Marijuana and depression

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by christianmom, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. christianmom

    christianmom Member

    My son is adamant that marijuana helps his depression. I don't doubt it but I believe it causes more depression in the long run. He has tried to self medicate with Xanax in the past and said it made him forgetful. He won't go to the doctor for depression. He is almost 21 so I can't force him. I think there probably are some people who can function on marijuana (thought I believe it is wrong for a Christian standpoint) but my son is not one of them. He has really ruined his life, going on to other drugs, may or may not be on some of them. Does anyone have anything they know about this? Thank you.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ah, sweetie, I feel your pain.

    I can only post my own experience as I have suffered from bad depression since very young (before age six). I do take antidepressants and am doing well. And I also smoked pot about eight times in my late teens. For me it did not help. It kind of scared me and made me paranoid. It did not do anything good or bad for my depression, but I had a feeling it wasn't good for me so I just didn't continue to do it.

    I also believe many people can function well on a moderate amount of pot, just as many can function on alcohol. However those of us with mood disorders and perhaps a predisposition to abusing substances are not normally those people.

    If you want to share more, we are here to listen. However, you can take your time. Glad you found us, but so sorry you had to find us.
  3. christianmom

    christianmom Member

    Thank you so much. I think he probably just likes to smoke it but I also think he is telling the truth when he thinks it helps him because I found a comment online he made about it - that was before I even knew he smoked it. In fact, that is one of the ways I found out he was doing it. And he mentioned about people not using it to be rebellious but helping depression.
  4. christianmom

    christianmom Member

    But I wondered what other people feel/know about it.
  5. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    My daughter is younger than your son and has been addicted to pot for a few years, heavily addicted. She got out of the psychiatric hospital almost two weeks ago and has been cleaned since. I no longer tolerate the "weed helps me with my depression, so I have to smoke it everyday" argument. I don't want it near me, talked about around me, nothing. Pot heads have made me hate weed. I never been against weed in my entire life, but my daughter and a few others in my family are severe pot addicts and I think it's just so maddening stupid. I think it's ok to smoke weed once in a while, for a laugh, but not to cope with life. Nuh uh.
  6. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    So what I am trying to say is, listen to your inner red flags. Ask him, if it helps with depression, why is he always unhappy?
  7. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My daughter was smoking pot from about 14-21. At one time she was smoking every day several times a day. She just laid around and did nothing, she lost jobs, she stole things, she seemed depressed to me. I don't understand how anyone can keep a job smoking pot regularly, seems to make many people very mellow and tired. I hated it and I fear when it is made legal in all states that there will be many young people who have problems with it.
  8. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    My sons drug of choice is pot too. He's stoned most of the time as far as I know. When I was in HS in the 80s -my son would have been called a burnout. It's an apt description even today for where he is in life.
    He's totally checked out - completely lacking in motivation and has no goals & nothing to show for the last 3 years of his life.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was reading this post over again and thinking about it and wondering if your son, saying this helps with his depression, really means it just makes him numb (which it did me) so that he just didn't care about being depressed as much. In it's way, pot blunts life like alcohol does and we all know many depressed people drink to forget or to not care about anything.

    The really tragic part of how mood disordered people tend to abuse is that there is actually so much good, solid help for depression, such as medications that do not make you feel zombied up and cogntive and dialectal behavioral therapy. They can truly change your life's outlook. I believe they can make you see the world in a much clearer and less extreme way. But they do require hard work, whereas drinking or smoking pot is easy. In the end, you have not changed your coping mechanisms and the blunting of feelings doesn't change anything inside of you other than whatever alcohol and pot may do to you physically.

    Struggling with serious depression for as far back as I can remember, even as young as six, it hasa been a wild and crazy ride to get to peace and harmony and a lot more wisdom. I wish difficult children (I never really liked this description of our kids...I prefer our troubled or misguided adult kids) would see that the longterm of working hard while young is more joy in life than they can imagine, plus much better relationships with everyone, including yourself (which is important). I remember when the illness of depression made me hate myself and everyone else. I am so glad that I got into serious therapy early so that I am now able to truly enjoy my adult children and to easily accept who they are rather than fantasies of who I may once have wanted them to be. I can handle my most troubled adult child too and have a relationship with him. Yet I also have lots of time for myself and don't feel guilty about it.

    If only...(sigh)

    Wishing you luck on your journey. Make the journey about yourself. You can't change your son. Only he can do that. The best you can do is to set up boundaries you feel safe and comfortable with and encourage him to try methods that do not include drugs. It may sink in one day. It did with my daughter. You may not be able to live with him, but you are making the choice his by laying out reasonable expectations and conditions. He can then choose to agree to them or not. If not, you do what you think is best.

    Hugs and hoping better times are ahead.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2014
  10. Hope_Floats

    Hope_Floats Member

    This is a difficult topic, because apparently the jury is still out on that one. Many of the studies show that perhaps some moderate use at low doses does appear to temporarily alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, but it seems that this temporary short term benefit is deceptive, because higher doses, daily use, and long term use appears to make them worse. One study even shows that extensive use in adolescence increases the likelihood that a person suffers from depression and anxiety later in life by FIVE TIMES.

    I personally think that it's just an excuse they use. The fact that your son refuses to see a doctor for his supposed depression is quite telling.

    Most of the adult children you read a out in this forum have had their lives complicated by the use of marijuana at least, and many of them have graduated to more dangerous things.

    Here are a few links if you're interested.
  11. amelia d

    amelia d Hope outweighs experience

    There is a big difference between helping with depression, and escaping reality. I believe pot famously allows participants to "escape reality" just like a bottle of Jack Daniels or a fine Merlot. Eventually, it wears off and the bright light of reality sets in and must be dealt with. Either with more of the same, or a decision to make new choices.
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  12. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Amelia - that's it exactly! My kid is checking out of life
  13. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    My son has also commented that he smokes it "because he wants to be happy for just a little while". He applies this not only to pot but the synthetic, which can be so much worse than than the real thing. We went thru a long period of time last summer where he was using most of the time, several times a week, at least, stealing and lying the whole time and certainly being nothing but a slug. He went off to college and failed every class, choosing to stay stoned all the time. Came home and seemed to be using less, but we recently found a large sum of money missing and kicked him out.

    I know he believes it "helps" him, but by the same token he wouldn't take legally prescribed pills to try to level out his moods.
  14. christianmom

    christianmom Member

    Thank you so much everyone. It was very helpful. I might share some of these things with my son, since we are able to talk candiddly about these things.
  15. Gone

    Gone Guest

    You are so fortunate you can talk candidly with your son about things x

    I used to be able to with my daughter but once the alcoholism got a real hold on her the deception and denial began and now she does not want to talk about ANYTHING to do with 'reality'

    She is still in escapism mode it seems , first in the bottle alongside weed , but now just the weed , the intake of which seems to have 'upped' now that she has recently stopped drinking ( I think? She says )

    She is on antidepressants and beta blockers and was all along

    She has a son , my GS , who is my main concern to be honest as she is an adult with choices , he isn't and he has special needs which makes him more vunerable / in need , but with my own parental concern and as far as that goes there is a much far reaching concern for a little 7 year old boy who I love caught up in the middle of all this and for whom I want a consistent and secure and happy future for :(
  16. Gone

    Gone Guest

    All your comments have been helpful - I reckon my daughter has swapped one escape mechanism for another yet says she is ''doing well'' well enough to have my GS back from foster care and is planning on removing him soon as it is a voluntary placement at present..

    I have my doubts for which she says I am ''being negative'' rather than ''realistic''

    My little GS is my main concern in all this though!! x