Drugs and mental health issues?(6 Posts)
So it's got to the stage where i think DD2 might start considering the whole drugs malarky. She already drinks but admitted to me last night to trying a cigarette at a party last weekend, not because she wants to smoke (i believe her, she is always complaining about smokers) but to 'see what it's like'. Now i'm not stupid and believe cannabis will be coming into play some time soon and on asking her whether she knew people who smoked it her reply was yes, but only one girl she knows quite well (who smokes it with her mother ). I wasn't surprised by any of this or the fact she reckoned she could walk into school and get her hands on anything i am just worried about the mental health side of the issues smoking it can cause.
Both me and her dad used to smoke the drug recreationally as teens and although i am fine and show no effects, her dad has suffered severe bouts of depression in the last few years (not suicidal, but 6-9 months off work at a time) which i have recently come to realise could be down to his drug use. There is a history of mental illness in his family with his grandad dying in a mental asylum at a young age (this is all we know about him), his uncle also suffering severe depression, a cousin with a history of eating disorders and another that has recently been diagnosed as schizophrenic.
I do not condone her using the drug in anyway and have talked to her stealthily about the problems it can cause but do worry she will try it at least once, especially in the upcoming months. So what i want to know is, obviously she is at a high risk of being affected mentally, but could this come into play after just one spliff/a shared one? Hoping maybe if she sees this side she will be put off enough as she is generally very sensible!
i honestly do not think your DH's problems would be down to that especially as the stuff was not so strong then.
nonetheless it is a real worry these days and if you have mental health issues in the family (as we do too) then that worry does become even more real.
no idea what to suggest other than talk, talk, talk to her about all this. find some horror stories and share them with her.
I've tried countless horror stories but seems to have gone in one ear and out the other, even though she has seen how ill both DH's cousins have been first hand, think i might try and get DH to have a chat too.
Warn her about the history of mental health on her dads side. I remember reading that there is only a 17% chance of inheriting a mental illness if it is only present on one side of the family, but it's important to let her know as it will potentially increase vulnerability (I think the data is misinterpreted, but better safe than sorry). But really, don't tell 'horror stories' - they only undermine any rational arguments you might make, as the government has discovered.
What seemed to work for my family was that they supported us in our decisions - they provided all the available information to my brother and myself, informed us that they essentially disapproved but would only intervene if we asked or if we were obviously out of control (schoolwork suffering, getting high in front of guests/family members).
My brother started smoking weed at 15, stopped before his GCSEs and hasn't touched narcotics since. Now is a young officer in the military and doing exceptionally well. I started second year of Uni, still smoke weed, but have a solid well paid job and a long term relationship. I'd say their approach worked.
The idea that drinking and drugs (alcohol is a drug, incidentally...) can cause mental illness is completely backwards to my understanding of the situation. In the US it's generally understood that people with mental health issues are more likely to habitually use drugs - what is officially known as self-medicating. But that the health issues come first, not the other way around. (I've seen many cases of this, including my own.)
However, whichever comes first, they can disguise problems and make getting real help more difficult.
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