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Anxiety/Panic Disorder (LONG) - Effexor XR

Hi! I'm a 30 year old male who is extremely healthy, very athletic (work out daily), and fairly out going/sociable. Since I was about 18 years old I've smoked marijuana on a daily basis to help chill out at the end of the day. In my younger years, I've also experiemented with different types of drugs, but never had an addiction and stopped the hard partying by my mid twenties. Two years ago, I was in Amserdam over the holidays and ate a pot muffin from a local bakery. What ever was in it made my hallucinate for days. In the past when I would wake up from a bad trip and I was sober and good to go. Not this time! I got back to the US a few days later still feeling very trippy and out of it. A week later, I had my first major panick attack that landed me in the ER. After having a battery of blood work, EKG's, and basic neurological exams, they found nothing wrong. The trippy feeling eventually subsided and I moved on with my life. From that time on, every so often I would have feelings of dissociation that would trigger panic attacks. The spells would be brief and then would end. The last few weeks I have been under some stress do to my job ending, etc. I have started to feel socially anxious (have no idea where this is coming from - I love being out with friends) and am starting to feel that spacey/trippy feeling I felt a few years ago (this time with no drugs which makes it very scary). I decided to quit smoking herb last week as it was something I had been planning to do anyway and I was hoping I would lose the spaciness I have been recently feeling. Since that time I have felt VERY out of it and the panic attacks have become debilitating. Going to the dry cleaner almost made me have a meltdown. Again this coming from a very social, outgoing person who works with the public for a living! I saw the MD Monday and he feels that now that I may have a chemical imbalance. He prescribed me Effexor XR and I have been on it for 3 days. I feel like I am coked out of my mind. I have no appetite, super energized - I can't even drink coffee and I am known for my Starbucks quad shot latte in the morning. On top of that, I have a wonderful love/sex life and I can barely come when having sex! I feel as spacey as ever - WTF is wrong with me? How have I slipped from being a confident, cool, successful, happy dude to a lunatic that doesn't want to leave the house in the span of 10 days? I am a naturally very high energy person - is Effexor the right drug for me? When I was thinking anti-anxiey I pictured that nice warm calming effect of xanax or something. That is more what I am looking for. I don't know that I want to be on anti-depressents. I don't suffer from depression!!! HELP!!! Does anyone else have the spacey/trippy feeling? No one I know understands what I am talking about!
18 Responses
Avatar universal
i can only tell you my experience with effexor. it was a horrible med for me. you might want to try something else. if your having just anxiety without depression then why did'nt your dr. give you an antianxiety med? it's true that some antidepressants work for anxiety too. i've heard this kind of thing happen to so many people after smoking pot. alot of them have had their first panic attack while smoking it or shortly after. believe me, you will find many people here that understand what your going through. talk to your dr. about stopping this med and putting you on an antianxiety med. you can pm me if you want to talk more. take care. Remar
Avatar universal
I have the same spaced out trippy feeling at the moment and have had it constantly for about 2 weeks! I'm on effexor as well but it's not making me really energised or anything. I'm gone from the same spectrum, really social outgoing to almost agoraphobia! dont know what to do, going to a psych next week hopefully they'll help me out with these feeling and maybe put me on a different med. I agree with remar, try a different med ive been on lexapro and now effexor but are anti depressants, now i think ill move on to a straight anti anxiety if there is one! Good luck with sorting yourself out.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the responses! Aren't just regular anti anxiety meds pretty addictive for everyday use? He gave me some Ativan for panic attacks but felt the effexor would be good just to level me out. I have no depression (but if I still feel like this for an extended period I might become it - haha)!! Anyone try Buspar? I just want something low key to take the edge with no side effects!
268911 tn?1213748381
I would urge caution in taking anxiety meds.  Just remember...once you start something you eventually will have to quit and coming off anxiety meds in as bad as coming off pain meds.  I've done both and would choose opiod withdrawal over anxiety med withdrawal.

I am going to pound this drum until someone listens to me and decides to make a change.  I firmly believe that most, if not all, of our medical problems are food related.  The FDA allows food manufactures to put countless preservatives, herbicides, pesticides, hormones, steroids and chemicals into our food and our bodies eventually loose the ability to properly deal with those items.

I also firmly believe that anxiety is one of the major responses our bodies have in trying to deal with these chemicales.  Over the past year I have gone through a series of troubles and I am convinced that they have all been due to my poor diet.

Think aobut this...McDonalds, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, boxed foods, processed foods..this is the basic American diet.  High in processes sugar, flour, rice...etc.

Example.  Dairy cows now produce 3 years worth of milk in just one year due to the hormones and steriods they are given.  At the end of the one year cycle the cows develop a condition called mastits.  THis is when the pus and blood from the cow is actually found in the milk they give.  At this point the cow is sent to the slaughter house for us to eat.  All in the name of money.

Another example.  My daughter began her monthy cycle at the age of 11...her best friend at the age of 10.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT???  Both girls were fully developed by the age of 12.  Steriods and hormones in our food supply.  Doctors are now reporting that ADD, ADHD and child diabetes are at epidimic proportions and the reason is chemicals in the food they eat.

Before you begin anxiety med I would suggest a serious change in diet.  Eat only fresh fruits and veggies, meat, chicken, pork and fish.  This wont be easy and it will take 3-4 months for you  to really see results but the fight is worth it.  Let me know if this is what you decide to do.
Avatar universal
I agree that the food we eat has a lot of bad chemicals in it. But I know for me personally, I think smoking pot for years is what caused my social anxiety, or atleast made it 100X worse. At first when I started smoking pot I would feel nervous or anxious when in public and around sober people, and it morphed into me being anxious around people all the time. But I was a very very heavy smoker for years.  I would say to quit smoking pot, and try to follow your doctors advice and if it doesnt work, try something else. But I just got prescribed to buspirone today which I think is the same as buspar, and I will let you know eventually how it works out. I have never been to the doctor for my anxiety before, so I cant give advice on any medications.
Avatar universal
Brian - the same thing happened to me. I have been a heavy smoker for years and recently quit due to my increased social anxiety. I'm not sure if the cessation of my weed smoking has been causing this trippy/out of it feeling. I haven't smoked in about a week. Let me know how the BuSpar goes - I don't think I want to be on antidepressants. I like having a high libido!
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