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How can you tell what is drug induced and what is strictly a mental health issue?

Discussion in 'Helping an Addicted Loved One' started by JayLyn, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. JayLyn

    JayLyn Active Contributor

    My boy friend of five and a half years has been having some serious paranoid thoughts lately and they are becoming more and more disruptive. The problem is he also takes crystal meth and pot quite frequently and any suggestion that they crystal especially might be causing his problems is met with flat out denial. He has insisted to the point of calling 911 that his friends are trying to kill him by putting krokodil in his pot. I've tried to tell him that the idea is ludicrous and the symptoms he is pointing to like sores on his face are being caused by the acidic sweat caused by the crystal. No matter what I show him on the net that says there is no krokodil in pot, he won't believe me. Earlier this year he thought that the world was going to end in a matter of hours and he was seriously convinced it was. He was completely crazy. How much if this is drugs and how much is mental health? How can you tell the difference? He never acted like this before and he\s used for awhile even after I got clean. I just don't know what to do for him.
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Taking drugs can induce mental issues. Someone I know used to hallucinate when he was on drugs, thinking everyone "was out to get him." Previously [before he started using drugs] he didn't have these mental issues. Though drug use can exacerbate an existing mental health issue I think that your boyfriend's mental issues are drug-related since you say he never used to act like this before.
  3. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I think they are drug related too. They are causing him to become paranoid and hallucinate. Different drugs affect different people in different ways.
  4. irishrose

    irishrose Community Champion

    Marijuana and other drugs can lead to paranoia, and negatively effect one's mental health temporarily and even permanantly. It would be difficult to determine whether his behavior is due to his drug use or due to mental illness if he is still using. Encourage him to get help to stop using in order to get healthy mentally and physically.
  5. Momma9

    Momma9 Community Champion

    Meth definitely makes you paranoid! It is scary for the user, and very frustrating for those around him! It damages the body and brain also. I am not sure there is anything you can do for him until he realizes that he needs to stop using meth.

    I am sorry you are dealing with this. Please be cautious during these paranoid episodes. He could become dangerous. He may normally be a kind, gentle person, but the drugs can change him into someone completely different.
  6. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    Paranoia is par for the course unfortunately. Until he admits a problem and wants help you can't do a whole lot. Please keep your safety in mind with any decisions you make on how to approach this.
  7. melody

    melody Active Contributor

    Maybe, when medical marijuana is legal, people like your friend can be helped. THC does have the side effect of paranoia, however research shows that most of that paranoia could come from the fact that it is illegal. THC helps you focus, and if you focus on the fact that you could go to jail, you would be paranoid. It sounds like your friend is beyond that type of paranoia. Self medication is the problem, and doing both meth and pot is not safe at all. Meth can kill you any time you use it, and change your brain chemistry. That can cause mental illness. Just Remember this, you can't make him change. He has to want to change. All you can do is choose how you react to it.
  8. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    Sometimes addiction and mental health issues can go hand in hand. I believe they call this dual diagnosis but I am not quite sure. I think that the meth is what is causing his paranoia and psychosis. It is something that happens to users of that drug. BUT there also may be an underlying mental illness. Sadly when he is using you are not going to know if it is the drugs or mental issues. Also, in the even that he does get clean (which I certainly hope that he will), a psychiatrist will not be able to diagnose him with any mental issue for 6 months to a year. This is due to the lack of dopamine that he has right now and will have for about a year after he is clean. The drug use has depleted his dopamine and the only way it will come back is from him getting clean. really is something that you will not be able to figure out right now. Please take care of yourself and stay safe. I wish you and your boyfriend the best and I hope he gets clean.