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Medically Reviewed

Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by Chris Weatherall

Alternative to Meds Editorial Team
Medically Reviewed by Dr Michael Loes MD

Anxiety medication symptoms and side effects are often the result of accumulated toxic burden that literally poisons the neurochemistry. This mechanism is how a pesticide kills a pest; it disables the neurochemistry’s ability to regulate itself, and the insect’s neurology gets overstimulated and dies.

As humans, we are flooded with toxins daily.

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Are There Different Kinds of Anxiety?

Anxiety is one of the most common and debilitating afflictions we treat. There are various presentations of symptoms and these, if analyzed carefully, can lend more exact definition so that effective treatment may be provided.

  • There are clearly situational anxieties that come and go depending on environment, and these respond well to counseling and cognitive measures.
  • Other types of anxiety have a timing, like first thing in the morning, or just before bed. This can point to underlying factors like hypoglycemia, or a small withdrawal between medication dosing.
  • The most problematic is the relatively constant background roar of anxiety that plagues a person daily. This, though it seems hopeless, has a likely mechanism and is one that we have successfully treated many times over.
  • Panic attacks and depression often go hand in hand with anxiety, and we feel it is important to isolate specific causal factors to effectively treat all of these symptoms.

Do Anti-Anxiety Drugs Cure Anxiety?

Anxiety medication is taken to abate symptoms of anxiety, but in time, this typically worsens the issue.

Where toxic poisons are a contributing factor to ongoing anxiety, taking benzos to handle toxic poisoning symptoms is rather like putting on a glove to catch a 100 mile per hour fastball.

Then, sometime years later, the person believes that the drug is the problem and tries to quit – only to find themselves in a protracted withdrawal state, desperately believing that if they can only get off the drug, that the withdrawal will go away. Sometimes withdrawals can last years. But in these cases, the drug is likely not the primary problem. The problem is the problem and the drugs were just not the correct solution. A more lasting solution would be to investigate and discover if poisoning is an issue and if it is, then unburden the body using detoxification regimens such as are used at the Alternative to Meds Center.

Are There Drug-Free Anxiety Treatments?

Yes, drug-free anxiety treatments that investigate the source of symptoms often lead to lasting relief that medication alone is generally unable to provide.

Recent studies have pointed to promising alternative anxiety treatments which can provide more permanent remission without additional side effects. These practices can include targeted dietary changes, specifically tailored exercise and relaxation regimens, using supplements to provide rebalancing of the thyroid or other dysfunctional areas in the body, and many others. At Alternative to Meds Center, we want to provide everyone with the information needed for fundamental health and self care which we hope will assist in the quest for achieving sustained wellness, without the burden of anxiety. These treatments are available in a nurturing and comfortable environment at the center, and we are certain that we provide the best diagnostic and treatment options possible because our aims parallel those of the clients. You can call any of our knowledgeable and helpful staff to discuss these alternative options for treatment of anxiety.

How Well Do You Actually Understand Anxiety?

Can Anti-Anxiety Medications Cause Dependence and Withdrawals When Stopped?

Anti-anxiety medications consist of several different classifications of drugs, according to the Merck Manual, including the categorization of benzodiazepines which upon discontinuation, are known to present a pronounced set of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms.

Other anxiety medications include sedatives, which are meant to help people feel more relaxed, and antidepressants which may alter brain chemistry. These drugs are also known to cause symptoms of sedative or antidepressant withdrawal if a person decides to quit taking them without guidance.

Barbiturates are also classified as medications used for anxiety, and both barbiturates and benzodiazepines can become very addictive very quickly. Some individuals who take medications for anxiousness or panic attacks may become dependent on these medications after only a few weeks, which can even further compound their problems with anxiety.

Our medication withdrawal program works not only to relieve withdrawal, but we also search for the underlying source of anxiety and address it scientifically. We search for the underlying causes of anxiety and work to eliminate them with proven methods.

