I made the horrible mistake of smoking weed on the last day of my senior year and spent 3 hours in the nurses office convinced I was having a heart attack. The nurse told I had an anxiety attack, I knew I had a bad reaction to the weed. I fell asleep. When I woke up I felt normal again. That day, night, and the next day I felt normal. But that night I was driving home from a friends house and suddenly I had this horrible thought that I was dreaming. I felt like I was still high. I was so scared. I was so scared that my body was numb and my heart was racing and my breathing was so forced. I had to pull over and the friend who was in the car with me was telling me that 'it was just all in my head' when I told her I felt like I was still high. Well 5 minutes later it passed and I felt well... somewhat 'normal' again. I drove home, still a little freaked out by what just happened, and I fell asleep feeling afraid. I woke up even worse. It was a Saturday and I walked downstairs and spent 2 hours having these weird thoughts. I was so scared. I can't even explain it. I told my mom I thought I had anxiety because of the last day of school incident and the fact that I felt strange. She didn't believe me. She told me I was nervous about graduating. I couldn't tell her it was because of the weed. I was convinced it was. I mean, I was a normal person with normal thoughts up until I smoked weed. This is... I've always considered myself to be a little more 'ahead' of everybody my age. More mature. More intelligent. I've always questioned human existance, death, purpose, things like that, but they never scared me. I felt special before I developed anxiety. I felt like I had been given a special gift, that gift being my indepth thoughts. Well, that entire Saturday I spent the day going to graduation parties and then an end of the school year party that I had been looking foward to my whole entire high school career. Thing is, I couldn't enjoy it. I was scared out of my mind. It was more of a "what the heck is happening to me" feeling and the insecurity my mind felt about my thoughts and my mental state were frightening beyond belief. That night driving home from the party I was telling my good friend, Lauren, all about how I was feeling. She told me that the exact same thing happened to her after smoking weed. She said she felt like she was dreaming everything for 4-5 months. I couldn't believe this. She was one of my best friends. We sat next to each other in every single class. We spent days, nights, weeks together. And I never knew this. Then I jolted back to a certain memory of a conversation we had once. She asked me if I ever felt like I was dreaming parts of my life and I laughed and said no. I laughed! I feel horrible for that to this day. Lauren told me that my brain was changing, maturing, growing, and that I was going through a lot of change emotionally and physically. She said I think differently than other people and that my new frightening thoughts shouldn't be taken so seriously. I drove home from her house after dropping her off and the thought of dreaming completely left my mind. The next day I graduated, went to the senior all night party, and although my graduation was okay, the party was horrible. Not because of weird thoughts, I didn't have any, but because I was in the bathroom the whole night with a horrible nervous/upset stomach ache. When I got home, I slept, and when I woke up I was fine. I didn't think about the weird thoughts I had days before. I didn't think about them for 6 days. I had 6 days of being completely normal. The next Saturday - my graduation party. I had a blast. I also had 4 cans of soda, 2 pieces of cake, and I don't know how many cookies. That night I was wired. I was watching a movie with my friend after the party in the evening and all the sudden my scary thoughts were back. I was looking at the TV and everything felt fake again. It scared me for about 5 minutes before it wore off and diminished. That night we went to a friends house, screwed around like teenagers do (you know, gossiped, sat around and ate junk food, that sort of thing) I felt completely normal. I wasn't even thinking about how I was feeling. I was just Kari. Normal Kari. After I went home, got in bed, and just as I was about to fall asleep after 30 minutes of stressing about college, the future, the fact that high school was over, I had a strange thought... that I wouldn't be able to breathe anymore unless I forced myself to. Of course this triggered a HUGE fear inside of me. I gasped for air, didn't seem to be getting any. My body went numb and I ran into my parents bedroom and told my mom she had