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Hi I am a 21-year-old girl, and I experienced a psychotic

break back in the beginning of September when I was still 20.  I was diagnosed with drug-induced
psychosis.  I am now on the
anti-psychotic Fanapt (4mg/day) and the anti-depressant Lexapro (15mg/day).


I first started smoking when I was in high school, the
summer into my sophomore year.  I
only smoked about once a week throughout high school, but I preferred drinking
over smoking.  This continued when
I began college, where I rarely smoked weed my freshman year and instead got
drunk multiple times per week.  The
summer into my sophomore year of college, I began smoking weed about every day
(I was influenced by friends and a guy) and I experienced my first acid trip at
a Phish concert.  I had an
incredibly wonderful time as I was with my two best friends and my guy.  Later that summer I tripped on acid
again, two times in two days at a music festival.  Again I had a very pleasant experience.


I smoked pot about two times a week when I returned to
school in the fall.  That winter
break I went to another Phish concert on New Years Eve.  That night I had a horrifying trip that
would be extremely scary at moments and then pretty good at other moments, with
the scary parts sneaking up on me throughout the night.  I threw up that night twice while
tripping, and I also got snapped at by a friend’s dog, which while tripping,
looked like a monster was trying to eat me.  Later that week, I experienced what I believed was a
flashback, but instead of a dog trying to snap at me, I imagined my boyfriend
snapped at me when he hadn’t.  I
thought I was going crazy and when I returned to school I had a hard time and
did poorly in my classes.  I kept
overanalyzing everything and couldn’t understand why the bad trip had
happened.  I was down to smoking weed about
three times a week while at school.



When summer came around I was in much better spirits, and
was smoking weed almost every day again. 
I went to a music festival and tripped acid for the first time since the
bad trip, and I had a wonderful time. 
At moments while tripping, I thought that I heard someone calling my
name, but no one was.  I also
tripped again two times in two days at a different music festival later in the
summer.  At this festival, I
started believing that everything was happening for a reason and that
everything was already planned out for me.  I remember thinking to myself that if anyone had DMT, I
would smoke it, and right after having that thought, someone popped up and said
they had some, but I ended up not accepting their offer.  As the summer continued more weird
coincidences were happening that were freaking me out.  I was fishing at camp one day, and when
I would have a good thought, I would right away catch a fish, and I thought the
universe was trying to send me messages. 



When I went back to school that fall, more weird things
happened.  I needed a hat to work
at a food co-op, and I randomly found a great hat on the floor, which I thought
I manifested with my mind.  Then,
one night I took one and half pills of a pain killer mixed with alcohol, and
the next morning I woke up thinking I was completely crazy.  I researched schizophrenia online, and
noticed that one of the symptoms was hearing your name.  I immediately thought not only was I
schizophrenic, but that I was at a college where we were supposed to find out
what mental disorder we had and that having schizophrenia meant I was a person
of the future and had special powers. 



Later that night, I went to a concert with a friend, where I
drank and smoked a lot.  I went to
an after party, where I had the choice of staying and meeting the band, or
leaving with my ride.  I chose the
former, and stayed with a friend. 
My friend was my best friend’s ex boyfriend, and we started cuddling a
little, and I started getting the paranoid thought that he had planned this
encounter.  The morning came, and a
violent movie was playing on tv, and I suddenly thought I was in a killer’s
house.  Our ride wasn’t coming for
another hour or so, and I called my parents and my old boyfriend saying how
scared I was.  My parents came to
pick me up and brought me to a hospital, where I was released after a few hours
because I explained I just wanted to try a few drugs for research purposes.



My parents left me at school and went back home, but the
next few days I went a little bit crazier.  I was walking to class, when a large burst of wind came by
and I felt as though the wind was telling me to not go to class.  I then thought that there were going to
be bombs on campus, and I ran back to my apartment.  I went to a meeting that night for a club I was in, and when
my friend said, “It’s hot in here,” I immediately thought we were all going to
be in an oven and burn.  I ran out
of the meeting and ran around the main street.


