U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Great Debates
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 11-16-2012, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020

Advertisements

My forty year old brother lapsed into substance induced psychosis - caused by marijuana - and is now permanently brain damaged.

His life is ruined. Before this happened to him, I had never even HEARD of the possibility of marijuana capitulating someone into a permanent state of psychosis. Here's what I have found out:

Some people are genetically predisposed to developing a permanent state of mental illness (caused by brain damage) from using marijuana and/or alcohol. The damage includes, but is not limited to, a form of psychosis which closely resembles schizophrenia. You know that feeling of paranoia you can get when you smoke weed? That's a very mild form of what can for some people become a permanent state of brain damage and psychosis. Trouble is - you don't know whether or not you're succeptible, till you're already damaged beyond repair. There is not medical test to determine whether or not you have this genetic tendency.

My brother was a handsome, well educated (private prep school and then college and eventually a master's degree), intelligent, and gentle. He was an animal lover and was fascinated by history. He was given the opportunity to take over the family business, which was very successful. He had a beautiful wife and a large, lovely home. In other words, he had it all - strong family, education, intelligence, looks, career, creature comforts, you name it.

But he loved weed, and he loved to drink. Over the years, we watched in frustration as he smoked and drank his life into the toilet. Long story short, his wife left him, he lost the business, and then lost his subsequent job due to increasingly poor performance, and finally had a psychotic "break" which we were desperately hoping was temporary due to possible addictions and stress. He broke into a rent house, ransacked several homes on the family property, assaulted a tenant, threatening repeatedly to kill him and burn all the buildings to the ground, and was finally arrested nearly naked walking down the road, completely delusional.

Just got the news - nope, there's nothing temporary about his state of mind. It's permanent - and he's done it to himself.

Just wanted to give others a warning about this - don't assume that weed is harmless, or that you can smoke or drink regularly with no long term or serious side effects. When my brother held the world in the palm of his hand, he never saw this coming, and neither did we.

He will be institutionalized for the rest of his life. Don't let this happen to you or a loved one.

 
Old 11-16-2012, 08:51 AM
 
33,134 posts, read 39,078,504 times
Reputation: 28484
Sorry to hear about your Brother..I have a feeling his permanent psychosis wasnt caused totally by marijuana usage but it sounds more like a cocaine and or crack problem as i've never heard of pot causing this type of mental disorder, i think his mental problems were latent and his use of drugs and alcohol just sped up the process of his mental demise.
As millions smoke pot on a regular basis a doctors report on the connection may prove useful to those contemplating smoking marijuana.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Sorry to hear about your Brother..I have a feeling his permanent psychosis wasnt caused totally by marijuana usage but it sounds more like a cocaine and or crack problem as i've never heard of pot causing this type of mental disorder, i think his mental problems were latent and his use of drugs and alcohol just sped up the process of his mental demise.
As millions smoke pot on a regular basis a doctors report on the connection may prove useful to those contemplating smoking marijuana.
I'm relaying what his medical care/psychiatrists are relaying to us - that his use of marijuana SPECIFICALLY played a huge part in the development of his condition and psychosis. Like I said, there is a genetic predisposition to being affected this way, but there is currently no test to determine whether or not a person will react this way.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: somewhere in the woods
16,886 posts, read 12,538,974 times
Reputation: 5210
I am allergic to THC and even being around it can go unconcious. I dont smoke it, but I dont fault those that would like to do it. as long as they do it privately, i dont really care.

if the state and federal goverments want to get involved with it, then tax it and stay out of it after that.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 09:07 AM
 
3,803 posts, read 4,803,929 times
Reputation: 3463
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
I'm relaying what his medical care/psychiatrists are relaying to us - that his use of marijuana SPECIFICALLY played a huge part in the development of his condition and psychosis. Like I said, there is a genetic predisposition to being affected this way, but there is currently no test to determine whether or not a person will react this way.
my sympathy to you all--as a nurse,i have seen this and have attempted to tell the pro weed people but it seems to fall on def ears---weed usage broke up my family,caused children to be alienated from their father and his family and wreaked havoc in my pro weed ex's family members lives
 
