Just found this blog. There are three bipolar individuals in our family. Myself having it 38 years. I am constantly scouring the internet for new information on bipolar individuals that are 22 and 24 yrs. old possibly using marijuana and definitely using alcohol but not abusing. Bipolar in our family goes back to my mother and possibly her father in early 1900's.
We all are under the care of a reputable doctor and despite struggling with the health industry and spending thousands and thousands, we all enjoy remission at this present time. Things change always, but any information we can soak up about the mental disorder of bipolar, we appreciate.
Posted by: Rosemary James at September 19, 2005 4:26 PM
I have been using Cannabis for years. Even before the diagnosis of Bi-Polar I, Mixed Manic, Rapid Cycling was given in 2001. I do understand the risks involved however. Some cannabis has exactly the adverse effects from what I am seeking with relief of the symptoms associated with Bi-Polar. For the most part, it does alleviate the symptoms. But, of course, I am mentally ill and cannot clearly make these distinctions alone. Society has demonized this drug to the point where when I was first diagnosed and let physicians and the rest of my care tam know I was doing it, they immediately told me not to. I took the advice of the medications specialists and took the psychotropic meds they gave. In turn I became a zombie. Inneffective to dea with life at all since I was really stoned all of the time. I was taking a cocktail of meds that would prolly kill a horse at one time. Klonopin, Tegretol, Zyprexa, Ambien, and a few others that I care not to remember anymore. Probably oculdn't since I was not right at all when taking these 5-6 meds for any length of time. I am now medication free. Don't drink alcohol but do regularly use THC. Alcohol being the deppressant it is, would only make things worse and from experience has been a hinderance in life anyway. I am not saying that THC is not a hinderance either. Just that it seems that combined with the other choices for regulating this disorder, I have found more success with the varying potencies of this drug than with the psychs or other methods of self-medicating I have used. I encourage studies into this. A standardized extract of THC is quite necessary. THC is dangerous when it cannot be regulated for medical purposes. Let the stoners have their varying degrees of this drug. I want to stand for medication and not recreational dug usage. This disease, now recognized is about to destroy what I love in life. Marriage, family, work. If there is a hope of dogshit helping then I want studies done on Canine Methane then. We can no longer afford to play god with lives that are, right her and now, being destroyed by conventional thought.
Posted by: Big-Marc at October 24, 2005 5:04 AM
Greetings! I am bipolar and have been for over 40 yrs. Marijuana is the only real relief I have ever had from the mood swings and excess noise inside my head. I can withstand large crowds when high and have much more self esteem. Unfortunately, it's illegal and because I'm on probation for smoking it I have to abstain as much as possible or I'll go to jail. I'm all for the legalization of it period. Thanks!
Posted by: Alvin Hoglan at October 27, 2005 5:06 PM
Hello from Australia! I have BiPolar and have been using Marijuana for a little over a year now. I find that smoking marijuana helps bring me back to 'normal'. By this I mean that when I am manic, it helps bring me down, and when I am depressed, it helps bring me back up. Without Marijuana I wouldn't be able to get out of bed sometimes. I would have probably hurt myself or someone else in an eposide of mania, if it weren't for the normalising effect of marijuana. Iam lucky because I live in a state where Marijuana is legal to grow and smoke for personal use. However, while smoking seems to help me now, I do wonder what the longer term effects will be. I am 23, and was diagnosed when I was 14 and started smoking pot at 21, so it is still too soon to tell. I would be very interested to hear from someone who has been smoking for their BiPolar for a few more years that I have, and what effect it has on the illness.
Posted by: Julia at April 4, 2006 9:27 PM
Hello from new york, I am a 36 year old male with a supossed bipolar disorder. I myself use marijuana to control bi polar against my doctors orders. All the meds I have tried litium and depakote to name a few have failed to produce any promising future. I do feel better and more stable under the thc influence vs. man made drugs. I do at times have control issues with wanting to be high more then not but it works and I dont have manic mood swings under its use. WE all in the United States should thank the government,the mediacal industries and especially the Kennedy family of Massachusetts for making marijuana illegal. Yes that same family who supposedly produce one of the U.S.A's top presidents (if you believe that shit) for making it all possible.
If the government could make a buck with marijuana it would be legal, they dont care about its good to humans or our conditions,just taxable goods. When I smoke I am in control of my moods. Not violent or distructive as the legalized alcohol thanks to the Kennedy family. But when I tried and or used alcohol(3 years sober may of 2006) I had the opposite,massive mood swings ,violence,blackouts and woke up next to people I didnot know(coyote ugly). I guess this is what the greatest nation promotes "violence"and a desire to see their people suffer.
If you have read this to this point I have a suggestion. I did some research for THC pills. They are legal in NY with several doctors needing to agree on the perscription before the state will distribute,no pharmacutical KICK BACKS to your doctors however so they wont sign for it. I continued my search and found the directions to make your own. I have tried it, and it made a huge difference.I suggest this to people who are caught up in what to do or not do as far as thc goes. It is simple to do, and more easily controlled then smoking a joint,not to mention your employer wont smell it on your clothes from lunch break.I hope this helps fight the bipolar for those who try it,I AM NOT A DOCTOR,just an educated DEADHEAD sick of the governments control over useful natural produced remedies for mentally ill people."have you ever seen two people fight after smoking Marijuana?" me either.
Posted by: james at July 5, 2006 9:09 AM
Hi, from Tasmania. I'm a 54 retired professional (pensioned off)and I've had Bipolar type II, atypical, rapid cycling, for over twenty years. My main problem has always been depression and anxiety rather than manic episodes, though they have caused me problems and ceratinly eaten up a lot of money at times. I've tried all the usual drugs, such as SSRI antidepressants and mood stabilizers such as Epilem. None has worked well for me and many I cannot tolerate, or they turn me into a zombie. Cannabis is the only drug that I've tried (with the exception of Valium) that really relieves my anxiety. It also has the incredible ability to vanquish deep depression in less than twenty minutes. The main problem with THC though is the smoking and the inability to get a proper dosage that doesn't lead to excessive use, or a build up of immunity, so that the cannabis no longer works, leaving one drained and listless. If a tincture could be made available with careful monitoring of dosage by a health professional, instead of me having to grow it (smoke too much) or score from a dealer (costs too much and is illegal) then things would be a lot better!
Posted by: Phil at July 22, 2006 9:49 PM
24year old from Uk here, had bi-polar II for about 5years diagnosed anyway ;)
Mainly for me, i use cannabis to deal with my nasty mixedmoods and depressions. Been on god knows how many medications throughout my life, especially in the last 5years. I found that my Dr didnt like the idea of me smoking cannabis particularily since i'm bipolar. He suggested it may make my condition worse.
I haven't noticed that many problems with it. To be honest i stopped and started smoking several times in the last 5years and the worst time to deal with the BP depressions has been when i haven't been smoking it.
I found when i was suffering and thinking alot of nasty deathlike thoughts when i smoked a joint them thoughts would change to just a NULL or empty feeling.
Hell i'de swap sucide thoughts for an empty and vacant mind any day of the week if you get my drift.
Posted by: D at December 11, 2006 7:37 AM
I'm a 55 yr. old woman who was diagnosed bipolar 1 only a year ago. I've had a history of depression but a very severe episode 2 yrs. ago led to mania and this diagnosis. I've currently tried over 10 different medications and combinations of 3-4 at a time. I'm still unstable and suffer from rapid mood cycles. Depression is the most difficult to bare. I have recently added marijuana to my cocktail of drugs. Most of the time it gives me much needed respite from depression. But a few times I've had unsteady gait, slurred words, moments of wooziness and one episode of fainting. These effects seem to be the combination of pharmaceuticals with marijuana. I don't want to end the one substance that brings relief, but I can't help but be concerned with these occasional effects. Does anyone out there have this experience?
Posted by: Sandy at March 14, 2007 11:15 AM
My wife is bipolar and also have Multiple Sclerosis. I spoke with a doctor about effectiveness of Cannabis drugs (which are somehow proved to be effective in MS paitients) but he said that Cannabis is a poison for Bipolar Disorder.
Does anybody have an idea about this?
Posted by: James H at April 15, 2007 3:58 AM
This stuff ruins lives both of the Bipolar Sufferer and their families!! Why smoke something which is clearly bad for you all?
My husband, a regular user was diagnosed with Bipolar I in march, his current episode is Manic. His Drs think that it might have been brought on by his excessive use of this awful stuff. I think he has been Bipolar for ages, it's just not been spotted.
