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Hi All - An Introduction/My experiences - comments appreciated



Sep 4, 2009
Hi All,

I'm 23, male from the south of England and have suffered from depression since I was 17 :(

Any help or advice would be great!

When I was about 14 I was doing well at a Grammar school, had a happy family home etc. but then I started to smoke weed and do other drugs on occasions but mainly I was stoned for about 3 years pretty much constantly very rarely stopping and feeling 'normal'

During this time my parents split, I dropped out of school after getting ok GCSEs, went to college twice and dropped out and basically wasted a few years getting stoned and chilling with mates. I am assamed to admit that during this time I even resorting to stealing from my parents to buy drugs something I can't forgive myself for. I've also had a bit of financial stress, never bankrupt or anything but always balancing loans etc.

When I decided to stop smoking weed I started getting incredibly bad anxiety attacks almost instantly and was diagnosed with depression and prescribed venlafaxine, I was bed bound for almost a month and could barely even speak to my family. I guess it was a nervous breakdown.

After months of no work or responsibility I slowly built back my confidence thanks to healthy living and the medication and before long was socialising again... I started smoking weed again this time probably for about a year. This stopped when I met a girl who I was with for over a year, my time with her was very happy and I rarely felt depressed. When we split I was devastated by kept on with my job and despite being heart broken managed to live normally,

skip a few years and Im in a good job, well paid, and at 23 the equivalent job a new graduate would step in to in the same company so its fair to say I was doing ok, new girlfriend and down to 17.5mg venlafaxine per day. Still getting stressed out but in my eyes just normal day to day stress everyone experiences so about 3 weeks ago I decided to try stopping the medication

I was ok for about 6 days then bang at my girlfriends I have a bad anxiety attack, these anxiety attacks continue for about a week getting worse despite beginning to take Venlafaxine again (75mg) and I feel like im on the verge of a breakdown again, I couldnt cope with work so I called my GP and they recommended taking 150mg ven per day which I have been doing for the past week but right now I don't feel much better. Towards the end of my week off I started feeling better and went to the cinema, shopping etc. and coped ok but today I was going to go to my girlfriends house when I was overwelmed with anxiety and now again I feel terrible.

Work don't know about my condition and I was signed off with a virus but I don't think I'll be back on Monday and to be honest right now don't know if i'll be able to go back at all :(

Im not sure if another week off will benefit me or not or whether Im facing an inevitable breakdown

Surely if im still suffering after 6 years I must be bi-polar? I dont know, my GP isnt too helpful but maybe Im not helping myself. Ive had about 2 counscelling sessions but they didn't seem helpful to me.

Im sorry this is all a bit jumbled and vague its not easy to condense 6 years into a few paragraphs! but after finding this forum wanted to share my experience and see others views.

One other thing that has always played on my mind is there was one occasion when I was living my 'bad' lifestyle before prescribed with depression when I did alot of speed and literally felt like my nerves exploded, I have never felt the same since but am unsure whether this was just a bad come down and unmasked my depression or whether that one occasion could have caused my anxiety condition. Basically could one occasion like this have a permanent effect on my brain which I will never recover properly from?!

I'll stop talking sh*t now... any comments of suggestions would be appreciated and even if not thanks for reading my esssssay.


Hi PSA and :welcome: to the forum,

It is well known that the effects of taking speed and cannabis for any amount of time can lead to anxiety, and mental health problems.

Also giving them up can cause these symptoms for an indeterminate amount of time.

Encompassed with that, alot of people on this site have experienced side effects similiar to what you have described when withdrawing from venlaflaxine. It is worth having a look through the forums to see what their experiences are and if you find some similiarities to their experiences.

In my opinion, starting the drugs again, for any amount of time, is likely to cause even more negative experiences in the long run, however much they may appear to alleviate your symptoms in the short term.

In my opinion rather than getting overwhelmed by your symptoms at the moment, try to give yourself a reality check;

You have taken Cannabis
You have taken Speed
You have recently withdrawn from a medication that is known to have severe side effects in withdrawal.

All these things separately can cause the symptoms you are experiencing.

I would try to break your problems down one by one, and try to tackle them separately rather than let them overwhelm you all in one.

I know it is so tempting to go for the easy solution like smoking weed again, but I don't think that starting drugs again is going to help your situation in the long run, or at all.

Try not to think about next Monday if you can, and try not to catastrophise about whether you can return to work or not. I would try and relax as much as you can this weekend, by not taking any substances like alcohol, or caffeine etc. And spend the weekend doing many relaxing things you enjoy.

Take one thing at a time.

There are many things you can do to help alleviate anxiety, you can try relaxation techniques, mindfulness exercises (which is about fully immersing yourself in the moment, as a lot of human misery is caused by dwelling on the past or fearing the future, rather than about the moment you are in- just type mindfulness into a search engine and there is a lot you can find out about it there), cutting out caffeine, telling people about your anxiety (just telling people how anxious you feel can bring some great relief), taking relaxing (legal) herbs (like chamomile tea) aromatherapy (like lavendar), breathing excercises, having baths, all sorts. You can research alot of these things on this forum or on the internet.

I do believe that the worst thing you can do is start diagnosing yourself with bipolar or another illness.

In my opinion if you can, practice the above techniques for a few months, avoid drugs, and continue your medication, or come off it in a way that is agreeable with your doctor, rather than suddenly stopping it on your own. If you still feel the same way after then, then fully explain to your doctor what has been going on. Neglecting to tell them about your drug history etc is unlikely to help you as they will not know how to best advise you on treatment for the future without your full background.

Take care, and as I said try not to worry about Monday right now. Today is today and just try to focus on that.

I hope that helps :)
Last edited:


Sep 4, 2009
thanks a lot Sapphire I really appreciate you taking your time to read and respond,

sorry I didn't make it clear in the 1st post... I don't currently do any 'street drugs' and don't intend to ever again I fully understand the damage they can do. I haven't smoked weed for years and haven't done anything else for many months

your tips on relaxation are very useful and to be honest something I have always doubted can assist with anxiety as bad as mine but after reading a few threads on here I will certainly try and will keep up my regular exercise

i will read through the forum as well as welcome any responses.
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