Marijuana x Mental Illness x2

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This quote comes from the New England Journal Of Medicine –

“Using marijuana can certainly contribute to or worsen depression. Low motivation, fatigue, and withdrawal from positive activities are central features of depression and marijuana can worsen each of those problems. Some people do say that marijuana dulls anxiety or negative feelings. But it also dulls energy and motivation. And we know that activation and engagement are key parts of recovery from depression.

Marijuana can be even more troublesome for people—especially younger people below the age of 40 and above the age of 18—who live with bipolar disorder. In addition to worsening depression, marijuana can increase the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of psychosis—like hallucinations or paranoid ideas. In younger people who are at higher risk for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, using marijuana increases the chances of developing a severe or disabling”

stole this from: http://theobsidiansinners.wordpress.com

what do you believe…?

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17 thoughts on “Marijuana x Mental Illness x2

  1. I’ve seen people who were for all intents and purposes perfectly sane launch into psychosis from weed. But it’s super rare. It certainly makes most users more introspective. Also, since the effects vary wildly from one strain to the next, ya never know.

    I stopped smoking because of my asthma. I only ever smoked a little bit though I smoked most days. I have isn’t and it’s the only reliable medication I have found. I think this study is fairly useless because of the aforementioned variation between strains and how different methods of injestion affects things differently. it isn’t like alcohol wherein drunk is drunk.

    • Your right. The strains of weed are totally different from one another. One makes you feel sluggish and tired, while others make you feel high and perky! Today is my week of not smoking. I’m not going back…

  2. Marijuana is really important for me. My rx is NOS (ultradian) with ADHD. While cannabis does not help my motivation/energy levels, it is the only anti-depressant that won’t send into mania. I was almost pushed into a Bipolar 1 mania 6 years ago due to being put on an anti-depressant during my trial phases with medication. I am now on Depakote, in my early 20’s, balding and slowly dying. I can’t concentrate to save my life, and am struggling through college. Depakote prevents my anger from surfacing, and frankly cannabis is the only thing that makes it worth trudging on.

    Am I dependent? Well, I quit for 2 months 3 years ago. It wasn’t particularly pleasant, but I was doing something new (working as a farmhand) and outside all the time, so the depression wasn’t too bad. Once I came home though, the depression hit again like a truck, and I needed to get high. So I probably am dependent, in the same way other people are dependent on anti-depressents not to kill themselves. I mean, last night I was sitting around trying to NOT smoke, because I’m such a shitty worthless stoner fuck, and I kept feeling worse reading about the lack of reasonable employment hope for people like us, and how I can’t reasonably expect to teach English overseas due to my rx, and how when I’m old I won’t be able to support myself because I won’t be able to get a job to save retirement, and then I finally stopped all that destructive thinking. How? I took a hit. The negativity melted away, the worry and fear and the desire to *fucking kill myself* because of hopelessness. I wasn’t happy, but any doctor who suggests I need to throw out the medicine that makes me think life is worth living, is full of shit.

    I don’t claim to be a better worker while high, though I would suggest I’m better than I would be if I were dead. The cognitive defects I suffer from may be exacerbated by cannabis use, but the Depakote also has cognitive/energy defects (as well as hair loss) issues in me, as well as a wealth of other side effects I don’t suffer from (yet) such as liver damage and brain encephalothopy (sp? May be connected to cognitive defects, nobody is doing an MRI on me so who knows what structural effects the medicine has?).

    And considering the volume of studies being done showing no correlation between chronic cannabis use and long-term cognitive disability, it stands to reason my growing stupor is more strongly tied to my retarded brain development and medication, with a demonstrated relation to cognitive defects. I would like to point out that usage rate of cannabis is higher amongst the mentally ill, including those who are schizophrenic and bipolar. However, no causation has been establilshed, either through peer-reviewed study or proposed mode of action (think of somebody suggesting the pathway THC could use to cause schizophrenia. So we are left with a correlation. I would push that this correlation would exist if prohibitionists are right, that cannabis can ’cause’ schizophrenia, OR (to my mind quite obviously) use is higher amongst people who have prodromal, threshold but untreated, or un-fully-treatable (such as my own) symptoms. I mean, shit, think about it. People who have symptoms to treat with an illegal medicine are more likely to use the illegal medicine that those whose only motive for smoking is getting high/having fun? Doesn’t that make sense to you?

    Not sure if any of you have heard about the recent advances in epilepsy treatment using CBD pure (THC free) weed extracts, but I am fascinated. Considering my only current medicine is Depakote, an anti-convulsant, it stands to reason that the portion of weed I find helpful is found in CBD. This excites me because that means that if I can move to a weed-legal state, I can get weed that DOESN’T get me high, which frankly sounds amazing to me. I would still smoke normal weed on occasion, maybe once every week or two for fun, but I could finally relax away my worries without contra-indicating my ability to do work.