We are living apart at the moment beacause of our fighting caused by his weed smoking and mood swings. I would ask him to stop or cut down and he just carried on smoking to spite me. It affected his memory - he has a brilliant mind, but now he is waster, all beacuse of this harmless herb!! Do you guys actually know what you are like when you are stoned? Ask your loved ones,you may think that it's helping you but from what I have seen it makes Bipolar worse. Legalization? Don't think so, it needs banning outright just like heroin. Granted it hepls people with other illnesses but this stuff does not agree with mental illness. I have a scientific coupled with a political background and consequently I have thought out this arguement very carefully.
Posted by: Bev at May 8, 2007 1:23 PM
It seems like your husband has a substance abuse problem. Not particular to MJ I might add. If he were to stop then he might "self medicate" with something else. The MJ use is really the symtom of something else. He may have emotional and psycholigical problems that make it worse. It is difficult to say how much he is using because each plant (being that there are genetic modifications) can have a different THC level. So it would be evident that you should seek some coulseling for him. Ask him to try that with some "time off" the weed. If he seems to get something out of the "sober" experience then you have some answers. But if he doesn't respond well to any of that I don't know what to say. Mj has been used for thousands of years my practitioners of medicine right down to George Washington. I would say that there are as many "success" stories of responsible use of small amounts of THC. YOu need a bit of education on this matter. How ever to be sensitive to your needs in this relationship, I would ask him to try something else. swimming for an hour or two a day and a diet that is balanced with a flx seed oil or fish oil regimen. These things really help bi-polars. And weed helps some of them too. My best wishes to you on your journey tward health. Oh and making a species of plant illegal is stooooopid.
Posted by: Smokey Joe at May 22, 2007 3:21 PM
I also am a manic bipolar for 18yrs. I've been prescribed too many pills for my illness, to even start counting. All they did was put on an emotional roller coaster that almost ended my life, more tham once. Marijauna is the only thing i've ever been on that controls my anger, and keeps me with a calm and cool level head so i can live a normal life. Unfortunally, i live in Louisiana and big brother doesn't allow that here. Where can i help myself without breaking the law?
Posted by: Corey at June 17, 2007 8:05 AM
I am 53 years old.I came down with untreated bipolar in 1978.First hypo mania and then suicidal depression. I was in the Air Force at the time and they ignored my pleas for help for my anxiety and depression.The Air force due to lack of treatment let me slide into a complete breakdown. I had to admit my self for care. They pumped me full of anti psychotics. Thorazine Haldal Melaril and my depression got 10 times worse. Then came lithium for 26 years. During the period 0f 1980-2007 The VA tried Tegratol Valproic acid Lemectal Senequan Elivil Xanax Klonapin
Ludiomil Prozac Paxil Zyprexa. All of these drugs were either toxic or so sedative I could not function In 2006 they had to take me off of Lithium because of Lithium toxicity has destroyed my thyroid and kidneys.The next time a psychiatrist tells you that Marijuana is bad for your bipolar make him read the PDR to you with all the side effects of the drugs that he is giving you. I believed all the BS that they told me. I now have Chronic myofacial pain and all they could offer me was addiction to oxcontin. I had smoked marijuana to help my anxiety during the early years of bipolar and now I have found out that it is the best medication for chronic myofacial pain. The key is to use only what you need to aleviate your moods and pain .
For me a couple hits at bed time relax my painful chronic muscle pain and I sleep like a baby. My worst side effect is the munchies. how ever any drug can be abused. Most of the negitive comments on this site are not from patients who have found something that really works for them. But from doctors family and freinds that still believe the lies and untruths of the 1930's are true. My answer to them is stop waisting tax payers money. Marijuana is not a gateway drug. What they need to due is bust your local hospitals pain clinics for being opium dens.Opiates would have ruined my life if I had chosen to use them long term.They should spend all there time waiting at the entrance of each tavern with a breathalizer, Stopping drunks from driving before they kill somebody behind the wheel. The uneducated in law enforcement call marijuana a dangerous narcotic. Narcotics are drugs drived from the opium poppy.The body produces cannaboloids naturaly in the hippocampus of the human brain. I can atest that medical problems that are caused by the lack of or to much nerotransmitters such as bipolar and Chronic myofacial pain can be very effective in treatment. Just remember to use no more that is needed
Posted by: Al W at June 18, 2007 9:07 PM
My husband has been going through severe manic depression, bi polar & anxiety disorder for over three years now. The psychiatrist that he has been seeing all this time has treated him with every drug you could possibly imagine and he has had more medical problems than a 90 year old person. It has got to the point after reading some of the articles from everyone else that cannabis (marijuana)is the one thing he has not tried. The doctors out there today just don't get a damn about what the patient is going through not to mention the spouse and family around the person that is in pain. The government needs to lighten up and it will help more people that are suffering and the families that are being destroyed by this terrible disease.
Posted by: S. Watson at July 15, 2007 9:45 PM
My son has been suffering from bipolar since Valentines Day 2004. I knew right then that something was wrong. It is not a matter of doing something illegal. It is a matter of living. My son is now going to be 21 on Aug. 6, and is excited to be able to drink legally. I always said that I would rather my son smoke pot then drink as we have alcoholism on both my side and my husbands/his fathers side. It is far worse then anything imaginable. My son has been arrested in manic states from smashing things, fighting and literally spinning out of control on the front lawn while punching himself in the face and body. The constant calls at midnight to four in the morning, the constant fights with my husband be cause my son comes in late and begins to fight with his girlfriend and then his father until I have to call the police. I have had every window in the house broken by his mania. He has broken his hand several times, broken his arm, cut his arms and hands while punching windows. Is this better then smoking pot? He has suffered more then anyone I have ever known with this illness. He has been in juvenille detention where guards do not care if the children are ill. He has been hurt, and always a victim or hurting someone else. As a mother of someone whom I adore suffering I have seen every type of medication and every type of side effect. He cannot tollerate this any longer. He needs to have some legal avenue to use pot. It works. take it from me. There is nothing else in this world that will work like this. He needs to have this daily and it is far less expensive then the medications. He has been fired from every job and not given jobs that he is fully qualified for because the pot is in his urine sample. There are kits that work and it has worked for him several times but at other times they have failed. The only way he can live his life is to smoke pot. I know that some are concerned about the effects of pot on the lungs and it isn't great. What about 1970's party mix of Pot and brownies? I say mix Betty Crocker with pot and you have your medication. Please if anyone knows any other way to do this let me know. If there were empty capsules maybe grinding up pot and putting it in a processor then putting it into capsules would be more practical. Anyway, Pot works, Period.
Posted by: Katie Smith at July 29, 2007 12:27 PM
Yes, Yes, Yes! I am so glad to come across this blog. I was diagnosed rapid-cycle bipolar when I was 18 , although I showed signs since age 11 and didn't seek help and meds til 25. I am now, however, a bipolar success story. No , I am not cured of course, but after going on and off different meds for several years, I found what has evened me out the best and I am highly functioning and pretty balanced. The med that ended up working on stabalizing me as a long term whole is Lamictal. But I have always used Marijuana in conjunction for instant relief of symptoms that still occur. I use it when I feel manic or aggitated and need to calm down. It helps me rationalize and think more clearly when I am hypomanic. I know most sane people would say that opposes the steriotype, but I think in the case of being biploar , our chemicals work differently to begin with. So maybe the outcome effect is different. I can also tell you I have used it when I get into a lightly depressed slump and it has helped then too. I AM IN MAJOR support of medical MJ for use to treat BP. I'd be a raging alcoholic or "real" drug-user if I did not use MJ. I hope more and more studies are done. My therapist doesnt discourage me from using and rarely brings it up eventhough she knows I partake daily.
Posted by: Robin B at August 7, 2007 11:01 PM
I am an ultradian bipolar, at the fastest my cycles are 4 hourly and I have a medication intolerance due to suffering too many side effects and food intolerences and also being on so many medications for over 20 yrs has built up a natural tolerance so the almost all the meds do not work anymore.. I have had to fight against a dual diagnosis of a substance abuser for a long time due to using MJ as a symptom reliever and a casual use, I am not a drug abuser, although I will admit to being a recreation drug user when younger (many years after diagnosis).. I have found both pro's and con's with using MJ it depends on the batch I have, the state of my thoughts and how i injest it. It has come to the point where it is mentioned in my meeting's with the consultant and the consultant accepts the comments and then makes a professional dismissal as expected and is deemed politically correct, but then we will discuss off record how is does and does not help at that time. The MJ can enhance certain psychotic symptoms if I have any at the time which is not a good side effect but this is far out weighed by the benefits that I receive when in other cycles of the bipolar, I live my life travelling on a rollercoaster of extreme bipolar phases, but I am not prepared to compromise the quality of my otherwise very healthy life and intelligence to take the sheer volume of pharmological drugs it would take to control it, the side effects of the amount and type of drugs would virtually mean effects like incontinence, jerking, nerve problems, memory difficulties, lactating, spasms, nausea, hair loss, drool, fatique, excessive weight gain, poor balance etc, these are side effects I already have had and not of a packet or label.... I do still have some medication but using some MJ means I do not have the humiliation of being treated like a second rate mentally ill person who looks as those I'm about to wet myself. So as for legalisation it is a plant for heaven sake!!! I grow more dangerous things in my garden has no-one heard of the likes of belladonna, poison ivy etc..... people who use MJ do less damage than people that use alcohol..
