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There are two approaches to deal with anxiety. The first is medication and the second is psychotherapy. In reality when both are done together it is the most effective approach. Paxil is an SSRI and I suspect the other one was as well. You may wish to try the newer SNRI type antidepressants. Both these types of antidepressants are also indicated for use with anxiety. There are two other medications for anxiety. One is the benzodiazapine type such as Valium or Xanax (incidentally any physician can prescribe these, but usually it is a psychiatrist-no other type of therapist is licensed to prescribe). The problem with these medications is that they are highly addictive. The other anti anxiety medication is called Buspar and it is not addictive. Studies have show that the most effective treatment for anxiety is a type of psychotherapy called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In CBT you learn new ways of thinking and acting and as a result your feelings change with less anxiety. With respect to costs, if you are without funds or resources you may be eligible for state sponsored Medicaid. If your income is too high, you may go to you local community mental center. They use a sliding scale fee based upon your ability to pay, or you can go to your nearest University Hospital with an outpatient psychiatry department and they use the same fee system. So to repeat a psychiatrist is the only one who can prescribe and various other mental health professionals usually do the therapy. Best wishes and good luck.
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SRNI's can take between 3-6 weeks. You usually start at a lower dose and the dose is raised if there are no side effects until you achieve the desired result. It is not uncommon to take up to approximately 2 weeks to reach the maximum dosage and achieve the desired effect.
I am glad to hear that you realize that although alcohol may reduce your anxiety initially, it is replacing one problem with a greater one.