Even for people with debilitating anxiety, choosing to turn to medication to help control it can be a big deal. Prescription medications can help a lot, but they can also have side effects that you might find disconcerting. Benzodiazepines are one of the most common types of anti-anxiety drugs, and they can cause side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, confusion, and memory problems. These side effects are pretty well known, and if you're prescribed an anti-anxiety medication like Valium or Xanax you'll probably be told of them--in fact, they might be right on the bottle. For many people, these side effects aren't bothersome enough to outweigh the help the medications can be in preventing or treating an anxiety attack.
But anti-anxiety medications can also have paradoxical side effects that many people don't know about. These side effects can actually make you more anxious or excited. If you're taking a medication to help you control your anxiety, it can be very frightening if you start feeling more anxious. You might not realize what's going on, and it can be very unsettling. If you're taking or thinking of taking an anti-anxiety medication, you should be aware of these paradoxical symptoms. They're most common in the elderly, children, and people with developmental disabilities. They probably won't happen to you, but if they do you'll be prepared and know to contact your doctor about the medication side effects. Don't worry--you aren't going crazy!
- Increased anxiety
- Aggressive or impulsive behavior