I began smoking marijuana in college in the late 1990s. It was illegal at the time and it was difficult to procure, so I started out having it randomly at parties with friends. I liked the way it made me feel, the out-of-body type weirdness, the creativity, the euphoria. By the end of college, I had become a daily user, a habit that I carried for the next 20 years. I considered myself a high-functioning pothead, and because it didn’t seem to be negatively affecting my life in any way, I did not see it as a problem.
In 2011 I made a new friend who had a medical marijuana card. She bought high-potency weed from dispensaries and would then turn around and sell it to her friends, including me. After smoking for so many years, the effects of the cannabis weren’t as strong for me and I was happy to feel the high of this new, stronger stuff I was smoking. But strange things started happening in my mind once I started using the medical-grade weed.
I began to see connections where none existed. I would see a butterfly on a magazine cover in line at the grocery store then see someone with a butterfly tattoo and know that it was the Universe trying to tell me something. What it was trying to tell me, I don’t know. It was part of the mystery that “they” needed me to figure out. Soon, every song on the radio was being played specifically for me, the lyrics becoming messages I was supposed to decode and interpret. It wasn’t long before I had a full-blown mental breakdown.
I was diagnosed as bipolar in the summer of 2012 at the age of 33. Known as Truman Show Syndrome, my first psychotic episode consisted of me believing wholeheartedly that I was being watched by cameras everywhere and that I was the star of a reality show about my life. Everyone — friends, family, and strangers alike — was “in on it” and only interacting with me to get their 15 minutes of fame. Leading up to the psychosis was a trail of stressful events: my parents divorcing, a messy breakup, and the death of my dog all contributed to emotional strain that I wasn’t handling well. And did I mention I was smoking high-potency cannabis several times a day?
That episode lasted a month and I was hospitalized twice for the strange things my mind was thinking and directing me to do. But once I regained clarity of thought — on my own, without medication — I was adamant that I was not bipolar, and that the event was what one psychiatrist told me was a BRP, or brief reactive psychosis, due to the stress I was under. Although the episode had leveled my life to the ground, causing me to lose my apartment and job, I chose not to medicate, and I also did not stop smoking weed.
A year later, with the stress of a new job and yet another breakup with a boyfriend, I had a second psychotic break. It was the same theme, that hidden cameras were everywhere, that Oprah was directing the show, and that at some point, after “they” had gotten all the footage they needed, I would be rewarded with fame, riches, and the love of my life. This time, after losing my job, my apartment, and totaling my car, I spent eight days locked in a mental hospital and sadly accepted the diagnosis of bipolar 1 disorder. I began a long relationship with Risperdal. I continued to use marijuana, despite the articles my family would send me describing the link between marijuana and psychosis. It was a habit, and perhaps a bit of an identity that I had maintained since college and I couldn’t let it go.
I took 2mgs of Risperdal every night for six years and remained stable. In 2019, tired of fighting to maintain a normal weight and frightened that the muscle twitching I experienced would lead to full-blown tardive dyskinesia, I decided to stop everything: no more marijuana, and no more Risperdal. I had to find out if I could live a normal life, and if I was truly bipolar or not. I remained stable for two and a half years.
In the fall of 2021, a number of unfortunate realities hit me all at once. In the middle of the Covid pandemic, with a one-year-old baby to take care of, I discovered that my husband had been cheating on me for the majority of our relationship, and my father was diagnosed with cancer. I began drinking more and more alcohol as a (bad) coping strategy and took up smoking marijuana again after a two-year hiatus. Almost immediately I began to see “signs” from the Universe and connect things that really didn’t connect. I fell into a year-long psychosis of delusions involving hidden cameras, FBI agents, the mafia, and a long-lost love interest. And I lost everything.
During the psychosis, I repeatedly refused medication, but also continued to smoke copious amounts of marijuana. It was all I had left now that my husband had left me and my friends and most of my family had turned their backs on me. It wasn’t until three months after I’d been forced onto Invega injections in order to see my two-year-old son that the delusions abated and I could grasp the magnitude of the destruction the psychosis had caused. As I returned to reality, I came to believe that it was the marijuana, not the bipolar diagnosis, that had set the psychosis in motion. I flushed my weed down the toilet and threw out every piece of paraphernalia I had.
