Is my paranoia REALLY from my bp...or from my self medicating?

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manicmama
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 12/18/2006 11:14 PM (GMT -7)   
nono  If this is an inappropriate question I apologize.  I  am just trying to sort this whole "thing" out.  Quick history before the questions.  I started smoking marijuana by the time I was 11.  I never have stopped.  I binge drink on very seldom occasions, and have been sober from other street drugs(narcotic/others) for several years.  In rehab for Heroin addiction, the counselors encouraged us to smoke, for many reasons.  I used it to detox off of methadone, valum, and paxil.  My pdoc said that I definately needed to cut down, then he said he was giving me 3 months to get ahold on it and pretty much quit or he wants me in treatment.  My question is...does anyone think it increases paranoia, or mood swings?  Intensify them maybe?  I think I am paranoid about being paranoid. Any body know anything about links between marijuana and bipolar?  Prolonged useage, and symptoms of bipolar?  I just took a psychological exam, and the results were, well...hard to hear.  I, according to this test, have schizophrenic tendencies(minor schizophrenia, as my shrink put it), bpII, and borderline personality disorder, not to mention, major depression.  My shrink said people with this type of scores are usually institutionalized, and only when I was driving home did I get what he was trying to say to me.  I just assumed he ment anyone and everyone else but me.  I that I know of have never hallucinated.  But now, I started to notice my paranoia, and other strange behaviour that makes me really wonder if my brain is damaged from years of smoking or mental illness, or what?  Oh, I feel like I am going to explode with questions, about all kinds of stuff.  Like you all have the answers to my madness.  Many would say, who cares what it is from, or why you are mad...all that matters is that you are getting the help you need.  My rational brain know that those people are right, but I would not be here if I were rational all of the time.  I trick myself, confuse myself, and analyze myself daily.  somedays just choosing a parking stall is ridiculously difficult, as I almost pull into 2 or more beofre finally settling on one.  My poor husband is just as confused as he says, "it's like your not even paying attention to parking...sigh.", poor guy, he puts up with alot.  Somedays I just sit thinking all day, as much as allowed, my kids playing around me, not even hearing them.  Just lost in Shade's world.  I try to give myself a break, a remember that I am going through alot, and I do have incredible pressure/stress upon me.  As we all do.  The neg. self talk is soooo loud all the time, and combating your loudest strongest voice with your weakest littlest one is an uphill battle for sure.  I am just trying to figure this all out, I keep having doubts about my diagnosis(s).  Is that laughable?  Any input is helpful.  Thanks.
Shady
 
DX:BP NOS, SAD, GAD, PTSD,PD,AGORAPHOBIA, recovering heroin addict (7yrs.),recovering methadone addict (4yrs),hypertension
 
RX:DEPAKOTE, Kolonopin,Toporol xl
 
Surgeries:Reconstructive shoulder surgery, breast reduction, tonsilectomy, and spinal meningitis all in the same 2 yrs.  1993/94
Twin pregnancy in 2002, gave birth 5 wks early, got pregnant 2 months later and gave birth exactly 12 months after having my twins.


smiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 657
   Posted 12/19/2006 2:11 AM (GMT -7)   

Here is a link on drugs , paranoia and schizophrenia http://www.schizophrenia.com/prevention/streetdrugs.html which I hope will answer some questions.

If you want to find more sites I typed , marijuana paranoia scizophrenia , into my search engine.

Take care ,

Smiler tongue


Bipolar Moderator
 
DX : Bipolar , Panic Disorder , GAD , OCD.
 
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LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 12/19/2006 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   
No one can ever be sure what is really in weed, so you don't know what you are introducing into your body. On the surface, I'd say it was the weed. I have a friend who is quite a bit younger than I am and she has cleaned up off of crystal meth, heroin, cocaine and host of other things (she is only 20). She will smoke weed if she can get it and has decided that she doesn't even want to do that anymore. She says that weed can make one paranoid.

Thing is, what are you paranoid about? I had a doctor friend tell me that just because you are feeling paranoid it doesn't mean they aren't out to get out you. Meaning, I suppose, that not all paranoid feelings are misdirected problems of other kinds.

I am a firm believer that those who use illicit substances are all self-medicating for something. My friend has a clear case of feeling overwhelmed with taking care of her rather dysfunctional, alcoholic family and she needed escape. She sees that there are other ways to handle this and she is finding the strength to distance herself from her family to some degree, hopefully a healthy degree without losing her relationships. I think she was also self-medicating for depression.

