Triggers PAWS depression

Postby Cthompson21 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:57 pm

I notice I have triggers for my depression when it comes to PAWS and they've been bothering me today. I just posted that I deal with fuzzy vision. I also deal with fatigue and insomnia and the terrible anxiety even at work. I get depressed because I'll never go as far as I used to think and I've been thinking about this in terms of grief and grieving.

Having PAWS is like having a chemical stroke. The brain changes and takes years to recover. I looked up "grief and strokes" since PAWS is not a well known topic, but I believe the two conditions have their similarities. The brain changes when you go thru PAWs and same with the stroke. In the article I read I read about going through the stages of grief. In the first stage, denial, the person is trying to get their old brain and body back working hard to meet every goal. Eventually the other stages pass too, bargaining, anger, "why did this happen to me", and depression, the feeling I feel with a lot..."is it worth it to keep going?" I have been in this battle for a long time and I honestly have no idea what the future holds. Sometimes I want to just give up and work at McDonalds or something, sometimes I have darker thoughts but I never want to act on them.

I notice certain triggers that make me feel depressed. Whenever I see people using substances, like smoking a cigarette, drinking wine. I saw these kids chugging mountain dew in the library this morning and I thought, if I did that, my anxiety would be so bad in would feel like I was having a heart attack, and my vision would be hellish, and I would feel like crap for days. I also really miss having a cigarette. Having a coke, or a glass of wine. I miss being able to stay up late and not have to worry about dealing with anxiety attacks the next day. Now those things are completely off limits or I suffer.

I also notice that when I see someone doing what I like to do, ie, performing piano recitals (I'm a musician) to a big audience, I get jealous and depressed. I used to be able to do the same thing, now the stage fright gives me anxiety that impedes my performances. I have made strides in dealing with this and gave two major recitals this year but the anxiety was hard to deal with, yet I did it, I'm happy to say.

I miss the old self, and one strategy I try to do is to forget he ever existed, and to think that this is how it's always been. When I think of the good times before PAWS I just get insanely depressed sometimes so it's best I think not to remember them. I wish I could make the old days come back but I am aware there is n o t h i n g I can do to change the past. It is gone. I've lost my old brain and it's not coming back, and I'm doing my best to embrace the new self and deal with the triggers.

I am writing this to help myself, if you can relate at all, share your comments. If you think what I'm saying is whiney or obnoxious, sorry but it's just how I feel and what I deal with every day. This forum is really the only place I can vent these thoughts so feel free to add your own.
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#1

Postby leavepawsbehind » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:36 am

I struggle along the same lines. For instance, I can no longer go to concerts, loud restaurants, bars, clubs, due to panic and tinnitus. I'm constantly making excuses for avoiding events and missing large social gatherings because the volume triggers hearing issues and my PAWS symptoms flare up big time. I look at old photos or think back on memories I've shared and it just seems to disappear around when I quit smoking. I've shared my struggles with certain people and those interactions have all been meaningful, but I can't exactly tell everyone about how quitting weed f***ed me up. I feel isolated and my first thought every day is "am I normal today?". The answer every morning since I quit has been no.
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#2

Postby dirtySanchez » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:27 pm

I am expiriencing this all the time. Especially when being under hard Paws wave.

I am mentally revisiting my life before quitting, listening to the old music which I liked at the times, looking at an old pictures and just wishing that I could go back - because life was so good and easy back then.

However, my life really sucked at those times.. Like I am in sooooo much better place now that I can't describe it.. Back then I was a complete example of a stoner who just smokes 24/7, doing all kinds of drugs, has no vision, no money, no possessions,..

But this is how my mind plays tricks on me and I know it.
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#3

Postby Cthompson21 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:59 pm

I agree Sanchez. The old life was selfish and immature. There are some things that are better now, I am more mature, but the daily suffering takes away the luster of life. So I dont know what is better. I wish more people would realize how terrible addiction and drugs are.
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#4

Postby dhae2604 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:22 pm

Can totally relate
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#5

Postby imondayXX » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:12 am

Thanks for sharing, can relate to a lot of this. I'm currently just accepting my new life and looking to the future. When I get to new milestones I look back and see that going this route is all worth it.

Currently on day 226 here and it's still a slog, but I'm committed to my new life and new future. The clarity is worth it in the long run. I'd rather be making my decisions based on the truth rather than on altered reality. The easy path really does get harder and the hard path does get easier. I sometimes just feel good that I had some great times and now it's time to put in some work.

