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Marijuana?

Question:

Will marijuana affect me? I am bipolar. I take Lithium, Risperdal, Depakote and Klonopin.

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Answer:

A lot of people, probably yourself included, like the mellow high of smoking a joint. To justify their habits, they will say to themselves and to other who will listen things like, "hey – it’s cool – it’s organic – its not a heavy drug – it won’t hurt you, you can’t get addicted to it, etc.". All of this is basically a load of crap that is intended to justify self-destructive behavior. Marijuana is a real drug that you can become addicted to. It does bad things to your brain and body. It contributes to cancer. It can make you paranoid. It destabilizes your brain. It is not a healthy thing. Yes the high feels good – but it is not worth the problems it will cause you.

Persons such as yourself who have (judging from your medicines) problems with anxiety, mood swings and psychotic symptoms should NEVER NEVER EVER go near marijuana. Your brain is already having some problems staying stable. All those medicines you are taking are there to try to hold your brain together in a reasonable semblance of normalcy. If you take these medicines as prescribed, you can have a good chance of remaining reasonably healthy. If you smoke or eat marijuana you will be sabotaging your treatment – hurting the chances of your medicines to help you remain stable, and forcing your brain to get even more whacked out than it already is. If you even hang around with other people who smoke, you’re going to want to smoke yourself. Only thing is – you can’t afford to smoke because your brain will blow a gasket. If you care about yourself – if you care about other people around you (your family, your friends, your loved ones, a therapist you respect, anyone at all who you might care about and who might care for you) then please ditch those pot smoking friends, and stay away from marijuana.

Just for your information, there are treatment facilities and 12 step groups out there (they are rare now – but they still exist in some locations) that treat people with dual diagnosis problems – people with a psychiatric disorder who are also having problems avoiding alcohol or pot or cocaine, or whatever. Dual diagnosis programs are sensitive to your mental and drug conditions in a way that a pure psychiatric or pure drug program cannot be. You might want to just keep that knowledge in your back pocket in case you ever need it.

Postscript: (November 2008)  This particular question/answer has generated a lot of negative comments in its eight year life, mostly aimed at me (Dr. Dombeck). Those of you who were unsatisfied with my answer my younger self gave here may wish to read the comment I have made to Dr. Allan Schwartz’s more recent essay Marijuana Makes It Worse: Severe Mental Illness where I have offered a softer restatement as well as an apology for speaking overly harshly. 

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Comments
  • Anson Stodghill

    I read the above on the topic of "Bi-Polar" dissorder. I have a few comments and questions for you. How could you possibly know what is going on in the mind of a "Bi-Polar" case? Are you Bi-Polar? If you are or not, have you ever smoked pot? As I read through your.... Guess, at what you could possibly fathom is the inner workings of a bi polar, I realised there was some good points you missed. You missed the countless people out there, like me, that were d@*n near useless to the world with and without the medications you and many others offer instead of the one thing KNOWN to pull through on many ailness's out there. It's sad really, that you and most in your industry just want to make money on manufacturing pharmisudicals. If for some reason you allow this to be viewed by anyone (which i doubt you would) they should know that there are many out there who do suffer as you possibly do, with no medication to offer any help, there is something out there grown naturally, which is only illegal due to the lack of "Maximum" amount of intake through legalized marijuana. If you choose to break the law in spite of lousy medications that either knock you out or restrict only sex drive and not the mood swings at all, GOOD LUCK! Your not alone. These "Dr." don't have a "One drug fits all" answer for you. They don't even have a worthy medication for "Bi-Polar" dissorder. I know, I have been there. I have been on anti psycotics and anti depressants, none worked or messed me up worse than the reason i took the things to begin with. You don't even have to smoke it. Grind it down, compress it and shove it into a gelcap. There you go. A "Magic Pill". I really hope you take deep consideration into my above words, They were not that of disrespect, just one mans struggle and truth. Thank you for your time. Anson Stodghill.

  • julie

    My case is the same. medication made me suicidal. There were many ER visits. Marijuana saved my life and my children's mother. Might not be for everyone but for some it is our lifeline. Dont be ignorant.

  • john cross11

    dear "Dr" about herb and bipolar. I have extreme mania. I have tried every thing. only thing that helps me is herb. Otherwise I am on the verge of hospitalization. what side effects do ur drugs have. If im depressed mabe cause suiside. or mabe diebites. Canibus acculy will attack cancar cells vigurassly if u vaporize or eat it. I challenge u to watch race from the cure. You tube. love to hear back from u. Dont hate the herb hate greed and special intrest groups. The medicine is a great relief to me. Im not an addict. I dont take ur benzoes. bet u get good kick backs. Legal drug dealers suck. by the way I dont think all bipolar folks work well with weed' but I do know most meds dont either without consiquences. Like to find one example u have of weed causing cancer. weed not greed. sleep well with all ur mis informatoin. Bipolar for minicable marijuana.

  • Kathleen

    dear doc i think that it is important for you to listen to those folks with bipolar d/o in regards to their marijuana use. Many folks report a decrease in anxiety/mania, and an increase in mood during depression, all with positve effects. perhaps is it possible that marijuana can have a vareity of effects on those and thats not even considering bipolar med compliant individuals and how their medication interacts with marijuana.

    As for myself, i am a very successful 45 yr old woman in the healthcare field, and have been for 17 years. i am biploar and i smoke marijuana

    marijuana i havent been hospitalized r/t dx in many years now. i work at living a holistic livestyle, and have even learned to be thankful for my dx of bipolar. so heres one successful bipolar pot smoker.

    Blessed Be

  • Anonymous-1

    Time to debunk cannabis stereotype. All metabolisms vary. Paranoia is caused by worrying about getting in trouble. In the mountains, no paranoia.Munchies dont happen. When a med like Depakote is told to add flab but 30 solid pounds are lost its damaging. 160-30=130lbs.This took years to build up and lost fast. At age 45 the physical events of yesteryear are done, and if these do more to hinder that, ENOUGH. Lithium had me so blurred I could not construct a sentence for Online college when good grades were already happening. After stopping the med, grades returned respectably. These are the experiences myself and many other ADHD, Bipolars experience that many see as rebellious anarchy, but its the wake up call. Feedback is the way they can run out excuses. They give cannabis to the monkeys and these meds to us.

  • alex scheuerman

    Dr,

    You say that marijuana only causes negitive effects to the body and brain, so i challange you, please send me links to any and all studies that justifies your claims.

    My physics teacher (a VERY respectable sciencetist) made a statement that i will remember on my death bed, "extraordinary claims require extrairdinary evidence"

    5,000 years of history and really the only negative talk of marijuana started from the 1900s till now. 108 years vs. 5,000 years, ill take my odds with the 5000 years to say nothing bad about it.

    Books, magizines, web links, ANYTHING on the negitive effects of marijuana please send to me via email: metalfan3690@yahoo.com

    beware, because i am very much ready to reply with many articles that supports marijuana.

    Alex Scheuerman

  • Allan N Schwartz

    As a writer for Mental Help Net I have taken on myself to write a response to this question of bipolar disorder and marijuana. You can find my posting at the following URL"

    http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=weblog&id=543&wlid=5&cn=4

    You will probably have to copy and paste to get there or, currently, just go to the front page of the site where the article will appear for a few days.

