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Panic Disorders Message Board

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Hey, I'm new here. My name is Jason, and I ma 23 years old. This is my story. perhaps some of you can give me some insight.

DISCLAIMER: I no longer use, nor have a desire to use drugs. the drug talk at the beginning is to give some background. my story follows.

From about 1996 until 1999 I was a heavy user of marijuana (every day) and an occasional user of LSD (once or twice a month).

In February of 1999 I decided to try Extacy. It was supposed to be a particularly potent batch of the stuff. I will just say that it was very unpleasant. When the drug started to take effect I did not like the feeling, it was as if a rush of energy starting at my brain would radiate through my body, but it fellt quite jarring and scary. I thought I would die. I had my friend (he was sober) drive me to the hospital. When in the emergency room the doctor gave me a sedative (ativan) which calmed me down, gave me the anti-drug lecture that I of course ignored, and then I got a ride home. I slept as soon as I got home, and didn't wake up for about 20 hours. (ativan is powerful!). I had a serious breakdown over the next few days, being overly emotional, like crying in front of other people I barely knew and things like that. My boss was one of those people so he gave me a vacation. I had at this point decided to continue with marijuana bit to stop using all other drugs, including my old favorite LSD.

Against my better judgement, while on vacation I decided to do one last hit of LSD.

LSD is a drug lots of people don't understand, most people think you take it so you can hallucinate, but that's not really why. You don't really hallucinate on the drug, you see things differently, you don't see things that aren't there. It changes the way you think about things, and sometimes those changes in thinking can be lasting. It's effects last for 8 to 12 hours usually, so if your mind is in an unpleasent spot you can manifest things in your mind that are not fun. This is referred to as a "bad trip". I had just such a bad trip that fateful night. You have to be in the right mindset when using LSD and I definitely was not. I was anxious about taking it, thinking back on the extacy experience. I took a very tiny amount (about a 4th og the usual dosage) because of my anxiety. When the drug started taking effect I felt a pressure in my head which turned to a headache (i later found out that I was dehydrated. this was not a direct effect ofthe lsd, it just happened to manifest itself at the same time causing my mind to wander). While the pressure was not serious, i nmy mind my brain was swelling and expanding trying to force itself out of my skull. VERY SCARY! :O

The feelings like this lasted 3 days until I finally decided to go to the hospital. While there the doctors hooked me up to an IV and fed me water. I was severely dehydrated by this point, and felt a little better after the water. I have not used a single illicit drug since that day. Not that I don't want to, but that when i am about to i just can't. I get too nervous. And not just illicit drugs either. I have a hard time even making myself take an advil when I have a headache. I never did before this event. The fact that I may have to start taking anti-depressants is downright terrifying, even if they may help get rid of this stuff... But I am getting ahead of myself.

Now up until this point I had always been a really easygoing guy. No anxiety whatsoever, no matter the situation. I was very outgoing, not really concerned about my health, and i seemed to be mentally stable.

But this event seemed to trigger a change in the way my mind worked. Almost immediately i became a hypochondriac. I began to have panic attacks. I got nervous when just thinking about death. A friend would start talking about a disease (for example viran meningitis) or whatever. Immediately my senses tune to my head and start "checking to see if i have the symptoms he is talking about" and of course i start having them. my body heats up, heart speeds up, get kinda dizzy, etc... common panic attack. It is mostly disease related things that set me off. But then for the last few months I seem to be getting the attacks more often and my sleep patterns have deteriorated. I do not have trouble getting to sleep but I wake up before I should and I am unable to fall asleep again. Then I feel all tired the whole day and the only thing I am able to think about is that i need to get some sleep. Of course I am also unable to nap, i try but i just can't get to sleep. Now at night I do not have trouble getting to sleep. it's always just waking up early I have trouble with. I usually get 7 hours of sleep and I feel fine and don't obsess about it, but about 2 nights a week I only get 5-6 hours and that is when I obsess all day long. I have tried everything I can do that doesn't involve medication, but it all just seems to be getting worse. Now I am ready to start taking medication (people say such wonderful things about zoloft) but I have another problem. I do not have insurance. The unpredictable nature of this whole thing makes it very hard to keep a job. I have not been fired for this, I have quit a couple jobs because I just couldn't concentrate at work because I was too preoccupied with thoughts that i may have a brain aneyurism (not real) or narcolepsy (also not real), etc...

Since I am currently unemployed i do not have medical insurance. I have enough of an income to survive (I do work at home doing web site development for people) but I do not have a primary care physycian. I saw some commercials on tv for Paxil CR and while I am not interested in that drug per se, the commercial described my symptoms to a T. I really want to get on some medication or treatment plan, but since I don't have a regular doctor, and probably can't afford to see a doctor. I don't know what to do, and I am starting to get hopeless that this will ever get fixed. I normally owrk in the computer field, but right now in denver there are not alot of jobs hiring for that right now, so my only hope of getting medical insurance is getting a job at the local video store. I looked into it, but it's a job i really don't want, and even if i do decide to work there, i have to wait for 3 months for the medical insurance to kick in. It feels to me that I can't even let this stuff wait any longer, I just want to be me again.

Sorry this is so long, does anyone have any insight they can share?

-starting to get hopeless here,

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