Social Anxiety Background
Moderate shyness throughout childhood years, developed full blown social anxiety in teenage/adolescent years. No social life throughout high school and very withdrawn. Dropped out of college and developed severe depression at age 18-21 (21 now).
When I was 18, I tried a generic Celexa (Citalopram) and it didn't work (or I wasn't on it long enough for it to work). From that point forward I had been very against SSRI's or anti depressants and felt like they did more harm to people than good.
So for 3 years I slowly developed deep depression and worsening social anxiety. One day I cried for the first time in 7 years in front of my mother. When that happened I knew I had hit rock bottom. This was my breaking point when I decided to try medication again.
I can safely say it is slowly helping me change my life.
I felt an effect of the medication on only the fourth day of taking it. I woke up one morning and had a sudden surge of energy and a drugged up, "cloud 9" feeling. It felt like I just drank 10 cups of coffee. I had thought, "Wow! It's already working!"
This feeling wore off, however. The following 3 weeks were very difficult to get used to. I had drastic mood changes (like bipolar), constant fatigue, ZERO sex drive, extremely sweaty palms, and constantly in a numbed out, flat, zombie like state.
I came very close to qutting on the 7th day because of the side effects. I just couldn't tolerate them. I cut the dosage down to 5mg. That reduced the side effects, but the depression and anxiety came back. So I upped the dosage back to 10 and decided to just ride it out and see where it takes me.
On the 4th week, I finally felt the positive effects of the medication. The side effects were going away as well. My head cleared up and I finally felt normal. My mood improved and there was a marked decrease of anxiety in normally anxious situations.
People have also remarked on how I changed. I was at a family get to gether and I actually came up and talked to people without a problem, and didn't hide away or avoid people. My sister remarked on how much more social I am.
It has not numbed my emotions either. I can still express happiness, joy, excitement, fear, anger, even sadness. I just do not experience deep depression or debilitating anxiety.
So overall -
1. Improved mood
2. More manageable/reduced anxiety
3. More energy
4. More motivation
5. Interested in old hobbies again
6. For the first time in my life, I actually look forward to social events!
7. No weight gain/loss or apetite change
8. No emotional blunting
1. Delayed ejaculation, despite high sex drive. Can take 30 mins to finish sometimes. My libido also fluctuated alot the first 4 weeks, but finally settled down and is back to normal again.
2. Very sensitive to alcohol. May sound kind of cool, but it actually gets annoying when you just want to have one beer and you get so dizzy you can't drive.
3. Dilated pupils. Happens 3-4 hours after taking the drug every night. But this usually goes away by morning.
4. Extremely strange and epic dreams
5. Excessive sleep despite higher energy. Even though Lexapro gives me more energy during the day, I could sleep for 14 hours no problem.
So all in all, it has been great. Lexapro puts me at a place where I can deal with my issues easier. I have a cousin who is on this drug and it has helped her greatly. I know every drug affects one differently but based on my experinece I'd say give it a try.