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Generalized anxiety disorder and marijuana?

Discussion in 'Medical Discussion' started by weedemon, May 15, 2012.

  1. weedemon

    weedemon enthusiast

    Ontario, Canada
    So yesterday I went home to see the folks and my father is a Dr. (who is strongly against the idea of any mmj use)

    He suggested that I may have something called "generalized anxiety disorder". (GAD)

    he had me fill out a quick little test "GAD-7" to see how i scored. I scored 12 out of 21. average for a "normal" person would be between 0 and 5 I fall in the middle of the moderate.

    so i looked up the symptoms. here is what applies to me from this list:
    The main symptom is the almost constant presence of worry or tension, even when there is little or no cause. Worries seem to float from one problem to another, such as family or relationship problems, work issues, money, health, and other problems.
    Even when aware that their worries or fears are stronger than needed, a person with GAD still has difficulty controlling them.

    Other symptoms include:
    • Difficulty concentrating - totally. mind gets sucked into a vortex of worry and planning when I should be listening to someone or focusing on a task.
    • Fatigue - this only is when I haven't gotten enough sleep. don't consider it a symptom myself.
    • Irritability - yep thats me... :( dumb shit like stupid people on he road PISS ME OFF! When i try to tackle regular everyday stuff to the harder stuff in life and i hit a bump in the road, sometimes I think it would just be so much easier to die instead. a tad defeatist?
    • Problems falling or staying asleep, and sleep that is often restless and unsatisfying - my mind wont fuck off sometimes. re running the day how could i have done this better? what about that? was i mean to that person? i didn't mean to be... blah blah blah
    • Restlessness, and often becoming startled very easily - I'm a jumpy person people sneaking up on me sucks! i can't sit still sometimes. I feel like i should be doing something ,but don't know what. so i pace and look for things to do.
    Along with the worries and anxieties, a number of physical symptoms may also be present, including muscle tension (shakiness, headaches) and stomach problems, such as nausea or diarrhea.

    *source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001915/

    I pretty much have every one of the symptoms and have felt I was more anxious than depressed even though they all tell me i'm depressed.

    My question is. does this affliction count as one that mmj would work for? Weed obviously chills me out and stops me from sweating the small stuff as much. hell, it lets me function in my day so much better...
  2. turk

    turk turk

    San Francisco
    ...sounds a lot like "modern living"....I'm no Dr. though...we ALL carry (adults anyway) immense baggage throughout our every day lives...people have different mechanisms of "coping" is marij. one of the methods that work for you?...only you can answer...
    howie105 likes this.
  3. Deadhead101

    Deadhead101 I am the Vapor King--I can do anything

    I found this requirement for California, but I assume it varies amongst the mmj states:
    "1. A condition which is benefitted by medical marijuana. California law allows a very wide scope of conditions, essentially whatever you and your doctor find to be benefitted."

    Though I don't know from personal experience, I imagine that getting a mmj card isn't too difficult regardless of of one's condition. I think it generally just takes some money and perhaps a little acting.

    I think what you should really be asking yourself is if you think MJ benefits you, not what society says. I find it very difficult to make an unbiased decision due to all the propaganda we've all been exposed to.

    If you're serious in finding out if MJ is part of the solution and want to be thorough in your scientific method, i suggest a T-Break where you note how symptoms compare to 'elevated living'. Remember the answer should come from within. Try to forget about your fathers views.

    I can relate to a lot of what your post says, and personally I've found MJ to cool down my brain and enhance my quality of life--at least right now.
    rhc974 likes this.
  4. darkrom

    darkrom Great Scott!

