Mental Health Issues Community
236 Members
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
2 Responses
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.
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.  
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.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Simple, drug-free tips to banish the blues.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Are there grounds to recommend coffee consumption? Recent studies perk interest.
For many, mental health care is prohibitively expensive. Dr. Rebecca Resnik provides a guide on how to find free or reduced-fee treatment in your area