During the period of transitioning off of an anxiety medication, one may feel emotional and psychological anti-anxiety withdrawal symptoms. Heightened anxiousness, feeling confused, restlessness, irritability and not being able to sleep are all symptoms related to withdrawal from anti-anxiety drugs. Hallucinations can also occur, which can deeply disturb the person who is experiencing them, and those around her or him. Symptoms of physical withdrawal are also characteristic of many medications used for anxiety.

Since the body will become accustomed to consumption of the substance the individual has been taking, the physical body may react in adverse ways when you are no longer supplying it with drugs. You may feel weak and shaky, sweat profusely, and experience tachycardia (racing heartbeat) when in withdrawal. With the professional help of our treatment center, the most uncomfortable aspects of withdrawal are eliminated. We have scientific solutions that can help you.

What Are Common Anti-Anxiety Drug Withdrawal Symptoms, and Can They Be Eased?

Common anti-anxiety medication withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, seizures, convulsions, low blood pressure, and delirium. To minimize symptoms, when a person wants or needs to quit using a certain anxiety medication, one of the first steps is tapering off of the medication under the guidance of a doctor.

Stopping “cold turkey,” for example, from a potent barbiturate or benzodiazepine, is very likely to make anti-anxiety withdrawal worse. We can help you create a gentle taper-down method whereby the dose is gradually decreased over whatever period of time is necessary and varies person to person.

Since anxiety can remain after the medication is gone, for most individuals, rapid withdrawal doesn’t relieve the issues. In addition, individuals transitioning off of anxiety drugs need strong systems of support in place for helping them through this process. Our treatment center offers the best available therapies and methods of anti-anxiety withdrawal help.

Complex treatment programs are custom made by medical professionals for each of our clients. We do lab testing and investigate thyroid function, hormonal function, adrenal function, toxicity levels, mineral levels, and more to identify any abnormalities that may have contributed to the symptoms that led to being medicated.

We search for any possible underlying medical or genetic causes of mental health problems. We offer addiction counseling, spiritual counseling, group therapy, and other counseling so clients can discuss and express anxiety and other feelings. We provide natural substances, supplements, whole and organic food, vitamins and minerals to stabilize the neurochemistry. We work to provide relief on all levels, physically, emotionally, biochemically, spiritually and medically.

Withdrawal can be a symbol of the neurochemistry attempting to re-stabilize itself, but not having the neurochemical reserves to do so. Our scientific methods of balancing the brain have helped thousands of individuals become mentally healthy without drugs. Our approaches make this transition to balance comfortable and safe. We address these medications, because an unsupported withdrawal from anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines is challenging to endure.

Our methods include gentle tapering techniques, a removal of accumulated neurotoxins in the individual’s body from the drug or their environment, natural substances targeted to create neurochemical support, peer support, and the use of many relaxation therapies that include sauna therapy, massage, yoga, Qigong, Reiki, and acupuncture.

When a person is trying to overcome addiction to anti-anxiety medications, they can face some of the most challenging problems, including withdrawal symptoms. Alternative to Meds Center provides healing therapies and treatment techniques to simplify the process of recovery and alleviate symptoms of withdrawal.

How Does “Tolerance” to Anti-Anxiety Medications Happen?

Anti-anxiety medications include several different groups of drugs, such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants and barbiturates. Many users of these medications develop a tolerance that may lead to physical dependence and anti-anxiety benzodiazepine addiction.

These drugs are meant to address genuine panic or anxiety disorders, and are often prescribed for a short-term solution to managing acute anxiety symptoms. Unfortunately, even when only used for a short time, resulting anti-anxiety drug addiction is common. We realize that medications are not long term solutions for mental health. We also recognize how hard it may be to stop taking anxiety medication, even after a short time. Therefore, we are dedicated to helping you overcome this with ease. We can help you end anti-anxiety dependence with little or no discomfort.

A long-term user of these drugs can be putting their health at significant risk. While cautionary doses of anxiety medication are prescribed therapeutically and may help limit anxiety associated conditions, an antidepressant, barbiturate or benzodiazepine addiction can rapidly develop.

