I smoked marijuana early this morning and had terrifying experiences. What happened, why, and what should I do now? I could use some reassurance.
I'm 20 years old, male, a college student.
It's presently 4pm Monday in my timezone. I didn't sleep at all Saturday night because my sleep schedule is out of whack and I had a flight to catch Sunday morning. I took an 18mg (minimal dose) Concerta (for which I have a prescription, and take regularly) at 4:30am. Sunday afternoon I think I slept a bit, though I don't recall how much. I mention this because I think I was somewhat sleep deprived. I'm also somewhat stressed about school, I've never been a great student and while things are going better than normal I'm concerned about messing up.
I have taken ADD medications of various kinds from an early age. I drink very rarely (maybe two or three evenings a year, never to excess). Other than alcohol and marijuana I have never done any recreational drugs. I've smoked weed less than 8 times, and only felt anything 3 of those times (the three most recent times... in retrospect I suppose I've been getting used to it).
This morning several of my friends (we all live in the same hall) went to get high, and I decided to accompany them. We left around 2am and drove around while a blunt was rolled. I took maybe 5 drags (some fairly deep) off it. There were four of us in a fairly small car, and the windows were generally rolled up. I remember thinking I was fairly stoned.
I was particularly loquacious and having a good time cracking jokes with my friends, enjoying the very calming weather. After making some particularly long comment to my friend I felt as though waking up from a dream - I hadn't actually said that, my dream-self had and I was "waking up" to realize that. This was shortly followed by the realization that I must have said that, and a similar feeling that my previous cognizance was dreamed. My body was tingling and I felt as though I was inadvertently freezing and tensing up my body (causing limbs to fall asleep). I was paranoid that my friends had slipped me something, especially because our conversation was about psychedelics (that doesn't seem likely to me now). I had strange visual halluciations that were like ghosting on a phosphor screen.
I would say something (or not) and endlesslu analyze what others would think (something I don't normally do at all). I had these recurring pangs of "waking up" from these paranoid reveries - a jolt of realization that I was disconnected from reality in some way - which were so strange I of course panicked more. I remember thinking that the paranoia was explicable, a somewhat common side effect of marijuana use, but the disconnectedness scared me, I thought I had lost my mind.
I managed to ask my friends to take me home ("I'm suddenly feeling really bad"), and they did, seemingly concerned, but not terribly worried. I think to an observer I was acting pretty normal. It was as though I had a doppleganger, a perfectly normal version of myself, in control of my actions - my perspective was that of freaking out co-pilot. I was wobbled to my dorm room (my sense of balance is always impaired on weed) and had no problem using my keys or walking up stairs.
When I got to my room I tried to sleep, but the visual hallucinations were worse when I closed my eyes. I had strange feelings of vertigo. I think I may have actually fallen asleep a few times, I remember "waking" with a start several times, but I'm not sure if that was simply the same sensation as earlier or really waking. The line between dreaming and wakefulness had blurred beyond recognition.
At this point I am freaking out. I'm aware that I need to figure out what's going on, and I keep reassuring myself that this will pass as the drug wears off. I started googling "marijuana side effects" and "marijuana psychosis" and found the terms derealization
" and "depersonalization
" which calmed me down somewhat. I wrote the following:
i am suffering acute depersonalization. came to this conclusion after mildly freaking out, asking for a ride home, trying to sleep, and googling "marijuana side effects". strange tingle, moves around body. i'm aware that these sentences are less than coherent, and that the letters are lowercase. I'm analyzing my thoughts over and over again, paranoid about how my future (saner?) self will interpret this. lightheaded. full body tingling sensation. feeling that perceptions are hallucinatory, or that I'm "looking back" on the present instead of in it. shaking. anxiety. pangs of derealization. pangs of realizing the strange disconnection. wonder if this came from thinking about self so much! perhaps this is satori... if so, it's somewhat terrifying. I'm pretty sure I'll be okay tomorrow, just need to sleep. could be from marijuana or sleep deprivation. feeling on auto pilot. otherwise strangely functional, like looking in on a conscious being. occasional moments of lucidity. anti-meditation, exact opposite of that kind of focus. rocking shaking feeling. keep wanting to reassure myself by typing. feel like I should be sad, or "should" be many feelings. paranoid looping! thinking about nietschze going nuts. feel like I'm going nuts, occasionally calm down. probably mostly anxiety. going to sleep.
I went to sleep around 4am and woke up around 3pm. I think those terms describe very well what I felt, and still feel to a much lesser extent.
I almost called the emergency room last night, though I'm glad I didn't. I have access to some sort of university psychiatric care, I'm sure, but I'm debating whether it makes sense to go - the plan now is to wait until tomorrow and see if things clear up (even since I started writing this I feel more with it).
To clarify something else, I am not from a ultra-conservative family. I have never thought that marijuana was a dangerous drug (I always scoffed at the demonization of it), so I don't think this is just psychosomatic.
It goes without saying I will never get high again.