I had very good experience with meds. Not Lexapro, I took Effexor. I had a few side effects, but for the anxiety, it helped immensely! I'd say after about 2-3 weeks, you'll start feeling a difference. Don't worry about the Xanax. I did Ativan, and at times, I wished I had more of them. I didn't care, I just wanted out of hell.
This is a great place for support. Everyone here knows what you're going through and wants to help!
Keep us posted.