Posted by: Honey at September 6, 2007 3:35 AM
Thank god for like minded people. I've been bipolar type 1 for many years now and have been prescribed more meds than I care to think about, all to no avail. I have always suffered badly with side effects, and this only served to deepen my depressions and fire up my anger during mania.
However, for the last few years I have been self medicating using MJ, and have found that it helps massively. Not only does it allieviate the sheer blackness of my depressions, but it also helps me control my mania.
This really is a wonder drug and more study into it's potential uses NEED to be done. Never have I found a drug that works so well for me, and with no real side effects!
Unfortunately due to the legality of MJ I'm often unable to purchase any, which leaves me unmedicated and unable to control my mood swings. The goverment needs to wise up and realise that MJ offers a potentially life saving effect on bipolar and many other illnesses. As such I'm all for the legalisation of medical MJ and pray for the day this drug is no longer demonized. Until then I will continue to buy my cannabis illegaly. To think, we're criminals for trying to help ourselves have bearable lives.
Posted by: Slim at September 13, 2007 2:52 AM
I am a 44 year old woman I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 and psychosis 2 years ago. Before my diagnose I was smoking mj every day I firmly believe that mj caused my illness. I have not had any illegal drugs since I was diagnosed. I do take the medicines from my doctor and I feel fine
Posted by: wendy at September 14, 2007 2:59 AM
I was diagnosed with Bi-polar at 14 as well. I have always had insomnia and lived with it, but when I was 17 I found that pot helped put me to sleep. Sleeping felt good and I had more energy, and more vitality. However I found that after fewer than three years of smoking thier were health implications, just like smoking anything else. I stopped smoking period but instead eat (brownies, cookies) or drink the THC (tea). and it does the same job, with less health risks attached. Now if they would only be smart enough to legalize that in this country, but look where we are now.
Posted by: Weeded at September 18, 2007 4:00 PM
Wow. I can't believe how irresponsible some of you are. Not one of you that advocate pot have bothered to suggest it might be dangerous for some. I have a 15 year old that is bipolar and recently began smoking pot. His depression is worse, he completely lacks motivation and stays in an angry, near catatonic state for 2-3 days after - not moving off the sofa. His relationships with others deteriorate to extreme levels during and for several days after ingesting pot. I hope you know that teens read these boards and it's just a matter of time before he throws posts like these in our face as permission to get sicker.
Please think before you post and at the least stop cheer leading long enough to realize you could be giving a death sentence to someone who should not be using it.
Posted by: J.W. at September 21, 2007 10:46 PM
i seen my dad deteriate from all the meds he takes, he's like a lil boy who doest process new information. i fear that my life will be a worser one sinse he is a cycler sees manics i see mainly depression and anziety whch paxil is prescribed to treat but at times makes me feel worse do to side effects im 29 and shouldnt be low energy, meds dont work shi ifeel worse on meds than off them. should i try some weed instead?
Posted by: mguel at September 24, 2007 12:44 AM
I am a 35 year old college graduate who was diagnosed bipolar in 1993. I have had several manic dellusional episodes. However, when I was put on the pharmacuetical meds I gained excessive amounts of weight, and had health issues due to taking the meds. MJ is the only thing that gets me out of these anxious or depressed states. When I have MJ I can sleep and I don't experience the mood shifts. I do tend to smoke it in excess though. I believe that if I could keep MJ smoking to the evenings, I would save money and still sleep good. Man, does the insomnia from bipolar suck or what. It is the main thing that keeps me from the work force. I am still relatively young and it scares me to think that this insideous disease could leave me with nothing or no one in the future. If if were not for MJ, I would be dealing with a lot worse side effects that the meds would give me. I can go years smoking MJ and be functional. It has been my downfall to get involved in drugs like LSD, etc. They really threw me into the dellusional manic states I'd go into every few years.
Posted by: Eric at October 3, 2007 3:58 PM
31, UK, waiting for a diagnosis for what appears to be 20 years of Bipolar II. One of the reasons I'm waiting for this diagnosis is that the psychs won't diagnose me until I give up the weed, but it gives me my life back. Even my mum is part of my new criminal lifestyle. Everyone who has to put up with my moods say that I become what they would term 'normal' when I'm stoned. WHY are the mental health profession not picking up on this? They want to put me on diazepam and I'm already on Olanzepine. How much am I costing the NHS?
I will say this: cannabis disturbs the balance of the mind. To the already unbalanced mind it offers a way to get the balance back. Cannabis is a drug we should treat with great respect.
Posted by: Suzy at October 16, 2007 7:52 PM
Diagnosed at 21, bipolar II rapid cycling. After 4 years of perscribed medications eating away my stomach I'd had enough of the pain and stopped taking my meds. I ended up having a massive manic "attack" which pretty much lost me my entire life (Kids were not forcibly taken but rather I allowed them to go live with their dad before it got out of hand) lots my house, my job, relationship. Found cannabis tamed my demons enough that I am somewhat stable now. 3 years of recovery since IT happened. There are no more massive swings, no deep depressions and the mania has been pretty much kept at bay for the past 3 years. But I am now starting to feel guilty for continuing to smoke it. Its not something I'm proud of, not something I will ever do infront of my children or want them exposed to. I feel that if I were to stop smoking the MJ my overwhelming states will return.
Torn in Canada
Posted by: Jessica at November 2, 2007 4:15 PM
Hi all... I've been suffering with something called fibromyalgia (a musculo-skeletal disease with over 40 symptoms, including chonic pain, nausea, no appetite, etc.) for years, and was finally diagnosed in 2004. In addition to my rheumatologist, gastroenterologist, neurologist, and primary care, I recently began seeing a psychiatrist to help with the anxiety and depression this disease has brought about. I mentioned that I've never really done any drugs, but every now and then I'll take a hit of pot, and it's the only thing I've found that gives me any relief. (a friend of mine has Crohn's disease, and she recommended it to me.) My psychiatrist recommended I talk to my rheumatologist and primary care about prescribing THC pills or marijuana, and to look into the current laws Louisiana has regarding these prescriptions. Well, it seems there's not too much I can do about obtaining a scrip, courtesy of current LA laws. If anybody has any tips, or has found any newer legislation than what I've been finding, I'd really appreciate letting me know. I've been through the gamut of pain pills, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, and nausea meds (not to mention sleeping pills) and nothing has provided relief. I feel like I'm on my last leg here, so if anybody has any info, please toss it my way. Thanks so much, I really appreciate it.
Posted by: Kathryn at November 3, 2007 7:33 PM
im so glad i came across this blog,my son has bipolar rapid cycling all he wants to do is smoke dope or weed but i stopped him from doing it because in th early stages of his illness he would freak out after smoking a spliff and smash things up or get mega depressed but after reading this blog and seeing as he has been stable for two years i may reconsider. maybe he will be ok but its a big risk to take. dont want to see him get manic and get sectioned again.
Posted by: phil atherfold at December 4, 2007 3:40 PM
i have bipolar and i do smoke marijuana and it has helped me so so much...i only smoke right before bedtime or if i need to mellow out for a while...i just hope that one day i would be able to get medical marijuana...
Posted by: Josh at January 6, 2008 8:39 AM
I was diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar II in 2005 when I was 21 years old. At the time I was in the midst of a major manic episode involving a ton of alcohol, a lot of stupid decisions, excessive spending (1000s a week when making around 1.4k every two weeks). At the time I was diagnosed I had smoked weed only a few times before hand and never in large amounts and can't really recall the effects on my bipolarity (being unaware of it at the time), but I do remember extreme euphoria during one of the sessions that could have been a triggered manic episode. Since then I have been prescribed over 15 medications and am currently taking Lithium, Valium, Effexor, Risperdal, and Ambien which leave me in an emotionally dead feeling kind of state, but I am afraid to stop taking the medications because of the destruction bipolar has done to my life (massive debt, lost nearly all of my possessions, lost friends, jail time, and more). It was suggested to me about 6 months ago that I try weed (by one of my psychiatrists) when I go into deep depression since nothing else is working (even stimulants like Ritalin have been discussed but I declined using them). The effect it has is to normalize me... I stop isolating myself, can talk to people without getting angry, I can handle crowds, and I can enjoy life again. I do got get some stoney side effects like loss of coordination but it's worth it to me. I smoke one small bowl about 3 times a day when I feel the need due to bad depression and that is around 1/4 to 1/3 of the days. I live in WA state and weed is not legal for use with bi-polar disorder, but I'm lucky enough to know a guy that has a license to grow medical for chronic pain and he provides me with what I need for free.
