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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting my first year at university and so far it's great except for the mandatory, participation-graded discussion groups. The material is very complicated, and I generally tend to get anxious in large groups of people I don't know so it's very distracting to constantly have a tight chest, pounding heart, sweats, etc when I need to be focusing on the discussion at hand.

Anyhow, I recently found out about beta blockers and have been doing a lot of research on them. I really couldn't believe that such a drug existed: non-narcotic, non-impairing, drug that supposedly eliminates the physiological symptoms of anxiety. Sounds pretty good right?
Anyhow, before I bug my doctor for a prescription, I'd like to get an sense of all of your experiences with this type of drug so:

How bad is your social anxiety?

What meds do you currently take?

Did beta blockers completely eliminate your physical symptoms of anxiety?

Can you describe what it's like to be "mentally" anxious without the accompanying physical symptoms?

Do beta blockers on their own work for you?

Would you like to add any extra comments?
 

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they are helpful, they calm the body but not the mind are quick acting and can be taken only as needed

you may need to try several to find 1 that works well for you
 

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Interesting. Should you start w/ Propranolol/Inderal first?

Do combine beta blockers w/ anything?

Which beta blocker are you taking?

Which life situations has beta blockers helped with and how much on a scale of 1-10?

Sorry if I ask too many ?'s.... I'm going to try to get some beta blockers as well...

they are helpful, they calm the body but not the mind are quick acting and can be taken only as needed

you may need to try several to find 1 that works well for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
they are helpful, they calm the body but not the mind are quick acting and can be taken only as needed

you may need to try several to find 1 that works well for you
This is what I don't fully get. In my experience what happens is kind of like a cycle: I feel anxious, start showing outward signs, I think others notice, this makes me more anxious, and the symptoms get worse. I am a pretty rational guy and understand that most social situations are not threatening but its very hard to convince myself of that fact when my stomach is in my boots, and I'm blushing and sweating.
 

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I have very severe Social Phobia. While attending college last year I had to take a beta blocker(Metoprolol) as I knew I would be extremly nervous during class. For me, it keeps my heart-rate below 100bpm, but I still have the other feelings(body tensed, flustered etc).
 

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I have been prescribed betablockers in the past and still use them on an as-needed basis. For me, I can function fine in day to day life, but have an intense fear of any sort of public speaking/being the centre of attention and being but on the spot. Anxiety I could likely live with but I get these terrible red blotches on my chest/neck when I am nervous (or with any sort of emotion) that makes my anxiety much worse.

At different times I have been prescribed Atenolol (50mg), Nadolol (40mg) and Propranolol (40mg). I find the Nadolol and Propranolol work best. The Nadolol is longer lasting but with the Propranolol my doctor told me I could take it every 4 hours if required.

It calms down some of the physical symptoms of anxiety - shakiness, etc., but doesn't do too much (for me) for the physical feelings of anxiety. It doesn't have tranquilizing effects for me and I still feel nervous although I may not look as nervous.

On its own I haven't had success with stopping the nervous red blotches (I call it "body blushing" since I don't blush on my face, but on my neck/chest instead). However a combination of propranolol and clonidine does help with this. I don't take these drugs often - about once every 2 or 3 weeks but find them helpful (but not perfect) when I do take them. Taking them together - you have to be careful since they are both blood pressure lowering drugs, but I watch my blood pressure and haven't had any problems or side effects other than slight drowsiness the first few times I took them until I adjusted.
 

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How bad is your social anxiety?

Only bad for "forced" public speaking. Generally I am quite confident. Hate the "go round the room and introduce yourself" moment especially

What meds do you currently take?

Inderal (Propranolol) LA

Did beta blockers completely eliminate your physical symptoms of anxiety?

More or less, yes. Say 90% success rate

Can you describe what it's like to be "mentally" anxious without the accompanying physical symptoms?

Still have the dread beforehand. Mild feelings of wanting to run away etc. Once I start speaking, quite often all fear goes. Very strange to be suddenly able to clearly, confidently (outward at least) speak to 30 people.

Do beta blockers on their own work for you?

Yes - dont want to mess with mixing, even though I might eliminate ALL fear

Would you like to add any extra comments?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow, these responses are really cool, especially the descriptions of the drug's effects. I'm going to see my doctor tomorrow to see if he'll prescribe me beta blockers. I've also been having elevated blood pressure and headaches lately so if this helps with that too, then all the better.

I had never thought to seek medical help for my anxiety because I always assumed that sedatives and anti-depressants were the only option. I'm a pilot and taking any of those drugs would get my medical certificate revoked. Without flying I'd be in much worse shape than I am currently in.
 
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