Do you often hear about people with bipolar disorder using marijuana to calm mania?
Do you often hear about people with bipolar disorder using marijuana to calm mania?
Hi, Jilly. I strongly endorse Chris' comments.
I could see where in theory the active chemical in cannabis could help with mania. But this hasn't been tested nor is it legally available, and certainly not in the microscopic amounts that would be required to medically accomplish the mission.
In my experience, people I have encountered saying they use pot to control their bipolar are lying, mainly to themselves. In fact, they are pot heads in denial and I would have a lot more respect for them if they admitted it.
Certainly, smoking a joint or even sharing one is overkill. Look at the "side effects": Loss of rational control of the brain, paranoia, appetite stimulation, sleep inducement, loss of reflexes, and on and on. Not even a drug company could come up with a med as stupid as pot.
All that pot offers is what any street drug or alcohol offers. It very quickly lifts you out of your current state of mind into one that you perceive is better. If your life is that pathetic to start with, the answer is to work on improving your life, not escaping into drugs.
Also keep in mind: Acceptable social drinking and pot use is an occasional indulgence, say on the weekend. To actually use pot to control mania, we are talking everyday use. Everyday use is totally ridiculous and utterly stupid. Don't even think about it.
There are people who talk about this question.
Consider my answer:
There are many degrees of bipolar and many conditions to be in (Bipolar I, Bipolar II and manias, depressions and hypomanias and dysphoric manias, for example.)
Marijuana is an herb with a drug in it that is not tested, controlled or measured by any standard. Users do not use the same amount--they vary from smoking a joint to staying up all night getting wasted.
This seems to me to be an incedibly dangerous mix especially when you consider that one of the main features of the bi-polar (and I am one) is, at times, loss of judgement.
Additional things to consider
1. It is expensive and bipolar people often have a hard time taking care of basic responsibilities.
2. It is illegal and lawyers are expensive and a record will increase a person's ability to rebuild their life.
3. In general, consistent pot use cause lethargy and lack of motivation. This does not help a depressed person or a person who is facing significant life challenges.
There are other things that are a detriment to getting well and whole: Using liquor, rejecting doctor's and loved ones advice and getting proper sleep and nutrition.
It might be beneficial to relieve stress by volunteering in a place where you will meet people who appreciate you for who you are and where you feel good about having made a positive effort during the day.
These are difficult things. I know it sounds boring and totally unconvincing but once you start on the road to recovery you will realize that getting high and drinking are the real excuse for a boring life.
i'm bipolar ll and smoked weed just yesterday - and finally swore to not touch it again. it makes me very paranoid (incresingly; at first it was fun to have these thoughts but lately and especially yesterday, i am not sure anymore what's real and what's not) and puts nasty thoughts in my head about other people. i'm afraid that i say nasty things to people and monitor very closely what i say. this makes me feel i'm not part of the group but lonely because i cannot behave as i usually would. i felt that my brain wanted to trick me into saying nasty things to see how i get out of it. these things became stronger each time i smoked. i think i destroyed (so i feel though it maybe feels harsher to me than it really is?!) a really good time with someone.
all in all, it makes me somewhat psychotic whereas i usually am not. i hate this feeling and very much regret to have smoked.
I have been living with Bi Polar disorder for more than 17 years. I have been on many medications prescribed by doctors and they have only made me worse.
The Psychiatric field in itself seems to be a very flaky field with doctors only having a general idea of what is wrong by talking to you about your symptoms and then calculating which drugs will have an approximate reaction and adjusting from there. I have had many adverse effects from many of these drugs including a near suicide atempt from getting so extremely depressed from taking the drug Paxil.
With that said, about a year ago I started smoking pot to help control the mania and the severe mood swings. When I say smoke, I usually take a small amount about a pinch and put it in a pipe and smoke 1 to 2 puffs. That is enough to help the uncontrollable thoughts that are usually racing in my head. It sometimes induces paranoia, I cannot lie, but I am normally paranoid. The pot does make me more up front about my paranoia and I will usually talk about it with someone as opposed to feeling like I am crazy and keeping it inside which helps me confront/control the paranoia and bring my mind to ease.
The problem with self medication is all I have to go by is my own study. If I see that I am building a tolerance I back off for a few days as to not develop an addiction. Not all people have that control. That is where the danger lies. I am a chain cigarrete smoker, and have a tendency to abuse substances, foods, excercise etc.. as do most people with my condition tend to have. Knowing this I feel like I have an advantage, knowing that I am susceptible.