    Weedemon I just agreed to just about 100% of what you posted. I have GAD myself. I use cannabis to help with it for sure. The one point I'd really like to emphasize that you talk (with your dad) about is the stupid people on the road thing. I have "road rage" in the sense that it makes me rage like crazy when people do stupid things while driving. I mean rage like internally, I don't try to start fights or endanger lives on the road because of it, it simply makes my blood boil. I'll get cut off by someone who doesn't signal or something while texting etc and my gf will look up and say "so what" while my mind is racing with images of me lighting them on fire lol. Obviously I hold this in and deal with it in less murderous ways, but say that same situation happened and I had just vaped....suddenly I am able to see past the problem and just let it go the way we are SUPPOSED to.

    GAD sucks big time and has ruined many things in my life. Turk is comparing it to every day modern living and may be right for many people, but there are also many people who feel these things FAR too much. For example I've sold a motorcycle because I was frustrated over a $80 part...that's pretty damn unreasonable.

    I just recently ruined my gf's vacation over anxiety about traveling too...its a seriously shitty situation trust me. If there is only ONE thing you have to talk to your dad about ask him what he thinks is a better solution for GAD than cannabis, BESIDES therapy. Therapy may be useful but all the therapy in the world isn't going to provide quick relief when you need it most. I've been treated for anxiety with many medications. As I'm sure he knows the most handed out for GAD are benzos. If your dad is willing to prescribe benzos to a GAD patient then he is simply not willing to be reasonable if he thinks those will be more effective than cannabis for most people.

    I was prescribed benzos myself for many years and I can confidently say they are amazing as a very short term solution (flight anxiety, loss of a loved one etc) but are absolutely horrible for long term and shouldn't really even be considered an option. I save my 1 month script and at the rate I use xanax/clonazepam that 1 month script will last me the rest of 2012 and possibly through 2013 or longer. I save them for what they are really made for, 1 time issues of full blown panic where the best solution is to simply shut down. I tried the daily benzos and it made me worse in the long run without a doubt. Not only do you build tolerance almost immediately and need to continually up the dosage, but go ahead and ask him what happens when you miss a dose, or what happens when someone goes off those medications cold turkey, especially after building up a dose over time from continual use. Withdrawing from benzos can be LETHAL. Hell some people would rather die than deal with the hell of withdrawing from them. Benzo withdrawal makes heroin withdrawal look like a walk in the park. That is unbelievable to me that this is prescribed, never mind to younger people!

    I won't even get into the other forms of treatment since the SNRI that I thought was working at first needed continual dosage increases until I ended up in the hospital unable to feel my leg because of it for several hours :/

    Ask him what DOES work for GAD and doesn't kill you or make the condition worse when you use it every day. Then ask him to prescribe me some of this magic drug! Then ask him to come on here and chat with us if he is willing! I'd bet we could have a seriously interesting conversation here if we all manage to stay respectful of his perfectly entitled opinion against MMJ. Anxiety is something I will always be willing to talk about. If you or anyone at all reading this wants to ask questions or just talk about anxiety (or anything in life really) feel free to just PM me. I have anxiety pretty damn bad and it has been something I've struggeled with my whole life and I'm sure I'll continue to struggle with it until I die. Cannabis isn't a cure for it, but it sure helps me when I use it properly.
  5. Nycdeisel

    Nycdeisel Well-Known Member

    Is he pushing pills? If so, it would be clear to see why he would rather you stop using herb and just use toxic pharmaceutical drugs instead.

    I believe this is just anxiety, which everyone has at some point or another, some people more then others. I also think that the way to treat such things are by altering diet and lifestyle, as in eat proper foods, avoid toxic chemicals from all sorts of sources, get sunlight, and it goes on from there.

    An interesting documentary you might want to check out,

    Click to play YouTube Video
    CarolKing, rhc974 and Vicki like this.
  6. weedemon

    weedemon enthusiast

    Ontario, Canada
    I have been anxious like this for as long as i can remember. I think it's partly social. I am a real introvert and don;t like meeting new people (one on one is cool, any more and i can't handle it) Weddings make me physically sick, the bar scene terrifies me... you get the picture i think. ;) i dont feel safe around strangers any one of them could be waiting to hurt me.

    the idea of a t break is actually kinda scary to me. i would miss it a lot. you may be right though. That would be a good way to gauge if it works for me or not.

    personally i know mj benefits me. it helps me out with a lot of those symptoms mentioned above.

