How Does Desipramine Treat Social Phobia?

How Does Desipramine Treat Social Phobia?
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Social phobia is a form of anxiety disorder that affects people in social situations. It can affect people only in certain social situations, or in extreme cases, it can develop into a broad social anxiety disorder. Social anxiety disorder (also called social phobia) affects roughly 15 million American adults. This form of anxiety disorder often begins to develop during childhood or in the early stages of adolescence. Those that suffer from social phobia may become anxious and self-conscious to the point of not being able to function when in social situations. Many with social phobia experience a persistent and reoccurring fear of the perceived judgment of their peers or even of strangers. This intense anxiety can cause those that suffer from social phobia to avoid many social activities such as school, work or daily activities.

Treating Social Phobia with Desipramine

The physical symptoms that are present when someone is suffering from social phobia are similar in nature to those of a panic attack and can include shaking, gastrointestinal discomfort, blushing, sweating and difficulty in making conversation. The first step in treating social phobia is to seek a proper diagnosis from a qualified physician. A mental health professional may prescribe medication to help in the management of the symptoms of social phobia. One of the types of medications that may be prescribed is an antidepressant such as desipramine. Desipramine is the generic name for this antidepressant, which is sold under the brand name Norpramine.

How Does Desipramine Work?

Desipramine is a form of tricyclic antidepressant that can be an effective means of treating and controlling the symptoms of social phobia.

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Similar to other tricyclic antidepressants, desipramine works by elevating the mood by inhibiting the brain’s reuptake of the naturally occurring chemical hormones serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. Tryciclic antidepressants are able to inhibit the reuptake of these hormones through directly blocking the neurotransmitter transporters that are located in the presynaptic membrane.

Treating social phobia with desipramine is possible, though traditionally desipramine and other tricyclic antidepressants have been used primarily in the treatment of depression. It is believed that desipramine relieves the symptoms of depression and anxiety by raising the levels of beneficial chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine in the body. By blocking the reuptake of these chemicals, the brain and the body have access to more of these calming chemicals. The increase of the naturally occurring hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine can aid in creating a greater sense of calm and lower levels of anxiety.

Desipramine, like other antidepressants, is believed to help those that suffer from a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including social phobia, by helping the patient to achieve a more balanced mental state and a greater sense of wellbeing. Before taking any medication, it is imperative that the patient receives a qualified diagnosis and treatment plan.


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