Anxiety Disorders include a number of problems, often overlapping with other conditions. Depression is rarely seen without anxiety. Substance Use Disorders frequently occur with depression – often prior to onset of the substance use and frequently a consequence of substance use. Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Tic disorders, skin and hair picking are usually considered among the Anxiety Disorders. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a very significant issue.
Much of the 20th Century, anxiety disorders were treated with a variety of sedating agents including alcohol, barbiturates, antihistamines, benzodiazepines and related agents. Each of these have risks of addiction, accidents and death.
The most commonly used anti anxiety drugs are Benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin and many others. Many of the “sleep agents” are related, causing cross tolerance and overdose. Much study in PTSD and other anxiety disorders have shown consistently that these drugs actually prolong anxiety disorders rather than treating the actual problem.
We have found that many of our modern antidepressants (TCA and SSRIs) are superior anti anxiety agents, although require some time to be most effective.
If you seek care from me specifically to obtain benzodiazepines, we are unlikely to be a good match. My goal is to reduce habituation to these drugs and to help develop resiliency to manage anxiety. Psychotherapy, DBT, coordinated medication management and other strategies are much more likely to be helpful over the longterm.