Can a Person Who Suffers from Anxiety Become Addicted to Anti-Anxiety Medication?

Once a legitimate prescription has run out; the user may often seek to acquire these drugs through other means. The person may become desperate to avoid anti-anxiety withdrawal symptoms that are extremely difficult to manage or handle on one’s own. Many users may try to visit several doctors or search to purchase these drugs illegally. Even one’s own doctor who prescribed the medication may be unaware of how problematic dependence or addiction to anti-anxiety drugs can quickly develop, and be unable or unwilling to assist an individual to safely taper.

In addition, many anxiety drugs are used recreationally by individuals with no diagnosis of anxiety; either as a main drug or as a combination drug to enhance the high of another substance or to come down from using other drugs. No matter what situation you are in, the professional treatment we provide can help you to start on your path to being medication free, happy and healthy.

Our scientific methods of overcoming addiction and balancing brain function have helped thousands of individuals become happy, healthy and drug free. Individuals who take these anti-anxiety medications may develop dependence to them in as little as weeks and this can worsen their anxiety problems further.

How To Recognize Dependence or Addiction to Anti-Anxiety Medications

  • You can recognize anxiety medication addiction if you have been taking medications like Xanax, Valium or Klonopin for longer than several weeks and now you feel like you need higher doses to feel the effects of the drug.
  • Feeling incapable of performing regular, everyday functions can be an indication that the medication you take is not working for you anymore but has instead become addictive.
  • You might feel as if you are out of control without the medication, this is another indicator that you may be developing an anti-anxiety medication addiction. The most important thing to do to successfully overcome such a dependency is to find professional anti-anxiety addiction help.

Can You Overdose on Anti-Anxiety Medications?

Yes. An overdose from any of the anti-anxiety medications can be fatal. Severe anxiety drugs side effects include the following: memory loss, anterograde amnesia, and high blood pressure, changes in heart rate, low blood pressure, skin rash, seizures, slurred speech, blurred vision, and coma.

The side effects of anti-anxiety drugs may be exacerbated if anxiety drugs are being used without a prescription. Further complications can arise when these drugs are combined with using other substances, especially alcohol. Mixing any depressant type of drug with alcohol or any other type of drug can greatly augment their effects on breathing and on the heart. Sometimes this can end up in a fatal overdose. Don’t wait until side effects become worse to seek relief, real help is available right now.

The differences are minimal between appropriate doses of certain anxiety drugs and the dangerous doses that can lead to overdose. When these medications are being abused, the possible negative consequences associated with them are dramatically increased. Even when used properly, anti-anxiety drugs side effects can arise and carry complications.

Are There Alternatives to Taking Anti-Anxiety Medications?

The symptoms that led to anxiety medication use can be treated better without medication, as the body ultimately becomes tolerant to these drugs. Our methods include the use of natural substances for neurochemical support, careful techniques for removal of the accumulated neurotoxins that are in the individual’s body (including drug residues) after exposure from their environmental surroundings.

Other helpful therapies include peer support, relaxation techniques, counseling, Life Coaching, yoga, massage, hiking, group therapy, craniosacral massage, meditation, music and art therapy, sauna, and acupuncture.

Our treatment center addresses more than addiction and withdrawal, we teach our clients how to handle mental health symptoms in effective, sustainable ways. We assemble an individualized treatment regimen for every client. There are many effective anti-anxiety alternatives and other answers to mental health besides lifelong use of prescription drugs.

For those who have started taking anti-anxiety medication, and are unable to tolerate side effects, or have not been responsive to traditional medication; anti-anxiety alternatives help and could change your life. We provide anti-anxiety alternatives treatment that allows clients to stop taking these medications and transition into the use of anti-anxiety natural alternatives. We focus on finding and correcting the causes of symptoms which resulted in taking anxiety medication.

