06 Nov What Is The Link Between Cannabis Use Disorder and Schizophrenia in Young Men?
It can be difficult to have a firm grasp on reality when a person is in an altered state of mind from schizophrenia. With schizophrenia, one may experience the world in a disfigured way. This makes it especially hard to function on a day-to-day basis. Living a lifestyle without treatment can feel overwhelmingly difficult. Men who use cannabis have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Additionally, some men with schizophrenia may use cannabis to self-medicate their symptoms. Seeking addiction and mental health treatment with us can help men facing challenges with cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia learn how to cope effectively with their condition.
What Is Schizophrenia?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder that affects an individual’s thought process, behavior, and emotions. Some individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia may be perceived as losing touch with reality. This can be alarming for family members and friends to witness. The negative effects of schizophrenia can make it extremely difficult to participate in typical daily activities. Although completing tasks can be problematic for some individuals, effective treatment options can lead to a better outcome in daily life functioning.
Schizophrenia Signs and Symptoms
As stated on NIMH’s website, the onset of schizophrenia is typically between the ages of 16 and 30. Recognizing the symptoms early on can increase the chance of a successful recovery. An individual may experience psychotic, negative, and cognitive effects. Symptoms may include:
- Movement disorder
- Thought disorder
- Limited facial expressions
- Low energy levels
- Problems sticking to daily activities
- Trouble processing new information
- Slowed learning
- Difficulty focusing and paying attention
Can You Become Addicted to Cannabis?
According to the publication Cannabis Use Disorder by Jason Patel and Raman Marwaha, cannabis use disorder can lead to significant distress or impairment. An individual with cannabis use disorder may present nine pathological patterns, which may be classified under social impairment, impaired motor control, psychological adaptation, and risky behaviors. One may experience a persistent desire to use the drug with little success in discontinuing the substance.
Based on clinical studies, researchers have discovered that persistent long-term cannabis use can change the circuitry of one’s brain. Withdrawal symptoms may occur when stopping the use of cannabis and may be incredibly uncomfortable for some men. Symptoms may consist of:
- Aggression, irritability, and anger
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Depressed mood
- Anxiety or nervousness
- Weight loss and lack of appetite
How Is Schizophrenia Linked With Cannabis Use Disorder?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), young men with cannabis use disorder may be at an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. A study analyzed health records and data that spanned five decades and represented more than six million people in Denmark. The study was performed to estimate schizophrenia cases that may be contributing to cannabis use disorder throughout the population.
Clinical research discovered heavy evidence of the association between schizophrenia and cannabis use disorder, mostly among men. It was estimated that approximately 30% of men with schizophrenia were between the ages of 21 and 30. These cases could have been prevented by treating cannabis use disorder. Data also found that schizophrenia cases due to cannabis use disorder have significantly increased within the past five decades.
Moving Forward With Our Facility for Cannabis Use Disorder and Schizophrenia
Although cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia are two serious conditions, a person can start to live a healthy lifestyle if they choose mental health treatment. One may feel indecisive about whether to seek help. It can be an overwhelming choice, but deciding to move forward with treatment can come with several mental and physical health benefits. Starting treatment can provide not only emotional support but the professional support needed, too, during a sensitive transition.
Treatment can help individuals learn how to effectively manage their symptoms. Participating in therapy can teach individuals the tools and unique strategies needed to recognize and cope with the negative effects of their condition. We can help individuals living with addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions live a more productive lifestyle. Our team works hard to develop an individualized treatment plan and tailors our services specifically to meet clients’ needs.
Many men who have been diagnosed with cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia do find mental stability and addiction relief through dedication to mental health and addiction treatment. Committing to a healthy treatment plan is crucial for achieving a successful recovery. Using the skills learned in therapy outside of treatment can ensure a more comfortable transition into recovery. Therapy can teach individuals new sober living skills. These skills promote long-term recovery from cannabis use disorder and schizophrenia. Our goal is to help those struggling with their mental health go on to live an independent lifestyle and have a more positive future.