Has anyone tried anti-anxiety meds for approach anxiety?

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Pabalebo
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13 Feb 2013, 1:23 am

I really hate to keep making these threads complaining about essentially the same thing, but I feel like this one takes a bit of a different approach to the same problem. Never had I really considered that I might have a problem curable by medicine before... but maybe I do.

So, as far as my dating troubles go, it's like I know exactly what to do, but when the time comes to go do it, I start overthinking and p**** out, either before I even try, or maybe if I'm a little drunk, halfway through. Anyone who's read my posts knows the details, and anyone who hasn't... well, the first sentence of this paragraph is a pretty good summary.

What I'm wondering is, since I think there are more than a few people here in my position, have you ever tried anti-anxiety meds? If so, did they help? For me... massive amounts of alcohol will do the trick to solve this problem... but obviously that detracts from my likelihood of success in other ways (i.e. causing me to behave like a complete retarded as*hole). Also, I'm an athlete, and would like to remain an athlete, and obviously, massive amounts of alcohol doesn't really contribute to that goal either. What I'm wondering is if there is another chemical which blocks inhibitions without the other effects of alcohol... and if anyone has tried it and can recommend? I'm getting REAL sick of having opportunities, and passing them up because I'm an idiot, or a p****, or a "nice guy", or a stereotypical sexually frustrated nerd, or whatever the correct word for me is...


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windtreeman
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13 Feb 2013, 1:39 am

All right, so I've tried two medications for anxiety thus far, one being clonazepam (a benzodiazepine, Klonopin)) and the other being paroxetine (an SSRI, Paxil). Now, Klonopin definitely reduces my anxiety related inhibitions, but it's pretty intense...even half a dose of a .5MG tablet pretty much knocks me off my feet for six or so hours. This could definitely be just me, but regardless, it works. If I'm panicked about something, like a doctors appointment, it'll bring my anxiety from a 9 to a 5 when it kicks in. Now, a 5 is still uncomfortable, but nowhere near the level that would stop me from going and thus, I go and it's effective. I'm assuming that would translate to your situation pretty well.

Paxil is a different story. If you get on Paxil for an anxiety disorder, you could be on it for life and it's notorious for having incredible withdrawal symptoms if you forget to take every single dose or if you decide to get off it. I've only been on Paxil for one day (lucky, eh!) so far and I can report that I felt like I'd taken, perhaps, a quarter of a dose of Klonopin, felt some weird motor-skill clumsiness and had a small headache. Like most SSRI's, it probably won't be fully effective for several weeks.

I think your best bet is to consult a doctor/psychiatrist and see what s/he says or recommends. They see hundreds of patients so you can't be the first seeking medication for some social anxiety issues that arise primarily during your dates. I think a lot of people would recommend CBT over getting on medication and I wouldn't disagree with that for a second, but if you've already tried it, this is your next best bet, I suppose.


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Pabalebo
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13 Feb 2013, 1:48 am

Well that second one just doesn't sound good at all...

However... that first one, when you say it "knocks you off your feet"... how so? The way you describe its effects it seems the effects are similar to alcohol... but then again you are able to drive to your doctor's appt...

Also, what is "CBT"? I've never tried any medications... never even considered it for a second before I had a passing thought tonight actually...


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Wolfheart
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13 Feb 2013, 2:37 am

CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

List of Cognitive Distortions
Image



windtreeman
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13 Feb 2013, 2:42 am

Yeah, haha, I'd definitely avoid Paxil if at all possible. In all honestly, I was pretty terrified to start it but my anxiety is severe enough to warrant the medication, I suppose. Definitely; Klonopin (the first medication listed) feels a lot like being drunk in regards to inhibition. Though you might feel generally groggy and it's recommended you don't drive until you know how the medication affects you, I actually feel quite calmly cognizant of everything and everyone around me. The few conversations I've had, while on it, were far less stress-inducing. As far as knocking you off your feet, basically, it can make you feel very tired, lacking in energy and unmotivated but those are all things I've been able to reasonably fight off. Now, all of that said, it's certainly not a miracle drug and if you feel nervous or apprehensive about something normally, you're not going to be all crazy, gung-ho and suddenly fearless , but it absolutely helps. I guess it's akin to giving you a healthy shove in the right direction. CBT is cognitive behavioral therapy and usually the alternative to medicating psychological issues, in most people's eyes. It's basically treating your anxiety, phobias, PTSD and so on, with psychotherapeutic techniques provided by a therapist, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. I think it's the preferred method, by far, but therapy can be flippin' expensive without decent medical insurance :/.