    A lil more info about me for background.

    family are hardcore anti pot. i got kicked out of the house 4 months ago over getting busted and then telling em about it. (if i never told em i would still be in the family) I hardly even see my family anymore I didn't see on on Easter I spent it alone instead. My dad's ashamed im a "drug addict" and a failure as a result in his eyes. mom sided with him on this and it rocked my world. I thought she had my back 100% turns out i learned a lesson. trust no one! I learned that the Law is one tough bitch and your family will choose it an arbitrary rules that don't make sense over blood.

    He wont be coming on this forum. sorry guys.

    I have been on and off anti depressants for a few years. i quit taken them entirely in 2007. after the last bout of taking them left me even more anxious, depressed and suicidal then before I even started taking them. (I always thought i felt more anxious than depressed.. if there is really a difference)

    I wont be able to remember all the drugs i took, but i do remember to following: celebrex, celexa, remeron, effexor, zoloft and paxil.

    How do i feel about all those drugs? let me list some of the symptoms i experienced:
    anxiety, (the thing im taking em to stop)
    depression, (^Ditto)
    weight gain
    like a zombie. (nothing was either good or bad, just meh)
    sexual frustration (inability to orgasm) by far my favourite little gem of a symptom to come from being on em.

    needless to say I am not interested in any more ssri's fuck them!!!

    I would be willing to try other medications, but really if i can not be stuck taking a pill then i'd prefer that. I know about CBT too (therapy) have been in that before too and would also do it again.

    I think i need to make appointments to see a Dr. I just wanted to see if i could use this as a case to get legal. maybe then i would get my family back too! LOL
    CarolKing, ilovebOObs and rhc974 like this.
  7. turk

    turk turk

    San Francisco
    ....sorry you had this experience...try not to let it make you sink....deeper into depression...I'm a lot older than you and I have sons...over time your parents will re-visit their relationship with you...it may be to your advantage to give them a break....it serves no real purpose to get bummed out, so try hard to not indulge that...hang in there...
  8. Vicki

    Vicki Herbal Alchemist

    I completely understand. This is how I have become since I started to get really sick. Now, I prefer to be alone, or only be with my immediate family. It is where I feel most comfortable, so this is how I am most of the time. I had to go be around in-laws this past Sunday, and I hated it. I also agree with you that SSRI's and benzo's suck the big one. I hated the "zombie" feeling. :(
    Shooby, t-dub and turk like this.
  9. weedemon

    weedemon enthusiast

    Ontario, Canada
    thx for the kind words turk. i hope so too.

    vicki, i feel for you. it sucks feeling like a prisoner in public. :( you're not alone!
    Vicki likes this.
  10. turk

    turk turk

    San Francisco
    .....my desire would be for you and your folks to eventually process and resolve this dilemma...short of that, take care of yourself...remember this is "just a moment in time"....it too will pass...I believe that if necessary you can find appropriate, effective counseling (that's sensitive to med marij)..but you have to search...do not despair....
    CarolKing, ilovebOObs and Nycdeisel like this.
  11. DaProfessor

    DaProfessor Well-Known Member

    I also have GAD, and cannabis has helped me to cope with it. Viewing GAD from the context of it being a symptom rather than condition, cannabis doesn't directly effect my GAD symptoms during the 'intoxication' period. In general, daily use has mellowed out the anxiety. During the actual high, my anxiety levels can increase. I also use the feeling that cannabis provides as a focal point to modify my behavior when I feel anxiety creeping in. I imagine myself taking a toke and try to feel the relaxation of that first big hit of the day. Sort of like a quick meditation/visualization exercise. It really helps me in that way :2c:

    Edit: I just want to add that I still support conventional therapy/counseling. Especially if they focus cognitive behavioral therapies, rather than stuffing you full of drugs. Not all psychologist and psychiatrist have been brainwashed by big pharma. I've been blessed enough to find health professionals that are open-minded. Cannabis never solves everything, but it can't hurt if you don't let it. That's the risk of any psychoactive substance.
  12. weedemon

    weedemon enthusiast

    Ontario, Canada
    Hey dude I missed this, but thanks for your post! that was helpful :)
  13. Titamius

    Titamius Developing Connoisseur & Vaporist

    Canna-da ;)
    Wow, I'm sorry to hear that about your parents, it makes me feel so lucky that my dads been using mj for years and my mom doesnt like it but knows that its all propaganda crap, so she'll make a dumb crack about it once in a while but no more than that.
    I believe it is true that anxiety and depression are linked. I havnt taken any test, but I feel like I have moderate depression and mild anxiety. I only get anxious if its life issues that I continue to think about, or something right that second. for example before when its gotten super busy at work I almost froze looking at all the orders thinking "shit where do I start??".
    My depression is not so bad that I've ever actually considered death, but it has affected my life and personality in a big way. I feel as if I have a heightened sense of awareness and built up defenses for the traps around us (mabye anxiety plays a part in that?). When it comes to social interactions, one on one is usually fine, group settings I can still function but its harder. As for meeting people, I have no problem meeting someone, but the thing is people that I meet just dont get me, they dont understand my mindstate, goals, and the things I hold important, let alone my unique personality. Half the time I never see that person again anyway, this results in me only having a couple good buddies, and a million people who are barely aquantances. There is no one I can really trust except one friend and some family.
    Sometimes I also get that zombie like feeling, I hate it.
    Hope that made sense as I am trying to think things through, and wish you luck on family issues!
    CarolKing and Nycdeisel like this.
  14. Syras Charles

    Syras Charles New Member


    Hello mate, I also have GAD, I found out after seeing a bunch of doctors who couldn't help me and doing my own research on the net. Normally and with every other medical problem it's best to ignor the internet and see your doctor. Web MD and such just makes you think you have ball cancer or something. After reading what must of been hundreds of web pages dedicated to the symptoms and cure of GAD I resigned myself to the fact that not only did I have GAD but it was controlling my life in almost every way possible. I had all the pains and aches you described and many, many more, I also had the same worries ect. I found that once I knew what it was and I wasn't dying of AIDS or whatever I could control it. Its about noticing the start of a bad train of thought. If you can catch yourself starting to think "that guy is looking at me funny", or "do they know" etc you can tell yourself your being stupid and its just anxiety, for me that led to a release of endorphins which in turn calmed me and made me able to deal with the situation. Since I did this I have been living a much happier almost care free life.
    On a bad not though I found out from a doctor one of the main and most popular side effects of Weed is Anxiety, so I would knock it on the head, but then again, if I had I wouldn't be on this site.
  15. Tweek

    Tweek Well-Known Member

    Anxiety destroyed my life. Herb has been a miracle for me...helped me stay away from more harmful benzodiazepines that my Dr. was trying to get me onto. It is very hard getting an exemption for it though...you can qualify, but finding a Doc willing to sign is very hard...here in Canada.

    That being said, I encourage you to consider getting a referral to a therapist. It won't cost you anything if your Doctor makes the referral (here in Canada) and it will give you an opportunity to speak to someone privately about your concerns. This has helped me immensely as well as an adjustment to lifestyle: healthier diet, exercise, strong family support, etc.