    Allan Schwartz, PhD

  • Anonymous-2

    I smoke weed....a lot. I am not diagnosed with bi -polar disorder but think i might have it. I do know that latley i cant smoke and not be paranoid not matter the location or company im with. If it is really good it makes me have panic attacks now. I used to smoke a lot more with no problems but now it is only getting worse. Other drugs are even worse the occasional trip is out of the question. I dont like it and I dont want to takes meds with side effects that will leave me a ghost of my former self either.

    oh yeah by the way "wonders of cannibus"- a convention is in new york 11-29 @webster hall

  • Anonymous-3

    You people fail to realise your little rants about pharmaceuticals are pointless. The people that make the money from drugs make them from illegal ones too. The war on drugs itself is a scam. Be yourselves and stop falling for their shit. They got you whether you smoke weed or take pills. I've been a heavy user of both. I feel better than I have in ages from not smoking anything and taking much less pills... I got ADHD OCD Tourettes Social Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder...

  • chris

    I've been dealing with bipolor for about 4 years and the prescibed meds scare me. My depakote can kill you, hypotox of liver, pancreas probs, diabetes, heart problems. Also taken Seriqual and veseral. I'm not allowed to take narcotics for anxiet issues. But my legal meds work great, I have not had a panic attack for about 7 months. But I still get depressed and just unhappy. I smoke a little bit of pot and I'm relaxed, instantly happy, kinder. It just seems like it is the missing piece of my disorders. When I take anti drugs they send me into mania. Now what anti drugs are doing is using a process called bio feedback. The anti drug blocks all the chemicals in your head that you need to be happy and to have normal synapse. Causing the body to over produce the desired chemicals the doctor is trying to correct. But with me this does not work. First of all your bipolor has to be under controlled before the doc should give you anti's.

    Smoking pot bypasses this bio feedback process because it does not rely on the body ability to counter the drug. Pot replace and fill in the gaps of the neuro chemicals the brain needs to operate properly. The down side to this is that the brain will continue to not produce the chemicals naturaly, in theory.

    So someone like me who goes manic with anti drugs should be given alternative options. Just because this med is not legal doctor won't even run studies on this. They don't want their good name to be marked. But hey drugs such as certain pain killers, and other like it give pot a bad name. Not another narc on the legal market.

    My point is this! The legal meds now could kill me. All my meds say that the doctor weighed out the worst of two evils. I need to be normal, but hey it could kill me. I'll take my chance with a drug that I know works and won't kill me thank you.

  • Allan N Schwartz

    I really want to encourage all of you to go to the following URL:

    Marijuana Makes It Worse: Severe Mental Illnesses

    where you can find information on Marijuana and mental illness based on the direct experiences I had with bipolar patients and schizphrenic patients who used marijuana. I can only report what I directly observed and what I osbserved was tragic.

    As far as the gentleman who describes our efforts here as "ranting" all I can say is what you just wrote has the flavor of a "rant." This is a free country and, even if you have a bipolar illness and want to use there is nothing I or anyone else can make you do to stop. As you say, whatever we write, it makes no difference. OK, I understand but, at least, have the facts and do not engage in denial.

    Lastly, if we are going to talk about the money drug companies make, you will NOT have an argument from me because it is true. However, the drug pushers make a fortune, as well, and that money goes to support prostitution and to finance terrorism. That is part of the reason why I would like to see marijuana made legal, well, that is my personal opinion.

  • Marissa

    honestly i dont like meds. i believe that if you have enough control over your brain you can control your moods. i mean i will admit it is hard. but i smoke alot of pot almost everyday, i do get paranoid when i'm in a car or somewhere i know i have a likly chance of getting caught. but when your just hanging out at a friends house or somewhere nobody cares if your smoking I DONT GET PARANOID! somedays when i'm depressed and i smoke some pot i feel alot better. i have read alot of stuff about how it fucks with your bipolar and shit. but i dont believe that. i agree with that person that said "extraordinary claims require extrairdinary evidence" i'm a pretty stuborn person it takes alot to convince me. but also having a past of neglect and abuse mentally, physically and emotionally, growing up smoking pot i dont trust anything or anyone so i think it would take ALOT to convince me. okay i think i'm just mumbling now, i think pot should be legalized for medical use it probably does help replace some of the chemicals in your brain, that cause the bipolar, but what do i know, your the doctor, and hearing all of this from people with the disorder you should try and understand...maybe do some research.

    ~ Marissa

    Editor's Note: Wishing that something pleasurable is good for you does not make it good for you, no matter how hard you wish.

  • doghitter

    As for those of you who try to justify your marijuana use. I've been bi-polar all my life but only diagnosed since 1989 and I used marijuana heavily since 1980. I take only lithium. I have a job now where I am ceceptable to a random urinalysis at any time. I've been forced to greatly curb my usage. Years ago when my tolerance was up, it felt good to lace up my ststem with THC. Now just a small amount like two to four dugout hits lay me out in bed with a migraine and I can't do nothing. It's gotten to the point where the doctor's statement about one's brain "blowing a gasket" will be a true fact if I don't give up using my beloved Mary Jane. I'm older now and wiser. It's hard to give up something that's so deeply embedded in your psyche but he's right about what I owe to my loved ones. Even Chevy Chase admitted that "drugs are poison". You might think you can handle them. This is called denial. They'' teach you about denial at any AA/NA meeting. Won't they, doctor?

  • Anonymous-4

    Dont listen to the Parrot Doctors... Discontinue the pharma meds NOW!
    Watch the following Video on Youtube:

    Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1GPnlbGweMPart 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZavl7hp-WQPart 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S39sNGx5jVIPart 4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSvC5FZjK8YPart 5 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlWL8V5mhRoPart 6 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMXng3y5aU8Part 7 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFNgB4InyloPart 8 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF1txjADQF8Part 9 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr3ks5VTBh4Part 10 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq_IMHTRbvkPart 11 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLN6H8ekDQ4Part 12 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LYqdDVNnW8Part 13 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaF64Af-ONMPart 14 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPK0YZAmkjA

    Editor's Note: I'll repeat a comment I've made elsewhere which is relevant here. Just becuase you want something to be good for you doesn't make it actually good for you. It is true that conventional treatment is imperfect. That does not make "self-medication" a sound alternative.

  • Anonymous-5

    I am too a bi-polar depressant and I am neither a user or an "abuser" of cannabis. I am actually a pre-medicine student looking into the study of psychiatry. After reading two thirds of your useless proproganda I really became quiet irriatated. It is doctors like you, I like to call them "text book doctors," (Please, do not get me wrong that you have earned your respect through hard work and most likely amazing memorization skills.) that areless helpfull then the girl next door. Trully you did not even understand what he was looking for. He was not looking for reason for him to quit his so called "addiction," but for reasonable advice, and the only information you gave him could have been straight out of an Intro to Pyschology textbook. Please understand your ignorance or maybe your hilarity can be the difference between someones life or death.

    Editor's Note: We are serious. We speak from our own clinical and personal experience on this topic. We know we have taken an unpopular stand here, but we maintain it becuase we hope to help a few people who are reachable. It is not the case that Marijuana makes everyone mentally ill. It is the case that some people respond badly to it, and it appears to "release" or exacerbate tendencies towards mental illness that would perhaps otherwise remain in a latent state. We understand people's distrust of the pharmacological machine, and their desire to treat themselves with "natural" products. We just think that this is too often not a helpful thing to do, and in some tragic cases, a very unhelpful thing to do. And the tendency to romanticize marijuana doesn't help things.

  • Anonymous-6

    I'm Bi Polar with indications it stemmed from severe Post Concussion Syndrome.

    Anti-convulscants have not have wholly worked, anti-psychotics, and anti-depressants send me off into the worst of mania.

    I smoke weed recretionally for years, with no alchohol use, or hard core drug use. I quit for 2 years immediately follwing my diagnosis, and just started to see if ot offered any respice. None.

