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Old 11-10-11, 05:26 PM
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Marijuana ruined my brain

I'm a 20 year old male, I've hit rock bottom, and I've decided to confront my parents later today about my strong suspicion of having ADD. I have two sisters (they're the same age as me: we're triplets) who in elementary school were both diagnosed with ADD, took prescribed medication for 2-3 years, and now seem to get along fine with little to no medication. They say that the medication taught them how they were supposed to think/focus and they have somewhat learned to maintain that type of thinking without the medication.

I never showed any significant signs of ADD while growing up and I always did very well in school. Therefore, my parents never saw a need to suspect that I might also have ADD. I always had a great group of friends and I was very happy and extremely motivated all the way up to graduating high school. This all seemed to change upon starting college.

I suspect that I have always been dealing with the negative affects of ADD but mine have never been very problematic until now. After starting college at a University, I lived on campus for a year. This is where I think I screwed up my brain. How? I, along with my friends/roommates, smoked A LOT of marijuana every single day for the entire year I lived there.

I thought marijuana was great and even beneficial because it made me examine my life and made me an extremely open minded person. Let's not forget that it also gave me extreme joy/euphoria which I undoubtedly loved. But what I never realized until now is that I think it has caused way, way more negative effects than positive.

Weed put my brain on steroids and allowed me to think 50x faster than I was ever able to. This was fine when I first started smoking because I only smoked about once a week or less. My thinking was only different while I was high and I always had an entire week for my brain to reset and my thinking to become normal/slow again.

After living on campus and enduring an entire year of daily smoking while never giving my brain more than a few hours to reset, it feels like my brain has forgotten how to focus and assumes that the stoned, 50x faster thinking is normal. The effects that weed has on my thinking always carries over to when I'm sober now. My thoughts are always everywhere and after smoking a large amount of weed I usually lay in my bed on my laptop and just get lost in my thoughts for hours. I essentially go into a thought-induced coma where I literally wake back up after the weed has worn off and I feel like it has been 15 minutes when in reality it has been 6-8 hours.

I simply don't know how to focus anymore and I really don't even remember what it was like when I used to be able to focus. What I mean by this is that I'm never ever thinking about one single thing. If I'm driving my car, I'm thinking about driving as much as I have to in order to not wreck but other than that I'm thinking about 20 other things. My mind is constantly racing and this has caused me to not even be able to have a normal conversation with someone because I can only devote about 20% of my thinking to the conversation while the other 80% is hijacked and racing around with any other thought it can find.

I think that the normal way to think is to only think about one thing: what you're doing/perceiving in the present moment. If I'm watching television, my entire brain/thought process should be devoted to what I'm watching. I haven't been able to do that since smoking weed regularly. I have now decided to stop smoking weed and I think that getting a medication prescription will allow me to fix my brain/life. I recently tried taking some adderall/ritalin from a friend and it was like magic. My brain was instantly limited to thinking about one thing at a time. It made me feel normal again and while in conversation my entire brain was devoted to that one conversation in the present moment. I was only thinking about what I was doing and the past/future was only thought about if necessary.

The only thing I'm worried about is the fact that I'm a college student and so a doctor might be suspicious about me wanting a prescription due to the huge number of unprescribed students seeking amphetamines for studying purposes alone. I'm sorry for this novel of a post but it has really helped me to write this all out. Please let me now if anyone has had similar experiences/can relate and if I seem right in thinking that I have ADD.
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Old 11-10-11, 06:32 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

How long has it been since you stopped smoking weed?

I smoked every single day a few times a day for about 4 years. It took me almost a year to feel all of the residual effects of weed wear off completely. Give it some time.

Also, the racing thoughts and inability to focus on one thing at a time sounds to me like classic ADD. That is exactly how I felt before medication (and long after not smoking pot anymore).
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Old 11-10-11, 06:38 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

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Old 11-10-11, 07:26 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

Quote:
Originally Posted by LanCo Rider View Post
How long has it been since you stopped smoking weed?

