View Full Version : Marijuana withdrawal versus Bipolar?

08-30-12, 03:14 PM
I went to a hospital voluntarily because I had a tremendous amount of upheaval from smoking weed for about 2 years straight. I quit cold turkey. Should have gone to NA instead, imvho. Going to the hospital left me with a diagnosis I don't know if I believe in. Since my mania was caused by the halting of a chemical that is a hallucinogen (THC), my brain was probably getting back to normal rather than being truly manic on its own. I suppose the first step is to never smoke weed again and in time the doctors will change their focus to WHY i started smoking weed in the first place. To lay still enough to fall asleep. Can anyone relate to this? I don't even feel like my true diagnosis, of ADHD, is being considered because of how bombastic my thoughts truly are when I can focus somewhat. I relish the marijuana withdrawal because it allows me the focus of directing exactly what I want toward a specific purpose. It doesn't compare to Wellbutrin. But I was only on wellbutrin because as an only child, my singly mother was dying of lymphoma. Nevertheless, that semester I was 1st in my class of +700. :) Go me! Well, I hope so. If I can get this ADHD handled, it will be the most amazing life.

08-30-12, 05:03 PM
Going to the hospital left me with a diagnosis I don't know if I believe in. Since my mania was caused by the halting of a chemical that is a hallucinogen (THC), my brain was probably getting back to normal rather than being truly manic on its own.

Hi Sadlook glad you are here and welcome :)

I'm pretty new to this bipolar stuff, but it is quite possible the stress triggered a manic episode. Bipolar is one of those wheels that gets turned once, then rolls all on its own. Does that make sense?

Now whether or not you accept this diagnosis is another matter. Some people go years and years denying it. I suggest you take a look at "The Bipolar Disorder Survival Guide, Second Edition: What You and Your Family Need to Know" by David J Milkowitz PhD. There is some info on what to do if you think you have been misdiagnosed.

ADHD and Bipolar like to travel together. And many of the symptoms overlap. For me, I was treated for ADHD without a diagnosis, then sent to a psychiatrist and diagnosed with Cyclothymia. Once my moods stabilized I was finally given the ADHD diagnosis.

Are you on a mood stabiliser now?

09-01-12, 08:58 PM
Yes, and that is exactly why I KNOW I do not have bipolar disorder. I slept from 8:30 - 4:30 every single night, on the button...could not even keep my eyes open. And I slept very, very soundly, too.

Bipolar requires a person have a decreased need for sleep for at least 2 weeks. I have never been able to go without sleep for longer than 3 days and I get really agitated/sensitive.

Do you think it is possible that I was under such an extreme form of depression, that all the seratonin in my brain had shrivelled up to adapt for all the marijuana, that when I stopped, I had a tremendous amount of withdrawal, similar to someone who stops ecstasy?

Thank you for responding to my post. I have played along with the diagnosis for about 3 years now. I don't buy it because I'm disabled. I had to stop working while taking 2250 mg of Lithium per day. That is an insidious amount. The doctor kept raising it because I told him I was still having symptoms.

I recently saw a doctor who is not working, and he suggested I had ADHD, not bipolar. So that's what drew me here.

But yeah, I've never been able to go without sleep. No one wants to listen to that. So I am seeing a private psychiatrist on the 20th and will be very honest with her about everything. The 20th just seems like forever away!

Thank yoU!

09-05-12, 04:28 PM
Hey, well all I can say is we are not all cookie cutter examples of what the DSM says. The DSM is a guide, and the guide is about to change when DSM 5 comes out.

As for the decreased need for sleep, the DSM IV says that to be manic you must have

"A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary)."

"During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree"

Inflated self-esteem or grandiosity.

Decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep).

More talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking.

Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.

Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely
subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).

Flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing.

Distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli).

Increase in goal-directed activity (either socially, at work or school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation.

Excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)

Decreased need for sleep is on the list, but there are 7 other things on that list too.

I have never had a problem sleeping. The only problem I have with sleeping is my children. If they wake me up and I don't get enough sleep I'm cranky, but if it happens over a few days it sends me into a whirlwind. If it weren't for them I would sleep like a baby. Seriously. I put my head on the pillow, I'm asleep.

I hope you stick around here and let us know how you are doing. It really doesn't matter what the name of it is, if you have bipolar you have it... so what? It doesn't define who you are. You are still you. Its just a name. What matters is getting help and living the best life you can live. This such a great site, you will find so many people who are helpful and kind and understanding about everything you are going through.

You are not a diagnosis, you are a person. I hope your appointment goes well. Be honest, be open, you can PM me anytime :)