Anxiety and Depression by Terri

I am a 29 year old single mother.  I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder when I was 20.  I was having terrible panic attacks, not to mention severe depression and extreme mood swings.  (I had experienced depression, hyperactivity, severe anger, mood swings, and nervousness since I was a child)  I searched for help everywhere, but all I got was medicated.  I've seen psychiatrists and therapists with no success.  I was put on a cocktail of Zoloft and Xanax at first.  Then I went to Paxil and Valium. (I have also tried several ADHD medications but couldn't take them because they made me feel like my heart was going to explode).  I am still taking the Paxil because I cannot wean myself off it.  I don't know if anyone saw the special on 20/20 about the side effects of coming off Paxil, but it is Hell!!  I cannot even begin to describe what the withdrawal feels like.  And if I let the doctors medicate me for all my symptoms I'd be taking everything!

I HATE the fact that I have spent the last nine years of my life in a fog.  The first three or four years I was on Xanax and all I did was sleep.  The Valium relaxed me but much like the Xanax, wiped my memory clean.  The ONLY thing the Paxil does for me is keep this "sick", nervous feeling out of my stomach.  I do not take it like I am prescribed, 40mgs a day, because I do not have insurance and this stuff is outrageously expensive.  I wait till I start feeling the withdrawal symptoms, then I take 10mgs., and it will make the "electric feeling and sounds" (this is the only way I know to describe it, I feel like my head is being shocked)  go away.. 

I have smoked marijuana and found that it is the only thing that lets me feel calm and normal.  I have smoked pot off and on for many years; I prefer a joint personally but do enjoy a good glass pipe.  It's not about getting high or breaking the law, it's about the American Dream, the pursuit of happiness's, something we all have a right to.  If I can take a couple of tokes it eases my depression and it seems to give me a patience that I've never been able to have.  The anger literally melts away.  The marijuana is cheaper and works better than my medication.  Do not misunderstand; I do not get to smoke often, not as often as I feel I need to due to the PLANT being illegal and all. 

There are REAL drugs out there that are manufactured in tubs and microwaves, but this plant that Hurts NO ONE is what the law is worried about.  Marijuana is the only thing that has ever helped me in my life and I would do whatever it takes to see it legalized in my lifetime.  I can smoke and I can function, but when I took Xanax and Valium I missed days at a time and could not take care of my son like he needed.  If a doctor can give you Valium he should be able to give you marijuana.  I can smoke and still accomplish goals in day to day life and I'm happier doing it.  Marijuana has helped my relationship with my son because I am so ILL all the time.  If I can sneak out to my car and hit a joint a couple of times, I am able to handle him better. I can just be more patient and loving, which are things that unfortunately I am not. 

I could speak forever about the good effects and marijuana has on me and my family.  But other than it being illegal I can't think of anything bad.  I just want to be like everyone else.  I want, NO, I NEED a calm life.  I am "UP" all the time, so hyper and anxious and it's the only thing that can bring me down without possible side effects.  I'm still young but I feel so worn out and tired because my mind won't slow down.  I've used  marijuana as a sleep aid, I've used it to ease my depression, anger, mood swings, headaches and migraines, and menstrual cramps, and I've used it to just clear my mind --after smoking is the only time I can think straight.  This so called "drug" works miracles for me, and IF I could get it medicinally I would be a different person.