I think your doctor is right, time to stop the weed. It won't be easy, you'll need help and it sounds like you have some support in this.
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!


LadyDragonfly
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 215
   Posted 12/19/2006 6:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I just reread you post.

schizophrenic tendencies(minor schizophrenia, as my shrink put it), bpII, and borderline personality disorder, not to mention, major depression

I am not a diagnostician and even when I have earned all my degrees, I doubt I'll go in for that, having a Rogerian therapeutic bent anyway. I do know some of what supposedly has been diagnosed.

If you have borderline personality disorder, your life would clearly be a mess with weird relationships and problems. That is clear cut. Having said that, BPD symptoms are often merely a function of other problems that are not being treated.

A LOT of BPIIs LOOK like they have BPD and it is just a function of the disease. BPD people have angry personalities overall and they are needy. There are highs and lows to it...like I hate you, ohmygod don't leave me I can't live without you. Of course, when you are bipolar you tend to do that too. Hypomania can include temper tantrums of the I hate you kind followed by depression with the I need you, don't leave me thing. See what I am trying to say? Overlap!

Umm major depression is assumed with BPII and I don't believe they can be diagnosed as separate problems. Man, the schizophrenia stuff would make me very angry. If you have had hallucinations, is it weed or schizophrenia? My bet is on the weed since it has replaced other addictions for you.

I'd seriously seriously get a second opinion. Some psychiatrists, even very good ones, over diagnose and aggressively diagnose, that is to say, misdiagnose. My BPII was diagnosed in the face of a prednisone induced psychosis and stimulant medications for ADD that literally made me hypomanic. As it turns out, that was a gross overdiagnosis too because these problems are CNS related due to an autoimmune disorder that has quite a nasty grip on my life recently. What I am saying is, just because this doctor said it, doesn't mean it is true.

If you had a real psychiatrist diagnose you, seek a second opinion from a psychologist with a PhD who is trained in psychological diagnoses. A psychiatrist is a pill pusher and while trained in diagnosing problems, doesn't have an expertise that runs past medical illnesses (schizophrenia, bipolar, depression, anxiety) whereas a psychologist has more expertise in looking at personality disorders (true mental illness) and other problems with daily functioning. Oddly enough, they do significantly better with treating addiction than psychiatrists do. If one has depression and ever hopes to do better, they must have meds AND see a psychologist or they'll be on meds for life.

keep us posted!
The Lady Dragonfly
Yes, it was me...I know because I was there when I did it. Lupus sufferer, bipolar II sufferer. Currently on Indocin for chronic pericarditis related to lupus, and cherishing every deep breath without pain. Currently in graduate school for mental health counseling, class of Fall 2007. Vegan and loving it!


manicmama
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 12/19/2006 10:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for every bit of insight!!!!!!!  I completely agree with you Lady Dragonfly, in that I am angry about the schizophrenia crap.  I have not ever hallucinated(that I know of),though years of drug abuse and real undiagnosed mental illness have surely contributed some bizarre behaviour.  Sober or not, I am not "normal".  I do doubt my Psychiatrists diagnosis(s), and my psychologist says to trust my pdoc, cause he's the Dr.  I said I felt he was a pill pusher and with my addictive back ground I am a little concerned.  I was actually stunned when the pdoc diagnosed me with all of these things.  I have a close friend who has battled with both bi polarI and borderline personality disorder, so I was slightly familiar.  Not shocked at the Borderline, too much, but all the other stuff floored and terrified me.  Bi polar, and mental illness in general as well as addiction is on both sides of my family, and I could feel myself slipping away.  I live on an Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, so when I tried to find a psychiatrist or even a psychologist, I could not even get a return phone call much less get them to accept me as their patient.  Just by chance after calling every dr/phd in the phone book I walked in to my present pdocs office in tears, and said I need help.  And so it began...5 months later and I am still confused and distrustful.  I am slowly weaning myself off the weed.  My phd is going to help me with CBT( Cognitive behavioural Therapy).  That is also what my pdoc suggested for my depression, cause I am not stable on my depakote and other stuff.  I just feel like I have so much going on, and I need a quick fix so the rest of the world(my family ect) does not fall apart.  I have to keep going.  My phd told me today that I need to stop trying to figure this all out, and that it is really too much to figure out at once.  But for me it is almost a need to understand it all, and make sense of my madness, I have such a hard time making decisions, and trusting doctors that I even thought they were in cahoots, so of course he would back up my pdoc.  I also have to make sure I am properly diagnosed/treated, that is one of the reasons I am here with all of you.  There is so much knowladge in experience.  I greatly appreciate all of the openess and sharing.  I'll keep in touch. cool  
Shady
 