    I started to smoke after taking a plethora of pharmadrugs. I hate the pharmadrugs. I emailed my psydoc today in agony hypermanic and at my wits end.

    Smoking does not help me but actually makes me manic, so I'll smoke more. I have to quit and today realized it.

    For me I wish it worked. I would gladly smoke medicinal marijuana, but it makes me just as f'ed up as all else.

    Honestly I feel like I am against a wall... and as said here there is no magical solution.

    Thanks for your comments-

  • Donald A.

    I am manic and have bi-polar issues and for a long time i have not been medicated. i have been smoking pot for years and have just started to take legal meds. i find that if i do not smoke pot every day i become a very manic person. my mind is full of thoughts running 50,000 mph and when i smoke pot it helps slow my thought process down so i can think clearly. i just started taking 1 mg. risperdal.... i would like to continue smoking the pot, will it cause problems with my meds??

  • Allan N Schwartz

    Hi Donald,

    I am prefacing my answer to your question with a very clear statement that we are NOT psychiatrists here at Mental Help Net and, therefore, you are best served by directing medication questions to your psychiatrist.

    Now, having made that statement, I will venture my opinion and it is this: From what I know the problem is less that pot with medication could cause medication problems and more that the pot will negate what the medicine can do for you. In other words, by continuing to smoke while on medications, you are not giving the meds a chance to work.

    Again, ask you psychiatrist who is, after all, an MD.

    Dr. Schwartz, PhD

  • Anonymous-7

    Hi, I am a healthcare worker and wish to remain anonymous. I have gone several years without Marijuana, using only "standard treatments" and found myself miserably depressed often seriously contemplating suicide. I have battled with bipolar type II since I was 15, and have been able to mostly mask my symptoms keeping most of my friends and family in the dark about my disorder. Although I hear comments like, "you were speaking so fast the other day I couldn't understand you!" The depression is the worst and I get through it by remembering the high of hypomania-which has made me very successful. However, I have tried to kill myself several times, my sister intervened with Ipecac syrup and I have never been hospitalized. I have felt like a psychiatric guinea pig and have taken: ambilify, seroquel, lithium, and tegretol to name a few. Each mood stabilizer has left me feeling empty, without any personality and lifeless. While taking seroquel I had my first suicidal ideation- an elaborate plan of my death. I told this to my psychiatrist and he brushed it off and prescribed me a new med. I have since taken myself off all "over the counter" meds and consume marijuana in oral form-brownies. My co-workers have commented on the positive change in my personality and my friends have asked, "what's different?" I'm happy and stable and feel like I have a chance at a normal life. I've tried to come up with different answers knowing the social stigma around marijuana use. I am a hollistic healthcare worker and although very interested in Psychiatrics, I could never enter a field which relies so heavily on Pfizer's prescription drug plan. I pray daily that this social stigma will be removed and thank God daily for providing us with this miracle plant. My neice is 14 and starting to show similar signs, and I am trying to find out how to address this with my sister. I will not have any children as I would not want anyone to go through the sever depression and hypomania that I have experienced. I use Marijuana daily in small doses to deal with my mood, and surprizingly I have always been at the top of my class receiving a full academic scholarship to a prestigous university, no one would ever guess that I use Marijuana on a daily basis and I have stopped wondering if people notice, because they don't. I have also moved to California from the East Coast because of the more liberal medical stance on Marijuana here.

  • Anonymous-7

    I just wrote the post and am a healthcare worker. I would also like to comment that I had to start seeing a Nephrologist while being under the many different psychiatric medications my Psychiatrist had put me on. My Creatinine was 1.2 a borderline of chronic renal failure and I went through all the renal testing available, my glucose was also high while fasting. My doctor couldn't figure out why I was having this problem, but while under her care I took myself off all these prescription medications and only take marijuana orally. Low and behold, my Creatinine level is .98 the lowest its been in years and my glucose levels are normal!! Now I realize that Bipolar Disorder is a spectrum disorder and that I am fortunately on the functional side of the spectrum, some people may need to take these medications, but for me its Mary Jane all the way!

  • Riki

    As the daughter of a bipolar mother life has been difficult. I was in the 5th grade when my mom found out she was bipolar and am now going into the 10th grade. My mom has smoked pot around me since I was about 3 (when my parents divorced) but she has been addicted since she was 17 years old. My hole family knows about it but does nothing to help except my father. He is the onle one that has ever takin action against this problem. He moved me out for a year and her smoking stopped. As a teen girl I missed my mother so much even though there were all the problems at home. I moved back in a year later and mom stopped smoking for a bit. I could tell a huge diffrence. But soon after she relized how much I really needed her and thought I would never leave her again and resumed her addiction.

    Knowing how diffrent the smoking made her showed me what a terrible thing from hell Pot was. I don't care who you are. Pot does not help anything it hasn't helped my mom. All it has done for my mom is ruined 5 marriges, my relationship with her and the relationship with other family members. My mom's pot smoking has affected me in more ways than she will ever know.

    If you have kids I highly advise you not to involve your kids in it, or just don't do it at all. It will screw up your life. I don't care what anyone says. As a 15 year old girl I know that POT IS BAD so own up to what you are doing, grow up, and relize what you are doing is bad. All it is doing is disabling your medicine from working and ruining the lives around you that you once cared about.

    I know you are thinkin what does this teen know about anything, well i know alot. I have done alot of research and I have studied my mothers habbits. I want to be a Psychiatrist so I have been carful to pay attention to what she is going through. I know her disease is terrible and it is hard to deal with but smoking marijuana will not help, it only hurts it. Please don't be stupid and do something you know deep down is hurting you and others.

  • Jamie

    I have been diagnosed with several mental illnesses since I was 10 years old. I had problems with sever depression and mood swings most of my life. I have been diagnosed as bi-polar by two different doctors and put on their meds. The meds they gave me either made me feel like a zombie or like I just did a bunch of meth. When I was younger, I smoked pot because I was curious and I found out that the schools and police have been lying about it. I liked it alot, and I realized I didn't feel crazy when I used it.

    Then as a teen, I kept getting busted and sent to drug treatment because I smoked pot. After a couple weeks of being away from it, the depression and mood swings came back slowly, but surely. I became very impulsive with no regard whatsoever for consequences.

    All I know is that when I use cannabis, I feel positive about life and have goals rather than being suicidal and am able to control my impuslivity and mania so that I can keep a job longer than two weeks.

    Man made meds just don't work for me.

  • Anonymous-8

    I was a pot smoker to ween myself off all the pills doctors had me on, they said it was cause I quit taking my meds, I agree they had me addicted to there drugs that drug manufactures paid them to sell to me, it took 5 yrs to get through the withdraw from there drugs! My liver is rotted my brain only half functions and that all took place before I decided that the doctors were killing me! My iq dropped from 145 before there drugs to 95. NEVER NEVER trust a doctor!!! I've caught them in so many lies its unreal, and therapist or should I say theRAPIST are the worst!!! There mentally unstable themselves so they gotta make you feel like your the one whose mind is bad! Alway always question a doctor never take for granted that they know best! Remember this they don't have a job they "practice" practice killing you, and you will always be there science experiment with chemicals, you may as well go see a chemist to figure out what's wrong with you if your gonna take a doctors word think for yourself people I almost ended up dead cause ofthem and my father was killed by a doctor so DO NOT take there word as gold please

  • Anonymous-9

    I have a few objections but I'll just share one particular objection:

    There is no real way that an individual can attest to being a better person, being more positive, or being able to function better on marijuana. The very fact that the person is "high" and most of their brain faculties are influenced by a brain altering substance, undermines personal testimony of positive marijuana effects. The drug influences various aspects of human functionality such as pleasure, memory, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. Some individual's are paranoid and are often very forgetful.