Now that more and more states are legalizing recreational marijuana, we are seeing more and more instances of marijuana-induced psychosis. Daily users have a 2-3 times greater risk of developing psychosis, and the high potency strains being sold in dispensaries, combined with a family history of mental health issues, increases one’s risk even more. I was doomed from the start.
Is marijuana to blame for my mental health issues? Am I really bipolar, like what my medical records now state is the case? Is it a combination of the two? I had two full years when I was off both marijuana and antipsychotics, and I was healthy and normal during that time. It wasn’t until I started using cannabis again that the psychotic features returned — and in a big way. But it wasn’t until I had been on the antipsychotic for three months that the psychosis ended. This leads me to believe that the manic episode was truly induced by both stress and marijuana, and that Invega may have been necessary to bring me back out of it.
Just two months out of my latest episode, I am having to rebuild my life all over again. I hate what Invega is doing to my body: a 20-pound weight gain in three months, lactating breasts, hair loss. Now entrenched in a custody battle for my son, I have to prove to the judge that I am complying with the prescribed medication while knowing how toxic it is for my body, and thus for my psyche as well. I am working with my psychiatrist to lower the dosage to eventually get off antipsychotics altogether and maintain my stability with natural coping strategies. I am hopeful that with the absence of marijuana from my life, this will be possible.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
Cannabis is a mild hallucinogen. That’s something that gets brushed under the carpet.
But then in our personal whodunnits (or whatdunnits) we can look for easy answers and it never is so straightforward when it comes to playing detective with psychosis to point the finger of blame at one thing (even a mild hallucinogen) because the seeds of psychosis are very slow growing, have been developing out of sight for a long time, and even when those first shoots appear above ground, they can easily be mistaken for something else, as by that point they are vivid, absolute, and
The term “mild hallucinogen” is problematic and I don’t like to leave it on the table without some comment before leaving.
Our conscious experiencing of the world is a generative illusion, a form of ongoing hallucination, subjective and personal, and both alike and unalike all others simultaneously. We are constantly generating patterns and creating abstract and loose associations and connections and much of this is deliberately processed out of our conscious awareness… unless, and it’s a big unless, we set about altering our consciousness with hallucinogenic drugs, or other means, such as meditation, sensory deprivation, fasting and so on. In which case, the vividness and cluttered-up intensity of our being from one moment to the next will infiltrate our conscious life.
And very few are able to cope, and no go mad in some way. Actually, I don’t believe that anyone is able to put themselves through that and not experience madness of some sort. We evolved processes to censor and inhibit and edit out all that pattern making precisely so that we could cope and not become overwhelmed.
Psychosis then is a kind of sensory overwhelm. It is what is happening within our brains but which does not reach our conscious awareness.
It’s something the brain is doing all the time and in fact every night it is verified by REM sleep and sometimes we will remember these fantastic creations, these epic cinematic hallucinations, a whole living populated world of the familiar and strange, simply because we laid down our heads, closed our eyes, and fell into a deep, trance-like brain-state.
Psychosis isn’t an illness that happens to the brain. That’s shrink-talk. Psychosis isn’t something that happens to people because they’ve used drugs.
Psychosis is what is happening in every human brain, all of the time, in both waking and sleeping life, but which much of the time is inhibited from conscious awareness.
Drugs open doors of perception. Those doors were always there. And go on being there.
Best wishes to you and thanks for sharing your story. I truly hope you achieve the peace and reconciliation that you and everyone deserves in life.
As one who had a dream query, and brain zaps – a common symptom of antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, misdiagnosed as bipolar – and who had the misfortune of having this mistreated with a bunch of “psychosis’ inducing, anticholinergic toxidrome poisonings, by psychiatrists.
I totally agree, “Psychosis isn’t an illness that happens to the brain. That’s shrink-talk. Psychosis isn’t something that happens to people because they’ve used drugs.”
“Psychosis is what is happening in every human brain, all of the time, in both waking and sleeping life, but which much of the time is inhibited from conscious awareness.”
In other words, what the psychologists and psychiatrists currently fraudulently claim is “psychosis,” is merely an awakening to the collective unconscious within our dreams. At least that was my experience, so I largely agree, rasselas.redux.
