help me help him

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Hello Everyone I am new to this forum and I need some help in understanding and helping my husband cope with a recent diagnosis of anxiety and panic disorder. He used to be a marijuana smoker and after he smoked one day he came into the living room and was white as a ghost and started sweating and could not breath. We both went outside and I reassured him everything was ok he kept saying things seemed out of order it lasted about 7 minutes and he was fine he chalked it up to smoking. Then about a week later another attack happened similar but this time it was worse he started freaking out thinking he was having a stroke and lasted about 15 minutes the whole time sweating, not breathing correctly, eyes darting all over the place and in complete panic. I drove him to the ER because we weren't sure what was really happening they took his blood ran a EKG and sent him away with "dehydration" once he told him he smoked weed they basically dismissed him. But we had a really sweet RN who said he experience anxiety and panic attacks and said that he recommended him to see his regular doc and maybe a counselor. From that day forward he has not smoked weed once, he thinks it triggered it. The next day was horrible again he couldn't eat didn't want to go outside and kept saying he didn't feel normal he no longer wanted to roll around on the ground with our children and he said he couldn't be happy. We went to the urgent care because it was a Saturday and his doc was not open. That doctor prescribed him Xanax and said he had anxiety he could see it on his face. He cried in the office and told the doctor that he felt like he was dying. He took the Xanax but hated it so does not take it any more he said it makes him a zombie and sleep all day and he does not like that at all. He is a very active father and husband that would do anything for his family and this has rocked us to the core and changed everything. Things went ok for a few days he seemed to be dealing ok having a few rough days but he convinced himself he had a brain tumor because the symptoms are similar with anxiety. Dizziness, faintness, shortness of breath ect. So he got a CT scan and it was negative for any irregularities. He was ok for another few days and now he is convinced he has  heart failure, or mitral valve relapse or some kind of heart condition because again the symptoms are so similar. Two years ago he had pericarditis an infection of the pericardium (sack around heart) it lasted about 2 weeks and cleared up and has not made a appearance again. He is convinced that did damage to his heart and now feels like he is dying. He is constantly googling and matching up symptoms with what he has. The hard part is I cant help I cannot for sure say he does not have anything wrong with him I just reassure him that he has had 4 EKG's and 3 blood tests in the past two month and I feel like something would have shown up. Does this sound like anxiety? Have you experience this? Maybe your experience can help me help him. I am in desperate need of some advice. It is so scary to hear him talk bout him dying and he wants to know if I will be ok with our kids because  his biggest fear is leaving us and it is a constant worry. he lost his dad when he was 7 and always talks about our children experiencing life without him and how much that hurts him to think about. I am not sure what to do anymore. I told him to go to his doc and be referred to a heart specialist so they can tell him his heart is fine although he has had tests already. Please Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you for listening.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about these problems your husband and you are dealing with, I can imagine it must be scary for you to see this sudden change in your husband and not being able to help him.

    This after effect of a bad weed trip are well known. Lingering anxiety can pop up and stick, even after the effect of the weed is long gone.

    Medication won't solve this, he needs a professional to talk to, ask your GP a referral to a psychologist a.s.a.p.

    Meanwhile: make sure he sleeps regularly, keeps away of alcohol and cafeine and takes sufficient rest.

    Ask the psychologist about relaxation exercises, these will wind down his now constantly upregulated stress system.

    Healthy sleep is essential for recovery, so you might have a look into natural compounds which promote sleep. In my experience with trips gone wrong regular (sleep) medication will mess up his brain chemistry even further. They might work for other people but with bad trips they seem to work contraproductive in my experience.

    In any way make sure he doesn't exhaust himself.

    I hope you get some proper help soon and wish you a lot of strength in this, take care.


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    • Posted

      Agreed,these effects are known and not unexpected. As harsh as it sounds,its not unusual for health professionals to have little time for illicit drug users. This is unfortunate, but its also understandable. While it's important to support your husband,its also important that he is well aware that his illicit drug use probably did do this to him. Thats important not only to make sure he never does it again, but also its where the acceptance comes from. He was stupid, he's paying the price,and now he needs to recover if he can. I'd agree medication isn't really going to help, a therapist will be.more useful. A warning though, if he sees a therapist expecting sympathy,he won't get it - goto therapy fully accepting that the drug use wasn't helpful but its over now and he wants to learn how to move on,that's really all he can do now and it should work well
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    • Posted

      I think a patient can expect sympathy of a therapist at all times, regardless the cause of the complaints. A professional therapist doesn't judge, but offers treatment. If you happen to end up with a judging therapist, move on to a better one.
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  • Posted

    Im 5 foot 3 and take alprasolam..generic for xanax.In the beginning before you get used to the med it can make you quite tired.Once your body gets used to it..usually not a problem.Sounds as though he needs some sort of medication from his doctor.He seems to have health anxiety from past health issues.I can relate to that.I just had an in crease in my meds as it helps me to cope with some health issues im going through.He might want to reconsider some form of has helped me to lead a more normal life Life is too short to be miserable . Good luck with things.
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  • Posted

    I had this exact same experience 10 years ago. It was almost definitely the weed, and there's almost definitely nothing physically wrong with him. It's amazing how many real physical symptoms anxiety can cause. I went through the same obsession with researching medical conditions since I was convinced that "just anxiety" couldn't possibly be causing all of this.

    First, the bad news is it could take weeks or months for the worst of it to pass. But, the good news is that IT WILL PASS. He needs to know this. He may be dealing with issues from this for a long time, I had sporadic relapses into intense, crippling anxiety, sometimes lasting weeks or months, for years after my experience. But, slowly things started to return to normal, and I'm leading a happy, productive life now.

    All you can do is be there for him, and discourage him as much as possible from obsessing over imagined medical conditions. He is probably in a state of near constant terror, and he needs all the emotional support you can give him.

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  • Posted

    Hi, CH1345.... I so, so, very sorry for you v both...

    I can relate to how your partner feels....I had anxiety almost rex the second ad your husband..I was at I was. Dying all..of of the time husband called our doctor who sent a psychiatrist to our house,and and as well

    Also I went to casualty......they were very good, and kind to me...

    I had medication. I cannot .remember what they were




    .SECTIONED 4 times. But it has.saved

    My life, four times.......please hold will .recede....and you can have a happier. Life once more....I will pray for you both. Deirdre

    Xxxxxxx, ,

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