We’ve all seen the jokes about the effects of cannabis on memory and brain function but it seems that marijuana users may have the last laugh.

marijuana-PTSDResults from an Israeli research study into the use of cannabis as a memory suppressant, suggest that THC, the active constituent in cannabis, might have the power to prevent or treat post-traumatic stress disorder– which, in the US at least, has grown to almost epidemic proportions in the population of service-men returning from wars in the Middle East. Both THC and CBD have great potential in helping people to treat PTSD, the following clinical trial on PTSD is well worth reading.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition in which the patient continues to suffer from stress symptoms months after going through a traumatic event like a car accident or a terror attack. Symptoms include reawakened trauma, evasion of anything that could remind the patient of the trauma, and mental and physiological disturbances

In the study rats, who are known for their love of dark places, were given electric shocks when the entered a darkened region of their cage.  It didn’t take long before they became afraid of the dark area and began to remain in the brighter part of the cage.   Researchers then stopped giving the shock treatment and the rats slowly returned to the dark area.  The researchers measured the length of time between the shocks stopping and the rats returning.

A new group of rats were used for the next phase of the study.  In this experiment the rats were once again shocked as they entered the dark area of the cage but this time they were also placed on an elevated grid. Most animals, including rats and humans, avoid walking over elevated grids, which they find distressing.  Not surprisingly, it took longer for these rats to trust the dark region again.

A third group of rats were treated in the same way as the second group, except this time a synthetic THC-like compound was injected into their brains – into a region associated with fear.  This group of rats, who had effectively received medical marijuana, returned just as quickly to the dark scary spot in the cage as the rats in group one.

Dr Akirav, who supervised the study said, “the results of our research should encourage psychiatric investigation into the use of cannabinoids in post-traumatic stress patients.”

I wonder how many PTSD patients have already discovered this therapeutic use of cannabis for themselves?


Join the discussion 34 Comments

  • steven says:

    I hear every one talking about smoking marijuana to treat PTSD the truth is marijuana just masks the symptoms for a short period then you have to medicate again don’t get me wrong I also enjoy smoking marijuana to for the THC but when it comes down to a sustained relief from PTSD the true hero is CBD concentrate from the hemp plant. I’m not going to get in to all the technical data I will leave it up to you to research but with my experience as a everyday user to combat PTSD this has giving my life back from the VA and put me in control of my own health and state of mind as well as my skeptical fellow veterans that are now believers down at the VA . As a fellow veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan I urge my fellow veterans to check out CBD and to do your research into CBD don’t take my word for it alone research it, see if it works for you and if you are subjected to random drug test at work its perfect will not show up on a standard drug test.


    I have childhood PTSD I suffer due to severe abuse, mother murderd grew up in orphanage where torture was common and daily I have tried many medications with bad side effects im lucky to have stopped alcohol and coke, I have used marihuana and it has helped stabalize me for many years, now im facing charges and jail time for possession and since my bail im not allowed to have my medication/weed in the last 2 WEEKS MY PTSD HAS increased as if I have gone back 10 years severe anger agitation can\t sleep crying constant hungry but cant eat, sweating etc etc,, my doctor and others are ignorant to what I tell them I have tried many medications more sideeffects then help, im in Toronto and need help asap sombady please if you understand contact me.. I might be going to jail soon and that will due a number on me im a good bad with a hard past what do I do nobady will listen my doctor insists that I use medications but it does more harm to me WEED is the only thing that has had better outcome, I don’t want to go down the old road again. suicide toughts extreme memories etc, is there any help no thank you medication DOSENT HELP. DO I JUST GO TO JAIL? accept my faith and end up in a coffin? I had a mild stroke I don’t like whats happening to me my girlfriend hates weed but supports me to use it she sees what I go through.. please help my e-mail cross1389@gmail.com phone416-738-1941 im in Toronto I pray SOMEONE WILL LISTEN, im haunted by my past,

  • iknowmybody says:

    I was diagnosed 10 years ago with PTSD, I didn’t know that anyone not just war veterans could have this disorder.I was a recluse after the first nightmare and staying in the house alone was driving me insane I would here my name being called and noone was there, i thought i was losing my mind, I am a very smart person made good grades in school and went through a abusive relationship fro mthe time i was 13yrs old till i was 23 with 3 children beside me I knew i needed to change my life, not knowing i still had the past to deal with in my head.at 33 years old i was awaken by the most horrifying nightmare i have ever had in my life it was so real i felt the pain that i was ennduring in my dream, i could not stop crying and shaking so bad i thought i was going crazy that a dream would make me feel this scared, a week later i went to the doctor still shaking and scared to death to sleep afraid i would go right back to the dream, they put me on pills the one thing i hated seeing alot of people around me drugged out and pill heads was one of them, Well i took them pills for 2 years that was the only way i would sleep and working was not a option cause the other pills made meslurr when i talked and look like a idiot, that was embarrassing at work i dealt with upper management and looking and talking like i was made them think i was on something and was aprroved FDA pills that are suppose to help you deal with ptsd, unbelievable i didn’t smoke marijuana at that time but it was around me all the time.I didn’t want to smoke cause i knew jobs drug tested and i could not support my children if i had no job. eventually i quit taking the pills so i could find a job and talk straight and level headed,at that time the horror i went through as a child had deminished for a while when i seen the one that was terroizing me in my dreams was in the paper he had died, i know people are not suppose to be happy about someone dying but it was like 200lbs had lifted off my shoulder, i began smoking marijuana to help me sleep at night and relax me when the thoughts would over take my day, i would smoke off and on enough to help but not enough to loose my job,but i was still dealing with triggers i could not shake them, So i done something i wanted to do for 20years i moved away from the memorys 160 miles away, i left everything i ever knew taking my youngest son who was then 16 years old and started over, no pills and a new life, just what i needed the triggers are not as strong now and i still smoked maybe one joint a month a couple hits at a time just enough to control my emotions and bring me back to myself, i now have tried to stop smoking and for 4 months i have been clean as a whistle and guess what the shits coming back hearing knocks on my bedroom door and no one in my house but me,what am i to do? , I have a great job and i am up for a promotion to Operations Manager of a world wide logistics company and I feel like i am losing my mind again, i am afraid to smoke due to maybe getting a drug test and pills make me stupid, you want to talk about stress put that along with PTSD, smoke lose my job my life, everything that i have worked so hard to accomplish in my life has now come together i am so proud of myself after all the thing i went through in my life, but now i have to choose smoke to calm my dreams and nerves and take a chance at losing everything i worked so hard to get by getting a drug test at work or take pills and lose everthing that i worked so hard for by acting stupid from all the pills they want to feed you and the side effects from them are over whelming.To let everyone know I don’t drink or do other drugs, i am up standing citzen that likes to sit in my own home and just be happy thats all, I love my children and grandchildren with my whole heart and miss them everyday but moving back is not a option to many triggers back there. I live in Tennesse and really would like to see them regulate marijuana, so i can live the happy life i have worked so hard to acheive, but i got to choose if i want my sainity now and live on welfare cause no one will hire me on the stupid pills or smoke until i get fired and then lose everything i have worked so hard to get in life.

  • Kenneth says:

    I am a Vietnam vet and have been suffering with PTSD since returning from Nam in 1967. I am 100% disabled service connect for PTSD. I am on several drugs to treat this hellish affliction. I need to get off these drugs!I need to find a Doctor to help me get a Marijuana card so I want go to jail using it. I live in North Carolina. Can any one help me?
    Regards, Ken

    • Tim says:

      Hi Ken, I too am a Vietnam Vet returning to the world in 1969. I was a fire fighter.

      The VA had me on 7 different horrible medications that did nothing but turned me into a drooling lump. I use medical Marijuana and have a PTSD specialized service dog. I don’t take any Psych meds now.

      Hope all is o.k. With you


  • cocheese says:

    I have treated soldiers/veterans for PTSD as a therapist.

    Most medical doctors have these soldiers/veterans on a cocktail of drugs which consists of a Psychotropic for depression, A benzo for anxiety, and 9 times out of 10 most soldiers/veterans are also suffering from pain and are taking pain medications which consist from Vicodans, methadone, morphine, Oxicottons.

    The combination of these medications is very dangerous, especially if alcohol is mixed in which most individuals who suffer from PTSD will also use to take away their flash backs/memories. A couple of my clients have went forward and actually been approved for medical marijuana and have went from the cocktail of drugs above to only the usage of the medical marijuana and they are functioning and maintaining their relationships with their families.

    Some are still able to be gainfully employed some are not at that point yet. But, what I have observed is the functionality of this individuals have increased and their desire to reintegrate back into society has improved and they have stopped the isolation and bunker mentality.

    Further research needs to be conducted, but with the proper usage ie edibles, vaporizers you eliminate the fear of excessive tar and destruction of the lungs. I fully recommend that if you have PTSD you contact a Doctor who can give you the advantages and disadvantages of this organic medicine.

  • Rob wotton says:

    I have had PTSD since the falklands war in 1982 it has fucked up every decent job I’ve had since I’ve tried just about every drug legal or illegal and I am thinking of concentrating on cannabis any thoughts

  • Neil says:

    The truth is, medications do not work for PTSD! Even if it did the side effects outweigh the benefits, this goes for ADHD as well… i have both of them(adhd since i was a kid, PTSD for the last 3.5 years) And i have tried everything!

    But guess what.. therapeutic marijuana use is a miracle drug for both… im sure it will be over 1000 years before we find something that compares to it that does not cause death and addiction… my guess is that marijuana helps you forget the recurring intrusive thoughts assiociated with a traumatizing event… it helps you forget the details that you keep reliving over and over again. One of my main problems has been nightmares of the event, go to sleep stoned and what do you know.. you dont have the nightmares!… and even if you do they arent nearly as vivid. It also helps you get the negative

    I was put on a antidepressant(celexa) for my depression before i had PTSD, but it made me unable to sleep, caused increased anxiety, and still do this day makes me hands and feel sweat like crazy (causing foot fungus). It was seriously affecting my job performance, at a job that i had started at 8.50 an hour and was now making $17 an hour plus room and board. So against the advice of my doctors i stopped taking it immediately.