    As much as the herb will help, you still can't rely on it exclusively for these kinds of things. It is a complex illness that has to be attacked from various angles.
    ilovebOObs and smokum like this.
  16. SoulCaptivesAreFree

    SoulCaptivesAreFree Hazemaniac

    Where i'm from they don't call it GAD, they call it growing up...

    ime cannabis is not a very good medicine for any type of anxiety, it can mask it for a while but in the long term will make things worse, as constant use of cannabis is bound to enstrange you even further from society and thus will add to the reasons why you have the anxiety in the first place... not a good spiral to get into...

    i would rather approach this as a spiritual/existential question, than a medical one - there is no fix from the outside, it has to come from within :)

    the first step is: take a deep breath! become conscious of your breathing and of the way it allows you to direct the stream of consciousness ...

    for me there's nothing as effective as breathing when it comes to coping with anxiety, which i have to do in my day to day life a lot - just last week i had the (un)pleasure of experiencing a panic attack... this is where it gets a little difficult without help - when you're hyperventilating you're not in control of your breathing anymore ;)

    but even when having a panic attack i'd always prefer to ride it out with someone to talk/calm me down, than to take a benzo or something alike - if you don't face the stress/trouble/problem/anxiety when it arises you just encorporate it even further into your psyche and your brain learns that the way to cope with this type of situation is to take a pill... welcome to the spiral into darkness :)

    breathing and meditation are the only productive ways for me to deal with this side of my life - just my very personal opinion of course, millions of humans see this differntly and happily swallow their diazepam...
  17. Deadhead101

    Deadhead101 I am the Vapor King--I can do anything

    I agree with SoulCaptives 100%. Deep breathing exercises are so easy and effective. JUST BREATHE. Deep breath in deep breath out. Repeat again and again till calm. Inhale through the nose until your lungs are completely full, hold your breath a few seconds, exhale gently out your mouth until your lungs are empty. Repeat.

    I had to realize that weed made me less anxious when alone, but out in society, in no way did it calm me. Indeed it made me rather paranoid. I've given up mj for a couple of months and I feel great. Do I miss mj? Surprisingly, not that much. And this is after 4 years of everyday use. Food for thought....
    CarolKing, DOOM and Roger D like this.
  18. Roger D

    Roger D Vapor Wizard

    Watch what you put in your stomach.

    Healthier food tends to feeling better

    Try to eat smaller meals more often, and lots of fruits and vegetables.
    Eat some fish like salmon for the omega-3 sources and put some hemp oil on your quinoa. All this will help

    Really true about the breathe guys. Its also about perception of reality, I suffer from theses symptoms too and I know my troubles are caused by logic stuff, like money, work conditions, pollution, bad quality stuff, and environmental ugliness. I want to afford a quality life but in theses times its fucking tough and we all are forced to eat supermarket crap. Even when you got the money the good stuff isn't always here. THAT is making us sick.
    Dharma_Bum, CarolKing and 420GanjX like this.
  19. Silent


    United Kingdom
    Sorry for bringing back a (year old) thread, but I recently have started having symptoms of anxiety. I have been diagnosed with depression and was on Sertraline(Zoloft) for a year. When I came off those I got insane withdrawal symptoms (threw up all day everyday for a week). The Dr then diagnosed this as anxiety rather than SSRI withdrawal.

    I am now on Mirtazapine(Remeron) and going to counselling every week. My symptoms seem to lessen but weed can still give me some insane panic attacks over things I know to be false or not true.

    The advice listen here is great (breathe in breathe out) and I found this to help a lot. This is similar to the technique of mindfulness or mindful meditation, where you become aware of your thoughts as they form, acknowledge them and let them float on, rather than accepting them as fact.

    If you are still struggling (as I am) give mindfull meditation try. It is surely better than being pumped full of Dr prescribed drugs (IMO).
    CarolKing, Dharma_Bum and DOOM like this.
  20. meduser#420

    meduser#420 Fear & Loathing in FuckCombustion

    try and just smoke a little bit. sounds to me you're overdosing, especially with meds, this happens to me once a month probably. Lol. my :2c:. be safe!
    DDave likes this.
  21. PoisonousHydra

