I have long been a believer that I, and many like me, fare much better using cannabis, combined with therapy and ongoing psychological support, than with pharmaceuticals to deal with our “disorders”. While having a conversation, the subject came up and I finally decided to put my rationale down in text. This is what I came up with.
Why I use cannabis and don’t want meds.
Either way, I am reliant on a substance to achieve/maintain my psychological stability. Saying one is addiction and the other is necessary treatment is hypocritical, at best.
I use cannabis in its natural state. I am familiar/accustomed to its mild, negative side effects and already have strategies to mitigate them. I know how to determine if a strain is appropriate to my needs or not.
My experiences with pharmaceutical medications have produced extreme reactions including: – one triggering a level of suicidal ideation that was previously absent, yet, continues to present (although, is currently well managed); – another, at its initial, lowest dose, generated an uncomfortable state of positivity that felt more like mania than sanity.
The risks associated with experimenting with pharmaceuticals far outweigh the ambiguous potential of benefit. Merely going through the process of finding the right drug has far too much potential to create devastating setbacks. I have experienced enough of my own. And, I have watched many people go through this process of experimentation. Most of whom never have found the right “combination” and are in a worsened state because of it. I refuse to take those, life-threatening risks.
In my experience, cannabis connects my emotional and intellectual selves in such a way that I can find some balance/middle ground between them and act. It does not “change” my mood or my general perspective on things. It actually clarifies them.
Pharmaceuticals will slow things down enough to pick a direction. However, it also blocks me from making choices in my best interest vs. maintaining some status quo. The latter may make me more “functional” in the “real world” on a short term basis. It also, inevitably, leads to a loss of self and purpose that results in relapse into deeper and depressive states. I honestly don’t know if I would be able to pull myself from the next abyss. This last one seems to have sheer-faced the cliff, so to speak. My personal life-lines are all hanging on by their own threads. Any professional help other than “brief psychotherapy” options (groups are more available than one-on-one therapy) is generally backlogged and/or comes at a premium. Meds don’t talk you off ledges.
I realize that there are people who do benefit from prescription drugs. I do know several who have been able to maintain stable lives because of consistent, appropriate, monitored medications. However, I do believe that the commodification and industrialization of mental health has created a growth market out of intolerance for emotionally sensitive people and a society that, quite literally, is driven by addiction.
What is the profit motive other than feeding that “need” for more?
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