You're absolutely correct. I read the side effects on many medications that I was prescribed and panicked about them occurring.
Though in truth, there was only one medication given to me for anxiety that did in fact have a bad side effect for me. It gave me optic migraines that I never experienced before, and haven't since I stopped taking it. So now, to try new medications makes me very nervous.
For the most part, I do indeed rationalize my way through it. Though also depending on the day it can be really difficult to do. I've been known to skip a day or two because I was just too worn out already to deal with more fighting through the anxiety vs rationalizing.
My biggest fear is hallucinations. And although they are rare, most medications prescribed for anxiety do have that as a possible side effect. That one in particular makes me panic very badly. Interesting enough, I never had this phobia until around 3 years ago, and until I spoke to the wrong people who were going on about really frightening stories to do with illegal drug use and the hallucinations they experienced. This in turn brought on my phobia over all medications. I am trying to calm my mind down about it and to rationalize. But it really has become a huge issue for me. Coincidentally I do realize that medication is the only thing that can/does settle my anxiety down when it becomes like this.