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Question
Posted by: Tebogo | 2010/05/24

substance abuse

I suffer from Bipolar and i''m really struggling to stop smoking marijuana,sometimes i can stay without it and in no time i''m back at it again,is there a way that i can quit for good as it''s my intention.please can you recommend anything that can help me.also is there any support groups around the auckland park/melville area.another problem i have is medication,i do not want to take medication for the rest of my life,i would like to contact apsychiatrist that have other ways of treatment besides medication around Johannesburg.your assistance will be highly appreciated.i also want to find out of workshops or events on Bipolar or mental illnesses happening around so that i can be part of them.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As you know, marijuana is not good for the brain, especiall if one has an existing significant problem like Bipolar Disorder. Check with SADAG ( number on this page ) as they should know which support groups are somewhere near you. TO treat depression well, only two approaches are shown to be really effective - counselling / therapy of the CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) form, and medication.
NObody would want you to be on medication for life or anyhow long-term UNNECESSARILY. Usually when one starts on an Antidepressant (AD ) it is wise to stay on it, once it has shown itself to be effective, for at least around 9 months, otherwise there's a raised risk of the depression coming back. And then the psychiatrist will advise on how to come off it gradually so as to remain well. If someone has had 3 significant episodes, though, it is usually considered wise to remain on the medication long-term - as the risk of further depressions would then be high without the meds, and repeated severe depresssions is worse than long-term medication.
Also, if one really has Bipolar Disorder, and there is the addded risk of High / manic episodes, it is often wise to take a mood stabolizing med like Lithium long term, to prevent or reduce such episodes.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2010/05/24

Hi Tebogo

Unfortunately CS does not read posts after he has already replied, so you have to write a complete new post for him to see it and reply again.

Skipping days might not be the best way to try and stop using the phenergan. Perhaps rather try to take a half dose instead of skipping. Your psychiatrist will have the best advice, perhaps giving you something different and less addictive to try.

Pain in your neck and shoulders could be tension related. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder as well as bipolar and my neck and shoulders also hurt badly quite often. I''ve learnt two relaxation techniques that work quite well - Creative imagery, which is like meditation where I take a walk on the beach in my mind. As well as Progressive relaxation, where I purposely contract and then relax my muscles one group at a time. The last one works the best for me, although I have to say that it took a while for my muscles to ''learn'' how to relax completely.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Tebogo | 2010/05/24

Doc,i also have a problem sleeping at night,i depend on phernegen i''m trying very hard to skip days but then i can''t sleep at all.meaning i have to take it every night another problem i have is that i have been having severe pains on my neck and shoulders for the past 3years,i''ve been to doctors,none of their treatment works,what would you recommend i do?

Reply to Tebogo
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/05/24

As you know, marijuana is not good for the brain, especiall if one has an existing significant problem like Bipolar Disorder. Check with SADAG ( number on this page ) as they should know which support groups are somewhere near you. TO treat depression well, only two approaches are shown to be really effective - counselling / therapy of the CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) form, and medication.
NObody would want you to be on medication for life or anyhow long-term UNNECESSARILY. Usually when one starts on an Antidepressant (AD ) it is wise to stay on it, once it has shown itself to be effective, for at least around 9 months, otherwise there's a raised risk of the depression coming back. And then the psychiatrist will advise on how to come off it gradually so as to remain well. If someone has had 3 significant episodes, though, it is usually considered wise to remain on the medication long-term - as the risk of further depressions would then be high without the meds, and repeated severe depresssions is worse than long-term medication.
Also, if one really has Bipolar Disorder, and there is the addded risk of High / manic episodes, it is often wise to take a mood stabolizing med like Lithium long term, to prevent or reduce such episodes.

Reply to cybershrink

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