Posted by: A Boyd at January 7, 2008 6:30 PM
Im 21 and ive been bipolar for my whole life but i was coined the term in 2000 because i flipped out and ended up going to the nut ward for fighting the cops and my family.My life has been a horrible reck and is so damn painfull day to day.every minute is hell for me to be alive because i cant escape my racing morbid thoughts and depression and every other dissorder that comes with bipolar.mania friggin drives me insane so bad it puts bad thoughts in my head to stop it.Ive been smoking weed everyday since i was 12 years old and i cant stop smokin and its ruining my financial well being.I feel so strongly that weed is the olny thing keeping me alive and out of prison.20 sec after i smoke i feel like a every day normal person and feel joy and laughter and remorse,.but im going broke lol i dont really feel like im that buzzed because of my tolerence but the mental effects always stay the same no matter how much i smoke but 2 or 3 days after bingeing
i fall back into the mania and every day after that it gets worse then i cant function.very horrible feeling.after that it takes some time to get the levels back if i dident smoke for a couple days but when smoked on a daily basis it taks 20 sec to kick in.my respect to fellow bipolar people who olny know what bipolar people go through. If there was a god weed would be his gift to the world.peace
Posted by: Evan from schenectady,ny at January 14, 2008 7:09 PM
Ive just been diagnosed with manic depressive disorder throughout my engineering degree i was a habitual pot smoker. Whenever i would stop i would go into huge spouts of mania or depression and am a firm believer that the only reason i graduated was through the uses of THC. I am interested in findign as much info as possible on medicinal marijuana and its uses with people who are bipolar
hope every one is keeping optimistic about life on a side not im organizing a fundraiser to increase awareness of mental illness anyone should feel free to check it out on facebook email@example.com
Polar BiPolar Bear Swim Fundraiser
lots of love everyone
Posted by: Carolyn David at January 17, 2008 8:50 AM
I smoked pot since I was 10 years old. I am now 41 and lost my family, business and zest for life. I was/am a self produced singer/songwriter, business owner/developer and once a father. I quite smoking pot because I saw the way the kids looked at me with disapproval. I was ashamed. I quit and my life went to hell and has continued as such. Bi-polar to me seems to be a recent awareness. Scary due to the fact they have all kinds of harmful legal drugs for it and doctors who really don't give a damn. After researching bi-polar conditions today I realized that's me all the way. After reading these blogs and witnessing my life, I agree marijuana is the key just not in excess. I admit I over used marijuana. I started its use to be part of the crowd but was amazed at how it took away my shyness and insecurities. I was able to try and do things I wouldn't have otherwise. Basically I was self-medicating myself without being aware of it. I always stated and thought it helped me with my anger through out life from child abuse and my outlooks on life itself. And it did. When I smoked, it would take my depression, anger, and disgust in the world all away. I was more sociable and didn't talk about all the negatives of life. I could focus better on the things I enjoyed like playing the guitar and singing, working, painting and drawing, cleaning around the house etc. It always made everything tolerable for the most part and easy. Though I would smoke more than necessary and it certainly got in the way of being productive. I hadn't put it together until now that my self-medication (Bi-polar) was also a habit of abuse from not understanding that I was indeed self-medicating for bi-polar and not just my common mental issues. I quit due to the kids outlook upon me, I was tired of buying a drug that was illegal and unpredictable in many regards and dangerous at times, the costs and the fact I didn't any longer want to be a damn drug user. I just wanted to be a better father. Lost many opportunities and relationships with people due to being a Pot Head.
I am deeply depressed due to loosing the family, all the wrong choices I have made in life, my business, music career and life going straight down a tube of destruction. I miss the kids so much, more than one can express. I can't get myself to do much anymore. I go up and down all day. Get overwhelmed and annoyed easily. Am disgusted in myself beyond comprehension. I smoke a little pot and it helps for a bit. Like typing this. But I have let my life go to absolute destruction and that it all just seems useless.
I don't trust doctors, psychiatrist or counseling. Been through all that as a child for other things far too much and have seen many of them do just what they say you shouldn't. Especially today. Relative to many of the laws that have been put into place. Legally they really can't help it seems.
Ames pharmaceutical is killing us with their BS! As well as the legal system.
TELL AMES TO PRODUCE THC PILLS OR SOMETHING PLEASE!
PLEASE, PLEASE let those with bi-polar disorder smoke marijuana. I am living proof to its need.
As it is now, I would rather swallow cyanide than to be jailed or put in a psyc ward or be on their pills.
I volunteer as a test patient hoping they can help me get my life back together. Though I volunteer the act of being a test subject my time needs to be paid for, just to be clear.
I should have been diagnosed with bi-polar years ago. Had I not been smoking pot it would have been clearly detected. Though I never heard of bi-polar until the last few years. I’m sure they would have diagnosed me as something else and in turn damaged me. Since I have been suffering since I was a child.
There is much more I could explain both positive and negative about any and all subjects of this post. I am very discouraged and in need. Had I known I was bi-polar I would probably still be happily married, running my business and performing around the world. I consistently have wondered for the last 2 years why my life went to hell shortly after I quit smoking pot and why I can’t seem to do anything right let alone anything at all. Now I realize it was due to my bi-polar condition I wasn’t aware of. And my self-medication I wasn’t so much aware of needing. All the crazy stuff I have read about bi-polar people. No SHIT! It happens to you when you quit smoking pot and it’s pure hell when you are bi-polar. Because you know what’s right but nothing seems to make any constructive sense, just destructive negative sense. I’m not stupid yet I can’t get myself to keep my life going correctly even though I know how. I have spent many hours researching religion and everything else trying to get an answer until I read about bi-polar and came to this blog. THANK YOU!
I would give my life as a test subject for bi-polar and marijuana only. Marijuana as the drug for medication and bi-polar from my life events (Child abuse, foster care, rehabilitation, singer/songwriter/painter/drawer, business owner, performer etc…now LOOSER) and current behavioral activity.
Yes! I’M A NUT. (This post proves it) More so now than ever. Harmless to others, myself for the most part but it’s not looking good. I don’t want to do anything illegal anymore, ie smoking pot. But certainly feel the need now.
If anyone can help PLEASE DO! Otherwise, let the other bi-polar individuals smoke pot as I waste to nothing.
Burry me before conventional means are used. I won’t complain. They are just abusive and cost the tax payer and individual too much money. And for being a bunch of highly educated people, what the heck is the problem. Do they just want job security and or us dead.
I wish to God I knew I was bi-polar. I wouldn’t have quit smoking pot. Damn the laws and the way they make you feel about marijuana. Just because people who sell pot generally sell something that is much more destructive doesn’t make pot a bad thing. That’s why pharmacies and the government need to distribute it.
I was very creative since before kindergarten and depressed most of my life.
I am posting this blog in hopes that others can relate and understand a simple solution before their life turns out like mine.
Posted by: john at February 9, 2008 10:19 PM
My husband of 7 years now was told he had bipolar 2 years ago. He mostlikely has had it all of his life but went unknoticed. Our family was truned upside down when his bipolar became very apparent and still is. He now is trying canabis and it seems to be helping. I have been leary of it but after all my resurch and finding this blog I may have to reconsider. I have 3 children and I want what is best for them but on the other hand my best friend ( by husband) suffers every day resulting in the whole family suffering. What I would like to know is how do you know it is right for you? How do you know if it is making it worse? To ignore the Dr's advise is scarry for me. Please anyone any advise?
Posted by: Anna at February 26, 2008 12:06 AM
Im 18 Years old living in the UK and have recently been diagnosed with Bipolar.
For the past few months i have been smoking pot regularly but moderately and had no swings. No suicidal thoughts as I did prior to pot and very little manic episodes.
I study Physics, average 2.1 degree so I am not a stoner wasting away.
My Doctor has asked me to stop pot so he can assess how I react to Fluoxetine on its own.
Ive stopped pot, im on Anti depressants and I feel shit, worthless, and cannot be bothered to make it to lectures at the moment.
Marijuana works for me. Who is any politician to tell me what I can do with my body, so long as I dont harm any other person.
