PTSD by Anonymous

In the late 50s and early 60s when I was a young child, I was the victim of professional producers of sadistic pedophilic film and photographs.  I was repeatedly tortured and raped in every imaginable way, emotionally as well as physically.  Needless to say, I reached adulthood barely functional, with Dissociative Identity Disorder and such bad PTSD that pretty much life itself was one big trigger.  I lived in constant anxiety and malaise.  I sought psychotherapy with some minimal relief but the underlying anxiety really made it impossible to have anything like a normal life.

When I was in my 40s the memories and flashbacks of my childhood increased and became impossible to avoid.  This made me extremely suicidal and dysfunctional.  I did get into therapy and was started on medications, which I still use, for depression and anxiety.  But none of these help as much as cannabis does.  I began smoking around the same time I started therapy. 

Over time I found I preferred oral ingestion--it lasts longer and doesn't harm my lungs.  Now I grow my own plants organically.  Right now I primarily consume it as a drink using a recipe for bhang from the Internet.  How much of it I use and how often depends on the individual batch, and those vary a lot, so what I generally do is make a batch and then use a measured amount, say 1/4 cup.  After I observe the effects I figure out how much of that particular batch I need to use at once.

The cannabis doesn't make the anxiety go away, but it seems to keep it from exploding out of control.  With cannabis I can go out in public and interact with other people socially and do all the normal everyday things that make life worth living (most of the time--I'm still fairly suicidal, but at least now I'm committed to not acting on those feelings any time soon).  I am a very talented and intelligent person, and between my progress in therapy and careful therapeutic use of cannabis, I feel like I am finally getting the chance to actually live and enjoy being who I am.  I do wish I could get the helpful effects of the cannabis without the cognitive and motor effects, but the trade-off is well worth it.

I was delighted to read an article in a recent issue of Scientific American Mind that described the current models of the endocannabinoid system. The model very well fits my own experience of cannabis as well as the published studies.  And some of the studies used in developing this model actually did work with PTSD induced in rats.  (I won't go into how I feel about what they do to the animals.)

When I read that article it meant a lot to me--to discover that I'm not just a pothead loser after all. I'm self-medicating very appropriately with the best available medicine for the purpose.

I really hope my story can help other survivors of massive and ongoing child abuse, other survivors of torture, and anyone with PTSD.