All the best,
~imondayXXX
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#6

Postby lefttheleaf » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:40 pm

Cthompson21 wrote:I notice I have triggers for my depression when it comes to PAWS and they've been bothering me today. I just posted that I deal with fuzzy vision. I also deal with fatigue and insomnia and the terrible anxiety even at work. I get depressed because I'll never go as far as I used to think and I've been thinking about this in terms of grief and grieving.

Having PAWS is like having a chemical stroke. The brain changes and takes years to recover. I looked up "grief and strokes" since PAWS is not a well known topic, but I believe the two conditions have their similarities. The brain changes when you go thru PAWs and same with the stroke. In the article I read I read about going through the stages of grief. In the first stage, denial, the person is trying to get their old brain and body back working hard to meet every goal. Eventually the other stages pass too, bargaining, anger, "why did this happen to me", and depression, the feeling I feel with a lot..."is it worth it to keep going?" I have been in this battle for a long time and I honestly have no idea what the future holds. Sometimes I want to just give up and work at McDonalds or something, sometimes I have darker thoughts but I never want to act on them.

I notice certain triggers that make me feel depressed. Whenever I see people using substances, like smoking a cigarette, drinking wine. I saw these kids chugging mountain dew in the library this morning and I thought, if I did that, my anxiety would be so bad in would feel like I was having a heart attack, and my vision would be hellish, and I would feel like crap for days. I also really miss having a cigarette. Having a coke, or a glass of wine. I miss being able to stay up late and not have to worry about dealing with anxiety attacks the next day. Now those things are completely off limits or I suffer.

I also notice that when I see someone doing what I like to do, ie, performing piano recitals (I'm a musician) to a big audience, I get jealous and depressed. I used to be able to do the same thing, now the stage fright gives me anxiety that impedes my performances. I have made strides in dealing with this and gave two major recitals this year but the anxiety was hard to deal with, yet I did it, I'm happy to say.

I miss the old self, and one strategy I try to do is to forget he ever existed, and to think that this is how it's always been. When I think of the good times before PAWS I just get insanely depressed sometimes so it's best I think not to remember them. I wish I could make the old days come back but I am aware there is n o t h i n g I can do to change the past. It is gone. I've lost my old brain and it's not coming back, and I'm doing my best to embrace the new self and deal with the triggers.

I am writing this to help myself, if you can relate at all, share your comments. If you think what I'm saying is whiney or obnoxious, sorry but it's just how I feel and what I deal with every day. This forum is really the only place I can vent these thoughts so feel free to add your own.


whats up dude - you may recognise my username. We've interacted a few times of here but i havent been around much as of late.

I identify so much with where you are and what you have written and i see so much in your words and thoughts that i used to see in myself. I have as of the last few months spent less and less time in my head thinking and more time just being. Its hard to describe exactly how i have got to this place but meditation and conscious mindfulness has helped.

I put it to you that all of what you are feeling is driven by your thoughts. I dont want to come across preachy here but i have been where you are. literally right there - and thinking about it just didnt help. if you let go of the bitterness you are feeling and the resentments and just accept where you are and that it may never get better but accept it for what it is and that its enough - you will begin your healing process. you absolutely will.

Tk care
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#7

Postby Cthompson21 » Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:02 am

Thanks lefttheleaf. I'm trying hard to let go. Everyday I have these thoughts. Its like the myth of the god who played with fire and now he has to be tortured every day for eternity getting his guts ripped out by a vulture, only the vulture is anxiety, panic, etc. Not a day goes by I don't feel the pangs of regret and bitterness, like what could have been. But I guess there would've been suffering anyway if it wasnt for PAWS. Thank you though your words are consoling.
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#8

Postby weedbaddrug » Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:25 pm

leavepawsbehind wrote:I struggle along the same lines. For instance, I can no longer go to concerts, loud restaurants, bars, clubs, due to panic and tinnitus. I'm constantly making excuses for avoiding events and missing large social gatherings because the volume triggers hearing issues and my PAWS symptoms flare up big time. I look at old photos or think back on memories I've shared and it just seems to disappear around when I quit smoking. I've shared my struggles with certain people and those interactions have all been meaningful, but I can't exactly tell everyone about how quitting weed f***ed me up. I feel isolated and my first thought every day is "am I normal today?". The answer every morning since I quit has been no.


