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Schizophrenia & Bipolar Disorder

There's some interest in using cannabis to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder and/or schizophrenia

Can Cannabis Help Patients With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that can cause extreme changes in mood. This can include low, depressive episodes and high, manic episodes. These mood swings can be both extreme and unpredictable.

Schizophrenia is a primary psychotic disorder, and bipolar disorder is a primary mood disorder but can also involve psychosis. Differentiating between the two can sometimes be difficult because of some similar symptoms.

Schizophrenia Symptoms

Symptoms of schizophrenia include lack of pleasure, difficulty making decisions and difficulty focusing. These are similar symptoms of patients suffering from depression or seen in bipolar disorders. Jumping from one idea to another and being unusually distracted during a manic episode may resemble “disorganized thinking,” characteristic of schizophrenia.

Bipolar Symptoms

Patients with a bipolar disorder may have psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions which can be exasperated by extreme cases of depression. When experiencing hallucinations or delusions, people with schizophrenia often seem to “lose touch” with reality. “Voices” are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia. In bipolar disorders, the psychotic symptoms tend to reflect the person’s extreme depressed or elated mood. When psychotic symptoms are present, bipolar disorder is sometimes misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.

If you suffer from one of the following illnesses you may be eligible for medical cannabis treatment. Please contact us to set up an appointment with one of our Psychiatrists.

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