Quitting weed = permanent anxiety?

Discussion in 'Places and People' started by theganjagirl, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. theganjagirl

    theganjagirl New Member

    Hi everyone. I posted a while back as I was having some panic issues with getting high. I mean, I've been smoking on and off for years, the amount smoked varying from month to month and year to year, but just recently, I couldn't seem to get high without having a panic attack for some reason. Very weird. Nothing stressful is going on in my life, etc, just unexplained panic. I've decided to give marijuana a miss until further notice.

    So, I "casually" quit a week and a half ago after about 6 steady months of pretty constant smoking, and had one tiny little slip-up a week ago (hit off a pipe), so I guess it's up judgment on when my quit date was. Ever since, I've been having little bursts of panic...even full out panic attacks when I'm NOT high! For instance, I was eating with my family today and thought I was going to die, couldn't stop fidgeting, thought I was about to puke and pass out, my heart was beating so fast. Not to mention a general feeling of unease and anxiety when I'm not panicking. This is worrying me, I'm not sick from something else...I've gone to the doctor and she ran some tests which all came back fine, gave me an antidepressant for anxiety, and that seems to further aggravate my issues. I feel like I'm trapped, and I can't seem to get this anxiety to go away.

    Has anyone else experienced this with quitting weed? If so, how long did it take to go away...if it ever did? Any ideas on what I can do to get it to go away without more drugs? Thanks.
  2. kronik

    kronik Well-Known Member

    I don't exactly feel anxiety, I've had a panic attack on weed before, but only once. I don't know how to really describe it because there aren't any real long term affects of marijuana but sometimes I do feel... different
  3. chzrm3

    chzrm3 New Member

    This sounds like something that you have to fight through. I'm no doctor, so don't take my word as gospel, but I think after a long time of smoking, the fact that you've given it up is present in your subconscious.

    There's no such thing as THC withdrawals or marijuana addictions, so everything you're feeling is purely psychological. That said, psychological feelings are still real. If this keeps up I'd say go to a therapist and be as honest as you have to be.

    I'm currently abstaining from weed because of a busy time in work, and while I haven't felt any serious panic attacks, there are some bad feelings ruminating in my mind. Feelings of disdain towards old friends, feelings of illogical stress, etc - that's why I started smoking, though. To curb those things. I'm not surprised they've come back now that I've stopped.

    My advice is to keep living, one day at a time, and see how these panic attacks pan out. If they get worse, see a therapist or doctor again. If they start to spread out and become mild, then you're probably going to be fine.

    Also, I dunno that you needed to totally stop smoking because of the paranoia. It could be that your blood sugar levels are too low - are you on a new diet, maybe? That happened to me once. I was trying to lose weight and all of a sudden, every high was a paranoid high. I told my buddy and he was like "bro, next time we smoke I'll give you a bag of gummi life-savers." Totally did the trick (although it sucked for my diet XD).

    But hey, good luck taking care of this. I don't want to advocate that you start smoking again if your honest desire is to quit, but hopefully you can get yourself to a better place.
  4. Nepo

    Nepo Sr. Member

    Once you have a panic attack while high, you're more susceptible to having another one even if you're sober. I had that happen to me at one point in time. I eventually got the panic under control and now I never get them anymore, high or not.

    From dealing with them so much I came to know panic attacks very well. A panic attack is driven by fear. Fear itself, feeds on fear.
    When you start to feel a panic attack don't panic more! It will fuel the attack further.
    Acknowledge it, and if you can't seem to stop the panic, try to ride it out. Just know in the back of your mind that you're in no real danger (that is, you're not going to die from the panic attack). So the best thing to do is to not react with more panic, but to try to look at it with an attitude of "Ugh, another panic attack -.-; " and they'll eventually run out of "fear" to run on... and will stop happening all together.
  5. littleidiot

    littleidiot New Member

    it's not the weed

    I don't think it's you not smoking.. or has anything to do with weed. Panic attacks are pretty stressful events, so once you've had one (regardless of the trigger), they can perpetuate themselves.
    The same thing happened to me.. and I hadn't smoked in over a year. I just started having panic attacks out of the blue. Once I had a few, everytime I was in a stressful situation, normal stress would become overblown and I'd have a panic attack.. with the exact same symptoms you described. I thought I was going to pass out, throw up..whatever.
    The more it happens, the more your brain becomes conditioned to it.. think pavlov's dogs.
    Here's what helped me a lot: don't smoke anymore.. not for a bit. It's not what's causing it, but it will make it worse. Try meditation.. try these sites: they're a good start.
    Meditation: Why Bother?
    Beginning Meditation Class: Week 1 with Rodney Smith

    Controlled breathing and taking time out every day to mediate will help immensely.
    Hope you get through this.. it's rough. But believe me.. the longer you passively allow panic attacks to happen, the more they will happen.

