My Relationship With Acute Anxiety Medication

May 13, 2014 Gabe Howard

When I am having a panic attack, I have a medication I take to help me calm down. I carry these prescribed pills with me and keep a supply in my house and car. I only take this medication when I am positive a panic attack is occurring. It is an acute treatment, not a daily regimen. As you’d expect, the panic and anxiety medication has side effects.

I have tried to prevent panic attacks from occurring since I first realized what they were. My relationship with acute anxiety medication has evolved over the years. I started panic disorder treatment by taking a daily anxiety medication and discussing the issue in therapy. This, coupled with my lived experience, has helped reduce the amount of full-blown panic attacks significantly.

Panic Reduction is not Panic Elimination

But panic reduction is not panic elimination. In the average month, I will have at least one full-blown panic attack. My knees buckle, my vision blurs, my heart beats faster, my mind races so fast I can’t string together a sentence, and my entire body bursts into a gigantic ball of sweat. I have literally soaked through a pair of jeans to the point where I can wring liquid from them.

I have a medicine I take that will curb the panic attack and help alleviate the symptoms, but it makes me very loopy and light-headed. In the period after taking this medicine I have said many odd things.

Please give a listen to this month’s audio blog to hear me explain some of the ways this anxiety medication has affected me and those around me [The audio blog is no longer available.].

You can find Gabe on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and his website.

APA Reference
Howard, G. (2014, May 13). My Relationship With Acute Anxiety Medication, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 20 from

Author: Gabe Howard

May, 17 2014 at 1:47 pm

I have to be very careful with the benzo's because they give me rebound effects. This is not so much of a problem when I use them regularly (which I would rather not do), but when I take them prn- the next day I will often have anxiety. Still, sometimes it is worth the price.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
May, 17 2014 at 8:55 pm

Thanks for commenting, Emily. :) Be well. ~Gabe

Kathleen Brannon
May, 17 2014 at 12:59 am

I wonder if this is a benzodiazepine you take? If so, i can relate to your experience - and thank you for describing it so concretely. In addition to the general loopiness, I also seem to want to keep taking more of the medication once I get started - which is of course really really dangerous. I don't know of any other fast acting effective medication for panic attacks though.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
May, 17 2014 at 8:51 am

Kathleen - The medication I take is in the benzodiazepine class. :) Also, you are correct, medications of all types have pros and cons and side effects, etc. We must be responsible with our treatments and medications. Mental Illness is a difficult illness to manage but we must keep moving forward. I appreciate your kind words and thank you for commenting! Be Well. ~Gabe

May, 16 2014 at 6:47 pm

May I ask what meds you take, Gabe? I have a MAJOR anxiety problem, and due to a big stress I am facing at the moment, my panic attacks are becoming more and more frequent, I'm scared to leave my house, scared in my house, etc... I am on Anti- depressants and also take another med, though am becoming dependent on it and the doctors are weaning me off that slowly... I suffer with PTSD, OCD and a supposed "Complex Mood and Anxiety Disorder" although this was my most recent diagnosis and I am rather sceptical of that last one. Anyway, was just curious to know what you take. Thanks :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
May, 17 2014 at 8:47 am

Hello Sophie! Because different medications work in different ways for different people I don't disclose what specific medications I take. However, the acute medication that I am on is in the benzodiazepine class. I would suggest talking to your doctor about all of the symptoms you described above and being aggressive that you need relief from these symptoms. The daily medication in combination with the "take as needed" medication have really helped me over the years. It isn't perfect--I still have setbacks, bad days, etc--but it allows me to keep improving and moving forward. I really appreciate you reading and commenting. Thank you! Be Well, Gabe

vahe mankerian
May, 16 2014 at 11:01 am

which medicine do you take?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
May, 17 2014 at 8:41 am

Hello Vahe - The drugs that work for one person often don't work for another. Because of that I won't disclose the exact medication that I am taking. I do feel comfortable telling you that it is in the benzodiazepine class of medication. I strongly encourage you to report your systems to your doctor and ask them what medications can help alleviate the symptoms of a panic or anxiety attack. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, I appreciate it very much. ~Gabe

Chad Moore
May, 15 2014 at 8:02 am

Having this kind of awareness about your medication and diagnosis is SO helpful as is educating your support system about it. Thank you Gabe for sharing insights into your life so we all can discuss and learn. I enjoy your concise and direct approach, keep 'em coming!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Gabe Howard
May, 15 2014 at 11:31 am

Thank you, Chad, for reading and commenting. I will keep them coming as long as people keep reading. :) ~Gabe

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