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CNN's Weed 3 amd PTSD

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posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 01:23 AM
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As someone who studies traumatology (the study of psychological trauma), I for one do not think cannabis, no more than pharmaceuticals, to be an appropriate first try approach in the treatment of PTSD.

What should come first are non-drug approaches like talk therapy, such as exploring your personal history and what happened in it which may have made you vulnerable to secondary traumatization (about 75% of vets with PTSD had some early life trauma). This conversation part is important because you begin to better understand and know the experiences your having. This is really the hub of all PTSD treatment: mindfulness. Since the brain is plastic, traumatologists are acting like 'scientists' in their relationship with the client. They are trying to bring the person closer to an experience of embodied spontaneity: which is inhibited by excessive dorsal vagal dissociation (tendency to freeze and not experience) and a simultaneous feeling of anxiety (from an over-stressed HPA axis). The amygdala is constantly firing telling the brain to fear; the dorsal lateral cortex is almost completely offline, making consciousness lose a sense of context (where am i? What am Feeling? What am I seeing?). And the orbitofrontal cortex, the part of the brain mostly involved in emotion regulation, is white on the fMRI: totally inactivated.

Relational therapy, building experiences (which produce neurochemical bursts, inducing , epigenetic/genetic effects in the stress regulation system) THIS is how you heal PTSD.

In addition to this, there is sensorimotor and somatosensory psychotherapy, where the evolutionary context of the traumatic response is explained and utilized in the therapy. In trauma, the brains usual serotonin regulation system is 'overwhelmed' by an enormous surge of glucocorticoids in the brain. The hippocampus is overwhelmed, causing the frontal lobes to go blank and the brain stem, at some point, to induce dissociation by releasing endogenous opiates.

These body based therapies help clients understand the need to FINISH the action; this is what the body expects when this arousal occurs: it expects for the arousal to be completed in MOTOR actions; because this is how the stress response has happened in most of human history: when we scared to death, we were usually facing a life-threatening creature/enemy. This would induce running. The running, of course, is what helps both release the adrenaline/cortisol and to restabilize the serotonin system in the brain.

No only this, but breathing and focusing upon the sensations in your body helps to 'bridge' the gap being created by strong dorsal vagal activity. This is the value of Yoga in the healing from trauma.

There is also the eye-brain connection and the relationship between the coding of traumatic experience (perceived with ones power of vision) and the subcortical/cortical areas which 'contain' the dysregulation of trauma.

For many, EMDR, brainspotting and other method seem strange, and the theory, though plausible, is hard to imagine at a biological level; yet, the success rates in using EMDR/brainspotting are pretty impressive, which implies that there may indeed be something significant happening to the brain when the muscular/macular associations to the visual field become activated, 'targeting' the memory of the trauma, and allowing a release.

Perhaps the most impressive treatment for PTSD is neurofeedback training. This puts the issue to the point: the brain is highly dysregulated; the stress response is totally haywire; the Vagal stress response system is stuck oscillating between nervous and numb, anxious and dissociated. Neurofeedback gets the person experiencing the world with a liveliness that he hasn't felt in a while. When you stay an hour in that state, your brain is 'shown' how to do it again. Of, course, this process is delicate as it necessarily throws the brain into a period of 'disorder' before it can establish a new attractor state. This period entails a lot of talk therapy as well, as the person needs to encouraged and assured that with more training, it will get easier and easier. The brain will stabilize itself because the frontal lobes are more involved in stabilizing itself.

In short, taking weed for PTSD is a cop-out that avoids the real existential challenges in trauma healing. It never addresses the fear, but anesthetizes it.

But this, of course, may be just what some people want. However, there are MANY people with PTSD who DO NOT respond well to the dissociative effects that cannabis essentially induces.

Cannabis is classed as a dissociative because it causes consciousness to 'slow down' and 'heighten' a momentary state of consciousness. This is what leads to the 'hyper focusing' and 'trancing', and also the cause of the paranoia that accompanies the pot smoker who has a history with difficulty controlling his thoughts/feelings. When we get too high (and for everyone this is different) , serortonin production is essentially shut down. In experiments, rats given too much THC (which is not very much) radically led to the rats drowning in the swimming experiment.