Thanks for sharing your story, Ms. Hansen. And I do agree, mind altering drugs, can cause mind altering experiences.
I appreciate your comment a great deal.
In my opinion, psychosis/voices & visions happen within my own brain, the left temporal lobe to be precise. I don’t think drugs caused my 30 years plus of voices & visions, but thanks.
This story is so distressing and painful to me. My 30-year-old son died as a result of heavy marijuana use. He had had a difficult childhood (Dad was absent a lot and unfortunately, I wasn’t much of a mother to him.) So unsurprisingly, Julian started using marijuana after he left high school and successfully hid it from the family. For about the next 10 years he wouldn’t settle on any plan for his life and wouldn’t get a job either. He told us that his part-time involvement with the Navy as a reservist was his “work”. He disappeared for long periods of time and did a lot of “couch surfing”, but always came back home at intervals. His girlfriend gave up on him, but we learned that she and his friends were very concerned about his drug use. Eventually around the age of 28, his behaviour became very strange. He would stay up all night, taking a shower at 3 AM and going out for walks afterwards. Then he started to dress properly and carry a brief case, telling us that he was going to contact the movie producer George Lucas with some ideas he had. Our daughter recognized some symptoms of crystal meth ingestion that she had learned about from friends. Sure enough, Julian became worse over a few weeks and became extremely paranoid, telling us that his friends were driving by the house, intending to attack him. Next came a suicide attempt: he jumped onto the road in front of a moving taxi. From this episode, he never really recovered, although he was “brought down” from his psychosis with psychotropic drugs. (The hospital psychiatrist said he was schizophrenic, completely ignoring the fact that marijuana can cause psychosis!) By this time, his Dad had died (cancer) and Julian was living with me. It is a complicated story, but he started using marijuana again (an obvious addiction) against all advice to the contrary. I told him he had to leave home and find a job and for a short time I actually thought this was best for him. It was not. We are not sure exactly what happened, but it was reported that after being out all night he had returned to his rented room and then ran out of the house and jumped over the ledge of an overpass.
This is a story no mother wants to have to admit to… I feel terrible for my own ineptitude and that I wasn’t able to get help for Julian, although I did try a number of agencies that were less than sympathetic. I am extremely concerned about the use of recreational drugs, especially marijuana since it seems to be the gateway drug to other toxic ones. I believe the supplier spiked Julian’s marijuana with crystal meth, although he refused to acknowledge that this could happen. Later, my research showed that the THC in the street drug is much higher than it was when people started using back in the 1970’s and that there is no “pure marijuana” out there.
I fervently hope your life turns around, L. Hansen. Your son deserves his mother and I imagine it will be an uphill battle. Please try for your own sake as well as his and I wish you every success for a better life!
“I believe the supplier spiked Julian’s marijuana with crystal meth, although he refused to acknowledge that this could happen.”
And acknowledgement of such a possibility may have been interpreted as being a paranoid delusion. Something I found out when my documents showing I had been ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs were “edited” by the State to remove the fact, and then slander me as insane.
Your point is valid, and it was known in my State that there were people who were taking ‘low grade’ marijuana and spraying it with a particular brand of fly spray to increase the effect for those who consumed it. I have little doubt that there are other ‘additives’ which have been used as well.
My State hasn’t got to the point of having dispensaries where the quality of such products can be regulated, instead using proceeds of crime legislation to remove the property of anyone caught with more than 2 ounces I believe. It has been said here many times it is difficult to get someone to believe something when their paycheck (and bonuses) depends on them not seeing it.
And in a State where the ‘spiking’ of citizens for the benefit of public officers is being enabled (the date rape drugs becoming their “Regular Medications” with a little bit of after the fact document “editing”), it would be extremely difficult to find a cause and effect type relationship.
Which drugs can be administered covertly to citizens before police interrogations? Who can administer them covertly and be given immunity as a ‘confidential informant’ by police? How many hours after subjecting the victim to acts of torture can a doctor write a prescription for the drugs administered to cover up acts of torture (in my case 12 hours had passed before I was introduced to the Senior Medical Officer who wrote a prescription for the ‘spiking’, and AFTER I had been subjected to an ‘acute stress reaction’ by police and been subjected to questioning surrounded by 5 public officers with weapons)?
