Can I still be diagnosed?

Lostinthestatic

Lostinthestatic

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#1
I hope this is in the right place :)

TLDR; I smoke weed, sometimes heavily and sometimes not, but in the last 2 months it has been everyday. Will I have to be sober for a while before a therapist or psychiatrist can give me a diagnosis? Even if my problems began before the drug use?

(Warning: overly long backstory to provide more context)

I wonder if there is anyone else out there in a similar situation to mine.

I have been depressed with anxious distress and panic attacks for many years, with signs starting from young due to emotional neglect from my mother (who suffers from addiction & bipolar & other comorbid illnesses). My father, who I saw occasionally, offered no kind of emotional interactions he might as well have been a stranger that picked me up.

When I was 19 I started smoking weed. Then I met my partner and I became a more heavy smoker in an effort to relate to him more, or to be more likeable. It was my first relationship and I went through many cycles of devaluation and idealization, breaking up with him etc., but we both love each other immensely and he has kept me grounded through a lot of intense situations.

I once broke up with him for months, and I was sober for the most part (didn’t have money to buy weed and I didn’t feel the need to have it so much). I thought because I was sober I was in my “right mind” and everything I did was because I was doing it with a clear head and this is who I am. Weed had caused me severe paranoia and fear at some points so I figured it might have been toxic for me in the long run.

However, I could not cope with reality. I began smoking cigarettes and occasionally drinking alone in my room during the day... I wouldn’t drink everyday but it did become something I would want to do if I felt really badly. I became promiscuous and felt empty inside. As much as it is hard to admit, I believe I manipulated people into liking me for my own validation. I did not really care about them. I also used them to try to get over my partner, who had been the center of my life and the one to make or break my day for a long time.

Eventually I crawled back to him despite having pushed him away so much, but overall I hurt him very much with my actions and I do not want to repeat that.

I suspect I have borderline personality disorder. I have read that mental health professionals can not diagnose if BPD (or any other MH illness) is the issue if there are drugs involved, as addiction can mimic BPD ? I am not horribly addicted and I know how to stop as I have done it before, I just don’t want to at the moment as I have no appetite and cannot eat otherwise. So I suppose you can say I am addicted to it... I resist that labeling but I want to be realistic as well. If I could find a way to save my appetite without weed, I would be 100% willing to quit. I had this same issue in the past and eventually it got easier to eat without it, but I think it may be stress-related stomach issues as well, as my relationship is in disarray and while I do smoke everyday I smoke such an insignificant amount that I don’t really get high anymore... it just helps me eat.

Can I still be diagnosed, or would I have to stop smoking?
 
Shadow-one

Shadow-one

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#2
Hey Lostinthestatic

:welcome: to the forum...

I'm really sorry to hear of all the struggles you have in your life, especially when you were a child and didn't get the emotional support you needed...

It's hard I think to connect with other people in a healthy way when you don't know who you are yourself. At least that's the way it is for me anyway.

I don't know the answer to your questions about whether you can get a diagnosis during or shortly after substance abuse. Can you maybe go and see your GP and see what their advice is? The GP is usually the first port of call for getting an eventual diagnosis.

I think it would be a good idea to talk to the Doctor about your eating problems too. Maybe then you could through your GP get you an appointment with a dietician who could help you work out a realistic eating plan.

I was diagnosed with BPD 4yrs ago, and suddenly I made sense to myself... Not to anyone else however because I'm still the same person to them.... But my diagnosis gave me a place where I fitted into the world.

I imagine you would have to be off any substances before getting a diagnosis, but take one step at a time and you WILL get there....

Take care of yourself :)
 
Lostinthestatic

Lostinthestatic

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#3
:thanks:Shadow-one for your helpful input, and for the warm welcome... I suppose you are right. There’s never any problem solving getting done when ruminating over a thing but I still do it.

The more I read about BPD and it’s complexities, the more my whole life starts to make sense. I hesitate telling anyone in my personal life this, especially my partner, because I am not a professional and I do not want to seem as though I am just forcing a label on myself. Rather than a label, it’s more of a map of symptoms that helps me feel less lost.

And I also struggle with identity and sense of self... so much. Just the idea of a concrete diagnosis gives me so much solace, even if my suspicions are wrong and I get diagnosed with something else, i know it will ease some of my anxiety about feeling out of control emotionally at times and not understanding what was happening.

And I do not want anything getting in the way of me getting help! I have poor impulse control, as soon as I feel bad I start smoking. I can manage to stay sober if I don’t have access to it, but then now I cannot eat without it I have no appetite and I experience nausea and sometimes even vomiting. I was diagnosed with gastritis, but my therapist thought it was something that could resolve with anxiety meds. Unfortunately I ran from therapy early on and refused meds, so I never found out if she was right..
 
