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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Morpheus Offline
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Anxiety & Drugs - April 7th 2015, 10:30 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of substance use, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I figure this is a place where someone might understand what I am going through.
Firstly, a while ago I was using some research chemicals, which are also known as designer drugs (for those of you not fluent in chemistry or drug references). I used them alone and together on plenty of occasions. A few months later I reacted badly to cannabis, and had a very weird experience in which I felt as though I blacked out and was dying, and I am told by doctors and people who had similar situations, that those were panic attacks. Had that twice before I quit. Well, as it turns out, after the second time, a bunch of things started, which I will list below.
1) I feel weird, just like I'm in a dream state.
2) I'm in an existential crisis, often worrying about my purpose, who I am, who I was before, who I am now, what's going on, maybe I died somehow, why do I feel so dead and empty?
3) I've been diagnosed with Generalized anxiety and panic disorder, and I'm having panic attacks.
4) I'm fully weak and sore and dizzy, often can't breathe, which sometimes is very severe and I get chest pains from trying to breathe, but overall I feel these symptoms all the time, not sometimes. People keep saying it's normal to have a panic attack, but I feel this ALWAYS and have panic attacks ON TOP of it.
5) Feelings of derealization and depersonalization, and over all dissociation, and I feel emotionally dead, like I don't really connect to people or understand them.
6) A LOT of how I feel feels like I am still on those research chemicals or the marijuana (both were completely different but it varies, sometimes I feel more like one than the other, and some aspects are comparable). The overall fog feeling feels like I am stoned.
7) I get new symptoms all the time. Last month, the breathing thing came on, this month my throat started getting sore and raw and constricted.
8) I am having mind-fog basically, like I know I did something, but I don't really remember doing it. It's like going through the motions of doing things but I don't experience, feel, or really remember personally doing them. This can be about learning, or about going places, or anything. It applies to everything I do and my overall feeling with memories and things.
9) I don't go out much, and when I do I feel worse because it's more noticeable than sitting in bed. You notice symptoms more when you have to focus and do things, such as the symptoms mentioned above.
10) When I talk to people I often blank out, and just start feeling like I'm 100% out of it and zoned out, and my brain is just making me talk. I say things that make sense though, but when I've been very high before this has happened too, and is exactly comparable. I used to talk, and I was able to talk completely fine during absolutely any situation. When I blacked out mentally while walking during a panic attack from marijuana, I held up a fully normal conversation according to the friend I was with (he was sober too.)
11) I've had hallucinations exactly like the ones I only ever had from one of the research chemicals. These happen at randomly. I am also startled easily or find myself "seeing things" because I get startled easy, but I have had hallucinations IDENTICAL to the ones I had on that certain drug.
Nobody seems to understand this. My doctor gave me Prozac, that's it. She doesn't fully understand, so she says it's anxiety. It's not like she has seen the psychological impact these drugs can have. I know a lot of my symptoms I've only ever felt from those drugs. I feel like I can't leave my house, I feel like I'm melting away, my whole life is falling down a drain, and I can't stop it. It's getting worse and worse slowly but surely. Last year from February (when this all happened) to August, I was on Zoloft and it helped somewhat, but not fully, and I gained a lot of weight and when I got off I developed an eating disorder and slowly everything got much worse than before (and yes I tapered off, I'm extremely knowledgeable about drugs both recreational and pharmaceutical). I don't know what to do. I don't know anyone but friends who are well versed in drugs and understand this. I need to get rid of it though, and I don't know how. I really don't feel right. I really don't. I'm very scared a lot of the time.
I am interested in trying Ashwagandha, but I am scared of taking anything, because I feel as if it will impact me badly, kill me, or make me worse.
   
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Re: Anxiety & Drugs - April 7th 2015, 11:48 PM

Hey, I am sorry you are dealing with this. I should think there is a way to manage your mental health, for which I suggest seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is more likely to be covered by health insurance and/or provincial/national health care. I can not give you a formal answer about what is wrong because I am not an expert, however I can share what I know. Please see a professional for formal answers though, my response here is to simply give you an idea of what I think is causing this.

For starters, I have personal experience here. I have ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder and a history of panic disorder. I have suffered from depression in the past. I might always have had anxiety, but I always assumed it was caused by the ADHD + stress. The depression was situational. Any ways, so I used to smoke marijuana, and I would have panic attacks. It would total my attention and feel uncomfortable when ever I could pay attention (I would basically black out, would have no memory of what had just been happening for a few minutes). A few times I had panic attacks, my heart would race, I would feel like puking and I would be dizzy and feel like I was dying. Considering I have had panic attacks, this terrified me - when I am sober and having a panic attack I usually break down crying, hyperventilating, become dizzy (but in a light headed way, not in a way that would make me lose my balance or almost pass out), so the panic attacks I had when stoned were more extreme in a way. I eventually quit because it was not worth my time to risk having a panic attack (it was also a detriment to becoming a police officer). FYI I am not a cop, but wanting to be one at the time helped me quit.

