PAWS?? Please help!!!

Postby aHairOnStanleysHead » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:49 pm

I posted once before with my story but now I'm more or less just wondering about my symptoms and if anyone experienced these. The first month and a half was ridden with anxiety, nightmares, dizziness, intrusive thoughts that caused more anxiety, etc. Now I'm on day 57 and things have gotten weird lately. It's as if due to the intrusive thoughts sending my anxiety through the roof, my body is now on overdrive with heightened senses. I feel like I see and hear things more than I used to (not hallucinations), but I fear becoming mentally ill since this all started, so it's as if me anticipating that has made me see everything that moves out of the corner of my eye and checking every noise I hear to see if it's really there. My memory has been complete sh** lately too, I'm forgetting things all the time and constantly mixing up words and my thoughts just seem jumbled. PLEASE help I'd love some feedback, I'm getting concerned.
-what types of intrusive thoughts did you experience? Unfortunately mine involve very dark stuff that scares the sh** out of me, because I know it's not me
-did your thoughts seem weird and paranoid at times? Almost like your brain is just throwing weird unnecessary sh** at you that makes no sense
-experience horrible memory issues??
-constantly read online about your symptoms, fearing you're becoming mentally ill?
-become socially withdrawn? I have no desire to go to work at the moment because I'm constantly preoccupied with this. However I do love being with my family still, it helps me find relief from this.

Please don't sugar coat things, I just want to know if people have gone through the same stuff. I cast no judgement about your intrusive thoughts and don't think you're a bad person, I understand it's very hard to talk about. I've seen my doctor 3 times now and she's assured me it's just very high anxiety, but never really acknowledged it being due to weed, though I did share my history of very heavy use (3 years of daily use of concentrates, very potent flower too)
Never dealt with ANY of this ever, it all started when I had a massive panic attack, followed by about 3 more of them on the 3 occasions I relapsed. Weed was never the same after the first panic attack.

I just want my life back!!!!
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Postby Eroica » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:15 am

Hi! Yes i had terribly intrusive thoughts in the begginning of PAWS like thinking back to what people said or did to me or mistakes and regrets. They will subside. Unfortunately it can take a while. Im at 14 months and still have them sometimes. I also had memory issues but theyre almost all gone now. The lingering symptoms i have are lack of concentration and low motivation
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Postby Chap_85 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:36 pm

Yes I had intrusive thoughts too. It is symptomatic of OCD. The intrusive thoughts tend to be of something that you are the total opposite of. It makes you question your morals and principles. it can be very powerful and frightening. It is caused by the brain being unable to put the brakes on anymore. Your brain always wants to reach homeostasis and so when external chemicals like alcohol or whatever sedates the brain often enough the brain says hey I’m being heavily sedated here. I need to speed up to get balanced again. And so this is what it does. But what it also does is downregulated the calming receptors that binds to your brains naturally sedating chemical. this is called gamma nucleic acid (GABA) because it thinks it no longer needs these as we have alcohol weed etc to do the job. So then the person is dependent or ‘addicted’. You then come to quit and you now have effectively a brain with a Ferrari engine with no brakes. This is what is causing these feelings of despair and OCD.

But good news! Like I said the brain always wants to reach homeostasis. It always seeks balance. And so gradually these anxiety surges will lessen and your receptors will upregulate again to bind to GABA to calm the whole excitory and inhibitory system back to normal. But it does this very very slowly. Good luck
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Postby Chap_85 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:39 pm

Sorry it is gamma-Aminobutyric acI’d.
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Postby Jalakee » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:41 pm

Hi there,

I joined so I could respond to you. I experienced nearly everything you described. Severe anxiety, morose depressive thoughts, suicidal thoughts, unbelievable bad moods, digestive issues, sleep issues, you name it. Very similar timeline. I smoked cumulatively for 12 years, and stopped very abruptly when I started having cannabis-induced panic attacks. Severe, long-lasting. This started the cascade of acute and post-acute withdrawal symptoms.

I'll make a post soon detailing my whole story since it seems like this is the web haven for PAWs sufferers. It is a very frightening, horrific, soul-wrenching experience and marked the worst year of my life, but also one of the most transformative.

But to reassure you it DOES get better, just in a very non-linear, truncated fashion. You will have a stretch of days where you feel you are nearly normal, and then BOOM symptoms come again out of nowhere and rake you across the coals.

As far as time to recovery, you deserve the honesty that this can take up to 2+ years. BUT---it is not 2 years of pure hell. I promise you. It is just a very slow and perplexing healing process for your brain and there is often no 1:1 relationship between your life circumstances and why you feel the way you do. You just have to be patient and have faith.

Get into therapy (weekly), exercise, socialize, and find a healthy escape to help you rest. You will get your normal mind back but please for the love of God do not get into ANY other substances, even prescription anti-depressants unless deemed absolutely necessary by your doctor. Your brain will not accept it and it will impede your healing.
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