Psychotic episode - can i ever smoke again?

Postby Insane-maryjane » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:20 pm

Hello, peace + love to you all. I'm sorry if i upset anyone with this post, its not my intention. I've been having a really difficult year + I'm reaching out to see if anyone here has been in a similar position to me + if so please could you offer me some advice/help? [Moderator note: user requested personal history and some details be edited out over safety concerns.]
i love weed + probably always will - i didnt want to ever stop smoking it - i'd always been an anxious person but weed had positive effects on me it relaxed me + made me happy, creative, open minded + peaceful - the negatives of it were how much money i spent on it over the years, being ripped off by drug dealers + i built up a tolerance to it over the years so had to smoke more + more each day to be able to relax + sleep each night - i was irritable + cranky until i smoked a joint each day, weed just made me feel more like me + more peaceful - people argue you cant get addicted to weed - i used to be one of those people + i used to say i smoke weed everyday cos i want to + if i want to stop then i will - but now i have had to stop + its been a living hell - i didnt stop by choice - i was forced to stop + its been a horrific time - i feel heartbroken. I've been weed free now for 87 days after 16 years of daily use - i've smoked for more years of my life than i've not been smoking - i was a functioning stoner - i could go to work + do my job fine - no one even suspected i was a stoner (many people would have been judgemental) - only my close friends + family knew. The reason i was forced to stop was because 87 days ago I had the most terrifying experience of my life - an acute psychotic episode - i will try to describe how f***ed up crazy i was at the time but i dont think i will ever be able to fully explain it in words - some of the more immature folks reading this may find my experience funny but i can assure you if you ever go this far down the rabbit hole you wont be in wonderland you'll be in a prisoner in the hell hole of your own mind + very frightened - when i starting going psychotic i thought i was uncovering the secrets of the universe + everything in my life was symbolic / a sign, i completely lost touch with reality + became delusional slowly getting worse + worse until it accumulated + i was taken to hospital + kept in for 3days under section - i began breaking down words + letters of peoples name/street names, trying to decipher numerology + correlation of dates, thought i was receiving messages from tv + music, i felt like i was in bruce almighty + the world was revolving around me - i mixed reality + fantasy + my deepest fears + love to the point of insanity - i thought some of my friends + family + myself were angels + good, others i thought were devils + bad, i thought my friends pet cats were spies, i thought my father had sold me to the illuminati + we were all under MK Ultra programming + there was a freemason conspiracy against the world, i thought all men were rapists + pedophiles + that i had to save us all from them + thought i had to escape (lucky i didnt manage to or i may not have been here to tell the tale) I thought i had seen the light + that God was contacting me, i thought i saw aliens in my neighbours house (They were just my neighbours though) The stars in the sky i thought were signalling messages to me, positive/negative forces, black + white duality, kitten programming, monarch butterflies, caged memories, i believed we all were one sharing conciousness + that love + forgiveness would save us all + save the world, i thought i was the Virgin Mary/ Jesus being crucified (I was trying to break my arms apart after my family/friends called the police + they had to put me in handcuffs because the adrenaline/mania made me very strong + grown men all struggled to hold me down) i thought i saw deceased relatives in the sky as angels telling me to save my mother from my father - i then saw a fox + freaked out + believed this to be a sign - 666 - the devil - my father was coming to kill my mother + us all.
There was a lot more to my f***ed up trip/breakdown but i was taken into hospital against my will that evening in handcuffs (for my own protection) luckily I did not want to hurt anyone else + was kept in hospital for 3 days + given tranquilisers + antipsychotics - i then was sent home + remained on medication for 4 weeks before i took myself off it cold turkey (unadvisable) but in saying that thank goodness i did as that medication is dangerous + a chemical lobotomy in my opinion - it left me feeling dead inside + emotionless + i have since read it decreases grey brain matter in the first 12 weeks of taking it. Since the episode/admittion to hospital i have not smoked weed - its been so so difficult - i cant describe how hard it is - i didnt ever want to quit - its been part of my daily life for more than half of my life + i cant bear the thought of never being able to smoke a joint again - the only thing thats stopping me from doing it again is I couldnt bear to put my family through that trauma again + the thought i could end up schizophrenic/permanently mentally ill terrifies me as i dont want to end up in a mental hospital or on medication for the rest of my life - mental illness does run in my family but its happened to them anyway + they didnt smoke any weed - im just so confused about everything + i still believe it was depression + insomnia that caused me to have a psychotic episode because i was smoking less weed in the week it happened + it was much weaker stuff than i was used to smoking - its devastating if only i could've known my last joint would've been that night + i would have had some lovely amnesia haze + not that crappy grapefruit garbage i was smoking. Coming off weed has been a truly traumatizing + sad experience - its nearly been 3months now + i still cant sleep, have uncomfortable night sweats, cuckoo crazy nightmares, tingling extremeties, f***ed up emotions, everyday i think about it + i so badly want to just smoke a sweet joint again + i have even resorted to smoking dirty rollies (cigarettes) each day just to be smoking something but they are disgusting. I feel like the cigarettes are damaging my health but weed was natural + i felt so much better + at peace when i was stoned. Today i feel especially depressed as my friends + fellow stoners will all be blazing up for 420 (the police turn a blind eye on this day + all can smoke peacefully + freely in the public park) i was there this time last year carefree + happily puffing away socialising with them - this year im struggling with horrendous withdrawals + im a f***ing mess.
Does anyone here have a genetic vulnerability to mental illness + has had a psychotic episode + smoked again? Its still f***ing up my mind to think how i smoked chronically everyday for 16 years with no problem at all before this awful event happened. Im a stoner at heart + always will be, cannabis was my escape from the craziness of this f***ed up world now im scared about what could happen if i ever smoke again. I dont intend on going back to heavily smoking chronically everyday, i'd just like to know if its possible that i may be able to enjoy the old joint once in a while in future without going mad? Please someone help if you can? + please be kind + don't give condescending responses. I understand others are struggling with addictions too + i sympathise with all of you. I'm just looking for some advice if theres anyone who has had a similar experience please. Ps I'm sorry for this really long post. Peace + love to you all.
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#1

