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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I finally cracked and decided to see a therapist about my pretty severe social anxiety.

A little background. My social anxiety really started to intensify in middle school, and by the time I entered high school, it became very difficult for me to talk to people (even my friends and family) without constantly being anxious. Hence, I had no close friends and spent my high school years hanging out alone. All social situations (i.e., dealing with another human - like getting fast food, paying for gas, talking to friends, etc.) left me stuck in a closet with no escape.

College came and I made more friends though drinking, which calmed my nerves after copious amounts, but I still felt really anxious around them and could not express myself the way I wanted to.

Fearing I would spend my whole life like this, I set up an appointment with the school's therapist. Long story short, I no longer see the therapist because I didn't feel like she was interested in helping me, or maybe even not capable of helping me, but she did set up and appointment with a MD to prescribe me something for my anxiety.

About a year prior, I had tried Paxil. It was given to me by a friend who refused to take it. After taking it for 3 weeks, I decided that it was not worth the side effect of not being able to orgasm. On top of that, I didn't like how it made me feel zonked out, and its affect on my anxiety was at this point nonexistent.

So obviously this left me biased towards all antidepressants. So when the doctor I just saw recommended I start taking Celexa, I was hesitant. All I wanted her to do was write my a script for Klonopin (which I have taken before and heard a tolerance to the anti-anxiety effects is negligible). But after becoming suicidal, I decided I would go to the pharmacy and have them fill my script.

It's been a week and a half after starting it, and I must say, I do feel some anxiety relief, but it's far from 100%. I'm hoping it will continue to get better and better. And thankfully, the only side effects I've had are minor insomnia and dry mouth.

I would appreciate a review of this drug from anyone who's tried it for SA. Does 40 mg work better than 20? Did the change to 40 mg add any side effects? Did it ever lose its effectiveness?

Thank you.
 

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I was on it a few years back at 40mg. I had pretty severe side effects but kept on it anyway for a while. Side effects were significantly decreased libido, extreme somnolence, and diarrhea. I didn't feel it was helpful enough for me so I eventually went off of it.

Now (years later) I am on lexapro which is chemically practically the same as celexa. I am using other drugs now as adjuncts however such as clonazepam and adderall.
 

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I love it. I started at 10mg, up to 20 after 2 weeks, and now at 40 and I think this is the best dose for me. I have a few side effects. Orgasms take longer, gf doesnt mind this though ;) and i'm tired a lot. I started taking it at night which helps regulate my sleep schedule. I fall asleep a couple hours after taking it. The sleepyness usually wears off around noon the next day. Coffee helps.

As far as the positive effects, celexa has been great. After I got past the really crappy first 4 weeks, I started to notice that I was more relaxed in situations that used to really bother me. Like making phone calls at work, or work meetings. Things like that don't bother me anymore, or are much better than before.

Having said that, I'm not cured. I still have trouble during regular conversation. I still dont like crowded environments. I'm still self conscious sometimes. But the thoughts don't linger in my head for hours like they used to. If some smalltalk with a coworker goes a little awkward, 30 seconds later I don't care anymore. This is a huge improvement over spending an entire day, or days, replaying the scenario in my head over and over.

It's been pretty great for me. Hope it helps you :)
 

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Oh ya, to answer your other questions, going from 20mg to 40 had some increased anti anxiety effects, but it also increased my drowsiness. Thats why I started taking it at night which has helped some. Other than that, the other side effects wore off after a few weeks. I havent noticed any loss of effectiveness but I've only been on it for about 6 months. I've heard of other people who have used it effectively for years and years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for that post - it's very encouraging.

Though I've only been on 20mg for eight days, I feel a difference in the way I think, and I don't think this is a placebo effect because I was biased to thinking it would not work before taking it. But who knows. Either way, the way I'm thinking has changed for the better, at least it has in the last couple of days.

Justin I have a question for you. Did the sexual side-effects only occur at 40mg? I'm wondering because I've noticed none at 20mg, which I'm thankful for because I lost my ability to ejaculate on Paxil.
 