Most people know that when you're high, and some unusual perturbation comes into your awareness and you begin to obsess, that it can be very hard to bring yourself back to a state of psychological order. The mind resists it because weed lowers the quanity of serotonin in the brain; and serotonin is what we experience when we regulate our emotional states.

If weed does 'calm' the person (healing would be the wrong word) there is just as likely a chance that it will cause another person to get paranoid/anxious.

In short, the influence of marijuana for PTSD is grossly exaggerated by weed enthusiasts.




posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 01:39 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

There are different strains and those strains have varying concentrations of THC and CBD. I do not like the effects of high-THC strains they drive me up the wall, but the ones with have high CBD and low THC I find to be very relaxing as well as pain relieving.

Unfortunately my state missed its opportunity to legalize and I simply will not trust the word of the alternate sources in the market on which strain they may have. I await patiently for a second chance at legalization in my state.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 01:41 AM
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Yeah, I was diagnosed with ptsd from a serious trauma and thc was the only thing that helped.

It completely stopped the jumpy, anxious felling around loud noises, and stopped the constant vivid nightmares.

Sounds like you have a personal agenda here with the "cop out" and "grossly exagerated" statement.

It does wonders in ptsd cases, and the immediate relief from all the insanity gives your brain time to normalize.

You obviously have no experience in this topic. Kinda like an anti-mj pre psych student.
I don't think you are qualified to make such a bold statement.

As far as paranoia goes, a person will react differently with different strains. Personally, sativas will create an anxiety state with me, while indica strains create relaxation. The two have varying levels of each feeling between sub strains and potency level.

I have a complete opposite approach, which is relax the brain then add minimal counseling to it. What you are suggesting sounds like an overload of an already stressed mind.


edit on 4 by Mandroid7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 01:42 AM
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There is always a group of people who have the answers, or think they do. Unfortunately, since they have never suffered from the condition, they usually have no idea. They go on about how a person should react to a situation or an illness and what is best for them.

The honest answer is that the study of how the mind works and what PTSD is, is in its infancy. The 'professionals' never want to admit this truth and often come out with bizarre treatments.

This has occurred continuously in the medical profession. Sometimes out of Moronic beliefs, (Blood letting!) and more recently out of a desire to make lots of money.

And then of course, when you do come across someone that may be able to help, they charge so damn much for their services that it is simply not possible to see them.

The major problem with the helping professionals today is that they fail in listening to the patient. They don't listen because they are taught that the patient knows nothing and they know everything.

P



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 01:51 AM
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I don't advocate that everyone should get high, but the results on a person with PTSD is nothing short of phenomenal.

If your agenda is to get on here and bad mouth that, I gotta ask WHY?



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 01:53 AM
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All I know is that it steadies my shaky hands and makes me less likely to be startled by sudden loud noises.
Beer seems to work better over all. It doesn't make me drowsy and it's legal.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 01:53 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

as with any therapy it (cannabis) will work for some but not for others.
different methods of ingestion offer different effects.
flower, oil, edible, vapor
each method has its health benefit.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 02:01 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7

..because I STUDY trauma.

I work on a daily basis with people with psychological trauma. I - this user you are communicating with - suffered severe PTSD from highschool bullying.

I know the symptoms very deeply. I still sometimes experience them. Whatever the precursor - war, or being beaten by a parent, or persistently shamed in front of others - the brain gets overwhelmed, and the response is PTSD.

Thus, in imagining who I am - based on what I have written - does it seem to you that I am a government agent or something, as you seem to be implying? Or does all my knowledge, expertise, and my own experience of the world, not deserve to be faced without devolving into paranoid thoughts about why I'm writing this.

I'm writing this because getting high is not finding healing. But if that's what you want, ok.