to take me to the hospital because I couldn't breathe. Well, she calmed me down, my dad got me a paper bag to breathe in and out of, which seemed to settle me down at the time and just as quickly as it had started, it was over. I was fine. But I wasn't fine. I was traumatized. I remember asking my parents what had just happened to me. My mom said I was breathing too shallow and my dad said the magic words. He said, "Kari, you had an anxiety attack" Ah, anxiety. I hadn't heard the word since the last day of school incident when the nurse kept telling me, "It's ok hunny, you're just having an anxiety attack" I hadn't even thought about anxiety since then. Anxiety. Anxiety. For hours after I obsessed about anxiety. I researched it on the internet. I thought about it every single second for 4 hours straight. Finally, after wearing myself completely out, I fell asleep. When I woke up I was a bit traumatized still and anxiety was still on my mind. As I type this it feels so strange to me. I feel like the last 2 months of my life haven't really happened. They have been so crazy, so out of control, so traumatic. But back to the story. For a week after that I had anxiety attacks. I had them driving, I had them with my friends, I had them in the super market, everywhere I had them. And everytime I was scared out of my mind by what I was feeling when I had them. A week later I was at the doctors office telling my doctor about my symptoms. I didn't tell her I smoked. She didn't say anything to me besides "You have generalized anxiety, I'm perscribing you to lexapro and Xanax" I wasn't disappointed. I wanted a miracle. I wanted the pills. My mom was furious. She didn't understand why the doctor hadn't given me any cognitive advice. That morning I went home, took half of a lexapro, and 20 minutes later I was falling asleep. I slept for 5 hours. I couldn't wake up. I wanted to wake up but I couldn't move my body. I was paralized. I was half asleep and half awake. I had horrible vivid and lucid dreams. Finally, when I woke up, I felt the most horrible sense of unreality. I felt detached. I felt like I was still dreaming. I didn't have a panic attack though. I just laid there in my bed and cried on and off for 6 hours. (this was on a Thursday - I still remember the day, blah) Anyways. That night I felt half dead. I had horrible thoughts. I had thoughts about killing my family (I LOVE my family) I had thoughts about killing myself, I had thoughts about killing my pets and my friends. Finally I fell asleep and when I woke up the next morning I was no better. For 3 days straight I was in my bed crying on and off and hating myself for thinking horrible thoughts. That was by far the worst it has ever been. To make a long story short I never took lexapro again. I never took the Xanax either, I still haven't. On Sunday I went to my sisters house for fathers day. I hadn't eaten anything in 4 days and the thought of eating made me want to throw up. The whole time I was at her house I kept saying to myself, "I hope I die, it wouldn't even matter, this isn't even real. this isn't even happening" That afternoon I was reading a website that I am perscribed to http://www.anxietycentre.com (the guy who wrote it is wonderful) He had a page about "acceptance and calm" It was amazing. I managed to dig myself out of my disconnected stage and I was hungry for the first time in days. I kept repeating to myself - "acceptance and calm, acceptance and calm" and it seemed to work like a drug for me. I ate lunch and I felt normal. I felt normal! I was so excited. I thought, "Hah! I'm all cured! This is wonderful!" That night I went out with my friends, thought about anxiety very little, and had a great time. My friends were so glad to see the "old Kari" My family was thrilled. For 2 days I had complete normal feelings. Old Kari. That Tuesday my ex boyfriend and I hung out for the first time in a month. We broke up right before school ended. We dated for a long time. Which is another huge change I've been through. While we were hanging out we got close again. We held each other, kissed, etc. He went home and he didn't call me again. Anxiety came back and it was ugly. At the time I didn't realize it but now I do, he is a complete trigger for my anxiety. (Don't worry - he's out of the picture now. I had to pick my future or him and I picked myself) After that it was 2 weeks of on and off anxiety and depersonalization and derealization. It was come and go. I would have 3 days in a row, and then BAM, like snapping my fingers, anxiety was back and driving me crazy. That's basically how is started. It's very on and off now. So that's my story.