    During this i had who i thought was an awesome girl friend, i have never been so close to anyone in my life and to this day 4 years later i still havent… but when i came off the celexa it made me irritable, angry and to completely lose my sex drive for a month or 2… the girlfriend didnt like that, she changed her shift so we wouldnt have to spend as much time together, and she started to avoid me.

    She started cheating on me for a week with my so called friend, and she still continued to act like we were still in a relationship until one night she didnt come home, i went to where i thought she might be and there she was, naked with my “friend”. This made me psychotic and i almost choked him to death in his sleep, but thinking about the consequences, i elbowed his eye socket as hard as i could and left… for the record i had never been like this until taking the antidepressants… never been in a fight unless it was to defend myself, hardly got into trouble at school (because of my inability to handle stress from adhd).

    I know for a fact i would have let it go and moved on if i wasnt put on that drug, but because of the phychosis it gave me an uncontrollable urge to want to kill a human being, any substance that does this should not be readily available for ANYONE to take. None of this i told to my doctor (thank the gods).

    And to top it off a month later i found out she was pregnant with MY son… This caused me so much stress that i nearly got into a fight with a co-worker and i had to request a layoff… and i have now been living on $235 a month for the last 3 years, and no matter how hard i try to find work, job interviewers can see it in my eyes that there is something wrong with me.

    The doctor saw i have been having problems for a number of years now, and zoloft did not help much either…so he automatically thought it was bipolar.. put me on lithium for 4 months then depakote for 2 months… neither of them did shit but increased my brain fog, made me tired and to withdraw from any social contact with even my closest friends.

    I just recently found out i have full-blown Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from this particular event (3.5 years later), i have recurring nightmares which result in waking up to the same feeling as the day it happened, if not worse. And the doctor still thinks its bipolar and i just dont like the medication! WAKE THE FUCK UP!, i only have 3 out of 20 symptoms of bipolar how does that make me bipolar… the rest of the questions i answered positive to are identical to adhd symptoms.

    So after losing all faith in the pharma-crack I found a medical breakthrough… There is only thing that has helped treat both the medical conditions, and that is cannabis! It has proven to be far better at treating both adhd and post traumatic stress disorder when used therapeutically… the trick is to only use small amounts throughout the day so you dont build a tolerance from a high dose (especially for adhd)

    It works the same way as many adhd pharma drugs: by releasing dopamine stuck to the dopamine receptor, allowing reward function of the brain which makes learning rewarding… therefore increasing focus (only in attention deficit). There are quite a few of studies on it, but i know for a FACT that it works… im not sure how it helps PTSD but it has shown to treat that better than any medication as well.. the main course of treatment is with ssri’s as far i know, and look at the circumstances that poison has caused me.

    Even bipolar and anxiety are beneficial from pot if you use it properly… countless people have died from physciatric medications for all of these… as stated by the FDA there is not a single case study of a person dying from marijuana use… which in scientific terms makes cannabis safer to consume than many of the foods we regularly eat!

    I am feeling much better from cannabis treatment and am feeling much better now that i have stopped all the pharma-crack drugs… i have been on in this order: celexa, trazodone, zoloft, some addictive sleep med (cant remember the name), lithium and depakote… and neither have come close to helping me as much as small amounts of marijuana. Like any of these meds, it does not work if you dont take it, but instead of making you anorexic it gives you an appetite… instead of causing sleep problems it will help many people sleep (as long as it has a proper theuapeutic use).

    I am now almost ready to return to the work force, which never would happen on the pharma-crack… and even if it did, it would not last…. the side effects are so humiliating that i would not be able to continue them for the rest of my life. The only red flag is dont use pot if you show schizophrenic symptoms, as there is a good chance they will become worse, not the case with anxiety though.

    ADHD Herbal remedies have helped me focus as well, but they have their ups and downs too… mari-jane is allowing me to live my life to the fullest despite my severe PTSD and mild adhd, and i love it!! 😀

    More research and lab testing needs to be done on ASAP on cannabis medical benefits on PTSD, if anyone knows where i can sign up as a patient please email me.. I smoke/ ingest an ounce of marijuana every month, if I can afford it on welfare (income assistance) anyone can!

  • Tim J. says:

    I have ptsd.

    I was taking so many meds from the doctor that I was nothing more that a worthless glob of human matter!!! Not only that the meds that i was on caused kidney and liver damage!!! I smoke everyday and I am a functional person now.

    How can someone be so ignorant as to say they don’t like the idea of marijuana treating ptsd?? Its an easy choice for me even though i live in kansas and currently we have the most fuked up laws in the u.s. One gram is a felony here. Anyone that says they would rather take the meds that the doctor gives them instead of treating it with marijuana. Well i guess you just like putting pure poison into your body because that is what the doctor is giving you.

  • GreenSmoke says:

    I don’t like the sound of that. Only cannabis can help with PTSD? There’s gotta be another way you can treat it!

  • Outlaw says:

    I live in Mississippi and after serving for 13 months in Iraq I have been diagnossed with severe PTSD. I have recently found articles about treating PTSD with marijuana or Dronabinol. I also suffer from chronic back pain and have had an axialif fussion at my L5-S1 level.

    I would like to know how to get in a linical test program.

