Jump to content

Social anxiety related to withdrawal


Phil
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi guys.

I wasnt sure where to post this, hope this is the right section.

 

I'm posting this really just to discuss, and make sense of my own problem.

 

Recently I have noticed this horrible sense of depersonalization, whenever I am around people. I feel that there is just too much to process in my environment. I'm easily triggered by sudden movement, and find it hard to re-adjust my body and movements.

And with my friend who I see regularly, I have lost my ability to empathize, it's like my brain is only processing things logically. My memory and concentration are awful. I am also easily stressed by anything remotely negative.

I had an argument with my friend today, and just got soooooo angry and pissed off. It took ages for me to get over it. And its not like me, I could sense it somewhere, but I just couldnt stop myself raging (not to him, I was just talking to myself when I got home).

 

I've had social anxiety for years, before I went on meds, even when I was a kid, so that's probably part of what's exacerbating this. But Ive never experienced anything this bad.

 

Anyway I was reading around about serotonin and tryptophan online, and came across some study about acute tryptophan depletion and how it affects emotional processing.

 

It's like a lightbulb went off!!

 

I cant find the original article but I saved a word document on it, here's the main parts:

 

The adaptive function of these changes may be related to functions of serotonin in depression and anxiety.

As mentioned earlier, it seems likely that ATD reduces serotonergic function, though there may be some question as to the

exact mechanism by which this occurs. Reduced serotonin function is associated with greater anxiety and lowered mood, which

may be associated with a more threatening and risky environment. In such environments it may be more adaptive to attend to

external precipitants of emotional expressions, rather than the underlying mental states. In such cases, attention to the

goal of gaze would be more adaptive than attention to the mental state underlying an emotional expression.

To summarize our findings, we suggest that serotonin mediates the impact of a facial expression on emotion perception with

marked consequences for empathic reactivity and emotional learning. Impaired serotonin function facilitates a shift of

observer's attention to the goal of gaze rather than mental state associated with another's emotional expression.

This may reflect adaptive changes to environmental modulators of mood, and may have implications for our understanding of

disorders that involve dysfunctional serotonergic activity including depression (Caspi et al., 2003), autism

(Devlin et al., 2005; McDougle et al., 2005) and psychopathy (Dolan and Anderson, 2003). Overall our work suggests a

potentially powerful neurotransmitter based brain mechanism that could mediate between mental well-being and patterns of

thinking that may heavily influence social behavior.

The bits I highlighted relate to what I'm experiencing. I've had this problem before, after I cold-turkeyed meds years ago. As I recall, it did improve eventually, but I think it became almost like a "learned habit", and because I didnt know what was causing it, I thought it was me.

 

It's a relief to finally understand this. But, I'm also worried. I hate being this way, I have no friends apart from my best friend, and with withdrawal I am prevented from improving. I have very little support, I don;t even see my family often.

I'm due to get some therapy for my longterm anxiety issues soon. I'm wondering whether I should try taking tryptophan supplements? I know this isnt recommended during withdrawal, but Im just so sick of being lonely and isolated.

 

Anyway, sorry for babbling guys. I hope this post makes some kind of sense. It's helped me to write it out anyway.

 

Can anyone relate to these social anxiety problems? If you have been off meds for a long time, how have things progressed for you?

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Phil, forgive me if it is posted somewhere else, but how long have you been off of the medication?

Began Paxil 10/97*

Paxil free 10/16/04 (tapered over 2.5 months)

Severe withdrawal

12/04 started Lexapro due to Paxil w/d symptoms (tapered over 4 months)

Lexapro free 8/2/05

 

2 1/2 year severe protracted withdrawal

Doing well now with a few residual symptoms

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Phil,

 

I can sympathise with your social anxiety situation,

and mine only appeared during my taper. Most uncomfortable and disturbing symptom,

and mine had to appear when my husband took me to the caribbean for my wedding anniversary.