DX:BP NOS, SAD, GAD, PTSD,PD,AGORAPHOBIA, recovering heroin addict (7yrs.),recovering methadone addict (4yrs),hypertension
 
RX:DEPAKOTE, Kolonopin,Toporol xl
 
Surgeries:Reconstructive shoulder surgery, breast reduction, tonsilectomy, and spinal meningitis all in the same 2 yrs.  1993/94
Twin pregnancy in 2002, gave birth 5 wks early, got pregnant 2 months later and gave birth exactly 12 months after having my twins.


manicmama
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 12/19/2006 11:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I just read the link provided above by The Lady Dragonfly. If only I had known all of this at 11 years old. Now I am 31, a mother, wife, and complete wreck/mess, no matter the cause. It is what it is I guess. What to do...It all makes sense though. Good night from Hawaii manicmama
Shady
 
DX:BP NOS, SAD, GAD, PTSD,PD,AGORAPHOBIA, recovering heroin addict (7yrs.),recovering methadone addict (4yrs),hypertension
 
RX:DEPAKOTE, Kolonopin,Toporol xl
 
Surgeries:Reconstructive shoulder surgery, breast reduction, tonsilectomy, and spinal meningitis all in the same 2 yrs.  1993/94
Twin pregnancy in 2002, gave birth 5 wks early, got pregnant 2 months later and gave birth exactly 12 months after having my twins.


wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 12/20/2006 2:44 AM (GMT -7)   
shady,
 
i agree with dragonfly about most things she said.  i, too, believe that most people taking illicit drugs are self-medicating.  i alsoagree that if you're not comfortable with your diagnosis, seek a second (or third) opinion.  in many cases, however, the illnesses are very similar and the treatment is identical or almost identical (according to my therapist).  let me use my own experience as an example.  i have been depressed since 1961, when was 15.  back then depression was in vogue as the usual diagnosis.  i had several suicide attempts during this first really bad period, but noone ever knew about them - i  wore long slieved shirts. 
 
this diagnosis was repeated for me until 2001 which is the last time i attempted suicide.  i was taken to a pdoc and saw his nurse practicttgioner. she asked me if i heard voives.  i said of course.  she freaked.  i am a jewish metaphasician and spiritualist and if i didn't hear voices i would be out of sync with the universe.  that is part of my belief system.   she np didn't ask about aby of this, interrupted the pdoc, and wanted me admitted immediately with schizophrenia.  the pdoc ordered a scan of my brain and found out that i was't schizophrenic.  he then dxed me as schizoeffective disorder.  this dx didn't make any sence to me so i went to my therapist and we went through the dsm and decided jointly that bp most explained the phenonoma.
 
yes, i am a child of the 60s and believe that canabis should be decriminalized and depoliticised.  like many things (like the morning after pill) science is trumped my politics.  ask a believer in any faith and they will defend the most indefencible part of their faith because it is their faaith.  (only someone with bp and on an opiate pain reliever could make up that sentence).  research has shown that pot isn't addictive - and certainly less addictive than cigaretted or alcohol.  it is a trementcously good analgesic and works for some cancer pain that morphene won't touch.  research has shown that pot has not negative side effects like all other restricted druds.  but politics and perception keep marajuana from being legal.  the majority of drug cases in the usa pertain to canabis.  go figure.
 
i also agree with dragonfly about youir paranoia.  paranoia from pot?  research indicates not.  paranoia as a side effect, even a delayed side effect, of your other drugs?  could well be.  paranoia as a part of a personality disorder - another good possibility.  but dragonfly is not yet, and i certainly am not, a pdoc or therapist.  you really need the input from a professional.
 
i hope that this helps.  keep us posted on your journey.
 
warren

ravenswing
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 12/31/2006 12:39 PM (GMT -7)   
To be honest I think about this myself. In all honestly, pot unless its laced is not a hallucinagen, so I'm thinking no. And I'm with warren in it's pure state it should be decriminilized and it is to a point in my country.

However, if we are talking LSD or crystal meth, thats a whole other story.

