Public speaking. Fewer words put together in the English language can evoke so many emotions, and maybe even some traumatizing memories. Maybe you remember your last public speaking presentation and it did not go the way you planned or hoped. Did you remember thinking “I never want to do this again!” Or thinking “I never want to feel this way again!”
Many have felt the way that you do. You are determined to make a change! After doing some research you may have seen that many have decided to start taking Xanax to reduce their public speaking anxiety before giving a presentation.
You may be thinking would this help me? Other questions may also come to mind such as “Would taking Xanax help before a presentation?” “Is it safe?” and “Are there any side effects?” If so, you are in the right place! You can find all of the answers to those questions and more below. But first, let’s start off with the basics.
Before taking Xanax or other Benzodiazepines it is imperative that you consult your doctor or a healthcare professional for medical advice. Your doctor will let you know if this is the best treatment option for you. Not consulting your doctor can be hazardous to your health and have long-term consequences.
What Is Xanax?
Xanax is a drug that is designed to effectively reduce the effects of Social Anxiety Disorder (also known as SAD) and panic attacks. Xanax is used to help suppress the nerves and social anxieties for those who suffer from one or a number of social disorders.
The official name of the drug is Alprazolam, and it comes from the Benzodiazepines medication family. Xanax is the popular brand name for it. Because of its effectiveness, Xanax has become the single most prescribed psychiatric drug in America. Many have been able to safely use this drug to help them reduce their public speaking anxiety before a presentation.
When looking for some relief from anxiety, many turn to the medical field for help and guidance. Doctors typically prescribe Xanax for a period of 6 to 8 weeks. It is a quick fix, but it is not designed to be taken long-term. That being said, the majority of people do not find it hard to have the pills refilled for another cycle.
What Makes Xanax Effective?
Xanax is effective because it helps by reducing the amount of stress you feel in a variety of social situations. It does so by dulling the fear of judgment from others by resolving the chemical imbalances within the brain. This in turn can make giving a public speech or presenting information in front of others less stressful.
Because the fear is not as intense, a person who is taking Xanax will present themselves in a way where they come across as someone who is confident and confident in what they have to say. Most users felt a major improvement with regards to relief from their anxiety.
Xanax is used by many all over the world to reduce their fear of public speaking. The National Institute of Mental Health states that 7% of the population experience some form of Social Anxiety Disorder. This fear can range from being slight in intensity to very intense. In these intense cases, that is where many start taking Xanax to help them cope.
Xanax is also effective because it works quickly. Normally, it takes less than an hour for a person who is taking Xanax to feel its calming effects.
Will Xanax Eliminate My Fear Of Public Speaking Before A Presentation Forever?
No, Xanax will not eliminate your fear of public speaking or reduce your anxiety before a presentation forever. However, it does reduce those feelings while you are taking the drug for a short period of time. Each individual taking Xanax has a different medical makeup and chemical balance, but normally the effects are felt in between four and six hours. Your individual dosage and other physiological factors can make the time frame vary.
What Are The Benefits Of Taking Xanax?
There are benefits to taking Xanax. Some of those benefits are as follows:
- It decreases the levels of excitement in your brain which creates a calming effect. This calming effect, in turn, reduces stress, anxiety, and panic disorders especially in situations where these emotions tend to thrive.
- It enhances the effects of Gamma-Amino Butyric Acid also known as GABA, which is a natural chemical in the body. Those who produce fewer amounts of GABA tend to be more susceptible to and anxiety and stress. Xanax helps bridge that gap and reduces those feelings leaving you feeling more relaxed with a calmer heart.
- Slows down excessive overthinking.
- Eases muscle tension.
What Are The Side Effects Of Xanax?
As with all other drugs, there are side effects for those who choose to take Xanax. It can be safe and useful for those coping with stress, but it is important to know what to expect after taking the drug. If you decide Xanax is the best option for you, you may experience side effects when you first start taking it, as well as if your doctor increases your dosage.
The most common side effects of Xanax include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Feelings of irritability
- Temporary loss of memory
- Poor coordination
- Changes in weight or appetite
Over time, with continued use, the side effects tend to diminish. A key thing to remember is that not everyone will experience side effects. A person may experience side effects due to the following reasons:
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Their age
- The dosage
- The combination of Xanax and other medications that they are taking
- They are also currently taking other central nervous system depressants which would also include alcohol
It is essential to note that Xanax relaxes your central nervous system or CNS. Because of this state of relaxation, users tend to become very drowsy, and their motor skills can be impaired. While taking Xanax you SHOULD NOT drive or operate heavy machinery.
It is vital that you take the recommended dosage to avoid overdosing. Those who overdosed have experienced the following effects:
- Muscle weakness
- Diminished reflexes
- Loss of balance
- Slowed heart rate
- Coma or even death
Becoming addicted to Xanax is something that should be taken very seriously. You can become so dependent on being in such a relaxed state that when you are not on the drug, even normal everyday stress levels will seem overwhelming and almost unbearable. Unfortunately, this can make you feel even more anxiety than you were feeling before you started taking the drug.
According to a study taken by the Journal of Addictive Behaviors, the American Addiction Center states that it is estimated that as many as 44% of “chronic benzodiazepine’ users become addicted. They feel like they cannot cope without Xanax and therefore keep using it past the recommended dosage time frame. That is a dangerous situation to be in.
If you find yourself in that state or are beginning to notice that you are becoming addicted, please contact your medical provider immediately.
For additional information about the effects that Xanax has on your body watch the video “What Does Xanax Really Do To Your Body?” linked below.
Before you start taking Xanax you must consult your medical provider. Although you are trying to reduce your public speaking anxiety, if not careful you can add more to your load by adding additional health issues.
Who Would Not Make A Good Candidate For Taking Xanax?
Those who would not make a good candidate for taking Xanax include those who are:
- Under the age of 18
- Pregnant or Nursing
- Allergic to Benzodiazepines
- Taking Birth Control Pills, Anticonvulsants Antihistamines, or any other psychotropic medications
- Allergic to Benzodiazepines
- Also currently taking Sporanox or Nizoral
Are There Alternatives To Taking Xanax?
Yes, there are other alternatives to taking Xanax with lower risks. You can find some of those alternatives below:
- Maintain or start to establish a healthy diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Get adequate rest
- Exercise regularly
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Practice and prepare well for your presentation
- Take public speaking classes. You can find more detail about these classes in the “Are Public Speaking Classes Worth It?” article as well as the “7 Ways To Become A Better Public Speaker” article.
Yes, taking Xanax before a presentation can help to reduce your anxiety. However, it will not make you a better speaker. You must also prepare and practice well in order to do well on your presentation.
Before taking Xanax, you must consult with your medical provider to see if this is the best option for you. If it is, perfect! If not, do not worry! You can follow the alternative ways listed in the article to help reduce your public speaking anxiety and you will do just great! Public speaking anxiety is real, but you can safely overcome it!
If you are looking for more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, take advantage of the many online resources available to you. Please check out the article ‘Online Resources for Public Speaking‘ for a detailed review of some online resources for public speaking and feel free to leave a comment below.