My wife thinks I have a drug problem. Then again she does not think I have anything wrong with me as she does not understand my condition and just tells me to control it mentally. The laws also treat marijuana with ridiculous sentences, which to me is just a way to pump money into the judicial system, but maybe that is just my paranoia acting up again.
Hope this helps.
I am bipolar, I have mostly manic symptoms ie:tremor, rapid speech, rapid thought, spastic leg syndrome, severe agitation, & impulsivity
I am 38 yrs old and have been using marijuana as my only medication. I was previously on tegretol, ativan and clonazepam, which worked....I have found also that marijuana controls all of these symptoms. I smoke approximatly a gram a day on the norm more when I am in an extended manic state. I know my symptoms well and when I start to fee
l myself falling into any kind of depression I stop using marijuana and take great care to ensure the tools I have developed tocombat that are easily accessible ie: drawing, guitar, reading, breathing techniques and of course the knowledge that this will eventually pass helps.
What I have found is that pot is much less expensive than the medications. Pot is also a natural herb, pills are man made and have many side affects. The long term use of pot in comparisson to the long term use of pills and the effects on my body make my decision to use pot easy. I am not saying that pills are completely out for me, if pot ever stopped working I would return to pills happily rather than be sick. As I would take insulin if I had diabetes...unless of course I could control it with diet.
All that I am saying is pot allows me to not look so outwardly crazy, I can hold a conversation and make a point that people now understand, I am not shaking like a crack addict in recovery and I have more time to focus on tools to help me cope with depressive symptoms rather than drag my lathargic butt out of bed after an evening of ativan.
I am for the use of pot for treatment of manic symptoms. I am not however for people staying up all night to get high. That is a subject of addiction, not medical use. For that matter, there is quite an addiction possibility to ativan and clonazepam as well.
Thanks for hearing me out
Oh wow, after being prescribed medical marijuana for my mania, not only did it make me paranoid, but I went into a very dangerous and scary psychosis that left me in the hospital for a month! I am still recovering. I had used marijuana in the past and it did the same thing but I didn't want to admit it was the drug, but it really isn't work all the damage it could cause, it really messes with your mind.
Yes I have Bipolar 2 and am on Sodium Valporate for it. I have been diagnosed for just over 6 months. My side effects from the Valporoid were loss of appetite, increasing paranoia and depressed days. I have been smoking the whole way through my diagnosis and treatment, but the last month have reduced to just a little bit every day. My weight has slowly started to come up, and I have had reduced bad mood swings. I now see it as a stabilizer, if viewed as a medicine.
Hope this helps
My husband has recently been diagnosed as BPII. But we thought it was depression for 10 years. He's been on pot for almost all of those, and I'll tell you, it's not working. He's very angry, volatile, rages, scary! He says the pot is working, well guess what, if it was working, he wouldn't be so darn scary and out of control! And now I'm ready to leave because I can't live like this, and he's telling me he feels like dying and that he doesn't want to live. Does someone really want to tell me that the pot is working?! He's definitely been in a manic stage, texting me constantly angry texts, emailing constantly. Out of control! And this has been on marijuana the whole time and lately because he's so depressed and so manic, alcohol too. His psychiatrist told him he needs to stop medicating and wants to put him on a mood stabilizer and he refuses and refuses to stop the pot and alcohol. So I don't care what someone says is working. Maybe it works for some of the people on here. But I know if my BPH was on here, he'd say it's working for him too. But he's losing his wife and son. So tell me, is that working? I don't think so.
I hear about this all the time.
Honestly I am completely against the illegalization and criminalization of Marijuana. But my Bias aside I can tell you that many people I have know in my life who were manic, depressed or bipolar used marijuana regularly to help them "relax". Now I cannot speak for them cause I am not an "expert" per se. What I can tell you is that Marijuana use is condemned by authority figures. We all know that's true but we have no idea why they condemn it.
I am a social user myself so I can speak in terms of my experience with it all day and all night if I had to.
I have severe clinical depression and S.A.D. but when I smoke weed I feel better. When I take Zoloft I do not feel good at all. So many people say that weed is a "depressant" yet for me it works immeasurably better than my Zoloft. And a few friends of mine are the same way. My brother in law grows it because all these meds he's on don't work. When I use marijuana I do not abuse it. If I get high once a day I can feel pretty good all day. Just like if I take my zoloft once a day I can build it up in my system and feel better in the coming weeks.
Now then, it is an instant effect because spongey tissues absorb toxins much easier and your lungs are spongey and you smoke it. At least that is what I have grown to understand. Just like your liver absorbs alcohol because it is a toxin and your liver is the defender of your body against such toxins.
