Marijuana and Depression.
anonymous Asks ...
Is it really bad for a person with depression who is taking medication and has it under control to also smoke marijuana once in a while socially? I am writing about my brother who I am worried about. He says he feels OK and he is being careful but he always feels Ok before he one day does not feel Ok so I worry that he is not very good at watching himself and diagnosing himself.
Rebecca Ashton Says ...
Thank you for your question.
I do not know how old your brother is but a study published in the journal of Neuropsychopharmacology in July this year found that teenagers who regularly smoke cannabis offer long lasting brain damage and are in much greater danger of developing schizophrenia.
Teens aside, researchers have also said that the drug is especially dangerous for those who have a genetic susceptibility to schizophrenia and it could in fact be a trigger for the illness. Either way, there are clearly risks involved even if it makes one feel better in the short term.
You say you worry that your brother is not very good at keeping tabs on how he is feeling and it is possible that being under the influence could confuse things in that area further.
I feel that it could be useful for your brother to discuss it with his doctor if he feels able to and I also suggest that you are open with him-not just about the risks involved but open in your responses to what he has to say about it.
If communication is strengthened then it is possible that you could work together by checking in with each other; your brother gets to tell you how he feels he is doing and you get to offer feedback on your perspective of how you feel he is doing, in a constructive way.
These check-ins could help your brother get better at identifying where he's at and ultimately could give him the support he needs to be able to kick the habit altogether.
I hope this answer is helpful, best of luck to you both.