Dr_Anderson : Greetings, and thank you for your question! I'm sorry you are having dsuch a rough time with the anxiety. To answer your questions, anxiety can be managed many ways, including by therapy and medicatioin. For the medication route, there are long term and short term solutions. Xanax and other benzodiazepines are good short-term solutions, but they do carry the risk of tolerance or "addiction." Xanax is very short-acting, so it has a higher risk of this than Ativan or Klonopin, which do not work as quickly as Xanax but last longer. (Ativan lasts about 4-8 hours and Klonopin about 8-12 hours for most people, at the correct dose). Long-term solutions are the antidepressant class of medications, like Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, etc. These work very well to control the underlying anxiety without the addiction potential of benzodiazepines.
Dr_Anderson : What a psychiatrist will do is evaluate you to see what symptoms you have. He/She will then work with you to come up with the best plan of action to manage the anxiety, likely some comibnation of what I have described above.
Dr_Anderson : If the anxiety is long-standing, then it is likely he/she will recommend a long-term agent, like Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Cymbalta, Effexor, or Pristiq.
Dr_Anderson : For shorter term treatment, use of either Ativan or Klonopin are also reasonable, to serve as a :bridge" until the long-term treatment begins to take effect.
Dr_Anderson : Hope this helps to get you started! Please let me know if you have other questions.
Dr_Anderson : Regards,
Dr_Anderson : Dr. Anderson