I smoked every single day a few times a day for about 4 years. It took me almost a year to feel all of the residual effects of weed wear off completely. Give it some time.

Also, the racing thoughts and inability to focus on one thing at a time sounds to me like classic ADD. That is exactly how I felt before medication (and long after not smoking pot anymore).
This post is extremely comforting. I'm glad to know that my symptoms sound like classic ADD. I'm even more glad to know that it took a full year for you to forget the effects of daily smoking because I've stopped for a few months with little improvement and was wondering if I just needed more time for my brain to reset.

Now that the residual effects of daily smoking have worn off for you, do you ever smoke anymore? Would once a month have any long lasting negative effects for your ADD?

I feel like I was tricked by my non-ADD friends into believing that smoking weed is 100% safe and temporary. I guess for non-ADD people, weed only alters their mind for the duration of their high and then they're 100% back to normal. It's unfair that it has such drastically different effects for people with ADD but I really don't mind because in the long run, it's a waste of time and it is terrible for anyone's motivation.
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Old 11-14-11, 12:25 AM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

I haven't smoked weed for over 2 years. Sure it's nice to relax and smoke up every once in a while, but the psychological effects are super annoying.

Since I stopped toking, my temper has almost disappeared, my depression improved very much, and I got my life together very quickly. I suppose when you smoke every once in a while it's not a huge deal but habitually it can really mess with your drive and ability to get things done.

I don't think that ADD has much of a role in what you are/were experiencing. Pot affects everyone a little differently just like ADD meds. My suggestion to you is to stop smoking altogether. Not even every once in a while.
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Old 11-14-11, 01:15 AM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter White View Post
I'm a 20 year old male, I've hit rock bottom, and I've decided to confront my parents later today about my strong suspicion of having ADD.
You should use another term. It's not your parents fault, if they missed you ADHD, assuming thats what you have.

Your parents had very logical reasons to believe you didn't have ADHD as you explain below. THey did the best they could.

Quote:
They say that the medication taught them how they were supposed to think/focus and they have somewhat learned to maintain that type of thinking without the medication.
Without medication, they may have been taught those skills by other means.

The question is, whether for example, they would have gone through school.

Think about it.

[quote]
I never showed any significant signs of ADD while growing up and I always did very well in school. Therefore, my parents never saw a need to suspect that I might also have ADD. I always had a great group of friends and I was very happy and extremely motivated all the way up to graduating high school. This all seemed to change upon starting college.
[quote]

O.k.

Quote:
I suspect that I have always been dealing with the negative affects of ADD but mine have never been very problematic until now. After starting college at a University, I lived on campus for a year. This is where I think I screwed up my brain. How? I, along with my friends/roommates, smoked A LOT of marijuana every single day for the entire year I lived there.
So, you smoked too much marijuana and you are blaming ADHD? Is that logical?

Why did you smoke too much marijuana?

Quote:
I thought marijuana was great and even beneficial because it made me examine my life and made me an extremely open minded person. Let's not forget that it also gave me extreme joy/euphoria which I undoubtedly loved. But what I never realized until now is that I think it has caused way, way more negative effects than positive.
Well, you are not the first person to observe this. Most people don't seem apparently to have negative effects but some people do and if you smoke too much, well too much of anything is a bad thing.

Quote:
Weed put my brain on steroids and allowed me to think 50x faster than I was ever able to. This was fine when I first started smoking because I only smoked about once a week or less. My thinking was only different while I was high and I always had an entire week for my brain to reset and my thinking to become normal/slow again.
Marijuana isn't a stimulant. It is more likely it slowed your brain down but you may have thought otherwise.


