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Hey guys I'm new here.  I will post an intro on the newbie board soon but I had an important question for y'alI. I was just diagnosed with bipolar I disorder and I wanted to know about marijuana use with lithium (I take 600mg twice daily) & risperidone (3mg once at night).  I smoke a very minimal amount of marijuana, but I smoke daily.  An eighth, or 3.5g, will last me well over a week.  So I take small hits 3-4 times a day, and I may have experienced some more rapid cycling but nothing too scary.  Just looking to see what other people's experiences have been and I wanted to know if anyone had any tips or advice on how to use marijuana responsibly while on these medications.


I really don't want to give up smoking completely, hope someone out there can help.



Thanks & all the best,


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If you plan on getting stable and staying that way then you need to not smoke pot. It's pretty much as simple as that. With BP, stability can be hard to achieve. If you are stable then you owe it to yourself and to those that care about you to not mess it up. 

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'skittles' has been a friend of mine for over a yr now. I have not been officially diagnosed but the possibility of rapid cycling BP is where we're at. I am currently taking 150mg of Lamictal with 25mg of zoloft (as a REM suppressant) at night and 15mg of adderall in the morning. The 3.5g will last me close to 2 weeks and has taken me through an entire month. I would smoke more often when my hubby was traveling for school to help with my anxiety that skyrockets when he is gone and it also got my motivation up to where I felt like I had energy. I wouldn't even consider it a 'hit' just a taste or puff.  :D . I have noticed that different breeds will act differently than others, which in my area is hard to know which is which. When I went to my first doc appt for med management I told her that I smoked pot. I also told her how much and how it affected me and why. FOR ME... she said that she didn't see a problem with that. However, now that I am on meds that actually work and I am not cycling multiple times in an hour, I don't need it to help ease the stress and make me feel calm, boost my energy and lift my spirits. I do, still on occasion take a few puffs when I really need to chill out and I know xanax isn't going to do it. 

Sylvan is right, being stable is the most important part. As well as Elvis, if  you think it isn't interfering with the stability, take some time off and see what changes. I didn't notice the effect or think that there was any until I took a break. 

Let your doc know about it - he/she might have some good info and advice on it

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  I smoke a very minimal amount of marijuana, but I smoke daily.  An eighth, or 3.5g, will last me well over a week.  So I take small hits 3-4 times a day, and I may have experienced some more rapid cycling but nothing too scary.  


There is no way you can tell how your body chemistry will deal with the meds if you are smoking marijuana everyday.  Quit smoking pot and find out how what kind of life you can live with psychopharmacology.  I know it will not be easy to quit but you can do it.  Then, as VE suggested, try the pot again.  I would wait months and months however.  Marijuana is very seductive and needs to leave on vacation for a long time if you want any kind of break in your habit.

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i've been a 6 years daily smoker untill i couldn't bear with the anxiety coming with MJ that's why i'm trying to stop now. I've smoked with 5 meds going on me and it was fine, but a couple of days later i start to experience hardcore anxiety which is bearable only with minimazing it with lorazepam. From what i've read, marijuana interferes with GABA signalling and supresses cortricotrophin releasing factor, which regulates stress hormones secretion. On stopping using it, you get a rebound surge of those hormones and a withdrawal reaction. My advice is to you is to stop smoking it while titrating down with a help with benzos, if you wanna continue smoking, be aware of lurking anxiety and mixed states which have happened to me, not necessarily to you

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Hey everyone, thank you all so much for the tips and advice.  Today will be day one of not smoking and I am going to hold off on smoking for some time.  I have to admit, before I was hospitalized I did smoke as a means to curb boredom and to focus myself while making music or art, definitely was habitual and not just for the desire to smoke.  Marijuana does not stress me out or give me anxiety, on the contrary; as some people have a drink to unwind after a long day, I smoke to minimize my usual anxiety.  It is only four hours into my little experiment of going cold turkey, and my bp cycling is about the same as yesterday when I had 3-4 tiny hits.  I think not smoking is causing me to psych myself out which is giving me anxiety.  I think the best thing to do is work out and then settle down with a book or draw for the day.  Any tips or tricks to occupying my mind?  I have a book on DBT which I am going to crack open now.