I'm also making the logical point, which you apparently glossed over, that weed can just as easily induce paranoia as it can 'separate' the sufferer from the feelings of anxiety.

The effects of weed, in other words, are extremely dependent on what you believe. If you have a history of negative thinking or paranoia, theres a very good chance the dissociative effects will create worse problems for you rather than help (and this is very well known in the mental health field).

Just as the SSRI's can be influenced by belief (the 30% placebo effect) I imagine this notion that weed helps PTSD may be helping some people.

Nevertheless, it is not a healing, just a bandaid.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 02:02 AM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

Have you tried any other approaches?



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 02:19 AM
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a reply to: pheonix358




The honest answer is that the study of how the mind works and what PTSD is, is in its infancy. The 'professionals' never want to admit this truth and often come out with bizarre treatments.


I have dealt with the symptoms of PTSD for 13 years. I have also made those experiences less and less a part of my experience.

Weed is a poormans cure. The actual cure entails transforming your brain.

As to your absurd claim that the study of PTSD is in its infancy? It's a flourishing field! We have never known more about how PTSD effects the brain and the neurobiology of the nervous system as we do today! Read the books!

I'm actually a trauma theorist. Having both experienced it and studied it, very deeply, I understand far more about it than you do.




The major problem with the helping professionals today is that they fail in listening to the patient. They don't listen because they are taught that the patient knows nothing and they know everything.


I feel bad for you. Yes, there are horrible, disembodied therapists out there who do not understand $hit about PTSD. But there are more. The whole field of interpersonal neurobiology is essentially focused on the neurological and phenomenological study of Trauma. Books like Allan Schores "Affect Dysregulation and Disorders of the Self", "Affect regulation and the repair of the Self", as well as his "The art and Science of pyschotherapy" explores neurobiological bases of trauma and what a therapist needs to do to create safety in the relationship.

Bessel Van Der Kolks "The Body Bears the Burden", Peter Levines "Awakening the Tiger" and "In an Unspoken Voice", as well as Pat Ogdens "Trauma and the Body" and "Somatosensory psychotherapy" are great books if you want to educate yourself.

There is also the very interesting psychanalysis of the way trauma affects the human mind. Philip Bromergs trilogy of books are a must; as well as Donnel Sterns theorizing of how PTSD impairs our ability to imagine different situations; different feelings. Were just so 'caught' in the hurt.

There is also Judith Herman who extended the notion of whats called "shock PTSD" to relational abuse that creates the same effects in the nervous system; evidencing the same; appearing the same under the fMFRI. It's just been so easily overlooked because it is so common in society. Just look at how long it took society to even recognize the fact that PTSD was a real disorder, let alone deeply dysregulates the brain, as contemporary imaging and biochemical research has shown.

Robert Scaer has shown how PTSD effects the body through the influence of the immune system and by effecting the cardiovascular system. PTSD is a whole body dysregulation.

It's not that I'm against weed: I actually have a knack for it. It's just that the experience of trauma and what it does to us requires our knowing it. We need to increase our self-knowledge and self-awareness. When I wrote before about mindfulness, it really just boils down to this: you control PTSD by knowing how to work with your body and handle your emotional states. No drugs: just mind OVER body.

This is surely something superior to smoking weed for the rest of our life. At least, it should be understood to be superior.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 02:48 AM
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originally posted by: Mandroid7
I don't advocate that everyone should get high, but the results on a person with PTSD is nothing short of phenomenal.

If your agenda is to get on here and bad mouth that, I gotta ask WHY?



Perhaps the op doesn't have an agenda as much as a different perspective. My reason for feeling this is that I had ptsd and absolutely cannot use marijuana due to the dissociative effects. Why do we all have to be the same? Isn't it possible that individual body chemistry or psychology causes different reactions in different people? Why can we not discuss this without there being an anti-pot agenda assumed?

And for the record, I fully support legalization, but because of my personal negative reaction to marijuana I am interested in the op and would like to be able to discuss it without the pro-pot derailing. Of course, it has medical uses but not necessarily for everyone. I understand the new found legality of the substance is fragile but lets not have fragile egos. This is an important discussion to have.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 03:26 AM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
a reply to: Mandroid7

..because I STUDY trauma.