Quote:
After living on campus and enduring an entire year of daily smoking while never giving my brain more than a few hours to reset, it feels like my brain has forgotten how to focus and assumes that the stoned, 50x faster thinking is normal. The effects that weed has on my thinking always carries over to when I'm sober now. My thoughts are always everywhere and after smoking a large amount of weed I usually lay in my bed on my laptop and just get lost in my thoughts for hours. I essentially go into a thought-induced coma where I literally wake back up after the weed has worn off and I feel like it has been 15 minutes when in reality it has been 6-8 hours.
Sounds awful!!!
'


Quote:
I simply don't know how to focus anymore and I really don't even remember what it was like when I used to be able to focus. What I mean by this is that I'm never ever thinking about one single thing. If I'm driving my car, I'm thinking about driving as much as I have to in order to not wreck but other than that I'm thinking about 20 other things.
...
Please let me now if anyone has had similar experiences/can relate and if I seem right in thinking that I have ADD.
Um, you were able to focus fine until college where you smoked too much weed?

I think this is the essense of your story.

You probably don't have ADHD but you may want to get help with the after effects of excessivve marijuana smoking.

I don't think, its a good idea to take ADHD drugs given the real givens.

Your sisters had ADHD. If you had it, there would have been symptoms.

Probably the pot will wear off. Find somebody who knows something about marijuana. Focus on the obvious first and the obvious is you've just stopped smoking way too much weed.
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Old 11-14-11, 01:18 AM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

Quote:
Originally Posted by LanCo Rider View Post
I smoked every single day a few times a day for about 4 years. It took me almost a year to feel all of the residual effects of weed wear off completely. Give it some time.
Thanks for mentioning this.

Quote:
Also, the racing thoughts and inability to focus on one thing at a time sounds to me like classic ADD. That is exactly how I felt before medication (and long after not smoking pot anymore).
He describes having these after college, unless I missed something. So, are we hearing "classic ADHD" or residual effects of drugs and lack of sleep.
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Old 11-15-11, 04:08 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

You guys are right in that I claim to only experience ADD symptoms after smoking weed which seems to imply me not having ADD but instead simply experiencing the negative effects of becoming a pothead.

However, becoming a pothead caused me to look into ADD and understand what it is. After researching and gaining a full understanding I feel like I have had minor problems/symptoms throughout my life that were caused my ADD but were not hard to live/deal with. I'm not sure at all which is why I want to see a doctor and receive a professional diagnosis.

Having not smoked weed in a long time, I am gaining back my life and personality and remembering what motivation feels like. I know I can get my life back on track and only wonder if an amphetamine prescription would help me even more. I'll let a doctor decide.
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Old 11-17-11, 02:43 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

Sorry you're experiencing this. The only thing I know about this is my own experience. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and medicated until college. After that, I didn't use my medication and I should have been. One night I took ONE hit while out with a friend and that was enough to send me into 6+ months of mania. (that had never happened before)

To this day, I am amazed at how little marijuana it took to propel me to that place. 3 years later, I was diagnosed with Bipolar I. I am currently medicated and doing fairly well, but I know that I will never touch weed again.

Everyone is different and maybe you responded differently because the weed had a bad reaction with whatever is going on in your brain? I hope you're able to find the answers you need soon.
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Old 11-19-11, 01:47 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

Quote:
Originally Posted by jade mermaid View Post
Sorry you're experiencing this. The only thing I know about this is my own experience. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and medicated until college. After that, I didn't use my medication and I should have been. One night I took ONE hit while out with a friend and that was enough to send me into 6+ months of mania. (that had never happened before)

To this day, I am amazed at how little marijuana it took to propel me to that place. 3 years later, I was diagnosed with Bipolar I. I am currently medicated and doing fairly well, but I know that I will never touch weed again.

Everyone is different and maybe you responded differently because the weed had a bad reaction with whatever is going on in your brain? I hope you're able to find the answers you need soon.
Wow, that sounds terrible. Honestly, I'm not sure how much ADD varies in severity but I think I am luckier than most in that I have been able to function fairly normally my whole life until smoking weed.

