.com/anxiety might be worth a read:
"Medication can be a good option for some people experiencing anxiety. The decision to use anti-anxiety medication, or to make changes to your current dosage, should always be discussed with a doctor. Hopefully your doctor will also make you aware of these considerations:
- Medication may 'cover up' anxiety and other negative emotions, but will probably not remove the underlying cause. Eventually that submerged iceberg will probably crash through to the surface again, unless you take steps to resolve those issues while you're medicated. Unfortunately, medication can often dull the desire to take such action.
- Ask yourself; are the emotions that you're feeling normal for the situation? Consider a good friend of mine whose huband was diagnosed with terminal illness. This of course caused her significant distress, and her physician prescribed [trademark name drug] to help her cope with the feelings. She revealed to me that as she later sat alone in her room, realizing she was losing her companion of 30 years, she could not cry a single tear. Do you really want to numb yourself to the feelings of life? Perhaps what you're feeling is normal for the situation. There are other approaches that can help you "manage" difficult emotions.
- The human brain can build tolerance to prescription drugs. This means that eventually you may have to increase your medication to higher levels to maintain the same effect. If you should choose to discontinue your medication at some point, you may find yourself experiencing the same amount of anxiety, or even more than you were before. While most anxiety medication is not considered "addictive", this factor could make it difficult to discontinue use.
- Be aware of the side effects associated with the medication(s) you are considering. You can usually get a good overview of these issues by reading the literature provided with the prescription. While they're most likely listed in small print, some side effects can be significant - ranging from sleep disturbance, to nausea, to sexual dysfunction.
- It is very easy for doctors, sometimes burdened by heavy workloads, to write a prescription rather than taking the time to explore lasting cognitive or behavioral therapies for their patients. Resolving an 'invisible' problem like anxiety may require that you take responsibility for educating yourself or taking time to seek input from more than one doctor.
Again, always discuss your options with a qualified medical professional. And never make changes to your dosage before speaking with your physician. If you should decide that medication is appropriate for your situation, we strongly suggest that you also make a conscious effort to explore behavioral and cognitive solutions while medicated.
We are not suggesting that medication is not right for your condition, but we do believe that there are many people out there taking pills in situations where a non-drug solution would be just fine. Drugs simply do not treat the root cause of anxiety, they only mask the symptoms temporarily. Unfortunately, since natural cures and processes cannot be patented by pharmaceutical companies, they are not profitable and therefore not promoted as heavily as prescription drugs." - source: mc2method.com/anxiety