Medication is one of many options when it comes to treating Anxiety Disorders. It is NOT typically needed if your symptoms are mild to moderate. Generally, when the symptoms are not severe, behavioral methods do the job.
If medication is the best route for you, it will be prescribed and managed by a physician. This can be done by your general medical doctor if he or she is skilled in this area. However, the medical expert - when it comes to prescribing and managing anxiety medication - is the psychiatrist.
The most effective and therefore most often prescribed medications when it comes to Anxiety Disorders (and Depression) fall into the category of drugs called Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors or SSRIs. These include Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac and several others. As with any medication, there's no such thing as 100% success for 100% of patients. But, the success-rate with SSRIs is quite high.
All medications come with the risk of side-effects. Some can cause dependency. Discuss these matters with your physician. Also discuss options other than medication. There are many. When you have this discussion, keep in mind your medical doctor most likely follows a strict "Western" approach to his or her practice. This means he or she is more likely to recommend medication without even considering other routes. Some physicians are so focused on the Western model that they might not even know options exist. Be an informed patient! Medication is great if and when it's absolutely needed; but you have options. One such option is The Neuro Immersion Method.
Getting a Loved One to Seek Help
One of the most common questions I get asked is what I call the 'third-party' request. This is when someone calls the office and attempts to make an appointment for someone else. Usually, it's a wife calling to get her husband to come in for help or a mother calling for a son. When such calls come in, they almost always sound the same: "How can I get my (husband, son, friend, etc.) to come in and see you?"
Unfortunately, you can't make someone 'see' that they need help. You can't 'get' someone to do something they don't want to do. The desire to help oneself address a problem, any problem, has to come from within.
My suggestion in such situations is this. Show the person that you're supportive. Don't threaten them with 'or else' statements like, "You have to make this appointment or else I'll leave you." No one will benefit from making an appointment under this kind of duress.
Another approach might be to write a heart-felt letter expressing your concern for them and the difficulty you feel they're having. Sometimes seeing someone's concern in writing really strikes a nerve.
For more information on Treating Anxiety with or without medication, please visit the Fear Phobia and Anxiety Blog