I work on a daily basis with people with psychological trauma. I - this user you are communicating with - suffered severe PTSD from highschool bullying.

I know the symptoms very deeply. I still sometimes experience them. Whatever the precursor - war, or being beaten by a parent, or persistently shamed in front of others - the brain gets overwhelmed, and the response is PTSD.

Thus, in imagining who I am - based on what I have written - does it seem to you that I am a government agent or something, as you seem to be implying? Or does all my knowledge, expertise, and my own experience of the world, not deserve to be faced without devolving into paranoid thoughts about why I'm writing this.

I'm writing this because getting high is not finding healing. But if that's what you want, ok.

I'm also making the logical point, which you apparently glossed over, that weed can just as easily induce paranoia as it can 'separate' the sufferer from the feelings of anxiety.

The effects of weed, in other words, are extremely dependent on what you believe. If you have a history of negative thinking or paranoia, theres a very good chance the dissociative effects will create worse problems for you rather than help (and this is very well known in the mental health field).

Just as the SSRI's can be influenced by belief (the 30% placebo effect) I imagine this notion that weed helps PTSD may be helping some people.

Nevertheless, it is not a healing, just a bandaid.


I didn't realize you could get ptsd from high school bullying.

I didn't say you are a gov agent.
I am saying you don't have any experience treating ptsd or patients with cannabis.
You are making bold statements that are patently false, this is not helping others.
I am telling you I have had good results with it. So can others.

It gives your brain a rest while allowing you to work through it.
What it does "bandaid" is the psychotic running thoughts and evens out your feelings in the initial months after the trauma.

It blocks crazy nightmares and helps your brain heal by letting it relax, it gives you a better chance in therapy etc.


"Glossed over"?

You completely ignored the paranoia vs relaxation statement I made relating to strains. Each one is different. That is a fact I have seen with years of experience, not studying someones guess in a textbook.

The placebo effect? Like a sugar pill right?
Your "imagination" is wrong.

Because its not printed in a book it's not possible?

I see you know a lot of big words, but being bullied and studying trauma doesn't really qualify you to make comments on the effects cannabis has on ptsd patients.

You're not even legally allowed to study it.

But if thats what you want, OK



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 03:37 AM
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As a PTSD sufferer I agree with 95% of everything the OP has said.

I think many pot users are in denial. (I am not saying all) They don't want to admit that in the long run it is harming more than it is helping. Avoidance and escapism and trademarks of PTSD, trust me I get that, and I can see why it would be easy to become addicted to the way it makes you feel. I am talking emotional dependency not chemical dependance just in case that isn't clear.

I have witnessed first hand users symptoms and frequency of symptoms intensify with pot use, yet they are in such denial and become super defensive about it.

I will be willing to go as far as to say that I am sure for some users, that temporary use or infrequent use can have short term bennifits. The problem is that I have seen a lot of the negative effects it has on people who use it as a constant escape.

For the record I am far more against the use of SSRI's in the treatment of PTSD (unless secondary conditions are involved) SSRI's are the worst thing that could happen to someone with PTSD.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 03:54 AM
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a reply to: calstorm

Yeah, I agree with you about long term usage as well as the ssri drugs.

I was on a few different ssri drugs as well as sleeping pills prescribed by doc after my incident.

They made things much worse for me. Sleeping pills like ambien had the worst effect.

Thc snapped me out of it followed by counseling. I feel it is not fair to others to deny this, because it could save their lives, I know it did mine. So, I know there is a place for it somewhere.

Saying it is a sugar pill response by the op just isn't true and kind of had me irked.

There is a need to ween off of any drug and get back to normal, even mj.

Its never healthy to need to feel high or put other chemicals in your body to be normal and happy.




edit on 4 by Mandroid7 because: ipadsux



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 04:00 AM
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Sorry to the op, if I came across as a bit of a di@K.

