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Someone needs to make a pamphlet introducing people to SA, because now I know I have it, but I really don't know where to go or what to expect..

Went to my doctor, got a diagnosis, and got meds. Which is simultaneously wonderful and confusing. Ativan PRN. First time: sweet, anxiety wiped from my mind. My body felt a little tense, but no biggie. My mind was clear and all was good. Second time: Anxiety gone, but more physical symptoms--tightness/fluttery feeling in my chest.. nearly how I always feel when I'm anxious, just without the mind. Third time (today): Didn't totally take care of my mind, but my body felt so anxious that I kept trying to think of what was making me anxious, but there was nothing there. Each time was a total of 1mg (.5mg then the other .5mg a couple hours later).

I'm confused by this.. I was told to take it as needed, which I did. Is three days in a row too much? Should I only take it when the anxiety is overwhelming and I can't think? When I took it today, I felt uncomfortably anxious, and suspected that it would increase. Not to a "please, let the ground open up and swallow me whole" degree, but more than I wanted to deal with, especially with an anti-anxiety med at my disposal. But I had a hard time concentrating on anything but how I was feeling--is it okay to take more? Pill bottle says no more than 2mg/day, but in my doc's instructions to me, he said .5mg before anxiety-inducing event and .5mg again if needed.. didn't say either way about taking more than 1mg. And I don't want to start upping my dose after 3 days on the med! But at the same time, he gave me 40 1mg pills, and I'm seeing him again in 4 weeks. So I have enough to be taking one every day and have some left over. Is the fact that I have so much an indication that I don't have to be ultra-conservative of when I use it?

I guess my big question is: Should I expect to always feel some degree of anxiety? I took the Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale and got a score of 98. I'm not sure how valid that is, but... FWIW, I'm not afraid to leave my house or go shopping or do anything where I can be in my own world, it's actually interacting with others and having their attention on me that I get anxious. The whole fear of criticism/humiliation/rejection thing pretty much describes my existence. And while that is the big problem, I feel like there's always this low hum of anxiety going through me. Maybe that's unrelated stress, I don't know.

I'm not really sure where to go with this thing. Take my Ativan as needed, or try to only take it when I really really need it? I have an appointment with my doctor in 4 weeks, and I think it'll be easier to make it until then if I have a better idea of what all this is. I could make another appointment for sooner if I really have to.

This is really coming off as a medication thing, but it's not.. the meds are just making me realize that I have no freaking clue what I'm doing with this stupid disorder. I think I preferred it when I thought my anxiety was normal.

Can anyone share their experience? For those who are on meds, are you able to find a drug or combination of drugs that eliminate (or mostly eliminate) your feelings of anxiety, both mental and physical, all or most of the time? Does therapy REALLY help? Is it even possible to be anxiety-free?

Someone, please, write a booklet on this! "What You Can Expect from Your Social Anxiety!"
 

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The experience is completely different for different people. What works for one person doesn't work for another. Nobody can tell you what to expect. I'm regularly amazed at how completely unlike other SA people I am.
 

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If I was told to take meds PRN, I'd spend all my time analysing when and if I should be taking them, which would just make me more anxious than I already was...it seems counter-productive.

I think you need to write down all your questions, feelings and wonderments and discuss them at your next visit, or send an email to your doc and make it sound desperate so they respond....and get the diagnosis and what you should expect from it and the meds explained properly to you.

It's hard enough living with anxiety without having more [email protected] to worry about....why can't the 'profs' explain stuff properly in the first place!
 
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