Postby bluey105 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:16 pm

Thanks for sharing and sorry to hear of what you are going through. However, you know yourself that it isn't really about just smoking occasionally, dont you? I smoked for a similar amount of time to you but was getting though a half a week towards the end but I could have gone through an oz if I didn't have a girlfriend. I'm at the months stage and have caught myself trying to bargain with myself and wondering if I could just do it every now and then. Saday, it wouldn't be possible for either of us and we'd be back where we once were within and month.

Stay strong and look to reconnect with your family, both you and them deserve better.
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#2

Postby FreddyS » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:00 am

Insane-Maryjane, I have to ask, are you sure that it was just regular weed you were smoking? Is it possible that it was sprayed with something, or could it have been spice? I have heard horrible stories of people being passed a joint, or even what they thought was just a cig, and they ended up in hospital cos of the nasty synthetic sh*t in it.

Regardless of that, much respect for sharing your story, I know that it takes courage to be open about this stuff. I have also had brushes with bad mental health which have been pretty scary, but I always try to remember that, like physical health, you can go through bad patches and recover, it doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with you. The mind and the body have an amazing ability to heal. Don't let the stigma of mental health make you think otherwise, you can get through this.

I am not a medical professional by any means, but I guess that it's a shock to your system to smoke weed for so many years then come off it, so it's natural to have withdrawal symptoms. Going cold turkey always hits hard. In my ((DISCLAIMER: not professional)) opinion, you may be able to enjoy the odd joint again the future, but first you have to shake off your physical dependency. Your body has to learn that it can function without it first.

As I said, I'm not a medical professional, I would ask a doctor before taking any advice from me!

Do you have close friends or family that you can be honest with and talk to about what you're going through? Is going to rehab an option?

Peace & love, I wish you nothing but the best.
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#3

Postby Insane-maryjane » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:00 pm

Thanks to both for reading + replying. Sorry for rambling + if my last post makes me look like a lunatic - wish i could edit/delete it but can't figure out how.

I wondered at the time if it could've possibly been spice but i don't think it was - i was used to smoking really strong stuff + often went to Amsterdam over the years + also sure i've smoked sprayed stuff from dodgy dealers in the past but i'd never encountered psychological problems ever previously - i cant be certain but im sure it was just crap weed - my pals all smoked it too + were fine.

