What medication do I take for anxiety?

This is a question I get asked a lot. Anyone who knows me and my views will know I am not a fan of them. Not just because I believe recovery comes from within, but also the wrong medication is given to sufferers. I know of around 30 different medications handed out for anxiety. This is because people can get wrongly diagnosed and also because the patient comes back and tells them it is not helping, so they shift them on to something else. No other condition has so many different medications to treat it, maybe the answer lies away from tablets then!

I was given seroxat to treat my anxiety, which is mainly an anti depressant. Did it make me feel better? No, I wanted answers to what was wrong with me, that would have helped far better. I got a lot of side effects and decided to come off them. I was also handed out beta blockers, these were suppose to slow my heart rate down. Again I never mentioned my heart raced, it rarely did, I suffered with chronic anxiety and this did nothing to help. Again I decided to come off them and find my own answers, I just felt until I had some answers to the way I felt, medication was never going to be the answer.

I had someone last week say they went to the doctors and explained their symptoms, the reply was to just stare at them and hand out some tablets. This is exactly what I went through. The doctor just looked confused, if he did not know then it must be serious. Going back to the lady who went to see the doctor, back she went and stated the tablets were not helping at all. His answer was to double the dosage, again they did not help and she felt more bewildered than ever, falsely believing that she was the only one in the world to feel like this. She got in touch with me after reading my book and said it helped far more then any medication. An explanation to how we are feeling always does, it takes so much fear and worry out of the equation, the very thing that keeps anxiety and panic alive.

The only time I would see a place for medication for anxiety would be that the sufferer finds something that takes the edge of the way they feel and are given the correct advice along side it. Medication without an explanation is just a crutch. I never wanted a crutch or something that could bring other problems, I wanted to come through naturally.

I am not a doctor and don’t claim to be. Some people do find a little relief with medication, but far more I come across don’t. That is always a personal choice. My advice though is always to educate yourself, knowledge is always power with anxiety. It is the very thing that got me home and not some tablet.

The main reason for this post is that it pains me to read emails asking what medication they should try, some have been on medication for many years and have not found any peace, swapping and changing every year. I tell them the answer does not lie on an outside cure, but a cure from within. I have yet to meet anyone who had recovered solely through medication and I don’t believe I ever will.

For more help and advice visit my main site www.anxietynomore.co.uk

For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit


14 Responses to “What medication do I take for anxiety?”

  1. Mark Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for this good post. I totally agree with you on the medication issue. Also thanks for all the good info on your site and in your wonderfull book which I just finished reading.
    Today I have been looking at some of the anxiety forums. And I must say that they make you very sad and depressed. Everybody is on medication or switching between them like they are sweets. Also there is not much advise on these forums and most of the people there are so desperate in finding a solution that they lose there selfs in there struggle with anxiety. What do you think of the things that are going around on al these forums. Although sometimes there is good advise on them, most of the time people are scaring each other with all kinds of things. For me I still strugle from time to time. But acceptance definitely made a difference. Also I would like to recommend this blog: http://mindfulness-and-anxiety.blogspot.com/ by Dr. Forsyth. I would like to know whats your opinion about this new ACT. I realy like it and it is in line with your book and website. So for now thanks for your great advice and book. Greetings!

  2. No More Anxiety Says:

    Hi Mark, Posts like mine are very radical, people think we must not speak out against the medical world! Why not, it failed me terribely. Also this is why so many people end up on medication, they believe the doctor, they put their trust in them. Anxiety is really a subject in itself and too many doctors are ill equipped to help.

    I rarely leave links in as I have to fully believe in what they say. After a brief look he seems to have similar ideas, with one or two good posts in there. I don’t know much about A.C.T but the belief again is not to fight the way you feel on a daily basis, which is always good advice.

    Really glad you enjoyed the post and the book, good luck in the future.


  3. Shirley Dalley Says:

    I fought and fought not to have anti – depressants and the Doctor finally prescribed Beta Blockers – I did have a racing heart and felt instant relief. I have always been lucky enough not to have an addictive personality and know (from my first experience) of Beta Blockers that once returned to normal I needed them no more for 12 years. Yes, Beta blockers have helped me. As for the Doctor – are they trained to open their mouths as little as possible? It’s like everything else in life – you are, in the end the only one who can deal with your situation – but I was so grateful for those words of Beta blockers I could have kissed him. My worst problem is lack of sleep. the counsellor says that lack of sleep didn’t kill anybody but my argument is that sleep is the best healer and if you get in a car and have to drive miles after your miserable nights sleep the fact that you might fall asleep at the wheel is the killer.
    Does anyone know if it is safe to mix Beta blockers with Herbal medication/sleeping tablets? I’d rather not ask the Doctor, he can’t seem to cope with more than two questions at a time.
    I found that the facilities for mental health issues in my former home town were brilliant – they were so geared up – everything on hand – as many times as you needed to see a counsellor, in fact there was a headquarters to deal specifically with it all. Moving Counties has been a real eye opener.
    But as I have said before, this website is brilliant for healing the troubled mind, so keep up the good work Paul.
    Shirley D

  4. No More Anxiety Says:

    Hi Shirley, I am glad you found beta blockers a help, as I say if something helps then fine and I would rather they be beta blockers as the side effects are far less than some other medications handed out there. I was also given beta blockers and they did nothing for me, I never had or mentioned a racing heart, but again they just throw them at you as it say so it the manual..Anxiety-Beta blockers. This is what annoys me more than anythiny, people given the wrong medication for their condition, chopping and changing until they try and find something to make it all go away. I decided to do it without medication, the side effects really bothered me and I never felt I was getting anywhere, but if anyone finds a little relief then great, as long as people address other issues and not believe a tablet will solve everything.

