I have bipolar 1 and PTSD.
Being bipolar means I have the ups (mania) and the downs (depression). I am feeling like a flat pancake this week. My mood is down but I wouldn’t say I am hopeless. I have been through this before and have strategies to deal with it and manage the symptoms.
What is bipolar depression?
- Having sad, empty or hopeless feelings most of the time
- Trouble sleeping at night or staying awake during the day
- Often feeling worthless or guilty
- Work, family and/or social life are suffering
Why am I flat or my mood depressed?
- I haven’t talked to family in a while
- I recently had a mild manic episode and this is the crash
What meds do I take?
I do take prescription meds. Abilify and Lamictal are mood stabilizers. I have taken them for three years and I have seen a decrease in my mood swings. BUT the symptoms are not taken away, I would say they are milder. I have stopped taking meds before, and the symptoms come back and are more severe. I wouldn’t recommend stopping your meds as cannabis doesn’t replace them.
How does cannabis help?
For this post I am focusing on depression although cannabis certainly helps my PTSD and anxiety.
“Cannabis is a temporary fix, it does not take away depression. BUT it does bump up my mood a bit, so I am not stuck in bed sleeping. It helps the creativity and energy level as well.” By BbqDad
If smoked, the effects of the cannabis last about an hour. I have also eaten cannabis brownies and while it takes an hour to feel any effects, once it kicks in it lasts for 8 hours. I try a combination of smoke for now and eat for later.
The positive mood boosting effects of cannabis are helping me write this blog. Otherwise, I would be lying down watching TV or asleep. I had no motivation whatsoever, until I took a hit.
Other strategies to help relieve depression
- Besides meds (prescription and cannabis)
- I get up and go outside. Getting outside also boosts mood. I can’t always do that however, as the weather has to cooperate and in Alaska it can be dark and gloomy most of the fall/winter.
- Writing is a therapy for me too. I am happiest when I am writing, so getting a creative boost from cannabis is the jump start I needed to hit the keyboard.
While cannabis is not the answer to depression, it certainly makes the experience tolerable.