    I knew a musician who smoked the drug and he was often forgetful, moody, extraverted, and very careless. His whole personality changed and so did his thinking. Usually while "high" the individual becomes the total opposite of what they think they become on the drug.

    The drug also becomes a crutch because the person doesn't know themselves unless they are "high." Their "new personality" under the drug's influence is more attractive to them than who they really are. The reality the drug introduces the person to is more attractive than their true existence. In such a case, I would venture to say that these individual's are trying to create a new reality for themselves. There are deeper problems at work and marijuana is only a bandaid. While I do understand this and sometimes even the need to escape from reality, using marijuana should not be a resort.

    For those who smoke the drug because they think they function better are under an illusion. Marijuna use can cause perceptual distortions, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and problems with learning. These effects can last, research shows, for weeks, and even after the drug wears off. How then is one truly able to determine how they are behaving and feeling while these effects are still prominant?

    There are certainly adverse effects when one ventures to stop the drug. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, there is irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, negative mood, and drug craving. These effects begin within 1 day after stopping the drug.

    Someone who proclaims to "feel more positive" or better on the drug, is probably already slightly if not completely addicted to the drug because they are depending on it for their livelihood. They attribute their state of being to the drug.

    I would very much encourage you to seek other avenues as much as possible. There is a reason why marijuana is not legal in every state. I would not become comfortable with this drug usage.

    http://www.nida.nih.gov/MarijBroch/Marijteens.html

    Dr.T

  • Anonymous-10

    So, pleasure isn't good? So let's stay with the lobotomizing meds, sleeping all day and the few hours left eating like a pig. Pleasure, relax, headache relief, that's what I've found in this wonderful plant. Maybe is not good for everyone, yes, the same as meds, that's why our psychiatrist is always changing medications with every patient, I'm bipolar 2, twistwing meds all time, I've just created resistance specially antidepressants, now I'm under antypsychotics, fortunately, free from olanzapine but perphenazine. I just started with this new one and I hope It won't be a bad choice (sec. effects). I'm not and I wasn't hooked with marijuana never, I can smoke two or three days, and then just leave it for months, even one or two years, and nothing happened (no simptons for abstinence). I've met people who feels great with pot, and I also met people who doesn't. If taking a drug (stigmatized) is bad, the why don't you just prohibit alcohol (wich is one of the worst drugs ever) sugar, caffeine, tobacco, please. Some medications are so dangerous to use. Let's see things how they are, of course if I smoke daily maybe I'll get a respiratory disease, the same if I cook with carbon everyday, it's combustion not thc what damages you. And yes, for some people will be the worst making them more anxious, and for others will be extremely helpful. Let's be realistic, meds are not for everyone nor pot. But that can be the difference for a person to decide what suits it better.

  • Jay

    Lithium (for example) is more addictive and dangerous to your body than Marijuana can ever be. Lithium can cause liver damage, toxicity (if you take too much, change your diet, drink alcohol, etc.), hypothyroidism, and not to mention the side effects are pretty crappy. And all of these drugs are very highly addictive.

    The worst side effect of using (or over using) marijuana that I've ever experienced is paranoia (depending on the strain/percentage of Indica to Sativa. I don't experience any paranoia if it's a 60/40 mix, respectively), getting high and laughing at things, wanting to eat snacks or truly reflecting on myself and where my life is going. Luckily, I don't over use it. I smoke a pea sized amount once during the day and once at night. I feel calm, in good spirits, confident and level headed. That's just when I'm manic though. When I'm depressed I imagine I will need a different strain.

  • Jamey

    I am 48 years old, married, 2 teenagers, former police officer who has had bi-polar symptoms for 25 years. I take Wellbutin and Lithium which keeps me within the horizons but still can't take away the constant manic energy and more minor lows which are the result of a defective thermostat. I have taken meds for 3 years now and they have saved my life. Three months ago I started to smoke pot after investigating it as a potential med by reading forums suchas this one. I methodically experimented with dose, timing and paid attention to how it affected me (as I would with any medication). I have come up with the following program:

    every night I smoke 1/2 of a joint and go for a fast, hard walk for 45 minutes to one hour. I stop walking when I am no longer high as I figure I am best not to be around people. Weed picks me up, wakes up my body and makes me move fast. I am in tune with every part of my body feelng it move, my mind becomes creative, finds insights and truth When I come down I go home, sleep well. The next day I am in a very comfortable, stable mood without the black dogs of depresson and mania. Weed seems to just make them dissappear giving me a chance at wellness and happiness. I can actualy say I feel pretty good sometimes this effect lasts 24 to 30 hours after which time I revert to the usual crazy energy.

    I have read a great deal about the dangers of weed and respect that they can be real. In my case, I can't believe how much better I feel and I have no problems using it. To me it feels like a very safe medication that has absolutely astonished me in how it has transformed my life. Going one month straight feeling good! Anyone who has this heartless illness knows how huge that is.

    As I have read often, different meds for different people. To those who study the illness, you are guessing largely so please don't make blanket statements. When I was diagnosed with my illness I made myself a promise that I would never miss an opportunity to help anyone with this illness. To those of you considering weed I would say do your research and treat it like any med monitor dose and symptoms. Use only as much as you need and no more and stop using it if it interferes negatively in your life. It can be a godsend but only if it is the right thing

    To all bipolar sufferers I offer my support to you. You are dealing with a crippling disease that can destroy lives. Keep trying and be proud of yourself for your efforts. You are not the disease. In spite of the stigma it is no different than any other illness and you are no less a person for having it. Keep trying

  • CHRISTINE

    I'm a 40 yr old divorced mom of 2 that has been a bipolar since I was 17. Been using marijuana off and on since I was 15, come 2 find that it helps with my manic moods extremly. I go through about 20 epidoses a day even on meds & thats under a doctors care, my children lived a real rollercoaster ride 2. w o the help of having a little smoke every now & then my epidoses would be worse, believe me i've tried going w o & just doing the straight meds avenue thing & i'm sorry after a yr of that it was worse 4 every1 including myself. So all the doctors can sit there & bash & people can sit there & bash & say how evil it is 2 smoke it but 4 some of us it really does help . And we're not all just out here 4 the high !

  • Hannah

    I suspect myself of having bipolar disorder (though I'm too scared to go to a doctor about it. Sometimes I'd rather just not know.). I often have extreme mood swings, think people are out to get me, starve myself, find myself worthless, don't get out of bed for literal days (and sometimes don't take showers for weeks), hate everyone, and just want to die.

    I used to self-medicate with marijuana. I can't as much anymore because I'm in college and we have random drug tests. Plus it really affects my memory and I'm trying to get out of school as soon as possible just to get away from the stupid sororities and frats. They piss me off so badly. Believe they're god.

    Anyways, I found that while sometimes it really helped me, other times it really hurt me. It is definitely habit forming and makes it very difficult to function sometimes. I had lots of difficulty focusing on school because of how lazy it made me. Also, the social aspect of it shooed away a lot of my old friends. They just couldn't stand the fact that I was suddenly "on drugs."