So as a nurse and a light marijuana user, I say no its not paranoia
Diana Hunter
Earth Angel
BPII, Anxiety, and a broken heart

"of all the things I've loved and lost,
I miss my mind the most"
~Ozzie Osbourne


manicmama
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 12/31/2006 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi guys...been awhile.  Whew, I have met with all of my docs since I last posted.  We are awaiting blood test results so we can adjust the depakote accordingly and see what else we can do.  I have been cutting down on my smoking, but really the paranoia seems to go way deeper than the weed... 
 
 In other ways, it is purely superficial, not like thinking that people are out in space reading my thoughts or controlling me.  It is more general suspicion/paranoia.  Esp. when I walk into a store, or when I am thinking I know what other people are thinking... does that make sense to any one?  It is so difficult to explain what goes on in my head.  Most times I am thinking that people think I am so fat, or hairy, or a bad mom cause my kids are cutting it up in the store, or the big one that happens constantly, even with family is that I know when I talk they think I am stupid.  On the surface it sounds more like self esteem/image issues, which is what the CBT is for.  But the bigger picture is that from a very early age, pre school, I placed so much value in other peoples opinion that now it has consumed me. Completely.  Some days I can't force myself to go to the store, no way! 
 
I am stuggling to untangle the web I have weaved for myself, and separate it from the mental illness that runs rampant through both sides of my family.  All of the women in my family have have serious dysfunction to say the least, and the men well,  my father died at 46 from alcohol abuse at least.  My days of narcotics are gone.  I spent 3 years in rehab for heroin addiction and saw a life that was not for me at all.  Hallucinagens are gone too, I am afraid of them,too many high school memories.   Plus, I have my babies now, I can't be doing drugs like that.  I am so thankful for you all!  I feel like I have an endless amount of support, feedback, and knowledge.  Thanks  cool  
Shady
 
DX:BP NOS, SAD, GAD, PTSD,PD,AGORAPHOBIA, recovering heroin addict (7yrs.),recovering methadone addict (4yrs),hypertension
 
RX:DEPAKOTE, Kolonopin,Toporol xl
 
Surgeries:Reconstructive shoulder surgery, breast reduction, tonsilectomy, and spinal meningitis all in the same 2 yrs.  1993/94
Twin pregnancy in 2002, gave birth 5 wks early, got pregnant 2 months later and gave birth exactly 12 months after having my twins.


ravenswing
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 1/2/2007 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I was just going to add. I had a medical srew up last nigh. I feel asleep at 4pm. Missed two rounds of meds and slept til 4am today. I had had an empty stomach and my body chemistry is hooped. I need a little greenery to settle me down because I was too panicked to work. So paranoia from that? I'd say it helped me calm down. P.s. My biofather who is BP I had a heart attack at 48. My biograndfather was an alcoholic and died of a heart attack at 50. I lost 100 pounds this year thanks to Topamax. So I hear you on the history, friend

Hugs

Di


Diana Hunter
Earth Angel
BPII, Anxiety, and a broken heart

"of all the things I've loved and lost,
I miss my mind the most"
~Ozzie Osbourne


manicmama
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 1/2/2007 2:20 PM (GMT -7)   
WOW...congrats on the weight loss!  I think my dad had bi polar or something, he certainly was the most intense man I ever met.  Looking back, I bet he did.  The diagnosis makes sense, but I just don't trust anyone,esp. a pdoc in Hilo, Hawaii!  I am trying to find a second opinion, but it's very difficult to see any one at all here.  In time...meanwhile, I am so tired.  BOred with all this, and feeling pretty yucky.  Snappy, and irritable.  So I better go, that way I don't say things I may regret later.  Thanks.
Shady
 
DX:BP NOS, SAD, GAD, PTSD,PD,AGORAPHOBIA, recovering heroin addict (7yrs.),recovering methadone addict (4yrs),hypertension
 
RX:DEPAKOTE, Kolonopin,Toporol xl
 
Surgeries:Reconstructive shoulder surgery, breast reduction, tonsilectomy, and spinal meningitis all in the same 2 yrs.  1993/94
Twin pregnancy in 2002, gave birth 5 wks early, got pregnant 2 months later and gave birth exactly 12 months after having my twins.