    PoisonousHydra Well-Known Member

    As someone who also lives in Ontario, also has generalized anxiety disorder, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, and has a medicinal card, I can say that it does help me a great deal with my anxiety issues. Even my spouse has said that it is "the only thing that calms (me) down". I have tried all sorts of anti-depressants, and they all also only served to either increase my anxiety, or cause me to be so numb I was completely detached from the world around me. We are all different, however, which is why the medications for anxiety often cause it for certain people. The same can be said for marihuana, as for any of these medications. The best thing you can do is experiment a little, and see what comes of it. I will give you the same advice I give everyone: at the end of the day only you know what is best for you. If a doctor told me to quit using marihuana for my anxiety issues, the only thing I would quit would be seeing said doctor. I would wager I know about ten people for whom it helps their anxiety, for every one for whom it worsens it. Feel free to message me, either on here or privately, if you want to talk further about anxiety, or anything else, for that matter. I'm a fairly open book.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  22. Kroe

    Kroe New Member

    Such An old thread but thought I'd try and post. Husband has terrible Gad...he uses mj (illegal here in England) is like some advice on if you think using excessive mj as a teenager can bring on gad?
    Hubby had a bad upbringing, so was always a bit anxious so he tells me but nothing like now... started smoking mj young... abused it... then when we started dating he stopped.... went slowly downhill over about a year due to life's pressures and had stress/ anxiety headaches etc then started with a small amount again. We then couldn't afford it so he went to docs for pills and then they sent him psychotic. His anxiety has been awful ever since and he uses mmj in small doses x6 a day (was a lot more to begin with after episode) it clearly helps short term. I'm trying to determine if smoking so much as a teen has caused him to be this way or stopped him from being much more ill as a teen. It certainly hasn't given him any coping skills and now he is having to try and learn but is so dependant on mj. Any thoughts?
    CarolKing likes this.
  23. howie105

    howie105 Well-Known Member

    It seems so simple if MJ works for a person and they are objective about the results and implications of use trhey are good to go.
    CarolKing likes this.
  24. chris 71

    chris 71 Well-Known Member

    i think you guys have free health care over there ? if you do maybe you have CBT therapy ? im doing some now for anxiety here in canada its covered . it seems to be helping me . also you said he has been to the doctor ? hopefully they did a full blood work up ?
    i found out recently through a blood test and a few other test i have a little something called graves disease hyperthyriod . it causes anxiety and panic attacks , palpitations and can make you seriously question your own sanity . especially if the dotor hasnt checked your thyriod with a simple blood test . you may have to specifically ask for them to check though because they may not . a lot of people go through hell with it before finely you get one smart enough to check . there could be other things to check with a blood test also . i find doctors here are to quick to blame symptoms on anxiety or mental health problems . maybe there being a little lazy idk .
    but anyways make sure you check things like this as well .

    there are all different types of cannabis as well . being some where that its still illegal can make it hard to know exactly what your getting , but some types could aggravate anxiety while other could help . and it differs per person . i have access to legal medical cannabis here in canada and can experiment with what helps and what doesnt maybe sometime soon for you guys over there also . lately i have been using cbd strains more and finding them to be helpful
    C No Ego, CarolKing and Squiby like this.
  25. CarolKing

    CarolKing Singer of songs and a vapor connoisseur

    I have anxiety that I deal with probably more than normal. I don't know if it would be termed as GAD. I'm able to get involved with other things to divert my thoughts. I try a mindfulness type therapy that I've read about. It's trying to live in the present basically. I tend to dwell on things that I have no control over so it does me know good to worry about it. I worry and think about stuff anyway.

    I do use cannabis to help with anxiety as well as pain control. Many of us on the forum deal with on going pain. That creates anxiety all by itself.

    What's really too bad there still is a lot of prejudice against cannabis in the medical field and in society. It depends on where you live and who your families are.

    @weedemon im sorry about your family. Don't give up, time will sometimes heal. To show unconditional love is important as a parent. Your family I'm sure still loves you even though they are mad at you.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    C No Ego and turk like this.

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