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Does marijuana worsen bipolar disorder?

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I have been with my (newly ex) bipolar I boyfriend for over a year. Yesterday he had broken up with me because I got upset about the mileage on my car that he had driven. From his house to my school its about 7 miles. He dropped me off at school and said he went home. My mileage had went down by 50 by the time he had come back. I am not questioning what he was doing only about the mileage on my car. He knows I do not care about where he goes just so long as he tells me. Well to make the story short I admit I lost my temper because he kept saying how we're not going to last and how he does not want to be with me. This has been a constant saying of his this week.
He has been smoking marijuana for about 6 years, he went through a two year manic phase at a very young age and got into some horrible situations and drugs. I'm young, just starting college, I myself have an anxiety disorder. I love this boy very much but I do believe the weed is making things worse. I should add that he stopped taking his pills a year ago. Whether he likes it or not it's obvious his body needs the weed. For god sakes his body twitches when he's sober! He get's so grumpy without it. I would just like to know does weed affect bipolar? He says he's done research and he says it makes it better but I would love to beg to differ. Also, he has dreams every single night about me cheating and ending with him waking up in a panic and truly believing I've cheated. I've done research on "night terrors" but is it true? Does bipolar affect the dream state of a person?
I must add despite all of these problems I love him dearly and I know he loves me. He is the sweetest person I have ever met. When things are good they're fantastic but the last few months his bipolar has gotten noticeably worse.
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First Helper MichaelReason
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replied November 8th, 2010
Deeeeej,

I read your post and I feel for you! I just left my boyfriend who was bipolar, he is living in denial and he self-medicates with alcohol and pot. We lived together for a year and it seemed that he never was able to go a day without a pot.
If he went off pot, even for just a few days or hours, he would turn into the grumpiest person ever..Whenever he would wait for his friends to give him some more, he would be stressing over it for hours until they finally showed up and he was able to smoke..
I honestly think smoking pot makes it a lot worse, because it adds an additional problem and chance for mood swings..It went that far, that I would encourage him to smoke, just so we would have a good time and he would not have to worry. But that can't be a long-term solution right?
I had to leave, because you cannot help a person, that will not help himself! I honestly don't have a lot of hope for you and your boyfriend if he does not change and is not willing to change. In time, his illness will wear you down and your life will be ultimate chaos..

Good luck to you.
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Users who thank alliwantedwaslove for this post: blue88cup 

replied June 6th, 2011
I'm sorry for the extraordinarily late reply. I don't really use this website but I'm in need of help again so here I am. I would love to know how you are doing and how you dealt with your break up. Best wishes!
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replied February 2nd, 2011
bipolar
I am bipolar and on medication for 7 years and have been smoking pot. It didn't affect the medication from stabilizing my mood. With that said, cannabis does assault the brain and can create mood swings in even non bipolar people. I just quit myself very recently and I am sure that my medication will be much more effective with a clear mind. Also alcohol should be avoided more that pot because it is a "depressant" while weed is classified as a "hallucinogen". When you have bipolar disorder, formerly known as "manic/depression" you def don't want to consume depressants. Your ex should see a psychiatrist and get on a mood stabilizer if he is not on one already. It's not easy for anyone with bipolar disorder but it is a congenital defect of the brain, a medical condition just as another so I wish folks would have a bit more empathy.
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Users who thank lorhop99 for this post: blue88cup 

replied February 19th, 2011
I have bipolar as well as being a psychology student, and I completely agree with the fellow above me. I will add that I recently quit marijuana, and it will cause up to 3 weeks of migraine headaches, but it is totally worth it, because use will trigger the psychosis delusions and paranoia. As well, as result of the demotivating effect, it removes your will to help yourself and also your motivation to control your mood and change behavioural patterns via will power, which in conjunction with meds, is THE ONLY WAY to get better.
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Users who thank helpurself for this post: blue88cup 

replied February 19th, 2011
ur so right "helpurself" bout the amotivational syndrome it had crippled me and now I've been 100% sober for 1 month now have found my true self again...calm, motivated and all around positive and even.... Smoking weed caused me to get gerd and that's why I quit and that's slowly improving as well...weed like anything else is harmless when you do it only once in a while and it sure is a slippery slope so proceed with caution
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Users who thank lorhop99 for this post: blue88cup 

replied February 19th, 2011
Experienced User
yeah i also notice pot makes you swear more and get mad after a few hours after having it and it also makes you racist and call people names like pig or other bad names and bipolar people have a hard enough time not saying those words when they add pot into the mix. my biological parents i suspect are bipolar and they do pot and other drugs like even cocaine and its made worse their moods. you may say its the drugs but i know mental illness runs in my birth moms side of the family and i also suspect in my dads altho they are in denial
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Users who thank futuregohangurl for this post: blue88cup 