And the word "toxin" or "toxins" does not apply to something bad as much as it applies to something with an effect on your body that you can feel in this case.
Another thing I want to point out is that weed is not going to kill you unless you abuse it.
Does that sound familiar?
Well, it should because the same thing applies to all medicines or drugs. And at least I know where my weed came from. I don't where my Zoloft came from. So many pharmaceutical companies get sued every year for causing DEATH. That I am surprised they aren't called murderers. Yet not a single death directly linked to Marijuana overdose/regular use has been reported ever in the entire history of all of mankind and monkeys.
That's not to say weed is something you should take lightly. I will NEVER drive when drunk or high. Or do any risky task when high either. Because I know how to make judgement calls based on my situation.
Common sense saves lives, stupid people cause death because they were way too dumb to know that maybe if they're ripped off their asses they shouldn't go out and do something dangerous.
And just to clarify I am not saying everyone should smoke weed. I am saying that it is, in all certainty, at least a viable and NATURAL option for medication in my honest opinion. Do what you will but do not demonize an herb or plant that you have no experience with.
By the way my marijuana is grown locally in controlled expert conditions. And I, myself am a marijuana advocate. I make hash oils and edibles as well as smoke it. If you do not want to inhale the tar then you can always use edibles or synthetics such as a vaporizer. And if you do not mind smoking it but don't like the idea of inhaling tar then use a water pipe to filter it. It won't completely eliminate tar but, just like a cigarette fiberglass filter it will cut it down a bit. Only difference here is fiberglass is nasty dangerous stuff but water is just water :)
There are so many options for marijuana use that people don't even need to smoke it if they don't want to. And not smoking it completely destroys the possibility of lung damage therefore making marijuana very safe and reliable.
Be smart, have common sense, and make judgment only when judgment is needed.
And marijuana does not make stupid people. Never has never will. Marijuana has never effected MY ability to problem solve as much as my depression.
(the following is opinionated and satired to a certain degree):
Stupid people make stupid people and stupid people make bad decisions which is why they are breeding and making more stupid people to make more bad decisions.
I have been struggling with depression since I was quite young. I was drawn to weed early as well.
I was recently put on lamictin and concerta. This has improved my quality of life considerably as well as allowing a peaceful focus which has calmed the demon within me. I feel like I have tamed it.
I have enjoyed a smoke almost every weekend for the past 7 odd years. My memory is still impecable, sure it would be better if I stopped but it serves well. Nothing beats it. So what if I want to escape. Young people are under exceeding pressure nowadays. I know this won't make my problems go away but if for a few hours I want to drift off on those clouds of joy then why hinder me.
In my opinion how can you have a plant that has grown out of our mother earth condemned. Damnation on those man made mutations. The chemicals, including alcohol, we often plug into ourselves is at times, well, chilling. I would outlaw alcohol in a minute and replace it with marijuana. The trick is to stop addictions and therefore those of weaker mind and soul destroying themselves and leaving only a trail of bones in their wake. Monitor their usage. Restrict them to only a gram or 2 a week. You don't need to smoke a lot rather during those time periods when you have earned it. A hard week's work. Celebrating with friends etc. not just for the sake of it. When you stop getting high, that's when you stop smoking weed. You have crossed the line.
Any way, hope I speak to the logic in all of you...