I was on 8mg [paxil at the time ad had been tapering for a couple of years, anyway we got

to this all inclusive resort, and after unpacking and showering we made our way down to the restaurant.

It was packed of course lol, people laughing, kids whining - not that i got an ything against kids you understand,

 

we arrive at the restaurant and i had the most uneasy feeling come over me, i felt sick, was shaky, sweating,

i felt so ill, the waiters collecting plates, the noise, it sounded so loud, it was deafening, and i started crying,

so we made our way back to the lounge where i told my husband.

As this had never happened to me before i was petrified, i had no idea what was happening.

The next day, i tried again, still the same thing happened, anywhere where there

 

i just couldnt do it, i was so upset, poor hubby had to go eat on his own,.

it got that bad, that my husband was bringing my breakfast down to the beac h, as at the time he had no idea why i was reacting

in that way, and it caused one or two arguments during our stay too.

I never experienced that again im happy to say, as it was awful.

If you have suffered with that for a long time, i can only sympathise knowing how rotten it made me feel.

 

I truly hope that as you heal this will go away for you too.

And to say, you are right about the noise/light sensitivity connection too, i had noticed that, before the social anxiety kicked in.

Overall, not a nice experience, holiday was good though, i goty waited on hand, finger and foot lol.

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO i dont think i would consider tryptophan, i believe i n letting nature

take its course, once bitten, twicew shy my friend.

Too scared to take anything anymore

Began taking 30mg Seroxat on 15th Jan 1997 for grief issues. Remained at that dosage until Dec 05, did doctor ct, akathesia set in along with being non functional and overly emotional, brain fog. Doctor prescribed prozac, propranelol and diazeapam to counteract side effects, and told me to ct those 3 after 2.5/3 months use, induced wd seizure on 2nd day after ct. Was reinstated on seroxat 20mg in april 06, remained at that dose until Nov 07 and began a very slow taper lasting 56 months, finally DRUG FREE on 11th may 2011.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a very interesting find, Phil. If I’m understanding it correctly, it could be interpreted as suggesting that reduced serotonin makes you feel like you’re in a threatening environment and makes you react in a more paranoid way. This is certainly my experience.

 

People who have experience of bad LSD trips *and* SSRI w/d say there are similarities – that the environment becomes sinister-seeming.

1996-97 - Paxil x 9 months, tapered, suffered 8 months withdrawal but didn't know it was withdrawal, so...

1998-2001 - Zoloft, tapered, again unwittingly went into withdrawal, so...

2002-03 - Paxil x 20 months, developed severe headaches, so...

Sep 03 - May 05 - Paxil taper took 20 months, severe physical, moderate psychological symptoms

Sep 03 - Jun 05 - took Prozac to help with Paxil taper - not recommended

Jul 05 to date - post-taper, severe psychological, moderate physical symptoms, improving very slowly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hopeful - I'll update my introduction thread soon, but I'm still taking a small amount of Lexapro at 1mg at the moment.

 

Angie, thanks for sharing, I can soooo relate to your experience in the restaurant! Sometimes I feel like a weirdo for having these reactions. I was shopping with my friend yesterday but it all just got on top of me, the noise, the movements, people around me etc. I just wanted to run away.

Sometimes this has got so bad to the point where my friend might be coughing, and the noise goes right through me.

 

I think what makes it worse with me, is that I fight it, and try to pretend I'm ok, when really I'm not (cos I'm scared of looking like a weirdo, and people seeing me fearful).

 

At least you got waited on, Angie :) I wish someone would do that for me haha.

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a very interesting find, Phil. If I’m understanding it correctly, it could be interpreted as suggesting that reduced serotonin makes you feel like you’re in a threatening environment and makes you react in a more paranoid way. This is certainly my experience.

 

People who have experience of bad LSD trips *and* SSRI w/d say there are similarities – that the environment becomes sinister-seeming.

