Should I Take Medicine for My Anxiety

Updated on July 19, 2015
C.L. asks from Davenport, IA
23 answers

Ever since I can remember I have had anxiety. My mom remembers me crying the night before tests because I thought I was going to fail. I will get something in my head, and I cannot get it out and am consumed by it. I will worry even though I know I cannot do anything about it. I try not to but at times I will badger my son with questions if I'm worried about something. I think sometimes with my questions I make a bigger deal out of something by leading him with the questions then it actually is. If you see my post, What would you do, you will see an example of what I am talking about. Recently, I went to the doctor because I had a virus. However, I returned 13 days later (with my husband)convinced it was something much more serious. The Dr. reassured me that there was nothing serious wrong with me and if he thought for one second it was anything other than a virus he would run more tests. We then started talking about my anxiety. The Dr. said that he could prescribe a pill to help with my anxiety. He said it was nothing I had to stay on long term but to help me get through my times of high anxiety. Has anyone else taken medication for anxiety or have other suggestions.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from Wausau on

Medication might be a big help, but a therapist can also teaching you coping mechanisms and how to regain control to a degree when you feel the panic coming on. I suggest you look into taking the two-pronged approach.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

My daughter, who is just about 16 is on Hydroxyzine Pamoate 25 MG capsules for anxiety (which I believe is the lowest dosage available). She takes up to 2 a day as needed. When she feels one of her attacks come on, she takes one and feels it working within just a few minutes. I agree with the others - go to counseling first. My daughter did, and it was the counselor who prescribed them and she follows up with her every 3 months for the medicinal part and goes to a regular mental health professional once a month.

There's a lot of great things out there for anxiety, but you should try to get to the root of the anxiety, as well.

Best of luck!!


3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Columbia on

I think it's great that you are considering treatment. Good for you!

Here's an EXCELLENT resource which might help you to answer some of your questions.

Multiple studies show that the very best treatment for anxiety, which has the best success long term, is a combination of medication and therapy. The medications help you to work through your anxiety when you simply cannot deal, and the therapy helps you to learn and internalize coping mechanisms and methods to effectively deal with anxiety inducing situations. Therapy give you tools to handle your anxiety so eventually you can do so without meds, or so you only need the meds for MAJOR stuff.

Best of luck.

ETA: Please do talk to a specialist who deals with anxiety. As usual, just like with depression, there's always going to be some people who think you just need to exercise and take natural medicine and it will go away. They have no idea what it's like to have or love someone with severe anxiety and/or depression. They also don't realize how invalidating and downright upsetting it is to hear "oh, you just aren't exercising enough or eating right." Yes, while exercise and proper nutrition IS important, when you're in the anxiety or depression rut, hearing that only makes you feel MORE anxious and sh*tty. When the level of anxiety or depression is debilitating, you're not going to be able to get out of bed or out of the house, let alone cook or run.

See a specialist. Do what it takes to get yourself feeling better. THEN work on the contributing factors. ♥

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I would not take any RX unless a mental health provider suggested it, even then, I gomout of my way to avoid RX drugs.

My first step would be to go to counseling and figure out how to deal with it an let it go. If you work through a counselor, it's likely you will need no RX which is healthier for you anyway. If you learn how to control it yourself you gain personal power and don't rely on a pill.

Granted... Some people do need RX and there is nothing wrong with that. Just don't make RX from a regular Dr your first step.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

My daughter takes medication for anxiety, but here is the way I look at it.

It's one tool in a tool box. Just as a tool box wouldn't only contain a hammer, but needs screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, etc, anxiety medication shouldn't be the only way to deal with anxiety.

It can help. It can be one tool, along with counseling, breathing techniques, coping strategies, learning new ways of approaching worrisome situations, good nutrition, and developing healthy habits (getting enough rest, vitamins, etc.)

Just as a carpenter would never say "oh, you just need a hammer and you will have a complete toolbox", a good doctor will not tell you that you just need medication. If your anxiety is impacting your life, you need a good mental health professional alongside you, offering other tools for becoming less anxious.

But, that medication "tool" can have its place, also. My daughter takes a low dose of medication daily, sees a psychiatrist, and sees medical doctors. But we do have an emergency anti-anxiety medication and plan, to be used in extreme circumstances.

So I suggest that you contact a mental health professional - a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, and talk about your anxiety. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor (usually) and can prescribe medication. Counselors and psychologists (usually) do not and cannot prescribe medication but focus on other aspects of coping with anxiety. Some people see both a psychiatrist for medication management, and a counselor for the other coping strategies. Many people see the psychiatrist every couple of months, but see the counselor more often.

I support you in trying to deal with your anxiety and encourage you to do all you can to become well. It's great that you know you deal with anxiety and are willing to seek help.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Amarillo on

I would take the doctor up on the prescription and a referral to a mental health expert.

