Bipolar Disorder by Anonymous

I am 21 year old female, a junior in college studying humanities. I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder 4 times, first at 15 and the definitive diagnosis at 19. I've had bad experiences with antidepressants and mood stabilizers (such as Depakote) that take away half of me. I've noticed that when I take meds I am detached, withdrawn, almost lifeless...I see life very grimly. Although I might be "stable", I still feel despair no matter what my mood is.

The first time I used cannabis was at 19.  At first I did not notice the effects it had on my moods, but the revelation came to me recently.

Two month ago I stopped taking my medicine again (Depakote and Zoloft). Instead, , I've been smoking pot every weekend and sometimes during the weekdays. My usual dose is a bowl or two...or five and six when I am with friends. I smoke a lot because the beneficial effect does not occur when I am "high" but in the days after I've consumed cannabis. In these two months with no meds and cannabis, I've noticed that my moods are more stable. I am actually happy. I do not feel "controlled", as I used to. Pot controls my moods in a very subtle way; my emotions are still vivid and present, but they are not harmful. I am full of joy, I socialize much better, my interpersonal communication skills have improved 100%. I used to have a lot of problems with people; fights, grudges etc. Now I find myself being a more forgiving, loving and understanding person. My outlook on life has changed considerably, I feel truly happy and almost cured.

Medicine to control bipolar disorder tends to kill the soul; it diminishes the patientís "spark" or personal traits. Cannabis controls, but does not destroy your emotions.

Thankfully I have two good friends who are willing to do this experiment with me. One of them told me today that last week it seemed that I was manic, very agitated. I took my "medicine" at that time, and in 2 days I was back to normal. Usually, without weed and only regular medicine, I am sure that that sudden high would have gotten worse and it would have become a mixed state (thatís my pattern).Now my friend told me that I was back to my old self, and she said that my improvement is remarkable.

I hope marijuana itís legalized; it has done wonders for me so far. People with bipolar disorder tend to stop their meds because meds tend to take away their spice of life. As I said, NO other medicine has achieved what marijuana has: control of my emotions, not destruction of them.