Story by "Katie"
I came across this site on accident, but I am so glad I did! For over ten years, I thought I was the only one in the world who had experienced this.
When I was 14 I tried smoking pot for the first time. I didn't feel anything from it. I tried it again a few weeks later and something horrible happened. The exact opposite of what I thought. I took a few hits when it was passed to me and felt nothing. Then, all of the sudden, it hit me like a brick wall. I felt so confused and scared. I thought I was going to die! My heart was pounding so fast and hard I thought for sure I was going to die. I begged the people I was with to take me to my dad but I could barely get words out of my mouth. They would not for fear that they would get in trouble. We went back to school instead. For the rest of the day I felt awful, my vision was distorted and my brain felt like it was being fried in a frying pan. I tried to throw up. I laid down in the nurse's office. After a few hours I felt like I was calming down, but I still felt weird. I felt like I was in a video game and like I had just lost more than a few points from my IQ. By the next day I was fine and very relieved to have it behind me.
About a month later, I was in class and someone asked me a question and all of the sudden, boom, it hit me again. The same feeling I had had when I was high. Except this time it was worse because I had nothing to blame it on. I thought for sure I was going insane. I had to get out of the room I was in. I asked the teacher if I could leave to use the restroom, but she said I had to wait for class to be over. I remember standing there thinking I was going to freak out. Everything in an instant had changed, people, sounds, distance, time. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know if I existed anymore. I ran out of the classroom and phoned my step-mother. I tried to tell her what was going on, but how do you explain this to someone? Of course she didn't understand and neither did my father. For three months I felt like I was watching myself from outside. I felt like I had no connection with the world around me. I would have panic attacks in school and at home several times per day. It was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I got to a point where I tried killing myself several times because I thought for sure it was just a matter of time before I ended up in a mental institution. I didn't sleep or eat. This consumed my life 24 hours a day. All I would do is sit and wonder what was wrong with me. I went to my family doctor who referred me to a therapist. I tried and tried to explain this feeling to anyone I could, hoping that someone would understand. I was told the same thing every time. Some people would tell me I was depressed and some would tell me I was stressed out, but nobody knew how bad it was and how awful it made my life.
I finally moved in with my mother and started taking Paxil. Slowly the feeling faded and I felt somewhat normal again. I found that I would forget about it for a few hours at a time. Gradually it got to the point where I could go days or even weeks without thinking about it. I still have an occasional episode here and there, but they don't last very long. I am 26 now and take Celexa to help with anxiety and depression. I hope I can go the rest of my life without having another major episode.
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