Social Anxiety Background
Panic/Anxiety Disorder. Moderate SA.
Tried CBT with little success.
Very stable via SSRI(Lexapro), valium(situationally) and propranolol.
I have used valium for situational anxiety for many years. It's a fine drug if used properly.
If your suffering from anxiety you need to educate yourself
about it after first getting help via a GP, psychologist/social worker and/or Pdoc. After getting diagnosed whether you suffer chronic anx. or is stress related from life events, you need to embrace practicing relaxation, deep breathing to calm yourself, using positive self dialog, understanding what anticipatory anxiety
is, the benefits or proper diet and exercise as well as some basics about the meds used these days to treat anxiety. That includes benzo's, beta blockers and SSRI's. Also includes learning to tolerate some
level of anxiety(learn to cope and manage it a little).
Benzo's are best used as "fire extinguishers" for anxiety when you can't calm yourself. To use these daily indefinitely is to not understand that eventually(can take some months) you'll build tolerance
and need to learn the "hard way" how to get to a place where you then can use these as mentioned. This often means using that time to get on an SSRI/SNRI to help lower your "ambient" anxiety level. Best way to do that is via your doc and educating yourself about anxiety and it treatment. Having said that every case is unique as is mine so there will be, of course, some variation to what I have written here. Still it's best to have some "on hand" to calm yourself when you get anxious despite for best efforts. I have used valium this way and found it to be very good indeed.
In short the benzo's are more similar
than different in their effects after you adjust for both potency and half-life. In general a short/intermediate acters(ativan, alprazolam) are best for occasional/situational use(or help sleeping) and long acters like valium, librium, klonopin, clorazepate, centrax for more chronic use although IF you find yourself doing well(in my case AOK on diazepam)...chalk it up to some individual variation. There's allot to be said about knowing EXACTLY how a med will work for you/effect you...whether long or short acting so you can use it to function well/be happy and NOT
abuse or misuse them. That would be the definition of successful treatment if you cannot get by without any meds!