Does medication work?

Hi all. I have had anxiety for the last 20 odd years of my life but only in the last 4 years have I recognised the impact it has had. (It kind of blew my mind!) I have seen a psychologist who was really helpful, I am improved but still not living the life I would like. I refused medication at the time as I had previously tried Citalopram and had an awful reaction to it, is there good medication out there and how has it helped you?


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37 Replies

  • In my experience medication only masks our symptoms, if you want to be free of the anxiety there are methods that can do that, but its hard work.

    So, its a choice, a quick pill or the hard learning programme,

    I anxiety panics, heart problems for 30 years before I finally said enough is enough, and got on with getting better. Been 3 years drug free, and doing really well, I enjoy my days, and nights, can have a proper relationship with my wife, life is good.

    wish you well



  • Good for you baylien, I'm on a very small dose of Venlafaxine which I feel I need to cope. I wish I could cope with nothing, I've tried that but if I drop it I feel the bottom dropping out of my life.

  • I was on valium, xanax, for 30 years, I think its a necessary stage for some, I just wish these therapists could get and help us before we are drugged up.

    I believe some can be drug free from the start.

    Wishing you well



  • Hi B. I've just got to say that here in North Devon my experience of therapy etc has been wonderful, very quickly seen and in my case therapy before offered medication. I also have a great GP who keeps a check on how I am doing. However I appreciate this is rare as I know of people in other counties that have waited an exceptionally long time to be seen and been thrown meds in the interim. I just wanted to say there are places that have a good system.

    Nidge x

  • Hi Nidge,

    That does sound good, I wish you much success with the therapy, it is so worth persuing.

    all the best



  • Hi B. What is involved in the learning programme? I have had CBT, EMDR, Hypnotherapy and counselling, I am also on a Mindfullness course. I just want to be able to live a normal life, get a job etc

    Nidge x

  • Hi Nidge,

    Have all those therapies, not given you the skills to deal with the anxiety.

    Because if they haven't, something is wrong.

    I use the Dr. Claire Weekes approach along with a few other bits and pieces.

    I found a book called Simple effective treatment of agoraphobia the best one, it deals with anxiety panics second fear etc. Its very simple, and worked for me. Unfortunately the book is out of print, but you might be able to get a copy off of amazon etc

    Its about

    Face the fear, do not run away

    Accept the fear do not fight

    Float through the fear do not tense

    Let time pass, do not be impatient with time.

    Understanding second fear, and why we react like this is also extreemly important too.



  • Good therapy, face the fear. When you stand in a supermarket checkout and are so consumed with yourself that you think you're about to faint? Most people suffering from severe anxiety can't even navigate the car park, let alone get out of the car and collect a trolley before venturing into a busy place......

  • Hi agora,

    Thats why we have to slowly de-sensitise ourselves, by starting with the basics first. That could be just stepping out the door. And at these times we use the above treatment, always understanding second fear.

    Its a gradual process. Then when we stand at the checkout and a blaster comes we simply do the same, because we have worked up to this stage.

    I've suffered from severe anxiety for 30 yrs full on, I know what happens, what hell it causes, in the end we either suffer or do something about it.

    Wishing you well



  • I'm very interested in your therapies, and if they helped or gave you some decent info, for practicing.

  • Hi B

    Thanks again for your replies. All treatment has helped in some way, CBT for my irrational fears, EMDR for previous trauma (although I remembered things I perhaps wished I hadn't), Counselling for bereavement and hypnotherapy for relaxation. I have just started mindfullness so keeping an open mind for now. The thing is all the treatments have been spread over a 20year time frame I'm wondering if I should re-visit some. I am getting out more but so frustrated with myself for not managing better.

  • I was told mindfullness classes are for depression only, is that your take on it?

    Now you saying "I am getting out more but so frustrated with myself for not managing better"

    Is being a bit hard on yourself, your coping with a heck of alot of stuff, a key to feeling better is being gentle with ourselves, we have to care for ourselves, like we would a new born baby :-)

    There's alot of things that can trip us up on the way, but we just go back to the present and do our practice, each time, every time.

    I'd certainly say, get some new CBT etc, all in a block if you can to keep you on the mend.

    I'm having CBT at the moment, but the jury is out on if its any good :-)

    Wish you well



  • Thanks B

    Part of mindfullness is to be kind to yourself, so I will try more lol. I am pleased with how I've progressed I just want things to happen quicker or for someone to wave a magic wand and it to disappear lol. I think this is because I am getting worried about money and feel guilty that I cant contribute to our household finances. Mindfullness as far as I know is used for depression, anxiety and chronic pain, it is about bringing an awareness to what is happening in the moment and not letting your mind go somewhere else. I will let you know more the further I get into it, I know it has worked wonders for several of my friends. Good luck with the CBT.

