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Bipolar Disorder

Discussion in 'Medical Discussion' started by JCat, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. JCat

    JCat Well-Known Member

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    For those of you that suffer from bipolar disorder (or similar afflictions), this thread is for you.

    I struggle with problems related to my illness daily ... no one in my family really gets it ... I feel alone a lot of the time and I know that its a self-imposed seclusion and yet I can't seem to help it.

    I like people but have a hard time being around people ...

    Sometimes I wish I could just take the lithium etc and space out and screw everything ... end up on disability, alone, missing my kids, waiting for death ...

    Sorry to get so gloomy (can you tell I might be headed in to a down cycle? :lol:) ... I wish I would pop out of it ... all I want is to be hypomanic but sane enough to control it (not managing that very well right now) ... been hypomanic but didn't manage to manage it and am now suffering the rebound consequences ... and all I want is to wake up happy and end my day happy and have good food and good sex ... yet I keep sabotaging myself ....

    Should I be going down the pharmaceutical route and maybe opting in to the lithium/anti-depressant/anti-convulsant/anti-psychotic/etc drugs to maybe try to make things more manageable???

    I always want to think I have things under control but times like now worry me ... I've had a few drinks lately and I'm an alcoholic and I feel like if I don't fix things soon I'm going to head into a massive downward spiral and lose everything that is precious to me ...

    (I'm desperate enough to post this honestly as my wife may leave me if she reads this and finds out I've been drinking ...)

    Edit:

    P.S. This is in a way a cry out for help to those of you out there that make up my online vaporizer community/family ... I'm in a bad space and need to fix it ... by tomorrow I may have rationalized my way out of my problems ... but they'll still be there, just hidden ... don't let me forget ...
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
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  2. natural farmer

    natural farmer god is in the neurons...

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    Hi brother. Since this is a cry for help and I for sure would love to help out, would you mind sharing with us or me what you think your problems/troubles in life are. We need to start from somewhere right? And that somewhere is what causes you discomfort in your life... :)
    xRUFUSx, VaporsVaporizer and RUDE BOY like this.
  3. VaporsVaporizer

    VaporsVaporizer Well-Known Member

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    HI Jcat, I don't know much about Bipolar disorder, but you're reaching out for help, so i think that's a good sign. I don't think Alcohol is really what you should be doing to yourself right now, i don't see that as a solution.
    Can you talk to your wife or do you have a shrink or a friend that you can reach out to today? I know you say you don't like to be around people but is there anyone you can hang out with today, maybe someone that makes you laugh or that makes you feel happy?
    It's great that you're talking about it and i hope you get some relief soon. Wish i could say something that could actually help you.
  4. lwien

    lwien Well-Known Member

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    If what you are currently doing is not working for you.................yes.

    It's always that risk/reward ratio. While there are obvious side affects from taking pharmaceuticals, the question is, are those side affects more tolerable than the road you are currently on?
  5. JCat

    JCat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for responding ... I'm doing ok ... just feeling beaten down by the cycles right now and my high stress life (with 1.5 jobs and 2 kids heavily involved in sports--7 and 9)

    Had a sewer backup in my basement a while ago so I've not only been coping with my general 50+ hour work week but also trying to get work done on the basement so its ready for Christmas ... I've managed to get everything done (luckily I was hypomanic during the last couple months), but feel myself slipping back into the depressed state (which I hate being in ... hopefully it doesn't last too long ...)

    I'm an ex-drinker (used to drink a lot), and quit drinking a couple years ago after really losing my shit when combined with my undiagnosed and unmanaged bipolar disorder at the time. Nearly lost everything at the time and decided that, obviously, drinking had to stop. Thing is ... I miss it because little else works as well for dealing with my anxieties in social situations ... not worth the risk though ... however, in my hypomanic state I can sometimes fool myself into thinking otherwise.

    I indulged in drinking every once in a while, despite being a non-drinker now, and seems in my last hypomanic phase I indulged a few times too many and now I have to beat it again (which I can do ... but I always miss it ... nothing tastes better than a good beer ...)

    I've tried anti-depressants and various other medications, but these only seemed to aggravate the situation (nearly lost my family with drinking and my heavily manic state coming off the anti-depressants ... can't remember being that manic in over a decade ...)