There was one situation with a ‘suspect’ (patsy is possibly the correct term) was given high grade marijuana by an undercover police officer (and some jewelry from the scene of a murder) which was done to ‘enhance’ the effect of his arrest and interrogation. Taken with his knowledge, which I assume meant it wasn’t necessary to have his ‘covertly medicated’ (though we will never know given the means of concealment involve having doctors forge prescriptions and when investigated there is “insufficient evidence” even when the documents haven’t been retrieved by police. Facts, truth not an issue). He was then asked about how the murder may have happened, asked to draw the type of weapon that may have been used (a simple drawing of a wrench), and this was then presented to the Court as being his confession by police.
He did 12 years prison before the ‘verbal’ was sorted….. something I don’t think the people at mental health acting as ‘informant’s’ realise the significance of when they are doing them. ‘Verbals’ that is. The documents forged to justify my ‘detention’ (and I contest that term) simply uttered with by even the Minister despite the fact they failed to retrieve the real set showing they were forged. They simply deny reality and continue with the slander, and the community follows as they have families that can be ‘fuking destroyed’ too.
My Son is experiencing the Truman Show Syndrome now, as he currently languishes in jail with bond set at $100K. But he always told me, “Dad it’s legal since I have a Marijuana card”. Addicts always rationalize. The dumbing down of America. The movie Idiocracy is playing out before our eyes. To all addicts in denial and rationalizing, “Go To Hell and Rot!”
Powerful!!! Encore. I whole heartedly agree. It always has to be part of the addicts conversation, recruiting you and constantly trying to up your education on its pharmacology. No shaman spouts chemistry. Shamans respect the inherent dangers of deluging the brain. Shamans are not into EXCESS. They retreat away from their potions with due deference. Indigenous people are not into sickness.
I am sorry that such terrible harm befell you. Where I live we now have “safe” cannabis stores, but the products are very expensive; so people are obviously buying from friends, dishonest street pushers, suppliers and the like. Yes, the outrageous use of drugs in psychiatry must be stopped! As for “recreational drugs”–I would always advise: Just don’t use them…there are other, better ways to relieve the stress of living in our highly competitive, materialistic world. We need to learn about ourselves and why we feel we need substances to get through life.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti
Thanks for the reply Louisa.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti
“I don’t want no peace, I need equal rights and justice” Peter Tosh
“We need to learn about ourselves and why we feel we need substances to get through life.”
I think that history shows that some people are very aware of the effects of ‘recreational drugs’ and have used them as a means to overcome problems associated with war etc (what is called “the moment of truth” by Drill Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket).
The Hashishans, the Vikings using mushrooms before raids, opium in Vietnam, and of course the use of ‘prescription medications’ by Islamic State fighters is well documented (not so much veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan…. yet)…. the list goes on.
We might not like this fact, but ……..
I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my heart. May Julian rest in peace. May this story save others.
Hello Daisy Valley,
Thank you very much for your kind comment. I am sure Julian would be encouraged and would love it if his sad story helped someone else!
A sad experience, liable to be even sadder when you find out that this can be readily treated with mega B3 and C ala Hoffer and Osmond instead of the Big Pharma zombie drugs and/or prolonged analysis.
“Readily treated with mega B3 and C” Well, it depends. Some people have psychosis caused by trauma or lsd, which is harder to treat.
You might be surprised who does respond to such things as megavitamins. I lost a job when two of these individuals graduated from a substance abuse facility after being secretly placed on such a program to keep the other residents from being hassled from having to make repeat hospital trips (for “security” reasons) while dealing with the “daft” individuals, who both “graduated” when they weren’t supposed to, as they were judged as probable treatment failures on entering the program.
I am sorry to hear of your dreadful tragedy, Louisa. And L.Hansen, I am sorry for your loss of contact with your boy.
I do not think mothers should be blaming themselves so readily at all. I mean Marijuana is like the nursery rhyme of The Pied Piper. It leads all the village children into a hill where they cannot get back out again. I think we need to be blaming the drugs lords who sell such addictive substances.
