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Would a therapist tell a depressed patient that smoking pot is no big deal?

My DD is 19 and has been depressed for longer (perhaps years) than she's been diagnosed (3 months), has dropped out of college, won't get a job, has been cutting...and now I discovered she's been smoking pot, starting on campus this past winter and ongoing now. (first she lied and said she'd just just started smoking recently here at home) She said BF broke up w/her because she told him she was going to smoke it, but made the choice anyway- not happy on campus...misses him now, thought he was going to be the one...he was/is a great kid.

Realizes she screwed up. She's now at home doing not much of anything. Sleeps poorly. As a suggestion, my DH and I have encouraged her to be a bit more physically active and take the recent advice of her GP and take magnesium to help sleep. She dismissed it. They won't prescribe sleeping pills I think because she's suicidal. So, when I found the pot, she said that the therapist had said it wasn't a big deal. Really? I guess it helps her sleep, BUT I feel it would only be contributing to the overall tiredness, lack of motivation. I don't know what goes on when she's home alone.

I forbid it in the house and said no way. I don't know how she can afford it since she has no job...except the small amount of $ in currently in her account. I am having a hard time believing a therapist would OK using weed. Any suggestions on our part seems to backfire every time...says she wants to be left alone. We are wasting our breath, but there are/have to be some rules here. This is no life for a young adult woman. Kicking her out enters my mind at times, but how cruel for a depressed person to have their parents dump them...and at the same time, she's driving us away.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:29 AM on Jun. 27, 2013 in Adult Children (18+)

Answers (16)
  • I think it depends on the therapist. My sister went to a therapist when she was in highschool (all kinds of problems!) and the therapist just seemed to agree with her that our parents were too strict and that was the problem.
    Is she on medication for her depression? I would assist her in finding the right medication and dosage for her. At some point she has to take responsibility for her life. Many people may think pot is no big deal, but in most states it is still against the law and you could go to jail for having it in your house. Do you have any younger children? Because they could also be taken away for having pot in your house, at least for a period of time. I would not allow it and I would not support her drug habit. If she has money to buy drugs, she has enough for her own place.

    Answer by missanc at 9:36 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • Thanks, yes she's on meds. They just upped her dose. In my state it's a civil violation and you'd pay a fine for possession, increasing for each violation. Anyone under 21 could have their license suspended. Here they are working on a medical marijuana law, but patients would need to register and get a prescription.

    Yes, I have a younger son. Not thrilled with what he's seeing with his sister.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:49 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • Possibly. Depends on the therapist. Also are we talking a therapist such as a psychiatrist who can dispense medications because YES in some cases they may suggest or even prescribe the medical use of marijuana

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 9:55 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • I'd call up her therapist and ask if that's what he really said. Your daughter could easily be lying and just getting it from friends.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 10:00 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • In general, no. It's not a good idea for any therapist to suggest self-medicating (which is what she's doing) especially if it's illegal in your state. However, they may have said something like "it's normal to try pot in college", which it is. Even the most sheltered may do it at least once. Hell I was a chimney in college. LOL

    Answer by 3libras at 10:07 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • Agree it's normal to try pot in college, but it's not normal to skip class, cut, drop out, etc.

    She's getting it from a "friend".

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:16 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • Given that you say it's illegal where you are, I think it's unlikely the therapist would suggest it - at least not without exhausting every other possible option first. There's medications, light therapy, cognitive therapy - all kinds of different options that she can try, depending on the type and reason behind her depression. The thing about depression is that you have no motivation, but you have to have some motivation in order to seek out and attempt treatments.

    I have depression. My motivation was my kids - I wanted to cry all the time and never had any energy to play with them. I felt guilty for that and it got me to seek treatment, so I could be the mom I wanted them to have. As harsh as it may seem, threatening her with being kicked out might ultimately be the best thing for her. It might get her to make a real effort at finding the right dose or the right med, or other therapy that will help her.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:25 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • I'd call up her therapist and ask if that's what he really said. Your daughter could easily be lying and just getting it from friends.

    She can't - her daughter is 19, so it's not legal for them to tell her anything unless her DD gives permission.

    But no, it's not likely the therapist is telling her that. Your next question to tackle - is she actually going?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:34 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • I have before called therapist to give info. She did call me back with a helpful plan to help w/the cutting, and suicidal statements/not wanting to get better.

    My DD has been lying about some things for sure...I will call and just give the info about the pot and what my DD told me. That's ll I can do there.

    Yes, she is going, but today if I wasn't here to wake her she would have missed her appt.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:45 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

  • A therapist won't/shouldn't disclose personal info to you, but certainly can talk to you (as you describe having happened before.) The therapist isn't going to tell you "what happens in therapy" or what your child says there, but communicating with you about yourself is different. Like, how to respond in a way that is helpful in challenging moments. What TO do & what to try to avoid doing.
    I think your decision (to call & say what your daughter told you in regard to her using pot) is about what you can do. You certainly can ask for help/suggestions, though, such as what the therapist would recommend as far as proceeding.

    3libras gives a suggestion as to what the possible context of such a comment might have been. That it's "normal" (not a big deal) to try pot, or that having used it when she did isn't cause for shame or guilt.
    I think your daughter was feeling defensive & said what she felt she had to say right then.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:30 AM on Jun. 27, 2013

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