Avatar universal

Do antidepressants really help anxiety?

I have tried nearly every SSRI, SNRI, and atypical antidep (i.e the newer ones like Viibryd) in the world, but they don't help anxiety! Sure, I may worry a bit less on them, and they work wonders for depression, often times leading to loads of energy. I have tried remeron and trazadone for sleep, but they didn't help daytime anxiety. Never tried tricyclics. Currently on 50 mg Zoloft because my NP said Zoloft tends to be more anxiolytic than others? Been on it a month, no luck yet. Anyone else? PS Buspar was useless too lol
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Avatar universal
It generally takes about a month for SSRIs and SNRIs to start having an effect. If the medication seems helpful, your doctor may suggest you continue taking it for up to 6 months or even a year. Side effects are possible when taking these medications. Common side effects of SSRIs and SNRIs include nausea, trouble sleeping.

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle can also help improve your anxiety as well:

Drinking less alcohol
Practicing good sleep habits
Sticking to a nutritious diet
Practicing mindfulness
Helpful - 0
Only thing I would say is, I've lived with this stuff for most of my adult life and I've never had a doctor of any kind suggest I stop taking a med that works.  Not once.  Never on this or any other website have I hard anyone mention their doc told them to stay on it only for 6 months or a year.  Once you're on them, it's up to you how long you stay on them unless they don't work or the side effects are awful, in which case they will probably advise you to try something else.  Common side effects fill pages on company websites, so listing only two might give people an unrealistic expectation.  And of course many people don't get much at all in the way of side effects.  Just depends, although my experience is, if you don't get any side effects you're probably not absorbing the medication and it probably won't work.  I mention all this just to let anyone reading this that they have to have a big role in their medication, any kind, not just this kind, because your doc isn't likely to pay much attention.  And while there are a host of side effects, most people don't get them all, and while it's very individual which ones a person gets, the balance is against how bad your life is without the medication if therapy has failed.  Lastly, while mindfulness is a very well studied form of meditation, there are a lot of different forms out there and so if mindfulness isn't doing much for you, try a different one.  At one time TM was the most studied.  But there are thousands probably of different forms of meditation out there, coming mostly from the Buddhist or Hindu traditions (mindfulness is a Zen Buddhist meditation; TM is a Hindu form).  Peace, all.
Excellent point the balance is how bad your life without the med and if therapy failed.   IOW  one weighs the benefits,  side effects of any med and see from there.  Plus doing without the med.
973741 tn?1342342773
The statistic is that 20 percent of the population that takes medication is not helped by it.  Pretty high percentage if you ask me.  For the rest of us, the issue is expectations.  Medication doesn't mean you no longer have bad days or ANY anxiety, sadness or bad feelings.  It just allows you to cope better.  I've heard before "but I was still sad" when taking antidepressants.  Yes, you will still be sad on medication.  It doesn't cure life.  But it is different from feeling sad for a day and coping than not being able to get of bed because of pervasive sadness for days.  Taking the edge off is how I like to think of medication but it doesn't make life perfect.

So, did you just start zoloft?  It does take 6 to 8 weeks to fully work and that is one in which it normally takes a higher dose to be efficacious.  
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Thanks so much, all! I just reached 100mg a week ago, start up side effects easing off, and yes I am dedicated to giving this ample time to be effective. Still working on CBT like you said, and monitoring my diet because that makes a big difference too.
Avatar universal
BusPar doesn't really have a track record or working even in clinical trials.  It's mostly used nowadays along with an antidepressant.  But the answer is yes, for many antidepressants do really help with anxiety, but do they work for everyone?  Hardly.  Nothing works for everyone.  No one antidepressant even works for depression more than 30% of the time, which is why there are so many of them.  It's maddening, but different people just get really different results.  From what I've seen on this forum for many years it does appear Zoloft helps the most people, but that's pretty anecdotal and not at all scientific.  But even when they work they might stop working at some point, and they are hard to stop taking.  They have side effects.  Which means, if you truly want to cure your anxiety problem, drugs won't do that but therapy might if you keep trying.  No guarantees there either, but if it works, the problem is fixed, not just medicated.  But when the problem is so severe your life is just too hard to live, medication is the best thing we've got right now.  One month is a bit shy of the time it takes to know if a medication will work or not.  They say 4-6 weeks for most people.  Now, this my personal opinion after a long time battling the anxiety monster, get a really really good psychiatrist who knows how to use these meds and take you off of them.  Nurse practitioners have very little training in anything, mostly they know how to dispense medication but not much about medication or your problem.  Just my thoughts on it.  If you have to get a psychiatrist who doesn't take insurance to get a good one, do so, because you don't really need to see them very often once you find a med that works for you.  The truth is. it's all trial and error.  What works for one won't for another.  Dosage will be different for some than others.  The safe way to start and stop meds is to taper slowly up on them and very slowly off of them.  Using meds for their side effects -- highly sedating drugs to help one sleep -- can lead to worse problems.  And some people are drug resistant.  You may be one of them.  You sound like one of them, assuming you gave each one a long enough trial to know if it was going to work or not and the dosages were correct -- some need higher dosages because they don't metabolize them as well as others; some need lower doses because they metabolize them too well.  I have used a tricyclic, and it did help, but I'm not going to tell you any drug ever got rid of my anxiety, because none did and most don't.  They mitigate the symptoms, and then you're supposed to use that better state to get therapy and get better.  Most of us don't do that.  All of these meds for depression and anxiety were only tested and approved for short-term use.  They're almost always used long-term nowadays but they were never supposed to be and were never studied for that.  The tricyclic I took worked as well as the one ssri that helped, but it pooped out much more quickly.  So they can work.  For me, the side effects of tricyclics were more annoying than ssris, but were a lot easier to stop taking.  Tradeoffs.  So not much here is going to help you, it doesn't matter if they help some if they don't help you.  And that's the way it goes with these meds.  There are natural medicine techniques that are usually less strong than meds, but if meds don't work seeing a naturopath might help.  Every culture has its own traditions, so it's hard to exhaust all the options with natural medicine but it requires discipline and will also include therapy and a change in eating habits and lifestyle.  I hope you find what works for you, and I'm sorry you're having such a bad time of it.
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