I decided to run to the metro, and get as far away from the
city as possible.  I hopped on a
school bus with some kids I met at the metro stop, smoked weed with them, and
ended up in another state.  I left
the kids at a diner we had stopped at, and called my sister who lived nearby to
pick me up.  I was extremely
paranoid at this point, and I thought that people at the diner were going to
try to kill me.  When I got to my
sister’s apartment, I thought that at midnight we were all going to turn into
uncontrollable animals and that I would try to hurt my sister.  I could not sleep because I also
thought that the friend from the concert was trying to cut off my limbs in a
parallel world that I would wake up to if I fell asleep.  I stayed up all night, and in the
morning when they tried to take me to the hospital, I started running around
naked, and took a dump on my sister’s bathroom floor as a symbol of
protest.  Eventually an ambulance
was called, and I was brought to the hospital, where no drugs were found in my



I was brought back to my home state, and entered into a
psych ward where I was put on Risperidol, but was changed to Abilify after my
prolactin levels went up.  I was
still having delusional thoughts and was hearing messages through the tv and
the radio even after I was released from the hospital.  I was brought back to the psych ward
because I was having incredibly excruciating migraines and threatened to kill
myself.  I was then put on Fanapt,
and finally stopped having delusional thoughts around mid-October.  Because I was upset about no longer
being able to return to the school I was at and feeling as though I had lost my
social skills, I was put on Lexapro in January to deal with my depression. 



The Lexapro seems to be working and I am no longer having
suicidal thoughts.  I will begin to
be weaned off the Fanapt around the end of May, and I am applying to schools in
my home state to return to in the fall. 
I know that I want to smoke weed again, but my psychiatrist says there
is a chance I would go back into my psychotic state.  I don’t feel delusional now, which I had been even the few
months prior to the actual break, so I’m not sure if that would be the result.



Anyway, I wrote this all just to introduce myself to the
forum, and maybe hear from people who have had similar experiences.  I’d also like to know if anyone had a
psychotic break and continued to smoke pot after no longer having psychotic
symptoms and what happened to them. Thanks for reading!


tl;dr: a couple of acid trips along with smoking a lot of pot led me to experience drug induced psychosis, so I ran away from college and am now back in my home state.  I am recovering while taking fanapt, lexapro, and figuring out which school to go to while debating if I can ever smoke pot again.

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hello, welcome, thank you for sharing your story... it's strange sometimes what we read at certain points in our lives...


anyway, as far as smoking, i'm not one of those people who blanketly say it's a bad idea, even with MI.  or even with medication.  for some, smoking helps, for others it is neutral, and for others it is bordering on catastrophic


we have our choices... and i'm starting to believe that there are many, many, many truths.  even between those choices... you know?  only you have the capacity to answer the question about what to do here, about what's right


something to consider, though, is that it sounds like psychedelics (cannabis is a psychedelic in my experience and opinion) were a catalyst for your breakdown... as with anything else you may decide to do or not do, or consider, please be mindful of what you're experiencing and what that may be related to.  what i mean is, if you decide to try smoking, watch yourself.  when asking if you should smoke, ask why am i asking?  you see?  always observe, always question, always be aware of what you are capable of being aware of...


edit: in answer to your question, smoking cannabis makes me floridly psychotic (delusions, feeling very unsafe, paranoid, scattered thoughts, hallucinations, general sense of darkness and evil) for the period when i am high, but after a few hours i am more or less safe again.  needless to say i don't smoke any more, but that's me

Edited by eternalsun
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thanks for commenting es. yes, for some people smoking helps them,

such as with my friend's little sister who has ulcerative colitis but has been to a psych ward for

suicide attempts.  shes amazing tho, she goes to a great college

and is a yoga instructor.  ive been getting jealous of people who get to 

smoke every day like she does, because i miss that lifestyle and making friends

through smoking a bowl together etc.  


even being at music festivals was an amazing

experience where people were using drugs but for the most part were extremely

friendly to one another and just sending positive vibes all around.

i keep thinking back to those good times at festival and concerts

and i often feel now that the best days are behind me, causing my depression.  


