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CeruleanSea

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For the first time ever, I’m experiencing social anxiety as I reduce my ssri.

 

I was very shy in elementary school, but have done well ever since adolescence.

 

Now I'm middle aged & tapering sertraline.  I moved to a new city in the pandemic & am finally getting to know people.

 

And, I’m nervous! On medication I was garrulous & friendly. Now I feel social tension & worry.

 

 I’m going to press on and keep getting out there.

 

Have you experienced social phobia? And if so what has helped?

Zoloft 50 mg since 2019.   
2024. January. 33.75 February. 33.75 March 32.5 April 30.0

2023. January 33.75 mg  February 32.5 mg March 30.0 mg April 27.5 mg June 50 mg August 40 mg September-December 37.5 mg December 33.75 mg 

2022. January 50mg February 45 mg March 40.5 April-November 37.5  December 33.75 mg

 

Prior to discontinuation:  20 years of a variety of antidepressants & anti-anxiety meds from months to  years at a time (fluoxetine, nefazodone, venlafaxine, clonazepam, hydroxyzine).  I was unknowingly experiencing discontinuation and was frequently diagnosed with anxiety/exacerbations of previous illness as opposed to discontinuation. 

 

Supplements: Fish oil, Vitamin D3, magnesium,  B complex, l-theanine

 

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  • 1 year later...

Hi @CeruleanSea

 

I have the same problem. At certain points when I have come off ADs in the past I have developed extreme social anxiety- in fact it was the main symptom which convinced me each time to go back on each time. Fast forward to today and I am starting to suspect that the extreme social anxiety was due to withdrawals. Although I did have some social anxiety when I was younger before going on ADs it was never at the level I have experienced it coming off ADs. At present, I am tapering off Effexor (although I suspect I have gone too fast) and now I am at a lower dose I am starting to experience social anxiety again. It is very uncomfortable (although not quite at the same level as when I came off before). I am currently waiting to stabilise my dose to see if the symptoms subside. Have you tried doing a long hold in your taper to see if the social anxiety symptoms diminish?

 

2000: Feb: went on Paxil 20mg

2019: Feb: came off Paxil 20mg bridged to Prozac 20mg over 2 weeks.

2019: June: BAD TIME: had mother of all WD waves

2019: July: went on Effexor XR 150mg and WD symptoms stopped.

2020: Dec: started 10% per month taper from 150mg.

2021: Steadily dropped dose with some WDs but manageable.

2022: mid April- had terrible WDs in drop from 50mg to 45mg.
2022: 25 April-reinstated at 50mg

04/25/22--09/30/22: 50mg 10/31/22: 47.1mg 11/30/22: 42.3mg 12/31/22: 37.5mg 01/31/23: 33mg 02/28/23: 28.5mg 03/31/23: 24mg 04/30/23: 19.5mg 05/30/23: 16.5mg 06/30/23: 12mg 07/31/23: 9mg 08/31/23: 6mg 9/30/23: Back to 6mg (tried to switch to bead counting and miscalculated) 10/30/23: 5.1mg SEVERE WDs 11/8/23: 5.7mg UPDOSED 12/31/23: 6mg 1/1/24: 6.6mg

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  • Mentor
4 hours ago, medfreeoneday said:

Hi @CeruleanSea

 

I have the same problem. At certain points when I have come off ADs in the past I have developed extreme social anxiety- in fact it was the main symptom which convinced me each time to go back on each time. Fast forward to today and I am starting to suspect that the extreme social anxiety was due to withdrawals. Although I did have some social anxiety when I was younger before going on ADs it was never at the level I have experienced it coming off ADs. At present, I am tapering off Effexor (although I suspect I have gone too fast) and now I am at a lower dose I am starting to experience social anxiety again. It is very uncomfortable (although not quite at the same level as when I came off before). I am currently waiting to stabilise my dose to see if the symptoms subside. Have you tried doing a long hold in your taper to see if the social anxiety symptoms diminish?

 

 

I am dealing with the same thing!  Being around people for a long period of time is too much stimulation for my nervous system.  Before I went on ADs decades ago I didn't experience these problems as badly as I do now.  I blame the long-term drug use + withdrawals.  On a positive note, I have felt my nervous system strengthen a little over the two years I've been holding at my current dose.  I have slowly been able to do a little bit more as time has gone on, but I'm still very limited as far as large or even small social gatherings.  My poor husband always has to go without me!  

Disclaimer:  This is not professional medical advice but is based on personal experience only.

1994 - 2017:  Prozac, Cymbalta, Celexa, Paxil, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Seroquel, Buspar, Lorazepam, Xanax, Ambien

2005-present:  Trazodone 50 mg 

2017:  Effexor XR 37.5 >> 75 mg 

2020 (March):  Began 10% monthly taper of Effexor XR (got down to 12 mg)

2021 (September):  Completely crashed.  Went back up to 37.5 mg but I kindled myself

2024 (Avg. bead count per capsule is 111):  1/1:  -6  |  2/1:  -11  |  3/1:  -16  |   4/1:  -18  |   5/1:  -21   |   6/1  -25

Reasons for starting psych meds:  PMDD/Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Other medications:  Levothyroxine 75 mcg

Supplements:  Dr. Berg's Electrolyte Powder on occasion   

 

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  • 1 month later...

This one has been one of the strongest symptoms for me lately. I am about 7 months off Lexapro and the past month or so has been completely riddled with social anxiety. When talking to others I often begin to shake/shiver and feel like I want to curl up and hide. I also feel like I smile too much when talking since I am uncomfortable and I think I am subconsciously over-compensating for this fact. With close friends it's usually better but when talking to people I'm not super familiar with it is extremely difficult. Has anyone else gone through this? 

Zoloft: About 4 months

            25mg October - November 2017. 50mg November 2017

            25mg December 2017 - January 2018. Quit cold turkey.

Zoloft: 2 weeks in November 2019. Quit cold turkey

Lexapro: About 3 years

          10mg July 2020 - January 2021.  7.5mg January 2021 - October 2021. 5mg October 2021 - November 2022

            Bumpy fast taper then reinstatement then taper again. Too fast and too unstable. November 2022 - June 2023. Quit.

Buspar: A couple weeks in January 2023

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