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19 Jul 2005

Son and drugs
CS, I wrote to you last year in Dec regarding my son who had a bad experience with 'E' 3 and a half years ago and now seems to have panic or anxiety attacks. He cannot go into a shop or mall because he says it feels as if something is going to happen to him. I have spent a lot of money on all kinds of therapists, some of whom have prescribed anti-depressants and sedatives but the problems continues. He says it feels as if he is constantly on some kind of trip and has lost toush with reality. He has been clean since his experience. He is 23. What do you think could be the problem?
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

It's obviously hard to tell , from this distance. What we do know is that a number of recreational drugs, of which cannabis is probably the best documented, seem to produce lasting psychotic states and problems in some vulnerable people. As one doesn't seem at present able to identify in advance who such vulnerable folks are, this is one reason why, however many people insist that they personally have used such drugs without coming to harm, some DO come to harm. On the surface, the symptom you describe sounds like a phobic anxiety type symptom, which usually responds best to certain antidepressants and to CBT type counselling. But his added comments about the constant tyippy feeling, and the sense of losing touch with reality, suggests a psychotic component, and one wonders whether anti-psychotic medications, might be useful, and they'd probably be worth trying. I would be less inclined to expect that orthodox tranquillizers ( of the valium type ) might help
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