    However, it really mellowed me out and gave me something to alleviate my depression. Whenever I wanted to put a gun in my mouth, I'd put a joint or blunt in instead. It made me forget my problems and just relax. It helped me to eat (I lost about 20 lbs at one point. I'm a light-weight teenager girl, so that was about a 6th of my body mass) and made me happier, or at least think I was happier. It made problems seem insignificant. It helped me not be so hyper and crazy sometimes. The times when I just couldn't sleep, it put me to sleep. However, times when I was fatigued and tired all the time, I slept so much that it made me miss school a lot. I almost failed my senior year of high school for oversleeping.

    I also know it can severely alter your brain, especially your mood and memory (hippocampus definitely, but other parts as well...hypothalamus maybe?). I've seen some depressed people take it and just lose all ambition. Where they just wanted to not do anything before because they were sad, after long-term use they just didn't want to do anything for no reason. Life was just not as exciting as before. All everyone wanted to do was smoke.

    It is habit-forming. It can be dangerous. But only in large doses daily for years (especially when you're young). My mantra: everything in moderation. Only smoke when it's needed, and only the amount needed. If you notice dependence beginning to form, cut back because that will only cause more problems. Just be careful. I believe it should definitely be legalized so the good chemicals in marijuana can be refined and strengthened, bettering the experience and the effect on the brain and behavior. Until that day comes, however, play it safe and know the consequences so they can be avoided and only the benefits are apparent.

  • Unwell41

    Dr. T is very right. I have a girlfriend who is bi-polar and smokes weed in addition to her prescribed meds. I disagree with this behavior very much so. The effects marijuana has on the brain are so contradictory to the prescribed meds, it's not even funny. Prescribed medications are designed to stablize your brain's functionality and moods. Weed does pretty much the exact opposite. Every reason for smoking weed that I have read in this forum or heard from my girlfriend all sound like the rationalizations of an addict. I would know, I've grown up around addicts all my life and am in fact myself struggling with addiction. I've been there I know all those reasons for doing it make sense but they're a load of junk created out of the mind of someone who can't stop what their doing. So instead of stopping they create "rationalizations" for what their doing. Now I saw to each their own do as you will but good luck. I was just listening to Dr. Drew on the radio and he said to a kid that called in who has bi-polar disorder and smokes weed, "it makes your bi-polar impossible to treat." Impossible folks, simply because it causes chaos in a brain that is already fucked up and chaotic. Anyway, I wish you all luck in finding out the truth behind all of it before it gets to be to late and you really start seeing the long term effects of long term marijuana use.

  • mary

    The Dr. is correct. My husband one day decided to start smoke this drug "to relax him." Well it relaxed him all right. It triggered his bipolar that he has been diagnosed with. Our world has been turned upside down. And it was all due to marajauna.

  • Jessy

    Pot is NOT harmful to the human body or mind. Marijuana does NOT pose a threat to the general public. Marijuana is very much a danger to the oil companies, alcohol, tobacco industries and a large number of chemical corporations. Various big businesses, with plenty of dollars and influence, have suppressed the truth from the people. POT IS ILLEGAL BECAUSE BILLIONAIRES WANT TO REMAIN BILLIONAIRES

    Did you know, it is estimated that hemp has approximately 25,000 uses? From food, paint and fuel to clothing and construction materials, hemp is used. There are even hemp fibres in your Red Rose® and Lipton® tea bags. And several cars made today contain hemp

    Every 3.6 seconds someone in the world dies of hunger. Hemp seeds are the most nutritious and economical solution to end world hunger. With an 80 percent concentration of "good fats" our bodies need for good health maintenance and protein with all eight amino acids plus optimum dietary fibre, hemp truly is a "perfect balance" food source.

  • pothelpedme

    i have bipolar and i suffered psychotic episodes including auditory and visual hallucinations as well as paranoia for 5 years before ever smoking marijuana. those 5 years were the hardest of my life and i was very scared. since using marijuana i have regained the ability to sleep better and have had many less psychotic episodes. i would like to note that i recently discovered just how terrible alcohol is for me. the majority of the times when i have been suicidal were in close proximity to having been consuming alcohol especially when in excess. i quit smoking marijuana for quite a while about a year and i would not say that my symptoms grew worse due to the lack of marijuana but i was also consuming more alcohol during that period and that brought me back to the brink of dealing with psychotic episodes during mania. alcohol is so much worse than pot and has immediately noticeable negative effects. while intoxicated and manic i have made terrible decisions and damaged close relationships. while stoned and manic i have giggled at television or fallen asleep or enjoyed a good record or drawn a funny picture.

  • redeemer

    I must admit that the Doctor's reply lost total credit when he talked about brains blowing gaskets.

    A response examining the effect of cannabis use on GABA in the brain would have been more exciting. Aside from cannabis, GABA is affected by certain mood stabilizers, tranquilizers, a variety of narcotic substances as well as alcohol and –interestingly- GABA is present in a number of expensive women’s beauty products because of skin relaxing properties.

    The shut up and take your medication talk is just too old. If it were that simple, there would be no debate. But with researchers talking about “kindling effects” describing episodes without apparent triggers and non-responsiveness to medication after abstinence on one hand, and “positive modulation” describing beneficial effects of cannabis on the other, a debate is obviously in place. And no one is talking about engine parts.

    I think that the best approach to drug therapy is honesty. While narcotic substances should not be used loosely, dismissing substances entirely should only be done after having obtained compelling evidence that no benefit can be obtained from them. Missing out on a benefit a substance has could the reason of a failed drug therapy.

    Studies have linked THC and other cannabinoids to therapeutic effects observed in bipolar patients who used cannabis in clinical trials. Pharmaceutical companies are already trying to develop an oral solution –a drop under the tongue- containing synthetic THC and other compounds to be used as mood stabilizer.

    All of that being said, I think that drug therapy with narcotic substances should be avoided if other options haven’t been explored. It requires meticulous monitoring to separate real therapeutic benefits from intoxication-related improvements in symptoms.

    Benzodiazepines for example can alleviate insomnia in a hypomanic patient, but only for a few hours until they ware off, with withdrawal effects causing symptoms to worsen.

    Also, therapy with habit forming substances can lead to substance dependency which would also have be treated.

    Finally, and just to quickly echo a point mentioned below, alcohol is to be watched very closely. The way it affects the bipolar brain is rather brutish, especially during abnormal mood cycles. Total abstinence from alcohol should be considered the first line of defense in treatment of depression.

    Total abstinence from cannabis however, and if you truly care about your patient, should not.

  • James

    I have a sister who is on the edge of life and death. I love her so much, she used to be the most fun loving person in the world until some 'clique' in high school ruined her life. Ever since her life flip flopped her freshman year, she has been smoking pot regularly. She is now 24 and is still at it. Ok, here's the situation...

    She's been in and out of ER's, mental institutes, you name it, she's been there. Every time she comes out, she'll be better for awhile, smoke more and more pot, then end up in a WORSE situation, as stated in the article. I understand that some cases are different, but I believe my sisters case is spot-on to what Dr. Mark has written. Last year, my sister went on probation for over a year... this was the first time she couldn't/didn't smoke pot since she was 14... and for the first time in 9 years, I got to go a whole year without hearing my sister argue/complain/scream/argue/scream/argue/not make sense (while arguing) to/with my parents. She is currently DANGEROUSLY skinny, and off probation, well guess what that means... smoking pot, and her 'bi-polar' (which she admits to having with no problem at all) is worse then ever. She's arguing with my mom, contradicting herself 360 degrees... almost like she WANTS to fight. She tells us she'd feel to guilty getting treatment again and wasting our parents money... but then she says she feels like she's dying every day.

