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Quit smoking marijuana to help strengthen your emotional state

When it comes to quitting marijuana use, it is important to identify the difference between symptom-focused treatment and problem-focused treatment. Marijuana along with medications such as Xanax and Ativan are commonly used to decrease symptoms of emotional distress and argued to be effective in meeting the treatment goal of symptom reduction. Unfortunately, marijuana and other prescription medications fail to address the underlying cause of the symptoms, leaving the condition untreated and an individual dependent on the substance to manage their emotional state.

Side effects including low motivation, fatigue, poor concentration, withdrawal from daily activities, along with paranoia and psychosis as reported in some cases. When it comes to one’s mood, it is not clear if marijuana causes depression, but those who report a decrease in depressed mood while using often state that the depression returns and becomes worse as the effects of marijuana wear off. Sadly, reliance on marijuana grows into dependence when an individual feels they cannot function without it. If you or your loved one wants to stop using marijuana here is some advice to help you quit and get the help you need.


Do

Do consider psychotherapy

Consider attending individual and group psychotherapy to help you quit, focus on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and the behaviors that accompany them is instrumental in identifying the cause of the symptoms. Once identified, treatment goals and interventions can be easily directed to address the problem at its core and resolve the issues, including the symptoms that cause further distress.

Do consult a mental health professional

Consult with a licensed mental health professional or treatment center that can accurately assess the situation and provide therapeutic solutions for issues surrounding both emotional and substance related disorders.

Do keep in mind that persistence is key

Remain persistent when working through challenges, because it can significantly improve your ability to manage future stressors and prevent dependence on substances like marijuana. Have patience and keep in mind your ultimate goal of quitting for good.

Do find support in your family

Seek support from family and friends. Though it’s not uncommon to feel shame or embarrassment, it’s more likely that your loved ones will seek to help you and forgo judgment if you take quitting seriously.

Do trust that you can quit

Believe in yourself or your loved one. Trust that you can quit, and follow through with your treatment goals rather than succumbing to the self-fulfilling prophecy of negativity and failure.


Don't

Do not believe that marijuana is a solution

Don’t look at marijuana use as a solution to your emotional and psychological symptoms, as it has the potential to lead to further dysfunction and increase symptoms of mental illness. Talk with your doctor about healthier ways of solving your emotional troubles, including individual and group therapy, and coping mechanisms.

Do not substitute one substance for another

Don’t look to other substances to replace marijuana and make yourself feel better. For instance, don’t look to alcohol or obtainable synthetic drugs to self-medicate. Learn how to manage difficulties and help yourself obtain coping skills so that you can have healthy relationships without the use of substances.

Do not give into your cravings

Instead, find alternatives to marijuana use to manage your emotional and psychological symptoms, like exercise or a hobby like painting or cooking, or even just calling up your friend to talk about it. You want to stay on track and practice healthy habits to de-stress and control symptoms.

Do not be accusatory or punishing

Whether you are helping a relative or spouse quit or you are quitting marijuana use yourself, empathy and forgiveness are more constructive than negativity ever will be. Preventing future use and gathering support is infinitely more helpful in these situations.

Do not give up

Stay focused and patient as solutions are not always immediately noticeable; they will eventually appear. The withdrawal symptoms will subside, and you will be able to get through this. Patience is the key to getting your life on track without marijuana.


Summary
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Focusing on the issues that cause depression, anxiety, and emotional distress is considerably more productive and can have longer lasting effects than simply using marijuana. While it may be more painful to experience the feelings that result from trauma, grief and loss, and difficult life experiences, you or your loved one has the opportunity to develop the coping skills necessary to manage life challenges clean and sober.


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Dr. Gerald GrossoClinical Director

FAMILY PSYCHOLOGIST (MFT 34495) Dr. Grosso is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience assisting individuals and families struggling with issues such as addiction, depression, trauma, and all levels of psychiatr...

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