    Can't talk to my wife about this as I'm pretty sure that would be the nail in the coffin that I started drinking again ... our relationship has been good since I've been managing the ups and downs better and as a general rule haven't been drinking ... but my wife is pretty black and white on a lot of issues and I have a feeling on me drinking this would be one of them (99% certain if she found out it would lead to separation ... really the biggest reason I need to stop!!!!!)

    Anyways ... I appreciate everyone's support ... I've got to cut alcohol out 100% (again) ... and this isn't always an easy thing to do ... nice to have some people to talk about it to ...
  6. VaporsVaporizer

    VaporsVaporizer Well-Known Member

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    Giving up anything that you like to do isn't easy JCat, but you know it's the best thing for you at this point. Doesn't make it any easier though ;) . Sounds like you have a lot of stress in your life at this point adding to your problem, not really sure anyone's like is stress free, but do what you can to find some time for yourself everyday. Things can get better and i think Iwein is right, you need to find the correct Dr and medications to help you. It's all trial and error sometimes but probably the best course in the long run.
    Come here and vent when you need too, and be well :tup:
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  7. Magic9

    Magic9 Plant Enthusiast

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    Recently dx'd with Bipolar, after a psychotic episode. My advice, see a doctor ASAP. Even if you start to swing up before then. If I had, I'd probably still have my job. Don't wait too long.

    Also, stop the drinking. Find a good sativa, and vape the shit out of it.
    xRUFUSx likes this.
  8. lwien

    lwien Well-Known Member

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    While that may have worked for you Magic, that could very well be some of the worst advice for someone else whose experiencing some major chemical imbalances going on in their heads. There is definitely NOT a "one size fits all" when it comes to stuff like this.
  9. Magic9

    Magic9 Plant Enthusiast

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    You are correct. Normally I wouldn't suggest a "one size fits all". That's what his Dr. is for. They will prescribe different med cocktails until they find one that works.

    But....He seems to be an exprienced vaper who is heading into the abyss (my term for the crippling BP rock-bottom depression), and has started drinking again.

    Alcohol is a definite no-no. Not only would his wife leave if she found out, it is likely bringing him further into the abyss.

    Since he has weeks before he can see a Dr. and get the proper treatment plan, his choices are sink deeper into the abyss, drink the pain away, or boost his mood with cannabis. Since he asked for advice, I gave him mine. A good sativa.

    From personal experience, cannabis has a way of doing what I need it to do at the time. If I'm too low, it brings me up. Too up, brings me down. It's what keeps me level. Good for BP. Alcohol on the hand, makes me swing all over. No control.

    My "one size fits all" applies to almost everything. Alcohol = bad. Cannabis = good.
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  10. lwien

    lwien Well-Known Member

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    Magic, I totally understand that a good Sativa works for you, but just because it addresses YOUR BP does not mean that it couldn't have the reverse affect for someone else who is dealing with Bi-Polar issues.

    And in regards to your last sentence, outside of the Bi-Polar arena, for many, moderate alcohol consumption has been proven to be very beneficial on a few different fronts, be it blood sugar levels, HDL levels and strength of the immune system. Case in point. I have been able to raise my HDL levels by 4 points (while nothing else has worked) along with having a major impact on improving my blood sugar levels by consuming 1 and half ounces of whiskey a day.

    But again, while this has worked great for me, alcohol consumption could be a very bad thing for those with bi-polar disorders as well as those who have a family history of alcoholism or other issues such as liver functions, etc, etc, so for these people, even moderate alcohol consumption should be avoided.

    Again, it's that "one size fits all" thing that just doesn't work.
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  11. momofthegoons

    momofthegoons vapor accessory addict Staff Member

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    Aww JCat, sorry to hear you are struggling.

    Avoiding and/or stopping drinking can be hard. It's legal and everyone seems to do it in social situations. And I, for one, hate being around people who have been drinking if I haven't.

