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Avatar universal

Are these anxiety attacks ... or what?

This may seem like a trivial thing, but it is starting to make my life a misery. I have always been very shy and blushed a lot from when I was a kid, but was always told I would grow out of it. I never have and I am now 33 and it is getting worse. Normally I am pretty laid back but whenever I have to go to meetings, give a presentation, meet new people, or even in a situation where I feel uncomfortable (which can be something as simple as being asked an embarrassing questions) I find myself breaking out in a cold sweat. Within minutes my shirt and hair is soaked and sweat is running down my face. Because I know this is going to happen I start to think about it more and probably make it worse. It is now getting to the stage where my social life and my career are suffering. I have a good social circle but I am avoiding going out with friends in case this happens, and I constantly try and get out of meetings at work. I have not been to my doctor as I find it embarrassing to talk about this (I guess I try and pretend there is nothing wrong). Incidentally, I am the correct weight for my height and consider myself to be relatively fit as I go to the gym 2-3 times a week.
Help... any suggestions/solutions will be appreciated.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Ian,

   You describe panic attacks in the setting of a variety of social situations.  This most likely represents an anxiety disorder known as Social Anxiety Disorder.  It is characterized by a marked and persistent fear of social or performance situations in which the person is exposed to unfamiliar people or to scrutiny by others.  The individual often fears that he will act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing.  Ultimately this can lead to avoiding some or all social situations.  The good news is that this is a very treatable disorder and I recommend that you have a formal psychiatric evaluation.  

Sincerely,

HFHS MD-JM
Avatar universal
Oh my god!!  This happens to me too.  It got so bad for me that I finally had to go to the doctor.  Without giving any major details, I told her that I was very stressed out at work and that I am always nervous.  Nervous to the point that as soon as I pull into the parking lot at work, my stomach feels like someone is jabbing pencils into it over and over.  Anyway, she prescribed a very low dose of xanax  .5-1 mg and it stopped the sweating and the nervousness.  I am now off of it as I hear it is pretty bad for you, but now I am back to my regular sweating, blushing, nervous self.  I am currently taking zoloft and trazadone...hasnt really helped with the sweating...that is what bothers me the most...its very embarrassing...especially when you are in a meeting and everyone around you seems so confident and cool...and no one else is sweating their *** off for no reason

Good Luck, Please know that you are not alone.  Talk to your doctor

Avatar universal
I had the same thing! It turns out that I have social
phobia, and only went to see the doctor because of
the sweating, because that is impossible to hide. First,
the doctors seem to want to put people on Paxil for this,
as it isn't addictive. The side effects were absolutely
terrible for me though, and made me worse. Now I take
Serzone and Buspar, and the sweating has stopped totally,
after about a week or two after starting. I take small
doses of each, and Inderal for my racing heartbeat. This
combo worked wonders for me. Good luck!
Avatar universal
Inderal, a beta blocker, also blocks sweating as a side effect. This side effect is of benefit in this situation.

If the symptoms are the major problem & the anxiety itself is controllable, a beta blocker may give significant relief. Inderal (3x a day), Tenormin (1x a day)& pindolol (2x a day) are the most common ones used.

pindolol ( beta blocker & mild anxiolytic ?) + Buspar ( non benzo anxiolytic ) has been reported to help control this type of anxiety as well as the symptoms.

benzodiazepines, such as klonopin & xanax are also used & very effective. They have more habituation /dependency risk but are widely prescribed.

You should discuss this with a Dr that has experience in treating this type of disorder ( a psych Dr )
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