Have you become addicted to your anxiety medication?
Do you feel you can’t function without them?
If you are starting to feel as if you are too dependent on your anxiety medication then it’s time to take an honest self-examination. Letting go of your anti-anxiety medication is not an easy prospect. But if you’ve been thinking about it, chances are, you may be ready.
If you are thinking or would like to learn how you can possibly live a life without anxiety medication then this article is for you. It will outline some practical steps you can do with the assistance of your doctor to break free from anxiety medication.
Anti-anxiety medication, in theory, is meant to be an aid, not a part of life. In this day and age, we often “toss a pill” at a problem without ever examining more natural, long-lasting solutions. Often years go by and our reliance becomes more firmly entrenched, making it more difficult to let go when we need to.
If you’re reading this article, you may be looking into the permanency of your medication, which is a good sign. Questions may start to surface: can I handle life after meds? What will I do if you feel an anxiety attack coming on? Will I have withdrawal symptoms? Will I sleep as well? What if I revert back to my old state or possibly feel even worse than before?
First of all, there is life after meds! Sometimes a richer, fuller life than you thought possible, aided by the groundwork you created when learning to manage your anxiety.
And fortunately, there are some very smart, logical steps to wean you off your anti-anxiety medication in a healthy and sane manner:
1. Create a game plan with your doctor
There are steps involved when you discontinue taking anti-anxiety medication. A “cold turkey” approach could seriously compromise your physical and mental well-being. It is strongly not advised!
Tapering off medication is dose dependent and each one has specific guidelines to follow, some of which require up to six months to phase out. Consult with your doctor and strategize.
It’s also helpful to know that a professional is aiding in this process and you’re not going it alone. Remember, your physician is a resource – use him or her for that purpose.
2. Anti-anxiety techniques – how far have you progressed?
How well have you developed alternate anti-anxiety techniques? Techniques such as therapy, meditation, creative expression, exercise and diet need to be explored and maximized before you decide to discontinue your anti-anxiety medication. It’s imperative to have a practice in place to fall back on during “trigger” times, whether it’s deep breathing, prayer, herbal supplements or vigorous exercise.
Just like any other skill, these techniques have to be practiced and sharpened. If you’re interested in discontinuing your anti-anxiety medication, the first step is practicing those techniques on a daily basis, so you’re ready during the tapering off period. Consider it like training for a marathon. You wouldn’t expect to run the full distance without preparing, would you?
3. Self-acceptance is key
So you’ve consulted with your physician and genuinely feel your other anti-anxiety techniques are firmly in place. It’s time for the process to begin.
It’s important to realize that you may experience many different kinds of sensations and feelings during this time period. Radical self-acceptance is key. It’s equally important to remind yourself that the discomfort you may experience is not permanent; the brain has a wonderful ability to balance out, when given time.
If you feel a bout of acute anxiety, it is okay to require medication. Self-allowance is key and feeling like a failure, unnecessary. It’s a process, with ups and downs.
And again, remember, your doctor is a resource. Its imperative you feel comfortable enough to call or visit him or her if you’re in serious distress. In addition, you may want to tell close friends and family that you’re discontinuing your medication and you’d like their assistance in whatever way possible.
Discontinuing anti-anxiety medication can seem like a daunting process. In the same breath, if you’ve practiced alternate skills to manage your anxiety, you may feel a genuine sense of relief in knowing that you’ve accomplished your goals and can now manage your anxiety without the aid of medication. Many people report feeling fully themselves again and surprised at how far they’ve come.
Aaron Jordan has been helping people overcome their anxiety and panic attacks for the past 10 years.
To learn read the full article on Anti Anxiety Medication Are You Addicted?
To learn about the best program to assist you in breaking free from anxiety medication please read my review of the Panic Away Program.