“Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a product that’s derived from cannabis. It’s a type of cannabinoid, which are the chemicals naturally found in marijuana plants. Even though it comes from marijuana plants, CBD doesn’t create a ‘high’ effect or any form of intoxication — that’s caused by another cannabinoid, known as THC.”
At the beginning of the month, I discontinued Cymbalta (an SNRI antidepressant) as it was causing me to rapid cycle and that was very uncomfortable and distressing. As soon as withdrawal set in, I experienced everything that could possibly go wrong in my body and brain (although they’re one in the same, and will hopefully one day be regarded as such).
I had the following symptoms simultaneously:
- Gastro upset
- Non-stop nausea
- No sleep whatsoever
- Severe pain/no stamina
- Zero frustration tolerance
- Impaired driving
- Constant crying
- Panic attacks
- Lashing out
My psychiatrist appointment was still a few weeks away so I had to be proactive and find a way out of the misery myself. I supplemented with L-Tyrosine (a precursor to dopamine and adrenaline) for a week or so, then ultimately went back on my Gabapentin (for anxiety) and tried CBD oil (in my vape) for the first time.
Already with CBD (extracted from hemp) I am regular again, the nausea is gone (thank gawd), my stamina on the go is improving, and I am more confident and positive. My spikes in mood are now waves, but mostly above water as of late. It still takes a while for my thinking to exhaust at night, but once I do fall asleep, it is very deep and restful, which is a luxury I haven’t had in a long while. As of recent, I haven’t maxed 10 hours.
“If THC could induce psychosis in some people with mental disorders, is it better to just use pure CBD? [The father from the United Patients Group] reported his son had great results with cannabis strains that had a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1, but he also said they had even better results with isolated CBD in oil form.
. . . there’s a lot of evidence that CBD has the same antipsychotic and anticonvulsive properties as conventional bipolar disorder treatments.
. . . and as with all medicines, treatment is ultimately a matter of personal preference: the effectiveness and side effects will depend on the unique biochemistry and personality of each person.”
Source: Psychedelic Times
I am now convinced that (for my own version of bipolar, anyway) antidepressants are not what I need, and really never were. When I was strictly on antidepressants last year under the erroneous diagnosis of unipolar major depression, I hadn’t a single day of reprieve from the bouldering weight of depression. In fact, I became the most suicidal I’d ever been in my entire life.
I would only experience, what I now look back on as hypomanic spurts, once in a blue moon. It made me wonder if I actually was on the bipolar spectrum, somewhere, but I was still pretty uneducated on bipolar, especially bipolar 2.
I understood severe depression back and front, but didn’t realize those days I had actually cycled. I became unusually confident and vigilante; I wanted to help everyone I could. But it was very short-lived and I returned to my home setting of depression.
What I needed all along were mood stabilizers. My previous psychiatrist had occasionally used an atypical antipsychotic as an adjunct, and despite the awful side effects (most notably, tremors from Abilify), I remember feeling more “activated.” Unfortunately, the side effects of this drug forced me to discontinue it as part of my treatment.
I have now been on Lamictal for 2 months. Depression still hijacks my brain, but my brain is also more resilient. I’ve essentially had “ultra” rapid cycling, where I was extremely impulsive and could not control the urge for sex. It has been at least a month since I have had to confront hypersexuality, one of the most common byproducts of hypomania.
I am safer and less self-destructive, regularly putting stability before any compulsion. I still sometimes get bouts of impulsivity, but now I am able to be more rational and recognize the consequences. It is becoming more clear to me what does and doesn’t work.
I will leave you with 2 books I am currently reading, Finding Your Bipolar Muse: How to Master Depressive Droughts and Manic Floods and Access Your Creative Power by Lana R. Castle and Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament by Kay Redfield Jamison.