Epidemiological studies are often poorly designed and prone to later reversals, so conclusions based on large cohort studies should be taken with a grain of salt. Still, the results of a recent large-scale analysis showed a stark danger associated with taking anti-anxiety medications for a long time, compared with people who had similar symptoms but took no such medication:
For more than seven years, researchers followed 34,727 people who filled prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications like Valium and Xanax, or sleep aids like Ambien, Sonata and Lunesta, comparing them with 69,418 controls who did not.
After adjusting for a wide variety of factors, the researchers found that people who took the drugs had more than double the risk of death.
There is no question that these drugs are life-savers for some people, and there is no question that anxiety can have biological precipitants. But studies such as this one also underscore the relative safety of anxiety therapy, especially analytic therapy designed to root out and resolve some of the emotional causes of pervasive fear and dread.
If you have tried medicine and found it lacking, or you simply want a better way to address the causes instead of the symptoms of your anxiety, please contact the New York anxiety experts at PPSC today.