It does help me sometimes, but it also tends to make me more dissociated. And since I've begun with EMDR I've had really awful panic attacks after smoking it. Recently I tried using herbs/leaves instead of tabacco and that completely extinguished my panic and reduced my dissociation. I like to use lavender, passionflower, damania and mugwort.
I’ve always been highly dissociative. It’s just a fact of life for me. Weed does enhance it, which I view as a mixed bag. I didn’t start using regularly until well into my 40s, so I speak as someone who had a long existence as a non-user, and I’ve noticed a big difference in my life since I started medicating.
Weed doesn’t just offer a regular escape from my feelings of tension, rage, and self loathing; it also allows me to work on my intrusive ruminations with a moderating quality. While baked, the same ugly thoughts intrude into my brain, but I’ll think differently (less negatively) about them. It’s like the weed is allowing me to access a less self-defeatist way of looking at things. I guess it’s almost like turbo-charged, self-administered CBT/ DBT. Like I’m my own (good, effective) therapist! Sometimes I’m even able to recall some of my weed-facilitated breakthroughs when I’m totally sober and use those realizations to soothe myself when I’m starting to spiral. Doesn’t always work that way—I still struggle a lot—but even just knowing (thanks to weed) that those neural pathways exist, and how it feels when I can access them, and what I’m capable of in terms of moving towards healing, is incredibly therapeutic. Oh, and boy does it help with that beast: insomnia.
FWIW, my understanding of the basis of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is that you’re induced into a dissociative state by the substance, and in this state, the brain is more open to being “worked on” therapeutically.
Of course there are some downsides. I’m much less motivated and clear-headed when I’m regularly using. That’s ok, since I’m old now. Glad I didn’t use as a youngster. I don’t think I’d have accomplished nearly as much as I did in life. Plus it can be an expensive habit. I need to start growing my own, I suppose. Wish I had a green thumb.
BTW, for those who wish to partake, my personal recommendation is to consume edibles rather than smoke