Old 11-16-2012, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
I could literally spend all day posting links and info from reputable sources which validate my brother's experience with marijuana, but here are just a few:

Cambridge Journals Online - Abstract
Editorial
The link between cannabis use and psychosis: furthering the debate
LOUISA DEGENHARDT c1

Abstract
The issue of whether an association exists between cannabis and psychosis exists, and why, has received considerable attention in recent years (Hall, 1998; Mueser et al. 1998; Blanchard et al. 2000; Degenhardt & Hall, 2002). There are probably a number of reasons for the sustained interest. First, psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are often chronic or recurring (Mason et al. 1996), are associated with significant disability (Keith et al. 1991) and they place a considerable burden upon the community at large (Hall et al. 1985; Knapp, 1997). Secondly, over the past few decades, high rates of cannabis use and use disorders have been observed among persons with schizophrenia and other psychoses (Barbee et al. 1989; Fowler et al. 1998), suggesting the possibility that cannabis use may be causally related to psychotic disorders. Thirdly, given what is known about the psychotomimetic effects of cannabis (Hall et al. 2001), it is plausible that high doses of cannabis may produce psychotic symptoms. Finally, clinical research with persons with psychotic disorders has found that problematical substance use is correlated with a range of negative outcomes including relapse, rehospitalization, poor medication compliance, poorer social functioning and increased treatment costs (Salyers & Mueser, 2001), suggesting drug use may be related to worsened clinical outcomes.

Cannabis and psychosis | Better Health Channel
Summary
Cannabis use can cause drug-induced psychosis, trigger the first episode of a psychotic illness, or make a pre-existing psychotic illness worse. Cannabis comes in three forms - as either marijuana, hashish or hash oil. People who have, or may be at risk of developing, a psychotic illness should avoid using cannabis.

Cannabis can precipitate the first episode of psychosis
If someone has a predisposition to a psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia, use of drugs such as cannabis may trigger the first episode in what can be a lifelong, disabling condition.

Cannabis psychosis
The drug induced psychosis seen when Cannabis is the main substance being abused is distinct phenomenologically from other psychosis.
It is unusual for such a psychosis to occur without other drugs being involved to some extent and so it is difficult to tease out the differences between the effects of Cannabis and other drugs.
However it is misleading and dangerous, to our youth in particular, to label Cannabis as “soft”. In fact the serious adverse effects of Cannabis have been known for some time now and Hall and Solowij in the British Journal of Psychiatry sounded warnings in 1997 about such issues as dependence on Cannabis, adolescent developmental problems, permanent cognitive impairment as well as involvement in and the development of psychosis.[1]
There are suggestions that in a small number of cases Cannabis is capable of precipitating psychosis, going on to the chronic picture described below, in people who have had no family and personal history of psychiatric illness.There have been suggestions that such people may be the ones who have started Cannabis in their teens and caused disturbance to neural connectivity. However, it seems Cannabis can precipitate or exacerbate a schizophrenic tendency in a characteristic manner.[2]
ACUTE SYMPTOMS OF CANNABIS PSYCHOSIS

International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10)

