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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How long does recovery from anxiety take?

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 2853 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 20 Mar 2017 in General Health
Question: Hi I have spoke to u before about having a panic attack after smoking weed then after that I had bad anxiety now it's been nearly 2 months and symptoms have seem to be going away but it comes and gos just wondering how long it could be for a full rcovery.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 40 minutes later
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Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX

I'm glad to hear that the symptoms of anxiety seem to be going away mostly. I expect that it will continue to lessen gradually over time. Usually it is over by around 3 weeks, but can last longer, as you are experiencing. It's hard to know just how long it will take to completely resolve. As you didn't have anxiety or panic disorder before marijuana, there is likely a better chance for this to continue to go away on it's own, as you are experiencing. I wish I could give you a definite time for your symptoms to resolve, but that's not possible.

I would give this advice: If the symptoms are noticeably less severe in intensity and occurring less often, then you it would be reasonable to continue to try to weather it out. But if they are persisting and interfering with your life and making you miserable, then go ahead with the antidepressant medication. (Is it an SSRI?)

I am not familiar with Sacred XXXXXXX I tried to look it up on some of the US medical herb guides (such as XXXXXXX Kettering) but could not find it there. I was able to find some references to it in Ayurvedic medicine and Hindu rituals and see that's it's listed as an adaptogen. My only caution would be that some adaptogens (like licorice and ginseng) can be overly stimulating to some people, so make sure that it does not make your symptoms worse.

Please let me know if I can provide further information.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
At the moment I'm just taking fish oil that have vitamin d in them As I don't really want to take the anti depressants as I have seen improvement compared to the first month. I have heard that THC stores in fat cells and could take 90 days to clear from the system is this true. Thanks
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 13 hours later
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Detailed Answer:
Fish oil with Omega 3 and vitamin D are good choices.

Yes, THC is lipophilic and is stored in fat tissues. How long the THC that remains in the body depends on things like how long and how often marijuana was used (years vs months vs single time). It also depends on the amount of THC that was in the particular marijuana, which varies greatly from plant to plant. And the rate it's broken down by the person's body.

Most chemical substances in our body have a half-life. The way that works is let's say a substance has a (reliably measured) half-life of 2 days. After 2 days, 1/2 of the substance remains in your body. After another 2 days, 1/2 of that 1/2, or 1/4 remains, and so on. So it drops down precipitously with time. Given this, I would expect that there was a significant drop in the amount of THC in your body in that first month after you discontinued and now there are only much smaller amounts left in your body, possibly not enough to actually be causing the panic/anxiety directly. However, the effects that it had on your brain and neurotransmitters when you were having more severe anxiety from it may take awhile to reset. Again, how long that may take is variable, but if you are seeing improvement, then I would expect that it would continue to improve with time.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 27 minutes later
Do you think I should see a counsellor or something like that.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 2 hours later
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Detailed Answer:
A counselor could help talk through any issues that cause you anxiety, and can also teach you some coping skills for times of high anxiety and panic. For example, one technique to use during acute moments of feeling panicked is to count backwards by 7. They usually have other tricks up their sleeve that they can share too.

So it is something to consider and may help. If you do so, I recommend seeing someone who has a PhD or PsyD in Psychology (i.e. a trained psychologist). They would have more training than someone who is a clinical social worker or mental health worker.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 35 minutes later
Do the neurotransmitters heal them self is this why I got anxiety.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
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Detailed Answer:
They should return to normal in time. You smoked weed for only 3 months. While this is more significant than using it a few times, it isn't as problematic, regarding sustained panic attacks, as can happen in people who are lifetime smokers.

Research in the effects of marijuana and THC are ongoing but we are learning some things now such as that there are actual cannabinoid receptors in a part of the brain called the amygdala. This part of the brain is involved in anxiety. When the cannabinoids from marijuana land on these receptors, it causes a decrease in anxiety. However, with further exposure to cannabinoids, these receptors can down regulate (decrease their response or even decrease the number of these receptors) which can result in anxiety. And this might be contributing to the symptoms you are having now. It should repair in time rather than be a permanent situation.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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