    I'm 99% sure on this, the whole problem for her is marijuana usage. When she wasn't smoking, she was working and had goals... we never saw any signs of bi-polar disorder. Whenever she's smoking, the RIDICULOUS arguments never stop, and they are blamed on her bi-polar disorder. Do you agree, based on what I've written, that Marijuana is the primary problem? I told mom she needs to start drug testing my sister on a regular basis, and when she tests positive, my mom nor anyone else in our family has to listen to her complaining. Is there a better plan?

    I'm worried for my sister, I feel like if I don't do anything these could be the last couple years, maybe even months I get to spend with her. Any advice/suggestions are appreciated, thanks.

  • Johnny Duarte

    Excuse me 'Doctor' who paid you to state lies about Cannabis? Your ignorance and bigotry on the subject disgusts me, you are a hypocrite and a greedy one at that.

  • craig

    I have schizoaffective disorder and at one point i was basically doing the same thing as your sister......arguing/fighting/name calling with my parents untell i was taken in for a 72hour hold (5150). it all started the same way your sister did, hanging out with the wrong croud in high school,smoking marijuana and showing more and more syptoms by the day untell one night, my sisters boy friend called me and said he had some coce. so i went over there and bought about 10 lines from him and snorted it all up that night. well that was it,it fried my brain and i got so out of control that the next night i then kept arguing and arguing with my parents that the government could see you through your t.v. that after my parents had called the cops i went out to the garage and was going to drill a whole in my head with a dewalt power drill. then, just as i was walking out the door to go to the garage the cops came and i couldnt really do much at that point but get handcuffed and put inback of a patrol car. I lost my job ,i lost all of my guns and just befor i did all that coce,i lost my fiancee too. after i got out of the hospital(which was all paid for by the state) i started going to the county mental health alcohol and drug abuse clinic which ,if your laidoff like me you can go for about $40 a year (depending on what county you live)and getting my medication and talk to a care cowardinator about treatment plans. they also have many other programs at the clinic such as support groups,clubhouse which is where you just sit around and talk to people , play cards and paint.....ect. you dont have to get taken in for a 72 hour hold to go to the clinic. there are also some professional people that go to get there meds through the state because it is much cheaper. or just anyone that dosent have insurance. trust me,its worth going to one of these clinics rather then paying for a private doctor. there is hope for people that dont have a lot of money,you just have to know where to look. well i hope this has been some help to you. hope your sister gets better, good luck!

  • Mark McKeen

    Well, basically I find that most of the people who have commented on this as completely ignorant. I am Bi-Polar. I am diagnosed by a licensed doctor as well. In fact, I was diagnosed while in the military. I've been on a ton of different drugs - Seroquel, Ritalin, Buspar, and Ambien just to name a few. Probably six months ago I decided that the pills, Seroquel as the most notable, were in fact doing more harm than good. Seroquel is known to cause havoc later in life - such as uncontrollable shaking. Ambien can cause you to "sleepwalk" aka drive your car at night and run into trees and people. Buspar is pretty safe, and ritalin - well that just makes my engine run smoothly when I'm trying to do anything.

    Basically when it comes down to it, I smoke pot in very light doses throughout the day. For 6 months I've had not a single moodswitch. Not a SINGLE one. So, for me it's been pretty effective.

    Now to you ignoramooses, notably the one that claims that marijuana GAVE her husband bi-polar disorder, I laugh at you. There is no possible way for bi-polar disorder to be "caught" or even developed by anything other than a predisposition. Sorry folks, but it doesn't work that way. You don't just take a bong rip and have bi-polar disorder. That's not how to goes. Marijuana isn't addictive at all either. People continue to smoke because it makes them feel better, its a stress reliever, and it helps the relax.

    Think of it as having a beer or glass of wine when you get home from work... but it makes you munch on things. Heck, that's the best part. Munchies.

    Back to the point though. Marijuana MAY cause SOME people to have increased paranoia it MAY cause SOME people to have worse symptoms.... but every drug effects people differently. Heck, every anti-depressant has a warning : May cause increased thoughts of offing yourself. Pretty sure that's worse than having the munchies or getting a little stir crazy. It's all in dosage, use, how it effects the person, and how they deal with the disorder they have.

    For me, marijuana is my main medication. I'm not a burnout, I have a job, in fact - I make good money! The amount of marijuana I use is perfect! One gram will last me sometimes two days, depending on the amount of THC in it. I'll take one puff in the morning before work, not enough to be red-eye "blazed" but enough so my anxiety goes away. I don't even feel high, I feel great - but not high. I know what high feels like. Not my cup of tea. In the afternoon I'll take another puff and guess what? I'm feeling great still.

    So please - marijuana, when used RESPONSIBLY can be more effective than pills! It is like any drug, it's not for everyone but it can and will help millions of people.

    Now, I'm going to go take my medication and let you anti-marijuana ignorant people go one with yourselfs.

  • Brian Wingate

    I have been smoking weed since I was 14, I am now 23 years old. Because of weed I have nothing at all, I still live at home and I just lost my 14mo job because I got out of control. I feel like I am at a loss with reality, I did a lot of bad things simply from not worrying about consequences because I was always high. I have been arrested 13 times for mostly the same things such as stealing money, and no not to support my drug habbit but to go shopping so I can get happy for 5 whole minutes with my new "toys". I have a criminal record, I have the worst credit you could imagine. I lost eveyone I have ever loved, all my friends. I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2006 when I was forced to get a mental evaluation. Making my story shorter I know some of you don't agree and I can understand that, because for some of you marijuana has not yet/ has no effected you in this way, and as much as I try to explain to loved ones then never understand, but those who are experiencing what I am going through do. I am currently dealing with my fist day sober, after all of the shit I went through I cant take it anymore and I refuse to smoke pot EVER again been a whole 9 years of wasting my life doing nothing. I have quit marijuana in 2007 for three months, other then that I have smoked the whole 9 years. And let me tell you this, after the first three weeks that I have quit smoking for them 3 months before relapsing, i felt great, i had more energy, i didnt steal, i made friends, and i was happy. I found that I was no bipolar, the intense and crazy mood swings with the mania and the depression simply just wasnt there. I was stable and I was happy. I got a job I was so motivated and I excelled, my family started to love me again they saw a difference in me. long story short again i relapsed after them three months, started experiencing maina again and ended up stealing a lot off of my employers ( for no reason i had money) I lost my job and was arrested, i lost all my friends again and from then on I smoked weed staying to myself until today. Today is the first day since I have not smoke marijuana. Its painful, i thought about it all day, my mind wants to replace it but i will not allow it, I have 0 friends literally, i am depressed, and i am going through a lot, but i am telling you this, i will sit here all day depressed until my system is clean, i will endure the pain and agony, the depressed feelings and the mood swings until they fade away, because....for ME marijuana in suicide. If possible I would like the editor to email me. I know some dont agree because they have not went through it, but many do because its happening to people. When I read anything on the effects of marijuana and the mind, its like everyhtime someone has someting negative about how it effected their life, they are talking exactly about me. I am hoping I will be okay when my body clears itself the problem marijuana has caused. I know I will get MUCH better because I did the 1 and only time i quit, I actually felt real, like me again. I walked out into the world and it was the world I was so excited. I am hoping after 3 weeks (and i am pretty sure i will) that that will happoen again. growing up i was all about leagelizing it, today I believe they need to do intense research on it, I do not deny like other ignorants that it wont help them because it hurts me, I know it does, but it hurts me. sorry if this is all over the place its only been 1 day and its after 4am, good night. Editor, if you could please email me I would like to learn more, I am experiencing some of this things I have read and I have some questions. bwingatejr@gmail.com, Thank you -Brian.

  • Nicole F.

    Mark D.