    I had to stop drinking 11 years ago when diagnosed with HepC. After being cured, it was especially hard not to drink again and I have slipped many times; this holiday season being one of them. But as with anything in life that needs doing, you've got to put on your big girl/boy pants and get it done. Stopping drinking is the important one right now for you (and me!), but also trying to find a balance. I would agree with those who have advised looking for some medical help. Perhaps an mj friendly doctor who will work with your vaping too? There are also support groups that you could look into. Sometimes sharing these types of experiences/feelings with others that understand can really be beneficial.
  12. Magic9

    Magic9 Plant Enthusiast

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    lwien, Can we agree that the OP should not be drinking? Could we also agree that cannabis may help depression?

    I'll concede for some, it may make symptoms worse. And I would only recomend it to those who have the experience to handle it.

    Either way, make an appt. with the Dr. asap.
    RUDE BOY likes this.
  13. mvapes

    mvapes Surrounded by the healthy!

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    I have bipolar dissorder, I've been on 1500 milligrams of depakote a day for years. I drink, not too much but here and there I kick a few back without any recourse.

    Cannabis can help depression, could also hurt it. there have been studies that have shown patients with canabis in their systems showed higher levels of seratonin than patients without.

    But I don't think that's what does it...

    THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) affect's a substance in our brains called anandamide. Anandamide causes a soothing sensation in the body when it reacts with THC. It may be the anandamide that causes you to relax while using the sticky icky.

    It's also Known marijuana has been found to stimulate neurogensis in the hippocampus, that in itself can help with depression. It's soothing affect is exactly what calms my nerves and relieves my tremors for short time periods.
    momofthegoons, RUDE BOY and Snappo like this.
  14. lwien

    lwien Well-Known Member

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    Yes with "may" being the operative word here.
    Snappo likes this.
  15. JCat

    JCat Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone ... you're all just backing what I already know ... drinking makes me worse (although it gives me the few hours of reprise ...).

    Cannabis (70+% Sativas generally for me unless I'm really up and need to knock myself down some).

    I'm not sure I want to get on the pharma-cocktail ... as long as I can get off the alcohol my ups/downs are generally manageable and I don't need just one more dependence. I live in the far North and there is minimal support in the way of Doctor's, psychiatrists, etc. (Last time I went to the local mental health clinic to deal with my issues, just before being diagnosed with bipolar, they essentially told me all my problems were my own fault and that cannabis is bad and that and drinking are all my problem and my fault ... being told this by someone less educated and informed than I am ...)

    I do see someone at the local drug/alcohol counselling centre sometimes as she at least is educated, informed, and intelligent ... but she is not specialized in dealing with cases like mine and is sort of wading through it same as me but its good to have someone intelligent and impartial to talk to ...

    Anyways ... I appreciate everyone's advice ... I'd make a Dr.'s apt but that leads nowhere here unless I have some specific request in mind ... unless I want to get on pharmaceuticals there is little they will do to help me (they can't even get me a referral to a decent psychiatrist for regular visits as I'd have to drive 5+ hours for every appointment if I want them more regularly then once or twice a year) ... I looked into more regular psychiatric visits, but being as I am employed, and somewhat managing things, and I use cannabis, I'm about there lowest priority as there are so many people needing help in worse shape than me that I get bumped off the list every time being left to "fend for myself" ... (or I can have lithium and a 15 min Dr.'s apt with someone non-specialized every couple months ..)

    I want to say to everyone in regards to my original post ... although I'm not doing "great" (and I definitely have one major issue I need to deal with right now), I'm very far from rock bottom ... I'm just concerned that I'm sabotaging myself and will end up there unless I start doing something about it ... talking about it ... dealing with it ... alcohol will ruin everything if I let it and having people to talk to as I try to kick it again can definitely help ...

    It's worth noting that I'm not a Type I Bipolar (ie. I'm never so low that I'm actually going to kill myself and I'm never so high that I think I'm Jesus Christ or anything ... but I do swing much higher and much lower than even remotely normal and it happens often) ... I'm a rapid cycler ... it's difficult to manage but I don't know if I'd actually want to be any other way ... it's what I know and often I think what gives me my edge ... I can do what most can't when I'm hypomanic and I don't want to lose this, but there is a cost to it.