  5. Yurtdisi Egitim Says:

    it seems like e very good web site but my English is not good. It would be great if it might be availible in other languages too. Thanks.

  6. Amy Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I came across your website when searching for information on Anxiety without meds. I have been on Lexapro for approx. 3 years now. I want to get off of it. I have heard that with diet, exercise and the proper mind tools it’s actually a possibility. Do you have any insight for me on getting off the medication? Obviously you have a wealth of information available for living pill free after the fact. Just trying to do a little research before stopping the pills.

    Thanks for your time,

  7. Sam Says:

    I’ve been taking anxiety meds (Xanax) and also an anti-depressant (Cymbalta) for my anxiety and I STILL get anxiety attacks. I’ve been to therapy which did nothing for me. She told me to sing, that it regulates breathing. This is fine, but, I am concerned about how much Xanax I have been taking. I am afraid of NOT having them, and, wish to God I could be without them. I am plagued by anxiety and don’t know what to do.

  8. Ceb Says:

    Hi, just a note on beta blockers; I suffered from bouts of depression and melancholy as a student, was given seroxat and had awful side effects and then took a long time to come off it. I had little ‘electric’ shocks etc. Beta blockers helped hugely. I was later diagnosed with an underactive thyroid which, along side a type of contraceptive pill, was most likely the main problem. However in the ten or twelve years since I have suffered from anxiety to different degrees, more recently work linked (I am a special needs teacher, often working with very difficult children and have a management role in the school) and my saviour has been the beta blockers, and a doc who basically listened to me when I said they were good. Cbt has hugely helped me and did most of the ground work for me, but needs time, and the b b’s work right away. I am very happy now but have ‘melt downs’ due to stress and pressure and intense fear of being afraid or stressed.I am also obsessed with what people thing about me and getting it right! Which makes me worse! Bb’s definately avert this especially if I know I have a tough day ahead. I have no side effects but try not to take them unless necessary. They just make me feel tougher and avert the thoughts that could lead me to depression. Interesting what they said about bb’s and traumatic stress recently too. Hope this helps someone . X

  9. lynn Says:

    My son has been on fluoxetine (prozep) for nearly six months, his phsycologist believes he has GAD (general anxiety disorder). He is 17, and I was wary for him to have medication anyway, as fluoxetine is not usually given to under 18’s. They also wanted to increase the dose but we decided against it for now. He has been having counselling sessions weekly for nearly a year and is having a final assessment at the end of this month for an asperger’s syndrome diagnosis which I have thought he has had since he was around 4yrs old, the phsycologist thinks its GAD. Its been a long battle and hopefully we will know one way or the other what the problem is.

  10. Sandie Says:

    My 17 year old son was diagnosed at 12 yeard old with Generalised Anxiety Disorder – although mild Aspergers and Pervasive Developement Disorder were also mentioned during his treatment. He had approximately a years worth of cognitive behaviour therapy which he found hard to cope with and in fact developed OCD during his treatment. He was discharged and we were told he had been given the tools to help him cope and the rest was up to him. He hasn’t improved – he finds normal everyday life stressful and lives in a permanent negative, anxious haze.
    Medications was offered during treatment but we were all reluctant to medicate him at such a young age. He says he justs wants to be “normal”
    His education suffered, he left school with few qualifications, he has had 2 short term jobs since leaving school – both raised his anxiety levels to the roof. I try to be positive and calm but feel he needs more help if he is to live a relatively “normal” life. Can anyone help?

  11. Stephen Says:

    Sandie has he read Pauls book “at last a life”?

  12. Billy Says:

    Hello everyone
    While i am not new to this forum this is my first time posting (i couldn’t figure out how ? but Paul explained so you can thank him for me being here gracing you all with my presence ?).

    I was lucky enough for a few different reasons in my anxiety experience. My family Dr. is not one of those doctors that will just hand you a prescription and send you packing. So when i went to him about a month after my 1st run in with anxiety and told him few of my symptoms his answer was that is anxiety and nothing but yourself can help you. So i said can i at least have something for sleep as my sleep paterns were all over the place, he flat out said no. He also told me this: it takes less time for me to hand you a prescription than to list all the reasons i wont. take up dance lessons excercise etc it will go away if you allow it. i went back to my car shaking and crying thinking he is freaking crazy how can he flat out tell me no. so what did i do i ran to the nearest walk in clinic and i ask them for lorazepam (i had my first ever panic attack and the dr in the er prescribed me this in 2008) so this is how i knew of lorazepam and of course walk in hands me the prescription and a refil. just by holding that in my hand i felt relief. so i used it for a month at night time only to be able to sleep. and then while i was at work one day looking up my symptoms and all sorts of crazy solutions and answers i came accross this website. couldnt wait to get home to read through it ordered the book read it and dumped lorazepam. I still have some bad days but once it starts hitting me i say in my mind *bring it on* and i go about my business. my sleep paterns have improved but i take melatonin and valerian root sometimes. Majority of my symptoms is gone..i still get a crazy thought every now and then but i go on they dont scare me anymore and i still have that annoying ear ringing but the most importand thing is i dont wake up in the morning searching to see if all my symptoms are back or still there. I am blessed for having a great family dr and for coming accross Paul’s work. This is truly what helped me get better, not this or that medicine mantra saying crystal etc..Sorry about my post being super long but i’ve wanted to post for some time but like i said i didnt know how, so i got a bit too excited sharing my story (tiny bit of it anyways) ??. I hope everyone of you beautiful people have a fantastic day.

  13. Mo Says:

    Is it advisable to take medication for attention defecit that happens to be addictive/strong stimulant while in recovery?

  14. Anushree Says:

    I want to ask one question that whether your advices be followed by for a person who suffer from bipolar disorder ……it’s so tiring you have depression in the morning and feel fine in d evening

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