I saw your website and I am so sorry for what everyone has been through. I thought I would share my son’s story. Thankfully my son is still with us but I believe pot is what caused his mental illness.

In the summer of 2014 my son smoked some pot at a friend’s house. My son was not much of a pot smoker but was distraught that night over the break-up with a girlfriend. That night at 2:00 a.m., we got a call from the father where my son was visiting. He said we should come there quickly, that our son was being taken to the hospital.

We rushed over there to find my son in the ambulance. He whispered something to me, and I thought he said he was going to die. When I told him he was not going to die he said to me “No, I died.”

After many tests at the hospital, the only drug he tested positive for was pot. He also told us it was his first time smoking from a bong.

Flash forward to September. My son was a college student entering his senior year and was back at school. A few days later he called me to tell me that he did not feel well. He felt dizzy and strange. I told him to go to the doctor on campus and let them look at him. He did and they found nothing wrong with him.

A few days after that, he called back and said he knew what was wrong with him, he was very depressed. I asked him if he would be able to get home on his own or should we come and get him, and he said he could make it home. Once home, he spent many months in his room. We finally got him to go to a doctor for a physical which only showed a low vitamin D level, but after being on vitamin D for a while, nothing changed. He would start with doctors (psychiatrists) only to stop after a few visits. He tried CBT and he stopped that too. He just didn’t want to leave the house or leave his room and felt nothing would help him.

He tried many medications and is now on one that keeps his feelings stable, but he also started having episodes of depersonalization. Recently we have tried a life coach/hypnotherapist. Since going to her, we have seen a slight improvement. Our son is leaving the house a little more. He also mentioned that he might be able to try to go back to school in September. I don’t know if that will happen.

I believe all of this started after the pot episode. My son insists it was not the pot, but I don’t know what else could have caused such a sudden change. So far the pot has robbed him of three years of his life. Prior to that he was a very happy college student with many friends. He always had anxiety, and I believe the pot made that worse and caused him to have panic attacks too.

Our son has been officially diagnosed with a mental illness now. It breaks my heart to see him this way. He tells us he is not suicidal, but I live in fear every day of what is going on in his mind.

Thank you for listening.

-D (New York)