replied February 20th, 2011
Congratulations lorhop, and thanks. I have been done with weed for about two and a half weeks, and while I am so much more motivated, right now I have the terrible migraines, so it is good to hear that it keeps getting better. And gohungurl, do think it's possible that your parents may also have a touch of Tourrette's syndrome? It is interrelated to bipoar and often can appear concurrently. As a former cocaine addict myself, I know that and the ritalin I used to take as a child would bring out latent Tourrette's symptoms. And yeah, I would turn to drugs to fill the void in my life caused by my behaviours, and all it would do in the end was feed the cycle. I too was a rascist, when I was hurting, it made me feel better (at least for a while, until the effect of all that anger would catch up to me) to externalize my dissappointment at my failures, rather than face it. Good luck and much love guys, thanks!








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Users who thank helpurself for this post: blue88cup 

replied February 20th, 2011
I had headaches and scary nightmares of creepy crawly things and bolting out of bed having mild halucinations seeing things on my wall the first few weeks but now 1 month clean sleeping like a baby and no headaches... It's hard to believe but I don't even think about weed at all..all urges have stopped... You always hear that cannabis is not addictive and I'm hear to say that is complete BS... They use to think cigarettes were harmless too way back in time when my mom was a child...hang in there "helpurself" it gets easier
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Users who thank lorhop99 for this post: blue88cup 

replied February 20th, 2011
Smile
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replied June 7th, 2011
Experienced User
From what I read, there have been some preliminary studies showing that marijuana could have some effect lessening depression.

That being said, there simply is not enough research, and there is no compelling evidence that this is true. On the other hand, marijuana might affect the effectiveness of mood stabilizers which are known to be effective treating the disorder. Since THC is an illegal substance, there just is not a lot of quality research in general on the medicinal effects.

And, like stated above, stimulants (like nicotine, caffeine, and more seriously, cocaine and other hard drugs) have been shown to trigger mania. Depressants such as alcohol have been shown to trigger depression. This should be motivation to quit smoking, and cut down or eliminate alcohol, caffeine, and especially, any hard drugs.
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replied June 7th, 2011
I started smoking pot bc of headaches! I get really bad migraine headaches, and had always been a square so to speak. When one day when I was 19 i got an excruciating headache, and my boyfriend convinced me to smoke. it totally worked for me. When quitting weed It is normal to feel grouchy. Weed for me, has a tendency to chill me out. Make me feel very happy, very reggae, peace love.. lol without it, i can be a little irritable but notice no difference in my motivation. I enjoy smoking before I work out. It helps me focus. I do agree, doing drugs while you are struggling with a mental disorder is not good. Its hard enough to get yourself together alone, nonethe less with drugs. My Bipolar Ex also smokes pot. He seemed normal to me when smoking, but he had always smoked during our relationship. However drinking totally triggered episodes with him. We havent spoken in 3 weeks now. The longest weve ever not spoken. During this time I have gotten a lot of clarity. I feel that our bipolar others are very dramatic. We dont understand them, they seem to be very selfish, and impulsive, and lack the concern for our feelings when they have an episode. But if you really look at the situation, they are struggling so much with them selves its almost too overwhelming for them to take on another person, so they run. I am so sorry you are all going through this. You just have to remember people come into your life for a reason. Sometimes the best way to love someone is from afar. I hope my in sight is somewhat helpful...
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replied June 7th, 2011
Experienced User
My ex-fiance also smoked marijuana, almost nightly. She claimed it helped with the depression, but I have to wonder if it just made her less motivated.
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replied June 7th, 2011
Experienced User
My ex-fiance also smoked marijuana, almost nightly. She claimed it helped with the depression, but I have to wonder if it just made her less motivated.
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replied June 7th, 2011
Experienced User
hmm yeah my biological dad is grumpy again and so is my mom and i know they have been using and they never have any money and that seems to make their mood worse. is a full moon coming or something? i am just finding it funny they are both in a mood and my bf is also in a bad mood too and i know hes bipolar
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replied December 1st, 2011
I am Bi Polar and Smoke Marijuana / Cannabis
I am shocked to read this stuff. Enough so that I am actually creating a membership on this forum, even though I will probably never read or post here again......however, I felt like some clarification was needed.

When quitting Marijuana/Cannabis you will often experience side effects such as headaches. This does not qualify as an addiction side effect....it qualifies as a dependency side effect. I'll use the example of Carbohydrates. Since the Atkins diet is so widely discussed. We are dependent on carbs ... not addicted. When we reduce or stop taking carbs ... we feel the side effects. If you are a vegetarian and you do not eat meat, then one day decide to have a cheese burger ...... you will often times get sick. This is the opposite type of side effect, but it's to show you that our bodies get used to something and adapt. When we change our diets or chemicals our bodies receive, we notice physiological effects.