You have to learn how to let go and not to worry so much. You can't control the world to make it go the way you want. So, change what you can and accept what you can't and be happy with it. Time is too short to be wound up over something that might or could be when it won't be. No one can predict the future. So live your life daily and enjoy what you have.

the other S.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Here's my thought.

If you car was leaking oil every day. You kept buying oil and buying oil but still, every morning when you went out there was oil on the concrete drive way and you had to add more oil.

What would you do?

Keep adding oil because it's simply a defect? Or maybe take it to a mechanic to fix it or work on it to make it better?

Apply this concept to your anxiety. Medication is a tool. To smooth over a stressful time or help the body to cope with situations.

If you had something happen to you where you developed anxiety as a very young child you have a right to go and work with a therapist to get over that trauma and move forward with your life.

IF IF IF IF IF IF IF you have a biological issue where your body is over stimulated and reacts poorly to things then medication is needed on a daily bases to keep your body chemistry balanced.

These are things a psychiatrist can help you with.

A regular medical doc would not be who I'd go to for a mental health issue. They are skilled but not in mental health specifically.

Medication as a PRN is good too. I did that for a few years to help me cope with anxiety. I was also working with a therapist and challenging myself to overcome these things.

I would take a pill when I was going to be going in to a situation where I knew I was not going to like it, like sitting in a room where I couldn't be by an exit, or trapped on stage to speak or sing. If I was going to be in heavy traffic with long traffic jams I would take one.

There were also times when I would have a panic attack and knowing I had my meds in my purse kept me from having to take one, the doc called it the lucky rabbit foot I had my pills and knew I could take one if I needed to so I rarely had to take one because I could handle even more because I had that med to fall back on if it got so bad I couldn't. So having them made me stronger in an odd sort of way. Like I had a lucky rabbits foot for luck so I expected to have luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I've had a tendency toward anxiety. It was worse when the kids were little.

First of all, make sure you exercise. Best anxiety remedy.

Second, beware of anti-anxiety meds like Xanax. They should be used sparingly. They work well to quell occasional instances of high anxiety, for example when going on a plane (if that bothers you), when attending a stressful event, etc. But these should not be used on a daily basis, because they are downers, and can spiral you into a severe depression. I know, because that has happened to me twice. So now I'm really careful to limit my Xanax to times of high need.

So I don't know what type of med your doctor is recommending, but maybe it would be worth a try. I agree that it should be combined with therapy.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

Sure, why not try it during times of high stress and see if it helps you. If you see it has any negative effects and don't like it then just throw out the bottle. Also, make sure you exercise regularly because this is incredibly important to regulate moods. And make sure you are getting good sleep. My mom has high levels of anxiety and has really struggled at times. If she exercises 4x a week in a class and gets sleep she is so much better. But most of all you should also start seeing a psychiatrist once a week to try to work on this. If you do this long term you will really be working to fix yourself of this issue.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I think you would be wise to further discuss options with your doctor.
That's a great place to start.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I would but only as a last resort. Many of those meds come with side effects. I'd try therapy first and maybe even a natural supplement. Chamomile tea actually really works well for me. Exercising too. For me, getting back into the work force greatly reduced if not completely eliminated my anxiety. Less time to worry and stress over things I shouldn't have been worrying so much about in the first place!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Yes; and talk to a counselor about learning anxiety management techniques and self-talk.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

While your primary care doctor is certainly authorized to prescribe such medication, a psychiatrist, who specializes in this area, would be better to do the fine-tuning and monitoring that these types of medications require.

In addition, you should really seek therapy to help you develop better coping skills and strategies for dealing with your anxiety. Since this is a very long-standing problem, just taking a pill alone won't change the way you think about these problems or help you develop new behavioral patterns and coping mechanisms. Once you stop taking the medications, it is likely that the same old symptoms will reappear.

Call your insurance and find psychiatrists that your plan covers. Also ask about psychologists and mental health therapists for the therapy part.

It is well established in the mental health literature that in situations like yours medications and therapy usually provide the best treatment outcomes.

Best wishes with this. Anxiety can be a very debilitating disorder, but there are very good treatment options that can help significantly.

J. F.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I think that anytime someone has an issue with anxiety (or depression) to the point where it interferes with & interrupts their normal life, then trying a medication is justified.

I have had the opportunity to shadow at a free mental health clinic a number of times, & talk to the psychiatrists that volunteer there regarding the medications they prescribe. What they have consistently told me is that there are many medications for similar issues (depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc.) but that for various reasons, individuals react to them differently.

So they take a "try & see" approach - let's try this one, here's what to expect, if it's not working in XX amount of time, then we will try something else. Their primary goal is to find a medication that helps the patient feel mood-stable, without significant side effects.

