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Old 01-19-2009, 12:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Arrow Public Speaking Medication

Hi everyone! I have mild social anxiety, but a SEVERE phobia of public speaking (which I suspect ties in somehow with the SA). Anytime that I have to talk in front of a group of people I freak out. The symptoms I show are trembling/shaking, talking fast, dry mouth, and everything else bad that happens. On a couple occasions I nearly ran out of a room because of my fear of public speaking. Basically, my fight or flight response is severe.

So, what would you suggest I get prescribed? From what I hear beta-blockers are the best thing for this. Many musicians take them so they can remain calm while performing. I am a musician as well, and I suspect that once I start playing in front of crowds I will get the same symptoms as I do while public speaking. If you have any experiences with these symptoms or medications, PLEASE give me some advice. I really need to do something about this, I have a 10 minute presentation in a month. Thanks a lot!
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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20-40mg Propranolol an hour before the presentation should help. Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the advice. 20-40 mg sounds like a lot compared to what other people have said, but I'll talk to my doctor.

Anyone else have experience with this? I'd like to hear from someone who has used a beta-blocker before. I'd like to know how effective it is.
Thanks again!
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Old 01-19-2009, 03:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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hey aabbccdd, I just took beta-blockers for the first time for a presentation myself. 20mg for me was fine, in fact I'll bet 10 would work for me. But that's because my body is very sensitive to everything (drugs). It was amazing. I still felt shy, but when I went to read my work in front of class my voice didn't shut down on me, and I didn't have to push through it, I wasn't shaking AT ALL, I did everything soooo calmly. I was so happy by it. In fact, people were laughing at the funny parts (I didn't even know they were all that funny). I have honestly never had people laughing from something I say in front of a class. It was a really good feeling. Really good. I had never been able to calmly present something before in my life.

It really really helps. It slows down your heart rate, opens everything up and relaxes all those parts of your body that try to shut down or tighten up. They say it can have bad effects on circulation and give you cold hands and feet, but I found it made my circulation better!

The only downside is it makes you very drowsy/it's difficult to concentrate. Actually I felt a little depressed (but that's probably because of the anxiety I have right now about school and life at large). And you get kind of restless. It's hard to sleep when you take them. Oh, and I am not sure, but I think it made my feet and palms sweaty a little. Could just be the weather though.

Anyway, there you go. It'll open you up a bit. The physical symptoms only though. You might still feel scared to present. You just have to remind yourself that your heart's not capable of palpitating right now. And don't do anything fast because you might feel faint (though I didn't).

But yeah, I recommend it.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Caithiggs, thank you for the reply. That was just what I hoping to hear. You have answered my questions, many thanks!
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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inderal, klonopin, and or adderall
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Psychiatrist, or sometimes even GP/family doctor if you have a good, understanding one.

Yes, from the symptoms you're describing, it sounds like a beta blocker is a good first thing to try. Look up Inderal.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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One word: Inderal! ;-)
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aabbccdd44332211 View Post
Caithiggs, thank you for the reply. That was just what I hoping to hear. You have answered my questions, many thanks!
No problem! What sort of music do you play, out of general curiosity?
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aabbccdd44332211 View Post
Thanks for the advice. 20-40 mg sounds like a lot compared to what other people have said, but I'll talk to my doctor.

Anyone else have experience with this? I'd like to hear from someone who has used a beta-blocker before. I'd like to know how effective it is.
Thanks again!
I have taken it @ 40mg, sometimes 60mg. The standard dose for beta blockers for treating cardiac conditions seems to be 40mg twice daily. SO I don't think it is a lot. It is a very safe med. If a lower dose works for you, than by all means take less. the number I have seen in anxiety discussions is still around 20-40mg.
As for whether it helped me - well it did, though it is hard to say. At the time, I was also taking benzodiazepines, so their more pronounced effect made it hard to isolate any potential benefit of the beta blocker.
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caithiggs View Post
No problem! What sort of music do you play, out of general curiosity?
I am a guitarist and I play many different genres - mainly classic rock and blues, but I also play some jazz and stuff of that nature.