There are constantly growing numbers of individuals around the world who suffer from anxiety related symptoms and as this number increases annually, there are more people who are beginning to consider anti-anxiety alternative treatments to cure forms of anxiety and depression. This desire for natural anti-anxiety alternative medicine is primarily due to the well-known prescription medications used to treat panic attacks and anxiety that are laden with several various side effects which can pose extreme risks to health over extended use. Often, those suffering from a condition of anxiousness believe the only way possible to relieve this stressful problem is by medicating themselves. However, traditional treatment is not the only option. There are effective ways to treat symptoms with alternatives to anti-anxiety prescription drugs.

Can Counseling Help With Anxiety Symptoms?

Alternative and natural treatments for anxiety are often more effective because they can serve as long-term cures for anxiety. Prescription medications are not likely to cure anxiety, although they may temporarily take away symptoms. Our goal is to offer long term relief and success.

We provide counseling that helps clients change their negative thoughts and behaviors, which often contribute to anxiety, into positive thoughts and behaviors.

Can Education Help Ease Anxiety Symptoms?

We educate clients about nutrition, supplementation, minerals and vitamins; and how all of these things greatly affect mental health. We customize complex treatment programs for every client’s success and seek to help each person gain a deeper understanding of neurochemistry, nutrition, and how to support mental health naturally for the rest of their life.

Can Proper Breathing Help With Anxiety?

Deep breathing is one recommended anti-anxiety alternative remedy. When an individual is under great stress or suffering a panic attack, she or he often will find it difficult to breathe.  Often, the chest tightens up and the person suffers even more heightened anxiety due to feeling unable to catch their breath.

Since an individual in panic begins to breathe poorly, it often results in an imbalanced release of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the body. This can cause feelings of nausea or sudden dizziness. This can also be one reason why individuals suffering with anxiety tend to feel tired or exhausted from lacking oxygen in their body.

Learning and practicing proper breathing methods can be remarkably stabilizing to someone who needs a profound reassurance that they can stay in control of their breathing.

Where Can I Get More Information on Tapering from Anti-Anxiety Drugs?

You do not have to be caught in routine of medication and doctor visits. Our treatment facility is a place where medical professionals assist individuals in reducing their dependence to prescription medications, alcohol and other drugs.

We do this through employing very gentle tapering techniques, stabilization of the neurochemistry through natural substances, and removing the neurotoxins that could have contributed to symptoms of anxiety. The anxiety or panic attacks that you suffered led to being medicated In many cases of chronic anxiety, we identify an accumulation of toxins in the body that are over-stimulating to their nervous system, which is what usually led to use of these drugs in the first place. There are better, healthier solutions that do not involve additional side effects.

We create uniquely personalized treatment plans for each of our clients.

Does it seem like you have attempted every method to end side effects of anti-anxiety medication and nothing has helped or worked? Do you feel as though you have an over-stimulated or overexcited nervous system? With most people, rapid forms of anxiety medication withdrawal will not truly alleviate the side effects, and anxiety can still remain after the drug is gone. Therefore, we aim to provide relief that is lasting and sustainable. We work to find the original causes of the symptoms which resulted in being medicated with anti-anxiety drugs.

You can eliminate side effects, prevent painful withdrawal and continue your life without remaining anxiety. We welcome your questions. Please reach out and give us a call to find out more about natural alternative treatments for anxiety.

Originally Published Sep 13, 2018 by Lyle Murphy

This content has been reviewed and approved by a licensed physician.

Dr. Michael Loes, M.D.


Dr. Michael Loes is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Pain Management and Addiction Medicine. He holds a dual license in Homeopathic and Integrative Medicine. He obtained his medical doctorate at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1978. Dr. Loes performed an externship at the National Institute of Health for Psychopharmacology. Additionally, he is a well-published author including Arthritis: The Doctor’s Cure, The Aspirin Alternative, The Healing Response, and Spirit Driven Health: The Psalmist’s Guide for Recovery. He has been awarded the Minnesota Medical Foundation’s “Excellence in Research” Award.

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