In the medieval epoch women were sometimes convinced that someone had swapped their baby for a changeling. A crying infant who looked like the real baby but was altered in some subtle way. Often the women would take their infants to holy wells and walk three times around such sacred places asking for the real baby to be returned to them. It may have been due to the puzzlement of congenital diseases taking form as the infant developed. But that was way back in history, or is it? These days perfectly ordinary youths who are adored by their parents are being “changed” by marijuana. Its as if The Pied Piper is stealing all of everyones children and for what?
What people just do not get is how awful the psychotic hallucinating brain can be. It is not just a silly party game gone wrong. It is a genocide.
Hello Daiphanous Weeping,
Yes, the story of my son is very tragic. He was artistic and intelligent and could have, I believe, had a good life–or at least, reasonable, considering the battles our young people face these days. I really like your Pied Piper analogy. You are right–children are being stolen from their parents with drug use. In my day the “right of passage” for youth was drinking which was bad enough…now it seems to be both drinking AND drugs, a sad comment on our society.
Thank you, Louisa.
High THC cannabis is a mental health problem but should not overshadow the mental health benefits of CBD and other cannaboids. There is evidence that CBD could be used as a safe way to de-escalate mental health situations. It is safe, easy to administer, and carries minimal liability compared to drugs like ketamine and Haldol.
Yes I agree with this post. I’ve had voices & visions, psychosis for 30 yrs, psych treatment (one major tranquiliser/ap) for 26 yrs. Starting seven years ago I tried cbd. Found it significantly reduced/ameliorated the frequency and intensity of my episodes. Sure I agree with the article, high thc can be dangerous in those of us vulnerable to it. But 1:1 cbd:thc is incredible for stress relief and managing neuropathic pain, amongst other things. Funny that, isn’t it? Best wishes/Ádh mór
Getting the right prescription is important! Sadly, many people are isolated from this Plant Medicine by legal concerns (so they use street) – and there are a lot of cowboys prescribing. The Author was using medical plant prescribed for another person. And street. There are many many combinations of THC – CBD – CBN – A & B. I recently got my medical card, and it’s not as simple as 1+1=2. It’s what strain works for you (100’s of variations here), what form you take (I prefer making oils and edibles for my condition) and how much you use. Even with a prescriber, there is a lot of tweaking involved.
It’s not for everyone. Respect the Plants, they have Power. This goes for tobacco and psychedelics, too – if you Honour the Plant, it is more likely to be an ally. Too many people Abuse the Plant, and the story above is a classic example of addiction rather than mindful use. And – it is difficult to teach this to teenagers, who are experimenting with identity and consciousness.
L. Hansen, thank you for telling your story. I’m hoping for the best for you. I believe that your words will save others. I hope that you will find all the insights, and hope, and connections to keep going. It’s wonderful that you are standing on these hardships to speak life-saving words to others. You are an encouragement. You are making a difference. Thank You.
Known as Truman Show Syndrome, my first psychotic episode consisted of me believing wholeheartedly that I was being watched by cameras everywhere and that I was the star of a reality show about my life. Everyone — friends, family, and strangers alike — was “in on it” and only interacting with me to get their 15 minutes of fame.
I had a phase like that when I was doing lots of acid. This was decades before the Truman Show though.
Don’t call it “psychosis,” it’s a meaningless term. If you can’t handle the synchronicity don’t smoke the stronger stuff, it can be disorienting.
You might enjoy a reading of Osmond’s later book, Predicting the Past. In which he would reference Kio Izumi who would work with him when he was exploring LSD and coined the term psychedelic. Kio and I would have several conversations on the alternate ways of knowing reality. He also would write a letter to me about the unconventional consciousness and reference me to Mahayana Buddhism.
Sometimes it seems to me that few readers listen to anybody in the comment section. All these articles recently on how traumatic grief is and yet….when people come out with their real grief in the comments area its as if metaphorically many folks just stroll on by.
I am not saying this is always how it seems to me….but once in a while…
Maybe I expect more heart.
I sense a gulf between people who are looking for solidarity of a community sort…and people seeking solidarity in putting the boot into communal systems that just do not work. They are like two completely different energies and more and more it is as though each human is having to “choose” which group to follow.
The group that are searching for change or the group that “be” the change looked for.
These two videos by Mel point at what I am myself also resonating with in this time. I myself am getting fed up with wandering through storms and feel myself reprioritizing the “choice” to be of the lightworkers. To do so you must attend to inner life and how you feel in the here and now. Nurture of the whole being is what each being craves and yet all of the fighting, arguing, bickering, is not nurture, even though ranting can be healing when one is in the wounded state of being.