  • Lucky to be Alive says:

    After reading some extremely ignorant comments of people’s take on PTSD and marijuana as treatment I will try to move on and ignore the absolute clueless. There is just not enough space and I don’t want to waste my time on a troll.

    I have discovered a much needed life preserver in marijuana recently to help me get through my days and nights. After many years and countless nights awake, countless nights of dread washing over me as I lay there, the night terrors, the nightmares, the countless sleeping aids from doctors… I can fall asleep within 30 minutes and not be afraid with this. I do not wake in panic lately though sometimes I still wake up. A quick smoke and I can go back down. I am getting to where I sleep all night a bit too. Plus an added bonus was it seriously impacting my nightmare recall. I can barely recall them even if I try.

    The extreme constant stress causes muscle pain and spasms, nausea and vomiting, migraines almost daily when the house is busy. A smoke and I can function. It has cured some of my migraines, cured nausea, and relaxes muscles. Without I am sick and nothing gets done. I cannot take OTC pain killers or have the caffeine in them so I’d suffer for days with the same migraine. I would sometimes find relief under hot showers but only while in the shower and my face would be red and peeling the next day. I cannot and will not take a script. But a simple smoke and I can lessen the symptoms and sometimes completely shake them off.

    The panic and the fear. If you never had a full on panic attack where you KNOW you are dying that second then you cannot grasp what we go through. And again a simple little cigarette makes that go away.

    There is no cure for PTSD. It is a disorder. There are marked differences in the brain between a healthy adult and one with PTSD (hippocampus size). People who suffer from PTS and get better are blessed. Us with PTSD are not. I am not afraid of the same things happening to me. Really I am not. I know it can’t happen. But I am still left with bouts of depression, Panic attacks and anxiety, heart palpitations (HUGE HUGE relief of those)muscle spasms, insomnia, nightmares, terrors, olfactory flashbacks, emotional ones, confusion, memory loss, extreme dizzy spells, faintness, shakes, heartburn (shows up only when upset), short fused, “body memory”, migraines.

    After 5 years, literally losing my farm and my husband’s retirement to be stuck in a rent house and unable to work and no, I do NOT collect disability though I would if I could. I am not having a “normal reaction” at this point. At this point PTSD has ruined mine and my family’s life.

    I plead with the lawmakers make this legal the whole country over. I need this. Since partaking I have become a much better person. I am calmer, I am more productive, more involved with my family. I have only touched alcohol 2 or 3 times in the last few months. And any PTSD sufferer knows that is a big thing. My husband is happy too. I am a happier woman who actually laughs a little. After 5 years this PTSD mess was getting old. I only wish I had tried this a lot sooner. At least I tried it before I lost my marriage to PTSD too.

    Just for good measure my retirement went to expenses related to PTSD. I was on at one point in time or another and in one combination or another about 20 different pills. Obviously not at the same time. I did a couple years counseling every week on top of the shrink. I did it by the book. I did not get “better”.

  • Daniel Lee says:

    I suffer from PTSD and marijuana is the only thing that keeps me level headed, i eat regular, i can think clearly where as if i dont smoke cannibus im like dr jekel an my hyde ready to flip on anybody. Its the only thing thats been able to help me so if I can obtain a card somehow please let me know.

  • Christophe says:

    It is not existential, it has biological components, neurochemical feedback systems, and it is all controlled by our cannabinoid system, which mediates the adrenal glands, the startle response, rapid heart rate, you know, the stuff I have everyday, and the stuff you need to stop spreading the government’s and industries’ lies, ignorance and more lies

    I find myself returning again and again to this topic of PTSD, as one does looking at a bad car accident. However, there are so many misconceptions and misapprehensions and it is difficult for me to not want to weigh in on such. The decidedly biologistic-reductive stance you assume of PTSD, that anything short of empirical and scientific can be real, is no more definitive than what I have attempted to articulate.
    We can go back and forth, reductio ad absurdum, until the chickens come home to roost. Alas, what I believe what we have is a language impasse: one side saying that biology is destiny(?), and the other side saying that a theory does not-and cannot-explain cause. If someone “goes postal”, killing many people, say, at his place of work, what is one to infer about the act? If upon further inquiry, it is discovered that the alleged murderer suffered from PTSD, is one then to assume that said person was not in his right mind? Do we ascribe blame, regardless of how heinous and irrational an act? The fact is, that there is a chance that this individual might be found innocent by reason of insanity ( A legal term in a court of law, none the less informed by the ostensibly “impartial” science of psychiatry). Again, psychiatry is a moral enterprise, as it deals with human action, intent(can such be adjudged well after the fact?), especially as it obtains with the role of the forensic psychiatrist, and his social status, as expert on human nature. In effect the latter has made a mockery of the legal system, and effectively makes the opinion of said shrink a matter of “empirical” fact.
    The court of law is not the only venue that psychiatry has successfully managed to insinuate itself. The ingenuous desire on the part of psychiatry, and its practitioners, to be seen as credible and needful, has resulted in a propagandistic tour de force which would have made Dr. Goebbels blush with excitement. Psychiatry is social-engineering in the making. It is evolving, and as social values and norms shift, so will the institutional priorities (mission?) of psychiatry change. In the end, it does not matter a jot to me how anyone consciously and volitionally chooses to define himself and his human failings (feelings, motives, etc.). Like I have already said, my concern is of the institutional side, in its egative connotations. where state and psychiatry are inextricably bound in the mission to address social and interpersonal ills. Again, the state and psychiatry vis a vis the individual, is not animated principally by medical concerns, but a sociopyschological, and political ones. And at no other time in modern history has it been possible to deny one’s full measure of responsibilty, freedom, and self-determination, in return for the security of a putative mental disorder. The latter is a most pressing issue, that promises a lot, but delivers very little by way of answers.