I agree with Annoyed.. i have grown to be afraid of psychiatrists they always made things worse for me since 5 years old yeah i have disorders that run on both sides of my family plus my dad did speed when my mom got pregnant with me and i have always been a basket case but the one thing that always worked to help me was weed. i got tired of doctors making the excuse well youre not on the right medication. in fifth grade my dad let doctors medicate me for adhd and i became suicidal and got beat up in class for being the weird kid falling asleep after taking crazy meds and id wake up very moody flailing around i was the kid that wanted to hurt everyone who made fun of me when before the meds i was always happy and when anyone picked on me i told them sorry youre having a bad day and i love you even if im your enemy. i used to love everyone and at dinner prayers i would pray even for the people who have hurt me beat me up and stuff like that. then i got suicidal on the pills and dillusional accused my family of things then got placed in an institution and half the things i said werent true but i got diagnosed bipolar and depression and anxiety and then put on like 7 different meds and then went to live with my mom and on those meds my mania was bad the only ones that calmed me were depakota and lamictal but they found those workded when i was 15 years old but it was hell i had bad sleep paralysis i would wake up unable to move and id fall asleep in mid sentence i was such a zombie nobody would talk to me who wants to talk to a wall then turned out the lemical gave me a rash inside my stomache and the doctors didnt tell me it was a main side effect so i went four months of throwing up my own bile and tearing up my throat and unable to eat even drink water i could barely hold down my pills and it caused brain damage i have the memory span of a five year old im very angry because i have to write everything down everything everyone tells me or its like the next time i talk to the person theyre a stranger even though they may have told me their life story do you have any clue how hard that is when im in a relationship no because the doctors dont care theyl just give another medication for more side affects till youre on nine different meds killing you placing you in the er. my memory is bad enoug with my adult adhd but they made it way worse here i am 18 years old i didnt graduate high school because after the incident with the lemictal i got so bad with my memory and focus from the damage id just break down and cry i got placed in special education i was so embarrased got made fun of by peope who wanted to be my friend but noticed i could never remember their name after a whole week and then theyd see me come out of the special class one day then make fun of me and not understand why i was there why would i want to tell them then when i was with someone who accepted me this way i loved him he was the love of my life we lived together i was 17 but i couldnt sleep and then i was forced to see the doctor i didt even want to i could sleep if i smoked weed but i had to quit because the doctor so then i went in and got mirtazapine and it changed my whole life my head hasnt been the same since it caused a huge schizophrenic breakdown ive never shown symptoms of it before in my life and i thought aliens and demons were torturing me and then my ex left me and i had a miscariage and blamed aliens then after that he never spoke to me again this was a year ago i stil hurt from it. i hate psychiatry. the doctor couldve prevented all this told me the sideeffects and didnt. i ran away thinking my mom was evil and working with the aliens i was hallucinating so bad and i was drifting place to place for 8 months but my schizo episode wore off after 6 months then i contacted my mom just filled with pain depressed alot of people had taken advantage of my weak minded state ill never discuss all the pain i went through and the memorys are horrible i wont even say everything but my family went through alot they thought my mind was gone forever and part of me knew it was all in my head but the other part of me just coudnt resgister it always made excuses and i thought i was chosen for the suffering and cursed to be alone the only thiing that made me better was completely going off meds after running away then just.. riding it out. everyday i wanted to die. id try to sleep and heard thing the sleep paralysis was bad. now im back home but my mom had moved from california to oregon i had to take a bus to oregon and run like hell from some people who took me in but mentally abused me and kept me in fear im still afriad of them. i wish i never ever went on meds. im not in denial i know i have bipolar im going through mania right now but the weed helps. i havent had any for a couple days though. i hate when ignorant people write about how weed is a stupid drug i mean really? have you ever gone through this shit obviously not.. i now have a phobia off any type of pills. all kinda. i rarely even take tylenol for headaches. pills freak me out. i couldnt bare to go back on meds and go through that hell again id just end everything. i was afraid of my own family. my head will never be right and the same again. but id rather learn to cope and just heal all the pain i went through and try and be content despite my troubles that are long term side effects. im just happy to have a wonderful boyfriend now who is patient and doesnt mind repeating himself and my dad i talk to him on the phone and i can hear it in his voice how worried he gets when i forget what he just said but hes patient and my mom still has pain from when i thought she was out to get me and i still get distant with her. im just thankful to god that i got myself back as much as i did and i learned my lesson ill never touch meds again id be throwing away my life.
Wow! After reading this thread and others it seems apparent I am a sufferer of hypomania. A functioning mania from what I gather. I thought I just had bad anxiety but every other symptom I have experience. To those who doubt weed is benificial to this just haven't experienced the anxiety or the relief from marijuana. Am I self medicating? Absolutely. Which is why I meter 1 gram a day, in 3 doses. I smoke alone and without it I can have a song in my head for a week, can think about a meaninless designs that don't work for weeks. Have been smoking since 1984. But proving those who doubt is not my message here. I starting 'vaporizing' 3 months ago and my lungs have cleared, throat no longer sore sometimes. I wish I would have figured this out earlier but I found out the ones that work only came out within the last 4 years. I used to cough daily and was out of breath. While it's more work and the unit is expensive, after you make the conversion you won't even be able to stomach smoking. Done right it's just as effective. Smoke was my only fear using so much, with that worry gone I no longer have that to worry about. Look into it sufferers!
A health professional doing screening for a clinical trial of a new bipolar medication stated that a lot of people with bipolar smoke marijuana to help balance out their moods, specifically mania. It slows down the racing thoughts and allows for better functioning. From experience I can say that small amounts of mid-grade herb will help with that. But like with anything else, it takes moderation. "smoking up" all day, every day is not beneficial to the bi-polar person. But taking any prescribed medication more than necessary is not healthy either. Taken for medicinal purposes, it can help. In CA they prescribe it to people with bipolar to act as a mood stabilizer of sorts.
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