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Depression

Hello,
At the end of December I took mushrooms and had a very bad trip. I don’t remember most of what happened but from what I do remember, everything was great at first and I was thinking about cliché, mind-expanding psychedelic things but then about 2 hours later, it turned on me and I felt like I was dying and woke up about 2 hours later in the hospital, completely disoriented but finally realized what had happened.

I had a noticeable amount of anxiety for about a week afterward but I felt seemingly ok after that. I did have a lot going on however, and wasn’t really in-tune with myself. Also, I was smoking marijuana frequently. Then I left to study abroad in Europe for the semester about 3 weeks later. I was very happy right when I got there and I was fine talking with people and attempting to make new friends. It hadn’t even been two weeks before I felt really homesick and culture shocked. I started to socially withdraw and started to feel like my homesickness and depression slowly turned me into a different, anxiety ridden person. I now have extreme difficulty concentrating on my schoolwork (I can barely write a paper) and even with holding a conversation. I have always been more of a listener than a talker but it has never been like this. I couldn’t even hold a conversation with my best friend.

Before coming to Europe, I smoked marijuana about 3-4 times a week for about 2 years but would take breaks  occassionally. This leads me to believe I may have become kind of socially dependent on it, with my personality molded around my frequent use.

I have tried to just suck it up and change my outlook and have oftentimes even woke up in a decent mood, and I go to socialize and I still feel out of place, awkward, and lonely, and the cycle continues. I would like to know if it is likely that this is temporary or if my personality has been changed-whether the bad trip changed me, or if I am just temporarily depressed. Thank you
1 Responses
666151 tn?1311117976
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
It is very unlikely that one bad trip would have a long-term effect on your mood, anxiety level, or ability to concentrate.  One hit of ecstasy-- maybe;  some people have very bad reactions to that drug.  But the hallucinogen in mushrooms, psylocybin, has effects that are for the most part fully reversible.

Marijuana has more negative effects on young people than they realize.  THC sticks around in the brain for a long time, so smoking several times per week results in significant levels in your brain EVERY DAY.  Sometimes the effects of pot will cover up a person's anxiety or social struggles, and then those things appear when the person stops smoking..  Being high prevents a person from going through all of the normal challenges that are supposed to be faced during adolescence, leaving the person to figure out how to fit in later in life-- when his peers have already figured things out.  THC is also a depressant;  and it does have a withdrawal syndrome.  The withdrawal is not noticed only because the drug sticks around so long-- it tends to taper itself as it leaves.  But after significant use, stopping abruptly will cause a period of anxiety, restlessness, and depression.

I think your instincts about 'social dependence' on marijuana and a current minor depression are probably accurate.    Symptoms of social anxiety usually respond very well to an SSRI or prozac-type medication.
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