This question is directed at those with SZ but I’m only a caretaker so wasn’t sure if it should go here or in Diagnosed… in any case I didn’t want to revive the old marijuana thread because I have a specific question about using marijuana with SZ, not about possible health benefits or the pros and cons of legalization, and I agree with what some people said about that turn of conversation not being beneficial here.
But as someone who smokes it every day, and has an SZ roommate who does the same, I’m curious. I’ve heard that it can make symptoms much worse. Firstly I’m wondering about the details of that – does it only make paranoia and hallucinations and such worse when you’re actually high, or does it make everything worse even when sober, if you smoke regularly?
Is there anyone here with SZ who smokes and doesn’t see adverse effects?
If you’re the family member of someone who’s been diagnosed and smokes weed, what effects have you noticed?
And most of all, if you do smoke it regularly, what do you think it is that compels you to? Is it much the same as for anyone who becomes dependent on it – it makes you feel happy, relieves stress or anxiety, makes everything more fun, helps you sleep, etc? Or do you feel it helps your SZ specifically?
In the case of my roommate, I have been concerned over the amount she smokes, but have given up trying to change that. As other caretakers will understand, when you live with someone with SZ you have to pick your battles. My boyfriend and I figured it was much more important to make sure she takes her pills and goes to work and stays functioning, than to tackle an addiction, which is rough even when you don’t have other mental illnesses. Especially since the side effects it seems to give her aren’t usually serious, and are pretty much the same as for us: lack of motivation if you don’t pick your times well, spending money on it that could be spent elsewhere, wanting it every day. None of these are good, true, but it doesn’t seem to cause her to freak out, and in any case, it’s her choice. Even though it does concern me that she’s said more than once, when we suggest she at least cut back, that she doesn’t feel able to. I’ve been there myself, and it’s not fun. I’m no longer dependent on it like that, but I know it’s a hard pit to dig yourself out of.
The only time she had a reaction that could be considered psychotic was before she lived with us. And even then, I’ve heard of people who don’t have SZ and just went way over their tolerance level having freak-outs like this. She called 911 because (after smoking a whole gram by herself) she thought she was turning into a golden statue, and soon wouldn’t be able to move at all.
Nothing like that has happened since she’s been living with us. And I can’t help feeling that if it did make her paranoia or delusions or hallucinations worse, she wouldn’t crave it like she does.
But that’s what I’m wondering – could it be a love-hate relationship?
What are your experiences with SZ and MJ?