  • Christophe says:

    What exactly would the neurologist have done to alleviate the symptoms I was experiencing? Lobotomy?
    Not to be flippant, but what of the countless number of war veterans and their respective recollections? Should lobotomy-LOL-have been available as a treatment? Yes, I know, the memories and nightmares are supposedly long standing for many a PTSD sufferer, but, again, this does not make for a disease. What exactly do shrinks do that constitutes “treatment” of PTSD. Well, the notion of treatment of PTSD, has, throughout the years, gone through some revision. In our present time, especially as it concerns North America, there is the tendency to frame moral questions as medical ones. Now, if one feels oneself blue, angry, even too happy or, shy in public, there is a label and its respective treatment. Two books come to the fore on this issue of thoroughly medicalizing life: “The Medicalizing of everyday life”, and “Pharmacracy”-the subtitle of which presently escapes me. I am not against consensual-contractual psychiatric care, however, my contention is that psychiatry, as an important social institution, is informed by a collectivist-paternalistic approach, one that often pits the individual against the “needs” and “interests” of the community (state). From my reading on PTSD, I come away with the impression that it is a transitory, although for some, a rather protracted affair. So, why is it that I know of people who claim to be “life-long” sufferers, unable to hold down employment, who divorce, etc?
    I think that what is missing-or, what has been consciously omitted from the conversation-are the social, political, and economic interests served by “legitimizing” PTSD, not as disease, in its true sense, but as a means for our society to transform existential, moral, and social problems (generally regarded by many to be no more than problems of living) into emergent medical issues. It is my opinion that the latter will fail on several accounts, but this still hasn’t engendered any substantive dialogue over the institution nature of psychiatry, and its morally prescriptive nature, posing as medical treatment.

  • Christophe says:

    What exactly would the neurologist have done to alleviate the symptoms I was experiencing? Lobotomy?
    You are missing the point. The fact that psychiatrists are principally the ones to treat PTSD, is not to besmirch the good that those with after effects of trauma receive, that much should be made clear in my defense.
    However, suffering bad recollections, nightmares, aggitation and anxiety do occur in many, not all, who have suffered a traumatic event, the standard of which, in indentification, and subsequent treatment, psychiatry has tasked itself with. As you may have already known, the present understanding of PTSD qua disease has been strongly influenced, if not shaped into being, by political activism. As our culture now conflates Health values as moral values, especially in regards to the notion of “sick” and “healthy” (read: mental health and mental illness), it is no wonder that psychiatry should be that institution to present a facade of medical impartiality, when, all along their’s is a moral and social mission. cui bono? The psych profession, certainly in regards to PTSD, serves as the arbiter between the good of the patient and the exigencies of one’s community, its values, norms, and the need to maintain social order. As in its extreme case, the shrink serves as jailer, this is but one of the institutions functions. So, as to the other post about me “degrading” the profession of psychiatry, I have nothing to say. I will let you read the writing on the wall yourself.

    Oh, yes, why aren’t neurologists treating PTSD, instead of shrinks? Again, the answer must take into account the social and political forces at play in the engenderment of so-called mental illnesses. Being labeled as mentally ill goes beyond purely medical considerations. The same holds for the over three hundred other codified mental illnesses and disorders listed in the current DSM-IV. Both forensic and institutional psychiatrists are a presence that has less to do with humanistic medicine, than it does social and political expendiency.
    Am I to infer that you seek the treatment through psychiatric services because you hold faith in medicine and science, and shrinks are mental doctors? Or should that be brain doctors…no wait…
    The point I am making is that, nightmares, “flashbacks”, and other unpleasant, but normal responses to servere trauma, are not signs of disease, at least as any technology can tell. So, why are shrinks the ones to have exclusivity(?) over the treatment of PTSD, as well as the other 300+ disorders, barring those of “organic” origin-rightly treated by neurologists. I think I will leave you to either delve deeper, or, to continue on your course of treatment. BTW, is PTSD curable or treatable? I think the tax payer should chime in on that question.