I've always noticed that my mind seemed different than my friends but I thought I was just better at multitasking, which I saw as a benefit. If my friends were watching television and their parents tried to talk to them, they would be so focused on the tv show that they couldn't hear their parents at all. I never had this problem and always responded to my friends parents for them because I was always aware of every single sensory input I received.

After smoking weed daily for years, my brain was capable of way more than multitasking. Simply living my life and focusing on the present was not enough anymore and I eventually started to involuntarily go into my brain with random thoughts that take my focus away from the present moment. I can't have a conversation with someone and only focus/think about the conversation because, thanks to marijuana, my brain is used to thinking about 20 things at once and about 50x times faster than the conversation.

I'm hoping to get an amphetamine prescription soon and I am very confident that this will fix all my problems as long as I use the medication without smoking weed, which I will.

I'm hoping that after I get my brain back to normal I can still smoke weed very rarely. I think I will be able to handle it, especially with an amphetamine prescription to reset my brain afterwards. Smoking weed for the first time is still sadly the most amazing thing I have ever experienced and I'd love to still experience this on rare occasions such as on vacation. Weed loses all of its power and potential when smoking it more than once a month, imo, due to both physical and mental tolerance.
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Old 11-21-11, 11:50 AM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

Honestly, I didn't spend the time to read all of this, but I feel that marijuana has messed with me too. I smoked nearly everyday, too, and now that I've layed off of it a bit, I can't focus, i'm less social, and I feel a lot less intelligent. Everything just seems as if it's dulled. I feel ya, man.
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Old 11-21-11, 03:52 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

Give it time, Mr Ryne. It takes up to a year for the chemistry of the brain to return to normal after habitual THC use. I can tell you from personal experience that I'm pretty sure it took every bit of that year for me to feel "normal" again after quitting.
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Old 11-21-11, 04:45 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

Yeah I spent a few years on the Weed Express as a daily smoker too. After a while I started noticing my friends were passing me by -Graduating college, getting masters degrees, married, kids, homes, financial stability, wealth, even inner peace. A lot of them just kept on going and we have lost contact.

I was living the fun life and kept chasing the next thrill, the next good time. Was actually a ski bum in Europe for 4 years. While I was doing this the group of people I was close to were all in the same mode. You could say we were all riding in the same car on the Express To No Where.

After a while a little voice in my head told me it was time to come home and move on. A new relationship was starting -who is now my bride and mother of the center of my universe. When I got home there was a STARK contrast between my progress in life and the progress of those who went the more traditional path.

Even after this observation I kept an "on again, off again" relationship with pot. Finally about 5 years ago I let it go. Time to catch up. I've been trying to catch up ever since. Which has led me on my path of discovery. Turns out I've been on the ADHD Express to No Where all along too.

For me Pot did not make me a faster thinker, a better person, or more enlightened. It DID quiet down all of the back-ground noise in my head though. It did make going inward easier.

After my own experiences with Pot I came away with a few lessons.

1- it stunts your personal growth. Just sit back and watch the world pass you by.
2- this is something most pro-pot people never want to acknowledge -Smoking pot is every bit, if not more carcinogenic than smoking tobbaco. ANYTHING other than air going in to your lungs is dangerous. Water bong, vaporizer it does not matter. I fear the damage and potential repercussions later in life for all of the polutants I have exposed myself to. If it must be a part of you life ingest it.
3- Because of reasons 1 and 2 Pot is dangerous. Especially for those like us who over indulge. When/if it becomes legal, or even if not, I will NEVER give my little girl the thumbs up or OK when the pot conversation comes.

WalterWhite, you are in your 20s. Life starts to move quite quickly now. I graduated HS 20 years ago and it still feels like yesterday. If you keep smoking/partaking keep an eye on the friends and family who are not on the Weed Express with you. There will be signs you will miss if you don't and you just may find yourself approaching 40, having accomplished little, playing a huge game of catch up, wondering where did all of the time go.
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Old 11-21-11, 08:19 PM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

I couldn't agree more with you, dcswen! I smoked weed every day at least twice a day for years. Most of those years were in high school but I kept smoking for a few years out of high school as well up until I was about 21. In those years, I accomplished nothing. Looking back I can't believe how much of a different person I was. I thought that weed was helping me but nowadays I can only see how complacent and unmotivated it made me. In those years, I also drank and partied a lot. Used quite a few other drugs, but never habitually like pot.