    Even my depressions serve some purpose as they cause me to get off my high and become more introspective and I try to use that time to make adjustments where I see problems ... previously I wouldn't have dealt with this at all ... I'd just keep drinking more and more until everything blew up ... last couple rounds I've managed to stop that from happening but feel like I'm a little close to the edge this time.
  16. deadheadbill

    deadheadbill I can see clearly now the smoke is gone...

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    Location:
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    I deal with being bipolar as well. I used alcohol for years to self medicate, mainly because I worked at a Nuke plant and weed was not an option.

    I still drink too much, but have gotten it under control(I know that what everyone says, but it is true). A few years ago, I started taking an anti-depressant which helps some. But there are still days when I can't even get out of bed for no good reason.

    Edit: Hit enter too soon.

    I find that making myself get out and do something even if I don't want too helps. Also, some suggestions are that at least you get on a mild anti-depressant, lessen or eliminate alcohol, watch comedies(I know, but it is true) and get your family as much on board as you can.

    I have sat with a loaded gun in my mouth with the only thing stopping me was the fact that I was too big of a pussy to pull the trigger. But these steps have helped me stay out of that frame of mind mostlt. I would be remiss not to mention that the love and patience of my wife is also instrumental in my day to day survival.

    Good luck to you @JCat and if you ever wanna talk I will pm you my #,

    Peace
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
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  17. mvapes

    mvapes Surrounded by the healthy!

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    Yeah Cat - you have friends here who have been in the same exact shoes. There's a few people on the forum that know me on a personal level. Recently my dr's decided to change around my mental health medication hoping that it would help alleviate some of the side effects from my PD meds. It fucked me up in a bad way, my friends became my enemies, white became black, hatred filled my veins.

    I took a few days from the forum as well, didn't want to say something to someone I didn't mean. During that time my life was in shambles, I wasn't anything more than a piece of shit, I couldn't look myself in the face. It was scary, eventually the new medicine started to kick in and we had to add an anti-psychotic until things normalized.

    This also wasn't my first rodeo with myself, my brain is an asshole. Now the bastard holds my dopemine, fucker likes it when I vibrate!

    :D

    Just like Bill said, always here to talk. I talk to Bill too - I rest in his beard!
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  18. Ethnobotanist

    Ethnobotanist ........始解........

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    I hope things are improving for you JCat. In particular, your last post was pretty great and from reading the last paragraph, it's impressive that you've managed to turn a negative situation to your benefit for self/life-improvement.

    Just to add to what lwien was saying in case someone with a similar issue (BPD) uses this thread during research (like the person who started the recent thread "Depression,Anxiety, and BPD- Volcano":

    Cannabis affects different people in different ways. It's fantastic that people on this thread have found that Sativa dominant/pure strains can help treat their BPD, especially since it's less likely to impair certain function during the day in the same way that an Indica dominant/pure strain might.

    However many people with BPD or Anxiety Disorder find that they have to avoid Sativas since they make anxiety worse and can destabilize bipolar disorder. In addition, Sativas might also make insomnia worse.

    Lastly, anyone who does not tolerate stimulants probably should not medicate with Sativas.

    However, to reiterate, everyone is different. If you do want to try a Sativa dominant strain for treating BPD or Anx.D, just go cautiously and gradually increase amount vaped, starting from a fairly small and modest dose.
    xRUFUSx, RUDE BOY and mvapes like this.
  19. Tweek

    Tweek Well-Known Member

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    “because wherever I sat—on the deck of a ship or at a street café in Paris or Bangkok—I would be sitting under the same glass bell jar, stewing in my own sour air.”
    Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

    And that there, sums up how many of us with depression and many other mental illnesses feel on a daily basis. Isolated. Alone. No matter how surrounded by joy, we feel capped off from it and misunderstood. I wish I had some magic formula to make it easier for you, my friend...all I can do is share my own experience, and hope that you can draw some ideas/inspiration from it.

