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Dreamy state, no focus, anxiety after smoking marijuana. How can normal behaviour occur?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hi I am 18. I am an athlete (track and cross country, top ten in the state) and a top-three student in my school. Three weeks ago my friends and I smoked marijuana one time to see what it was like and celebrate a successful cross country season and high school experience. When I did that I had a horrible panicked experience and thought I was going to die. For the next five days I felt like I was in a dreamlike state, unable to focus, anxious, and detached. Even to the point of feeling so weird that I just lied in bed. Then symptoms subsided for about a week, sometimes to the point of feeling totally normal, then returned again. I still feel like I am in a dreamlike state and detached three weeks after I smoked. I am able to hold it together and my friends and family have not mentioned that I am acting any different. In my child hood and high school I have had mild anxiety that have not required any medical attention. I just want to be normal again.
Posted Fri, 6 Jul 2012 in Drug Abuse
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Please do not worry.
Yes, marijuana is known to cause panic attacks and anxiety in susceptible individuals due to the effect of THC( the chemical content of marijuana) on brain. The dissociative and dreamlike state can also be one of the sideffects of the marijuana .
However since its already been 3 weeks now and the symptoms haven't resolved yet it's advisable to consult a psychiatrist for the best management .
I understand your concern to be normal and I would like you to be positive about it. This can happen to anyone even with a single exposure to marijuana and the best way to deal with it is to seek help of your doctor and support groups.
If you neglect or hide your symptoms even though minor at present, there are chances that you may cause worsening of the anxiety or panic attacks in future.
So the best way to deal with it is to get it treated as soon as feasible , the earlier the diagnosis better would be the management and prognosis.
Please do not hesitate to share your problem with your family , friends or your doctor as these symptoms are an after effect of the drug and not fully in your control.
Hope I have answered your query.
Wishing you good health.
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