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need advice: bipolar disorder and marijuana addiction

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Hi all, I recently started seeing a therapist who is familiar with my family.. My family has a history of mental illness, in particular bi-polar disorder. I know its not good to make a self-diagnosis but I do and have for a long time symptoms of this disorder. If I were to make a self diagnosis I would say that I have ADD, OCD, PTSD, severe depression and mania and a compulsive anger problem. In the past ive been hospitalized for severe depression, and admitted my self into a halfway house to try and get over my addiction. That was 3 years ago. I've also used marijuana to self medicate and have recently quit (not having smoked for 5 weeks). I am on prozac and it helps with some of the depression but i'm still dealing with a lot of anxiety especially because I smoked weed on a daily basis for the past 5 years. I am making an appointment to get more thoroughly diagnosed. Will the fact that I recently quit smoking weed effect the diagnosis? I am also concerned because i've had problems communicating to therapists in the past because i'm not that great at accurately describing my symptoms. It's still hard for me to tell and keep track of how my anxiety affects me and, if it is anxiety. I just want to make sure I give him the best info possible because he doesnt accept health insurance but ive heard he is one of the best doctors to see regarding this type of thing so I dont want to waste it.. How should I prepare myself for this appointment? Is it too early for me in my non pot usage stage to get a good diagnosis? whats a good way to keep track of how ive been feeling, so that i can effectively communicate to the doctor? I know that I have some kind of mental illness thats been affecting me for most of my life and its time for me to try and get better. Any advice or words of hope would be greatly appreciated. I've been having a real tough time lately trying not to get back on the pot and am concerned because ive drank a lot on weekends the past month and i dont want to become an alcoholic either. Thanks everyone.

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Make a notebook of your moods and mood changes. Write a time and date by each entry. note what meds you were on, or if you were drinking or smoking pot. They have to know everything. You won't get into trouble or anything, but they will tell you no weed or alcohol with meds.


They told me in bipolar... sucks but explains a lot...


I never smoked weed, because I just hate it personally (makes me nauseated), but I did drink alcohol and it screwed up the meds I was taking. When I quit drinking at all, things improved. i have no idea how pot will affect things for you though. Just take notes when you notice changes in mood and take it with you. If you can't think to explain your symptoms on the spot for the therapist, start thinking about them right now, and write a journal for just your random memories and thoughts. It'll help. That's what I did, and they said I did good.... If you cannot come up with a full journal, just make cliff notes that you'll understand and use it like making a presentation.


Good luck!

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Marijuana helped me with all the above conditions you listed...not saying its for you...


yea it "helped" me with that stuff too but the downside of it is that it totally ruined my short term memory and made me really unsociable and cost me a lot of good oppurtunities... and when i wasnt high, my symptoms could be magnified I'd say by at least 50%. If anyone has some serious EXPERIENCED advice dealing with this sort of thing i'd really appreciate it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but im at a crossroads in my life and I need good advice.. Please help me!

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I'm not downing you at all for smoking... I have no opinion really one way or the other. everybody I know does it but me. some of em think I'm a cop. haha. Write a journal and take it to em. I've been dealing with bipolar for 15 years, Been to shrinks and docs n such lots of times.


Pot will calm down your symptoms, no matter what affliction you have mental or physical. If you're quitting smoking, you'll need something else to medicate. all the pot and alcohol is, is self-medication. it's no different than swapping meds because the last ones weren't effective.

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