    I just realized I’ve written a horrific wall of text, but these are some (though not all of) my thoughts on the matter, and as I’m feeling really alone right now I wanted to share with some other people.

    I suppose I should address some claims I made to make sure y’all don’t just call me a retard. First, I would like to clarify that I AM shit at concentrating, and my memory is shit as well. That began over a decade before my first puff, and is constant even after being off for a week or two at a time. However, what concerns me most is that I can no longer ‘figure things out’ like I used to, and what little creativity I once had is gone. I am, much to my chagrin, stupid. And unfortunately, there is no cure for being stupid. I suppose if I am stupid, I shouldn’t make claims. I’m probably wrong about pot, it probably is making me worse, but I’ll fucking kill myself if they take it away, so what’s the point? Fuck this, I can’t convince anyone, and we all know we’re second class citizens so why should we get to enjoy anything in life? fuck

    p.s. Do any of you know reputable online therapists specializing in bipolar/CBT? Also, do any of you deal with untreatable bipolar, and how do you not give up hope? Do you just try new medicine combos all the time? Do you keep paying therapists even though they never help?

    • wow. you have spoken the only the truth. you and I are fighting the same battle.

      my husband always tells me I have to stop smoking so I can get a job. I understand this, but smoking helps my mind. As soon as I smoke, I feel more at ease, less angry, and a better outcome on life. It sucks, but what can I do. I’m really indifferent about using meds for this…but

      idk. Your not stupid in any way. You write so eloquently and beautiful, I don’t know why you’d say that about yourself, but mental illness is a disease. A disease that doesn’t help us see the real us.

      I hope that the world changes for our sake and in the future we can use weed for medical use, and without the stigma of “pot head”.

      thank you for the information and helping me learn that I’m not alone when it comes to this marijuana thing..

  3. Everyone is different, we all got different genetic make up. And from my personal experience, it can depend on how you take it, the strength/breed of weed, and what is going on in your life can also affect. Smoking it i can be high for about half an hour then its gone with my high metabolism. Having it ingested, brownies, i tend to get really paranoid and it lasts about 12 hours, in waves, up and down, its crazy and i won’t take it like that anymore cos of the way it makes me feel! i also beleive some of the paranoia came from a violent family member i was dealing with around this time, really did not help . . .
    But then some people can take any and every drug under teh sun and stay happy forever and always 🙂

  4. I’ve used in the past (though I’ve quit over 5 years ago). I found that responsible use of marijuana is key if it is to be therapeutic. The therapeutic part for me was not the part about getting high, which was a good release and fun, but that it balanced out my moods for the next few days, and my Rx medications weren’t in order at that point. Also, using the right strains is essential, as some tend to cause paranoia and psychosis-like effects, which is harmful.

    Using too much will cause many of the negative side effects to become more pronounced, such as lethargy and being “constantly stoned.” Using about two times a week was ideal for me, Also, part of being responsible is telling your doctors that you are using. It can be dangerous if they are not aware. Finally, cannabis is not for everyone, and little is objectively known about it and its effects on bipolar. Be careful! When in doubt, don’t do it.

    • I am using marijuana therapeutically, but then it turned into something I was using to self medicate. I don’t know what else to do to get this feeling away from me. I don’t even have a good time while doing it. It makes everything at the moment feel numb. I crave not to feel any thing, but sooner than later I think, it’s going to backfire on me. 😦

  5. I smoke and have bipolar and it has the opposite affect on me. More motivated and able to take on social anxiety a bit better – this could be due to dependence on the drug though. I think what’s best is to talk to your psychiatrist about the smoking, see what they think. They could have a surprising reaction – mine did. If you’re using it for recreational use it’s very different to using it to self medicate. As long as there’s a barrier between that then I (my opinion only) think it’s fine. If you do feel it is damaging your mental state, I’d definitely cut down significantly or stop though.
    Hope you figure out what to do soon – it’s a tough one!

    • I told my therapist and nothing has happened so far, but I’m also not on any kind of meds yet, so once that happens ill probably have to really quit.

      Lucky you that weed does that for you and your bipolar. It’s always refreshing to hear it really works for people and doesn’t make then feel like I do..

  6. I think choosing to discontinue use of marijuana is really your own decision. For me, I have chosen to eliminate all drugs, including alcohol. I do this mostly because I have bipolar disorder, take medication, and know that I am most stable when I don’t have those other chemicals in my body. What I would say is to try and quit, and see what happens. You might find that you feel worse at first, because smoking marijuana can be a coping mechanism, but if you work on it and find new ways to cope, you just might find that life is better. I would not ever tell anyone to quit and certainly don’t judge anyone who is using drugs or alcohol, I just know it is not for me and I feel much better without using those substances.

    • Rose, I think you might be right. I might have to eliminate all those things as well. I had some drinks tonight, came home and felt awful. it might be finally affecting and effecting my life.

Rant on, my friends!

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