By SIofra Brennan For Mailonline
- Bekkii Spain, 27, from Sligo in Ireland started having panic attacks in 2015
- Spent two months in psychiatric hospital and was prescribed medication
- Heard about CBD oil from a mental health blogger and found it worked instantly
- Now uses the oil as little as once a week and feels positive about the future
A woman has revealed how she overcame anxiety and panic attacks so severe that she ended up in a psychiatric hospital with the help of CBD oil.
Bekkii Spain, 27, from Sligo in Ireland started experiencing panic attacks in 2015 after developing a sudden fear that her throat was going to close up, which led to her being admitted to a psychiatric hospital for two months.
She then read an article about using CBD oil to treat anxiety by a mental health blogger and decided to give it a try in the hope of finding a natural solution to her problems.
The first day she tried it the oil, containing a natural extract of hemp, a non-marijuana strain of the cannabis plant, she started building up to a panic attack but found it ‘stopped in seconds’.
‘For this natural product to stop that, I was so shocked I actually laughed,’ she said.
‘I texted my mum straight away to tell her and lay there for a while trying to get my head around it. At this stage, I had been dealing with this for two years and had never had a panic attack stop that quick, ever.’
Bekkii Spain, 27, from Sligo in Ireland started having panic attacks in 2015 but has overcome her anxiety with the help of CDB oil after conventional medication failed
Bekkii battled panic attacks for three years, but is now feeling positive about the future and is supporting others with mental health issues
Bekkii’s battle with anxiety started three years ago with panic attacks, and while she awaiting counselling they seemed to grow worse.
‘After waiting for my appointment, it progressed so much that I was constantly on edge,’ she recalled. ‘The reason I would have panic attacks was because I had this constant fear that my throat would close. I would make people bring me to hospital in a panic.’
‘Eventually I was admitted to the local psychiatric hospital. I was there for two months – not because I had to, but because I was too scared to leave the building.
‘I went from being an outgoing person to being scared of everything in a matter of months.’
Bekki has severe panic attacks brought on by a fear that her throat was going to close up and couldn’t bear to be left alone in case something terrible happened to her
After two months, a fellow patient started helping her to build up the courage to leave.
‘After two weeks of pushing myself to leave, I got to go home. But I still experienced the occasional panic attacks and the anxiety was always in the back of my mind, particularly showing up when I was in social situations,’ she explained.
Bekkii, who was previously an outgoing person, found it had a huge impact on her life.
‘The anxiety impacted my everyday life greatly. I was always the girl who loved going for a coffee in town and going away for trips, or going out on the weekends with my friends.
WHAT IS CBD OIL AND IS IT LEGAL IN THE UK?
Government advisers made it legal to buy CBD supplements in 2016
Government advisers at the MHRA made it legal to buy cannabidiol (CBD) oil in 2016 after they admitted that it has a ‘restoring, correcting or modifying’ effect on humans.
Suppliers in England and Wales have to obtain a licence to sell it as a medicine, following the decision in October two years ago.
Manufacturers are able to avoid the strict regulation by selling it as a food supplement – ignoring the lengthy process of gaining a medicinal licence.
CBD products comes in many forms, the most popular being an oil – which users spray under their tongue – or gel tablets which melt slowly in the mouth.
Cannabis oil, which is different to CBD oil because it contains THC – the compound that gives users a ‘high’ – is illegal under UK laws.
Billy Caldwell, from Castlederg, Northern Ireland, made headlines last April when he became the first Briton to be prescribed it on the NHS.
Cannabis oil, which reportedly has no side effects, influences the release and uptake of ‘feel good’ chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.
‘This was all taken from me when my anxiety started. It’s close to impossible to lead a normal life when dealing with anxiety.
‘I didn’t want to be left on my own at 24 years old and I always wanted my mum, dad or sisters with me.
I constantly had that feeling something bad would happen and needed to not be on my own, in case it did.’
Bekkii sought professional help and was referred for counselling and put on medication.
Bekkii started using CBD oil to control her anxiety after reading about it on a mental health blog
‘On one of my bad days I was also given Xanax, when I presented myself at A&E, and was seen by a psychologist. These tablets had a bad effect on me and actually made my anxiety ten times worse.
‘It was three days later when I was admitted to hospital, then tried on a few different medications until I found one that worked for me.
I was also taking an extra “tranquiliser” type medication, similar to Xanax, which at the time, I didn’t realise how strong it was.’
With conventional approaches not helping, Bekkii read about CBD oil on a mental health blog by Caroline McMenamin.
‘She was using CBD oil for her own mental health problems and had talked about the benefits,’ she said.
‘After that it was my mum who told me that a local pharmacy had a post about the brand Celtic Wind Crops, a different to the one Caroline uses, on Facebook.
‘I was at a point where I was getting better but I still had small episodes of anxiety and panic attacks. I was still carrying around my medication everywhere but trying not to take it, as it would make me very drowsy and sleepy, and leave me feeling almost hungover the day after taking it.
‘Because of this, I wanted to find something that was less severe and still let me live a normal life, doing all the things I wanted to on a daily basis.;
The first time Bekkii took the oil she was reluctant as she felt anxious about potential side effects of taking something new, such as her throat closing – one of her common fear.
Bekkii now uses a bottle of CBD oil every month to control her anxiety and sometimes only needs to use one dropper a week
previously, Bekkii had to carry around medication everywhere but tried not to take it as it would make her very drowsy and sleepy
‘Later, on the day I bought it, I started building up to a panic attack. After taking the oil the panic attack stopped in seconds. This had never happened me before.
‘My panic attacks would usually build, and build, until I had no control over my own body and felt helpless.’
Now Bekkii is at the stage where she might only take CBD oil once a week or less, while sometimes she needs a dropper every day to help her through.
She’s also a a Tribe Leader for the Sligo region’s Replenish Tribe, a non-clinical support group for people dealing with their own mental health issues.
‘I only need to take it when I feel overly anxious or stressed,’ she said. ‘I am so positive about my future at the minute. It has been a game changer.’