 

I think that's right, Healing. I've always had social anxiety anyway, before meds (that's why I went on them to start with), but after coming off them, I started feeling threatened around people, for no specific reason (before meds, my social anxiety was specific to highschool). I've always known logically that everything is ok but there was a 'sensation' of threat. I catch myself looking around and scanning the evironment, without realizing I'm doing it.

Off Lexapro since 3rd November 2011.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 years later...

Does anyone struggle with severe social anxiety in this? Even with close loved ones? Burning face, sweats, anxiety?

 

This was the reason I was put on the medication and it has excasabated it recently

2009-2010 Citalopram 20mg CT no problems

 

Sertaline 2010- 6monnths

 

2011- 2017 June 2017- Citalopram 20mg CT

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

I've always had social anxiety, but withdrawal has definitely intensified it.  

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Dec. 2, 2022: 2.6mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you cope?

2009-2010 Citalopram 20mg CT no problems

 

Sertaline 2010- 6monnths

 

2011- 2017 June 2017- Citalopram 20mg CT

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator

I don't push myself.  I do whatever socializing I'm capable of (not a whole lot), but I try to be gentle with myself and don't overextend.  

Gridley Introduction

 

Lexapro 20 mg since 2004.  Begin Brassmonkey Slide Taper Jan. 2017.   

End 2017 year 1 of taper at 9.25mg 

End 2018 year 2 of taper at 4.1mg

End 2019 year 3 of taper at 1.0mg  

Oct. 30, 2020  Jump to zero from 0.025mg.  Current dose: 0.000mg

3 year, 10 month taper is 100% complete.

 

Ativan 1 mg to 1.875mg 1986-2020, two CT's and reinstatements

Nov. 2020, 7-week Ativan-Valium crossover to 18.75mg Valium

Feb. 2021, begin 10%/4 week taper.   

March 22, 2022: hold at 4.8mg and shift to Imipramine taper

Aug. 5, 2022: shift back to Valium taper.  

Current dose as of Dec. 2, 2022: 2.6mg

Taper is 86% complete.

 

Imipramine 75 mg daily since 1986.  Jan-Sept 2016 tapered to 16mg.  

Held until Aug 2021, tapered for 4 weeks to 14.4mg

March 22, 2022: Begin 10%/4 week taper.  Current dose as of Aug. 5: 9.5mg 

Aug. 5, 2022: hold at 9.5 and shift to Valium taper

Taper is 87% complete.  

  

Supplements: omega-3, vitamins C, E and D3, magnesium glycinate, probiotic, zinc, melatonin .3mg


I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice but simply information based on my own experience, as well as other members who have survived these drugs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jonnypeters1234567   do you work. If so how do you cope with the anxiety during your work shift

March-2017-Dec-2017 ativanCT /reinstated ativan 1mg tapered 2 months/June 2017-April 2018 zyprexa 10mg switched to seroquel 200-300mg in april 2018/dec-2017-present zoloft 100mg/ quit seroquel 200-300mg cold turkey May 6 2018 reinstated seroquel 100mg around May 25 2018 since then tapered to 50mg zoloft and 50 mg of seroquel presently other medications Testosterone cypionate 2oomg every 4 days

UPDATE -August 20 2018--october 20 2018 tapered off Testosterone/Nov 7 2018 --Dec 20 2018 Lamictal micro dose 2.50mg 1 1/2 weeks then reduced to 1.25 then fast tapered as it became paridoxial.nausea- racing thoughts- agitation and insomnia.

August 28 2018 to Present Cannabis indica micro dose PM bedtime only.

Presently Seroquel 37.5 mg bedtime /Zoloft 47mg morning

May 2018-Present Multivitamin/ Bcomplex/Vit C 1000MG/B12 1000MCG/Fish oils 2grams/

Jan 2019-Trace mineral liquid low dose

Update dec 2019 -29mg of zoloft tapering/Seroquel 37.5 holding/1 or 2  ativan 1mg a month as needed if that.

Black seed oil-caprylic acid-/b complex/b12/multi/D/E/melatonin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use Privacy Policy