Lostinthestatic

Lostinthestatic

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#4
I will tell my primary doctor about my eating issues today, as I have an appointment :)
 
Cpt_Stunning

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#5
Anxiety disorder can manifest itself in different forms, I have anxiety disorder, I've heard of the Anxiety disorder association of America (ADAA), not sure if they still exist, I'm not American so never contacted them, maybe they could help.

no wait, did a google search they do exist, anxiety disorder seems quite common in the US, so it's quite possible you have, I didn't know I had anxiety disorder for about 6 years wondering what was wrong with me.
 
Lostinthestatic

Lostinthestatic

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#6
Anxiety disorder can manifest itself in different forms, I have anxiety disorder, I've heard of the Anxiety disorder association of America (ADAA), not sure if they still exist, I'm not American so never contacted them, maybe they could help.

no wait, did a google search they do exist, anxiety disorder seems quite common in the US, so it's quite possible you have, I didn't know I had anxiety disorder for about 6 years wondering what was wrong with me.
You’re quite right, and this is very helpful thank you. It’s such a shame the physical symptoms that can arise from these things... it’s really painful to live through. I wish you well :)
 
Cpt_Stunning

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#7
Physical symptoms can & do go away, it takes an incredible amount of intense positive thinking & energy. Try tai chi, millions of Chinese people who do it are probably onto something, I've never done it myself though.
 
Shadow-one

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#8
Hey Lostinthestatic

Getting my BPD diagnosis was probably the most important day of my life.

Although beforehand, I always knew there was something very different about me, I blamed myself constantly for being different, never questioning ever, if there was a reason..

After a type of breakdown, I finally went to my GP and was referred to therapy. I still was wondering why...

And then everything fell apart for me and suddenly I felt like I was the only one in the world to feel the way I do..

My diagnosis was probably thee most important thing to happen to me in all my adult years. The sense of relief, almost elation that I belonged to some group of people, somewhere, anywhere, was just amazing..

Keep pushing till you get your diagnosis....
I couldn't have ever moved forward without knowing what it was I needed to leave behind...

Unfortunately, I'm finding it a lot more difficult and have had so many setbacks, but at least I know why...

I guess we are who we are by a certain time in our life and although we may have strong impulses to become 'like everyone else, it doesn't come naturally...and that's the difference..

Be yourself.. try and become understanding and open to who you are...and hopefully that will be more than enough for a happy future..

:)
 
Last edited:
SunnyDaze

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#9
I don't think it would be necessary to stop smoking weed in order to get diagnosed.I smoked while in therapy and as a matter of fact my therapist encouraged me to smoke before sessions so I wouldn't be so anxious and would feel more free to talk.
 
Lostinthestatic

Lostinthestatic

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#10
Hey Lostinthestatic

Getting my BPD diagnosis was probably the most important day of my life.

Although beforehand, I always knew there was something very different about me, I blamed myself constantly for being different, never questioning ever, if there was a reason..

After a type of breakdown, I finally went to my GP and was referred to therapy. I still was wondering why...

And then everything fell apart for me and suddenly I felt like I was the only one in the world to feel the way I do..

My diagnosis was probably thee most important thing to happen to me in all my adult years. The sense of relief, almost elation that I belonged to some group of people, somewhere, anywhere, was just amazing..

Keep pushing till you get your diagnosis....
I couldn't have ever moved forward without knowing what it was I needed to leave behind...

Unfortunately, I'm finding it a lot more difficult and have had so many setbacks, but at least I know why...

I guess we are who we are by a certain time in our life and although we may have strong impulses to become 'like everyone else, it doesn't come naturally...and that's the difference..

Be yourself.. try and become understanding and open to who you are...and hopefully that will be more than enough for a happy future..

:)
You’re too right. I wish you all the best in life, you are a very kind person. Acceptance is key when it comes to these things... and I have a hard time accepting myself when things seem so foggy and unclear. I believe time does heal all wounds, in a sense. The biggest thing to remember is the bad things will pass too.
 
Lostinthestatic

Lostinthestatic

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#11
I don't think it would be necessary to stop smoking weed in order to get diagnosed.I smoked while in therapy and as a matter of fact my therapist encouraged me to smoke before sessions so I wouldn't be so anxious and would feel more free to talk.
That’s interesting I wouldn’t have thought any therapist would be keen on including it in sessions in that way, but if it helped you by all means it was a good thing. Therapy is coming up soon for me, so we will see :) thanks for the support !