medications for anxiety


New Member
I am taking my difficult child to the psychiatrist next week. Without going into his whole history (I used to be a regular here, but haven't been around in quite awhile), we are going to try medications for anxiety. I myself take Paxil, Welbutrin and Xanax (as needed) for panic disorder. My difficult child is 6, and I'm wondering what medications others here have been prescribed for anxiety/rage. Do they put 6 year olds on Benzos, or do they go the SSRI route first? I'm not looking for advice necessarily, just wondering what others have experienced with this. Thanks!


SSRIs (with therapy) are typically the first medications prescribed for childhood anxiety. Benzos are typically not used over the long haul because they are addictive. HOWEVER, many kids with mood disorders cannot handle SSRIs because they induce mania. Mood stabilizers (Lithium, Lamictal, Depakote, Tegretol, Trileptal) are generally prescribed first and then any residual symptoms are dealt with once the mood is more stable.

Sara PA

New Member
And many children, regardless of any diagnosis, cannot handle SSRIs because they cause anger, hostility and aggression. Increased anxiety can be a side effect of SSRIs.

Anxiety seems to be among the most difficult conditions to treat. Everything my son tried made things worse when he was 10 years older.

If you try an SSRI, keep an eye out for deteriorating behavior even if the anxiety lessens. You can get adverse reactions even when the medication is working for the reason it was prescribed.


Well-Known Member
I personally wouldn't put a child on an SSRI. I take Paxil myself and have tried many, and I find most of them make me even more nervous. Paxil doesn't, but, due to the strong dependency of Paxil (it is worse than benzos as far as addiction, although for some reason we aren't told about that) I wouldn't ever put a child on Paxil. Prozac and Zoloft made me loopy. Benzos help me for anxiety. They are the only thing that really does. I've been on them for years, so I guess I'm addictted, but it doesn't matter because I need my medications so badly. I have no intention of going off of them, nor do I take a high dose. For kids, I think they try stuff like Seroquel or Tenex. What things make him anxious?

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
In my mind, whatever medication might be suggested, there will be a need for your difficult child to learn coping skills when he's anxious.

He'll have to recognize how his body feels when he is anxious & learn to be redirected or how to redirect himself, if at all possible. Self calming skills is the next on my list.

Look for things that calm difficult child. I used baths, chamomile tea, quiet reading, rocking - almost all sensory in nature to help with the agitation kt & wm felt due to their PTSD. Sometimes swaddling in a special blanket helps as well.

Just thinking out loud for you here. Medication will be a start - there will be a learning process ahead for both you & difficult child.