Smell of Marijuana was the trigger - A reader's story

by LukeJ
(United Kingdom)

In my teens, I tried marijuana on a few occasions. On a couple of these occasions it caused me to have a panic attack, at the time I didn’t know what this was having never had one before, being only very young and naive. Not knowing they existed I thought it was some psychotic episode induced by the marijuana. The panic attacks carried on for months, being in a cycle of worry. Again, I didn’t know it was a panic attack and thought the marijuana had done something to alter my mind for good.

I stopped drinking alcohol as the feeling of losing control felt similar to the feelings I had whilst smoking marijuana and so I knocked both on the head!

Eventually, the panic disappeared and I learnt to live my life avoiding marijuana and alcohol yet I have still had a normal life and a whole lot of fun! Although I might add that it took some time for me to control the panic whenever I would smell marijuana.

Fast forward 13/14 years after having a normal life, a lot of fun, finding my wife and having 2 children along the way and generally having a blast...

After several years of promotions and rising through the ranks very quickly at work, I become manager of two of the biggest branches I could manage in my region in very quick succession. High powered and very stressful jobs. During this time my two grandfathers passed away, one of which I witnessed take his last breath that left me with more questions about death than answers and quite recently I lost a lifelong friend to cancer.

I occupied myself with losing my friend by signing up to a 3 peak challenge, climbing over 5000ft and a 32 mile trek in under 12 hours, raising money in his honour. It was gruelling, physically and mentally but the sense of achievement was amazing, I felt I had done my friend proud.

A week or so later, I broke up from work for a family holiday and decided to go to a sun bed that I have frequented many times before. Whilst on the sunbed I could smell marijuana, panicked, got off the bed, got dressed and left rather quickly.

I have been feeling anxious and panicky ever since. Some days, weeks it’s at a minimum and sometimes it peaks.

Having read the information in this website, I have to say it has settled my mind somewhat as it has really helped me understand that all of the things that were going on in my life were droplets of water, filling a bucket and I hadn’t noticed. Smelling the marijuana was the trigger that caused the panic, the final stressor that overflowed the bucket so to speak.

That analogy has really put everything in to perspective for me and I will be using this website from now on to re-read a lot of the information to help in my road to recovery and bring my mind/body back in to balance.

Thank you to the author of this website, Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

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Dec 20, 2017

by: Jude @ anxietyunravelled

Luke, you are very welcome. It makes it all worthwhile to know that the site is of help. Good luck with your recovery!

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