Your doctor may be speaking from his/her own personal readings or practices with Klonopin. Technically, none of the benzodiazepines (Klonopin, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, etc.) are approved for treatment of social anxiety disorder (or so I've read), yet SSRIs like Paxil are.
However, there is a general
(yes, I said general) consensus among most anxiety sufferers that benzos are much better at relieving and controlling anxiety than SSRIs are. I suspect that is because benzos tend to work noticably within minutes or hours rather than weeks or months.
Your doc might also be referring to the fact that benzos affect the same neurochemicals as actual FDA approved sedative-hypnotics (Ambien, Lunesta, etc.) The neurochemical GABA and its actions in the brain are thought to play major roles in sedation and sleep, and if you've ever read anything even slightly analytical about any benzo, you'll know that their main method of action is by modulating GABA (just like those FDA sedative-hypnotics
I hope that made sense.
I was just trying to play devil's advocate for a second. If your doctor made it through college, med school, and residency, then s/he isn't stupid. S/he probably just has a different approach to anxiety and its treatment than many other doctors do.
Yours isn't the first to downplay the usage of benzos for anxiety, though. Many people can attest to that, sadly. It's been my personal finding that benzos work for anxiety relief. Sure, they cause sedation, but that's just what comes with the package. The only SSRI that's had noticeable anxiety relieving effects on me was Lexapro, and it sedated me, too. It might just be me, but sedation and anxiety relief/control just seem to go together.
Wellbutrin SR 300mg, Eskalith CR 900mg, Luvox 100mg
Things I have tried:
Lexapro, Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, Paxil, Effexor XR, Remeron, Wellbutrin SR, Eskalith CR, Topamax, Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Ambien, Restoril, Desyrel, Ritalin, Adderall, Dexedrine, Inderal, Lopressor, Thorazine, Lamictal, Abilify, Depakote, Geodon, Seroquel, doxepin, chloral hydrate