Anxiety Medication Side Effects | Navigating the Discomfort

anxiety medication side effects

Anxiety medication side effects can be tough to handle. This is especially evident when going onto new medication or going off medication.

When you’ve got an anxious brain, medical professionals often recommend taking medication. Sometimes anxiety meds work great, but more frequently, they don’t.

Finding the best anxiety medication for you is a long journey filled with ups and downs, tapering and withdrawal. It is a long process that can be extremely taxing, but it can also be lifesaving. Whether or not anxiety meds work for you is a completely individual experience. I’ve found medication extremely useful, and it’s one of the reasons that I’m here.

I have spent hours online Googling anxiety medication side effects to try and figure out if it’s the meds making me feel a certain way or if I’ve finally gone crazy. More than once, I was in a state of panic after switching my medication. The shift made me feel like I was losing my mind as well as control over my body, wreaking havoc on my nervous system.

But when the side effects and withdrawal subsided, I realized it was just the medication.

Common Anxiety Pills Side Effects

Side effects will affect some people, while others will be completely fine. This depends on your body, your sensitivity and probably a whole bunch of other things we don’t understand.

Some of them are more manageable than others. But there are a few that are detrimental to both your quality of life and your mental well-being.

anxiety meds side effects

Common Anxiety Medication Names

Anxiety medications come in different forms and treat anxiety (and other mental illnesses) in different ways.

Some of them you’ll have heard about on television, while others you might have personal experience with.

Here are a few of the most commonly prescribed medications for anxiety.

  • Wellbutrin
  • Lamictal
  • Trazodone
  • Alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Diazepam (Valium)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin)
  • Lithium
  • Buspirone (Buspar)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Propranolol (Inderal)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

Anxiety Medication Withdrawal

The only thing worse than being on anxiety medication that’s not working for you is going off it.

If you suspect your meds aren’t working for you, in my experience, it’s easier to stop them sooner rather than later. The longer you’re on them, the more time your body has to get used to them and create a dependency.

Withdrawal sucks, and you need to take care of yourself during this time. As hard as it is, you have to try and stay optimistic. It might be a really rough two weeks of tapering off medication. During this period, remember that the sensations you feel are from the withdrawal, they aren’t you.

Are Anxiety Drugs Worth It?

Sometimes medication works in some ways and not in others. Often a compromise has to be made temporarily.

For example, you might battle with intermittent nausea as a side effect. But for some people, that won’t hinder their daily life. It’s unpleasant, but it may be better than the alternative. (In my case, my anxiety is triggered by nausea, so anytime medication makes me nauseous, I run for the hills.).

If possible, try to avoid falling into the trap of treating anxiety pill side effects with more medication. This often leads to taking a handful of pills each day just to feel ‘normal’.

side effects anxiety meds

Choosing the Right Psychiatrist

The right psychiatrist can make a massive difference on your medication journey. I’ve had five different psychiatrists in 9 years and have learned a lot about what to look for.

We place a lot of trust in psychiatrists, so finding the right one is essential.

Some of the most important things to look for in a psychiatrist are:

  • Someone who listens
  • Someone not afraid to try alternative methods of treatment (things like yoga or sensory regulation)
  • Someone who cares about your health
  • Someone you trust
  • Someone you feel comfortable talking to
  • Someone who is holistic

Navigating your Anxiety Meds Journey

When it comes to side effects of anxiety meds, I’ve had my fair share and then some. I’ve gone through phases where my body felt like it wasn’t my own, and I had no idea what was happening. As someone with massive control issues around my body, this made my anxiety disorder even worse.

But now I’m on a combination that’s working really well for me. The side effects are minimal, and they’re something I can live with. But it took me nine years and a whole lot of hell to get to the point where I am today.

We’re all trying to find an anxiety medication with the least side effects, but I’ve come to accept this isn’t possible. You find what works for you and work around the unpleasant stuff.

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