Marijuana Induced Hell (PLEASE READ/HELP)

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In December of 2012 I made a completely moronic mistake. I smoked a lot of weed and had a panic attack. I took a few hits of a joint, was already too high without realizing it and then I got passed a vaporizer and hit that without realizing how powerful it was. I didn’t even know what a vaporizer was, it was my 3rd time smoking pot in my life and it has been haunting me to this day.

The next day when I woke up I felt what I later found out to be depersonalization/derealisation. I went on an SSRI and after 2 months of complete HELL I was able to live…decently. That being said, my anxiety was through the roof, I was having physical symptoms that I never, ever had – or even knew existed for that matter, I’ve been getting weird, annoying thoughts, halos around lights, visual distortions and a bunch of other stuff that’s been hard to deal with.

Now I’m really ambitious and despite feeling this way I just kept pushing through, I ended up moving cities, switching my life, was studying nonstop, doing music production, working, blah blah and I had a panic attack one day that seems to have relapsed me into the exact same hell that I endured when I smoked that pot.

I should also mention that I got off of my SSRI about 3-4months ago because of sexual side effects and I think that was a bad idea. I’m back on Ciprilex 10mg, in a mood and anxiety program, I’ve purchased a couple programs, im eating better (when I can actually eat), going to the gym, etc. I will do ANYTHING to get my life back. Before this I was a 3.97GPA student and I was making good money, loving life. Now I can’t go to school this September and I’m flat broke – I feel like I’m living in hell.

I knew I had GAD before this but it was always controllable. I was always told marijuana was good for anxiety and I know firsthand that for me, it’s not. I obviously triggered a latent disorder or exacerbated my pre-existing condition but I am praying that I can get it back to where it used to be (its 100x worse in every way possible) and get rid of this depersonalization in time.

Has anybody ever experienced a reaction to marijuana like this? I messed up, I know it but I’m praying I didn’t ruin my life/future. I'm not suicidal and I'm absolutely determined to get better, I will fight nonstop and do everything necessary -- but in 5 years if I'm still living like this I would honestly kill myself. I do not want to die and just the thought of that and having these thoughts in my head are killing me because I have so much good to offer the world and I love life more than anything, it's truly beautiful, I want to be me again.

Please help me. I’m desperate.

45 likes, 510 replies

510 Replies

  • Posted

     Hello FW!

    You sound like a guy (?) with a LOT of energy and drive...and a lot to offer the you yourself say. I could really sense that you have a brilliant mind and that you are very much in tune with what is going on with you.

    Today marijuana is not what it was years ago when I was young. Now there's all kinds of %&$#@ mixed into it and you don't know what you are poisoning your brain with.

    You are very resourceful and I'll bet you can find an expert who can detox your brain if there is one to be found. Is there even such a thing; I don't know. 

    One thing that I have found in my internet travels is the association between anxiety and depression AND magnesium deficiency. This is worth googling. I cannot provide links or my post is removed. One link 'might' pass but I dont' want to take a chance. You need to get to the bottom of this fast.

    Making all those changes in your life undoubtedly added to your stress levels. Was that such a good idea?...

    If I were you I would treat my body VERY well and do the following; 

    1. Do you drink ANY coffee or tea...or colas or energy drinks with caffeine in them? If so, cut them out. I, myself cannot drink even one coffee in the morning or I sleep very lightly and wake up to early and not rested. Your brain needs good, deep, restorative sleep.

    2. Can you more or less go to bed with the sun? Turn the lights low in your home as the sun goes down and turn off the TV and computer as early as possible. These bright lights prevent your brain from making melatonin which causes poor sleep. Go to bed early, wake up early is a good remedy.

    3. Get out in the light during the day. Bright light goes through your eyes into your pineal gland in the brain and lifts your mood. Don't wear sunglasses if you can manage without, in order to allow light into your eyes. At home open the curtains, turn on the lights; anything to be in mood lifting brightness.

    4. Get exercise every day in order to work off your over anxiety. Read up on the internet about how exercise is such an excellent anxiety and depression buster.

    5. Omega 3 and vitamin D, both we do not get enough of are great stress busters and brain foods.

    6. Eat lots of vegetables....but not the English way, boiled and strained and plopped overcooked onto a plate. Ugh! (I think you are American anyway...) Do as the French and drain them after not cooking them too long, and add butter, mashed garlic, salt and pepper. Yum! Choose jewel toned veggies like red pepper (best raw!), broccoli, red cabbage, green beans, beets among others. You can eat some veggies raw, others cooked. Your plate should be colourful...NOT beige.