Who are these Politicians who spend Billions on war, on weapons and turn a blind eye on famine, poverty, healthcare and education to tell me that they dont think its right, because their opinion matters more than mine?
Im gonna ride this out and see how the fluoxetine works over a longer time but if no improvement im gonna be vapourising from now on. (Toke Pure! I'm quitting tobacco. How the **** is that legal?)
I have one question though. Has anyone ever mixed Fluoxetine and Marijuana? I guess its not a good idea.
Also I'd like to point out that I fully understand some people may not benefit from marijuana. Its down to the individuals discretion.
Oh, dear Anna. As I said I think it is down to the Individual. Ask your husband to keep a diary for a month whilst on pot, an a month whilst off.
Detail how he feels and his mood daily, so that at the end of each month you can assess how he responds to pot or whatever. At the end of the month you will have a solid record of how he has felt.
Id just say get brain training on Nintendo DS to counter memory loss etc if you feel pot may be affecting you.
Just remember if it does get bad go to the doctor.
Dont forget the Doctors may be smart, but because of the complexity of marijuana not many are willing to risk it.
At the end of the day its your life.
Posted by: A at March 2, 2008 6:35 AM
I have been diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder (Mixed). I used to ingest a moderate amount of marijuana then quit. I found that some of my depressions and mixed states were far worse. However, using marijuana with bipolar is a balancing act. I have had to get real "balanced" around not using it mostly for recreational use or because everyone around me is using it. I feel it not a plant or drug to be abused as I in my experience, it can cause a worsening of depression and anxiety states. Moderation or small amounts is what works best for me. I wish more studies would be done to figure out which strain is best for bipolar, though I know this is a hard medicinal plant to adjust for on that level. I occasionally give it up altogether for long periods of time, but always go back to it when the other meds don't work or my headaches get bad again. It has taken me years to get to a healthy level with it, however.
Posted by: Cat at April 8, 2008 2:38 PM
I am 54 years old and when I was a teen I started smoking the stuff "pot" that has caused and perpetuated my bipolar problems and since I inherited the condition the smoking only increased the extreme mood swings and psychotic delusions and irritability until at age 50 I finally realized that persons who use pot exhibit the same symptoms as bipolor individuals. Lithium use alone without other meds can stabilize the horrific bipolar symptoms that some ofyou claim pot induces, but until your body gets used to taking the lithium, there will be the side effects of drowsiness, etc. Once you've become used to taking it, say after 6 months, your energy level and awareness and appreciation for life will return. I've seen it happen more than once in the past 40 years as I've tried several times to "give pot a chance," only to discover myself back in the bipolar insanities. Also I have had several "normal" friends who used pot only to have extreme mood swings, psychosis, and irritabilty to the point of violent abusive behavior and I say there's no truth to "peace through pot" and that goes 500 per cent for those who have a genetic connection to bipolar condition in their lives. Take it from an "old hippie" and get real and leave the pot to the medical researchers to determine what works for whom and stop putting your pot-induced propaganda on these blogs for young, easily influenced persons to read who are genetically inclined with bipolar and who will end up in the mental hospitals OR WORSE if they keep smoking or return to smoking or start smoking pot. At least have enough of a conscious to do that much for your fellow human beings who need help, not more hurt.
Posted by: Justin Swearinger at May 7, 2008 1:00 PM
My husband has obvious signs of manic and deppressed moods for the past 10 years, however only noticed when he runs out of pot. To be honest, I hate the stinky expensive, stuff. I hate the smell, the paranoid state from hiding it all the time but worse the money we have to spend on it. Always trying to work out who or how we can get it when it runs out. Having to take it everywhere....Having said this it has made me realise that it actually WORKS for his mental condition. It works so well I could not imagine anything else to be as good. Without him on it our family is punished by him not to mention what he must go through. I only wish there was a pill of it he could take. I would even be willing to move to another state or country where it is at least legal to grow or use it. Where in Australia is this possible? Without it or any other medication (That works as well) our family will be distroyed.....A drained Wife
Posted by: bushie at June 3, 2008 3:35 AM
i just have one thing to say about marajuana and bi-polar i have a 20yr old son that has bi-polar, and you just never knew when he was gonna blow up and it happend frequently he is now on risperdal,klonipin, and lexapro, well he has been on this but still went through alot with him, the last 8 months or so he has been smoking marajuana, no i am not for this , i dont like it, and its illegal, BUT i have to say since he has been doing this i have not had not one problem with him it to me is almost like a miracle medication. trust me i do not let him know that i liek this and that i am happy about him doing this because of the fact that it is illegal, but in all reality i cant say anything other than it has done wonders for him i truly mean that
Posted by: nadine at July 27, 2008 4:03 PM
The human brain is THE most complicated mechanism in the universe.
Science of the brain/organ has exploded in recent yrs. Remember that old "we only use 10% of our brains' ? no basis in real science, though for years medical science held it to be true! (was actually coined during a ToastMasters speech back in the 1930's), but because of MRI's and the such we can actually peer inside the live funtioning brain now huh? and we use ALL of it.
Remember.. the government collects more revenue keeping cannibis illegal, drug companies will never make a juicy profit from pot because if it went legal for medicinal use WE COULD JUST GROW IT OURSELVES! why is tobacco still legal??? tobacoo lobby? dontcha think the big drug compaines help "run" the government???
Sure,Lithium is great for some people, yet dangerous if levels are too high.. other so called miracle meds, HA! if you read the full list of possible side affects....1/2 of them listed are the very reason we were taking them to help! make cause suicidal thoughts in children, teen, young adults and some adults.. WHAT!!!!?????? cha-ching, cha-ching.. make them share holders HAPPY!
Pot may not help or may hurt some, ( everything in moderation folks... maybe the individuals who found that pot made them worse OVER did it. Dosing is tricky even with doctor prescribed, government/FDA...profit hungry drug company approved medications. Damage your kidneys, loose all your hair..gain lotsa wieght..Take this drug everyday.. be a zombie..dizzy, vomit daily..
Through my own self examination, research and soul searching I diagnosted myself for bipolar type 2 this summer. I booked an appointment with a phsyciatrist 5 weeks ago.. 3 more weeks and I fianally get in!!
I plan on changing my diet to include omega3 and all the other proper nutrition choices, I plan on jounaling, watching for my triggers, educating my family to assist me to identify mood swinging, and smoking a puff or two when I feel that old " i wanna scream and smash things and abuse you" mood come on.
First I had to admit to myself I had bipolar, then I had to admit to my family.. ( was very difficult but a relief for all)
I never really smoked except back in high school, never did any other street drugs. (gateway drug? ha!) never liked alcohol in the least bit.. but a few years ago decided to try pot to take the edge off and it worked! A very small amount lasted me half a year! I did NOT smoke it recreationally, just knowing I had it if I needed sometimes it was enuf.
So now Im finding there a link between bipolar and pot. I read and read all I can get my hands on about this..
A natural, less pharmacutical approach is my 1st choice. Marijuana is a natural drug.. so is asperin.. the native americans showed the europeans about this certain tree bark...
Pot is helping so many people with AIDS and MS etc. RELIEVING PAIN?? puleeeeze!
No, I would not want the pilot flying my 747 to be stoned,,, but I dont want him with a martini in his system either. Why is alcohol and tobacco legal??? talk about addictions!
I "put in an order" for my 1st bit of pot last night. After 12 solid weeks of suicidal depression, just the thought of relief has got me off my bed and out of my room. You know its bad when your teenager son finally takes it upon himself to run the dishwasher, this has been a lost summer, what a waste. I hope my delivery gets here soon.
Oh yes,, I plan on telling this doctor this will be my medicine, from what I hear, I doubt he'll tell me not to try it.. we'll see. But I hate the idea I had to ask my adult daughter to help me find some. Clandistine tricky hook-up. I hate to put her in this position, but I am desprate to calm the thoughts.. get some good rest and eat a decent meal to gain some strength again.
Hello??? congress??? FDA????? HELP PLEASE.. or are drug companies a big part of your portfolios?? I bet.
Posted by: Julie at August 10, 2008 7:18 PM
i think i am bipolar i have been to the nut house on and off for a year, the only thing that has stopped my mad rages is constant smoking skunk. the doctor told me im not manic at all because if i was i wouldnt have a job. (i am self employed).
he suggested the weed might be cut with speed ! despite the fact i had been going there clean and sober for a year, going out of my mind and smashing my girlfriends house up...:(
and i was in the middle of a manic episode, dulled by weed at the time.
weed is the only thing that works, but i smoke too much, 8th a day.