  • Christophe says:

    I am not an “anti-psychiatrist” yahoo, propounding my views on how to reinvent the social institution of psychiatry. I am an psychiatric abolotionist on many accounts, the most important being the ideologically driven nature of psychiatry, as an endeavor of science to treat the mentally ill individual. In actually, the psychiatric enterprise, in its present, institutional engenderment, is informed by a collectivist-paternalistic approach, one that so often must, perforce, result in the abridgement of civil rights, various means of coercion and, the continued use of various “medical interventions”, many unquestionably dangerous.
    As I noted above, psychiatry is in its infancy, and as an infant, it can be dominating and demanding. I cannot speak for generations to come, but, I can only hope that those who dared to say that the king wears no cloths, that society will be more the wiser, and that psychiatric “medicine” will truly be a humane enterprise. The shrink does the legislature’s bidding, and vice versa. However, the people are the government, and every man has something to contribute to the maintenance of our institutions, and the course those institutions take.
    The critique I level against psychiatry is principally a political one. I haven’t the inclination nor the time to dialate on the pseudo-science and its hubristic mission to save man from the eternal darkness of madness. I believe it might be Samuel Johnson, the famous eighteenth century literary critic, who observed that the road to hell was paved with good intentions. I believe psychiatry, a child of the enlightenment, and of science, must repudiate those practices that abridge freedoms and liberty, eschew all forms of coercion and oppression, all in the name of public order and safety (that is the function of our courts and jails).

  • Christophe says:

    First off, I do appreciate the fact that you make the conscious effort to be polite with your response. It is rare to talk of matters psychiatric without inflaming sensibilities. I would admit that my views on PTSD are neither firsthand, or “professionally” arrived at. However, I have read widely on the particular subject of PTSD, leaving no stones unturned in my earnest attempt to understand. I am not denying that there are those, who, because of predispositions, and “susceptibilities” (psycho-social circumstances, medically unrelated)suffer a variety of symptoms.
    My contention, in broad strokes, concerns itself with the social and political, and how such informs, and colors the perceptions of, medical specialists and the public. The manner in which those vested institutions care for vets, and so many others now labeled with PTSD, has me wondering if any real headway is being made, or, if society is just spinning its wheels. In my opinion, the money spent getting the word out about PTSD, screening, prognosis, treatment, etc., leaves me less than impressed.
    Psychiatry is like no other branch of science, as it deals with (mis)behavior and the moral implications of such. No other branch of medicine has melded with science, quite like psychiatry. Psychiatry is a infant science, in need of socializing, just like a dominating child needs to be. Perhaps years from now, there will be no need to address the many inconsistencies and omissions that now muddle the psychiatric enterprise, and that the profession-psychiatrists-will eschew obfuscation and deceits. Alas, ideology still figures foremost as the informing principle in profession’s present course in promoting and maintaining the notions of “sickness” and “health”.

  • Vet with Issues says:


    I was just thinking about the post I made a while back and thought Id check back to see if there were any responses. I guess there were, lol.

    I respect your opinion, but I can not discern what exactly that opinion is. The essence of your initial post was that PTSD is not a real disorder. I dont know what scientific basis (if any) you have to come to that conclusion, but in your response posts you seem to be changing, or clarifying (not sure which) your stance to state that it is a “bona-fide” ailment, but that there is no need to treat it with psychiatry.

    It seems your new opinion is that patients with PTSD should first consult a neurologist? Well, Im no brain surgeon, but I do know that the way I felt and acted, not to mention the hypertension (abnormally high blood pressure) when I came home from 2 years in combat were not caused by a physical malady. What exactly would the neurologist have done to alleviate the symptoms I was experiencing? Lobotomy?

    I also consider myself a “tough guy.” The last thing in the world I would ever tell anyone is that I was seeing a psychiatrist, but if I would’ve known I had PTSD when I was punching out walls and having waking nightmares I would have been in their office as many times a week as they recommended. To say that psychiatry is a quack profession is just as degrading and offensive as the initial statement that PTSD isnt real.

  • Christophe says:

    Any one with even a shred of knowledge about psychology knows that most “mental disorders, are bioneurological anomalies, treated b chemical, behavioral, and cognitive therapies.

    Spoken like a true disciple of the Therapeutic state. The current vogue of using speculative theory to justify all manner of “therapeutic” intervention, including involuntary commitment, forced drugging (inpatient and outpatient),and the stigmatizing nature of psychiatric labeling, proves nothing of the contention that (mis)behavior is biologically based. Moreover, the notion that the mind (as in “mental” illness and disorder) can be made ill, is a misuse of language. Medicine plays little if any part in the ongoing mission to codify an ever growing roster of mental illnesses (easier, I suppose, than addressing the underlying moral issue(s)in our given culture). Biologistic-reductive psychiatry is a social institution, whose main aim is to assure the “health” of the social organism, much to the detriment of the primacy of the individual in a freedom loving society.

  • Christophe says:

    I’m sorry, but your socio-political argument is going far afield of the intended discussion. Turning trauma into an emergent “medical” issue is neither scientific nor medical. The savvy use of media, has, among other manipulations, made for a glut of mentally ill, collecting disability checks, and whatever else such respective groups care to extract from society. Yes, an individual has a right to drug himself up to forget, but not the right to drag the rest of society into paying for millions of the so-called mentally ill. This is political manipulation, not the recognition of a medical emergency.

  • Christophe says:

    I can tell you DO NOT have PTSD.

    Sorry, but is this some self-serving litmus test of exclusion? I am not questioning whether real suffering takes place. I am only trying to shift attention to the politicization of mental illness, writ large. If, indeed, those vested professions were really interested in aleviating human suffering, I very much doubt that shrinks would be calling the shots. There is a field of neurology that addresses REAL brain ailments, why not PTSD? What exactly is the standard ationalization of treating PTSD as a “disease”, when there are no disease markers, like most every other codified mental disorder? Yeah, you left-leaning, statist psychs are morally and ethically bound.