    what kind of drugs did the doctor give you? I wouldn't take daily antidepressants like paxil or welbutrin or whatever. I did that for a while and once you stop taking them you get pretty severe symptoms.. at least i did. I got very very dizzy and had trouble sleeping. Even after 3 years of not taking them, I'll still get bouts of the same dizziness. I've looked it up and apparently it's a fairly common side effect. Try instead to get a prescription for Ativan which is a fast acting tranquilizer.. for lack of a better word. You only take it when you're having a panic attack and it essentially makes it go away. So it's a good alternative to control them until you're able to do it on you're own.
  6. SaNcT17

    SaNcT17 New Member

    It happened to me last year. I was smoking heavily for two months then I suddenly stopped for a few weeks and I had horrible series of panic attacks and anxiety for about four months. I didn't smoke for the four months I had the anxiety then it went away and I'm back to normal now. Its something you have to cope with. THC is a psychoactive substance, it causes general change in consciousness which can bring on anxiety, its normal. The medication your shrink prescribe you can either make things better or worst. It usually just goes away in time, so I'd just wait. Try being more active, exercise really helps because it releases endorphins and can subside anxiety.
  7. jakup

    jakup New Member

    I'd like to see the study that led you to this conclusion..

    Personally I have had one panic attack on marijuana, but then again, it was probably unavoidable seeing how it was a terrible situation. I suggest trying some different strains if you have only been smoking one. As far as I know, marijuana is not like some other hallucinogens where bad trips can be "burned" into your subconscious, so to say.
  8. Nepo

    Nepo Sr. Member

    Personal experience. I've dealt with anxiety/panic issues.
    And other people's experience too, for example:
    I don't really use studies all the time to get to conclusions. Unbiased, logical experience is enough sometimes :)
    2 people like this.
  9. blackanthony

    blackanthony New Member

    marijuana might have something to do with your anxiety, but the anti depprsent sounds worse since you said it aggravates the situation. To tell you the truth I too had anxiety and sometimes it still shows up, probably from weed. I switched to shwag and mids tho since than and dont feel any anxiety whatso ever but when i was smoking chronic all the time I would get really bad anxiety
  10. euphoric dreams

    euphoric dreams Sr. Member

    Some odd years ago, I used to get 1-3 panick attacks a day. I know how debilitating and terrible it can feel so I can relate.

    You say that there is nothing going on in your life?
    When I got my attacks I used to think nothing of it but in truth, there were big things going on that I chose to set asside. "Nah, that can't be the cause" I'd tell myself... but just to make myself feel better and more secure.

    Take a step back for a bit and look at your life. Take all of the cluter out, all of the glitz, glam, mirrors and fog just to get a REAL look. Often times, with panick attacks, it's because something concious or subconcious is mixed into the game. Are you anxious about work, money, friends, parents, health, body, mental state, school, boys, etc...

    Also, are you worried about your relationship with marijuana? Do you feel guilty for smoking or guilty for enjoying it... have you had a troubled experience with it that is recuring in a sense through repetition of the high. I remember having a panick attack while high because I felt guilty - I'd just been busted by mall cops for smoking on the roof and here I was with some buddies sitting around smoking the bong.... then all of a sudden I just felt scared and trapped - boom, there was my anxiety again.

    I can't tell you what the problem is but I can tell you how to start coping with it. The first step is to nix the meds - I'm not strong on medication and it can interfeer with TRUE personal enlightenment during your mental healing process. Besides, your livers your friend, don't abuse it if you don't have too.

    When you feel the panick comming on, take a DEEEEP breath through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Keep concentrating on these nice relaxed breathing and think peacefull. The second you start thinking "Holy shit, it's happening, AHH I'm anxious!" it just takes over you. Don't let those thoughts take precedence... just think about a big field of yellow flowers with white horses galloping about. - or realy anything that calms you down.

    Other tricks are to get some water, go outside for fresh air, talk to someone, ask for a hug, cry a little, write, play a game.... distractions are great.

    These are only methods to calm your symptoms down. You have to deal with the cause on your own terms.

    Yes marijuana CAN bring on this panick, but it can't be directly blamed to your anxiety. I used to get my anxiety problems before becoming a frequent user. Once I started smoking more frequently, my anxiety stopped. I haven't had a panick attack since.

    Good luck!
  11. Marfor

    Marfor New Member

    I don't think the odds of "permanent anxiety" are increased by marijuana use on any level, that is a pretty serious condition.

    TL;DR: No
  12. Durden

    Durden New Member

    I've had anxiety and self medicated with weed and it's worsened since I took a break. It could be withdrawal but probably just general anxiety.
  13. nugatronica

    nugatronica New Member

    I think you will ease away with time its not really such a craving when you stop aslong as you are doing something else with your time you should be fine....
  14. Buds_Of_Steele

    Buds_Of_Steele Your Undisputed Disputer

    2 year old thread, whats up with all the archaeologists on the forums these days?

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