A friend of mine has had trouble with anxiety for a little over a year. It comes and goes a bit but she takes medication and struggles with that. It seems she would like to be drug-free, but when she tries to reduce the dose, the anxiety creeps back in.
I reckon anti-anxiety meds are just like meds for any other physical ailment. If you need them to titrate your body back to 'normal', you need them. Mental health conditions just seem to have a stigma attached (even to the sufferer) and when you say you are taking anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, anti-whatever-the-condition-you-suffer, there is a perceived 'weakness'. It doesn't come from me, but it is there I think.
My friend's theory about why anxiety is on the increase is that with the rapid change that we have to deal with day-to-day now and over the past century, evolution is struggling to keep up. People whose hereditary lines have already hit overload, tend to cope better now. Thanks to their gene-pool their brains have adjusted their chemical balance.
In other cases, their ancestors haven't handed on the essential skills in coping and as such, they lack the appropriate amounts of serotonin and other happy hormones. These people are showing the cracks in today's crazy world.
I like her thinking (I am calling it the Nachbaren Theory of Anxiety). I'd like to explore it more because it seems like it could explain the increased prevalence of anxiety disorders