In this blog post we will answer the question “what is the best anxiety medication with the least side effects?” Keep reading all the way to the end as this is an important one.
Great… Here we go:
There are generally two main prescription anxiety medications out on the market today.
Of course there are other smaller ones as well but these two are the big ones and in order to give the question, “what is the best anxiety medication with least side effects”, a fair answer, we first have to take a look at these two.
Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive drugs commonly called minor “tranquilizers”. They act on the GABA receptors in the brain, resulting in sedative, hypnotic (sleep-inducing), anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), anticonvulsant, and muscle relaxant properties.
Benzodiazepines are the most effective medications for anxiety but they are far from safest. While short term use is generally considered safe (at low doses), they come with a lot of side effects, and long term use can lead to physical as well as psychological dependence.
Aside from the risk of benzodiazepine addiction some of the side effects of ‘benzos’ are:
- Short term memory impairment (difficulty learning new things)
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Lack of coordination
Worth mentioning is also the very high risk of withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. The ironic part is that stopping the medication, even after short term use, can sometimes give A LOT of anxiety in form of the rebound effect from the drug.
Aside from all the research, I have personal experiences with this and I would never recommend benzodiazepines to any of my friends and loved ones. That said thy are very effective for anxiety and sometimes in life we need all the help we can get.
Sometimes people just find themselves in a life situation where they have to use benzos and that is certainly not to be demonised!
Now, if I had a gun to my head and IF I HAD to use one of the benzos I would, of course, look for one with the least side effect. I would choose a long acting one that possesses the longest half life. This is because the risk for a rebound effect is slightly lower when the the drug does not enter and exit our system rapidly.
So to answer the question “what is the best anxiety medication with least side effects?”, in the benzodiazepine category, it would be one of those two…
…but keep on reading because they are far from the safest one to use of everything out there and, as I already told you, I would NOT recommend ANY kind of benzodiazepine treatment for anxiety as a first chocie.
In our quest to find the best anxiety medication with the least side effects we now take a look at the other big one…antidepressants.
Antidepressants, like for example SSRI’s, (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are very often prescribed for anxiety as well as for depression. They are not as effective at instantly killing anxiety as the benzos but they are generally somewhat “safer” to use long term than benzodiasepines…
…they DO however come with a host of, often nasty, side effects. Some of them include:
- weight gain
- apathy and lack of motivation
- erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems (inability to orgasm, no sex drive etc.)
- muscle weakness
Not everyone who uses them experiences any of these, but the sad truth is that antidepressants are notorious for their unwanted, and often, intolerable side effects…
…In addition to this they do not work for everyone and, just as with the benzos, I also have first hand experiences with using antidepressants and I can happily say that it has now been five years since I stopped taking them….
…and my plan is to stay off them for good.
When it comes to antidepressants, here too, I would be very careful recommending them to anyone (although if I had to choose between benzos and antidepressants I would choose to recommend antidepressants.)
I believe that long term use can affect our brain (and bodies) in a very negative way and I know, from both research and first hand experience, that comming off of them can potentially be PURE HELL, and is often accompanied by some form of burnout and sick leave.
So what SSRI’s has the least side effects?
That said, some of the antidepressants with the least side effects are
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
…but, again, I can not with a good heart go and recommend these. I have just read, seen and experienced too much bad stuff around them…
…Lexapro was actually one of the antidepresseants I tried (I tried several) but for being one that is suppose to have fewer side effects well… let me just say I experienced a whole bunch of them, believe me!
Okay so if I don’t recommend any of those, what CAN I recommend, you ask?
There are so many tools and tricks we can learn and try in order to be able to deal with, and often also, eliminate anxiety altogheter and if you do a little exploring on this website you will find many of them…
…there ARE natural anti anxiety supplements that actually WORKS, as well as biological hacks and mental tricks we can use to help us.
You can for example go and read my article “my favorite natural supplement for anxiety” These do not have nasty side effects but on the contrary, instead, comes with some added health benefits besides just reducing anxiety…
…my favorite natural anxiety supplement is called Provanax and I really must say that Provanax has been a lifesaver for me during my years of struggling with high levels of anxiety…
… anyways, if you would like to know more about it you can
Click here to read my review about that particular supplement
Anxiety can be such a big hurdle in your life and it is often the barrier between you and the goals you want to achieve so it is important to never give up in the fight against it.
Many people overcome their anxiety issues altogether while others manages to reduce their anxiety levels significantly and, by doing so, they can live life without limitations.
Sadly there are also, of course ,people who never get better. People who suffer their whole lives.
While some of them are indeed genetically unlucky…
…and no matter what they do they seem to never get any anxiety relief, I want to point out that most of the people that never get any better are the ones who have given up…
…given up the fight and stopped trying.
My point with this is that you should never give up. Never ever!
There are SO many things to try, modify and experiment with in our lives so I’m 99% sure that you will find SOMETHING that indeed is very helpful for you to overcome your anxiety.
And you know what?…
…the very fact that you asked the question “What is the best anxiety medication with least side effects”, tells me that you are looking for solutions. That you have not given up…
…this makes me pretty confident that you will soon find solutions and that you will start getting better and better and better.
You are a warrior and you are not giving up in the battle against anxiety.
Sometimes it is OK to sit down and rest for awhile but we are never giving up. While we are resting we should sharpen our swords, so that when we get back up, we have a bigger chance to slay the anxiety demons…
… this is how I overcame my own anxiety and that, my brother or sister, is what you will do as well.
Thank you for reading the post “what is the best anxiety medication with least side effects”
Much Love and stay strong