Posted by: Adam at August 16, 2008 12:49 PM
50 yrs old, Bipolar I diagnosed 2002. Looking back I had been having major episodes for as long as I can remember. I remember details from a very young age, my siblings are amazed, especially since I smoked pot from the age of 14 (on and off for 36 years). I have always had trouble maintaining employment for periods over a year.
Now many of you are saying that this guy is just another pothead. I was a Navy Radar Technician. I have a B.S. in Electronics and tutored 30 hours a week (Physics, Math, Electronics) while taking 17-20 credit hours a semester. I was a Technical Instructor in the Nuclear Industry and worked for Westinghouse, Texas Instruments, DOE,...,etc. Rarely was I able to continue for more than a year without shooting myself in the foot, so to speak.
When I started a new job I went manic and my grandiose sense of self alowed me to work 16 to 20 hours a day 6 to 7 days a week. I was able to focus and accomplish many things. I am one of the lucky ones because my manic episodes were not destructive but very productive.
In 2001 I was working as a contract Technical Instructor and had a near total breakdown and have not been able to work since. I was blessed with an excellent Doctor and an equally excellent Lawyer. With their help I was awarded full SS disability.
In all my years of industry I never tested positive for drugs and I was tested regularly. At times I smoked everyday but never when I held a job that had testing. When I was tested and couldn't smoke I would almost always sabotage myself so that I had to leave the job within a year or so.
Since the diagnosis I have had over a hundred meds, some work for awhile then the dose is increased it works for awhile then increased until max then it stops working. (zoloft, lexapro......) Lithium put me into a 10 month depression and almost cost me my second marraige but she loves me in spite of myself. (Thank God) Seroquel brought on Type two diabetes which I am now controlling using legal herbs, Iodine and Celtic Sea salt. (Much more effective than the ever increasing doses of script drugs that were leading toward insulin as prescribed by my GP) The list goes on and I am still looking for an answer.
The effects of Cymbalta were to cause the worse episode I have ever experienced. Manic and depressed at the same time. I have gone without pot for most of the time since 2001, except between prescibed drugs that had stopped working or caused adverse effects.
When I am smoking I am creative, I play and write music, make beautiful hand forged knives, and hand stitched leather bags. Right now I am on adderal (leagal speed) because I exhibit symptoms of ADHD. Not sure I like this felling and will talk to Doc in a day or two.
The discussion I had with Doc, who was a pharmicist before a psychiatrist, said the problem with pot was that its effect had a very long half-life (about 36 hours) and if you used it daily you were essentially always under the influence. What I tried to explain was the effect of pot, although it keeps you toward the depressed side, it keeps me from spiking high (manic) or very low (depressed). Giving me what I believe is closer to what the norm is than on other meds.
I haven't given up on Doc but I believe we have to make decisions based on the results we have and not trust blindly.
Nobody has ever been cured of Bipolar disorder. Each and every person that is riding the rollercoaster of Bipolar is different, there is no cure-all. We are in this together, yet so often, so very alone. Everyday can be a struggle not to pull the trigger. Choose not to.
I think that, in my case, and Doc seems to be seeing trends with his other patients that the Bipolar brain tends to rewire itself after a certain amount of time on a new chemical concoction, and inhibits its effect. My gut feeling is that because the drugs are foreign, the brain tends to counteract the chemicals and render them useless. Maybe we can hit on something that works for me but at this point nothing is consistent.
I know pot is Illegal and I cannot condone the use of pot by others but it seems to be a mood leveler in my case. It has worked consistently when nothing else does.
I have legal hobbies that when I'm not in the dregs of depression I can make a little extra money. My Doctor, SS Judge and my Attorney have all encouraged me in these efforts. So find an outlet for yourself that is not dependent on a set schedule. Art, Craft, Music, Poetry, Creative writing. Anything you accomplish is a good thing. Try channeling the manic into something productive. Most of the great poets and songwriters are bipolar to some degree, many have committed suicide. You've made it this far.
One thing I realized while working with my therapist is: Strive for contentment even if it's only one minute at a time. Contentment isn't as lofty a goal as normal but a little helps much.
Love & Peace
Posted by: Dave at August 24, 2008 9:39 PM
I am bipolar but undiagnosed, I am currently 20 year old and BP seemed to have my life in a stranglehold a few short months ago. I started to get mild and far spaced episodes that I just brushed off and thought nothing of it in my early teens. Into my mid teens I was starting to feel the effects a bit more and the appeal of illegal drugs grew, I began smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol that quickly led me to LSD and MDMA.
After a few summer pill binges I would feel immense depression during the winter months. I did not make the connection and just made the assumption that it was the cold dismal winter getting me down. Last summer about a half hour after taking MDMA I fell into a severe manic episode, it scared me and the people around me. After that I swore to never take MDMA again and I dove into a bit of research, I found that MDMA is Kryptonite to those with BP and should never be taken by them as it severely exacerbates the disorder.
after that ordeal I stopped smoking cannabis and started drinking more, this lead me to find that alcohol makes my moods swing to and fro but not to extremes. So after three completely sober months the manic episodes came in suit. Cannabis is the only thing that allows me to get out of bed sometimes; it pulls me out of a depressed slump, and brings me back down to earth almost instantly when having a manic/rage episode. I feel more articulate and more organized when i do smoke.
I fully support the legalization of cannabis for medical reasons, if I wasn’t for it I don’t what if I would mental/physical condition I would currently be in. I am very pleased to see that people get the same comfort and control of my life because of this drug.
Posted by: Damien at September 4, 2008 8:38 AM
I am not a doctor or telling you what to do, this is just my story.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar a year ago when I was hospitalized in my first manic episode of my life which included psychosis.
I am 30yrs old and began smoking MaryJane at the age of 18. So for about 12 years I was a daily user. I stopped smoking mj completely and 3 months later I had my first episode of mania.
Did 12 years of mj use make me Bipolar?
Did 12 years of mj use keep my Bipolar from surfacing, stablizing me between mania and severe depression?
Posted by: Jay at September 11, 2008 8:18 PM
HI IAM 35 I HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSISED WITH BIPOLAR 1, MIXED MANIA,ADHD,ANXIETY, SEVER DEPRESSION AND I KNOW THERE IS ONE MORE JUST CAN'T REMEMBER. I HAVE BEEN OFF OF MEDICATION FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS. I WAS FIRST DIAGNOSISED IN 2000. FOR THE 2 YEARS I HAVE BEEN OFF OF MEDICATION I REALLY HADN'T PAID ATTENTION TO ANY SYMPTOMS UNTIL RECENTLY. MY MOODS WERE REALLY BAD. I JUST RECENTLY WENT BACK TO LOOK FOR A DOCTOR AND IAM STILL WAITING. MY WORRY IS, IS THAT THEY DECIDE TO PUT ME ON MEDICATION (PILLS) WHICH TERRIFIES ME CONSIDERING THAT I HAVE ATTEMPTED TWICE FOR SUICIDE WITH OVERDOSING ON PILLS. WHAT DO I DO IF I DON'T WANT TO TAKE PILLS SIMPLY FOR THAT FACT AND ALSO BECAUSE THE MEDICATION DOESN'T HELP..ZOMBIE AFFECT!!!AND NOT BEING ABLE TO CARE FOR MY FAMILY...I HAVE SMOKED POT AND THE RELIEF IT HAS GIVEN ME HAS BEEN WONDERS. STONE AND ALL I WAS ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH HOUSEHOLD CHORES,TAKING CARE OF MY CHILDREN, AND BEING IN A MORE RELAXED MOOD. PLUS AFTER SMOKING IAM ABLE TO SLEEP COMFORTABLY WITHOUT PROBLEMS. SO ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEAS OF HOW TO TELL A DR THAT IM AFRAID OF TAKING PILLS BECAUSE OF SUICIDE ATTEMPTS? AND NEVER REALLY SURE WHEN THOSE MOODS COME IN PLACE AGAIN. SOMEHOW THEY NEED TO TAKE PATIENTS WHO ARE BP AND RESEARCH THEM HALF WHO ARE ON PILLS WHO HAVE TO INCREASE THERE MEDS CAUSE THEY NO LONGER WORK AND THE OTHER HALF THAT SMOKE ONE JOINT A DAY...TO ME THAT IS ALL IT TAKES. FOR THOSE WHO DO...I CAN SAY WERE NOT ABUSING THE S***, IF WERE ONLY DOING ONCE DAILY...ITS OUR MOOD STABILIZER....THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME TYPE OF PETION TO GO ON OR SOMETHING.....
