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Anxiety killing me

I was always had social anxiety which made me weird and not a lot of people including my parents understood that. But about 8 months i had my first sexual exposure and i went to do a lot of tests that turned out to be negative. But im still really worried about stds although the doctor told me im fine. I started smoking weed 2 months ago and when i smoke it im better, i dont think about any of these stuff. i also get like anxiety attacks when i think about stds or going to meet someone new i dont know. Do i have anxiety? Should i remain smoking weed?
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Avatar universal
I became anxious and worried after my first sexual experience. I was convinced that pregnancy would ensue, or some STD, because birth control isn't perfect, and I always focus on the tiny probability that it won't work, and even though other birth control is effective against the spread of certain types of STD, I again focused on the tiny possibility that it didn't work either.

Took me a while and some experience to realize "Birth Control really does work!" (When used properly.) And it is possible to avoid STD, when using birth control that helps with that, and STD is fortunately rare, and treatable (if caught early, so follow your doctor's advice on how often to get tested. They know what they are talking about. Scientists figure out these things.)

For anxiety itself, which I've had a different times in my past, they always coincided with depressions, once we found a medication that worked on the depression, the anxiety problems went away. Still, when I'm anxious, I want relief now, so I'll take whatever the doctor can offer me. There are some medications for anxiety. (Some may be contraindicated for someone who smokes or has "drug seeking" habits. There are others which are OK for those people.)

Beyond experience and medication, another thing I've found that can help is some form of mental training exercise. Mindfulness Meditation, when done over a period of 2 months, can start to slowly modify the brain and shift it towards a less anxious state. (It may be the only cure, but the patient has to put in the time.) There's also mindful motion exercises, such as Tai Chi, Qi-Gong, Therapeutic Yoga. (Brain scans can see a difference.)
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Not trying to be picky, really, but for anyone reading the above post, STDs are not rare.  They are exceedingly common.  Do use protection everyone!  Also, as much as I dearly love meditation, by itself it is not a cure for mental illness.  It might be a very valuable tool and, if you go all the way and study Buddhism and devote yourself to it you might learn to overcome your problem, but buying into a religion isn't easy and not for everyone and not everyone is going to like that particular religion.  Meditation is only a part of the process of mind training Buddhists do -- and this is a Buddhist meditation.  There are also Hindu and Taoist meditations and others as well, so it's not the only one out there, but it is one of the most studied, but the studies are mostly done using questionnaires, not brain scans, as what would you look for in a brain scan?  Science hasn't yet figured out which part of brain chemistry causes anxiety or depression, so again, hard to look for something that doesn't yet exist.  You might see an increase in calming secretions, I guess.  But there is a cure out there, it's called therapy.  Doesn't necessarily work, but when it does, the problem is gone.  Again, not at all trying to be picky, but because I believe very much anxiety sufferers benefit from meditation, I don't want them getting discouraged when after 2 months they still have an anxiety problem.  What it more often will offer is you will feel better from doing it as one tool in your arsenal.  And I don't want someone reading this and thinking hey, STDs are rare, I don't need protection.  They are not rare.  Peace, all.  
Hey, thought about this and listen, you don't have to be a Buddhist to do Mindfulness meditation.  Didn't mean to make it sound like that.  Anyone can learn it, either from an anxiety therapist, or better, from a Zen Buddhist who happens to practice this form of meditation.  My point was that in and of itself, meditation is part of a process of thinking, and can be approached from either a Buddhist approach or, and this is easier, with an anxiety therapist.  Both teach meditation as a tool to help us change the way we're thinking.  That's the cure, if you can do that, and everyone should at least give it a try or two or three.  Again, peace all.
Yes all good points i appreciate the clarification.

I don't consider myself a Buddhist. I do sometimes go to a meditation class taught at a local Buddhist place. We also are fortunate to have other meditation groups which are secular.

There is no one cureall (or i would have jumped on it a long time ago.  Finding the right medication was a game changer for me. Having a good stress free environment to live in helps. Having people who understand and accept me helps. Getting a little exercise, sunlight, engaging in activities i am interested in, they all go together to help. There are guided meditation apps available. Headspace is one i've used in the past. I like their short animated videos explaining it. Available on YouTube. There's other guided meditations available. Oprah Winfre has a series. Social connection helps me. I study how to make Small Talk, read body language, things i never knew one could study. It al melds together and helps.

