Anxiety/depression cured...now it's back?

Discussion in 'Cannabis & Health' started by mjwa6, May 22, 2006.

  1. mjwa6

    mjwa6 Newbie

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    So, I was pretty depressed & unfocused before she started smoking marijuana. She wasn't sure if her being unfocused was due to being depressed or because she has ADD. Regardless, she came out of her stupor, & was happy, carefree, & intense on learning everything she could. Then...do to a very stupid decision, she started doing snow. She did it almost everyday for a week. The next week she would do smaller amounts during weekdays, & bigger amounts during the weekend. Finally, during the fourth week, when she would come down at night & smoke weed, she would start having anxiety/panic attacks. She felt like she couldn't breathe & that her heart was beating much quicker than it should. Sometimes after a night of smoking, the next morning she would try snow again, but the same process would repeat. So she quit for a couple of weeks & tried it again thereafter. It seemed like if she didn't smoke for a while, then she wouldn't be affected. But she finally realized what crap it was, considering she used to work out a lot, ate right, & was a pretty healthy person. So, she hasn't touched the stuff for two months now. But unfortunately, now she is having a very difficult time smoking again. She'll start to worry about her heartrate again & has become very paranoid. Any noises she hears in her home really scares her & she believe someone lives above her or she's surrounded by ghosts. Sometimes she will be happy again, sometimes she'll be very negative. So she stopped smoking for about two weeks & tried it again last night. She got so scared because she wasn't sure how it would affect her, & her heartrate started racing again. It's all due to a fear, but this fear is pointless because she knows nothing is hurting me. Yet she consistently thinks she's going to have a heart attack, or she can't breathe. She is excercising again, eating healthy, etc. & she doesn't have any physical problems. The only problem she DOES have is allergies, which causes her nasal congestion, therefore she can't breathe as well. She doesn't know what to do anymore & she's very upset because she use to smoke everyday & was perfectly fine doing so. It helped her focus & to actually start doing things & to not be depressed. Sorry this is so long but she hope someone can assist her so that she can start smoking again.
     
  2. Micklemouse

    Micklemouse Platinum Member & Advisor

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    "If you don't like the effects, don't produce the cause..." Not the answer your friend is looking for perhaps, but there you go. Some people just shouldn't smoke, and often that means people with a tendency towards anxiety and/or depression. Cannabis, although it has a reputation for being a relaxant, actually has a stimulant effect (at least in the short term) meaning that the likelihood of getting panic like feelings will be increased, especially in somebody already prone to them, in this case SWiY. Add into the mix cannabis' hallucinogenic properties, especially, but not exclusively, with the higher grade strains, and you've got the perfect recipe for a paranoia inducing experience...

    Somewhere along the line it sounds like your friend has made an association between smoking and feeling paranoid. This association needs to be broken, or at least acknowledged. Leave off the weed for a few months, give it time to clear the system, and then, if SWiY is in a calm place try it again, preferably with a low grade weed, and see what happens. If it still gives your friend the Fear, then you'll know for certain that your friend is one of the people who just shouldn't smoke. At this point carrying on could lead deeper into mental health problems that will make your friend's current anxiety seem like a minor niggle.

    Alternatively, it may be something that your friend just 'grows out of', and may be dealable with by sticking to small amounts of low grade cannabis (i.e. not skunk!), and constant reassurance that 'there is nothing to fear but fear itself'. Also, does your friend smoke alone? If so, don't - this can leave your friend's mind open to playing it's naughty little tricks on her; smoking in trusted company would give her more distractions, and more people to reassure her that everything is actually o.k.
     
  3. bewilderment

    bewilderment Drug Geek Extraordinaire Platinum Member & Advisor

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    What is "snow" slang for? For the time being, I am going to assume that it is slang for cocaine. Once upon the time, in a high school health class (just warning that this info may be biased), it was explained that one of the reasons that using cocaine (and heroin, although, come to think of it I haven't heard this term used to refer to anything but heroin these days) was referred to as "chasing the dragon" because if you chart out the effects related to elevated mood and depressed mood then you will find that the first time the substance is used there is a sharp line going up which will then decline down to baseline, this creates the image of a sharp angle resembling a sort of triangle with no base. The next time you use, the line will go up but not as high and then when going down the line will go a little below baseline resulting in a lower triangle. This continues until one has used so much that they have to ingest the substance just to get back to baseline as far as mood is concerned and then afterwards the line will go way below baseline resulting in depression all the while the person is trying to reach the same level that they acheived when they first began using. The chart resemble a dragon's tail. Again, this is just something she heard in a health class so it may or may not be very accurate. Anyway, that could be one of the reasons why your depression has resurfaced once again.

    I also seem to be cursed with depression since around the age of 12 or so. There have been a few years when I haven't been depressed at all, but it still runs in cycles. Sometimes when it resurfaces, it doesn't matter how you're living your life. You can be eating right, staying healthy, not doing drugs, and working hard towards a certain goal then all of a sudden it hits you out of nowhere at which point you're no longer motivated to do all the things you were doing "right" beforehand. This leads into a downward spiral. However, I have found that with medication and/or therapy the depression is greatly relieved. Drugs which mess with neurotransmitters are probably going to screw with your recovery and are best avoided. And, if they are not avoided entirely then use should be limited to once in a long while.

    As far as smoking goes, swim began smoking regularly a little while back when she was hit with some major depression. At the time, she was also taking Zoloft and she found that marijuana helped with anxiety and depression. However, about a year or so later (all the while she was smoking daily) she found that all of a sudden the effects of marijuana changed and made her more anxious and depressed especially when she smoked during the day. I am quite a pothead and was not willing to give up smoking pot. However, around the time she noticed the increase in anxiety and depression she began taking antidepressants once again and also limited her use of marijuana to night-time just to help with her insomnia which was exacerbated by the antidepressants. Since then, she has found that the anxiety due to marijuana has disappeared. So, it may just be a phase you are going through. I would advise not to smoke regularly so long as you are experiencing anxiety and depression. You can still do test trials every so often to see how you are reacting to marijuana, but don't smoke too much. Personally, I think this will probably go away with some time. But, if you're experiencing anxiety and depression at the moment then you should focus on trying to relieve this while abstaining from drugs. When you begin to feel better then feel free to give it another go. Good luck!
     
    1. 4/5,
      Interesting perspective, since I too may have been depressed since around that age.
      May 22, 2006