I have a history of prescription drug abuse. I am intelligent and passed through high school smoking massive amounts of marijuana (AP math). I gave very little effort, didn’t do my homework, and passed with flying colors. I have been smoking weed every day for over 2 years and have used it to treat insomnia. I have recently cut back majorly on my marijuana use. For as long as I can remember I have been stuck inside my head. I just can’t stop thinking. I constantly get songs stuck in my head that repeat all day. (I know it is internal) 8 months ago I took LSD and have not been able to stop thinking about it ever since. It was a horrible experience that resulted in massive anxiety and paranoia. I have been constantly thinking that my friends associated with psychoactive drug use have been plotting against me to make me go insane. I have recently cut them all out of my life and moved with my family to a different state. But other than that, for the last few months I have had horrible anxiety attacks when I am in public. It happens during conversations with people I don’t know, such as going to the grocery store. My face gets really hot and I start sweating uncontrollably. This happens for no apparent reason. No specific thought trigger it. I can’t sleep very well since I have cut back on my marijuana use (once per week) for 2 weeks now. I also must mention that I have a full time job as a cook and I am doing great there. My panic attacks only happen with people who I am unfamiliar with. I have constant worry that I am going to lose it. Just the biggest issue I have is that this is all internal. I have no problem at work, though I am very introverted and have few friends, but I don’t seem to truly care about them. I could leave town right now and not care to talk to any of them ever again. Basically what I am trying to figure out is if this constant thinking and getting songs stuck in my head. Is going to get worse and turn into voices or something? It’s a scary thought. (and to add, I wrote this quickly, so please excuse grammar/punctuation).
It’s very common for people with severe anxiety to worry that their symptoms will worsen or that they will develop a severe mental illness. It is one of the most common questions that I receive.
The best way to prevent your symptoms from worsening, is to seek mental health treatment. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Without treatment, anxiety disorders can worsen and be quite debilitating. With treatment, the opposite is true; symptoms diminish and the quality of one’s life improves significantly.
Seeking professional mental health treatment is the best strategy for protecting against the development of severe mental health problems.
It’s also important to avoid illegal drugs. No one can say with certainty that your chronic use of marijuana has caused your mental health problems, but it is a definite possibility. Studies consistently show that individuals who use marijuana are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems and psychosis, than individuals who do not use marijuana. Avoid illicit drugs to protect your mental health. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Drug Abuse & Severe Anxiety
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW
Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.
APA Reference Randle, K. (2018). Drug Abuse & Severe Anxiety. Psych Central.
Retrieved on September 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/04/09/drug-abuse-severe-anxiety/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.