Is medication the answer for anxiety sufferers?

By Sophie Slosarczyk

It’s a question many have asked during the deepest, most intense episodes of fear and worry. 

And unfortunately, there is no answer to this. 

Medication as we know is available on prescription from a doctor for anxiety. 

However those who know me know I don’t talk about medication in my anxiety relief coaching. I focus on natural relief only. 

In terms of drugs for anxiety, there are different responses to it, many of which are positive, but many extremely negative as well.

Most articles you read on types of anxiety medications such as SSRIs and SNRIs explain they take up to 6 weeks to work. 

Other types such as Benzodiazepines can work much quicker (usually within hours) however should only be used in short term cases due to the risk of addiction. 

And then of course there’s the multitude of side effects which may come from putting something chemical in our bodies. 

I didn’t take medication for postnatal anxiety, which was my personal choice at the time, therefore I have no experience how anxiety medications work or how they make us feel. 

And there are many reasons I declined medication. 

For one, I didn’t like the idea of taking them (personal decision).

I was also breastfeeding my 6 month old at the time and wasn’t sure on what effects medication would have on my milk and on him?

And I also have an unshakeable belief in the power of the human body to heal itself

I’m not against people taking medication in the slightest. 

Which is why I choose to only teach natural anxiety relief practises. 

But recently I’ve received a few questions from mums asking whether medication works? 

Specifically, whether it’s THE answer to get rid of anxiety?

And I feel it’s important to address this question. 

The thing with anxiety medication is that it’s not designed to heal anxiety for good. It’s designed to target the symptoms for short term relief. 

Therefore, to answer the question “Will it get rid of my anxiety” my honest answer is it may help alleviate the symptoms you’re experiencing, but it won’t heal your anxiety. 

There’s a crucial difference. 

Many studies over the years have compared the advantages of medication over psychotherapeutic treatments for different anxiety disorders and found that medication for anxiety offers no long term solutions (Griffin & Tyrell)

Medication ought to be seen as a short term solution for anxiety and always be taken alongside other therapies at the same time, such as CBT, talking therapies or counselling. 

I think the more important approach to anxiety medication from a mother’s point of view is “What are my other options?”

When we visit our doctor with anxiety we may feel like all options are out of our hands. 

But this is not the case! Your doctor is there to help you and guide, not to make decisions for you. 

You absolutely must ask questions, probe your doctor and establish whether medication is right for you or not. 

It’s important to know your options and to see where you stand. Do your research beforehand. 

Ask yourself how you feel about taking medication?

Look into the statistics. 

And then ask your doctor: 

  1. What are the pro’s and con’s of this medication?
  2. What are the possible side effects?
  3. How long will it take to work?
  4. What else can I do to help myself other than taking medication?
  5. What effects will this medication have on my baby? (if applicable)
  6. What else can I be offered as a longer term solution such as talking therapies/CBT etc?

The truth is, with any form of treatment, nothing is guaranteed. 

But you’ll help yourself if you feel better prepared and have as many of the answers beforehand. 

I hope this article helps you.

Remember, you’re in charge of your body, so get the answers beforehand and you’ll be doing what’s best for yourself and your family. 

Sophie x

Sophie Slosarczyk

Sophie Slosarczyk

Wellbeing coach, healthcare professional and anxiety relief expert. Mum of two baby boys. Loves nothing more than a hot cup of tea (rarely happens these days) and a real heart to heart.

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