I am Bi Polar and I have had periods in my life where I have smoked Cannabis and periods I have not. I have had many years to self analyze the effects of the medications doctors gave me and the methods I used to help manage my symptoms. Cannabis is wonderful for my mood swings, sleep and eating. Without Cannabis I have trouble eating....ALWAYS have (the doctor does not have a medication for long term use that helps with eating problems). Without Cannabis I have trouble sleeping.....Valium helps.....Cannabis works better. I have had long periods of time without use (such as the two years I quit when I started college). That was a very stressful.....lack of sleep....mood swing period in my life in which I lost everything. It ended with me freaking out on my girlfriend and writing really mean songs about her, then recording them in the studio, making CD's and passing them out to EVERYONE she knew. It was bad. I also dropped out of college with only one quarter left for my associates. This was when I started to realize I might have a mental problem.....as I began to hear muffled voices also.

I am so glad my state allows me to grow my own medication. I would not be able to afford to manage my illness without it. And to have to depend on street dealers to supply me is a bad choice.....because you can't always get it or afford it.......and when your body is used to it in your system to keep your mood in check......you become VERY grumpy when you don't have it. The grumpiness is a symptom that went away after a couple months of quitting. However the sleep issue and eating issue came right back.

The only reason doctors do not prescribe it widely today is because it's illegal. My doctor would not prescribe it ..... so I found one that did. I live in Washington state and we are almost near full legalization. When that happens a lot more will be discovered. I currently take Lamictal (Anti psychotic), Klonopin (anxiety) and Cannabis (sleep, eating, depression, mood swings and anxiety).

It is BAD to stop ANY medication when you are Bi Polar, you should slowly decrease your medication amount. Any change in your system can throw you completely out of whack. And that's when you notice problems. I do not drink because it makes the problem worse. But since I learned 10 years ago that I was Bi Polar, I have done a lot of trial and error to learn what works for me and what doesn't.

Answer.....: Sleep and food. Cannabis and my medications help keep that system in check.

If your partner wants to quit their medication, understand this may cause serious problems in their mood and stability. It has nothing to do with Marijuana / Cannabis itself. Just so you know....if you didn't already. Your body NATURALLY produces THC. Cannabis should be eatin, not smoked....in my opinion. Smoking can cause you to get too high, too fast, causing irritation and anxiety. Knowing your dose and strength of the Cannabis you are using is very important for it to be effective on a continual basis.

Cannabis is good for me and many other Bi Polar sufferers. It is one of the disorders you can be prescribed medical marijuana for in California and soon in Washington also. There are current studies going on to find out the exact benefits it has to Bi Polar disorder as you read this.... and more to come. Smile