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Pabalebo
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13 Feb 2013, 2:50 am

Thanks windtreeman. If that's the case I don't think either of those are right for me. I like the sounds of this CBT thing... I can get free therapy through my college until I graduate. Perhaps I'll give them a try...


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Pabalebo
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13 Feb 2013, 2:56 am

Yeah... this CBT thing could definitely be good. I can see about 6 of those 10 distortions right off that describe my thinking perfectly...


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periphery
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13 Feb 2013, 2:57 am

Well I haven't taken anti anxiety meds for ''approach anxiety'' but i have taken xanax or valium for severe social anxiety. Xanax is better but it's hard to get here:( Anyway I think it could help, because it really is effective for anxiety. Only problem is it's quite addictive so you'd have to save it for really bad occasions unless you don't mind getting addicted/dependant needing to take more and more.

And I guess you also have to think about whether your anxiety is 'pure' approach anxiety. I mean after you've got over the initial 'approach' do you feel fine? What about if you got a date, would you need it then too....then you might get scared that if she saw ''normal'' you she wouldn't like you, and end up feeling like you need it all the time to 'keep up appearances' if you know what I mean.

I was on paxil for a fair while, the maximum dose. It was effective for anxiety AND depression but pretty much killed my libido and gave me anorgasmia which I imagine would be counter intuitive to a situation like yours. However I was on a very high dose though, and not everyone gets the same side affects.



Pabalebo
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13 Feb 2013, 3:06 am

I imagine that I would feel fine after initial "approach"... unfortunately, I've never actually gotten past that while anywhere near sober.


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Pabalebo
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13 Feb 2013, 3:10 am

It's odd though. I DON'T have general social anxiety, so this isn't something I would need to take all the time. I only have it when it comes to dating. Only problem with that is... you never know when you're going to meet someone, and timing is everything when it comes to this s**t...


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periphery
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13 Feb 2013, 3:18 am

I can't talk to strangers....or friends unless i'm drunk either :/
GL I hope you figure out something that works for you.



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13 Feb 2013, 4:56 am

when I took anti-anxiety pill, I felt like a zombie. I felt nothing, I wasn't interested in the opposite sex. Nothing impressed me, it took me an hour to decide what I wanted to buy, actually when a sales lady approached me I was surprised and then she chuckled and I was more Neanderthal than anything else.



Ann2011
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13 Feb 2013, 9:16 am

Pabalebo wrote:
What I'm wondering is, since I think there are more than a few people here in my position, have you ever tried anti-anxiety meds? If so, did they help? For me... massive amounts of alcohol will do the trick to solve this problem... but obviously that detracts from my likelihood of success in other ways (i.e. causing me to behave like a complete retarded as*hole).

Sounds like you're already self medicating with alcohol. I've done this and it's the worst medication out there. Talk about causing exactly what it is your trying to avoid - ie. making an ass out of yourself (I'm talking about myself here.)

Pabalebo wrote:
Also, what is "CBT"? I've never tried any medications... never even considered it for a second before I had a passing thought tonight actually...

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I've done it and I consider it a total waste of time. It's like trying to fix a broken leg with positive thoughts, and don't be surprised if your told you're not trying enough when the leg doesn't heal.

I take anti-anxiety meds . . . Seroquel. But you should talk to your doctor - everyone's physiology is different. But I can tell you that it's made things a lot easier for me and allowed me the mental space to take some positive steps forward.



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13 Feb 2013, 10:27 am

I've been taking small doses of sertraline. It has made me slightly more relaxed on dates. It seems as if no matter how much luck I've been having with woman lately I still get nervous at first but it makes my ironic arrogance feel more natural to me.



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13 Feb 2013, 10:34 am

Ann2011 wrote:
Pabalebo wrote:
Also, what is "CBT"? I've never tried any medications... never even considered it for a second before I had a passing thought tonight actually...

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I've done it and I consider it a total waste of time. It's like trying to fix a broken leg with positive thoughts, and don't be surprised if your told you're not trying enough when the leg doesn't heal.

i did a type of therapy that is an offshoot of CBT, sort of. it was for people who had already done CBT, or people who had intractable anxiety. basically, instead of changing our thoughts (like in CBT) we changed our behaviours, which is supposed to change our emotions over time. anxiety leads to avoidance, so we forced ourselves to deal with life's issues in spite of the anxiety.

it sort of worked, because anxiety makes you feel so panicked that you think you must stay out of a situation no matter what, so by simply getting through the situation without dying (or whatever), some of the anxiety subsided. some of the anxiety we just came to live with - it was part and parcel of being a social human, which we tend to forget.


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