Thanks again to everyone for the sound advice, will post more on this subject soon.




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  I think the best thing to do is work out and then settle down with a book or draw for the day.  


You hit the nail on the head.  Physical activity, something to occupy your mind and spirit and emotions.  Distraction, distraction, distraction.


Drawing, painting, great idea.  Whatever 'floats your boat'.  Making tinfoil hats.  Or mobiles out of driftwood.  Cast ceramic bird baths.  


Exercise is perfect.  Walking around the house, the mall, the streets.  Going for a run with your ipod.  Swimming in the local pond.  Jumping jacks.  Whatever you can get up and do.


Journaling - whenever you get an urge grab some paper and write down what you are feeling.  When do you get the most urges?  When you are happy, sad, angry, afraid?  Write it all down.


Stay away from friends, parties that will only tempt you.  Tell everyone you are taking a break for awhile. 


Self-medicating with pot for anxiety may work but you lose the ability to deal all on your lonesome.  Like flying to the top of the mountain instead of hiking up the path.  You might arrive at your goal faster and easier, but by missing all the experiences along the way - the flowers, trees and animals - you end up with no pain but no gain either.  I find it is the struggles, the hard fought experiences, the hike itself that makes living worthwhile.

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I am a daily user of MMJ for chronic pain, which is legal in my state. I've found that I do not suffer withdrawal effects when I stop smoking (like when hospitalized, or plain old poor), and I haven't had any adverse mood reactions at all, either way. My GP (who handles my pain medicine) gave me his blessing and warned me to be careful not to get into trouble with it. 


I agree with the others that you should take a break and see how you are doing without the weed, mood-wise. It is possible to be stable and use small amounts of MJ responsibly, just as it's possible to be stable and to have a few drinks a week (responsibly). Good luck!

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this is one of those things where you really have to THINK FOR YOURSELF.

everyone reacts way different to marijuana.

for some it triggers psychosis,for some it relieves anxiety.

I'm all for legalization(here in CA it kind of is),i guess even on meds I'm an anarchist.lol.

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Hello, usually keep to myself but this is a topic near and dear to me. I am 42 years old, been diagnosed with bipolar nos, dissociative identity disorder and adhd.

Before I was diagnosed I smoked weed and hash every day since I was 14 years old until 29 (when I joined the military).

I have tried lsd about 500 times or more (can't remember) :)

When I joined the military I quit smoking and doing drugs. I was clean for 13 years and when I was released medically, I started again, but not to the extent I did before. Now I will take a hit once or twice a day and that is just to bring on the euphoria again.

I will admit sometimes (based on environment, strain of weed and feelings), I get anxiety.

And now I am able to go without if I want to.

Hope this helps all.

but everyone is different so do as you will and are comfortable with.



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Main Concern that I would have is that if you are asking this question then you have not told your doctor about smoking pot. As it is, it is difficult to find a treatment program that 'works' but then you leave out information about mind altering substances youa re taking then it is going to make it that much worse. I smoke pot, so I am not saying do not do it but you should help your doctor help you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I don't smoke anything, but logic tells me that if you are using a drug of any type (legal or illegal) without telling your doctor, it's hard to know if the prescription is helping or not, and hard for your doctor to give you the right meds in the right dosage. I would say the same thing about daily aspirin use, vitamin use, or even drinking herbal tea. I would leave pot alone until the meds stabilized your system and your doctor hashed a chance to adjust the dosage if necessary, which can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 8 months. 


This is time to learn something new - a new art technique (nature photography would be good, as it would get you outside and in the sunshine), listening to music that is outside your comfort zone, learning about a subject that maybe you didn't like in school but are curious about now. Take the time to become a new person, and ask for recommendations. If you like art, I'd suggest learning about how different favorite artists created their work, and about the times they lived in. that can mean reading, going to a museum, buying some art history books, listening to podcasts, and trying to create art in their style as an exercise. As for history, you can start here : http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/

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