Thank you for the reply. I've read the attached link before and also read nvic 04-08 thoroughly. They seem to give themselves a lot of leeway for discretion and no definitive answers. In nvic 04-08 they mention that waivers for benzo use will only be considered on a case by case basis. (Section G). I think that in modern medicine benzos have generally been phased out towards SSRI class and other meds for anxiety.
04-08 also gives several examples of "anti depression" medications (which are also typically used to treat anxiety) and say that:
"Anti-depressants (Medicines for treatment of Depression): Examples include, but are not limited to, citalopram (Celexa), duloxetine (Cymbalta), paroxetine (Paxil), trazodone (Desyrel), amitriptyline (Elavil) and venlafaxine (Effexor). In many cases, use of anti- depressant medications may be approved without need for a waiver. The medication and the underlying condition will be reviewed to determine whether the mariner qualifies for a waiver under 46 CFR 10.303."
Which seems to be a contradiction in terms because they say in many cases no waiver will be required then go on to say that it will be reviewed to determine if the mariner qualifies for a waiver.