The Cannabis Closet: Aspergers, Ctd

A reader writes:

Hooray for the "Dealing with Aspergers" stories! My husband has Aspergers and uses marijuana to deal with the symptoms of his neurological disorder.  The biggest struggle he faces each day is the overwhelming anxiety he experiences as a result of his many sensory processing problems.  He can see every flicker in fluorescent lighting, hear every electrical hum of an appliance, feel every fiber in his sweater. He also experiences a great deal of stress as he tries constantly to fit in and behave appropriately in social situations. He oftens says that he doesn't believe neuro-typical people can truly understand how hard it is to live in this society as a person with autism.

The Cannabis Closet: Dealing With Aspergers, Ctd

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

I always went back and forth about writing to you regarding my self-medication of Asperger's Syndrome, but the reader posted earlier convinced me.  I, too, am diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome; people tell me I'm intense, committed, hard-nosed, highly principled (on a borderline-pathological level), honest/blunt to a fault, overly formal/polite, etc. 

I was entirely against substance use – from caffeine to alcohol to illegal drugs – until a close friend of mine unexpectedly passed away when I was 21.  I had smoked periodically starting that year (maybe 5-10 times ever), but after he died, my use/abuse really took off. In short, I stopped giving a damn about what I put in my body.

The Cannabis Closet: Dealing With Aspergers

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

I am autistic (Aspergers Syndrome) and have used cannabis to modulate the anxiety, intensity and aggression associated with my particular variant of AS for over 30 years. I first considered suicide at age 16 to escape the constant bullying in and out of school and the debilitating pain in my back that the doctors told me would probably mean a lifetime long addiction to opiates. The side effects of these medications were horrendous and left me in a constant daze. Being a straight-A student I chose instead to find a solution to my pain by trying every alternative therapy I could find.

I first tried cannabis at age 17. I quickly found that when I was medicated, people around me coped far better with my eccentricities. Like many ASDs I have a violent and explosive temper and am often described, especially by women, as a "Scary Guy." The cannabis increases my tolerance for interruption and also helps me be more extroverted and therefore social.