    7. How about meditating?...or listening to peaceful music. Music does make the brain produce serotonin. 

    8. And last but not least, I suggest you take magnesium glycinate before bed. Speak to your pharmacist about it. It is a calcium and any excess goes out in your urine, like vitamin C. Magnesium is something most of us are deficient in. Read up on it on the internet and you will see that there is a magnesium deficiency/anxiety connection. I think this could be something that could work to help heal your brain. 

    My own 'health guru' as I call him, is a pharmacist who owns two very popular natural health stores here in Montreal, Canada. His name is Juan Wong. He has helped so many people not just with supplements but with lifestyle advice...much of which is above actually. He cured me of something that 3 doctors could not figure out. Not only that, but he is very intuitive AND very well read in terms of the latest treatments for all kinds of conditions. 

    If he cannot help you, he might be able to suggest resources. You would have to google 'kinat Montreal'. Juan's phone number is on the site. He is in one store or the other on alternating days. I am giving you his number because you are suffering and desperate. You can call him or consult your own 'health guru'.

    Let me know how you do, FW. (what a name!) 


    • Posted

      This is a great answer... magnesium deficiency (along with many other deficiencies like vitamin d) are huge in this, as is AVOIDING caffiene and anything that will disrupt your sleep quality.

      I actually see anxiety as a fairly positive thing, in the sense that without it many would not seek answers to many questions that lead them onto a much more healthy and  truth-seeking life. I've had my fair share of it, even a similar story to the original poster in the past... but I am glad I have. It truly offers an opportunity you may have never gotten otherwise and spiritual and intellectual growth can be one of the great benefits.

      Anyway, use F.lux on any screens you use (preferably no screens or artificial lighting leading up to bed... avoid caffiene like the plague, the same for wheat/grains (or any other potential food intolerances) if you find you benefit from removing it. No need to add too much on the post above really, meditation / diet / lifestyle factors such as fixing sleep quality / circadian rythymn will do what you need.

      Hope you are on your way to feeling better... I'd be weary of any medication prescribed by doctors, they are masks/bandages, not treatments... and often cause long term problems.

    • Posted

      Hi Robin,

      I love your response. Are you an alternative/preventive health practicioner of some sort. I am looking to widen my sources and contacts of good natural/whole food health practices. Do you have a website or e-mail you are willing to share?



    • Posted

      Good advice Robin....I'm going to take your advice as well for my anxiety panic.

      I don't know if you still do this online forum but if you do id like to ask you a question or two.

  • Posted

    I know what you are going through because I have been through it. So, time to grow up. There is no point in blame or guilt, it will never do you any good. You will never get your old life back, it is gone, BUT you can move on to a new different life. Hankering after what has gone and wishing things were otherwise, though a natural thing to do, will only make things worse. Every human being makes mistakes because we dont know the future. We cant know how things will turn out. Sometimes it's ok and sometimes it's not. 

    What you have going for you is that you are desperate enough and you have strong motivation. Try to develope compassion for yourself (and others) and treat yourself kindly. Fighting or running away from fear makes it worse. You have not ruined your life. In fact you may discover a few years down the line that this was a good thing to happen to you. The important thing is to get the right help. I do not mean by this the right kind of treatment necessarily but the right person to treat you. They need to be knowledgable, insightful and compassionate, not judgmental. Any voice, either inside your head or from outside that produces a negative reaction in you should be ignored. Do not beat yourself up about what you have done. It is in the past and cannot be changed. Start with where you are NOW and move on from there. A good foundation would be to find 1) the right medication for you 2) the right support for you 3) eat healthy food 4) do a lot of exercise 5) get plenty of rest 6) start a meditation practice 7) Listen and learn from other's experiences 8) Research all of the above to find what works for you 9) occupy yourself with things that make you feel better ie. Tai Chi, drawing, singing, reading, being with other people,walking in nature, get a pet etc. there are many, many things. What you have to find out and research is WHAT ACTUALLY WORKS FOR YOU.  You may have to try many avenues and it may take some time and it may be hard and uncomfortable for a while but persist and you will eventually get there. We wary of listening to others. What works for them may not work for you. Find out what you love and do a lot of it.

    Draw up a plan and start tomorrow. Good luck to you, my friend.

    • Posted

      This is inspiring. I vote for UR inspiration shared so eloquently.confused
    • Posted

      Thank you for writing this, I have written down a lot of this. Very good advice and even reading this helps.

  • Posted

    Trust me, I am talking to everyone so that I can get my goddamn life back. GP, psych, im in a mood and anxiety treatment program where im going to learn CBT, restarted my SSRI, altering my lifestyle, fighting the panic attacks hoping they subside, eating right, sleeping, etc etc.

    You are right, I messed up and I know it. I had no idea what I was getting into and im hoping I can pick up the pieces and put them back together. You couldn't pay me 5million cash in a briefcase to take a hit of weed or any other stupid drug again.

    I know my old life is gone and it's going to take time to recover, I am focused on my recovery. I'm just hoping in time my anxiety will return to its baseline and I will be able to be functional and work like I used to be able to. I'm literally out of commission right now.

    Hoping someone who has experienced this can chime in.

    • Posted

      For many the actual event which tipped us over the edge isn't the important thing, its our lived up to that point. How we recover from that is different for everyone. Some say meds, some say therapy, sometimes its both. Your right, you did a crazy thing, but youve learned from it - which many don't,so take comfort from that
    • Posted

      Hello FW,

      You are obviously a real fighter....and a very determined one at that.

      Maybe you are too much in the eye of the storm right now, but you may want to consider how some good could eventually come out of this terrible experience of yours. You are obviously very bright, self aware, passionate and articulate. (That is a lot you have going for you, FW). You could have an enormous influence on young people in a school setting who are at the point in their lives where they are considering trying drugs. By sharing your story, you could save them from a similar hell. This is how good can come out of your terrible and unfortunately experience. And this might help you in your own recovery. You would know if this is something you could do...and when the right time is to do it.

      Your priority at the moment is to get well. Your emotions seem to be running pretty high and the expression of them very intense. Are you able to dial yourself down a few notches and bring more peace and serenity into your thought processes? All this anger and desperation that seems to emanate from your post cannot be good for your brain recovery, FW. The brain is plastic and my thinking is...and I am no brain expert/this is just common sense...that if you nurture it with calm and serenity, it will have a chance to heal. I would suggest that you avoid strong emotions (good or bad), take up yoga, meditation, Tai Chi which may be a challenge for a wired guy like you. Go for long peaceful walks...and often in nature if possible. Count your blessings. Sit in a park and soak up the sun, watch people, relax. Read healing and soothing literature. Surround yourself with positivity; friends and family. Be good to others so that they are drawn to you and enjoy and benefit from your presence. Watch funny movies/comedy on TV or on the internet to get more serotonin flooding your brain. Look for ways to bring CALM into your life.

      Ask yourself, as America's TV psychology guru Dr Phil says, "How much fun are you to be with?" Are you fighting the world or are people drawn to you and want to be with you? Do for hard as it may seem in your present state. You want to encourage positive feedback from others, not the opposite so you have to be good to others. What you DO and HOW you do it affects your brain and therefore its recovery. Magnesium gylcinate, a mineral that is good for the brain, can help you sleep a good, restorative sleep. Go to bed with the sun, rise with the sun. 

      The opposite is also very important; avoid conflict, don't stay up until all hours of the night, don't take part in stressful activities, completely avoid video games all of which are stress inducing, no coffee or other caffeinated drinks, avoid playing over stimulating music (copy CDs of nature music or soothing guitar music from the library). Avoid anything at all that causes stress. 

      And as a final note, please get your focus off yourself as much as possible. Are you able to do some kind of volunteer work? Meals on wheels, doing filing in an office for a cause that is dear to you, singing in a choir, walking dogs for the ?

      Everything positive that you do, creates serotonin, the feel good hormone. And all this can and will rewire your brain.

      Copy and paste the very valuable and well thought out advice Athol...and I wrote you in these posts and get focussed and take them seriously. You are very much in what seems like 'rage mode' and you cannot TAKE IN advice and benefit from it in this state. It may be hard to get into 'reverse' but do try to practise absorbing, accepting, assimilating which will calm your overworked brain.

      If you had torn ligaments in your leg, while it is  healing, would you run on it?...or would you rest and recover with massages and soothing heat treatment? Be just as kind to your brain. Develop a plan, a strategy that you feel will be best for your brain's recovery...and certainly gain inspiration from all the advice above. If your follow through is as strong as your determination, you will succed in possibly a full and complete recovery...which is what I sincerly wish for you, FW. 

    • Posted

      U put all wrapped up in a small package.. Luv it. confused
    • Posted

      I have never found someone with the exact same issues as me. I smoked in July for like my third/fourth but my first time out of a bong. I did freak out but only because my high had never been this crazy before. I wasn't trippling just a little scared. I then proceeded on. With the following days I felt like the after high Where I just felt a little high. I thought it went away like I was used to but then it continued to affect me in focusing at school and focusing when anyone was talking to me. It was hard to remember things i did that day. It just felt like a huge fog. It's noq 8 months later. I can't get rid of it. I tried explaining to friends but I just feel like no one understands. I'm so used to it that most days feel normal. But days that I don't get a lot of sleep are especially hard and seem to be the worst. I've abstained completely from touching weed since that day. I mean from this standpoint I see a lot of things differently and I'm so much more relaxed. But it's scary. It's annoying when people are like dude you have a permanent high but it's scary and no one wil ever understand. I know i messed up too but I'm hoping maybe I can return to my normal self without the constant struggle or eveeything
    • Posted

      Hey there friend,

      Hope this message reaches you in good health. I know exactly what your going through. I myself have had a bad experience with marijuana. I can honesty say that, you can get your life back. It might take some time and hard work but eventually you will become stronger and wiser. Just don't give up.

      Remember life's a journey and each of us have a different journey. Don't be scared. I suggest you find the right medication, this is important. I myself have been on Olanzapine which I found to be really strong and made me sleep all the time, plus I gained 4 stone in weight due to side-effects. After complaining I was then put on Risperidone which caused me even more problems, sexual side effects being one, so again I complained and finally I was put on Quetiapine which is perfect for me. My suggestion to you is to find the right medication, this can take a while but as soon as you have issues with your medication be honest with your doctor and hopefully they will provide you with alternative medication.

      Don't think too much about what things were like before, I understand you feel lost and unsure of who you are but as we grow people change. For example when listening to music the feelings you had the first time you heard that song will be different in time. You might hear that same song 10 years later but might not feel the same emotions you did the first time you heard the song. What I'm trying to say is look to the future and not into the past. You can't change the past but you can prepare yourself for the future.

      Keep studying but try and stay relaxed and eat well, exercise. Please don't give up. Sleep is important. Get at least 7 hours sleep daily. Try and be in bed by 23.00pm because when you go bed after this time you will wake up tired. Have you ever gone to bed after midnight and slept 12 hours but you still wake up tired. That's the reason as your not getting proper sleep.

      Since 1999 I was in and out of hospitals. I have relapsed 3 times and each time was a bad experience but with time all wounds can heal. Some people do become unwell and find it difficult to recover, you need to surround yourself with positive people. People who will give you support and understand what your going through.

      Whenever you feel lost or confused don't wait, see someone straight away as sometimes talking with someone helps. I would also suggest you keep a diary.

      I wake up each morning and I say to myself this is a new day, and I try my best, that's all one can do.

      So remember you are an amazing person and your life is important. Don't give up, it will get better.

      Peace be with you.

    • Posted

      I smoked two years ago and I'm still stuck here in this dream. I was a 4.15 student playing sports and pretty popular. I have no desire in life and I know it's not going to go away. But I just need someone to talk to about it or at lest figure out some ways to not feel as bad on certain days. Whenever I tell myself to stop worrying and thinking about it it usually helps me. No one understands and I've tried only telling my friends. My family has no idea and it's been like this for two years
    • Posted

      Alrigtht so, I don't know if you still go on this, but I'm currently going through the same feeling. After the last time I spoked I got that slomo feeling, where your eye vision kinda changes and you feel too concentrated on one thing. Your heart starts racing and you start obviously panicking. But I never really smoked so much just like once or twice every two months or so... But the last time I smoked and got that feeling it went away that same day, it wasn't as bad because I was limiting my hits since I was afraid of going through that feeling again. It lasted a cool minute but had gone away. So the next day I was actually good but it was around 8 walking from my cousins house to my friends house (They live close by eachother) and I was good but I started looking down on the concrete as I was walking, and I started experiencing that feeling you get when you're high. And I obviously started panicking because I was so weirded out how I felt that way after I didn't smoke. So next day was a friday, and I actually missed school because I was leaving the city for the weekend. And I randomly started getting that feeling but I didn't smoke at all that day and I was surpised because I didn't even smoke so much it was like 4 hits but my friend's weed is so, so strong from wednesday. So two days in a row. And I actually didn't end up leaving because I started getting this feeling like I was floating or like I wouldn't know what I'd by doing or saying until a few seconds after. I was scared and panicking. To a point where I started crying but couldn't catch my breathe. Well, it lasted until like about four days straight, and slowly started taking off. But the thing is that it's worsened day by day. I hate talking about it or even through text because my heart starts pounding like crazy and I start getting all panicky. But anyways, I get this feeling thats so hard to explain; but it's pretty much like I'm kind of trapped inside a bubble and can't really move or be free. I feel like I'm not myself, or I'm not in control of my own body. I don't want to go overboard and bring in these kinds of things but it feels like you're possessed. Like you can't control your thoughts and you always seem to be talking out loud in your mind. You try to express the way you feel but no words come out. And if somehow you do express it and tell someone about it, they just laugh and think you're acting stupid. Sometimes like I get so scared and overthink what it could be. Is it still the weed? Is it that my mind is totally messed up? Am I like possessed or something? Lol. Or what the hell is going on. Like I don't even recognize myself when I look in a mirror anymore. Its scary for me. I can't even lay down and just sleep, I stay up. These past few days I've finally been sleeping well some but I'm starting to slack off and instead stay up the whole night. I'm honestly really scared but no one seems to understand the way I feel, I need help. What could it be? How can I remove this feeling that seems to be bothering the hell out of me. Where I can't even go to school without worring about how I get. I just really need somebody's help. I beg.
    • Posted

      I had the same thing.  Distorted vision, feeling of being caged inside your body, occasional floaty feeling, internalized thoughts, zoning out, extremely pronounced and/or quick heart beat.  This all caused intense anxiety and fear and came in waves.  It was disabling for a week, and extremely uncomfortable after. Coming up on 3 years since it happened.  

      First thing that helped me was finding my equilibrium.  No alcohol, no nicotine, no caffeine, no excessive sugar or salt.  See how close to normal you can get and what it feels like.  I also found exercizing to be amazingly helpful but start slow.  

    • Posted

      I'm posting this here becasuse it seems to be the most recent thread, but I really hope all of you who are still going through this will read it. I had the exact same experience all of you are describing 10 years ago, and I want you to know IT WILL GET BETTER EVENTUALLY. It may take weeks or months or even years, but IT WILL GET BETTER. I know exactly how scared you are right now, and I wish I could tell you you're going to wake up tomorrow and it will all be better, but the rate at which you recover seems to vary. For me, the worst of it lasted 6 months, with relapses occuring for at least 3 years after. I still stuggle with depression and anxiety, but I had those before the experience too. All of the things people on here are suggesting are good tools, and you should try as many of them as you can. For me, the most effective thing was keeping busy and distracted. Even in the worst of it, when I was completely unable to function as a human being, I would paly really simple video games like tetris for hours on end, and it would help to ease the feelings of overwhelming, crippling dread. Just being busy doing something, anything, was enough to at least dull the anxiety. I can tell you that 10 years on, I may not be back to 100% the same person I was before, but I'm living a mostly happy and mostly productive life. You will too. Keep taking it moment by moment and you'll make it.
    • Posted

      this was a year ago and i would like to ask you did you get over it because its happening to me at the moment i cant go outside without my heart going to fast and i get so dizzy and i start to panic and everything goes dizzy and its noting but pain i really need help please let me know how you got over it if you have
    • Posted

      I know exactly how you're feeling. I'm currently experiencing the same symptoms.

    • Posted

      I know this was a year ago but im going through the same thing right now been like this for 3 months cant even go to school or anything after smoking weed it got me like this for 3 months heart racing all the time mostly everyday my vision seem unreal my body get alot of sympthoms that i never felt before just want to know how are you now sense this was year ago?
    • Posted

      Look up depersonalization/derealization. I believe that what you're experiencing and it's a common side effect of Anxiety bro

    • Posted

      Hey, I feel the exact same way. I just smoked as well not too long ago and I can't get out of this dream. Can you tell me what methods you used to get yourself back to reality ? I'm really freaking out and don't know what to do 

    • Posted

      I am feeling the exact same thing. At times when I'd be sitting in my room, and I'd start feeling some of the parts of my body go numb (just like what I felt in my high). I feel like I'm stuck in this dream and can't wake up. I don't know what's going on and am scared. Can you give me tips on how to get over this ? I feel like I can't function and i don't know what to do. 

    • Posted

      Pamela do not worry, when I went through it I did tons of research and I felt comfort in knowing it is NEVER permanent. Your brain went through a traumatic experience and has pulled away from reality, and what is called derealization. It just takes time for you to get back to normal. It took me 5 months. What I did was stay busy and always be around people. If you ever need anything feel free to reach out.

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