How CBD Replaced my Anti-Anxiety Medications for PTSD After Afghanistan

(Photo Credit: Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images)

My life has been so positively changed for the better once I warmed up to the idea of taking CBD oil instead of the pharmaceuticals that my doctor was pushing on me.

I spent ten years in the military and one of those ten was served in Afghanistan.  I’m lucky enough to have come home physically healthy, but like most combat veterans I can’t say the same for my mental health.

There were the constant attacks on the base.  Rocket fire and suicide bombers running the gate happened regularly. 

My Kevlar was right next to my bunk and I slept with my pistol next to my pillow.  I’ll never forget seeing some of the things that happened to captured soldiers; you could tell that these soldiers were still alive when they were maimed, as a form of sick torture before death. 

The worst though was watching a suicide bomber drive right into a group of schoolchildren and blowing himself up, taking all of these young lives with him. 

We knew what he was and that he wanted to attack the base, but his sudden turn at the last minute was a surprise to everyone.  He just stepped on the gas and drove into them, and we were powerless to do anything about it.

I returned home feeling like Captain America.  At least, that’s what I wanted to believe and that’s how I presented myself to others. 

But it didn’t take long for my experiences to catch up to me.  A few months after my return, some neighborhood kids lit off some Fourth of July fireworks after I went to sleep and I found myself running into my closet looking for my Kevlar.

Anxiety persisted.  I always found myself looking over my shoulder.  I’d get easily startled, or sometimes even freeze, upon hearing loud noises. 

I had to enjoy fireworks from a distance or else I’d start shaking.  I hated crowds, and at restaurants I always had to sit facing the door.

Depression eventually settled in.  I just really didn’t care anymore.  I had the friends that I already had and didn’t care for new ones. 

My relationships suffered.  I could get physically intimate, but on a romantic level I just couldn’t make myself available to any girls I had met.  After leaving the military, sometimes I’d just stay in bed for hours, not finding a purpose to get out.  I just didn’t want to be social at all.

I eventually sought help.  I wasn’t keen on drugs, but the doctor wanted me to try sertraline (Zoloft) because it has a good success rate for PTSD.  I never liked it though.  It just numbed me too much.  And worst side effect was how it killed my libido.  No one wants that side effect, right?

I went back to the doctor and expressed my concerns.  His next step was to put me on Bupropion (Wellbutrin), a different type of antidepressant commonly used to treat PTSD.  This one didn’t impress me much.  I’d say it helped overall, but I still had some long-lasting mood swings that made me wonder if the drug did anything at all. 

And this drug can have some nasty side effects if mixed with alcohol.  I’m not a heavy drinker, but I do enjoy a couple of beers or glasses of wine with dinner every now and then.  This drug, when mixed with alcohol, does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do and amplifies the effect.  It put me in some dark places, so I stopped using it.

A friend had told me about a CBD oil he was vaping.  He wasn’t a vet but still suffered from mild depression.  We talked about it for a while and I became very interested in it, but I couldn’t bring myself to get a medical card and walk into the co-op to buy some.  But after talking to a few more friends who were using it, I thought I’d give it a try.

I ended up settling on some CBD oil.  It was a concentrated rosin with just a small trace of THC.  I still needed to function throughout the day, and wanted to get an oil with the smallest amount of THC possible. 

I really needed to be able to focus, drive, interact with clients, and stay 100% coherent.  Per a recommendation, I squeezed out a small dose about the size of a grain of rice onto my breakfast.  I didn’t think that a dose that small would do anything.

I started to feel better within a few days.  I wanted to make sure that this was for real, and that it wasn’t just having a placebo effect on me. 

I continued with my small dose once a day at breakfast, and after a couple of weeks I was definitely ready to praise the CBD oil for what it was doing for me.

Everything that PTSD had done to me – the anxiety, depression, inability to focus, lack of sleep, being antisocial – all of that was greatly reduced, if not gone altogether. 

I can actually sit at my computer and work without losing focus.  It greatly increased my productivity.  When friends call to go do something, I actually want to go instead of making some excuse why I can’t. 

I sleep better.  The anxiety isn’t completely gone, but it doesn’t dictate how I live my life anymore.  And I enjoy all of this without the pharmaceuticals and their debilitating side effects.

Every now and then someone will point out to me that CBD oil isn’t proven to be effective.  I tell them my story, and they start to see it differently.



For more information on CBD, Please visit HERE.

Thanks for reading!




Erik Christian Johnson is a full-time blogger, self-development advocate, and full-time network marketing Entrepreneur.

All articles are solely used for educational purposes and merely the opinion of the blog writers. Please refer to the Disclaimer page for full disclosure.

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