“Xanax?? Won’t I become addicted? Won’t it knock me out? What if it doesn’t work? What if it works too well? What if it has side effects?”
Felt like this before? I did after telling my doctor that I had heart palpitations, trouble sleeping, and daily stress.
I slept soundly because my mind wasn’t dreaming about all of the things I was worried about.
Taking anxiety medication can be difficult for an anxious person. Every medication has so many warnings and labels on it that you can feel like it’s safer not to take it than to take it. But if you have been prescribed Xanax for anxiety and your psychiatrist or primary care physician feels that it would benefit you, it is worth a try.
I get it though, you are worried and anxious about taking a pill for your worry and anxiety. Making a decision, any decision, is hard. I consulted with a therapist. Twice. I called my sister, my mother, my aunt, 3 friends, and a former boss. I looked at this decision from every angle and weighed the positives and negatives.
…it is also good to take a medication that might help you just enough that you are able to stop worrying about worrying so that you can get back to your life…
My therapist finally interrupted my panicked rambling and asked, “do you have it with you?” “Yes” I replied. “I will stay with you while you take it and I will make sure nothing bad happens” he replied. Well, in that case, I guess I should give it a try.
That night I slept soundly because my mind wasn’t dreaming about all of the things I was worried about. The next day I was less irritable because I had slept well and the Xanax was taking the edge off. I wasn’t worrying myself to death that I was going to have a heart attack from worrying so much.
The right dose of Xanax for a person who is legitimately anxious will not make them groggy, zoned out, sleepy, depressed, or lethargic. The right dose will reduce the anxiety enough that they are more relaxed and don’t crave more and more medication.
Xanax and other benzos get a bad rap because doctors are terrified of creating addiction so they overreact to the dangers. It is good to be cautious, it is good to check in with your doctor, but it is also good to take a medication that might help you just enough that you are able to stop worrying about worrying so that you can get back to your life and work on developing other coping skills to reduce your anxiety. For me, the benefits of Xanax far outweighed the risks.