Depression Community
10.5k Members
Avatar universal

marijuana use and depression treatment

I have had depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and insomnia for 3 years. I can't find any kind of doctor who will treat me, because I smoke marijuana every day. Its the only thing that makes me feel better, but only while I'm actually high. My family doctor wouldn't give me anything unless I quit, I can't find a psychiatrist who will give me medication unless I quit. Does anyone know how to find a doctor that will treat me without insisting I quit doing the one thing that helps?
13 Responses
585414 tn?1288944902
Yes psychiatrists would want someone to stop marijuana use first but best to go to rehab and a dual recovery group for a person with a substance abuse disorder and psychiatric disability as well. Its not helping really but it is masking what's going on and can be a form of self medication but you might need the help of a recovery group to stop it and there's a forum for that as welll.
Avatar universal
I know the MJ seems like it helps and I can relate. I don't smoke MJ, but I take Xanax and alcohol together and for a short time they really vaporize my depression and anxiety.

What you must understand is that this is simply self medicating that we do. The end result is not going to help bring your depression and anxiety to a remissive state.

Not that I have room to talk, simply because I drink and take Benzos to ease my suffering, but I now it has very bad long term consiquesces for our illness.

Being that you suffer from bad anxiety, I am very supprised that you find MJ therputic.
In most people with severe anxiety MJ elevates this level of anxiety (myself included) which is why I do not smoke it.

If I want an instant severe panic attack all I have to do is smoke a joint.
909150 tn?1245860665
alcohol and xanex do not compare to medical marijuana. Cannabis is an herb not a drug.  Yes people use it for depression.  If you live in a state that allows it then get your card.  if you need information please get in touch.  God bless you
Avatar universal
You indeed are self-medicating for feeling depressed by using this substance but have you thought about the withdrawal effect from the substance and the actual depressed feelings you get from not using the substance?? MJ can provide relief from depression as you acknowledge and you would'nt be the first to use it as i hold my hand having been there, but just like other mood altering substances including alcohol they amplify existing mood states and can over time considerable change the brains neuro-chemistry and its intra-connected neuronal pathways and greatly affect your mood overtime.

Studies have shown that they actually deplete the brains own specific hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline and dopemine which all have important roles to play in our genetic make-up. They regulate our bodily rythmes and emotional well-being and with these possibly changing due to our habitual behaviours this can lead to severe depression and anxiety disorders. We can and there are things that we can do to re-produce these chemical compounds naturally instead of artifically smoking weed, but its about what you want to do and maybe about your use of the drug and your depression.

It appears that you now are using this as an emotional crutch to get through your difficulties which has its good points, but also perhaps its bad points as your so dependent upon this to face your feelings no matter how terrible you think they maybe.

I'm not here to judge and hope that i've not offended your intelligence with the above but i've learned a great lot over the years from the self-help literature available and reading up about what i suffer from. Doctors should be able to treat you with an appropriate anti-depressant despite you boldly admitting you smoke MJ as perhaps it maybe something to do with their 'old school' expectations about how to treat people who experience mental health problems and have drug issues, as its never as sblack or white about whether you wish to continue to use or not as you may wish to consider reducing perhaps.

One things for certain you wish to feel increasingly better as cannot remain high on MJ to feel that level of emotional stability and relaxation that you are wanting. It could involve Ad's , talk therapies and yourself being considerate of the imapct that MJ is having upon you.  I wish you well in this personal endeavour where you may have to decide to make changes in your lifetstyle to promote your no 1 priority of your mental health, as i now only smoke occasionally.
Avatar universal
Some really silly and quite hypocritical comments here from people who clearly do not use dope and know nothing about the real effects on us.

Quoted are "some studies" which are easily countered by other studies which show the opposite.

The main problem with dope smoking is for those under about age 24, at which age our brains are said to be fully formed. Prior to that age it can cause depression, psychosis, loss of memory and generally de motivates us.

After that age this is not the case at all. So it depends highly on your age.

As to your question of finding a doc, the answer is simply to stop for a while or lie. If you tell them up front they will take the negative approach and the same applies to those who drink. I'd suggest those people lie to their docs too, by omission at least.

In the end though mate it's a matter of what your priority really is. Do you want to treat your illness or smoke. If you want to smoke every day etc then don't bother with a doc as you will not be able to follow any therapy and will not be able to comply with med use either. You'll forget, just decide not to take a pill today and so on.

It's time to choose, as it is for those who use other drugs and thus negate their treatment.

Smoke or get serious about treatment. It's that simple. Don't kid yourself that you can lie to a decent doc either. They'll smell it on you, see the eyes, the fingers and your physical condition.

I know smoking from time to time helps me, with concentration, motivation and pain relief. But I've been on this treadmill for decades mate. The dope can't hurt me and actually works well for me but only for short periods as it stops working with constant use.