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I have taken it @ 40mg, sometimes 60mg. The standard dose for beta blockers for treating cardiac conditions seems to be 40mg twice daily. SO I don't think it is a lot. It is a very safe med. If a lower dose works for you, than by all means take less. the number I have seen in anxiety discussions is still around 20-40mg.
As for whether it helped me - well it did, though it is hard to say. At the time, I was also taking benzodiazepines, so their more pronounced effect made it hard to isolate any potential benefit of the beta blocker.
Ok thanks for the information. I'm not too worried about taking too much but I've seen people suggest as low as 5mg. I'll discuss it with my doctor, but I'll probably end up taking 20-40mg as you mentioned.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Also remember that the beta blockers (for ex. propranolol) donīt go together with asthmatics. If thatīs your case then i would go with a benzo instead. But of course you should ask all this from your doctor.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Sorry to start up a dead thread, but I have an update that can hopefully help people. I just got back from my doctor, and he prescribed me 12 tablets of 20 mg of Inderal with 3 refills. I asked him for the prescription and he just flat out said, "No". I was shocked, and I was very upset about his "decision." And after about 15 minutes of pleading and such he gave me the prescription. So I'm happy. I'll update this thread again after I try it for a presentation or speech.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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@abcd: Grats Inderal is great for stage fright AFAIK, it works instantly, no waiting for weeks like with ADs. Give updates please and it would be nice if you could write a report under "Treatment options". Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Wow, he just said no, and then yes? Did he test your blood pressure or anything?

My doc honestly looked kinda worried when I asked. But it might have been a time thing, as he was running late. Haha, but I wonder, just because I'm sure there are a lot of people out there just trying to get meds.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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A normal dose Inderal does not drop the blood pressure of a healthy person to dangerous levels.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caithiggs View Post
Wow, he just said no, and then yes? Did he test your blood pressure or anything?

My doc honestly looked kinda worried when I asked. But it might have been a time thing, as he was running late. Haha, but I wonder, just because I'm sure there are a lot of people out there just trying to get meds.
Yeah, I asked him and he looked me straight in the eyes and said, "Absolutely not." I nearly freaked out but I kept informing him on why I believed I needed it. He said that he didn't want to prescribe me something I didn't need and he thought I could get over it by myself. Then I explained that the only way to get over it was to get ride of the physiological symptoms that made me nervous in the first place. So he reluctantly filled out a prescription. I was so relieved. He tested my blood pressure before because it was after a physical for aviation.

And yes, I will be updating it after I take it. My first big presentation isn't until February 22, so I'll probably test them the day before and I'll update after the big presentation. He told me to take 20 mg in 8 hour intervals before the presentation to test them out.
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Old 02-04-2009, 08:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Good luck on your presentation! I would recommend taking it at home sometime before your presentation to see how it affects you. The very first time I took Inderal, it made me really dizzy. After the first time, though..no problems. I take 20-30mg before a presentation, and it has worked wonders. I also take 0.5-1mg klonopin (clonazepam) with it for even more benefit. My doctor recommended Inderal to me. He has since retired, and my new doc had no problem prescribing it. He says it is one of the most common meds for public speaking phobia. I can't believe your doctor said no at first. Keep us posted!
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Old 02-15-2009, 09:03 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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I hope your presentation goes well for you. I am in the same boat, it's the physical symptoms that increase my anxiety. I will be looking out for your update and i have a good feeling you'll do great.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Best of luck with your presentation aabbccdd! I dread presentations for weeks when I have to do them for work.

Freshman year of college I did two speeches in my communications class and refused to return because of how terrified I was the 2nd time to do the speech. (I aced both of them too ..) I am convinced if I would have dealt with this problem at the time in an appropriate way I would NOT have any concerns with social anxiety. Instead, I kicked it under the rug and dropped any class that I had to do a presentation in.

Still pursuing my bachelor's degree while working full time. Speech class is on the horizon next semester (gulp).

Looking forward to how your presentation goes .. again .. good luck!!
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