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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Worried about my marijuana usage triggering bipolar disorder

 kpv78 - Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:11 am

I've been smoking marijuana regularly (almost daily) and recreationaly for almost a year now. About three weeks ago I believe I suffered either a panic attack or an anxiety attack while I was high. I've talked to my father about it who suffers from severe bipolar disorder and he is also manic depressive. He told me that if I continue to smoke marijuana I can trigger bipolar disorder for myself. I'm just wondering if that is possible it's been something I have been worrying about for the past two weeks although I like to use marijuana for relaxation and creativity.
 Dr. E. Seigle - Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:10 pm

Dear kpv78,

The use of marijuana can trigger an episode of mania or depression related to a bipolar disorder (a modern term for the older term manic-depression). Your marijuana use may make it more likely that you will develop a bipolar disorder. In addition, people with bipolar disorder have a higher frequency of panic attacks than the general population, even when they are not having a mood episod related to their bipolar disorder, or the panic attack may be related to the onset of an episode of mania or depression. Given your father's history of bipolar disorder, which increases your risk of developing the disorder, you may want to receive a psychiatric evaluation. In addition, your regular marijuana use may be causing negative effects in your life that may make you want to look at discontinuing this with the help of the psychiatrist or a substance abuse counselor. I applaud you for taking a look at this!

-Dr. Seigle
 kpv78 - Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:03 am

Thank you so much. I've also been doing some research lately too to see if their is any connections with cannibus and bipolar disorder. I found that many people with bipolar disorder use smoking marijuana as a way to keep it under control because they don't like the symptoms from prescription medication. That is why I am very confused because I realized that I suffered from severe depression at a time when I was in high school and that I might of still been depressed up until about a year ago which is when I began smoking marijuana regularly and it helped me realize what it is about how I was living my life that was causing me to lose focus and be unhealthy. Ever since then I found motivation and have gotten myself on my feet. Not to mention I've learned a lot about myself and my personality and how to control myself from falling apart when stressing out. Which is why i've been trying to figure out if I shouldn't smoke as much anymore or quit altogether. How can it trigger the disorder?

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