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Schizophrenia and Marijuana

Hello,

I smoke marijuana pretty regularly with my friends.  By regularly I mean once or twice a night generally.  On Sunday (7/5) my girlfriend smoked with us (for any relevance the two of us are 19).  She has smoked marijuana with me many times before, and with other people with no negative psychological effects.  However Sunday was a different story.  We were smoking out of a bubbler, which I don't think she is use to, so she left to go to the bathroom to wash her face off.  I thought everything was fine, and she just needed to get away from the smoke for a minute.  She eventually came back downstairs and sat on the floor as me and my friends drank some soda.  I offered her some, and she said she wouldn't be able to even hold the glass.  We all thought she was just really really high.

After she realized she couldn't hold the glass she begins to completely freak out.  I know that is a very colloquial way to phrase it, but it is honestly the most accurate.  She begins having complete and utter paranoid delusions.  She begins to say she can't feel certain parts of her body (arms, legs, and face), and that she is experiencing paralysis.  She begins to fear the effects being permanent and becomes completely mentally intangible.  Nothing I was saying made any sense to her, although, despite being quite high at the time, I was capable of assessing the situation with proper diligence.  I had heard of people "bugging" out after smoking and assumed that this was a similar case, and that my girlfriend simply needed to calm down, eat, drink, and eventually sleep to help sober herself up.  She began to demand an ambulance and claimed to be blacking out and having hallucinations.

She eventually calmed down from this and began to cry out of embarrassment (and said she no longer needed an ambulance).  My friends understood the situation the same way I did and figured she simply needed to calm herself down, and by the time she wakes up in the morning she'll be fine.  So my friends took off (they live down the street).  I then suggested that she lie downstairs in my bed to help her relax.  The episode then took control and continued.  She did not think herself capable of going downstairs to my room.  Eventually I carried her down there and she continued to freak out.  The effects came in waves of maybe 5 minute intervals, and lasted about 5-10 minutes.  At the time I honestly thought she would just be fine when she finally got some sleep.  If at any time I seriously thought that my girlfriend's health or life was at risk I would have made sure she got to a hospital.  I was not at all worried about any consequences, as there was no marijuana on the premises, and I have been with this girl since October of 2006.

It was about 1:00 AM Monday morning (we smoked around 12:30 am), and my girlfriend was still experiencing the same things as before, and still desired an ambulance.  I told her that if she went to the hospital she would be in the waiting room for a while, and then be sat in the hallway on a bed until she came down from the high.  Eventually she herself called an ambulance when I went upstairs to get her some water and consult my friends on the matter.  The ambulance came.  I spoke with the EMTs and they confirmed my ideas that this happens occasionally to people when marijuana is in your system and that she just needs to get some rest.  However, they mentioned that the presence of doctors can be comforting.  So my girlfriend decided to go to the hospital.  At the hospital they literally did everything I predicted, and we eventually left at 5:30 AM with my girlfriend in an understandably shaken up and confused condition, however, no longer experiencing any symptoms from before.  We brushed our teeth side by side and went to sleep for roughly 5 hours.

I thought that was the end of the episode.  For the past two days my girlfriend has been having anxiety attacks and at times thinks she might be reliving it.  She is ultra paranoid and at times irrational and very difficult to speak with.  I still believe she needs to get an adequate amount of sleep and nutrition to help snap herself back to normal, as she is yet to do either.

I do not know what happened and what to do myself.  After researching this I believe she had a marijuana induced schizophrenic episode.  She has had a history of depression and anxiety (she has been on anti-depressants before, although currently is not), and has never been the most emotionally stable person.  I believe that it was partially induced, if not completely by her own paranoia, as the things she was claiming to experience were things she has previously mentioned as personal fears (being permanently high, paralysis, muscle spasms which possibly lead to biting off your tongue).  As she continues to still feel 'out of it,'  I myself begin to fear that this possibly could be permanent and have some serious ramifications.

Any advice, suggestions, personal experiences, articles to read would be very welcomed.  I tried to be as thorough as possible as to not leave any gaps in what happened.  If there are any questions please feel free to ask.

Will my girlfriend more than likely snap back and not relive this again?  Could this have onset some schizophrenia?  Was it inevitable?  Am I partially responsible?  How should I treat her?  Is it disrespectful of me to continue marijuana use?  These are examples of all of the questions that have been going through my mind the past couple of days.  Please, any advice would be helpful.

Also, keep in mind that four of us smoked, it was from the same bag that we have smoked before, and that me and my friends all had a normal high.  I think the weed being laced is out of the question.

Thank you,
John
4 Responses
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585414 tn?1288941302
In someone who has the genetic predisposition to it it can hasten the onset of schizophrenia and make it harder to treat. The same would be true of bipolar, bpd and depression as well I believe. Certainly anxiety disorder. For anyone who has a psychiatric disability or the genetic background for one, smoking marijuana would be out of the question as it can clearly worsen it and make treatment that much harder to work to begin with.
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Avatar universal
smoking weed causes shicophrenia?
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Avatar universal
ohhh mann i know that freak out feeling all too well..i had smoked weed a few times and then started having panic attacks..stopped smoking for a year until 420 rolled around and i decided to do it for the hell of it...had the biggest freak out ever and was yelling for the ambulance..went to sleep..woke up after what seemed like eternity (but was only about 10 minutes) and had another wave of attacks..it lasted for like 5 hours...and the next day i was still in that unreal state..everything seemed like a dream..lights felt too bright and sounds were too loud..that was the last time i smoked ( 2006)..i continued to have panic attacks regularly for a while but now i have em once or twice a year..but ok lets get to the questions..

depending on her genetic predisposition to mental disorders including depression, anxeity, bi-polar, and schizto the weed will affect her in different ways..if she was at risk for them the weed will most likely be the spark that will make them full blown..and even if she wasnt, weed has been shown to increase the risk for them...she could snap back to reality or stay damaged for her entire life...theres no way to know

if she had family history of schitzo and she had the genes for it..it was most likly inevitable becuase at some point in her life there would be overwhelming stress ( death of loved one) which would set it off. Saying that..offcourse ur partially reponsible because u were doing something illegal with her...think about it like this..if you and ur girl were to rob a bank and she gets shot by the security guard..you will get jail time for the incident.

if she continues to be in a sort of psycotic state..you need to take her to brain docs..neurologists..psychaitrists...and maybe psychologists..

should you continue to use weed or is disrespectful to her?  
If you see what it did to her then why the hell would wanna continue to use it? i mean have some respect for your own body first...dont have an optimism bias and think something like that wont happen to you..it only takes one bad "trip" to screw ur brain up..not worth it.

there goes my opinions so take em for what their worth and good luck

Helpful - 0
585414 tn?1288941302
Yes if it was ruled out definitively that it was laced then it is true that in people with the genetic tendency for schizophrenia, smoking marijuana can set it off. If it hasn't stopped by now and she has had testing from a neurologist to rule out other long term effects then she should see a psychiatrist and they could determine what to do from there.
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