(Page 2 of 2)
There is no predicting, and no shortage of guesses. The libido could increase. The libido could decrease. The vagina could hemorrhage (basic vaginitis is more common). Beware skin discoloration, stupor, alcohol abuse; but also more horrible things you might not have heard of but understand (generalized spasm, weight gain) as well as things “only your doctor” can understand: arthralgia, choreoathetosis, fasciculations and nystagmus.
THIS WOULD BE FUN if it weren’t so blanket and Boschean a throwing of caution to the wind. One of the “infrequent” side effects of Paxil, though it could be fairly applied to its use and creation, is listed as “abnormal thinking.”
From kidney calculus to taste loss, visual field defect to maculopapular rash, Paxil provides a worrying palette of collateral damages. Yet this is understood not to trouble the patient — so long as the pill can be safely delivered into the stomach before, worse than secondary effects, second thoughts begin to set in. And what does our patient receive in exchange? The relief of biochemical calm, in brief, but rather than offering a laundry list of supposed cures it services our inquiry to concentrate on the pains meant to be eased for the SAD — sufferers of Social Anxiety Disorder.
As “diagnosed” by GSK, the afflicted “often” gets “physical symptoms such as blushing, sweating, shaking, trembling, tense muscles, shaky voice, dry mouth or a pounding heart. When you have social anxiety disorder you can feel very anxious in the presence of others. You might think other people are very confident in public and you are not. Just blushing can feel horribly embarrassing to you, and you might feel like everyone’s eyes are always on you. You might feel anxious about giving a speech, talking to a boss, or dating. Some people with social anxiety disorder are afraid of public speaking or parties.”
In translation, someone with SAD is (at least sometimes) (a) intimidated around strangers, (b) embarrassed to be caught being embarrassed, (c) self-conscious at parties, (d) uncomfortable delivering a speech, (e) nervous on a date, and (f) a human being, just like everyone else.
Res ipsa loquitur. Now the coup de grace (as I steer around risks of gingivitis, bloody diarrhea, malaise, and pallor): the side effects of Paxil also include dehydration, hostility, hysteria, and paranoid reaction: extreme versions of the very symptoms the drug is meant to prevent. (Strangely, decreased sweating — something any habitue of nervousness would appreciate — is listed as a side effect, along with the other undesirables.)
THE PERSON AT THE PARTY staggering around hiccuping — the one with the discolored skin, enlarged breasts, and the demented gait — isn’t likely to attract the kind of public attention we all enjoy. The great unanswered question of Paxil — though I have my suspicions — is whether our poor distorted victim will be too high on seratonin to realize that the smiles on the faces of his fellow partygoers are actually grimaces of queasy horror.
Would that they, too, had a Paxil each — and all chilled out together, a roomful — a planetful — of jabbering, malfunctioning zombies.
James G. Poulos is a writer and attorney living in Washington, D.C. His commentaries are found at Postmodern Conservative.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?