I've been a pot smoker for most of my adult life.  I've also had bipolar disorder for the same amount of time meaning I deal with a lot of anxiety.  When I tried meds in the past they were ineffective or had side effects that were not worth it.  I took a mood stabilizer called Depakote and hated it.  It made me into a zombie.  It really made me very much against taking meds for many years. 

But recently I decided to try meds again since I've not been able to take care of my mood swings and anxiety on my own.

Pot for years has been my answer.  It does a good job in the short term of relieving my anxiety but has never been effective in helping stabilize my moods. 

I truly believe that I would've killed myself years ago if it weren't for the weed.  Especially in the time before I was diagnosed bipolar.  I was diagnosed in 2003 but had been effected by it since around 1994-95.  I had my first (and worst) manic episode in 1998.  I actually had psychotic symptoms in that one.  Believing things were happening that weren't and doing things like you see in the movies (underlining things in the newspaper that I thought were hidden messages to me).  I didn't know I was bipolar then.  I just thought I completely lost my fuc#ing mind.  I did in a way but there was an explanation I was unaware of.  Subsequent manic episodes have been much less frightening and thankfully without the psychotic symptoms.  Being aware of it makes a huge difference.  

Smoking pot I believe helped me make it through those years alive.  Meds would've been better but I had no idea that I needed them, had never thought about it.  

Long story long (get it?), I have quit smoking pot since it is not good to do with my meds.  It interferes with them and the ability to see if I'm making progress.  The meds are giving me the chance to quit.  I had wanted to quit any number of times over the years but every time I did I had serious anxiety and went right back.  Now I'm 3 days into this deal and really don't have any desire to smoke.  I know it's only 3 days but I feel pretty confident that I'm not gonna smoke again anytime soon.  

If you've made it this far into the story I commend you....thanks! 

ReformedAutomaton ReformedAutomaton
41-45, M
9 Responses Feb 9, 2009

I'm aware of Maslow and his work but haven't gotten into it. It is true that the more you write them down the more clear they become. I'm writing a page to a page and a half every morning now. Quite detailed. You become more aware also of how you must concoct your dreams, make a story out of them, while they are really not rational or subject to linear time so they really can't be told as a story. As I'm writing I often have to go back and say, before this happened I dreamt this part. I also always know that I'm missing many details. I can remember little flashes of events but I can't really put them into words. Maybe that will come over time.

I rarely remember my dreams.. though Ive heard the more you write them down the more you remember. I miss therapy sometimes, but my therapist is like 4 hours away, so... none of that. Jung is AWESOME though i really like him.. i also like Abraham Maslow who did the pyramid of needs and self actualization stuff. positive psychology is SO my bag.

hmm, that sounds really cool. I'm seeing a therapist right now and he thinks I have past issues that I've blocked. I've been reading Carl Jung recently also and I really wanna have some dream analysis done. I've been writing my dreams down every morning for the past few weeks and hope to continue. You're supposed to be able to find some important things about yourself as you look at your long term dreaming patterns.

that's the thing about the psych meds.. its kinda like rolling a dice to see how they will effect you. <br />
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On the psych note- i've seriously been considering EDMR lately- not that im in a town big enough to have it... but its a rapid eye moment dilly-o that helps you process traumatic memories.

Yeah, I agree. I'm going to a stress clinic this summer based on John Kabat Zinns approach. It's based on mindfullness and meditation. You learn to deal with your physical and mental health issues. I'm really looking forward to it.<br />
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I have neck/back/shoulder problems. It's been hurting like hell recently. I can't say I noticed an increase after taking the lamictal. For some reason it just seems to work with my body chemistry.

Lamictal hurt me... i didn't much care for it. IT made my back spasm.. or at least it aggravated the things that already made my back spasm...<br />
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As far as i can tell the best application of meds is to take them a year or 2 while you sort out your issues with therapy, or by developing coping techniques.

They tried lithium with me too and I said I would not want to use it. They gave me Lamictal instead and it seems to work for me. I feel much more even these days. I am hoping to get off of them at some point but I see myself taking them probably at least a year if not 2. <br />
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Thank you for your kind comments....you are always so great Caska!

There have been many times in my life i don't think i could have made it through alive without the pot... i hear that! With the Complex PTSD frequently my life has been a mass of rolling terror and free floating anxiety. <br />
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Now I'm soo much more adjusted, (also Depakote was EVIL to me too- and made me gain TONS of weight) but sometimes, i still smoke pot ... just not very often..<br />
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but i couldn't go the med route anymore.. they wanted to put me on lithium and anti-psychotics and i don't really think so... the side effects aren't worth the cure....<br />
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Umm where was I going with this- oh just relating. I'm so glad you are in a place in your life where you dont NEED the pot and you can see how it is counterproductive for you. I hope the meds work out for you!

What you said couldn't be any more true. I really believe in having compassion for all people. Even the most violent people in our prisons and of course the homeless. They all have a story. I don't believe anyone is born a criminal nor is anyone bound to be homeless. They all have severe trauma in their past in one form or another. Sadly people most often repeat what was done to them (or worse). Thank you for your kind comments. I think I will be having better days to come.