    I've suffered from deep depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember. At first, I thought it was simply my environment...lets just say that as much as I had some wonderful people around me growing up, I was also surrounded by some very nasty ones as well. Their abuses were enough to darken my view of the world and of others. To go from a happy, class clown to an isolated, lonely and scared kid. I even contemplated taking my life a couple times as a teen...had the gun in my hand and everything. What stopped me? I was lucky enough that I had people in my life that I loved, and I realized that if I did anything drastic, no matter how much I was suffering, their suffering would be 100 times worse having to live through life knowing I was gone, and in such a horrible way. So I held on and set goals to keep me moving forward. I was your typical "escape from a small town to the big city big dreams" kind of kid.

    As I grew older, I experienced success and much more heartbreak. It's a cold, cruel world out there...I won't sugar coat it. Even though I had loving relationships, and few, but good friends, I still had a hard time waking up each day and facing the uncertainties and the cruelty I saw around me. I also seemed to be a magnet for assholes. Bad bosses, co-workers, so called friends...you name it, I've encountered it....but again, I was still fortunate to have people around me who loved me, despite my quirks. They became my strength. I too fell into moments of self harm...drugs, drink, thoughts of checking out...long blurry nights and waking up with little memory of what I had done the night before. Anything I could do to numb the pain, I would reach for.

    There were mood swings...moments of pure joy and confidence, and many more moments of fear, anger, aggression...I saw opportunities fade away, my health sink, relationships suffer, careers end...what I thought would be a life filled with success and adventure, became one filled with uncertainty. A constant battle with myself that sometimes spilled over onto those who cared.

    Then one morning, after contemplating taking my life once again, I went for breakfast. It was very early on a sunday, and I was alone. I weighed very little, having starved myself, spending most of my days alone in bed...I still remember being so confused trying to find the restaurant...even though I had been to it many many times before...my mind was just a fog...I was like a wraith floating through the street. I eventually made it there, and quietly ate breakfast alone. I could hardly lift my fork, I was trembling so bad. I felt embarrassed, as I was surrounded by families, and couples out having a good time together, and laughing...I could just imagine what I looked like. I felt like they were laughing at me.

    When it came time to pay the bill, the waiter sat across from me and looked at me with the most sympathetic eyes. He took my hand and asked me if I was ok. I felt like bursting into tears...this act of compassion from a stranger melted me. Made me suddenly realize that I needed help, and that the world was a good place, and I wanted to stay.

    After that day, I arranged to go home and spend some time with my loved ones, who helped me get some professional help. I opted to take the medication offered to me, and continue to see a psychiatrist. Is it a perfect solution? No, not at all. I still struggle, I have my good days and my bad...but since that day, well over 10 years ago, I have been able to build a stable, loving relationship, meet new and interesting people and open myself up to more possibilities in life than ever before.

    You can never be fully cured of this struggle, my friend, but it can be controlled. It's like roping a bull...you will be dragged through the mud, trampled, and feel like letting go...but if you hold on, you will be rewarded with not only a greater understanding of yourself, but the strength to keep moving forward through this difficult, beautiful thing called life.

    With the right support system, and being honest with yourself and the ones you love, you can make it through the bad times, and be fully ready to celebrate the good.

    Hope this helped in some way.
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  20. JCat

    JCat Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I want to thank everyone (@Tweek , @Ethnobotanist , @mvapes , @deadheadbill ) ... I appreciate your support and encouraging words ... I'm honestly embarrassed that I'm still struggling w/ the alcohol and haven't gone "cold-turkey" yet ... (I haven't been binging or anything but a few a day (2-6) has been normal and is a real problem for me ...)

    It's tough ... I feel pretty good on a whole right now and alcohol helps temporarily and makes me laugh and smile ... at least in small enough quantities ... although it makes me an asshole when I'm "jonesing" (which is inevitable when you have an alcohol dependence) ... and I know if I don't stop I'm going to ruin everything ... my wife will not stay with me (I doubt) if she finds out I'm drinking ... so I have to quit it and then tell her a little while after ... as I don't want to hide the truth ... I just also don't want to be alone and I know she will opt out rather than deal with me if she knows ... she's already given too much to me so who can blame her ... we've been together for almost 19 years! Maybe if I can kick it this time and discuss it with her after we'll be able to better prepare together for the next time as having support helps when trying to fix such things ... be easier if I just could say that I'll never drink again, and I want that to be true in a lot of ways, but knowing my mind a little, its likely that when I'm really up I'll talk myself into thinking it's ok again at some point ... fuck ... that's messed up ...)

