Antidepressant & Anti-anxiety Medicine

Well first of all, I’ve to emphasize that I’m a Clinical Psychologist, I wasn’t trained in any medical background, what I’m writing and sharing in this post, regarding medicine, is from my working experience with a lot of patients every day.

Quite often people come to a psychiatric clinic with more than one problem, so things like “depression with insomnia”, “anxiety depression disorder”, “OCD with negative ruminations” are not uncommon. So they are of course, often prescribed with a number of different types of medications, which may fall under categories of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety or anti-psychotic (there are other types, but not my focus today).

Over the months or years patients or family will then start to tail off some medications themselves, whether because they think they’ve recovered, or they no longer need certain med, or certain med isn’t helping, or certain medicine is simply too expensive to afford taking long-term… And what’s left in their prescription, is often anti-anxiety medicine (and their names are often ended with -pam, such as lorazepam, xanapam, diazepam, tranpam, or their family lorans, xanax…).

Anti-anxiety is also commonly known as tranquilizers. They usually act fast, so within 10 to 15 minutes the patient will probably see the effects, whether when they feel restless, unable to sleep, too much worries, having obsessional thoughts… And this is what people like about these -pams. The effects are obvious, immediate, straightaway, you feel better right after it.

As compared to many anti-depressant drugs, it makes you drowsy, sleepy, tired, lose of sex drives, increase or lose of appetite etc, but you may take it for 2 weeks or even longer and still don’t see any changes in your mood. People’re definitely losing confidence in them, especially because many of those anti-depressants are also expensive (one tablet of it could be 6 to 7 times the price of a tablet of a tranquilizer).

So well, why not the all of us take anti-anxiety drugs? If you can’t sleep, take it. If you’re an OCD patient, take it. If you’re thinking or worrying too much, take it. If you can’t go on planes (phobia on board), take it. It’s probably going to solve most problems one may have, why pay more for something that you don’t see effect?

What’s the problem with it? Well no problem, other than the problem that you will probably have to take this anti-anxiety medicine for your problem, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. This is because it solves your problem on the surface, not on the root, it doesn’t in fact cure anything, although you see the effect right away. Unlike anti-depressant drugs, it takes time but eventually when the right dosage is on, you don’t just feel better, you get better too! (A bit like taking antibiotic…) One important to note here, is that taking the right dosage is also very important, some people like to reduce the medicine dosage themselves (especially if they find out that the tablets are expensive), however, taking too mild a dosage will not help with your problem!

So now I’m offering a solution, take both, take all that’s prescribed and the recommended dosage, some will release your problems right now, ease your suffers, but some will act for the long-term, and get you recovered.

2 thoughts on “Antidepressant & Anti-anxiety Medicine

  1. FYI, those “-pams” belongs to the group of chemical compounds called “benzodiazepines”. Besides the usual effect of anti-anxiety, this group of compounds are also abused globally. Usually these are the active ingredients in medications like sleeping pills. So, besides recommending patients to stay with their recommended dosage, beware of potential abusers.. :)

  2. Thank you – very useful information. The thing is generally Asian patients are so afraid of taking western medicine (including myself!), so they tend to be under-dose than… overdose! But yes, there are still those abusers…

    Why human body get tolerating to certain med more easily than to other? A lot of people are taking more and more sleeping pills, eventually it stops working for certain ppl, but this seems to happen less in tranquilizers (for those who use it as sleep aid)?

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