Ok so, I know people (AKA doctors) who said that recently studies have been published which demonstrate that marijuana can increase the risk of having a psychological break amongst many people - the people at the highest risk are ones with a pre-existing mental health disorder. I think most drugs come with this risk and people just assumed that marijuana and alcohol were not inclusive of that. This statement comes twofold 1) I would steer clear of any non-prescription / recreational drugs for the time being as there is that risk and 2) it could be why you are having problems. It is possible that the drugs have caused some kind of problem in your mind. Again, a psychologist or psychiatrist can help you resolve that.




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Re: Anxiety & Drugs - April 8th 2015, 01:25 AM

Thank you for your reply. I am not sure what I will do, but I am going to show my doctor and counselor the post I wrote here. I will print it out and take it to them. Also, the one issue I face a lot, is that doctors and nurses and everyone I've seen, has tried to look back into my history and suggest that maybe I was raped or sexually assaulted. They won't accept that I know this was brought on by the drugs, particularly the marijuana. I have always had some anxiety and depression, but it was 1/10,000th of this. It was very very minor, so I know the marijuana pulled it out. I had no other issues at the time. Another thing they tend to blame is that I am a drug addict, and that that caused it (because it's easier to blame illicit narcotics than it is to blame marijuana and have to figure out how it affected me). And then they just tell me it was because of my Drug Of Choice and not the marijuana, yet it all started happening right after all of that, and I was off my D.O.C. at the time, and while addiction does give me anxiety, I never ever felt the other affects I am feeling now, so even though the addiction aggravates it and has given me anxiety before, it's nothing in relation to now, and I had a worse addiction in some time before all this ever happened.
   
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Re: Anxiety & Drugs - April 8th 2015, 03:32 AM

That's a common concern. I have also been asked if I have ever been abused, assaulted, raped, experienced trauma etc. I think sometimes people assume that patients will hide these kinds of things. You might not, I might not, but a lot of people will.

Maybe try to find the articles about how marijuana can increase the risk of psychological breaks and show it to your doctor/nurse. Also, you could tell them you'd like to follow up with a psychiatrist and ask them to refer you




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Re: Anxiety & Drugs - April 8th 2015, 11:38 PM

Hello there Morpheus,

Do you currently take any medication that isn't monitored by a doctor? It's important to be monitored while taking drugs if they prescribe them. If you're taking drugs that they're not aware about, it's a good idea to inform them. You can also talk to a Pharmacist because they know all about drugs and the uses for each and if any interactions.

I'm going to outline each number you talked about and give some more information on each of those.

1 & 5) they both go hand in hand with what you are experiencing. Feeling weird and out of place is the same as feeling dissociation feelings.

2, 3, 4, 7) sounds like symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety is very common in people. The constant worrying over things, to feeling those body sensations (feeling dizzy, sweating, clammy). You can do things to reduce your anxiety. How is your stress been? Are you stressed more these days? Stress can impact on us a lot and it can cause anxiety and fear.

8 & 5) are also related to feeling that dissociation feeling, derealization, depersonalization, and having those feeling of fogginess and not remembering where you are going. Like you don't remember who you got from point A to point B.

9) It's easier for us to sit with our thoughts and how we are feeling than if we're busy. We have more time to process our own thoughts and feelings, sometimes it can be helpful to reflect but if it's starting to make you uncomfortable, try doing things where you're doing positive things. For instance, taking a walk or watching a movie. These tend to make us think about other things other than our thoughts and feelings.

8 & 10) are both feelings of dissociation where you don't remember doing something. For instance this can be from not remembering conversations to not knowing how you got somewhere, or you blanking out, like a part of your brain has no memory of it.

6 & 11) I think the best route for you is to speak with your doctor about how this is impacting your daily life. It sounds it is very uncomfortable to experience all that you are. It's best to talk to someone about these feelings. Do you see a therapist or social worker? They can be very helpful where you can express your emotions in a healthy environment and you won't be judged. Not everyone will understand what you are experiencing but many go through similar experiences that you mentioned.

If you're wanting to try any drug I would strongly recommend talking to your family doctor about it or a pharmacist. They can help you guide you through everything where it's safe to do so.

On TeenHelp we have a Resources page where you can find a wealth of information. I have found some helpful links that I am copying for you.

Erowid
This site contains a vast network of information on countless drugs including the effects, doses, health issues, legal issues, images, and the chemical structure of drugs, as well as experiences from those who have used the drug.

Living With Anxiety
This site has a large number of resources to make it easier to live with anxiety, including helpful videos, techniques to control anxiety and choosing a medication.

Mindyourmind
Mindyourmind provides and maintains an extensive amount of articles, videos, and resources for those struggling with mental illnesses.

StressingOut
StressingOut is a website about the consequences of long-term stress and the impact it has on your life and wider mental health, including depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem. The website contains a number of good articles as well as a downloadable eBook about tackling everyday stressors.

If you need anything else please let me know.

Please take care,
Chantal


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