CBT_logo1How to Get off Your Anxiety Medications

How to Get off Your Anxiety Medications

Citizens of our modern world often feel that the time has come when just “popping a pill” is the answer to almost anything. Many of us have yet to realize that the medicines we buy are not the only ways to “cure” dis-ease. That is especially true related to anxiety. Experts assure us that the best solution for anxiety is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) not medications.1,2

Don’t Self-Medicate!

Many of the victims of anxiety feel that they can better control their symptoms by using over the counter sleep preparations or alcohol. This is not a good idea. In most cases, the results are not satisfactory,3,4,5 and the possibility of harm is great. However, harm is also possible with prescription medications. That and the cost of those drugs are two of three valid reasons to get off of them.

Reason Number Three

The third and best reason to get off anxiety medications is that they do not work well for anxiety. It does not make sense to use something that normally does not help, might harm you, is expensive and is a poor substitute for CBT.1

Getting Off Anxiety Medications

If you choose to be on medications for anxiety, it is assumed you have a medical doctor. Talking to your doctor about getting off the medications might be helpful, but in many cases, it is not to your advantage since doctors are trained to use medications first. Even though medicines may give some temporary relief, they will not cure anything. Medicines simply mask the symptoms.

You might do far better to make an appointment with an alternative medical caregiver. A naturopath is a good choice, as is a homeopath. Both choices are suitable options when using a natural approach to curing anxiety. A third good option is a CBT specialist. CBT is a means to long-term relief. Therefore, CBT is frequently the best cure for the causes of your anxiety.

Get A Support Group

It is typically easier to overcome a dependence on medication with the help of others. Joining a group is a good way to reduce taking medicine with the support of people with more experience. There are probably local groups that you can join to help you in this process or even online groups if you live in an isolated location.

Little By Little

Slowly reducing the amount of medicine you are taking is an outstanding way to overcome dosing with anti-anxiety medicine. By not stopping “cold turkey” there will likely be fewer symptoms of withdrawal from the effects of the chemicals on your system. The longer you have been taking them, the more probable that your body has become dependent upon them. If the addiction is a full-blown problem, you might need to be in a rehab facility to get them out of your body for good. Do not hesitate to ask for help.

 References:

1.    Roshanaei-Moghaddam, Babak; Pauly, Michael C.; Atkins, David C.; Baldwin, Scott A.; Stein, Murray B.; Roy-Byrne, Peter, 2011. Relative effects of CBT and pharmacotherapy in depression versus anxiety: is medication somewhat better for depression, and CBT somewhat better for anxiety? Depression & Anxiety (1091-4269). Jul2011, Vol. 28 Issue 7, p560-567. 8p.

2.    Fenton, Miriam C.; Keyes, Katherine M.; Martins, Silvia S.; Hasin, Deborah S., 2010. The Role of a Prescription in Anxiety Medication Use, Abuse, and Dependence. American Journal of Psychiatry. Oct2010, Vol. 167 Issue 10, p1247-1253. 7p.

3.    Strahan, Esther Yoder; Panayiotou, Georgia; Clements, Richard; Scott, Jessica, 2011. Beer, wine, and social anxiety: Testing the ”self-medication hypothesis” in the US and Cyprus. Addiction Research & Theory. Aug2011, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p302-311. 10p.

4.    Strahan, Esther Yoder; Panayiotou, Georgia; Clements, Richard; Scott, Jessica. Beer, wine, and social anxiety: Testing the ”self-medication hypothesis” in the US and Cyprus. Addiction Research & Theory. Aug2011, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p302-311. 10p.

5.    Menary, Kyle R.; Kushner, Matt G.; Maurer, Eric; Thuras, Paul, 2011. The prevalence and clinical implications of self-medication among individuals with anxiety disorders. Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Apr2011, Vol. 25 Issue 3, p335-339.

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