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I was up to 80mg near the end of it. Useless crap. Now I am on nothing and I am not sure I am that much better off to be honest.

I was 'ok' at about 40. 20 wasn't enough. 60 worked best- for a year or so. 80 makes me stupid and it wasn't worth being on at that level, nor to try to lower, so I quit.

I didn't use it for anxiety though, but depression. I need ativan or similar for anxiety. Nothing else works noticeably.
 

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Having said that, I'm not cured. I still have trouble during regular conversation. I still dont like crowded environments. I'm still self conscious sometimes. But the thoughts don't linger in my head for hours like they used to. If some smalltalk with a coworker goes a little awkward, 30 seconds later I don't care anymore. This is a huge improvement over spending an entire day, or days, replaying the scenario in my head over and over.
This is pretty much my experience of it too.
 

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Soaring Falcon

Hi--your experiences sound a lot like mine. I suffer from chronic anxiety that turns into depression in the right circumstances.
I resisted taking anything for a long until until a few years ago when I almost had a nervous breakdown stemming from a bully boss. It was finally what drove me into therapy.
I had been resistant even then to get on anti-depressants because I had a bad experience with wellbutrin which seemed to increase suicidal thoughts and make me really jumpy. I got a perscription for Xanax (generic) which I was careful about taking only when I really needed it.
In the last two years, work has been plagued by layoff notices and the like and my current doctor suggested Celexa (generic) as my stress and anxiety was going to last a while and Xanax once a week was probably not going to be enough. She also explained that for many with anxiety issues like me, Wellbutrin is not recommended. I started on 20. The first wek, I was super tired and had diarrhea, but that cleared up fast. One of the first immediate benefits was that I could sleep. I have been insomniac all my life. I noticed huge changes after a couple of weeks.
We tried going up to 40, but after a month, I came back down to 20. 40 was too much. I have been on Celexa for about 2 years.
Lately, as some of the drama at work has cleared up, I have started backing it down. I had been feeling really sluggish on the 20. I am now taking 10. I am waiting to see how this works. I still have Xanax which is good for when I get my period.
There are side effects, and I do have them. My libido is completely dead. I have to say, that it didn't bother me for a long time. The decrease in anxiety was so welcome. Also, I gained weight. Again, it seemed like a fair trade off.
However, now that my work situation is calmer, I am hoping that the lower dose will bring things into better balance.
The trial and error can be frustrating, but it has been worth it for me.
 

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I've been on it for 6 months now. In the first week or two, I experienced extreme zombie like states. I was mega tired and was only on 20mg.

The most notable difference though would've had to have been the relief from the suicidal ideation. That basically disappeared as well as a palpable decrease in my overall anxiety in most day to day situations.

Six months on, and I'm looking at increasing that dosage without my doctors knowledge just to see what happens, (well atleast maybe for a week or so anyway).

The main problem I have with the celexa though is its tendency to make me really lethargic. I have not as of yet brought it up with my gp but somebody on this forum suggested I mix it with wellbutrin XL to stop the tiredness. I can't ever remember needing to drink so much coffee before I was on the drugs
 

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I was the guy who suggested adding Wellbutrin XL. ;) There are also some controlled studies out there which show Celexa + Wellbutrin XL is a powerful combo. Why don't you ask your doctor about raising your Celexa dose instead of doing it on your own? You could also speak about adding Wellbutrin XL then.
 

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I've been on it for about 2 months, and I have noticed few side-effects.

I started at 10mg once a day for a week, then went up to 20 (half-pill, full pill) after a week. I'm now up to 40mg, and it does well enough.

I still get a little nervous when initiating conversations, but that is due to ... always being like that. When situations are forced onto me, I'm no longer so desperate to back out. I'll stand and make my peace, and that's that.

This is the first actual med I've taken for anxiety or mental disorder, but it's done well. I don't think I blush at all in public anymore. Still doesn't help with blank mind or acting natural, but I see those as behavioral ...shortcomings, not mental ones.
 
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