I sense a tension or friction at the periphery of these two energies. They rub up against each other as if they are the same thing or same choice but more and more I feel they are quite different as a “choice”. You can spend an eternity hating the world for being imperfect. Or you can spend time instead realizing your own foibles and limitations. We are in this era definitely having to learn limitations, our own, and other peoples. But there can come a serenity in limitations, an acceptance of ours and other peoples feelings.
You may wish to read Ross Grainger’s book Attacker Smoked Cannabis. These tales of cannabis-associated violence sound suspiciously like the antidepressant-associated cases I have been collating.
This is not an abstract issue to us. The son of our dearest and wisest friend jumped off a freeway overpass after heavy daily cannabis use. Broke his arm, his leg, his back, and every one of his ribs. Incredibly, no damage to his brain or spinal cord. But if you survive a fall like that, you are going to be in pain for the rest of your life.
Well, guess what he’s using the relieve the pain? “Medical marijuana!”
He’s not a kid, either. He was thirty-five years old at the time and, before he took his high dive, came across like the junior executive type.
He told his mother he was fighting someone that night. When she asked him “Who were you fighting?” he replied “The Devil.”
Two thousand years ago, Chinese doctors reported that smoking cannabis made people “see devils.” When will we learn?
And now that Big Dope, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, and Big Sugar are all merging into one sinister world-wide conglomerate, expect to see more of this sort of thing.
You can anticipate cannabis related bizarre antics if your subject has dysperceptions and is using cannabis to endure or hide them. A way to prevent this is to take a Hoffer Osmond Diagnostic test before getting buzzed to see if you’re at high risk for losing your marbles before seeking drug induced adventures (the test was originally used for screening for LSD therapy for alcoholics, who are likely to bum out on hallucinogens if they’re disperceptive). Although hard to find in the US, Schizophrenics Anonymous chapters in Canada have access to a pocket version members can carry around like a pocket thermometer to check on themselves at intervals, when the situation justifies
I’d be interested to see a link to the claim about “Chinese doctors” suggesting that cannabis use led people to see devils. Of course, like so much of modern stuff that is re-packaged and sold back to people as something old and authentic, there is no such thing as Ancient Chinese Medicine. In the singular at least. Like so much, approaches and cultural wisdoms were disparate, localised, and frequently at odds with one another. Such that one place would be pushing snakeskin oil as a cure for impotence, and another would be claiming that the snakeskin oil was the cause of the impotence. So much for ancient Chinese doctors.
Or maybe you mean post-Revolutionary Maoist doctors who were opposed to all drug use, considering it to be an affront to the mission of totalitarianism, which of course, has as its core goal, the complete supplication of all human beings to the Power of the Committee. Any deviation from top-down rule, any personal choices, any subjective explorations of self and environment, were anti-revolutionary, subversive acts of freewill that had to be stubbed out immediately, and violently.
I can well imagine the horrors of smoking bud in such an averse environment, and all that repressed disgruntlement, all that repressed critique and satire, would lead any sane non-conformist to see the devil in the details.
Who are the Devils in a totalitarian regime, and what might happen when someone starts seeing them?
The totalitarian impulse is to have whole nations moving under one impulse, under one will. Those that impose that singularity live in constant fear of being undermined. Their stone-faced seriousness and their wooden, stale, endless rituals and horribly sadistic punishments.
Devils, of course, are metaphors for something wrong in the environment, or something troubled in someone’s heart. Cannabis open doors of perception. As old Chinese proverb goes, “if you open a window, more light gets in… but so do mosquitoes”
Interesting. My understanding was that ‘devil weed’ originated with Day of the Dead iconography and criminalization was a way to legally discriminate against Mexicans. Much like opium was used against the Chinese, cocaine against blacks, and alcohol against the Irish.
That doesn’t explain why Mexico outlawed cannabis fourteen years before the United States did.
Anyway, I didn’t say anything about making cannabis illegal. I don’t even get into the debate anymore. I just think people ought to know the hazards of the drugs they are taking.
The claim about Chinese doctor can be found in Alex Berenson’s Tell Your Children. I gave my copy to our friend, so you’ll have to look up the citation yourself.
