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am i more likely get schizophrenia if i give up smoking or start smoking cannabis?

my father and brother both have schizphrenia and i’m just curious as to if i’ll get it, i know i have a chance of gettin it but i want to give up smoking and i dont want to end up mentally ill
i wont smoke cannabis, i’m just worried about nicotine. will it effect my mind if i start giving up?

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9 Responses to “am i more likely get schizophrenia if i give up smoking or start smoking cannabis?”

  1. discoball said:

    you shouldn’t smoke cannabis..

  2. Howard said:

    Seriously bud… my mom’s a doctor and a scientist on cell disease… she knows a friend who happens to study this… read the following carefully. I took it from one of her files.

    Related to this issue of very high smoking rates, recent research out of Harvard University has even suggested that approximately 44%% of all cigarettes sold in the United States, are consumed by the mentally ill (who represent perhaps 4% to 8% of the population). The physical and financial costs of smoking are, therefore, heavily weighted towards the groups that can least afford them. (source: CNN News, 2000, original study: JAMA, 2000)

    Given the well known cancer, and other health hazards of smoking, it�s not surprising researchers have suggested that smoking is one of the top causes of premature death of people with schizophrenia, and the likely reason why cancer is more common in people who have schizophrenia. Moreover, there is also the indirect problem of tobacco use affecting health via the high proportion of total income that people with schizophrenia spend on tobacco (research suggests that the typical person who has schizophrenia spends 27% of their total income on tobacco products). This high percentage of income spent on tobacco further harms the people who have schizophrenia because it redirects funds away from health promoting foods (such as more fresh vegetables and fruits), or better accommodations. (for more on this topic see: brain disorders and demand for alcohol, cigarettes and cocaine)

    However research has shown that the relationship between smoking and schizophrenia is complex – it appears that there are both positive and negative effects of nicotine on a person who has schizophrenia and on the development of schizophrenia. The research is not entirely conclusive on this topic, but generally the research supports the idea that seem to be some psychological benefits that people with schizophrenia sometimes gain by smoking (or more specifically from nicotine)- and that is why the smoking rate is much higher than in normal populations.

    An article in The Washington Post in 1998 highlighted the complex effects of nicotine:

    “Nicotine .. is not selective. It has many different, often contradictory, effects on the body — for example, it simultaneously calms smokers and speeds up their heartbeat.

    “It’s just what we would call a ‘dirty drug,’ ” said Phyllis C. Pugh, a nicotine researcher at the Medical College of Ohio. “It has too many effects.””

    Possible Positive Effects of Nicotine for Schizophrenia

    A 2004 German scientific article specifically looked at studies that discuss why individuals with schizophrenia smoke chronically. Certain thinking patterns are affected in schizophrenia including sustained attention, focused attention, working memory, short-term memory, recognition memory and even processes that are preattentive (eg reflexes). Some studies have suggested that there may be improvements in these areas after treatment with nicotine. So, it maybe that nicotine is used as a “self-medication” strategy by those with schizophrenia to improve these difficulties with attention, cognition, and information processing as well as the side effects of antipsychotic medications (eg extrapyramidal effects). (Cattapan-Ludewig)

    The Baltimore Sun (October, 2004) reported that “researchers have made progress in understanding tobacco’s hold on the mentally ill. Dr. Gunvant Thaker, chief of the schizophrenia-related disorders program at the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, said studies have shown that nicotine helps to mitigate two problems associated with schizophrenia.

    The first is faulty sensory “gating,” the ability to make sense of stimuli in the environment. People startle the first time they hear a loud noise such as a car alarm – but they’re able to ignore it, or at least mute their reaction, when they hear it again and again.

    Schizophrenics lack this “gating” capacity, which may explain some of the confusion and fear they feel in seemingly harmless situations.

    As it turns out, the deficit is associated with a faulty gene that also happens to be a nicotine receptor gene. “When schizophrenia patients smoke, or are given nicotine gum, this deficit of sensory gating is reduced or normalized,” Thaker said.

    Nicotine also helps with other cognitive problems related to schizophrenia Thaker said, including difficulty tracking a moving object and remembering things. With these problems, however, a genetic link is less clear.”

    Looking at the specific research, one study done by Yale University �found that when study subjects with schizophrenia stopped smoking, attention and short-term memory were more impaired, but, when they started smoking again, their cognitive function improved. No effects from stopping or resuming smoking were observed in smokers without mental illness� (Yale University, 2005). Another report from Columbia University further supports the idea the smoki

  3. elaeblue said:

    My understanding is that schizophrenia is genetically programmed and has nothing to do with what you smoke or dont smoke.

  4. jnkewa777 said:

    NO. Growing Cannabis is a science, they cross breed and make all different types. They have cannabis that will cause no side effects and no paranoid thoughts.

  5. wylde95 A.R.T. said:

    Whether you smoke either nicotine or cannabis, or not, has nothing to do with your mental health.
    At least not on a permanent basis. Stress may be a factor when quitting nicotine.
    But neither will have anything to do with whether or not you develop schizophrenia.

  6. stlblw4d said:

    Depends a lot on how old you are. If you have made it into your twenties, there is a good chance you’re okay. Most schizophrenics have their “first psychotic break” in the teens or early twenties surrounding a stressful situation. I think quitting smoking is a great idea, but only if it does not stress you out to a very high degree. I would definitely NOT recommend starting smoking pot it could tend to bring out unwanted issues for you.

  7. 1337cookie said:

    I have a large history in my family of Schizophrenia. I cannot smoke cannabis because I get cannabis induced psychosis. Psychologists have told me that smoking cannabis will greatly increase your chances of becoming mentally ill if you have a family history of it.

    There is nothing dangerous about giving up but if you are worried and are smoking a lot at the moment then you may just want to cut down until you feel you don’t want to smoke anymore.

    Trust me when I tell you that you DO NOT want schizophrenia my cannabis induced psychosis is apparently very similar to schizophrenia and I was almost diagnosed as schizophrenic. It is extremely horrible.

    On a side not my Father, Mother and Sister all smoke copious amounts of cannabis and are fine apart from the usual effects of cannabis. I suppose I just by chance inherited the gene for being intolerant to it.

  8. Gypsy Girl said:

    Giving up cigarettes will not cause schizophrenia. That is mostly genetic. If it is going to happen, it will most likely happen around late teens and early twenties.

  9. Joshua H said:

    You’ll probably be OK, but giving up smoking will stress you out and stress can sometimes precipitate schizophrenia. On the other hand, dopamine levels will fall, which could be a plus. I’d talk to your doctor first, see if he thinks you might do better on nicotine replacement therapy (Wellbutrin increases dopamine levels, so he might want to avoid it, and Chantix can produce weird effects in anybody). Again, I think it’s best discussed with a medical professional. I’ve no doubt you should stop, but you want to minimize even a small risk if you can.


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