Friday, June 27, 2008

Crazy Over Cannabis

The link between marijuana and psychosis

At the end of last year I had a conversation with a woman whose husband had recently been institutionalized. When she began to describe her husband's behavior, I inwardly reacted by thinking: "She's probably just bitter." Except that her children agreed with her assessment of their father's craziness, and it was based on at least a decade of accelerating brokenness and dysfunctional patterns.

The family's assessment of the father was not dark, brooding, or vengeful but a sort of lighthearted we-give-up weariness. Since I had read an article on cannabis and its impact on mental stability, I referred to it, and she immediately affirmed her husband's habit of using cannabis.

So it came as something of a shock that a friend of mine, so soon after being privy to the above revelation, confided in me that his wife was also inclined to periods of "craziness." I asked him if she'd used cannabis, and he responded that she had and told me that when she was a supermodel (winning the same modeling competitions as South African actress, Charlize Theron).

She had graduated from cannabis to the designer drugs as well. The result, he told me, was that even in the safety of marriage, and the conventional domesticity of being a young mother, his wife would sometimes watch TV (without it being on), or have conversations with invisible people, or burst out laughing for no apparent reason. It reached the point where they agreed that she'd spend some time in hospital to aid a recovery and treatment of the psychosis.



Craig said...

These could be rare cases. There is no scientific proof that the use of ganja induces physcosis. People go crazy over lotsa things.

I have friends that smoke daily, and have for over 5 years. However in the rare case, of thets say 15 of us, I happened to give it up first, for more so, the fear of mental instability than for psychosis, (stress, anxiety, my personality, way of life, desires, paranoia..) and 2 went a lil crazy. But these 2 also had drinking problems, over usage issues and addictive personalities.

But then again, too much sugar can be potentially bad for ones health as well.

If one has anxiety problems, or terrible fears, then smoking pot regularly may not be the best idea, smoking alone is probably an even worse idea. Neither is it a good idea to be smoking if one is already noticeably stupid/clueless.

Nick said...

The point is the smoking the stuff isn't 'harmless', and if there is a risk that you can go nuts, well, is there a worse risk. The article (read it in full) actually simply states that if you have a genetic predisposition to psychosis (schizophrenia, mania etc), then smoking cannabis at an early age has a 450% likelihood of manifesting later in life. In other words, it's a trigger. If someone tells you there is a 450% likelihood of rain, I'd say it's pretty certain that you take along your umbrella.

Craig said...

Exactly its a risk. There are risks when one takes medication from a doctor, there are risks swimming in the sea, there are risks everywhere, that surely is not enough to stop people from trying.
To me flying in a airplane is a risk.

Where would the human race be if someone hadnt taken the risk?

And besides, someones genetic structure is purely random. For all one knows, smoking cannabis could in fact deactivate the gene which keeps the user at risk of schizophrenia.

I for one, prefer to make sure its raining outside before assuming the worst.

So the actual point is, it IS harmless to some, and MAY be harmful to others. Which like I said, can be compared to sugar, or public schools, or private schools, or doing just about anything.

Nick said...

u're welcome to use it if you feel the risk is justified. i get high on real life, i don't need to look elsewhere for thrills. its enough for me, but i understand it may not be enough for others - its ur choice.

Nick said...

since ganja impacts on dopamine levels (stuff in the brain) I wouldn't make the argument that it is harmless. some people smoke and don't get cancer - does that mean it's harmless? ur 5 year time frame is also a bit short, don't you think? it takes a while for these chemicals to get into the tissues and do their thing.