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Vakul Aren
Vakul Aren, Doctor
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4157
Experience:  34 years of practice as a Physician
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Following an ear surgery several years back I experienced

Customer Question

Following an ear surgery several years back I experienced remarkable change in the way that I engaged with people socially. This change lasted for a period of about 2 weeks. I've never been a "social" person who get's a charge from interacting with others but during this amazing period I suddenly had a genuine interest in other people - their history, thoughts, goals etc.. I also noticed that I was less concerned or guarded about myself. I made friends with people and felt a sense of calmness that I'd never had before.
I'm back to my old self, but the entire experience made me realize that I may suffer from a lack of empathy for others or just a mild social anxiety that makes me close myself off from others and miss an opportunity to truly engage with them and form connections. Whatever the cause, I would like to find out if it's possible to diagnose the reason for the change. As for possible causes from medication, I did not make note of the anesthetic which was used for the surgery (however, it could not have been succinylcholine as I'm allergic to that particular drug). Aside from that, I don't recall if I might have been given anything like a Valium as I left the hospital. All I can say for certain is that I received and took Vicodin for a few days - could this be the cause?
To conclude, I am looking for professional advice as to the possible cause for my change in behavior and beyond that, general advice on options for a medication that is known to have a similar effect as those I experienced. For the record, I've never taken any anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, or pain killers aside from the Vicodin already mentioned.
I look forward to your response!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Vakul Aren replied 2 years ago.

Hello,I am Dr. Aren and I will help with your query.Since you feel that you are not a "social"person and have a mild social phobia,it would be prudent to consult a mental health specialist to assess your self for any OCD/social phobias,stress or anxiety problems. The use of antidepressants in low doses,like SSRis/SNRIs(selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors/Selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) has been found to address the problems of social phobias and anxiety. Initially diagnosing the basic problem would be required after which the solution may be medication and counselling/cognitive behavioural therapy depending on the problems found .