Posted by: michelle at October 11, 2008 5:10 AM
My husband has been treated for almost 3 yrs now and for 2 of them with RX. He did very well. So I felt. He on the other hand decided he needed more. Canabis. We have noticed a change in mood but that is because he is stoned all the time. It affects our family life. we have 3 children and he replaced us with pot. He is consumed by it. Has lost his faith in everything he believes in. Now he sees his smoking buddies for then his children. They ask me all day "where's Daddy?" We all hurt all because of pot consuming our husband and father. Pot use is only a band aid. Not a fix. It will bite you in the ass sooner or later. I feel soon my husband will loose his job that suportes us five. I am unable to work and leave my children with their dad because he is unable to withstand the presures of parenthood and I can't do that to our children. I am againt canibis use it is unhealth, addictive, nonproductive and time consuming, not to mention it smills terrible. Yuck! I am so deeply sorry for all who are affected by this sickness and who are just trying to find some peace and releife. But so are we. The family of Bipolar. What do we do when we loose our home and my husband is in nonreality. I need im to wake up, not sudate. besides this whole self medacating is crap. When did you ever hear a Dr. tell you to go home and grow your own morphene? Not likely. What a joke. I am fed up.
Posted by: Wife of Bipolar Husband at October 30, 2008 2:19 AM
I am a 46-year old woman who has suffered from bi-polar type I for most of my life but misdiagnosed as major depression until almost one year ago, when I had a manic episode. While I take several drugs, Ativan, Abilify, Lamictal, and Ambien for sleep, I still have feelings of insecurity and anxiety about being around people. It can be difficult for me to even leave my house at times. Recently I began using marijuana twice a month, which has relieved these symptoms. I have had no major depression or manic episodes since beginning this regimen. I discussed this with my therapist today and he suggested that I do some research online about the effects of cannibas on bipolar disorder. So here I am! I sincerely believe that marijuana use has been therapeutic for me and I am surprised that it has been for others as well. The fact that it is costly and illegal is definitely a problem, and I would like to see it legalized for medical use. I am proof that it helps stabilize my moods and even my family and others notice an improvement, even though they may not know I am using it.
Posted by: Tamara at November 4, 2008 9:11 AM
I'm writing on behalf of a someone I'm concerned about: 24 years old, diagnosed as bipolar a year or so ago (previously dealing with depression since her late teens), has had 2 episodes of suicidal thoughts (last one was 2 years ago), is on Lamictal and 2 other drugs (she has IBS). She's been a bit of a pothead for a few years now, I imagine.
Because she worried the family this month with her calls home that she's "in trouble" & was also suffering from very low self-esteem, I visited her at grad school, taking her on day trips for a fresh perspective.
During that time, I observed her pot usage. She smokes 4 wide, cigarette-thick joints by herself each day which amounts to consuming an 8th of pot every 5 days. [And if it's not pot in her mouth, then it's a cigarette.]
But pot use is showing an addictive nature, in that her life revolves around it.
She's aware of losing ground in school, missing classes, and lack of motivation. And she hasn't been able to feel good about her new social life at school.
She had a messy break up with her boyfriend of 4 years a few months before school and was hoping to start anew in another state. But her old relationship insulated her from socializing/adapting and maybe gave her a sense of status she now lacks. And although she is a little boy-crazy (having always gotten along better with guys than gals) she is having trouble finding a clique for herself. Would that she felt stronger in her solitude.
For whatever reason, despite the hassles it causes her and everybody who loves her, she goes off her meds (or runs out) every few months and then crashes, in a deep self-loathing depression. She ultimately can be brought back to reason with logic, hand-holding, getting her back on the meds, and a good night's sleep. But they are very painful times with talks late into the night, and worry that lingers for days.
Here are my questions:
1) While she (hopefully) works out her problems while with the therapist, how do you assess the proper dose of pot? Many writers here believe it has enhanced their lives. I'd love to know the amount that fellow bipolars use to stay level-- it could be a very useful benchmark.
[At the encouragement of her therapist & family, she's now going to MA (marijuana anonymous) once a week to get support in trying to limit her usage.]
2) She recently had a crash: she'd gone off her meds, hated life, had low self-esteem, and wanted to come home. But she also said she had just gotten off pot for 24 hours. Did suddenly going without pot exacerbate her discomfort caused by missing her bipolar meds? Or was the pot withdrawal unrelated to her crash?
If any of you have thoughts, please write. I'm very grateful for the help.
Posted by: Barry at November 19, 2008 10:23 PM
Whats the crack? im gretta,19 just found out today im bipolar. have used drugs to create a better perspective of life and have had most of my epiphanies (realising that i am different and think in a different way to others) when i have been off my nut! i need a joint before bed time to stop my mind working 1000 mph then im slowed down to a normal speed and can sleep. is that so wrong? day 1, so far so good.......stoned.
Posted by: gretta neary at November 24, 2008 11:39 AM
Thank you very much for posting this artical.
I understand there are reports that indicate that cannabis can have a 'detrimental' and 'potentially' 'causative' role in the development of psychosis and paradoxically, can induce mania.
I am very interest in a reference to these for a college assignment.
Posted by: Dan at March 20, 2009 2:00 AM
I have tried many "mood elevators" and antidepressants and some bipolar medications. All are either completely ineffective for me, or only to an extremely minor extent. Yet, ONE inhaled dose of Cannabis, has an incredibally positive effect for me (Bipolar I, Mixed Episode and Schizoid personality disorder). Positive aspects:
The first thing I experience during an "upswing" of symptoms is a complete loss of appetite. Not eating, often for many days at a time, compounds my mental health problems. Canniabis stimulates my appetite within 5 minutes of dosage, and this lasts for hours beyond the noticable effects of the "drug". Cannabis virtually eliminates the depressive aspect of my bipolar, again within 5 minutes, and again, lasting well beyond the noticable effects or "high" of the drug. The overall result of cannabis is 95% effectiveness for me in contolling my symptoms, and it acts almost instantly, unlike the prescription meds I've taken witch take 3 weeks or more to begin effectivness! Also the possible side effects of the prescription meds, are far more alarming or worrysome to me than those of cannabis. Cannabis allows me to interact with others in a relaxed and cheerful way, in spite of my schizoid disorder. By dosing before work, THIS ALLOWS ME TO INTERACT WITH OTHERS, LIKE AT WORK, SO I CAN HOLD DOWN A JOB! Otherwise I would be unemployable. Cons: Expensive, but no more expensive than the prescription meds; Illegal; limits job hunting options per pre-employment drug screens at many companies. I have no ulterior motives for using cannabis. I don't drink alchohol, use nicotine or caffiene. Cannabis is a lifesaver for me, and I believe strongly that it may not be a good choice for everyone, but it is definately a good choice for me. It's criminal that the social stigma surrounding this little herb prevents persons like myself, who need it for legitamate medical reasons, have to sneak around and worry about potental jail time for simply seeking legitimate relief from otherwise-unbearable and life-destroying sympoms. I would like to know if there is anywhere I can write to express these concerns with regard to possible future studies and changes in the law regarding cannabis.
Posted by: Mark Thomas at March 30, 2009 11:03 AM
Hi, I am 21, I am also BiPolar, Type I. I have been prescribed so many meds since I was 16. Even still, going to counseling on time, taking pill's on time, did not work. For the past almost six year's, I have been using MJ and have not had a single incident other than speeding, until now. I was just put on probation a couple of week's ago for possession of a "Schedule I Drug", which Marijuana does not classify as a Schedule I anymore due to the recent fact's that my state, Michigan, along with the other 12 have legalized it for Medicinal purposes. I have ended up in "The Ward" three times during the use of the "Regularly Prescribed" medication's, which I cannot afford now that I have no job, no insurance, and my meds cost about $2,500 or more a month. Much like the guy from Schenectady, I too fought the police, and my family, because of attempts of suicide. If it weren't for my father taking the knife from my hand and throwing it in the vast field behind our old residence and our neighbor calling the police, I would be dead. Needless to say, I am now on probation and have absolutely no way for treatment. When will they say, "There is proof the Marijuana help's, if at least "A few particular cases." such as mine? Just like ANY medication, some thing's work for others and some things don't. I have not smoked since I have been on probation, and am starting to feel the effect's of my Bi Polar type I. I don't know what to do. Guy's, this just may be the end of my life.
P.M.R 1:10 a.m. on Monday, August 3rd 2009
Posted by: Paul M. R. at August 2, 2009 10:14 PM
3 years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar 2, at age 32. When I was 20 I was diagnosed with GAD and uni-polar depression. I have been tried on so many medications that it landed me right into a hospital, I felt delirious. However, I have been an active pot smoker since I was 20 years old. I have never had a psychotic episode, nor has it induced a manic episode. Being from NY I tend to talk fast and a psychiatric nurse diagnosed me with pressured, hyperverbal speech which lead to the bipolar diagnosis. I take Zoloft and trazedone which are both SSRI's and I feel if I truly was bipolar I would be manic all of the time; since SSRI's can endorse mania. Is it true that cannabis could be a mood stabilizer?
