Marijuana PTSDMore people are using marijuana to heal PTSD
© Copyright, Daniel Dharma, 2016

Using Marijuana to Heal PTSD, Part 1

More and more people are using marijuana to heal PTSD, otherwise known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

PTSD is a common illness among military veterans, but it’s also found in non-veterans.

Researchers estimate that nearly 10% of all Americans experience PTSD at least once in their lives, and that at any given moment, 3-5% of Americans are suffering from PTSD.

This means millions of people suffer from PTSD.

I personally believe many of us who are passionate about growing and using marijuana may be using marijuana to heal PTSD.

And that’s why it’s important for us to have this series of articles that explore using marijuana to heal PTSD.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD can develop if you experience, participate in, or see a severely horrific event or series of events.

The type of events that induce PTSD include military combat, an accident, violence, or rape, going through a fire, tornado, near-drowning or similar life-threatening events, childhood abuse, divorce, or the loss of a loved one.

I add a special category for those of us in the marijuana grower and marijuana user community—getting busted.

When police battered down my door, put cocked guns to my head, wrecked my home, beat me, and dragged me off to jail for growing marijuana, I began experiencing PTSD symptoms that are with me to this day.

Especially because police are out of control in America and feel empowered to harm citizens they dislike, many of us arrested for marijuana have been subject to serious police violence and other trauma associated with the arrest.

If we get thrown in jail or prison, or even if we just have to go through a lengthy trial or other criminal proceedings, PTSD can result.

The majority of people who go through severe trauma don’t develop PTSD, but for those of us who do, it’s a life-threatening disorder that seriously disrupts our ability to function in this world.

What Are Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

PTSD is a controversial diagnosis, argued about by psychiatrists and psychologists, and often overdiagnosed or misdiagnosed.

Many people who experience typical life events and go through periods of worry, sadness, or other unpleasant feelings are told by therapists that they’re suffering from PTSD. Those same therapists sometimes put people on prescription medications. It’s often a bogus diagnosis.

In scientific terms, PTSD only arises when you experience a severe trauma or series of traumas that rise to the level of events such as nearly being killed, seeing someone else violently killed, being raped, being beaten, and similar very traumatic events as we discussed earlier in this article.

PTSD symptoms usually show up within 2-4 months of the initial incident or incidents that created the trauma, but sometimes they don’t surface until many months or even years after the originating incident.

Many people have some of the PTSD symptoms I’ll describe, but that doesn’t automatically mean they’re experiencing PTSD.

By consulting a medical and/or psychiatric/psychologist professional, and by self-monitoring your thoughts, actions, and feelings, you can determine if you’re suffering from PTSD.

If you have PTSD, you’ll have a majority of the symptoms I’m listing below, and the symptoms will be so severe and persistent that they create major problems for you.

Another sign that these symptoms are indicative of you having PTSD is you’ll remember that these symptoms haven’t always been part of your life.

In fact, if it’s PTSD, you’ll remember the traumatic incident or series of incidents that started the symptoms.

Not only that, you know you have PTSD when these symptoms are severe and chronic enough that they’re causing significant disruption of your physical and emotional health, your job performance, and your relationship with family, lovers, and friends.

PTSD symptoms include:

Sleep problems, especially nightmares tied to the initial trauma, and insomnia.

Invasive, disturbing memories, flashbacks, and dreams about the originating traumatic incident(s).

Depression, self-hate, anger, irritability, excessive tiredness, loss of appetite, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of self-confidence, memory and cognitive deficits, mood swings, overuse of marijuana, alcohol or other drugs, sexual dysfunction, difficulty holding a job or doing well in school, anxiety attacks.

People suffering from PTSD often develop irrational fear of situations that remind them of the original trauma.

For example, before police raided and brutalized me, I disliked police and knew they were my enemy because they enforce marijuana laws.

But when I’d see police officers, it just made me cautious and annoyed.

After the police kicked my door down and violently attacked me, however, I had a deep and reflexive fear of and hatred for police officers.

If I saw a police car or police officer, my heart would start racing, I’d feel dizzy and nauseous, I’d break out in a cold sweat, and sometimes I’d have angry thoughts of taking revenge on the officers who traumatized me.

It got to where I did everything I could to avoid police officers. Like, I’d  drive miles out of my way to avoid places like concerts or sporting events that have a large police presence.

Compulsive avoidance of perceived negative situations similar to the original trauma is a sign of PTSD.

What Are the Standard “Fixes” for PTSD?

PTSD was very poorly-understood and under-diagnosed until it became an epidemic among American military veterans who’d fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Many veterans who didn’t have obvious psychiatric disorders when they joined the military developed them after they joined, especially if they’d seen combat, were injured, had killed people, or had seen others injured or killed.

When tens of thousands of veterans returned to the USA from active duty and had suicide and psychological problems at a far higher rate than the general population, the mental health community belatedly realized PTSD was a “real” and pervasive disorder.

Unfortunately, the standard, regular health care approaches for treating PTSD are to prescribe potentially-harmful pharmaceutical drugs along with group therapy, hospitalization, and counseling.

These approaches have some effectiveness, but remember that counseling, pharmaceuticals, and psychiatry are all for-profit industries.

Therapists often have a money incentive in telling you that you have PTSD.

In an alarming number of cases, pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to PTSD victims (such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs) create more problems than they solve.

That’s why using a natural herb like marijuana to heal PTSD has become an increasingly popular option.

However, you can’t just use any marijuana strain to heal PTSD, and you want to know how to use marijuana to heal PTSD.

There are specific techniques and choices for using marijuana to heal PTSD, and that’s what you’ll find in this series of articles.

[See the links below this article for the other articles in this series on using marijuana to heal PTSD]

We emphasize you should consult a competent medical professional, especially a holistic or alternative professional who recognizes the value of medical marijuana, to find out for sure if you suffer from PTSD.

Please forward this article and our series of PTSD articles to anyone who might be suffering from PTSD.

I’m giving you the inside story on using marijuana to heal PTSD, based on my own experiences, the experiences of others who are using marijuana to heal PTSD, as well as the latest scientific research.

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