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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Please help me with questions on anxiety/depression

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Hello, please help me with questions on anxiety/depression medication. I am 49 with recent onset anxiety/depression. It is bad enough that I am anxious all day and unable to go to work. My doctor has prescribed klonopin and Zoloft. Unfortunately I have looked at the internet and seen many many accounts of dependence and nightmarish withdrawals from these drugs. Also many accounts of people using them for the rest of their lives. I am deathly afraid of these drugs. Am I punishing myself unnecessarily by not taking them. I feel like my old self will be gone either way.

Hello and thank you for requesting my help. I will work on your answer and get back to you as soon as I can.


Thank you for your patience. I appreciate it.

If you are having generalized anxiety and depression, then you may not need medication like Klonopin and Zoloft. You can take a medication like Buspar and have relief from your symptoms of anxiety. A depression medication that might help is Celexa. Also, you do not necessarily need to take stronger medications at first. You may find a mild medication does enough to help you be able to get back to work. You certainly have the right to tell your doctor if you feel uncomfortable with your medications and that you want to take another kind of medication, one less addicting.

Keep in mind that people who take medications all react differently from one another. So for example, if your friend takes Zoloft and has a bad reaction, that does not mean you will as well. Some people get great relief from these medications. You mentioned that you tried Klonopin twice. What kind of reaction did you have? If it was ok and you had very few side effects, it may be a good medication for you. If not, try something else.

Medications are ok to take when you feel you cannot function. They can help you get back to a functional level. But medications only cover over the symptoms. They do not cure your anxiety or depression. Therapy and self help, however, are permanent. Through therapy, you can learn why you feel the way you do and how to cope. You can get support and improve your mood. To find a therapist, ask your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at

You can also help yourself at home. Here are some resources to help you:

Self-Coaching: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression, 2nd Edition, Completely Revised and Updated by Joseph J. Luciani

Overcoming Anxiety and Depression: Practical Tools to Help You Deal with Negative Emotions by Bob Phillips

Overcoming Anxiety, Panic, and Depression: New Ways to Regain your Confidence by Arthur H. *****, ***** Gardner

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

You can also join support groups on line or in person. They can help you feel less alone and give you much needed support. Here are some links to help:

You can also work with someone here on Just Answer. Experts often work with people to offer support and provide answers when needed. You can work with someone of your choosing by continuing the post you start with someone whose answer you felt helped. You just reimburse the Expert as you continue the thread.

Remember, you always have the right as a patient to say you feel uncomfortable with your treatment. Professionals are there to help you, not cause worse anxiety for you. If the professional does not agree with you, it's time for a second opinion.

I hope this has helped,

Can I help you any further?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for a lot of good information. I know you do not prescribe medications, but in your treatment of patients, do you find that the many are able to use benzodiazepines and depression meds sucessfully on a short term basis. What's the norm for those using drugs? I have been going drug free but every day is a battle.

You're welcome!

There are many alternative medication regimes that you can take to help you. If you are uncomfortable with what you have been prescribed, then it is alright to tell your doctor that you want to try a short term medication to see if it helps. Because your body chemistry is different than anyone else's, what medication works for you is a matter of finding what matches your individual needs.

I understand that reading this information on the internet is tempting. And nothing is wrong with an informed patient. You should look after your own interests. But some of the information out there is not accurate and can prevent you from finding the right medicine.

If you need information about any medication, consider the drug manufacturer's websites, your doctor's input and speaking to a pharmacist. Your doctor knows you and your history best of all and it does not hurt to get another professionals opinion. And if you feel uncomfortable with the Klonopin and Zoloft, say so. Tell your doctor that you want to start off slow and with a milder medication. That way, you feel comfortable and your doctor can guide you.


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