Posted by: Kimberly at March 12, 2010 2:29 PM
I'm 33 years old and have had bipolar disorder since I was 18. I use it legally and medicinally in the US. I have a good doctor and prescriptions that I take as well. I have found that the high THC levels in Sativa actually exacerbate my mania, so I stick to taking Indicas that have less THC and more CBD. I would recommend being careful of using sativas especially if you are experiencing mania when you use it. I'm no doctor or scientist but I know what works for me. Try Indicas instead if you are experiencing problems.
Posted by: John Smoke at May 18, 2010 4:18 PM
My son has suffered (literally) from bi-polar disorder most of his life. He was diagnosed at age 15 and put on numerous medications throughout his teens and early 20s that did not help. Some medications made him agitated. Others, such as Lithium, made him like a zombie. While on these doctor recommended medications he twice tried to kill himself. He's in his 30s now and, for the past 10 or so years, he's been self-medicating with marijuana. It works. It makes him "normal". Unfortunately, it's illegal. It smells terrible. And it's expensive. I wish there was another way, but the reality is that it's the only "medication" that controls his manic episodes without sending him spiraling into thoughts of suicide.
Posted by: Mom at September 15, 2010 12:20 AM
Hi all. i've just read this whole wall of posts. Interesting stuff.
I'm 24 and had my first Section at 16 i had my 17th birthday behind a steel door. Yeh ive been told tat i'm Autistic that i have LowGrade Aspergers ive been told that i have it bad too, ive been told im schizoid. I've been told im depressive ie taken every med under the sun. for all of these things, never for more then i few months as i have been more fortunate then most with deinstitutionalization. i've had ECT and i have had regular Injections which despite not being able to confirm the substances ive been injected with im just going to assume it was a simple knockout drug. Listen about Pot, i've lost my mum dad and brother to it. Cause they don't want me doing it. my brother smokes pot and its tolerated because he hasnt ever been hospitalised. but its frowned upon its one of lifes little hypocrisies. when im not smoking pot im fine but all it takes is the wrong words in the wrong order and i am a danger to myself and others, i have a child i keep myself 700miles from just in case. ive known about the fact that i can be triggered since i was about 5 or 6, i kept it quiet though. i had the this single lonley constant fight with myself i used to call it the Creeper or the Wyrm or the Dragon cause it helped me put an imaginary face on the iniquities of my own life. but i'm all grown up now. i know its just Mental illness, i dont care if its genetic or caused by injury emotional chemical or physical, all i care about is being bale to live a normal life free from my own persecutions. ive always been honest with medical staff that i use Pot to self medicate, i discovered it when i was 15 and it changed my life. Please note that i left school at 16 because due to me being able to live a normal personal life with pot it was something that IS illigal and caused me to lose my girlfriend and family and circle of friends, school and a future in this society. Only because of its illegality. These are all worthwhile sacrifices though for not feeling like i have no soul and much much worse youve all been there or seen your loved ones there. or you seen them so far from the person you love yet they demand that you except that they're truly happy(manic).
I've lost so much because of my need for THC. What would be better a life with a family and friends an education and equal opportunities while all the time screaming inside unable to sleep losing my teeth from clenching my jaw which has a permantly dislocated right mandible, the living hell we sufferers experience daily.
Peace of mind, self love, respect and esteem when you look in the mirror, but your family are lost to you aswell as your childhood or "Roots"
At what cost?
What Price Freedom?
All i know is that i'm alive and i want to stay that way, the degenerative aspects of my self are something i will always have to live with i can except that. I will never ask anyone to have to except my choices its unfair to do so. i have a life. its not the one i wanted but its all ive got and reading this message board i know this too.
I am not alone. xxx
your sincerely Shroden@hotmail.com.
Posted by: Stephen at October 5, 2010 6:01 AM
I have been married to a sufferer of Bipolar 2 rapid cycling for over 20 years. It went undiagnosed for a long time and just continued to get worse. Finally he has been getting help from his dr and is on Klonopin and Effexor. That seems to help, but he was still having manic episodes as well as depression the next day. His mania would consist mainly of verbal abuse to ne and the kids, as well as kicking holes in walls and throwing things. He started smoking weed a couple of years ago and that at least kept him off our backs, and helped the mania, but I worried for my kids, they are old enough to see his syptoms and I don't want them getting into drugs. I confronted him about the using because of it being illegal but recently am supporting his use of it at night. He was unable to sleep and paranoia and violent thoughts would keep him and me up all night, sometimes the kids too if we started yelling arguments. The THC seems to REALLY help him sleep at night and his mania has subsided greatly since his use at night. Sometimes if he drinks too much coffee he is irritable, but I get the same way. We are gonna try to wean off the caffeine and see if that helps. I wish we could get THC tablets so he wouldn't have to rely on Visine and immediate shower to get the evidence off before seeing the kids at night. I am also trying Fish Oil I have heard that may help and I am desperate for anything that may help, especially if it's not prescription. The meds he takes I am hoping are enough with the pot and Fish Oil to at least keep our lives somewhat even-keel. I think the reaction to the THC depends on the person. It helps my husband but for me CAUSES paranoia and anxiety so I find no pleasure in it myself :) I have had to take Klonopin and Wellbutrin to keep myself sane thru all this craziness. I wish the best for all of you suffering from this illness and all the caretakers who get the brunt of a lot of the mood swings. God bless--
Posted by: wifeofbipolar at December 30, 2010 6:49 AM
I have very mixed feelings about THC especially smoked.
The effects in my case range from triggerd manic episodes with acute mystical delirium and unbearable -creativeness-, to a continuous state of drowzy happiness and relaxation over weeks and weeks of -reasonable- usage.
I have stopped.
Fact is the molecule(s) has to be studied as it clearly presents potential and as solid scientific facts about -free usage- would help prevent and advice cannabis smokers instead of weighing on their guilt.
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Posted by: bubble bags at August 16, 2011 12:33 PM
I was diagnosed as bipolar type I at age 50+. Canabis is the only medicine that eliminates the suicide thoughts, the depression and some of the mania. Depikote and Depikote with different anti-deprssion medications tried over a few years did nothing for me. I feel normal after a bowl, and I wish the DEA thugs would go away from our state. Ron Paul 2012! Liberty is the cure.
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Posted by: GlassLOU25 at September 3, 2011 12:20 AM
Works for my BiPolar.
Posted by: David Powell at October 20, 2011 1:50 PM
If "no controlled trials of THC have been done in bipolar disorder," then how can the authors claim there is evidence of "psychosis being related to usage of cannabis" or that "it can provoke mania in some people"? How can the authors be so cautious in suggesting marijuana's potential benefits but so certain in stating its risks? Marijuana use may be coincident with the onset of mania in some cases (perhaps with people trying stabilize their symptoms), but this in no way proves a causative role. This biased piece of "scholarship," like so many others I've read criticizing the use of plant medicine, is fit for the rubbish bin.
The reason there are no "controlled trials of THC" in the United States is not because nobody thinks it's a good idea --- it's because these trials are illegal! Marijuana's classification as a controlled substance makes it impossible for scientists to investigate its benefits. Doctors don't know how marijuana interacts with psychotropic medications for the same reason. The authors will never be able to make an "evidence-based recommendation" until some kind of political groundswell convinces lawmakers to relax these restrictions. If we truly care about the suffering of millions of people with mood disorders, we have to get Big Pharma out of Washington.
I've had bipolar symptoms for eight years now and I'm studying to become a psychotherapist. Marijuana has been my saving grace in coping with the despairing depths of bipolar depression, providing the kind of relief I needed to lead a relatively normal life when *none* of the Big Pharma medications would help. At this point the legal treatments for bipolar depression are vanishingly few and pitifully ineffective.
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Posted by: HodgesJana21 at June 2, 2012 8:07 AM
I have 2 daughters 33 and 35, one is a nurse working on her masters and the other teaches nurseing at the UofA in fayetteville,2 of their children are Gifted and Talented and are highest in math and problem solving, their mother and I both smoked marijuana our whole life since 12 years of age and we are both very sucessful 1 daughter smoked and 1 did not,When I get sick or go to the doctor they try to overmedicate me with strong drugs and I usually have to trash them,and go get some extra potent pot like 15 % and use it a while then go back to the cheep stuf about 2 to 5 %,No Pain,I have A back disease that is very painful and the 15 % works best I have other health problems that was caused by alcohol and nicotine,that I treat with the 5% what do you think about this?
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