I got hold of the book and here’s the quote:
“The first comprehensive reference guide to herbs and drugs ever created, a Chinese pharmacopeia called the Pen-ts’ao Ching, warned that excessive cannabis smoking caused “seeing devils.” By about 100 AD, Chinese physicians believed the drug “stimulate(d) uncontrollable violence and criminal inclinations,” according to a botanist who wrote a 1974 paper on cannabis in China. In the Middle East and North Africa, people noted similar effects.”
No reference and most searches online referenced Berenson’s book (secondary source) when making the claim.
The book’s premise is cannabis = psychosis = violence
Justified with numerous examples of murder which if you look closely are not obviously induced by reefer madness.
With a sprinkling of cannabis = schizophrenia = (disturbing) murder plus a fair whack of untreated schizophrenia is a public health risk.
It’s a real bummer that books like this continue to be written. It cherry-picks throughout.
And makes no mention of the more common run of events which is
psychosis leads to self-medicating with cannabis which leads to non-violence.
His wife is a forensic psychiatrist. Case closed, your honour.
Wow! L. Hansen – THANK YOU for sharing this story.
I wrote a comment one time about this exact issue and MadInAmerica decided not to post. Maybe it was too much for publication. Most people do not want to see what we call mental health is really cultural way of programming people.
In my incident, I thought I was going to have a psychosis and ended up with what I can only call an awakening. I had therapist and was leading extremely content life…I left therapy for good after this incident.
My consciousness increased so much and so fast over 6 weeks or so and I was shocked! in a positive way. I was so afraid of losing my mind and then boom, my world view changed and then I was back to normal baseline but have this incredible memory cause I documented in writing and I enjoyed it during.
I am noticing when you are having psychosis, you are also having a lot of real issues in life so perhaps this emotional upheavals are directing your awakening in different framework than you could if you had them while you are relatively happy or content. I agree with your hesitance of having bipolar…
When mine happened, I did not even know what mania was but since then, I realized that I got a bit mania when I eat the edibles (whatever that means) to me I become quite creative and ideas and concepts make sense to me easier. I came to see psychosis and awakening – same coin different side.
“…This leads me to believe that the manic episode was truly induced by both stress and marijuana, and that Invega may have been necessary to bring me back out of it…”
I was put on Lithium in the 1980s – for no real reason -and when I came off this drug I developed a type of “over the top” personality for a number of years. So “Bi Polar” (IMO) can be drug induced.
When I attempted to come off all Psychiatric ‘Medications’ (abruptly – with permission) things didn’t work out so well. But I did manage to cut down very slowly over a number of years. The main problem I experienced with coming off psychiatric drugs was “Drug Withdrawal – High Anxiety”.
Once I learnt how to cope with the “High Anxiety” – I felt everything was going to be ok.
I have had “psychotic” delusions, but all is not black and white, you might not be entirely wrong…. or right.
Only when psychotic does a person have certainty. Any educated intelligent person has room in their mind for doubt.
That is the (my) fun and thrill of psychosis , full certainty of truth, of being right.
The delusion of that one is in a reality like the Truman Show movie, is not black and white.
The famous director Alfred Hitchcock said “What is drama, after all, but life with the dull bits cut out.”
Day by day we are producing our own film in our minds. No boring parts? That is a good film.
If you take/make dangerous decisions because you believe you ARE in a film (with no consequences), yes that is ???? stupid maybe?
“…Only when psychotic does a person have certainty. ..”
Schizophrenia or Marijuana
A 2nd generation Caribbean Person in the UK, is 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with ‘Schizophrenia’ than a member of the UK indigenous population. I wonder if this is ‘Schizophrenia’ or Marijuana.
One of the reasons ‘Schizophrenia’ is considered to be ‘Schizophrenia’ is that a ‘Schizophrenic Person’ can go ‘Mad’ if they stop taking their ‘Medication’. But anyone can go Mad if they try to stop taking this type of ‘Medication’ – whether they were originally judged ‘Schizophrenic’ or not.
I believe the ‘Medical Standard’ is that if a person runs into problems fairly quickly when they attempt to withdraw from a ‘medication’ then the problem is likely to be linked to ‘Withdrawal Syndome’. But if the person runs into problems later on it might be linked to ‘Relapse’.
