I realize now after a few years of therapy that I’ve been susceptible to anxiety for as long as I have memories.
I struggled to understand why I got so anxious in crowded stores until I remembered instances when I was no older than four or five years old and I would claim to my mother that other people were staring at me in the store and it would scare me.
Just making a split second of eye contact with other people would put me into a fight or flight response as a little toddler. That’s a telling memory for sure. It was something that came up in therapy when my therapist asked me to think back to my earliest memories where I could remember feelings of fear or anxiety. When I strained to recall the earliest times when I had a fight or flight response, this is what I came up with. Cognitive behavioral therapy helped me to some degree, but my symptoms were resistant to therapy alone. I tried anxiety medications but one of them was so effective that I became addicted to it. That was a scary experience because the people at the hospital told me on admission that some people die from withdrawal if they try to go cold turkey on that type of drug. That’s why I stick to cannabis these days for treating my anxiety symptoms. Unfortunately, not all cannabis strains are equally suited to treating anxiety problems. Some sativa strains of cannabis are so stimulating that they induce feelings of anxiety and fear. That’s why I typically use indica cannabis edibles or cannabis flower products.