Originally Posted by Chronic Chrissy
To me it sounds silly for these people you claim are suffering from "principally depressive and schizoaffective or psychotic type disorders" To be leading as an example for others, since you have yet to tell us whether they have recovered from their symptoms once stopping their pot use, or if they still suffer to this day. Yes it raises awearness but does so to the point of showing it as a normal thing that can be worked out that happens to many people these days, so it's just luck of the draw and while you can make some changes things are ok. This leads so many people to believing that they can cope and handle these disorders on their own when they need help.
Being diagnosed with a condition is often forever, even when symptoms are completely in remission. As for it being "silly" for people with long-term, first hand recovery experience working to assist others in there recovery
if you knew anything about it you would know that it WORKS. Mental illness, like many other ilnesses, do not have linear causes or cures. There are people who are cared for by the most highly regarded mental health professionals for YEARS who do not get better and those who recover after only peer support. Most fall between these groups on the spectrum. When you get cancer you often are offered a referral to a hospice to meet with other sufferers who are sharing your journey and within those hospices survivors are often invited back to speak to tose travelling the road. It is inspiring and supporting to meet with survivors of your illness, not "silly".
The Mental Health Recovery Network is not about telling people that mental ill-health is a "normal thing" or that they can cope without treatment, it's about helping them to see their own role in their recovery, be honest about the choices they are making (in thought and action) which are impeding their recovery or exacerbating their illness. That might be recognising that the pot you smoke to try and sleep during a manic episode is making the following depressive episode into a suicidal one rather than a moderately depressed one. It might be about recognising that the therapist you've been with for 3 years who you really like isn't actually helping you and that the CBT you began but quit because it was too confronting was actually the path you really need to walk down for recovery. It might be about recognising that you are always going to hear voices because your brain chemistry is wrong and that it is ok to choose to tell them to shut up rather than doing what they say you should.
I am harping on, i know it.
I'll stop. These people are VERY qualified to assist in recovery from mental illness. Nothing is more powerful than "i have been there, i am listening" in our experience. And i know a psychiatrist with schizoaffective disorder - mental illness doesn't target stupid useless people, it just makes them FEEL useless. Even if people aren't ready to begin a road to recovery it always provokes strong responses hearing and knowing that others have recovered by taking responsibility for themselves, their lifestyles, their well-being.
Achieving mental health is never simply a case of giving up pot, because pot is never the ONLY factor, and even if it was, stopping won't cure it any more than quitting smoking cures already growing lung cancer. But for those who come to realise their use is making things worse, yes, obviously they have stopped using it! As for whether or not they have symptoms still, some do, some don't. There is a big difference between someone with bipolar feeling a bit manic and going out and spnding every penny they have and then selling ther clothes, and then their body to get more before falling into a depression which drives them to attempt suicide and someone with bipolar feeling a bit manic and knowing it's time to have a warm milk, a long bath and an early night to get on top of the swing before it gets worse. Are they cured? No, they still have symptoms. Are they living a life of mental ill-health? No, they have overcome it. Perhaps to you all that is just silly and they should double the lithium and stay in the hospital, but to me, and to MANY others, it is incredibly inspiring, just as it is inspiring to know those who have ME/CFS to be able to live a relatively normal life by managing their illness.
And FWIW though you may be talking about cannabis in its purest form, i personally have no idea where i could get that locally and it's certainly not what i imagine when i am in this discussion. I imagine the pot i have seen, from the weed my SIL uses for her chronic congenital illness, to the complete rubbish i smoked as a student and everything in between. Perhaps it would be more useful to talk about the concept in everyone else's heads in this discussion (which obviously vary widely) rather than one's own very specific idea of a pure herb which most of us probably don't even have access to, even if we DID want to use it.