    When I first started reading you answer to my question, and many others I totally thought you were wrong. I have Bi-Polar Disorder and the only thing that makes me happy is smoking a fat blunt. But i realized after years of smoking yes it makes me happy but now people consider me a dumb blonde. Ive always considered my self smart but I have noticed the effects this gateway drug has taken on me. So, I guess its time to get on some happy pills. They haven't ever worked in the past, besides making me gain 50 lbs. But it might be a little healthier then taking a visit to mary-jane!

  • Jessie

    I have read most everyone's comments and completely understand the two sided coin. I have had mood problems as far back as I can remember. I was not the teen that looked to drugs as a solution to my problems. I just assumed everyone felt like they wanted to implode most of the time. It wasn't until my early twenties did I begin to use MJ as relief or medication if you will. I spent many productive years this way being professional and respected in my field as well as a successful marriage. As they say I could bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan! In a older fashion tradition rolled marriage. At some point after being diagnosed with bi polar I chose to set the pot aside and go through traditional drugs and therapy. I no longer wanted to operate outside the law. I have spent years from one drug cocktail to another experiencing one doctor or another who just would not listen to me nor believe my side effects. I have done everything I have been told go off nicotine, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and getting regular sleep. Still no relief or quality of life. I now don't even have the stress of a job. I have removed all outside influences letting traditional medication work.....nothing. I am at a place where I am about to give up and smoke pot again. I have a wonderful situational life. I am blessed to not have the dysfunctional relationship, job I hate or financial woes. So there are no outside influence MAKING me this irritable angry sad frustrated anxious and so uncomfortable I want out of my body. In closing to those that see marijuana as a contributor or cause to mental illness such as bi-polar there is no blanket that covers all. Some of us out there have spent years trying to do it "the right way" with no relief. If I truly had it my way I wouldn't smoke mj or have this extremely crippling disease! For those out there that suffer as I do I feel for you and your families! We deserve some sort of quality of life too.

  • Nicholas Becker

    I am a 20 year old kid from Huntington Beach, California and was recently diagnosed as Bipolar 1 after a psychotic manic episode I experienced back in September 2009. It seems that reading from some of the comments many have not experience the extravagant and frightening world of a manic episode. I experienced with marijuana for 3 years and did so not just with friends, but also in complete isolation and in large amounts. Over those 3 years of smoking pot I gradually became more intense, more agitated, much more isolated, and also felt as if I were better than everyone else. Also my thoughts seemed to drift from daily responsibilities and towards issues dealing with the world such as Global Warming, nuclear war, and angels and demons. In September of 2009, at the peak of my marijuana consumption I had a manic break from reality. To describe this euphoria is a feeling of great power and strength, I hear voices and noises that no one else can hear. I ramble and constantly interrupt others. I also feel directly connected to God as if I'm smoking God's weed listening to his music and relaying his message to everyone who is in my path. In my case back in September of 2009, I thought the world was coming to an end. My friend Chris was to take me up to Santa Barbara to visit some of my other friends and my missions was to save these people from the end of the world. On the ride up to Santa Barbara, while smoking a fat blunt and listening to music I turned into some person I'd call "possessed by something". It was the greatest feeling I will ever feel in my lifetime and I felt as if I was one of God's "ire soldiers" here to rid the world of evil people. So I told my friends and was on a mission to take out all evil people and make the world a better place. I felt as if I had super human abilities of strength and quickness to evade and pummle anyone who was to stand in my way. I also saw eyes in some people that were demonically all black and the only real eyes I could see were my friends. I was extremely scared, but at the same time ready to stand in front of anything or anyone that would stand in my way. My friends ended up taking me to the hospital because they were concernced about how I was acting. When I went inside an old lady sat me down to take my blood pressure. As the lady started taking my blood pressure I ripped it off ran outside and there were already cops waiting outside the hospital due to my extremely unusual behavior prior to going inside the hospital. I decided in my mind that these police officers were evil demonic creatures and it was time to do battle so I fought them to the best of my ability and ended up in a pretzel with my arms and legs securely hand-cuffed. I ended up being charged with 3 felonies : resisting arrest, battery and assault against a police officer.

    After being released from prison and put into a mental hospital where I was put under heavy doses of an anti-psychotic medication known as Zyprexa and also put on Depacote and resperidone. After 7 days of heavy medication I finally came back to reality and came to the realization that I was Bipolar 1 with psychotic episodes. A month after being in the hospital I was extremely down or depressed, and I couldn't get out of my bed and the quality of life was the worst I had ever experienced. I had to try marijuana again. So I did and after smoking a whole blunt with 2 other people I was directly sent back into the spiritual unrealistic realm of my mania. I haven't tried marijuana since, and after 1 year I am completely stable. Although the medication had an impact on my life for half of that year I slowly came back to life and now on this day I am doing fine.

    What's sad about my bipolar disorder is that I am so vulnerable to escape reality. 1 blunt and I'm sent back to that world. I no longer can experience the great feelings that marijuana gives you. I have lost my three best friends who still smoke weed. Marijuana was my favorite thing in the world it made me different. Now after being diagnosed biPolar 1 I feel like I am just a number in a world of billions. I cannot do the things that I like with the people I love.

  • Stephanie C

    Its actually nice to find a place where i can read that other people out there have had such problems with pills. I have been diagnosed as schitzo affective and am supposed to be taking a handful of pills a day, but instead i smoke marijuana. My disorder lead me to live on the streets and live a bad lifestyle for 5 years. I do admit that i still take medication if I feel like I am going to go into an episode, but for me marijuana is my medication. I now because of combining medication and marijuan, have in a year, gotten 11 credits, working part time for 4 months (it was a few years that I did not work at all before), and am sustaining a relationship.

    There is nothing wrong with smoking marijuana

  • Desperate Dave

    Hi group , Im 47 year old male. Smoke cannabis for medicinal purposes. Have severe fibromyalgia, very rehabilitating. been advised against fusion at L4-5 as no operation is as per USCF spine specialists will help my irreversible pain which is constant .

    I agree and Ive beeb there , a doobie is better than putting a gun in your mouth.

    I have my guns in wifes possession ,well hidden . i don't want to know where they are.

    Besides the bipolar ,I personally believe i am more classic manic depressive. Really living mindful of what I eat drink ect.

    The meds,all most every one listed i ve trailed. Worse ,and more suicidal on those head meds,say than with lite dose of ms contain, and some herb to help appetite and spasm relief.

    Medicinal MJ has kept me from jumping out onto a freeway,please folks .... not by insanity but by sheer horror and relentless pain . Ive been up to 3-400 mg day of oxy ,n mscontin.. Let me testify i am down to 30 mg x3 per day.. I increased the medicinal ...and reduced the pharmaceuticals!!!

    Reduced pain and allow me to buffer withdrawals ,a lil grass goes a long way.

    Makes me mindful of my illnesses and can stop hating myself for being disabled . With the help of some MJ i can do a few things for myself ,so my wife doesn't have to quit job to care for me. I am perm disabled ,use electric scooter .

    So Id say if you're in dire need , hit the weed.

    Its not for everyone ,as many learned. What does the man ,woman in your soul say?

    my wife ,not for her. Fine ,every body ,mind and chemistry is different as bodies and minds react different to script meds.

    Ive read early today a top Harvard Doc says cannabis can help manage the symptoms ,esp the depression .

    Ive found a way to steer the manic days, but the drop off not .

    Grass is simply the only thing that helps specific parts get relief. Thats what I believe to be true for my body ,I like to be mindful and aware of changes and self check always,

    regardless of your stance on this issue , Yes i am suffering too. I feel very deeply and emotional and great empathy for those affected by mental issues as well physical.