  • Hemp Truth says:

    Chris, when I smell blood, and see their pale frightened faces, hear their screams, and I’m driving to the mall, you have the nerve to tell me I have been “labeled.” The best thing that ever happened to me was the realization that I had PTSD, a specific, diagnosable, disorder, – the only issue now is getting the medicine that helps, legalized – that won’t be easy as Shell/RD, Squibb, Monsanto, DuPont, and Exxon, and the rest have been buying our politicians that allow us to stay sick, broke, and in a polluted world so they can earn a buck of our suffering.

    Brough to by the US government purveyors of Junk science that said Global warming is a myth – Hey, isn’t that what the AntiChrist is supposed to do, deceive and destroy our world – Well, GW and his marionette cheney sure “walk like a duck…” Somebody should check their scalp for sixes!

    I can see another war brewing, this one though is the people protesting voting to stop the Fascism that has perpetuates the racism, and lies, and greed, which makes criminals out of its citizens at the highest rate in the world. Aren’t you proud? Just look at the lies they pump out about Prez Obama – socialism, bring back slavery, destroy our country – these are marginal kooks – AKA rebublicans.


  • Hemp Truth says:

    Chris, go back to the rocks you came out from. I am both a psychologist and a PTSD sufferer, PTSD is real. It is not existential, it has biological components, neurochemical feedback systems, and it is all controlled by our cannabinoid system, which mediates the adrenal glands, the startle response, rapid heart rate, you know, the stuff I have everyday, and the stuff you need to stop spreading the government’s and industries’ lies, ignorance and more lies – what is your agenda? Mom a little rough with you in the tub?

    Any one with even a shred of knowledge about psychology knows that most “mental disorders, are bioneurological anomalies, treated b chemical, behavioral, and cognitive therapies.

    I can tell you DO NOT have PTSD.

    I can also tell someone is in deep denial about something.

  • Christophe says:

    The removal of posts on this and other topics, does more to blur the truth, than to ostensibly remove those posts by crackpots and provocateurs. Given how so many in present-day culture have come to regard the psych profession as a bona fide medical enterprise, it should be no surprise that dissenting voices would be silenced. After all, our society no longer has the Inquisition, but something much more insidious: psychiatric mystification. This site should be renamed “convenienttruths.com”.

  • Christophe says:

    Sorry, I mean to say pathophysiological states, not the double-negative “abnormality” :^).

  • Christophe says:

    I, too, am a vet, and I not an aspiring, deranged cult leader. However, the argument that I making is that, among so many other mental illness and disorders, PTSD has been subsumed as a psychiatric disorder. No one cares to question the motives and designs for this medical codification. If you would like an interesting perspective on the current critique over PTSD treatment, look at Julian Arbor’s “Torture in America”(?), on Youtube. She is a licensed clinical psychologist who has succumbed to brain damage from being labelled with a psychiatric illness, rather than a medical one. Yes, most mental illnesses and disorders are not the result of pathophysiological abnormality. However, the psychiatric profession still maintains its position that it is indeed treating human suffering. With nothing else to justify why shrinks do what they do, aside from the disengenuous, and cynical pronouncements of the profession, its time people turn on to its abuses. Just like what has come to pass with the lies about our beloved plant.

  • Vet with Issues says:

    It took time to heal and Im much better now. I’ve learned to suppress all those emotions, but in doing so I’ve became a shell of the man I used to be. Im no longer a daredevil, nor am I as good of a husband. I dont live for today anymore. Anyone who has a even a shred of basic human decency who is forced to make decisions in the field like myself and the many soldiers and marines on the frontlines right now will be changed by the experience forever. We will never be the same, but I would have really benefitted from some counselling when I was going through the rough times, had any of the Army or civilian doctors I had seen even suggested it. I didnt put 2 and 2 together to realize I had an easily diagnosable condition for a long time. I thought I was just a crazy vet who needed to be put to pasture to calm down. I was partially right, but the time to heal would have been significantly less if I had counselling, and maybe a little pot to smoke, lol.

  • Vet with Issues says:

    The response from Christophe sounds more like the ranting of a deranged cult leader than of that of an intelligent man with something worthwhile to share.

    I have to agree with the synopsis of this study. I smoked plenty of marijuana when I was younger and before the Army, but since my time as an infantryman i haven’t smoked. I wasn’t allowed to in the Army, and my post-military career is far too important to me to risk getting into an on the job incident and getting a urinalysis (1 in a billion chance, but still…). Its been 10 years since I last used marijuana.

    Ive always had issues with insomnia, and when I smoked pot I was fine. I would only smoke before bed and I always got great rest. When I was in high school I was diagnosed with depression and perscribed anti-depressents and sleep aids. One to wake up, one to go to sleep. They were toxic chemicals that altered me in ways that I was not comfortable with. A normal 16 year old should not be on Paxil and Trazedone. No one should be on Trazodone!