Hi leavepawsbehind,

How is your tinnitus now, and visual snow. Mine still present after just a year.

Apart from that, are you still seeing improvements?
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#9

Postby leavepawsbehind » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:24 pm

Hi weedbaddrug,

they're both still present. Tinnitus has become much less of an issue, the spikes are mild and infrequent. Baseline is usually quiet enough now to where I can sleep with a pillow over my head. That would have been impossible early on because the ringing would be way too loud to sleep with both ears blocked.

Visual snow is noticeable still when I'm out in bright sunlight. I get after images and white dots and sparkles and floaters everywhere on bright days. Less noticeable with sunglasses on. It seems to be slowly getting better. I assume it'll probably last longer than the tinnitus and may be the last thing to go.
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#10

Postby leavepawsbehind » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:42 pm

Forgot to mention the visual snow has also improved. Used to see it on every solid colored surface and on solid colored backgrounds on monitors and displays. Now I have to look for it when I'm in-doors – I can see it on solid surfacesif I stare and unfocus my eyes a little bit. VS has never bothered me like tinnitus did though, tinnitus was disabling and induced panic attacks and made me extremely distressed. Visual snow on the other hand just makes me remember to wear sunglasses and to avoid looking near the sun, it's never induced panic or made my anxiety worse. I've had a mild case all along that's more a curiosity and a reminder to me more than anything, I've read about much worse cases that I'm glad I haven't experienced.
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#11

Postby weedbaddrug » Sun Oct 06, 2019 10:56 pm

leavepawsbehind wrote:Forgot to mention the visual snow has also improved. Used to see it on every solid colored surface and on solid colored backgrounds on monitors and displays. Now I have to look for it when I'm in-doors – I can see it on solid surfacesif I stare and unfocus my eyes a little bit. VS has never bothered me like tinnitus did though, tinnitus was disabling and induced panic attacks and made me extremely distressed. Visual snow on the other hand just makes me remember to wear sunglasses and to avoid looking near the sun, it's never induced panic or made my anxiety worse. I've had a mild case all along that's more a curiosity and a reminder to me more than anything, I've read about much worse cases that I'm glad I haven't experienced.


So for both tinnitus you are still seeing improvements Compared to a few months ago, right?

I know it has been bad for you early on, just wanted to see if it has improved since 12 month mark, or 16 months mark, or 18 month mark, etc, rather than early on.

Mine has been same for 6 months. I hope ours is notnperment, I mean for me anxiety is so much betterment but visual snow and tinnitus does not seem to go away yet along with my anxiety, Which is improving monthly.

It is possible these are the last 2 symptoms which will go away harder.

I have seen someone on here had tinnitus gone at 19 month mark
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#12

Postby leavepawsbehind » Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:12 pm

My last bad spike was in late May/early June. I don't really think about it any longer unless another noise reminds me to check for it. It seemed to plateau between 6-18 months but has been better since, not entirely back to normal, but wouldn't be surprised if it goes away entirely.

My lasting symptoms seem to be residual effects of having bad anxiety for a long time, seems like I'll need to be "normal" for a bit for the rest of this to calm down.
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#13

Postby AnnaK » Wed Oct 09, 2019 1:58 am

I’m about seven and a half months clean. I felt weird today also depressed and came back here to remind myself about PAWS. I still can’t believe weed messes you up for this long. Sometimes being sober seems strange and I’m still getting used to it. No one in my life would believe me and I got rid of all my stoner friends and they still smoke daily. I just have to remember that it’s still going to take time.
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#14

Postby weedbaddrug » Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:06 am

I am gone just past 12 months, and I am surprised too for how long weed + withdrawal messes you up, and how long it takes for you to go back to your 100% self.

all we have to do is to wait and remember its from the weed.

Even though I see improvements monthly, I am extremely frustrated, and disheartened on how long recovery takes, and that all this is mainly due to weed.

I realised we also have to put in the work ourselves.

Main thing is to get the 8 hours of sleep and try and excersise (proven to be effective in improving/reducing anxiety disorders).

Also check the mediterranean diet, it has been proven scientifically it increases gut bacteria, which communicates to your brain and therefore improving your mental health. This is why when you eat junk food you feel down and shitty (well one of the reasons, apart from guilt). The study results/conclusion was pointed out in this a BBC Science magazine, I believe it was this months or last months copy.

Also try and medidate. All your brain needs is re-training.
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