T Nation

Social anxiety


I suffer from social anxiety.
sometimes it's not so bad if Im in a happy mood, but at other times its really bad, it's worse when talking with the opposite sex, blushing, avoiding eye contact etc.
Has anyone used 5-htp or Saint Johns wort for this sort of problem?


Are you talking about the same thing as agoraphobia (with panic attacks) ?


Very common problem. I had it for a long time and would manifest itself as panic attacks and I would have to leave wherever I was and get home. Scared the shit out of me, but felt like this bizarre mixture of paranoia and claustriphobia. Breathing would get panicky and I'd have to bail. Learned to deal with it, but now the anxiety happens mostly at night, causing me to sleep very restlessly, generally during periods of high stress, but it's equally scary.


I've had it (and still do to a small degree). It wasn't actually diagnosed until I was 19. I didn't even realize there was such a thing...I thought I was some kind of freak before I knew what it was.

I've never taken either 5htp or St. John's as a regimen for SAD, but what I learned in an abnormal psych class is that you'll likely never completely get rid of it, but you'll learn to cope with it. I eventually had to drop out of college it was so bad...that's when I decided to see a psychologist.

The best thing that helped me wasn't any supplements or medication, but it was basically confronting the problem head-on. I got a job that forced me to interact with people constantly, and although very scary at first, it was the best thing I ever did. I'm still a littly shy around the females, but I've come a LOOOOONG way.

As far as prescriptions go, Paxil is "supposed" to be very good for SAD, but I've never tried it and there are side effects.

Good luck!


Try 5-HTP. If it works well, your problem may be serotonin related. If not, try to get Effexor. If this works and 5-HTP did not, your problem may be more norepinephrine related.