also, yes we have our choices, i just feel like ive made some pretty

awful choices in the past and need some help from people

to make better ones from now on.  i currently go to a group therapy once a week

for people who range from different types of drug issues such as mandatory meetings

for people with duis, to people overcoming heroine addictions.  they all recommend

support groups like aa and na, but i dont feel comfortable at the aa meetings since im not

an alcoholic (though i understand they accept non-alcoholics at meetings who just

need support), and i felt that the na meetings were a little bit too intense for me.


i agree that marijuana can be put in the psychedelics group, it helps you kind of view your mind.

i do know that having too much has had negative effects on me in the past, such as passing 

out and even having an inception moment where i swear i had a trip within my trip

when i dabbed (smoked hash oil evaporated in one giant hit) at the end of an acid trip.

I think i would maybe smoke a joint with a few close friends and see how i feel if i did decide

to try it out again.  i know for sure i would stay away from acid, though part of me

wants to try shrooms since ive heard it feels much more natural.  Ive also heard that

it's more difficult to come out of a bad shroom trip tho, and i really should just stay away from

hallucinogens all together.


again, thanks for responding, i will try to keep questioning myself in a positive way. 

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I read your post in its entirety but not the post and response after, it was quite a bit to process so this is in that context alone.


So you hallucinated, yes, but you also experienced paranoia, anxiety no doubt? Delusional thoughts have a tendency of tying these things together as an anchor. Do you have any anxiety about smoking pot? If you didn't I suspect you would go right ahead and smoke it again, but that would be a whole different conversation.

You know, the thing about bad trips.. it all comes down to state of mind, how you are feeling right then and there is amplified and altered. If I were you, having my waking nightmares anchored to the thought of psychedelics and the atmosphere it goes with.. well yeah fuck that.


Long story short, even if I believed that the drugs would not directly cause a relapse of hellish proportion (which I do).. I would still worry that the state of mind would. I also think that hallucinogens + a history of psychosis = kinda sorta most likely psychosis, and I'm here to tell you that it's not worth it, it never will be.


My experience? Smoke a little pot, get a little paranoid, smoke again, get kinda sorta delusional paranoid, any more.. yep hey look I'm hearing my neighbors through my walls and I'm pretty sure it's real.


Not a good idea. If you do eventually do it, try and remember how horribly it demolishes you the first time, don't let it become a cycle.


Edit: I'll send the last bit via private message, a little too personal to air out in public.

Edited by Eden
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it sounds like you're looking at the image... as in, the people who "get to smoke" every day... and festivals, and what they represent... the friendliness and the vibes, the memories


disregard all of that, ask only what the reality of the situation is, for you, not what it was but what it is now


if it's the vibes, and the energy that you're after, there are other ways to tap into that... spiritual practices


bring to your life what you know is there, all that friendliness, it's there without the drugs, isn't it?  tap into it, cultivate it, practice it in every moment... it works

Edited by eternalsun
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Hi, and welcome to CB :) I saw you in chat, too. We try to ask everyone to read the New User Agreement, as it saves confusion later on. If you have any questions about it, or anything else, feel free to ask the staff!


I'm curious why you would want to smoke something when it has gone so terribly in the past?

I live with someone who smokes weed almost every day. Most of my friends do this, too. However, I don't smoke weed, and I haven't for years. We don't get along.

I'm not a square for not smoking weed, and my friends still accept me. I'm just someone who cares about my mental well-being. As you've seen, a psychotic episode can really make a dent in your life. Why would you risk that again?

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It sounds like we pretty much live in the same world.  I've been to about a dozen Phish shows though Ween is really my jam band of choice.


I used to to do acid all the time until I had a bad trip that ruined it for me.   I ended up having a drug induced psychotic episode that didn't go away until after I spent a month or so on Zyprexa.     If i smoke more than a few hits of weed, it's brings the bad trip back even 15 years after the fact. 


I've been on a low dose of an anti-psychotic pretty much ever since to keep the noise out of my head.   I smoke a couple hits of weed every now and then to help me sleep but I can't really get stoned anymore.   I would do DMT if I ever got the chance though.