    I'm getting out and playing some music every once in a while (next gig in Feb) and trying to get together to practice once a week on average ... and that helps ... I feel I can express my emotions more fully through my playing (and occasional mediocre--at best--singing) and that gives me a real release and some true joy ...

    @Tweek ... your post made me cry ... thanks for sharing and its nice to know other people go through what I do and can empathize with it ... its fucked up ... I have everything anyone could ask for and yet I have a hard time, often, feeling content and almost deliberately try to fuck things up ... its almost like I get bored ... fuck! Life ain't easy is it?
    xRUFUSx, mvapes, Magic9 and 6 others like this.
  21. Tweek

    Tweek Well-Known Member

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    6,142
    I hear ya brother. It's a horrible feeling, when you are surrounded by so many good things and you just can't seem to be happy. I have had many moments of self sabotage. All you can do, is try and pick yourself up from the fall, and keep moving forward.

    As to the drinking...all you can do is be honest with yourself and those you love. It will be tough for her, but if you have been together for 19 years, she obviously loves you. If you don't feel comfortable telling her right now, maybe arrange for her to come with you the next time you speak to the Psychiatrist (assuming you are seeing one)? Might be a great forum for you both to air out your fears/concerns and having a third person there to mediate would help alot.

    Just an idea.

    I would also say keep at that music! When you get those negative thoughts, you have to redirect them toward something productive. Write some songs, or go jam with someone. I often head out and shoot some video, or write some poetry.

    Just remember...you are not alone and each battle makes you stronger. It can be an evil illnesses, but it can also help you learn alot about yourself and what you are capable of.
    xRUFUSx, JCat, Quetzalcoatl and 5 others like this.
  22. NinjaMindTriks

    NinjaMindTriks Ninja Vapor Enthusiast

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    I have a very good friend who suffers from Bipolar disorder and have talked him out of suicide 2 times in my life. He has tried several strains of marijuana, some made it worse others helped. I had some Jack Herer and he tried that and found that it worked wonders when he was at low points. He now tries to always keep some in stock. Then again everyone is different. I really hope that you find something that works for you Jcat. From just reading here in the forums you seem like a standup guy. Just always remember that there are people in your life that care and love you. Focus on the good things in life. I know that at times things seem almost impossible. I have been through the worst 2 years in my life and am finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to people that care about me and have been there for me. You will be in my thoughts man.
    xRUFUSx, JCat, mvapes and 4 others like this.
  23. Magic9

    Magic9 Plant Enthusiast

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    Being bipolar (we don't HAVE it, we ARE it), I can attest to the wonders cannabis has done. Without it, I'd have lost my shit a long time ago. It's all ancedotal at this point and I'm not a doctor. Have you made an appt. to see a Dr. yet?

    Interesting read here.

    http://rxmarijuana.com/mood_stablizer.htm

    by Lester Grinspoon, M.D. & James B. Bakalar
    JCat likes this.
  24. mvapes

    mvapes Surrounded by the healthy!

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    I haven't felt much of a positive effect from mmj when I have an episode and I'm feeling down. However, when it's the other way around and I'm anxious or hyper the herb tends to help take the edge off.

    What I find lately that's causing issues for me is acting out erratically or aggressively when dealing with everyday shit. I find myself having issues at times being able to keep my mind on a leash. I also get into the fucking spending frenzies. That plus GAS and VAS are two things that shouldn't be mixed.

    My doctor has recently added xyprexa to my medical diet. I take 1 x .5 at bedtime. I noticed today (my 1st day on it) I felt a bit cloudy.

    Has anyone got any experience with the drug? I'd love some feedback.

    Thanks
    xRUFUSx and JCat like this.
  25. Magic9

    Magic9 Plant Enthusiast

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    My ins. no longer covers the Seroquel XR, so I had the choice between Zyprexa and regular Seroquel. I stayed with the Seroquel because so far it's been okay. I've heard good things about it though.

    This link was an interesting read.
    http://www.crazymeds.us/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Meds.Zyprexa
    JCat likes this.

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