    Nidge x

  • Hi nidge,

    The mindfullness sounds good, i'd be interested in the details.



  • Dear Nidget37,

    I take citralopram 10mg and it has helped me. My anxiety is less. I feel calmer and more able to cope with the possibility of work.

    It has has lessened my panic attacks and allowed me to sleep somewhat better.

    best wishes,


  • Hi Marcus

    I cant Citralopram as had quite nasty side effects but am glad it's working for you. It helps to know that some medications can make a difference.

    Nidge xx

  • Dear Nidget37,

    I wish you all the very best in finding a medication that works for you.

    best wishes,

    Marcus xxx

  • Dear Nidget37,

    I am sorry to read that you had quite nasty side effects from citralopram.

    There is a possibility that every medication has people that it works for and people that it doesn't work for, or at least that is what I conclude a bit.

    best wishes,

    Marcus xx

  • Absolutely, just scared now to take anything. Thank you for your best wishes they are very much appreciated.

    Nidge x

  • Nidget, I know that I wouldn't have got through the last twenty years had it not been for medication for my 'disorder', that's it. I fought for four years against any medication for my 'affliction', felt worse than before when I finally accepted a course of Seroxat (we all know now why), but I know that the reason I am here now is because of medication.

  • Thanks Agora

    Really appreciate your input.



  • I think medication can be very helpful if only to help you feel better so you can deal with your issues and problems.

  • Thank you Hypercat

  • I agree, Sometimes we need a leg-up.

  • Hi I'm currently trying to find the right meds I'm very sensetive to these drugs. I've just tried , fluxetine, trazadone and mirtazeapine last 2 are sleepers and I'd keep away from them if you don't hv a problem with sleeping as I was sleepy all day to. I had citalopram 4 year ago and had really bad side effects but I kept taking them with the help from Valium one 2mg with the citalopram on a morning and night they did help but not completely. The docs have given me cipralex/escitalopram 5mg tablets which he and pharmasist have advised to half with me been sensetive so I'm only taking around 2.5mg. I've only just took the first half this morning. I've not been on here for a few days as my boyfriend csme bk from germany on leave, and had some really good days, slthough i did have 1 bad night/day as i had no sleep due to upset stomach im sure my anxiety is causing ibs :( I tend to feel my worst a week before and during my period. Tablets along with therapy is suppose to be good if you find therapy is suppose to be the best treatment. But I've been told that so don't know how true it is. I hope you find something soon :) I've got a book from my library called the feeling good hand book which is very interesting and has cognitive behaviour therapy worksheets and talks you through it :)

    Jo xxx

  • I'm shocked that you're taking Valium, I thought it had been banned!

  • Sorry I forgot to say I only managed 4 days on fluxetine 2 days on trazadone and 1 day on mirtazeapine. I came off citalopram around a year n half ago. So the only tablet I'm taking at the min is the cipralex/escitalopram

    Jo xxx

  • Hi Jo

    Blimey, sounds like you've had a pretty rough time with meds. I also think I am sensitive as my GP was surprised that I was having such strong side effects so quickly with the Citalopram, this is why I am so scared to try anything else. I also feel worse before my period but have been told that 'StarFlower' can really help, I just havn't had the spare money to try it. Thank you so much for your input, it is very much appreciated.

    Nidge xx

  • Were you perscribed Valium recently?

  • Ask to be started low and slow, I took this tablet 8am this morning and I'm already feeling very anxious :( it is so hard to stick any meds out especially if you are sensetive, I'm feeling sick, dizzy and dry mouth yak! But then this could be my anxiety, yal not know unless you try them :) just keep a note of how you feel you will know personally if you can tolerate them

    Jo xxx

  • Thanks Jo

    Seeing the doc tonight so will run through it all with him and say about starting slowly. Hope your day improves :)

    Nidge x

  • Sorry to repeat my question Jolene but I'm genuinely surprised and interested that you're being perscribed Valium.

  • Sorry I didn't see this why are you surprised that the doc are prescribing me Valium ?

    Jo x

  • Thanks Jolene. I only asked because I thought Valium had been withdrawn from use in the UK. It's highly addictive so I thought they'd stopped it. sorry.

  • Yeah it's highly addictive, I only use it when I can't calm myself from a panic attack or if I've felt anxious all day and there only 2mg tablets :) lowest dose

    Jo x

  • Aww good hope you get sorted Hun :)

    Jo xx

  • Viibryd is helping me. It took about six weeks before I noticed a positive change.

    Good luck, keep trying there will be one that works for you.

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