Drugs for "Social Anxiety Disorder"?

“If you’ve got Social Anxiety Disorder, ask your doctor to score you some ‘Paxil’…”

…or something like that, so the commercial goes. Couplathree (Texan for “a few”) things:

  1. What is “social anxiety disorder”? Is this some new P.C. euphanism for “shyness”?

  2. Back when I was an undergraduate, the sure-cure for “social anxiety disorder” was copious quantaties of alcohol, or some other combo of not-prescribed-by-your-doctor drugs. Does “Paxil” just loosen these SAD folks up as per a good dose of (name your drug here), but without the (select all that apply: euphoria / nausea / hallucinating)?

  3. I don’t have the disorder, nor am I shy. What would “Paxil” do for me? to me?

yep just what we needed a personality in a pill…
backward? Dull? Scared of your on shadow? awkward? afraid of people? Take a Paxil and you’ll be singing like that guy on the geico commericial…
I’mmmm so happyyyy

I’m the best there is Fats…even if you beat me, I’m still the best.
Paul Newman in the Hustler

I didn’t get to see the “social anxiety disorder” commercial but somebody’s mother just started refusing to leave the house. She’s in her 70s. It is not a good thing. They checked it out with her doctor and have started to give her some short acting med that helps her overcome this anxiety about leaving the house.

I don’t see anything wrong with that.

On the other hand, a commercial with Harry’s 75 year old mother as the star might not sell too many pills or show how the need exists or might manifest itself.

Properly used a short term (What’s the term used for bombing? Surgical strike???) med could make all the difference in world to someone who otherwise might not be able to leave home.

“Ooooooo, let’s all make fun of depressed people now!”

How fun!

Interesting to see that, while the numbers of people taking anti-depressants has increased severalfold in the past decade or so, there seem to be ever greater numbers of people feeling the elitist need to diminish the severity of the illnesses that indicate them.
Veddy interesting.

IIRC, SSRI’s (like paxil, prozac, and a nillion other such meds that have come into the market in the past ten years) work by preventing the brain from reabsorbing too much serotonin. Serotonin is one of the feel-good chemicals our bodies produce naturally. I guess the theory is that depressed people dno’t have enough of this.

Coincidentally (again, IIRC) serotonin is the chemical responsible for the lovely side effects of MDMA.

But taking anti-depressants does NOT make you feel like you’re on Ecstasy. Even if you take way too many of them. I do not know why this is.

What is social-anxiety disorder. Shyness? I dunno, maybe if you consider fear of going to the grocery store in case you might run into someone you know, or fear of running into anyone you know anywhere, or the complete inability to engage strangers in any sort of dialogue beyond that most neccessary for basic function (“fries, please”) to be “shyness.”

I personally feel that there are WAY too many anti-depressant=type meds prescribed in this country. It is a little ridiculous that they are being prescribed by GP’s and optometrists. And that they are being advertised on TV like breakfast cereal. But the pharmaceutical industry is first and foremost big business. Of course they’re gonna try and make a buck.

But let’s not forget that this stuff does legitimate good for a lot of people. It does good for people who have medical condition. Let’s not belittle them for things that they cannot control and we cannot understand.

I was on Paxil for about 6 months(i’m on effexor now). It was prescribed for depression and OCD. As for “Social Anxiety Disorder”, it’s probably just a new name for a combination of things like depression, OCD, and anxiety. And yes, in the old days we would probably just call it shy. But then again we called people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder cowards and had them shot. The problem is that for some shyness really hurts them. It’s hard for those who have never experienced mental illness to understand, but when you start to withdraw and you don’t want to go outside or talk to people (at all), the quality of your life lessens. And it’s not a case of “pull yourself up by the bootstraps”. It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain. You could throw the balance in another direction with booze and/or drugs, but they’re addictive and don’t really address the root problem. As for taking it without having depression, you would probably find that you’re happy for no reason,which can be unsettling. But for those of us for whom happiness is little bit more of a struggle, it’s truly liberating.

Anti Depressants are NOT mood elevators. They are stablizers. If a perfectly healthy person took Prozac or Tofrinal or Nardil they may feel the side effects but other than than they would feel no effect.

I suffered from Panic Attacks. With behavioral therapy alone it took me about 6 months to recover. 10 years later they came back. This time the doctor gave me Tofrinal(sp?) within 1/2 the attacks disapeared.

I felt a bit depressed my doctor gave me prozac (years later). It didn’t help a bit (other than killing my sex drive)

Social Anxiety aka anxiety affective disorder aka panic attack.

Paxil is one of several drugs used in controlling this disorder, which, interestingly enough, can often show up in depressives, along with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Agoraphobia. Paxil is one of the newer drugs, which has less hard side effects and a better long tern effect. It is used in the treatment of all of the above conditions with good results.

The Night Watch always knows things.

Thanks for the replies! I was truly curious (despite the tone of my OP), and now I know an infinite amount more about Paxil and SAD than I did last night.

A friend was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder. He wasn’t scared to leave his house or anything, though. Basically he was unable to communicate with and assimilate in society. He said it was as if he lived inside of his head and that he observed life as if he were watching a movie.

His behavior to us, his friends, was pretty peculiar, but not alarming. He didn’t laugh and seemed numb about issues and problems. He paced relentlessly, however, and would sort of “look through” me when we spoke.

Looking back on it, he seemed more dissociated than anxious, but he went on meds (don’t know which ones) and is ok now.

Formerly unknown as “Melanie”