Because of this, it is advised to see a mental-health professional for treatment of such issues. Your primary doctor is more than qualified to prescribe something to help you, but often they have a "go to" medication that they routinely prescribe, and they won't be as familiar with the different nuances of the medications, or as experienced with tweaking the doses.

That doesn't mean you can't start with the prescription your primary is willing to give you, & then begin follow-up with a psychiatrist (the only mental health provider status that can prescribe medication).

In addition, a psychiatrist can provide you with different types of therapy (not all therapy needs to be done in their office, some can be at-home exercises to help you develop coping skills).

Sometimes the prospect of taking medication in & of itself can be anxiety-causing. So make sure to write a list of concerns to discuss with the psychiatrist on your first meeting. Taking anxiety medication only when needed (as opposed to regular daily doses) is quite common, & they can explain which medications work best for those situations.

Best of luck to you, I wish you peaceful thoughts. T. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

I would try a therapist first. See if you can figure out what is causing this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I had a friend that took medication when she was really anxious. It helped. She did not need to take it all the time but in really stressful situations or when she really felt like she was out of conrol, it helped her. She was hesitant to take anything but when she discussed it and found she could just take sometimes, not a daily pill to pop, she felt better.

I think she eventually also got counseling to cope with things and eventually started taking a natural supplement instead--all working things out with her doc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I would try yoga, acupuncture, counseling & L-theanine (amino acid). These are all great for stress & anxiety.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

should you talk to a mental health dr and not just your pcp? yes.
my pcp will prescribe anykind of anxiety meds i want but that does not mean that there is not a better way. a dr that specializes in mental health would be a better option. drugs are not always the answer. sometimes talking it out with someone else is all one needs.



answers from New York on

Counseling. You need counseling.

The Bible teaches those who study it to be anxious about nothing but to let your requests be know of God believing He answers prayers and rewards those who seek Him and believe he rewards your diligence. It also says worrying can't add one day to your life.

Get counseling first and use the techniques given first before resorting to a pill.



answers from Appleton on

Start researching... You can go the typical method and take prescription meds or you can go the holistic way and use herbs and other natural supplements. 5 HTP has proven results for helping depression and anxiety. The body makes 5 HTP from tryptophan found in turkey and dairy products but even if you eat these foods daily it can take days to build up in your system. You can get 5 HTP at Walgreens and many other stores. You don't need a prescription.
5 HTP helps to increase the serotonin levels in your brain.

What ever you decide do what is best for YOU. Look into the side effects of the prescription meds and the holistic approach see what works for you.
Also get into counseling. This will help more than you realize.


answers from San Francisco on

My daughter was treated successfully by a therapist, no meds. My best friend has been on anti anxiety meds for years (sadly it caused a serious heart defect in her baby boy, even though the doctor said it was "fine")
Everyone and every situation is different. Personally I would try therapy first, but if you need the meds and aren't trying to conceive then go for it.



answers from Las Vegas on

I think only you can know for sure if you should take anxiety meds or not.. but DO consider this.. you say that anxiety runs in your family, which leads me to think that in part (even if just a bit) your anxiety and or way of dealing with stressful things was something you were taught. If for example your caregivers didn't handle stress well and got angry or anxious or even overate, then you as a child may have witnessed this and thus picked up the habit(s)... Learned anxiety in part is no different than the child who has alcohol parents and learns (even if it's not true) that drinking is a means of coping.. of course later on, one finds out that drinking doesn't really help but can only make matters worse.
That said, the good news.. you can learn new ways of coping.. things like EFT (emotional freedom techniques) Epigenetics (you can read more about that on the net) and meditation have all been helpful to me when learning to cope better with stress.. As long as you give into the anxiety, youll just teach your mind that that is how you cope and it will keep going into anxiety mode..
for years I thought that I was destined to perpetuate my mom's depression... and for years I felt this low level blue feeling.. but as I got older and started to read more about LEARNED behaviors and or epigenetics and environmental influences.. I started to teach myself better ways of dealing with anxiety.. since learning that a lot of our behaviors can be changed, I have slowly started to feel better... I would say that in my 20s and early 30s my depression was at its worst, now.. I have a couple of blue days a month.... and even when I have those they aren't nearly as bad as they once were.. I would also add that brain health is key.. when I laid off the sugar (at least somewhat) and or crappy food and started juicing (primarily green juice) my mind felt clearer and I had more energy.. I also felt less jittery.. Also noteworthy, in my case, I am sugar I had a lot of candida overgrowth.. that in and of itself can cause brain fog, anxiety, depression, etc..
so take a look at your nutrition as well..


answers from Washington DC on

oh sweetie, please do. worst case scenario, it doesn't help, or you have to switch medications or dosages or something.
but you don't have to live with this, and your family will also benefit from you getting a break from your brain gnawing at you in this way all the time.
good luck!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions