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The link between marijuana, panic and anxiety

Many of you will wonder why we are doing a feature on marijuana. Many people would not even consider marijuana as having any connection with anxiety and panic. However, over the last year or so a growing trend has arisen. We are are receiving more and more contact from people who have developed an anxiety disorder as a result of using marijuana or other 'recreational' drug. As marijuana is recognised as being one of the causes of panic attacks and anxiety, we think it is important to highlight this.

Many people argue for the legalisation of marijuana. Certainly is it seen as a harmless recreational drug which seems to have very few ill effects. However, more and more research is looking into the short and long term effects of cannabis / marijuana. Some people may use marijuana with little negative side-effect. Others may trigger an effect that will impact greatly on their lives. Many people will use marijuana just once, and have the effect of ongoing panic attacks, dissociative symptoms and anxiety. Young people today know little of the adverse effects that may result from the recreational use of this drug. However, more and more people are now presenting with panic attacks or anxiety disorders which were triggered by by the use of marijuana.

If in doubt about the link between marijuana and panic attacks ... read on...

Q. I need an answer on this as soon as possible please. Can drugs such as Marijuana, LSD, Ecstasy, GHB possibly cause panic/anxiety attacks. I can't find any information on this. So anything you can provide regarding panic attacks and drugs would be helpful and greatly appreciated. The only thing I did read was that panic attacks associated/caused by drugs would not be considered panic attacks. I have the symptoms so why wouldn't they be considered panic attacks? Thanks for your help.

 

Mix &Match

We have a number of

Special Deals

featuring our books, CD and videos, so you can mix and match to suit your own needs.

Special Deal Four includes the book Working Through Panic, the double CD set, 'Taking Back the Power' and the double video set "Panic Anxiety Management Workshop

Bronwyn is also one of the main authors' of our website.

Q. Hi, I'm a 19 year old male who has been suffering from anxiety/panic attacks for about three years now. These attacks stem form an incident a few years back when I was experimenting with LSD. I had a "bad trip" and it triggered some kind problem in my brain. I just tried to forget about it, but for the next year or so things started to get really weird. I found myself fearing heights, and big places with a lot of people. So I drank a lot...well everyday, whenever I had a chance to help me deal with the anxiety. 

But eventually I got depressed and the attacks got so bad, I couldn't even ride in a car.I finally broke down and got help. I was put on an anti depressant for two years by my psychiatrist , and I've made it my goal in life to beat this thing. I've gotten a lot better. I attend community college, and I have a part time job. I haven't used a drug with the exception of alcohol a few times in almost 3 years. I 've put my faith in God, and he has helped me. I research anxiety/panics all the time to help get a better understanding of my problem. I do feel better really, but I still experience dissociation all the time, which as a result causes allot of attacks. I was wondering if you knew of any helpful methods to help battle dissociation? Also to anyone who reads this that is battling some sort of anxiety, exercise, get the right eating and sleeping patterns, try to be the best person you can be, look to God, and more importantly stay positive. Try to find books about your particular anxiety problem and read about them. They can be quite helpful. I know it's really hard, man I've been there. Just keep on smiling and keep on holding your head up high.

Q. I'm a 21 yr. old male who has been suffering from (though, never diagnosed) what I believe is anxiety and panic disorder. I first experienced these very intense feelings after smoking THC (the chemical in marijuana) resin in a pipe of an old friend of mine. Ever since then, I've been afraid of taking ANY medications that can alter my personality (ex: social drugs, antidepressants, tranquillisers, etc.); therefore, I've been living with this disorder for almost 5 years now, with no medication, but it's getting worse. I feel like I'm living in a nightmare or dream ALL day long... afraid of everything, and anything that can happen. It's like I'm there... but I'm not. Things that should seem familiar, seem odd and frightening. My mind never rests... I am in a state where my mind seems to play tricks on me (almost a paranoid, terror feeling). Though I do get attacks of sudden panic or anxiety... the symptoms of these are lingering in my life ALL the time... everyday and night. Can this 'living in a nightmare' feeling be that I am in a dissociated state most of the day? Is what I'm experiencing normal in this disorder? Also, is there any links between anxiety and panic disorders and the drug marijuana? (Until this incident, I lived a normal life... free of these feelings.)

Thank you so much for your time, and I hope that others out there with these strange sensations can benefit knowing that they're not alone.

Q. Hi, I'm a 15 year old girl diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress and acute anxiety/panic attacks, minor depression and minor insomnia induced by stress(obviously) and drugs. I was wondering if I'm a one-off to get this sort of reaction to marijuana after only having it in a real large doses once a month for two years. I know that this disorder is common blah blah blah, but I feel so alone and like a freak that this could to happen to me on such a soft drug. Anyway, I've had this for 3 or 4 months now and have changed medication from an anti-psychotic because they thought I would develop schizophrenia due to family history, to two doses of 5mg of Valium and and anti depressant. I'm being selfish now and going to ask another question. I find that my anti depressant does absolutely nothing and that my muscles twitch and I can't sleep without my Valium, but they took me completely off it. Instead they tried to put up my dosage of the anti depressant but even the smallest increase makes me feel really bad and i get horrible side effects. Is there anyway to increase my it without getting the side-effects??Will this hell ever end? I feel so desperate and unreal. Even when I'm not fully in a panic attack I never really feel like "me" and I have this really warped vision, like I'm looking out of a camera and my body isn't mine and paralyses.Well thanks for the help

Q. I am a 22-year-old who suffers from panic attacks. I first experienced one during a drug-related episode (marijuana) two years ago. This occurred twice more, before I realised it would be best if I did not touch it. However, my panic attacks returned and recently they became chronic.

Q. First let me say that I'm very relieved to have found this web site because it has provided me with a ray of hope I haven't had in quite some time. Keep up the good work, it's very much appreciated.

Now for my anxiety: I am a 27 year old male. About 2 years ago, I was at a point in my life where I was working allot of hours and getting very little rest. One night, I was at a friend's house and we decided to smoke some marijuana. I hadn't smokes in almost 3 years. Well, I had a terrible reaction to it and ended up in the emergency room with what I can only describe as panic/anxiety/paranoia. It was very traumatic and I was very scared. Several days later, the panic subsided but this feeling of dissociation has persisted ever since. I feel as if I'm not really "here". I can't concentrate as well, my memory is poor, and I feel as if I'm not mentally sharp. The symptom gets worse if I exercise vigorously. Occasionally, I have mini-panic attacks but mostly its the constant (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) feeling of dissociation. I've been to several doctors who have done blood work and cat scans and the only abnormality was a high teter count to Epstein-Barr. All the doctors tell me that there's nothing they can do and that I'll always feel that way and I should get some rest. Last week I had my first 'full blown' panic attack and it lasted for about 6-7 days. I felt as if I was going crazy. It resulted in 2 trips to the emergency room with no help in sight. After reading through your web site, I feel as if I have a combination of PTSD which resulted in GAD. Does this sound accurate and what do I do now?

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