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Well, by all means this should be done under the guidance of a licensed physician (it's the getting off the Xanax that is most concerning). Outpatient therapy can be successful and AA or NA can be helpful, but in my opinion it will take more that AA or NA alone.
I haven't heard that he desires to get off the medication and that is the most important piece to the puzzle.
As far as other suggestions to handle the anxiety and depression there are some good ones. One that has worked quite well is hypnotherapy. I am not a certified hypnotherapist, but I have referred many of my clients with anxiety and other issue to certified hypnotherapists and it has worked out quite well in every case that the client truly wanted help changing her/his thoughts and behaviors. Again, the key here is, does your son want to change?
It will take a fair amount of work, but in addition to hypnotherapy, he would be wise to consider his diet and sleep patterns. A good holistic nutritionist can help with the diet and the hypnotherapist can help with guidance with the sleep/rest patterns. It's important to make sure that you get a certified hypnotherapist if this is the route you decide to go.
How am I doing so far?
Very well, thank you. I had not heard of hypnotherapy for anxiety problems. In any case, he wants very much to get off the medication but is not sure how to proceed and is afraid of withdrawal. Do you have any reference to an addiction counselor and/or hypnotherapist in the Atlanta area?
I am happy to hear that he wants to get off the meds. Hypnotherapy is quite effective for many things including managing anxiety as well as conquering any number of additions so I feel good about the direction this could go. Unfortunately I don't have any connections for someone in Atlanta - but the best thing I can say is just make sure the therapist is licensed and is also certified in hypnotherapy. It shouldn't be hard to find a number to select from.
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Thanks for your assistance.