SSRI vs Benzo "Social Anxiety" without panic attacks

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So I have social anxiety without panic attacks.

-I feel uncomfortable in the subway ( I have the feeling they are looking at me costantly)

-When I go alone for shopping or just walking during the day (during the night I don't have this feeling, I feel safer)

-Job interviews can be a disaster

-Getting to know new people makes me feel anxious and shy. I can tell the people have a sense afterwards that something is unnatural about me and it makes them uncomfortable.

-Constanly thinking what others think about me.

My phychiatrist ordered an MRI which came clean. Also some electro-brain-something which also came clean. On my next apointment he is going to suggest psychiatric drugs FOR SURE ! I have read 10 Tons about it but I don't have experience (yet).

-Benzos are for a short time only so they are useless and when I stop I will be at the same point as before taking them. 

-SSRI's will give low libdo, no sex, anorgasmia and good luck with that !!! Extra problems for me.

What's your opinion ?

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12 Replies

  • Posted


    I have the same thing as you with social anxiety. When I'm walking outside alone or at the mall or store I feel like people are staring at me and I know it's all in my head.

    I am also kind of awkward around people which I am sure they notice too but I stopped caring about it. But going out alone in public still bothers me a lot. Like I always feel that I need a friend or someone to come with me.

    I was prescribed SSRI (lexapro) not specifically for social anxiety but for GAD and panic disorder. However, I haven't even touched the pills and I don't think I plan to unless things get worse which I pray to God it doesn't. I am trying to cope and get better on my own with distracting myself.

    So maybe if you distract yourself with music while you go out should help!

    Feel better smile

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  • Posted

    My sister has social anxiety without panic attacks and she has been on prozac and really likes it. She said it works well. I had the problem in the bedroom with a couple of meds. I would give them a try,and  tell my doc that I was having a problem in the bedroom so she would change it. I have been on Cymbalti  and amitriptyline for 9 years and have never had a problem with these so you have to try them and see what works for you. I am glad you do not suffer with panic thats a plus. I use to suffer bad but on these meds I am doing good. 
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  • Posted

    I never liked SSRIs as I found them to have numerous side-effects and be ineffective for anxiety / social anxiety. 

    Benzos can ease social situations but they can also cause drowsiness, foggy thinking and of course tolerance to the positive effects can set in rather rapidly for some people (although used occassionally, say once or twice a week they can maintain effect in my experience). 

    There are alternatives antidepressants that do not cause sexual side effects such as Mirtazapine (Remeron) or Bupropion (Wellbutrin)... or pretty much anything that is not purely a serotonin medication such as the Tricyclics. 

    In the UK Pregabalin can be used as a longer term solution for general anxiety - although some people do get tolerance and addicted to this it is generally thought to be less risky than a Benzo. 

    To a certain extent social anxiety and / or social awkwardness is difficult to medicate away.  Nothing is going to make you feel super relaxed and act like an outgoing social butterfly.  Talking therapies like counselling or CBT might help as well. 

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    • Posted

      It's true. Social anxiety without panic attacks is really difficult to medicate.  Just by thinking that the doctor will prescribe me the same drug as the one who has panic attacks, depression and massive mood disorders makes me feel uneasy ! Psychiatric drugs are for people who are one step before suicide, mass murderers, etc but me taking the same meds like these patients, it's no-no.

      I know this medical field has nothing more to offer. The brain is so complicated that today's medicine is ancient and goes blindly. It's not a broken knee or a fracture that you need to fix.

      I agree about CBT to increase my social skills. We'll see what the doctors sais. I hope he doesn't just want to sell his drugs.

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  • Posted

    I have social anxiety. I have been on sertraline for 4 weeks. Best decision ive made!! They've definitely started to take the edge of my anxiety...

    No mega side effects either. Also just increased from 50 to 100 and Im on day 5 of the increase and haven't really had any side effects apart from the odd bit of added anxiety and being more sleepy smile

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    • Posted

      How does it work for you ? It makes you more sociable, talkative, you take initiatives and act normal and natural towards new people to you ? Do you have this "natural" and cool look that a non-anxious person has ? This confident look. Would they ever say that you seem like a person who takes drugs to mask your condition ? I can tell many times when I look at the street certain individuals who look right and left and keep checking others.

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  • Posted

    ...and why on so many youtube videos people that once used to take an SSRI they cry about it and they try to escape to GAIN BACK THE YEARS THEY LOST and get their life back.

    I mean come on !!

    Which life exactly they want to go back to, the one that they were MISERABLE before taking the SSRI ? Isn't that miserable life the reason they took the SSRI ?

    What these people want in the end ?

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    • Posted

      Google "sh*t life syndrome" because that is what some people who take SSRIs and other psychiatric medications are actually suffering from.  They are trying to medicate away financial, social or relationship issues.  They need something to take the edge off their daily existence and they are not actually ill so to speak (although they probably feel it).  

      The problem is these medications tend to only benefit those who are seriously ill, not those who are just a bit shy or a bit down or whatever. Hence the medications 'don't work' for a lot of people.. 

      In my view when deciding whether to take a medication or not you need to look at your life and decide if your anxiety/depression/etc  is causing you to not function properly, i.e. can't work, study, ruining your life, etc.  If the problem is that bad then the meds are worth a try but keep in mind it is very much trial and error to find one that works.  If symptoms are not that bad then try the alternatives first - such as self-help books, exercise, healthier diet, counselling, etc. 

      If you go to a psychiatrist they will diagnose you with an 'illness' and prescribe medications. That is what they do; just being in their office is reason enough to label you with something.  A good one might do some tests first to make sure your symptoms don't have an underlying physical cause, but that is about it.  

      As for youtube - my guess is that people who have bad experiences are far more likely to post a video complaining than those who have  good experiences and move on with their life. 

      Plus you know, I'm always a bit sceptical about people who claim to have social anxiety and severe depression but feel comfortable about uploading a video that the whole world can view. 

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  • Posted

    I's your choice but I've heard would take the SSRIs. My research says that the side-effects wear off within a few weeks, so you have nothing to lose,Canader.

    Benzos? My cousin was addicted to them for years - her quality of life suffered badly. It's your choice but I've heard of people getting adicted in just a fortnight - discuss it fully with your psychiatrist before deciding.

    Good luck,


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  • Posted

    I take ssris and experienced low libido but when my wife try's to get things started I have no problems lol, my want to come on to her is worse after starting them but have no other troubles, also it really depends on how u want to live, I couldn't live the way I was and still partially am and I haven't been on meds very long so I still have a while to go to get full benefit but I'd choose the way I feel now over how I felt any day, it just depends on you really, weigh out the pros and cons use this site and read a lot and then make your dec based on what's most important to you as far as how your life moves forward

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