I'm 18, and I've been struggling with GAD for quite some time now. My psychologist never mentioned anything about me getting medicine for my anxiety, but then again, my treatment was interrupted a month after it started, due to financial issues. But regardless, my family doesn't want me to take any medicine for this particular issue.
So how do they propose your disorder be treated? And it does need to be treated as it is probably not just going to go away. Indeed, the longer it is left to fester the harder it will become to resolve.
First off, I fear addiction. I read somewhere that with time people need to start taking stronger medicine each time and eventually they cannot function without it.
None of the meds used to treat anxiety disorders are addictive, but most do cause dependence which means you will have to wean off them slowly if you decide to stop taking them. Addiction and dependence are not the same thing, perhaps best illustrated by this study: Hirschowitz BI
, 1998. It is unlikely that anyone taking antidepressants or benzodiazepines would act as the patients in that study did if the consequences of doing so were the same.
Secondly, I fear that they might not work with me, y'know? Because even though I don't wanna take medicine, I have a lot of faith in it and think it'd help me deal with my anxiety more smoothly, so I fear giving in, taking the medicine, only to have failure as a result.
Benzodiazepines are almost guaranteed to work, however, because of the increasing reluctance of doctor to prescribe them they should no longer be considered primary, taken daily, meds for anxiety and are best used occasionally for breakthrough anxiety, IMHO.
Antidepressants are the preferred meds and can be very effective, but they don't work for everyone with only 60-70% getting enough benefit to make them worth taking. While no antidepressant is intrinsically better than any other, often one or two will be for an individual and it may take several med changes to find the best fit. You should also know that they don't work instantly, typically taking 3-12 weeks to kick-in. This is because they work by encouraging the growth of new brain cells
to replace those damaged by chronic stress hormone exposure and this takes a few weeks to get underway. They may also produce unpleasant side-effects in the first few weeks, however, there are ways of moderating these though they can't be eliminated entirely.
One final point, anxiety disorders are mostly chronic conditions that vary in intensity over time, but which don't often completely go away though long remissions are possible. Neither meds nor therapy are cures, they are only treatments.
Do you take medicine? Does it work? Do you fear addiction?
I have been taking antidepressants for panic disorder pretty much continuously since early 1987. While I have been dependent on them for all that time I have not had to increase my dose since I stabilized on my current med about 18 years ago, nor have I had a panic attack since it kicked-in.