Most people abruotly withdrawing from ‘Schizophrenic Medications’ run into problems fairly quickly.
Marijuana is mania. The idiotic fact that in many states there have either made it legal or are thinking of it only expresses the depravity of the 21st century. I, personally, do not think that even a store that specializes in selling marijuana legally, but at an expensive price can sell “good marijuana.” The old pictures from previous decades, especially, the 60s and 70s showing young people basically so “zoned out” that they are nearly unconscious are not jokes. When I was in college, marijuana, although illegal, was as easy to come about as alcohol. It did nothing, but cause a generation ripe for the dangerously seductive psychiatric drugs like SSRIS and the atypical anti-psychotics. Please do not be deceived. The only reason they want to legalize marijuana is to create a willing and vulnerable market for all their psychiatric drug devilish debauchery and greed. Thank you.
I have never seen anyone smoke cannibas regularly without developing some form of ‘Cannibas Lunacy’. I can’t understand why this is not recognised.
IMO “Cannabis Lunacy” is NOT a form of “Schizophrenia” – it’s a form of “intoxication”.
Schizophrenia is not even a coherent diagnostic category. The vast majority of diagnosed cases of “schizophrenia” are due to perfectly understandable reactions to overwhelming trauma and abuse:
The symptoms of schizophrenia may also be reactions to drugs (legal or illegal), and perhaps some other causes as well — head injury, heavy medical toxicity, etc.
Congratulations, Patrick, for being a believer in social origins of schizophrenia syndrome, who also acknowledges physical origins for it, as well.
I believe psychosis is caused by the differences between perceived reality and actual reality.
An example would be when I experienced side effects from Paxil and Zyprexa. The doctors and drug companies denied the side effects creating a disparity between my reality where the drugs had side effects and the doctors reality where the drugs did not have side effects. The gap in those realities is seen as a threat and psychosis is the immune response.
Another example would be when a doctor interprets figurative statements literally and literal statements figuratively. If this situation results in psychic distress then there is a good argument that the doctor is the cause of the distorted realities and thus the cause of the mental illness.
The ‘conditions for diagnosis’ are purely off the top of a Psychiatrists head – but the psychiatric treatment locks the person in.
A friend of mine looked after plenty of people who ‘went off the rails’ on marijuana – he told me that if they stopped smoking they mostly recovered.
Again – it’s not all one Plant.
Sativa is more manic, creative. Indica is more sedating, relaxing.
Putting all the ranges under the category “Marijuana” (which is an epithet designed to excoriate Mexicans in the US – the correct term is cannabis.) is incorrect.
Respect the Plants. Yes, they can hurt you. Yes, they can help you. Respect them.
Gosh, there are a lot of comments on schizophrenia by people who do not seem to have that diagnosis. I DO have a diagnosis of schizophrenia and so I feel qualified to say that it is a REAL disease that is affecting my brain by giving me daily, hourly hallucinations despite not being on cannabis or any other drug. When I was not on ANY drug for many years the hallucinations were still a huge problem for me. So I know without ANY shadow of a doubt that MY schizophrenia is a Real illness and is NOT caused by medication or drugs. People have a right to their own opinion and there have been many on this thread. This is MY own opinion and always shall be. As someone qualified to say what my illness is and is not, being as I actually suffer from it, I am not going to change my view.
I are right and I apologize. Schizophrenia is very different from the altered thinking of mood disorders. Many people who are bipolar also have heightened cannaboid sensitivities, perhaps due to the cortisol spike. A more productive discussion would be how of how cannabis use is often misdiagnosed and results in unnecessary exposure to powerful antipsychotic drugs that can cause permanent life altering side effects.
I’m really happy for you. You’ve come a long way and your difficulties will enable you to be even more compassionate with others.
Pot is dangerous. Among other things, it causes lethargy. A society with a stoned, lethargic citizenry is headed for trouble.
Everyone is a unique combination of DNA. What may be poison to one person saves the lives of others. It sounds to me that quitting pot was a healthy thing to do. See if you can put up with your rx at least until the court order is over. AA, NA, OA, Al-Anon are extremely beneficial for millions around the world and they are free. Proud of you. Keep it up. You can do it!