Sometimes doctors prescribe a drug called Lexapro for the treatment of social phobia. So let’s look at the common side-effects, dosage and how well it works.
It’s proper name is Escitalopram and it is known as a member of the SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) group of drugs.
Lexapro is mostly prescribed for depression, although nowadays doctors also offer it to people for anxiety conditions.
Lexapro is, however, proven to work better for depression.
Lexapro, if it works at all, merely balances a neurotransmitter called serotonin, in your brain. This, in theory, is supposed to affect your mood positively. Although there’s a chance it could help, it can’t cure social anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder is a behaviourally learnt condition, and drugs cannot undo the behaviour-based conditioning that social anxiety is, so no, it’s not a good treatment.
For some people, their anxiety temporarily reduces whilst this drug kicks in. For others, it’s been known to make them feel depressed and even suicidal.
Lexapro flattens the intensity of your emotions. For example, when someone’s on lexapro their voice can seem very “monotone”, and this is caused by the person’s inability to feel much emotionally – because of the drug. It creates what I call an emotional numbness.
Just like with all SSRI’s, you’re almost guaranteed some sort of side-effects. Everyone reacts differently, so not all of the below listed side-effects would happen to you. But it’s likely that at least some of them would.
Are you already prescribed Lexapro?
Yes, the withdrawal symptoms and side-effects can FEEL terrible, but despite how they feel, they’re not THAT harmful. Lexapro will NOT kill you, and it won’t give you serious long-term health issues either.
A standard starting dose would be 2.5mg. The pills usually come in 10mg and 20mg forms – so for a 2.5mg dose you’d take a quarter of a 10mg tablet.
It’s normal for the doctor to up the dosage to reach the desired effect. A 10mg dosage is fairly common. Once you get to 20mg, you’re on a high dose.
3 facts about Lexapro
- It often works out to cost 1.5 – 3 US dollars per pill
- Some people get headaches and/or nausea when they start taking lexapro, but the body soon adapts and these symptoms usually subside quite quickly
- There are studies that show it is effective (at least short term) at treating anxiety symptoms.
Lexapro Is Not A Cure, Just A Mask.
The Cure Lies In New Behaviour
Lexapro might reduce your social anxiety, but make no mistake – beneath the drugs, your anxiety condition is still very much alive.
Because of that, I advise you to AVOID medication for social anxiety.
If you’re now (rightly) convinced that meds are useless, check my article on the real answer to overcoming social anxiety.