Alcohol, weed and PTSD - a report from a horror evening

So, I got a friend, let's call her Anne.
She has had a drinking problem before, but not as bad as other people with ptsd do. She hasn't had any physical addiction symptoms.
So we went to a party, we both suffer from some sort of ptsd, she is officially diagnosed, I am halfway through the process of getting a diagnosis. That's not that important now I think.
So it was Halloween and we were going to a party with just a few friends (because of Corona) and we already met them daily in school, so wasn't that problematic with the virus.
We drank a little. Each of us some gin tonic, Cola and something different, I don't remember.
Then we decided to go out, take a walk.
A friend took some weed with him.
My friend, Anne knew she wasn't responding well to drugs because of the trauma memories. But she smoked anyway.
Long story short, she got a horror trip, wasn't responding properly to what I was saying to her, said things related to the trauma and completely made me get sober right away because of the worries and adrenaline. She stopped walking, clung onto me and whispered things. I held her, spoke to her and tried to calm her down. She still wasn't responding much. I was so afraid, that I thought about calling an ambulance because of the huge effects on her, even though she didn't smoke much. It was one of the worst nights ever. And we had a few bad days and nights together. But never that bad.
Have you had experiences like that? I just needed some space for me to talk about that. It really stresses me.
And she couldn't remember much the next day.

Thanks for giving people a platform.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
I'm not anti-weed at all; but it's really important to remember that it's a psychotropic drug. If you've got mental health problems that you don't know how to recognize or regulate -and especially if you are between the ages of 13/14 to 23/24 - you're putting yourself at high risk for adverse effects. It's really, really not worth it.

Alcohol isn't great either, but if you want a buzz, drinking (occasional, not daily) is a safer thing to indulge in, at least in the short term.

She has had a drinking problem before, but not as bad as other people with ptsd do.
She knows it's not an excuse, right? Like, "plenty of people with PTSD drink, so it's natural that I'd drink too"?

But yeah, the reaction she had (that you're describing) is fairly predictable, ordinary. Just also, not worth it and potentially dangerous.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I haven't had your experience.
I've been the person behaving like your friend did.
It's not an easy, pretty, comfortable place to be. But equally, it's not you job to save her and protect her. She has to learn how to look after herself. It's her responsibility to keep herself safe, to consume alcohol and drugs either not at all or in ways that are more healthy.
But: she's got to want to make those changes. No one can force her.


You clearly care about her, and she is lucky to have a friend like you.
But you also need to look after yourself. You're not responsible for her.
When she is sober, do you feel able to talk to her about it and set some boundaries with her? I.e that you love her and care for her, but you don't want to see her if she is planning on drinking or taking drugs that evening or whatever it is you want?
 

Kittie

Confident
You were a good friend to her and were there for her when she needed help most. The down side is it took a toll on you, as it would most people. I hope in the future, she'll remember it wasn't a good idea to use those things and avoid feeling miserable.

It's hard to take care of yourself and someone else. I hope she's acceptable of a friendly chat about your experience with it. You have to take care of yourself first. Sorry for both of you that it happened.
 

Friday

Moderator
I'm not anti-weed at all; but it's really important to remember that it's a psychotropic drug. If you've got mental health problems that you don't know how to recognize or regulate -and especially if you are between the ages of 13/14 to 23/24 - you're putting yourself at high risk for adverse effects
^^^This^^^


It was one of the worst nights ever. And we had a few bad days and nights together. But never that bad.

It’s also pretty key to know that some people? Do this sort of thing on purpose. Not (or at least not usually) in a manipulative kind of way... but because they crave the attention & care they get IN an emergency, and because it “completes the loop” for them... allowing them to lash out/burn off all the stress that’s been building up in a (I can’t say “controlled” way, because the chaotic BOOM! that follows is really the opposite of that) in an expected way. Some people burn through all of the friends that would give them their undivided attention for hours/days, and end up doing it on their own/resorting to emergency services &/or strangers to keep them safe... but most only do it when they’re surrounded by people they can count on drop everything for them. So it’s a 2-for-1 special. The undivided attention of others in a way that they can feel/recognize (that they can’t feel/recognize in normal interaction); AND it manages their stress levels for them by dumping it all at once... in a way that they don’t feel responsible for -or even remember much of- because they were high.

It’s an incredibly self destructive pattern. And, in addition to the danger it puts the person in themselves? it burns through friendships/relationships like kindling.

If this is a pattern you’re beginning to notice with your friend? If she’ll let you talk to her therapist... it would be a very good thing to dial them in on.

Again, because it’s not usually a conscious manipulation, people tend to get PISSED OFF at being “accused” of it. Whilst there are ways to bring that sort of thing up with someone, and not have it blow up in your face? Even highly trained professionals can struggle with it... because most people take any risk to their one&only or best/favorite coping mechanism being questioned? As an attack. For damn good reason. If this is the way you manage your stress? This is what keeps the REST of your life ticking along.

Personally, I’m just blunt as hell about it. If I lose the friendship? I was going to lose it, anyway, because I’m not their friend... I’m their coping mechanism / their happy sock... that they were just using to make themselves feel better. WHO I am doesn’t matter to them, just what I can do for them. That’s not a friendship. That’s just me being the most recent in a series of warm bodies.
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
My brother smoked it and he commited suicide. Now, whether the pot had anything to do with it.. I don't know but as a survivor of this.. I absolutely hate pot. I've smoked a few times and it makes me overly paranoid. But as Joey Little said, its a psychotropic drug. The results are anyone's guess. My boyfriend smokes it and I absolutely hate it ( of-couse) but I tolerate it ( not well.. But he says he's quitting) but whatever.

As a person that can't smoke pot due to my overt paranoia ehen I smoke it, I can tell you that there are definitely some people that don't react to it as laid-back type of reaction. Another reason i can't smoke it is it gives me a bad headache.

So, someone else said that you need to have a talk with her. She might not have even known about her outcome with pot, either, but drinking doesn't help. I should ad that my adverse reaction to pot has nothing to do with my brother.

I also watched my real mom smoke it when I was a kid and she looked desperate when she had a big ole' joint in her mouth.

Side question. Does she take any meds for PTSD? I'm totally sorry you had to go through that.
 
Hey you all, thank you for all oft the Kind and helpful responses. She does not have a drinking problem, i think some of you misunderstood. She just had this one bad night. It didn't happen again and i'm glad it didn't.
Thank you for the support, yes it was hard to handle and something bothering me. But writing here helped me
 
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