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My question is regarding Benzos vs. SSRIs. I have constant anxiety. Thankfully it's not really there overnight. For the most part I sleep fine. But during the day it's there. I have annoying symptoms (and am on Topamax for migraines, which just adds more anxiety as a side effect). But my anxiety has been constant for the past 7 months since getting off depakote for migraines. I always had anxiety to a smaller extent, but got much worse after that. Still not sure if it's from any sort of depedence in the brain to the depakote, or if the depakote was covering up anxiety (since I found out later that Depakote is actually prescribed occasionally for anxiety nowadays). Anyway, I have worse anxiety in certain situations. I perform for my job as a singer, I have worse anxiety eating in restaurants, or in any formal situation...eating dinner at another persons house (any eating situation with others it seems), social situations, lots of phobias. Anyway, those are the worse situations, but my anxiety is constant. I feel the effects even when at home in my room or outside taking a walk.

My Dr. says I need an SSRI, but I'm worried about these first few weeks where it's supposed to make you worse. But how are they AFTER that? How much does it really work? Is there potential for damage from SSRIs? Why are they so bad from what I"m hearing? Is it just that they aren't as good? Or is there more to it? And how often do you need to take up the dosage to keep it working? And are they that addictive so that tapering off is actually a difficult process in itself?

Are Benzos actually bad? They sound like they're great for anxiety. But as I said, my anxiety is constant. I don't want to take it daily. I would only want to take it in situations where I NEED to be calmer, even though I want to be calm every day (like my job, or certain situations where my anxiety is really elevated). I don't want to get addicted to it in any form, no matter what kind of a dependency it could be. Plus I would not want to take it enough where I would need to raise the dose to have it work. This makes me think that I would have more of a problem coming off of it once the doses start climbing for results. Plus I read the post from the guy who suffered heart damage from being on Klonopin for 13 years. Doesn't sound like the benzos are really supposed to be taken steadily for long periods of time. Being addicted doesn't seem like "Oh well, I"ll just stay on it"...it seems like it could be a really big problem. It sounds like it causes more anxiety once you stop taking it, if you can get over the withdrawals from it. it sounds like there's potential for it to cause permanent problems if you take it for too long. That's rather discouraging too. Does not really sound like an every day type of drug to me...but it sounds like the best results for anxiety.

So my real question: What does someone like me do for constant anxiety?? Benzos give the best results....but SSRIs sound safer as an every day, long term drug AFTER the first couple weeks, right? Both give possible withdrawal effects that are not fun, but as I understand it, NOT dangerous and will go away with time. Both seem to have the possibility of increasing your anxiety upon discontinuation of the drug, which seemed temporary from what was said. But it sounds like SSRIs are the safer daily long term med if finding constant anxiety since they are meant to be long term daily drugs and benzos were designed to be as needed.





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