Working Moms and Mental Health: Getting Off Anti-Anxiety Meds Safely

Updated on August 28, 2019

Believe it or not, there are a lot of working mothers struggling with substance abuse or addiction in silence. Most women can agree that the responsibilities of raising children, caring for a house, maintaining a relationship, and managing a career can get overwhelming. While some are able to use a few stress-relieving techniques and overcome, others start to become overwhelmed emotionally and need a prescription.

Prescription Meds to Cope with Anxiety

It’s not uncommon for working mothers to go through extreme emotions of anxiety or depression. Medical doctors and therapists who treat such women often provide them with anti-anxiety or antidepressants like Valium. When taken as prescribed, the medications often help to calm the nerves and reduce symptoms related to the mental illness. 

Unfortunately, however, many of these prescriptions are addictive. Some women, in an effort to remain intact, begin overusing and suffer adverse effects. When you’re the rock of the family, however, you kind of feel like you can’t allow any weaknesses to show. So, you hide your emotions and your new habits with the hopes of things getting better with time. Unfortunately, this is not the case and things go downhill really quickly. 

Getting Clean

Anti-anxiety medications can be beneficial to women who are struggling mentally, however, they are not meant to be used forever. This is especially true if you’ve become too reliant on them are experiencing serious side effects, or have started abusing them. 

In this article by a Georgia detox center entitled, “How long does valium stay in your system,” the drugs can remain in your system for as many as 40-100 hours depending on varying factors. Depending on how long you’ve been using them, there are also some withdrawal symptoms to be aware of. 

In order to get off of anti-anxiety medications for you and your family, you’ll want to follow this advice listed below:

Talk with Your Doctor

You should never simply stop taking your anti-anxiety medication without having talked with your doctor and/or therapist first. While some medications can simply be stopped without further consequence, others require tapering or weaning. Based on your current health, mental status, age, dosage levels, and length of usage your doctor will determine what path is best. They may start by prescribing you a lower dosage and continue to decrease it in increments until you’re off the drugs, or they may advise you to simply stop taking them. 

Anti-Anxiety Foods

Whether your doctor has decided to wean you off slowly or suggested you go cold turkey you’ll want to be prepared to manage your anxiety without the medication. If you haven’t done so already, now would be a good time to start incorporating foods that help to reduce anxiety into your diet. Some suggestions might include Brazil nuts, fatty fish like salmon, eggs, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, and dark chocolate.

Stay Hydrated

Water will be especially important as you begin detoxing from your anti-anxiety medications. It helps the body to flush the medication from your system faster. So, make sure that you’re drinking lots of water throughout the day. This may seem impossible, but, you’ll need to get to a point where you’re drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. You can start with a cup with each meal or drinking water every 2 hours and work your way up to that goal. Just keep in mind that with increased water intake you’ll find yourself running to the restroom a lot more often. 


Here’s a dual-purpose step to getting clean of anti-anxiety medications for you and your family – exercise. Exercising helps to reduce levels of cortisol known as the stress hormone which in turn helps to improve your mood, therefore, decreasing your need for medication to treat your anxiety. Exercising also works to detox the medication from your body quicker. Though your schedule is likely already packed, try to fit in a 15-minute jog at the beginning or end of the day.

It’s great that prescription medications are available to those suffering from mental illness like anxiety. As everyone knows life can get pretty hectic for a working mom. That being said if you’re taking these medications to improve your health, but find that they are making you feel worse or have become an abuse issue, getting clean is the best thing you can do for you and your family. Hopefully, the steps above will give you a strategy on how to get off your anti-anxiety medications and deal with anxiety in other healthy ways going forward.  

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