Often the combination of symptoms makes one suspicious that schizophrenia is present but at the same time there is an affective component. There may be the suspicion that the condition, either in part of whole, is feigned for reasons that are unclear because the pattern of symptoms do not fall easily into the usual criteria for psychosis. Drug taking is often denied, or the amount that is admitted by the patient is so little that one cannot say that this accounts for the current symptoms. Worse still, patients may not even consider Cannabis as an illicit or dangerous drug and so do not mention using it. Hallucinations are vague and delusions may be transitory with little in the way of thought disorder. There is often a lack of volition and a history of gradually deteriorating social ability and contact with others, including significant others. This history will often be verified by relatives and close friends who may be either completely ignorant of the drug taking, or confirm that there has been some in the past but believe that there has been little drug taking recently. There is often a depressive component with suicide attempts in the past but nothing recent or, if there is, then they are only ineffectual pleas for help. The person has usually lost his or her job some months or weeks before due to their poor performance at work. There is often very poor memory and concentration, which may be marked at the time of presentation. Paranoid delusions may be present and quite severe which can be the most alarming psychotic feature and result in hospital admission. If confronted with aggressive and authoritarian staff, who indicate verbally or non-verbally, that they do not believe the patient, the patient may become violent or simply leave against medical advice. There is a slow and gradual effect of cannabis and the symptoms continue to worsen for some time after the person stops using it. Thus by the time of presentation the person may be so disorganised and confused that they can’t even arrange their next “cone” or “joint”. Over the following few days the symptoms ease quickly. The improvement is easily credited to the neuroleptics and/or the antidepressants, which may in fact have contributed to the improvement. Symptoms such as the paranoia, hallucinations and depression fade until the patient is allowed to go on leave from the hospital and, a worsening of the symptoms may follow this. More often than not the nursing staff are the first to become suspicious that drugs have been taken when the patient is on leave from the hospital.
It could even be that the drug screen only indicated small dose drug taking or even absent. The International Classification of Disease indicates the following symptoms due to Cannabis.
“There must be dysfunctional behaviour, as evidenced by at least one at of the following:

(1) Apathy and sedation
(2) Disinhibition
(3) Psychomotor retardation
(4) Impaired attention
(5) Impaired judgement
(6) Interference with personal functioning.
C. At least one of the following signs must be present:
(1) Drowsiness
(2) Slurred speech
(3) Pupillary constriction (except in anoxia from severe overdose, when pupillary dilatation occurs)
(4) Decreased level of consciousness (e.g. Stupor, coma)
F12.0 Acute intoxication due to use of cannabinoids F12.0 DCR-10

A. The general criteria for acute intoxication (F1x.0) must be met.
B. There must be dysfunctional behaviour or perceptual disturbances including at least one at least one of the following:

(1) Euphoria and disinhibition
(2) Anxiety or agitation
(3) Suspiciousness or paranoid ideation
(4) Temporal slowing (a sense that time is passing very slowly, and/or the person is experiencing a rapid flow of ideas)
(5) Impaired judgement
(6) Impaired attention
(7) Impaired reaction time
(8) Auditory, visual or tactile illusions
(9) Hallucinations, with preserved orientation
(l0) depersonalization
(11) derealization
(12) Interference with personal functioning

increased appetite
dry mouth
conjunctival injection
tachycardia.”
[3] DSM IV also has similar but less complete information under the heading of Cannabis Induced Psychotic Disorder and refers the reader to a general description of “ Sunstance*Induced Psychotic Disorder”. That is the difference in the phenomenology of Cannabis Psychosis and other substance induced psychosis is not made, however this is now rather dated being 1994 when published.[4]
It can be seen from this that the range of symptoms is quite extensive and not confined to the core symptoms mentioned at the beginning.
CHRONIC SYMPTOMS OF CANNABIS PSYCHOSIS

Patients are left with the well-recognised and permanent symptoms of memory loss, apathy, loss of motivation and, paranoid ideation. These symptoms known as “ the Amotivational Syndrome” in the past are usually permanent.[5] If Cannabis using resumes then the acute symptoms redevelop. The chronic state can also be arrived at without a preceding psychotic episode. After Cannabis started to be widely used about 20 years ago, for permanent damage to occur it was felt by some that Cannabis had to be heavily used over at least three years [6]. However, there is accumulating evidence that smaller amount will do damage also and in animals “ deficits on tasks dependent on frontal lobe function have been reported in cannabis users” [7]. It is very difficult to conduct research in this area, as it is not acceptable to harm humans by doing trials with damaging substances such as Cannabis. However there is accumulating evidence of the psychological consequences of using Cannabis [8]. It is logical that to get the permanent “ Amotivational Syndrome” small amounts to damage have to accumulate incrementally. All this is in addition to the recognised danger of a recurrence of a pre-existing illness, such as Schizophrenia or Manic-depressive disorder. There are suggestions that Cannabis “ caused schizophrenia in young people and (or) enhanced the symptoms, especially in young people poorly able to cope with stress or in whom the antipsychotic therapy was unsuccessful”. [9] Caspari found “patients with previous cannabis abuse had significantly more rehospitalizations, tended to worse psychosocial functioning, and scored significantly higher on the psychopathological syndromes "thought disturbance" (BPRS) and "hostility" (AMDP). These results confirm the major impact of cannabis abuse on the long-term outcome of schizophrenic patients”.[10]P


