Wednesday, November 01, 2006

If You Are Not Aware Of...

...nor have never heard of SAD, then do so. It's an anacronym for Social Anxiety Disorder. And I have it big time. I used to take meds for it, but they screw you up. It works like this.
Every morning when I get ready to head out the door I get a panic attack. Because I have to deal with people. The very same species that I walk the planet with. Not so much one-on-one, but more than one, or get me confined, and my brain goes absolutely haywire. I've been like this my whole life. The owner of the company came in the breakroom today as I was washing my hands and said he missed me at the company party last Thursday at some local place. I had to tell him I don't do party's anymore because I'm a recluse. He laughed because he knows my sense of humor, and thought I was kidding, because he's seen me at company party's years ago. Hell, I feel uncomfortable with myself in the bathroom. If I drink excessive amounts of alcohol then I'm fine. Self medication, ya know. I like people, I really do. But they did something to me way back when. If I get any comments about weakness on this, I will hunt you down and kill you. I would give anything not to be this way, but it is what it is. And it gets worse with age. I used to be able to go out and engage in anything. Now a trip to the Target or the store requires tremendous amounts of courage. And a snip of vino.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Hammer said...

I had it really bad as a kid and teen. I couldn't walk or talk sometimes I would freeze and not be able to function. Gradually I grew out of it. I think it was because I wanted to get laid.

I'm still a recluse but not near as much as you describe. Like you, alcohol is my friend and it makes me a better more socially capable person.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

Sounds like a miserable thing to have to live with, Bob! Wish I could offer some kind of wisdom or help.

3:13 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It's a chemical thing. I have it too, although mine is more of a generalized anxiety disorder. It really sucks.

4:01 AM  
Blogger Maricopa Mark said...

You *could* try going on the meds and then tapering off once you get sick of the side effects. I did this with paxil. I was on that crap for about 6 months and then tapered off of them. It wasn't pleasant but I did go over 1 1/2 years without freaking out after that. Now I'm trying lexapro which, so far, has no pronounced side effects. I'm not sure if it's working yet though.

I fully understand the idea of staying off brain drugs if possible but after the last panic attack I've kinda revised my position.

4:15 AM  
Blogger GalacticallyStupid said...

Nice to know I'm not alone. I tried paxil once and it and I didn't agree with how things work.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Rantin' Ron said...

I've had it for four or five yrs myself. I call it the "Amongst-em's" I tried paxil once but didn't like it either.
Thankfully, I don't have to go out amongst 'em much. After spending many years in crowds...I ENJOY being a recluse these days!

2:19 PM  
Blogger GalacticallyStupid said...

"Amongst-em's" is a very good way to put it, Ron. What I don't like is people think I'm stand-offish, which is far from the truth. Last person to spend a weekend here thought it was the most peaceful place in the world. She slept the whole time, which doesn't bode well for me but maybe there's something to being this way. People can relax and be themselves and not feel all frenetic.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Maricopa Mark said...

I think of all the SSRIs paxil is the strongest and I'd argue that it's a disservice to start out a patient on the strongest possible medication which also has the worst, at least the most pronounced, side-effects.

I went to www.anxietyhelp.org/treatment/medication/comparemed.html and did a bunch of comparisons. That way when I went to the doctor I knew WTF I was talking about and could have a real discussion about what was available. At least I felt empowered.

Good luck.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Pammy said...

Paxil worked great for me. It was hell to kick, but once clean, the "anti-social" effects stuck. I suppose because I'd been on it so long (4 years), it actually changed my behavior, rather than changing my brain chemicals.

It does play hell with your libido after you've been on it a while, though.

4:24 PM  
Blogger GalacticallyStupid said...

Well Pammy, I'm always horny, so what the hell. How's the new job going?

4:34 PM  
Blogger k said...

You're not alone. I had it as a child through my twenties. After a series of events, it virtually never bothers me any more. But I wouldn't advise those events on anyone.

I still get anxiety attacks from time to time. I'm really sorry to hear they started you on Paxil, that's such heavy-duty stuff. I hope after these comments you'll consider something milder. It really can make a permanent change even AFTER quitting.

Also, some you can just take *as needed,* like Xanax. Much healthier, cheaper, and safer than alcohol. I used to use alcohol to self-medicate too, so I must insist that at least I know whereof I speak insofar as my own self.

If you're self-medicating that means you do realize that medication helps. Having cut through a serious swath of varieties, alcohol turned out to be at the bottom of the effectiveness scale for me. And in the end, that's the proof of the pudding. Does it work good or not?

3:54 AM  

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