    Now I understand that in the 90’s EVERYONE was prescribed anti-depressants, and the problem has gotten better, but my point is this; I had symptoms of depression due to lack of sleep caused by insomnia. Trazodone is commonly used as a sleep aid, but its widely known that it can cause vivid hallucinations. Anti-depressants like Paxil swirling through the brain of an average kid who just needs better sleep is not an ideal scenario either.

    I wish my doctor could have legally prescribed Marijuana in that situation. I did end up having a hallucination when I was taking Trazodone and burned a 3″ hole in my pants (and my leg) with a cigarette while I was riding in the passenger seat of a friends car. I immediately stopped taking the anti-depressants and consulted with my doctor about the situation.

    I told her the whole story. My parents insisted I stop smoking pot, it was a gateway drug, no son of mine, all that jazz, it was their duty as parents and i understood that clearly. Thats when I came to see her initially about the insomnia. I told her that when I smoked I was fine. I was well rested, fully functional in school, great grades, three sports, symphonic band, (I was at school at 6:30am everyday for morning band practice, and left at 7pm after footbal/track/wrestling) but when I stopped the problems with insomnia started, and my grades started slipping as well.

    I told her that the drugs she prescribed caused intolerable side effects and that I still did not believe I was depressed. She agreed, and hesitantly told me that Marijuana was known to be a good solution to the problems I was having, but told me that I was “self medicating.” She also said that if I were an adult and medical marijuana was legal she would definitely prescribe it, but the laws were not in place at that time. I told her that I would start “self medicating” again, and never took another anti-depressant. It was the best medical decision I ever made for myself!

    Now that Im older I really wish I could start using Marijuana again. Not just to get high, I really miss the deep sleep I got when I smoked before bed. I could start again, its not like its not readily available, and the state just passed legislation to decriminalize possession of less than one ounce, but I just cant risk being persecuted if I get into an accident at work. It wouldn’t matter if I was high or not (of course I wouldn’t be) the urinalysis is all that would be seen.

    BUT, if we had laws like California, I could legally consume marijuana for insomnia. Maybe I’ll move!

    And, more on topic, I did have PTSD when I returned home from three back to back combat deployments and an infantryman in the Army. At that time the Army was not acknowledging the presence of the illness during our mandatory checkup by psychiatrists upon returning home. I went for a checkup after I got home and found that I had severe hypertension. I was 24 years old, in prime physical condition (I worked out 3hrs a day 4 times a week, and ran every day) and had to take medication to lower my blood pressure. I awoke abruptly hearing air raid sirens and mortars exploding nightly. I punched a hole in the wall next to my bed (on the opposite side of my wife) while I was asleep and never even woke up, my wife knew better than to wake me up when I was having nightmares. I broke down several times regretting everything I had done, and all the lives that I had destroyed while trying to do my job with the goal of creating peace, and every time I learned that a young man I had talked into joining my unit was wounded or killed.

    It took time to heal, and Im much better now. I’ve learned to suppress all those emotions, but in doing so I’ve became a shell of the man I used to be. Im no longer a daredevil, nor am I as

  • Daniel Lee says:

    I suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and the only thing that helps my deal with the horrible thoughts, memories, jekel and hyde actions, relieve pain from where bones broke, and keep a normal appetite is Marijuana. Unfortunately in Maryland you have to be dying in order to get a card and I strongly disagree with this part of our “medical marijuana” law.

  • squid says:

    our Laboratories specializes in analytical testing for active compounds of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)and cbd,mold

    also know as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD

    check it out

  • Christophe says:

    I sure that the population of erstwhile test rats out there with PTSD will be pleased by this piece of research.

  • Christophe says:

    My main contention is that PTSD is a thorough medicalizing of what is essentially an existential issue, one that politicians- and the public- favor to have made into a social issue, not unlike so many other invented mental illnesses. The fact that the medical-psychiatric complex has a vested professional interest in globalizing human affect as potentially psychopathological, has resulted in a glut of pharma R&D, a growing roster of sick in our culture, and the politicization of medicine writ large (certainly as it obtains with community mental health policy).
    Moreover, it does not cease to amaze me that so many individuals, principally those who have availed themselves in assuming the sick role (read: diagnosed with some form of “mental illness”), and who have unquestioningly accepted the white-coated ones’ pronouncement of PTSD as a “bona fide” disease, are angered when confronted with the omissions and inconsistencies within any “public” dialogue over psych labeling and stigmatization. The notion that existential difficulties are somehow less compelling and, worthy of our collective pity and attention, makes nothing short of being labeled acceptable: such is the religiosity over psyche mystification our modern-day culture assumes. As with almost all other labels of mental illness and disorders, which, are no more than problems of living, for so many, elevating PTSD as a hot-button issue has its noted socially and politically strategic affects. Factually, whether PTSD is medical-no assay or test to prove such-or not is not the point. The nexus of the debate over PTSD is a sociopsychological phenomenon, just as it is with so many other labeled and codified disorders. The individual in our current socio-political landscape is more likely to find a niche in this cuture of the sick (read:mentally ill and disordered). The confluence of politics and psychiatry-and its allied professions-has created the lumbering leviathan, consuming millions of lives in its path. This is, in short, what our culture has wished for, and is now burdened with: the Therapeutic state.

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