All quotes are from the article/link directly above the quote.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Right were I should be!
1,081 posts, read 1,438,505 times
Reputation: 1100
I am wondering if he had symptoms while not under the influence and was self medicating with the pot and booze. This is a common practice among the mentally unstable as they would rather treat the symptoms than address the issue head on.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeywrenching View Post
I am allergic to THC and even being around it can go unconcious. I dont smoke it, but I dont fault those that would like to do it. as long as they do it privately, i dont really care.

if the state and federal goverments want to get involved with it, then tax it and stay out of it after that.
Keep in mind that our tax dollars will also go toward the institutionalization of people who basically fry their brains on a substance that they believe is a "soft" drug and basically harmless.

Until this happened to my brother, I didn't consider weed to be a dangerous substance. I was wrong.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 09:11 AM
 
7,811 posts, read 5,059,606 times
Reputation: 2972
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
My forty year old brother lapsed into substance induced psychosis

Some people are genetically predisposed to developing a permanent state of mental illness
While I have the greatest sympathy for your loss and the damage caused here I have to say that this is a terrible reason to support making the drug illegal. If you were to ban everything that "some" people are genetically predisposed against then you would be left with very little legal.

Take for example the simple peanut. They are perfectly legal and we sell them by the millions. Yet there are people who were perfectly ok with them... but eat them one day.... and drop dead moments later from an allergic reaction.

"X can have a bad effect on a minority of people therefore X should be illegal for all" is a very poor line of "reasoning" I am afraid. If you understand why some people dropping dead due to peanuts is not a good reason to ban peanuts... you will instantly understand why your post is not likely to even register as interesting on the radars of people who are already pro-legalization.

Again I am sorry for your loss and that you are the victim in the great lottery of genetics and I have the greatest sympathy for you. However I think your anger and need for justice and something to blame is being misdirected here. There are people in the world who have lost loved ones senselessly to nothing more than traces of peanut in their side-salad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Over the years, we watched in frustration as he smoked and drank his life into the toilet.

you can smoke or drink regularly with no long term or serious side effects.
Human addiction and dependency is very much an issue our society needs to address better and deal with.

However it is another poor line of reasoning to indict the things people get addicted to with the guilt/blame here. Addiction is often a symptom of a problem and is not the problem in and of itself. People get addicted to things all the time. Masturbation, porn, alcohol, weed, computer games, sugary food, gambling, pain killers... the list is endless. We do not go around banning all these things or blaming them for the addictions but realize instead that addiction itself is the problem or often is a symptom of the real underlying problems.

Some people truly have an issue with moderating their vices. From Computer Gaming up, to drugs, to porn, some people simply give in to addiction and dependency. This is something we need to deal with in our society and help to support such people but the WRONG way to do this is to blame and attack the things individual people get addicted to. For every alcohol abuser for example there are 1000s of people who use it in moderation without problem and without issue.
 
Old 11-16-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,888 posts, read 32,658,014 times
Reputation: 57020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siobjuan View Post
I am wondering if he had symptoms while not under the influence and was self medicating with the pot and booze. This is a common practice among the mentally unstable as they would rather treat the symptoms than address the issue head on.
Well, it would be really hard to tell, considering he has been smoking weed since he was about 15 years old.

He was a normal child with no indications of mental illness or personality disorders. Decent grades, good long term friends, normal girlfriends, went on to college and graduated - but went into a decline in his mid twenties.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top