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Cannabis and Anxiety

Posts by Erik Messamore, MD, PhD

Lab Tests for Psychosis or Schizophrenia

The difference between psychosis and schizophrenia Psychosis and schizophrenia are sometimes used interchangeably in ordinary language. And even though both terms are linguistic antiques (and need to be changed), “psychosis” and “schizophrenia” are medical terms with specific meanings. So let’s clarify them before talking about lab tests. Psychosis is a neurological symptom. It involves unusual…

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How To Start A Career In Science

Now more than ever, the world needs scientists. We need science, and the technology that flows from it, to address pressing challenges in climate, energy, health, and human harmony. So I’m delighted every single time a student asks me how to get started in a career in the sciences.   Jennifer, for example, asks: Dear…

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Can Antidepressant Medications Cause Psychosis?

SSRI Capsule

A subscriber to my YouTube channel 15-Minute Pharmacology recently asked if a common type of antidepressant medication can cause psychosis: “Can SSRI’s bring on a psychotic episode? My good friend has become acutely unwell and completely psychotic after being put on SSRIs twice.”   The SSRI Medications Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor or SSRI medications are…

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This One Fix Could Prevent 50,000 Suicide Deaths

A Suicide Prevention Proposal Today is Suicide Prevention Awareness Day. As a psychiatric physician—and simply as someone who cares about other people—I join millions of other voices hoping to move our society closer to one that can better prevent suicide. Preventing suicide is easier said than done. It’s not an easy task for a front-line…

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Can antidepressant medications cause antipsychotic side effects?

Is such a thing even possible? A question came up recently: A psychiatrist had prescribed Zoloft (sertraline) to a patient with depression. Soon after starting the medicine, the patient developed muscle spasms, which fit the neurological definition of dystonia. Translating to English, “dystonia” means abnormal muscle tone. Most people recognize dystonia as a possible side…

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Cannabis Probably Does Cause Schizophrenia

Psychosis is one of the oldest and best-documented risks of cannabis use.  Associations between cannabis use and psychosis appeared in the medical literature soon after cannabis was introduced into Western medical practice in the 1850s. Physicians of the 19thcentury accurately identified marijuana’s therapeutic value. Medical textbooks and journals of that era described benefits in the…

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Cannabis and Anxiety

Free Download: Printable Infographic In this post, I offer you a free, downloadable infographic that you may freely share, print, or distribute. Here is the link to the file. The infographic explains one of the paradoxical effects of cannabis. While it’s calming and anxiety-relieving (at least initially) for many people, cannabis can cause anxiety and panic attacks in…

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