Anyway.  Yeah.  At some point you have to decide if you want to try and get your neurochemistry working properly or if you'd rather just fuck around with it for recreational purposes.


Speaking to you as one burnout to another,  stick around.   You're in the right place.


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I have never had a drug-induced psychotic episode, but I do smoke a bowl or two with my SO each night to help me wind down from the day, and sleep. I can't really handle smoking more during the day (as much as I'd like to, I miss the social experience of making friends that way), just because weed PLUS my meds makes me so unbearably sedated that I'm completely useless if I smoke during the day. 


It's not an all-or-nothing thing, but managing your mental health should come first. So if you really can't handle toking like you used to, then don't. 

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to elvis thanks for the new band suggestion im digging ween and listening to them now as i write this.  

in response to what you said, i would first say that i agree that smoking weed can bring back some parts of a bad 

trip.  for example, when i imagined my boyfriend had snapped at me, i was very stoned at that moment

and remember telling myself i need to stop smoking.  


also, i have tried dmt in the past, but i didnt feel much.

what i smoked was at the end of someone else's hit, and i was also a little scared to try it, so i didnt really breathe it in 

as deeply as i could've.  i dont know if i would ever try it again since i heard its like a roller coaster.. ive also heard of 

people seeing demons and shit on it, and i feel like if that happened to me id overanalyze it way too much.


elvis, i know i shouldnt fuck with my brain chemistry for recreational purposes, but 

thats just what doing drugs does, including alcohol, and its hard for me to imagine being

clean and sober forever since getting fucked up was fun and a social thing for me.

i know i can have fun without substances, but its just not the same, and its hard to be 

in party situations at this age without drugs and alcohol being in the environment.



to eden, i would say that in response to having any anxiety about smoking pot i would say yes and no.  

i obviously do have a little bit of anxiety since i havent been high since the concert

that i lost my shit at back in the end of august/beginning of september.  however, i actually did take a hit of

a joint at a Lotus concert i went to at the end of december.  i didn't feel high at all from it though since it 

was only one drag of a roach that had middies in it.


i could have went out and bought some weed and smoked it since then, but first i have no one

close to me who would allow me to smoke, and second i dont have anything to smoke it from

if i were to smoke on my own since my parents threw away all of my pipes.


anyway, yes bad trips are all about the state of mind. because of this, i am a little nervous to smoke again.

im afraid that because my doctor and others have told me that even smoking once can be detrimental to my health,

that there will be a self-fulfilling prophecy and i would go back to my psychotic state.



to es i like what you said. it is the vibes and the energy that im after, and i know i can get that

without the drugs, its just hard for me for some reason.

i just remember there being somewhat of a community

of the people who smoked weed, and no longer being in that community 

has been upsetting for me.  i know i can still be friends and get along well with people who

smoke without smoking, but its been tough these days to go outside of my comfort zone.



to rosie, thanks i will check out the new user agreement and try to become more

familiar with the site.  i think i want to smoke again because i have this idea

that if i could smoke i would go back to the happy person i once was before 

i went so crazy.  i just really enjoyed the lifestyle of it and the friends i made from it.

this idea of going back to my old self is tempting, and i just miss how i

was more creative when i smoked and how i enjoyed music more and food and intimacy etc.

i used to even smoke before i would go to the gym, and take classes like kickboxing with a friend

while high and have so much fun.  it was a good time while it lasted, and i guess

i just need to keep telling myself that things are different now and i need to 

focus on my mental health and well-being instead of how i can get to an altered state.



to larkspur, when you mention not being able to handle toking like i used to, that is one

of the reasons why i want to smoke.  i want to see if i can handle smoking like i used to

and then make the decision once and for all if i would smoke again, if that makes sense. 

i know thats a bad way to handle the situation tho, since that one time has the potential

to bring me back to the psychotic state.  its a risk that i can see myself taking unfortunately, and

i dont know how i can get that idea out of my head.  no matter what everyone tells me, i know

the decision needs to come from myself, and im too convinced that since im not crazy now i wont be again.

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