My motivation in school sucked. I had terrible grades only because I didn't give a sh*t. It wasn't like I was not intelligent enough to pass, I just didn't care. I worked a dead end job for years that I absolutely hated. I had no motivation to better myself and get some training or schooling to get a better job. I just worked through the day, punched out on that time card and toked up as soon as I was outta there and forgot about all the stress. My emotions were out of control. Maybe most couldn't see it, but my depression was terrible, my temper was horrible and my self confidence was complete garbage.

I decided that I had had enough. I quit cold turkey one day. In the weeks & months following, it was like a light switch was flipped on. It was like coming out of a thick fog. My strong, leader type personality came back. I organized a large motorcycle group and organized meets and rides nearly every week in which I was always the leader of the pack. I finally got the motivation and desire to better myself and enrolled in EMT school. Put in the work needed and went out aggressively job searching in the field. Landed a job in the first 3 weeks out of EMT class as a 911 response EMT. I absolutely love my job and without trying to toot my horn too much or being arrogant, I am good at it. I am planning to attend Paramedic school in Summer 2013 to even further advance my career. I have truly found myself and what I am good at.

I do not care what anyone says; habitual weed use does do psychological damage over time. It decreases your drive, motivation and your clear headed conscience.
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Old 11-22-11, 12:21 AM
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Re: Marijuana ruined my brain

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Originally Posted by LanCo Rider View Post
I couldn't agree more with you, dcswen! I smoked weed every day at least twice a day for years. Most of those years were in high school but I kept smoking for a few years out of high school as well up until I was about 21. In those years, I accomplished nothing. Looking back I can't believe how much of a different person I was. I thought that weed was helping me but nowadays I can only see how complacent and unmotivated it made me. In those years, I also drank and partied a lot. Used quite a few other drugs, but never habitually like pot.

My motivation in school sucked. I had terrible grades only because I didn't give a sh*t. It wasn't like I was not intelligent enough to pass, I just didn't care. I worked a dead end job for years that I absolutely hated. I had no motivation to better myself and get some training or schooling to get a better job. I just worked through the day, punched out on that time card and toked up as soon as I was outta there and forgot about all the stress. My emotions were out of control. Maybe most couldn't see it, but my depression was terrible, my temper was horrible and my self confidence was complete garbage.

I decided that I had had enough. I quit cold turkey one day. In the weeks & months following, it was like a light switch was flipped on. It was like coming out of a thick fog. My strong, leader type personality came back. I organized a large motorcycle group and organized meets and rides nearly every week in which I was always the leader of the pack. I finally got the motivation and desire to better myself and enrolled in EMT school. Put in the work needed and went out aggressively job searching in the field. Landed a job in the first 3 weeks out of EMT class as a 911 response EMT. I absolutely love my job and without trying to toot my horn too much or being arrogant, I am good at it. I am planning to attend Paramedic school in Summer 2013 to even further advance my career. I have truly found myself and what I am good at.

I do not care what anyone says; habitual weed use does do psychological damage over time. It decreases your drive, motivation and your clear headed conscience.
This is exactly how I felt for the past year. I'm currently coming out of the fog and if I don't bring my grades up starting next semester, I will fail out of college. Life is short, and its time for me to stop wasting my time accomplishing nothing. I'm ready to change.

However, I am very curious about the possibility of me smoking marijuana EXTREMELY rarely. As in twice a year. I feel pretty confident that this will cause no negative effects but instead only positive ones. I learned so much from pot when I first started smoking and I think it made me a better person. I hate to give that up but I definitely will if it has an uncontrollable negative effect on my ability to focus.
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