Do yourself a favour and just stop and fix your head mate, please.
Avatar universal
My motto is "whatever works."

If pot helped my depression then I would smoke it 5 times a day. If it is helping with your depression and anxiety I say bravo. I would smoke Cow dung if it worked to help my depression.

Unfortunatly for me MJ just makes my condition worse. I wish that was not the case.
Avatar universal
i'm sorry but you don't know me from jack so to come out with such a final statement like that on what's mean't to be a supportive forum i think you may have to look in the mirror some time.

Studies have been frequently contradictory, it depends upon what you what to believe
909150 tn?1245860665
Have you ever seen cannabis help someone?  It helps me greatly.  I would not have 8 days clean off of oxycontin if not for cannabis.  I live in a state that allows medical marijuana and really dont like words like weed, dope, pot, whatever.  Why do you think people started using cannabis in the first place?  It made them feel better.  In AIDS patients they are able to live longer lives and actually eat and feel better.  Some studies have shown that it can actually reverse the effects of cancer.  Take a few moments and check out medical cannabis on google.  You will find many many conditions that cannabis helps.  Depression is one of the most common along with chronic pain.  Stop bashing a natuar herb in favor of a chemical drug!  Thats what got us all here in the first place!  
Avatar universal
What i've tried to say is that everyone's recovery from mental health problems and difficulties in their lives is different, as during our difficult times everyone tries anything to make them feel better and get through their pain.

All i'm trying to gently express is that cannabis use is not for everyone and that everyone has the ability to make a choice through discovering what works for them and what does'nt through trial & error, as they stubble through life. This incorporates various means of self medicating methods, trial and error of various precribed drugs and other psycho-social strategies. This is how its hapened to me and countless others throuugh their personal experiences and is something that remains true for everyone today.

What i'm been trying to "voice" and just inform this debate is that sometimes cannabis can do as much bad as it can good for some people, as just as its true for those people who smoking cannabis actually leassoning their distress and difficulties, cannabis can also exacerbate and make worse either pre-existing mental health problems or indeed trigger people's mental health problems who are vulnerable to its actual chemical effects.

It is this "fact" i'm raising here as i take issue with the one sided arguement that cannabis has no part to play in the devastation it causes people who suffer serious mental health problems and those closet to them. This i know and unfortunately is a reality in the world that we live in and i see "fact".

As this is a support forum i wished to express these opinions rather than subscribe to this mericlious view of cannabis concerning its relationship with mental illness, as the fact is that sometimes cannabis can do as much bad as it can good for people and their communities.

To each his own on this contentious issue as people should be able to decide themselves on matters, not be blindly encouraged to hear one side of the issue.

On the most important point i wish aiki well and hope that things get better as using cannabis or not using cannabis should not be the starting point with your pdoc with your treatement, but acceptance as you are.
Avatar universal
It's been forever since I tried to smoke MJ. Maybe it could help with my cronic depression. I wish I could try again, but my work place does random drug screens and they have already fired 6 people this year for testing positive.

It's kind of funny how it's ok to have me on enough meds to kill a donkey, but you can't smoke MJ.

I think maybe the reason my last experience with MJ caused a severe panic attack was because my friend brought this stuff back from Amsterdam that was just WAY to powerful. It was just too much for me and that's why I lost it after smoking it.
Avatar universal
MJ does have anti-depression and anti-anxiety properties for some people. For me, it definitely helps with depression, but like Hensley, it tends to make my anxiety worse. It can depend on what strain you're smoking: indica (more sedating) or sativa (more uppity). MJ is generally safe to use with SSRIs; however, it can have potentially serious interactions with some of the anti-psychotic meds, so definitely learn about whatever meds you are prescribed and any possible interactions. Because of liability issues, docs will want you to stop the MJ before they prescribe psychotropic drugs. But it really all depends on the dr. I had a dr. tell me to have a gin and tonic with my xanax when the panic gets totally out of hand. My psychiatrist tells me that I can die if I do this. That's total BS because I've done it many times (and MJ).. with no problems. All in moderation. It's probably not a good idea to lie to your dr., but maybe you can just let them know that you use MJ on occasion - without getting into the details of the frequency. Once you are "properly" medicated, you'll probably notice that you will need the MJ less and less. Basically you're "self-medicating," which is not necessarily bad. But a dr. would be in a better position to assess your symptoms and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Keep looking for a dr. who you can be honest with and who understands MJ.
Avatar universal
About the Xanax and alcohol. I once took 2mgs of Xanax and drank 1/2 a fifth of Vodka and was perfectly fine. Obviously not a wise thing to do, but I'm still alive.

Then again my tolerance to Xanax and alcohol are very high. In a person with no resistance to either it may put them in a coma.
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.