Loben
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/12/2007 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Manicmama, Wow you have been hit with a whole lot!  I have bpd, been in recovery for alcoholism since 1999 and have ADD.  When I was in rehab and went through the testing I also was diagnosed with Borderline Personality.  Today when I look back I realize once I got into recovery I was able to change the person I brought in.  Maybe I did have Borderline Personality but maybe I was just an alcoholic who suffered with bpd.  The ADD goes right along with it.  Although I feel I've suffered with both bpd and ADD even through my teenage years I realize the Adderall slows my brain down.  I have sat for hours in my head just thinking never anything imparticular just kind of disconnected from everyone.  I can remember planning to do housework one day and sat for 8 hours thinking about what I was going to do.  It certainly is insanity.  I space out and only half hear people.  Cannot focus and because of these symptoms it causes me to have anxiety.  Adderall has helped sssooo much.  As for smoking marijuana, I have a friend who has bpd and says no meds help her except for when she self medicates with pot.  She swore it was the only thing that helped her.  She began smoking it several times a day just to feel better.  Well today she has learned that smoking pot stops helping eventually and her symptoms got worse.  She is now taking prescribed meds and is feeling better than ever.  Although she still smokes now and then.  I think if we have an imbalance in our chemical make-up and we add a mind altering substance to that we are surely going to make things worse.  Drinking helped me survive for years although it was hurting me I couldn't see it at that time.  When I stopped drinking I became sicker than I had ever been.  Bed ridden, hospitalized, severly depressed.  Eventually I slowly got better with trying different meds and working a 12 step program.  It's a whole new life today.  As for the paranoia, OMG!  I suffered from paranoia so bad that I've given up jobs, avoided being around people, caused problems in my relationships.  I always thought people were talking about me and you could not tell me the difference, it was so REAL for me.  I knew my husband was sleeping aroung, even though he wasn't, I truely believed he was.  I had a secure job for 14 years and sat in my cubicle with my ear the wall trying to hear what people were saying about me.  I finally quit.  It was all insanity.  I suffered with this right up until recently.  I'm not sure what changed, I'm on Lamictal, Wellbutrin and Adderall.  I was on Paxil but made me very manic.  I hope you can identify with some of this because I honestly know the pain you are going through.  As for being institutionalized, well I work in the mental health field and know people that have their own apartments and they suffer from schizophrenia and/or other illnesses.  Please find a pdoc that can help you find the regimen of meds that can work for you.  It's a process so try to be willing to go through it.  Have you considered Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholic Anonymous?  It saved my butt.  I was with others who understood my addiction.  Keep us updated and Good luck. 
 
You can do it, and you are worth it! yeah
Loben 

allie1644
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 1/15/2007 1:58 AM (GMT -7)   
First off, I am so happy to hear you have been in rehab for heroine. I bet it probably takes lots of courage and determination to pull off what you have done.

Marijuana is a very opinionated subject to talk about as many have different ideas on it. Facts are, yes Marijuana can definately be a self-medicator, and in many cases for people, it is. Marijuana also has 4x the cancer-causing agents than cigarrettes do, so no WONDER it gives people a great high. But, if you are taking prescription medication and even if you aren't, most drugs and substances that are not exactly helpful to the human body can really put it into full swing. I am a 16 year-old recently diagnosed, and after drinking a very tiny bit on New Years, it has thrown me into a 2 week depression (among other causes). I never ever thought that just a simple few glasses would do that much to me. But for most people, it does, and most people don't realize it. No matter what it is that is causing your self-doubt, you need to first cut down your options so you can fix the underlying problem. And unfortunately, you cannot fix your self doubt with meds. It will just make you feel like a vegetable and it will not help.

I think all of us can say here, when you have a disorder like BP, or BPD, abusing substances is the worst thing you can do for your body. If you take meds, your meds and the pot is fighting with eachother! (now isn't that a pretty mental image =] ) Try cutting out the marijuana. If you are having trouble doing it, always write down ways to keep you occupied before you go into withdrawl and get tempted to smoke. Talking to your husband, playing with your children, taking a long walk, or even typing on here!

On the concept of your diagnosis? It sounds a bit fishy. I'm no doctor, but go get a second opinion. BP is so so so hard to diagnose. Did I mention so? Lol. Most people get misdiganosed many times. So check with other doctors and see what they have in mind.

Hope this helps =) I would love to hear back from you and see how you are doing. Send me a msg on here or an email , Best wishes,

-Allie

Post Edited By Moderator (smiler) : 1/15/2007 2:36:59 AM (GMT-7)


smiler
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 657
   Posted 1/15/2007 2:41 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Allie - I edited your post as your email addy was showing ......... there are some mean spammers out there.

So that ppl can still email you , go to the control panel and add your email in there - your little envelope under your name will be colored then , ppl can just click on the envelope to mail you without seeing the address.

Smiler tongue


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