Bipolar disorder and drug abuse

From Psychcentral – Bipolar Disorder and Drug Abuse By Brenda Richardson

know it was wrong of me to smoke when there were children in the house, but I wouldn’t have been able to function without that time to relax at night, just me and my spliff. I never did any harm to anyone but myself — and that brings me to where it all went belly-up.

A few years after I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I slowly began to develop psychosis. It started very gradually and built up over time. In the beginning I was seeing lights, shadows and things in my peripheral vision. But by the end I was hearing voices and seeing people, angels and spirits. It became frightening. I was completely delusional and eventually ran away as I trusted the voices more than I did the real people in my life.

I was hospitalized for a month and put on olanzapine (antipsychotic). By my third day in the hospital I realized that the weed had made the episode worse. I took my box of weed out of my bag and threw it out the window into the hospital grounds. Someone else would pick it up sometime and put it in the bin and that would be the end of it. No more smoking for me.

That was almost five years ago now. I never once looked back. I spent the following four years trying to get better and I have arrived at a good place now at last.