Hope that helps.
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replied December 24th, 2011
It can work and it is legitimate
I take weed every day. It motivates me,gets me moving, more productive, out-going, more myself. I can leave my symptoms behind and dwell in a calmer more positive place. Leave the addiction issue alone people. I take an anti depressant and two mood stabilizers all of which would put me in serious danger if I quit taking them let alone when I am taking them. Weed is another option which may or may work for you. I wish people would stop singling weed out as the dangerous one. My other meds can destroy my kidneys, cause a fatal rash and cause seizures. If you think it might be an option for you educate yourself and expecting with dosages and timing and be prepared to stop at any time. As for the legality, who cares. I know that when I find a medication that helps as much as weed it is no small thing. I get piece of my life back and an irelevent law means nothing. Alcohol was illegal during during prohibition-was it immoral to have a beer the first day it was repealed? Who doesn't want it legalized....
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replied December 24th, 2011
It can work and it is legitimate
I take weed every day. It motivates me,gets me moving, more productive, out-going, more myself. I can leave my symptoms behind and dwell in a calmer more positive place. Leave the addiction issue alone people. I take an anti depressant and two mood stabilizers all of which would put me in serious danger if I quit taking them let alone when I am taking them. Weed is another option which may or may work for you. I wish people would stop singling weed out as the dangerous one. My other meds can destroy my kidneys, cause a fatal rash and cause seizures. If you think it might be an option for you educate yourself and expecting with dosages and timing and be prepared to stop at any time. As for the legality, who cares. I know that when I find a medication that helps as much as weed it is no small thing. I get piece of my life back and an irelevent law means nothing. Alcohol was illegal during during prohibition-was it immoral to have a beer the first day it was repealed? Who doesn't want it legalized....
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replied March 27th, 2012
bipolar psychosis
I've been smoking weed for 5 years and im 18 years old. Yes, I started smoking weed at a young age. That was a bad thing since my brain wasnt fully developed, maybe thats what caused me to become bipolar, i dont know, but i highly doubt it. I've never had a manic episode on weed alone. It wasnt until 8 months ago in august, where i was mixing alcohol, weed, and pain-killers (triple c's). Not only that but i had a half of some piff and my best friend robbed me and framed someone else. I've been screwed over many times, but not as badly as that time. Im getting a little side tracked, but it all makes sense with where im going with this. She was my best friend, i bought her food, smoked her up and even had her back. I became extremely stressed out, i couldn't sleep for 3 night, i wasnt eating, etc. For some reason it all clicked that she had stolen my money. Long story short i confronted her, then she punched me in the face with a cheap-shot. We fought while i had 0 sleep. The cops got involved,meanwhile i was on probation. That added even more stress because I thought I would end up being arrested. When the cops finally arrested her instead, i asked the cops why, and they showed me a butcher knife she was trying to stab me with when i wasnt looking. THAT ADDED EVEN MORE STRESS. I got home tried to go to sleep and couldnt. I was being delusional, thinking my mom can read my mind, the devil was inside my cat, and many other bizarre things. My mom brought me to the hospital and they prescribed me Valium (idk how to spell that sorry) when i got home i took it and threw up for some reason. took another one but i was still up all night. I didnt tell my mother becuz i didnt want to scare her. But i was completely hallucinating all night. If i told you the things i experienced you would think i was schizophrenic. I ended back in the hospital, seeing things like all the nurses having cat eyes. For some reason i thought they were the Illuminati and they were gonna kill me so i ran out the hospital. They dragged me back in the room, bruising me, then tying me down, putting two shots in my thigh. I ended up in a mental hospital. They diagnosed me with bipolar disorder and sent me home. I went to rehab on my own wanting to change, and so far I;ve been 9 months clean from drugs, alcohol and marijuana. I know this has nothing to do with what the lady ALLL the way up there was asking, but do you think its a bad idea for me to start smoking again?
I dont think it was the weed that sparked my manic episode, but it did make me paranoid. Do you think it was the pain reliever pills mixed with alcohol? Or just the stress and lack of sleep? Honestly I dont think weed is bad, unless you let it control your life and need it to have fun, socialize, and function. Another bad thing about weed is it can open you up to other drugs, just like it did for me. but i cant blame the weed, it was my actions, my fault. If i start smoking weed do you think its going to make me hallucinate all over again ? But this time, not come back to reality?
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replied November 27th, 2012
I hate to say it, but you really need to get under psychiatric care. If you look at the research, you are in the HIGHEST risk group for psychosis due to your early marijuana use. I'm bi-polar, too and I'm 48. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 38. I was the typical bi-polar evil genius (sarcasm). You're young, and that's the time to get this under control. I smoke lots of pot off and on and you and I are at a significantly higher risk for all the negatives. If you've layed off and are dealing with it, stay away from it.
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replied March 29th, 2012
I believe that in my case smoking weed simply made me more and more paranoid and fed into my bipolar disorder and psychosis. It made me worse even though I thought that it helped me escape from myself. It also made me more isolative. I quit several years ago and after a period of depression the paranoia disappeared.
I have also seen people become completely psychotic after smoking a little dope and although this reaction is an extreme example it would suggest that perhaps it is safer to abstain.
It is interesting that many people say that they were diagnosed with bipolar or schizophrenia after having smoked pot for a while but don't seem to see any connection between the smoking and the mental health issue. In fact, they then continue to smoke it because they think it makes them better despite much medical evidence to the contrary. That's irony for you.
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replied November 27th, 2012
do some research into the other cannabinoids that are contained in marijuana. It's the THC that is linked to psychosis not the entire plant. There's another active cannabinoid in marijuana known as cannabidiol or aka CBD that is a naturally occuring anti-psychotic. Because of its recreational use, strains were bread to produce more thc, meanwhile the cbd levels eventually diminished. They are now working on bringing the cbd back because of the studies shown. They have been doing trials to see how well it works and so far most of them are showing that it works better to treat bipolar, schizophrenia, and other illnesses that bring on psychosis than the traditional anti-psychotic medicines or mood stabalizers or whatever else you want to call them. With this being said Todays weed contains much more thc than the traditional weed. It has been genetically engineered so people get higher. more and more studies are showing that yes marijuana does have the potential to bring on psychosis, but at the same time it has the ability to counteract that. Personally i'm going to wait until its legalized in PA to start taking medicine because the alternative pills that they offer you do permanent brain damage and i don't want to make my bipolar diagnosis worse. Once you're on those drugs its dangerous to stop taking them. Not saying that you should go against doctors advice, thats just what i'm doing. I even told my doctor that cbd is a naturally occuring anti-psychotic. Her response was that its illegal and that she can't talk about it. I then asked her what if it was legal, and she told me that we would talk about it then. I just think that its bull theyre holding a natural remidee back from people, and that they're giving people potentially harmful drugs instead.
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