    Im thinking of you , wish I had a wand I could wave and fix you . I would drive to every effect persons house and cure them . If it still worked ,likely then myself. Nice pipe dream , but whats imagination for?

    Dam im 47 and the suffering I know are countless.

    Hang in there , even if you are living and managing your disease one Minute at a time!

    i know I am .....

    Desperate Dave

  • Anonymous-11

    I'm Bipolar and struggling with a severe marijuana addiction. I started pot well into the course of my illness during my mid 20s. I started when quitting smoking, in an attempt to get through the pain. It worked, but had the additional benefit of "fun"...fun being something I rarely ever experienced as a primarily depressed bipolar. So I kept doing it. Years later, somehow I'm now smoking it daily, from morning to night. I don't work. My husband started smoking with me, had a psychotic episode when not high and lost high job. I noticed the ill effects in him first (he is not bipolar). He clearly lost interest in hobbies, lost motivation to work and justified it as a change in life philosophy, put pressure on our sex life by demanding increasingly freaky sex because he got used to that increasingly "high excitement" that he got from drugs. Life became boring without them. When he stops smoking (he can't quit for more than 2 days) he is irritable/angry, irrational, depressed, anxious. Pot gave him his first panic attacks, and now he suffers from anxiety most of the time. Before the drug, he never had mental illness issues he was the grounded one. And myself...also hopelessly addicted. I feel the pot cause an agitated "spark" in my thinking. My thoughts are more disconnected, memory worse, anxiety/paranoia worse. I get panic attacks every time I smoke, but do it anyway. Sometimes I have mild hallucinations on it. I'm now severely agoraphobic. I'm terrified of going back to work, terrified of being around people. I have no energy. I still experience the "fun" side of the drug, and the joy that I can't get any other way, so I keep doing it. I lie to all doctors, no one knows that I'm this addicted or do it this frequently. When I stop, I plummet into a very evil toned depression that I can't get out of. I lie to everyone about this addiction. My husband and I share this secret together, and get sicker and sicker together. I'm quitting for him, but I hope our marriage can handle it...the fighting and my bipolar symptoms are unbearable, our lives so unhappy, not even money to entertain ourselves with to fill the void. There is nothing happy in our lives to look forward to when we quit. We were going to have children and careers. Now we are too sick to do anything. Please listen. I was a super hippie, believed in legalization, laughed at people who suggested that it was addicted, bought into the conspiracy theories about the gov't wanting our money via meds (this may be true, but it doesn't discount the negative effects of pot). The dangers are real. My life is in shambles. I'm so crazy now that I can't think well enough to get on with my life. Don't ever let yourself abuse this drug. If you feel it take over, take a break from it or quit altogether. It happens so fast, and by the time you realize it you may have lost years due to worsened mental health and lack of motivation. Don't attack doctors just because they express downsides of a drug that you personally don't experience. Conversely don't attack people for doing a drug that helps them. Trust in your own experiences, don't lie to yourself! Only you know how the drug is affecting you. Psychosis/addiction are legitimate, take them seriously.

  • Anonymous-12

    Two years ago I was diagnosed with depression, started taking Zoloft and dropped out of uni (final year engineering). I hated zoloft and after about three months on it I started smoking marijuana once or twice a week. Around the time I started smoking I stopped taking zoloft. I started a new course the year after and my smoking increased to about 3 times a week. I did really well that year and achieved distinctions for most of my subjects. I thought bipolar was a possibility years ago but it wasn't until around three months ago I noticed some signs that made me seriously think that I might have bipolar so I stopped smoking marijuana and hoped that that would be the solution. About a month ago I had my most manic state yet (still only hypomania but probably borderline mania) and the last few weeks I have been incredible depressed. I don't want to smoke marijuana but it seems that it did help me and the signs of bipolar were there before I stared smoking. I have no doubt the marijuana has destroyed peoples lives so I am scared to see it as a solution but when I am depressed like I am now it is such an easy solution. I want to try medication but if it doesn't work then I don't know what I'll do.

  • shelly reed

    Really unsure of it all except ptsd leads to bi polar, bi polar leads to puffin, puffin leads to wonder, "wonder if God hates me for this."

  • former major music star

    I grew up in the biggest city in the world. Extreme poverty. Life was a war zone. At age 7 I hit the streets. My business of choice. Not righteous. Made alot of money. Millions. 80's. At age 17. 2 million dollar record deal. Living the life. 2 years. The rap game was worse than the streets. Demons all around me. Jail time. Contract gone bad. I went in to asylum. Private life. Had a death in the family. Lost my mind. It was already hard to trust anyone. But I was mortally wounded. Nervous brake down. Hospitals. Meds. Depression. Manic mania. Bipolar. Became violent. Heard threatening voices from my days in the streets. Every time I smoked after my meds....I was back in that world. Hell on earth. Became suicidal. Two or three years in and out of the hospital. I stopped the meds and the weed altogether. It was a hard few years. But I found god. Today I wish I could smoke. But im part of the 3% who can not. One blunt and im risking my entire life. The psychological meds are the worst thing ever. My mind has never been the same. Do not mess with them. Please. My wifes understanding helped me more than anything. Her support got me this far. If I could smoke I would not smoke cigarettes. Planning to quit in two months. Im successful again. Im rich again. I have a beautiful family. Three beautiful kids to live for . That keeps me going. I found jesus. In my own way. I leave everything in his hands. I help through charity and by mentoring the youth. I donate to several charities daily. I share my story. Im both a 911 and Katrina survivor. I did this all with the love of my wife. Without meds. Without weed. Without the music industry. I had severe depression. The meds made me manic. The meds escalated my illnesses. Now the weed won't be acceptable to my mind. I would become violent. Extremely paranoid. I hear voices. Im ready to kill to defend my life and my family. But it was all the meds and the weed. Once you have been given any psychological meds. The weed will transfer you to hell on earth. Do go there. God has a plan for you. In that realm is where the demons can and will enter your body soul and spirit. All demonic possession requires drugs. Jesus is the way to the father.

  • Anonymous-13

    Well all I can say is I have always had more problems not smoking Marijuana. I have meds tha i dont take anymore and i have been any trouble in over 6 years which is new for me.

    I have been in mental instutions and in and out off jails and prison because of my disablitiy. They gave me a check and I'm doing really good.

    Now that I smoke daily , I'm good better attudie get alond with spose and everything isn't perfect but it beats all those side effects that I dont have to go through anymore when this one smoke does as much as 4 5 different meds.

  • michele

    I have watched my Ex n his/my Son and my Sister ALL become violent and extremely angry while smoking weed and I have witnessed all of them get off it with Huge changes! My Sister never went back and has a wonderful life now but my Ex and Son continue to struggle with it. I wish my son would listen to me that the weed IS the problem but he swears its not and so I deal with DAILY ABUSE from him cause he wont quit.

    I use to give him money for it cause at least when he had it he didnt get angry but now he cant get high at 20 and is always angry n sepressed. I would love to get him in a treatment program. I could find one but he wont agree to go and as an adult i cant force him.

    I tried suicide to get away from him thats how bad it is but obviously God wants me to live so i suffer. I will take ANYONES ADVICE please email me as soon as possible. Thanks

  • Anonymous-14

    Much of the information stated here as fact is not. I am bipolar and smoke pretty much every day. I have had zero bad reactions and it has actually helped me with chronic issues such as insomnia. Mood. Etc. Traditional establishment doctors often offer a similar view but they also have been fed misinformation.

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