My brain has slowly shifted over the years i'm much better off now than i was years ago. Don't know if it's just age, i suspect it's because i actively work on all these things. My point here is don't think the way one feels now is how it's going to be for the rest of one's life.
Well said.  Message is, for every lifetime horror story out there like mine there are a whole lot more success stories like yours.  I love the part where you say the way one feels now isn't how you're always going to feel.  I feel a lot worse now, and I'm too old now for much change, but when you're young life changes a lot.  If everyone just remembered how often they changed while growing up they'd have less despair and more desire to work, as you did.  Glad you responded.  
973741 tn?1342342773
I have to say this off the bat.  Having social anxiety doesn't make you weird it makes you feel weird.  :>)))  Everyone has 'something' and yours is a difficulty in the social area.  My son has this as well and it is hard for him.  Medication can help for this so talk to your doctor and there are a tremendous amount of resources these days to improve social skills.  Socially awkward is not social anxiety.  Good to separate them.  I have seen vast improvement in my son as he has worked on it.  

I'm not a fan of smoking weed to overcome your issues.  Try the oil that doesn't get you high.  Being a pot smoker is more and more popular but some things still apply like not being under the influence at inappropriate places (where you need to be social, like school, work, or driving a vehicle).  I've read mixed things about CBD oil.  I am interested in it for my son but haven't gone down the road yet because of literature that talks about it dulling one's cognitive ability.  He's a smart dude in school and I don't want that.  When he read that, he was out too for the time being.  But really, that's all your choice and hopefully you make the best one for you.  I do agree with Paxiled's words that your brain is developing and it may not be the best choice.  

STD fear is common and if you find you test negative after an experience but still obsesses that you have an std or hiv, then this can become very problematic for some people. They begin to be consumed by the fear and act very irrationally, waste tons of money and time on tests and drive all around them nuts. So, if you have sex, and this starts to be you, get help.  And if you use a condom, you are in much better shape to realize you are being irrational.  

Hang in there.
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I've been researching CBD, and have found highly conflicting info on it.  One concerning thing is for those who are taking the one approved drug made of CBD, which is for a couple rare types of epilepsy, if you take a lot of it the chances of liver disease are pretty high, high enough to require regular liver testing.  A lot of medications are liver toxic, but I was surprised to find that about CBD.  Most people won't use that much of it, and it's probably a lot safer than the drugs used now for mental illness assuming you don't have to use enough to cause the liver problems.  It's interesting, it doesn't apparently work as expected, it kind of acts like drugs that work on serotonin, but at a different and probably safer place on the chain.  There are some who believe the whole plant with active THC in it, of the Indica strain, works better and is safer, but on the other hand, because that will get you stoned, it might cause anxiety.  I bought some but haven't used it yet, but I have a friend who uses it in small amounts for sleep and the anxiety caused when he can't sleep.  He uses it in combination with a small amount of indica for best results.  But that's just one person who had a lot of experience using pot when he was younger and knows what to expect from it.  The lesson seems to be, whenever you isolate something from a plant, it can become more toxic, and will act in a way nobody ever experienced before we developed the technology to isolate substances instead of using whole plants as medicine, so we're on new ground.  So again, don't overdo something, more isn't necessarily better.  Peace, all.
Avatar universal
You don't say how old you are.  You don't say you've been diagnosed with social anxiety or are just introverted.  You say you had your first sexual exposure, but don't say what it consisted of so we can't tell if you were justified in seeking tests or whether it might have been anxiety, but if you're having sex without protection, well, you already know, right?  Smoking weed is probably not a great idea if you're as young as you sound like you are, as your brain is probably still developing.  You don't say how much you smoke, either -- if it's just on occasion or you're going whole hog on it and using it every day.  If you get high every day, or quite often, you're really not getting high, you're maintaining.  The hazards of weed are pretty hard to know right now -- the current stuff is way stronger than what people used since the beginning of human life, so you can't compare studies done several years ago with ones done with today's much stronger stuff.  There are also different strains that have been bred that differ in their effects.  It's a commodity now, like apples -- just try and find a real apple in the store today, it's nearly impossible, they are all quite sweet and all developed for marketing purposes.  Same for the commercial tomato.  Because these things change a lot when marketers get involved, what we knew about them historically no longer applies, and that's also true for weed.  Used to be a mild high and grew naturally, now it's a highly bred and very strong crop.  Those who came of age with this stronger version are the guinea pigs, and we'll find out how they fare as they age.  But again, if you're under 21, it's early to take any drug that plays around with brain neurotransmitters, so if you do it, don't over do it.  If you get anxiety attacks about anything, you have an anxiety problem -- you can think about stds without getting anxious about it and still consider the best way to deal with the problem.  If you're getting anxiety attacks about it, that's unhelpful and won't clear your thinking any, so it might be time for you to consult a psychologists for some therapy and figure out to stop this way of thinking before it becomes your normal.  And remember, sex is like anything else you do, it goes better if you learn how it all works first.  All the best.
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