A psychiatrist explained to me that anyone can go psychotic with insomnia + if under enough stress, it doesn't need to be drug induced - i believe that was the case with me at the time - i honestly hardly had any sleep over 3weeks prior to the breakdown + when i look back of that time i can now recognise delusional thinking was developing but didn't accumulate + be recognised by others until that fateful night i was taken to hospital - possibly withdrawals from cannabis were also a contributing factor to the situation as i was not smoking as much in the days leading up + as i was used to usually having stronger stuff its maybe partly why i couldn't sleep.

I can't afford rehabilitation but i know the mind is a powerful thing + I'm trying to help myself as much as possible + vow to not allow stress to make me lose control ever again.

Once I am back in a better headspace + feel like the depression has gone I do hope to enjoy a joint again in the future + smoke something high in CBD + low in THC occasionally as a treat but i will never go back to my addictive ways + rely on it again for everyday use/abuse.
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#4

Postby Translucent » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:39 pm

What you described is a classic psychotic episode caused by weed. I've gone through a very similar experience. I was abusing weed and became very psychotic. I was hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia thanks to it. Actually, similar to you, my problems began when i stopped using it for like a week. That's when the real problems began.

I stopped smoking weed about a year ago but smoked again once a week ago and didn't feel good at all. My family frowns upon it and so does the law. I hate lying and get nervous if i have to. So if smoking is something i keep a secret from some people in my life, it becomes a serious problem for me.

In a perfect world, i could smoke freely and not feel bad about it. But as things are, i cannot. I wish i could, but the cons outweigh the pros.

As for you, i think you can smoke if you want to and if it helps you, but my advice would be to talk to your doctor about it and keep them updated on it. Do not keep it a secret.
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#5

Postby tokeless » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:17 pm

Why would you want to smoke again after that? Heed the warning because the next time might be permanent... your call I guess.
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#6

Postby slick_willy » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:31 am

Hey insane mary jane, thanks for sharing your post. Honestly I have never been diagnosed with psychosis or had a psycbotic episode due to weed, but after smoking for about 13 years (started at 17, quit when I was 29), I know for a fact that weed increased my anxiety, depersonalization, it made it difficult to connect emotionally with people, made me feel emotionally numb, and all other kinds of stupid side effects that showed up at around after 10 years of smoking. Before that weed was a blast. I used to smoke and go to school and get top grades, date super hot girls and all that but weed slowly took that away and replaced it with just horrible feelings and I have not smoked in 13 months as a result. I am so, SO very glad that I quit. I never got the psychotic stuff but honestly, if you try to control the way you feel by using a substance, often times your body and mind will do the opposite thing to compensate. If you drink caffeine all the time to stay wired, you will feel like a zombie without it. Same goes for weed, if you smoke it regularly to mellow you out, it might become very difficult to feel mellow without it.

I am certain that weed is a worse drug than people want to believe. It can be fun for a few years, but almost smoker I've ever met who was older than 30 wasn't doing much with their life, and I've met quite a few. I think life is better without it, honestly.

Best of luck to you, either we win or we learn... that's a little Conor McGregor for ya haha
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#7

Postby Soberchic » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:34 am

Nice to hear you...i was dealing with some major paranoia before i quit..not as bad as you but i feel your pain..its just crazy how powerful the mind can be and it can be a terrible thing too. I quit because of a bunch of reasons one of them being super crazy..i started getting rageful and nutso.. Screaming to myself in my apartment. I went to the beach one time and after i smoked i thought there was gonna be a tidal wave..i had this intense feeling and i ran to my car and drove away. I went to an outdoor museum and thought the guy running it was a serial killer..then when i quit i had intense physical feelings and sight and hearing..i thought i was schizophrenic for the first 3 months on and off..it was nuts..im almost at 8mo. Ill tell ya i quit some heavy addictions 5 yrs ago and i thought it was bad but this was different cause its like my brain was so messed up. Keep up the healing process
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#8

Postby Quinnster » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:21 am

I thought Pot was giving me mild schizophrenia. Certainly no episode like you had, but it doesn't seem un plausible that something like this occurred. I would quit if I were you and thanks for reminding me of some of the reasons why I quit.
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#9

Postby cleanofgreen » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:52 am

Insane-maryjane,

Don't give up your sanity for a smoke of a joint, as tokeless says "Heed the warning".
i love weed + probably always will


I too believed that I loved weed and would be a smoker for the rest of my life until I realized it had taken all the joy out of my life little by little until there was nothing left.
Your an addict and once you accept that, it all becomes easier. You have to realize at this stage that after 13 years of smoking and all the negatives you have just mentioned that you don't love weed anymore, your addiction loves the weed.The addiction has deluded you into thinking that you love weed and all that goes with it, but how could you love something that brings you so much pain.

