Chicken or the Egg

One of my friends has a problem with a spouse prone to sudden rages, and since said spouse smokes a lot of weed, I started looking for information about a possible connection.

Spouse seems to fit the description of what they call “rapid cycling bipolar Type II” (previously I thought it might be hyperthyroidism, but the behavior sounds a lot closer to bipolar. Some researchers think the conditions are associated). Spouse is a lot more mellow after smoking, but “worse after it wears off.”

Turns out that at least some doctors think the weed might actually cause the manic/rage episodes, that it’s not immediately apparent because it takes a while for the pot to trigger the chemical cascade that results in the manic rage.

Since some bipolar people feel better when they smoke, they insist the pot is treating the disorder, not causing it, and that doctors are paid by the government to come up with reasons not to smoke.

Obviously, no one’s going to figure this all out anytime soon. Just thought it was interesting!

6 thoughts on “Chicken or the Egg

  1. Yeah, but when you go looking for possible causes you have to be really careful of the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. I put a new set of sheets on my bed recently, and I woke up with a sore back for the next four days. Gotta be the sheets!

  2. But you also have to be careful of user bias. I don’t smoke pot, I’m not as likely to rationalize my use because there is none.

  3. Every drug has its paradoxical effect. That’s because the human body is always trying to reset itself to zero… So if you smoke tobacco, your body will release more natural depressants to bring the stimulants down to zero; or if you smoke pot, your body will release more stimulants to bring you up to zero. But when you stop using the drug, you fall prey to the chemicals that used to keep you in check. Hence, alcoholics get the shakes; and smokers have trouble concentrating.

    In this case, one can see how the pot could actually exacerbate the cycle of rage… because it’s just putting today’s rage in the bank to draw interest, as it were…

  4. What it points out to me is the level of distrust that’s been generated about research. Since we’ve allowed drug manufacturers to produce and publish their own research and we have regulatory agencies that rubber stamp that research, it’s become almost impossible to check the validity of claims such as these without essentially replicating the study yourself.
    And media that hypes every interim report doesn’t help. Remember apples cause cancer?

  5. Dang, dudette, the ganja always made me passive and lessened my passive/agressiveness, and it also…uh, what was I just saying.

    Seriously, besides a chemical imbalance in the brain some people just can’t deal with fact life serves everyone a shite samdwich, like Justin twittered at shite my Dad says.

    For the latter, read “If you eet the Buddha on the road kill him.”

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