I had a good outcome from it and don't wan't to limit others from this possibility.

Everyone is different, I didn't mean to demean you or your experences.
edit on 4 by Mandroid7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 04:52 AM
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a reply to: Mandroid7




I didn't realize you could get ptsd from high school bullying.

You can't from normal bullying. I am going to go out on a limb and assume there was extreme physical violence in the OP's case.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 05:06 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte




I have dealt with the symptoms of PTSD for 13 years


And I have dealt with it for half a century. So what!




I understand far more about it than you do.


If you say so, I guess it must be true but ..... I doubt it.

You quote a great many books, but the reality is that all of those books, simply represent the Author's pet theories. In fact, the entire field of Psychology is filled with many theories, some of them are even useful. However, there are very few facts!

I would like to see the research you have accessed to decide weed is no good. Have you seen some? Have you done some and I refer to proper studies with lots of patients and a control group.

No? Well, I didn't think so. Now if you were well read, and you understood a few other languages, you could have looked at some of the work already done in this field in countries where MJ is legal.

I don't think you want to do that. You may just find evidence that conflicts with your stoutly held beliefs.

P



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 07:06 AM
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To recap the main PTSD treatments:

1/ Talk about it
2/ Go play some sport or do something active

As for brain spotting, it sounds like trying to find and erase the memory. It does appear that some ET's can do it so maybe it has a place.

As for neurofeedback training it does sound like some care and experience is needed or else it could just put more issues on the PTSD pile.

As for pot, booze, SNRI and others, yum yum yum yum...

All in moderation of course.



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

As someone who studies life, philosophy, music, and friendship I can tell you marijuana is a benign drug and the least potent or harmful drug for PTSD therapy.

Seriously though my sister is a VA nurse. I can tell you from expirence (livng in texas have many friends that have come back from the gulf) your presentation here is like a juvenile ego.

First off the vets are lucky if they are recommended weed. One of my friends was given 8 yes 8 different pharmaceutical drugs many not even being designed for the treatment they are being used for.

There are obviously varying degrees of PTSD no? Some vets can't sleep at all, how long does talking it out and exercise take to stop the I'll effects of sleep loss mixed with the other traumas? Watching your friends getting murdered, having to worry about being shot by children or having to kill children who are trying to kill you, explosions, loss of limbs, etc. That's a lot different then the ptsd I have from a psychopathic relationship I suffered through as a young man. I would never even try to compare the two regardless of what an MRI shows in the brain. You of course have to be wise enough to interpret the data and I can tell you have no clue and are a post grad student. But that's ok. You have a right to an opinion.

I just find your opinion to be all theory and no understanding, expirence, or wisdom provided in it. If you actually worked in a VA realized how tortured 10,of thousands of our men and women are and what cocktails are currently being used to treat ptsd you would have a different opinion of a little harmless weed.

Also good therapy is expensive and hard to find especially in the va and with only military grade care and funds. These soldiers are poor ass kids.

I haven't been so offended by a know it all in a while but this garbage took me over. Maybe because I have seen the effects of PTSD of soldiers coming home and the wicked treatments currently used which are many times worse than marijuana.


For anybody who wants to keep up with a little more realistic understanding of cannabis and not be bullied by psychobabble look here. m.military.com...



edit on 20-4-2015 by luthier because: fix

edit on 20-4-2015 by luthier because: fixed



posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 09:06 AM
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a reply to: Astrocyte




In short, the influence of marijuana for PTSD is grossly exaggerated by weed enthusiasts.


I think you are right there. But it's not as exaggerated as the value of the legal pharmacy. Not only is the legal pharmacy grossly over played, but it is deadly.



Lenzer refers to a report by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices: "It calculated that in 2011 prescription drugs were associated with two to four million people in the US experiencing 'serious, disabling, or fatal injuries, including 128,000 deaths.'"

The report called this "one of the most significant perils to humans resulting from human activity."

Jeanne Lenzer. British Medical Journal, June 7, 2012 (BMJ 2012:344:e3989).




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