Your at 87 days and that's a great start and well done for that, but after so many years of abuse you'll probably have to get to 6 months before you will see the real improvements. Just stick with it for a few more months and you will be amazed at the improvements in your life, mental, social, financial, physical, spiritual and every other aspect of your life. Read some of the benefits here in this post http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=19212
Also read a post about PAWS and what to expect here http://www.uncommonforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=104580

I know it sucks now, but re-read your own post and tell me that you want to go back to that existence. I wish you nothing but the best and hope you have the strength to push through withdrawal and get to live the wonderful life you deserve.

Good Luck and stay strong.
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#10

Postby Insane-maryjane » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:59 pm

Hey to you all. Thank you for posting replies + for sharing your experiences + for your support.

I'm finding it really interesting and useful reading all your different opinions on here. I understand many of you disagree with mine and i'm sorry. I don't mean to piss people off i'm just being honest about how I feel + i'm very confused in my life right now + i realise my opinions are controversial.

I recognise there were negative aspects to my weed smoking + i was abusing the plant by relying on it daily but weed smoking did have many positives for me also.

I wish to smoke - just the odd joint - again (in the future) because like i say, i don't believe weed was the root cause of the psychotic episode - I believe that happened because of a mix of depression, stressful life circumstances at the time, insomnia + PTSD - there is a possibility cannabis could have been a contributing factor but the medical evidence out there is conflicting and confusing. I have come across research supporting cannabis to be used as treatment for mental illness - If you google 'cannabis to treat psychosis schizophrenia' there are very interesting articles out there on the subject.

I'm really sad + sorry to hear weed has had really negative effects for some of you.
I personally didn't feel like it made me emotionally numb but each individual is different - Me? i felt happier, more spiritual, more peaceful, more connected to people, animals, the environment,more connected to music + less stressed after sparking up. I've always been sensitive, i got upset + cried most days but i also smiled + laughed + felt all the different range of human emotions - the only time i've ever felt void of emotion/empty/zombiefied/brain dead was during the four weeks i spent on that antipsychotic medication.

I also question whether the withdrawal symptoms i've been experiencing have been solely due to the cannabis or has being on antipsychotics for 4 weeks + and then coming off these been a contributing factor for me? Has the environmental factors/drastic changes in my personal life circumstances since the episode also had an effect too? What if the psychotic episode had been treated naturally/alternatively instead of giving me antipsychotics without my consent?

I have so many questions.

I am going to refrain from smoking weed again for at least another few months + hopefully i will begin to feel some of the benefits + i might possibly feel/think differently about everything then too.

Regarding your experiences of paranoia + delusions i believe different strains have different effects on different individuals. I fully support all of your decisions to stop smoking weed + especially if it wasn't agreeing with you.

*Warning - controversial!*
I personally would like to see legalisation of cannabis in this country as the plant has many proven medicinal properties + regardless of whether its legal or not people will + do smoke it for health reasons + or recreationally and if it were to be legalised then it would be safer in many aspects for all partaking.

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this." - Albert Einstein

Sorry i know i've got carried away with my overthinking mind + have gone off on tangents + i also know that this is probably not the right place for me to advocate weed or to voice my opinion on the legalisation of drugs, sorry about that + for waffling on - but on the positive If anyone else is having trouble sleeping too then maybe reading my posts could possibly help?

I wish you all the best + well done to all those who have given up addictions, you are an inspiration.

Peace + love.

I enjoyed your Conor McGregor quote thanks :-)

I still have a lot more learning to do in life, but then again don't they say we all learn something new everyday.

Heres one of my favourite quotes:

Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight." - Bob Marley <3
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#11

Postby tokeless » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:17 pm

I've never been a legalise believer but definitely a decriminalise with regulated supply. The problem with making it legal is you open the flood hates for greed and marketing because of the profits to be made. I'd have preferred not to be criminalised and to get my supply via coffeedhops at al. Even people who don't agree with weed could exploit the market because "it's legal now, so why not?"
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