We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Effective Are Benzodiazepines for Depression?

By S. Berger
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Benzodiazepines are a family of medications that promote the sending of inhibitory signals in the brain. They are often taken as a treatment for anxiety disorders, insomnia, and panic, which can all occur alongside mood disorders like depression. Using benzodiazepines for depression can sometimes be beneficial to patients, although not all individuals may see an improved mood after their use; occasionally, these medications can pose dangers for depressed people.

Both types of disorders often accompany one another, so some people take a combination of antidepressants and benzodiazepines for depression and anxiety. Generally, this combination of therapies can allow for effective treatment of the symptoms caused by each class of mental condition. Many individuals choose to avoid taking benzodiazepine medication on a daily basis, however, because of the risk of physical dependence that these drugs carry. Additionally, some people may become more prone to accidents when taking these anti-anxiety drugs, and this danger is sometimes increased when they are depressed, as depression may cause them to have difficulty focusing on daily activities.

Occasionally, individuals may use benzodiazepines for depression occurring without anxiety. This course of treatment may not always be effective, however, as anti-anxiety medications have effects on the brain that are quite different from antidepressants. Certain symptoms of this disorder, such as depressed mood, confusion, oversleeping, and overeating, may even become more pronounced among some people taking these drugs. The consistent nature of depression also means that daily medication can be required in many cases. Taking benzodiazepines for depression every day for a long period of time or in large doses can lead to physical dependence after several weeks, making this a potentially dangerous treatment option.

Other factors exist that can influence the use of benzodiazepines for depression. Some individuals with mood disorders may also have a history of, or are at risk for developing, substance abuse problems. Anti-anxiety medications can be addictive, though, meaning that people with a history of illegal drug use may choose to avoid these substances, or to take them only under controlled conditions. At times, a professional evaluation may be required to determine whether these drugs are a safe course of treatment in light of multiple mental disorders.

Personal elements may also affect the use of benzodiazepines for depression therapy. Alcohol can interact harmfully with this class of drugs, putting individuals at risk for memory loss, mood changes, and, in some cases, death. Many people that drink frequently choose alternative medications, or to limit their benzodiazepine use to small amounts, for this reason. Tolerance may develop to these compounds when they are taken in large doses, or on a frequent basis. Therefore, some people with persistent depression and anxiety use counseling or other therapies in order to avoid taking these drugs too often.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.