Posts Tagged Psychiatrist
Among individuals with psychosis who are also heavy marijuana users, the age they first used marijuana is strongly linked to the age of their first bout of psychosis, according to a study of 57 patients.
Although marijuana use by itself is neither sufficient nor needed to trigger schizophrenia, “if cannabis use precipitates the onset of psychosis, efforts should be focused on designing interventions to discourage cannabis use in vulnerable individuals,” Dr. Juan A. Galvez-Buccollini and his associates said.
This caution pertains to someone with a first-degree relative with psychosis, which is “the highest risk factor for schizophrenia,” said Dr. Lynn E. Delisi, senior investigator for the study, a psychiatrist at the Boston VA Medical Center in Brockton, Mass., and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Boston.
If someone had a first-degree relative, “I would caution them about the consequences of cannabis use and the association with schizophrenia,” she said.
Findings from previous research has shown that marijuana use is associated with an earlier age of psychosis onset in people abusing multiple substances, but studies have not looked at a possible link between the onset of cannabis use itself and resulting psychosis.
Because of this, Dr. Galvez-Buccollini, a psychiatry researcher at VA Boston Healthcare System and Harvard, and his colleagues interviewed 57 patients with a current diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizophreniform disorder, or psychosis not otherwise specified, who also had a history of heavy cannabis use before the onset of psychosis. They defined heavy cannabis use as 50 or more uses during a one year period.
Average age of the subjects was 25 years with a range of 18-39 years. Of the total, 83 percent were men, and 88 percent were not married. The average age of psychosis onset was 22 years, and the average age for first psychosis-related hospitalization was 23.
Schizophrenia was the most common psychosis (42 percent), followed by schizoaffective disorder (32 percent). The average age of first marijuana use was 15, preceding psychosis onset by an average of 7 years.
During the study period, the prevalence of daily cannabis was 59 percent with another 30 percent reporting use 2-5 days per week, and the remaining 11 percent reporting weekly use. Alcohol abuse was 16 percent and alcohol dependence was 8 percent.
The researchers found a statistically significant link between the age when cannabis use first started and the age when psychosis was first diagnosed. This association was consistent after researchers excluded patients with any diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependency during their lifetime.
The analysis also showed a strong link between the time a patient first smoked marijuana and their age of first psychosis hospitalization.
Marijuana affects dopamine receptors and can have other neurochemical effects.
“There are two components of cannabis, one that potentiates and another that antagonizes psychotic symptoms,” said Delisi. The balance between these two effects can differ among various strains of cannabis, she added.
Source: Schizophrenia Research
I feel like I am being controlled by the man in my head named Simon. He is new. The other ones aren’t here now, he just came. I intended on it anyways, but yesterday when I put a razor inside my private area, I was fine you know, it felt good. The. It felt like Simon took over my hand and he cut and cut, and I only saw blood. And he told me he’d do it every night until he stopped. I’m ging to tell my therapist, I just dunno what to do till then. I’m on my medicines right. I don’t like being I trouble so I can’t tell anyone, they might send me away again. I just need some advice please. I cry and he keeps yelling and if I do anything he yells more and says bad thing and it’s gonna be worse next time. I’m scared, and I hope you’ll answer this, thanx.
A. I would recommend calling your therapist or your psychiatrist immediately. They may be able to assist you before your next appointment. This is a serious problem that should not be ignored. You feel compelled to cut yourself and have done so already. You have lost your ability to control your behavior. This is a situation where you need to be safe and you should not fear the hospitalization, if necessary, that will protect you.
You should consider going to the hospital. You may not require inpatient hospitalization. The hospital staff can keep you safe until you feel as though you can control your behavior. The staff at the hospital may also be able to adjust your medication which could significantly reduce your hallucinations and desire to cut. Perhaps they can even contact your psychiatrist or therapist who could guide them in adjusting your medication. Please don’t ignore this problem and make an effort to receive emergency assistance. I hope you’re able to receive the help that will make you safe.