Hiya, I am Chandler and I use cannabis to treat My Borderline Personality Disorder, Tourette Syndrome and Chronic pain amongst other things.

I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome also known as TS (A neurological condition) when I was 6 and over the years it got worse. Age 10 I started having Habit Reversal Therapy and taking pharmaceutical medication. Over time my TS got so severe I was requiring to be in hospital due to the harm my motor tics was causing, including repetitively hitting myself and the space around me, whilst banging my head 200 times an hour and still ticcing in my sleep. I was put on high adult doses of anti-psychotics and other medicines where the side effects were believed to help TS, though not specifically licenced for Tourette’s. These included clonidine, aripiprazole, haloperidol and risperidone. The side effects that came with these Pharmaceuticals effected me very negatively, including heavy weight gain, and a feeling of “Zombification” often leaving me unable to function other than for basic necessities such as eating. With the tics still severe and the extreme lethargy left me unable to attend school for about two years.

2014 came and at the age of 13 I was admitted to the Mildred Creek Unit at Great Ormond Street hospital. Over this time I received more intense support for my TS and people started to understand other underlying mental health issues. During this time I stopped all antipsychotics and was prescribed SSRI’s the first of which was fluoxetine (Prozac) which increased my suicidal ideation and self harming tendency’s. So I was moved onto Sertraline. I spent 6 months on the Unit and was discharged on my 14th Birthday. Able to function much better I was able to start at a new school and started making new friends. It was hard. I became depressed, anxiety filled and having problems around eating. I was suicidal and overwhelmed. One of my new friends mentioned about cannabis. I remembered hearing about its medicinal uses from other young people in the Mildred Creek Unit. I tried it and for once my Tourette’s was not bothering me, I felt ok eating. I was not thinking about suicide and I was able to be more myself. I stopped taking the sertraline and I started taking cannabis medicinally once a week at first and increased it gradually to 2-3x and had the most stable year I can ever remember thanks to Cannabis. However like what happens with many mental health conditions I became ill again and I was back into another Mental Health Unit, then discharged and back in creating a cycle with the only thing keeping me able to keep fighting my illness was and still is cannabis. I eventually opened up to my parents about my use of cannabis in 2016 and they were reluctant at first due it its legal status. But over time and lots of research, came to see how much it helps and now are 100% supportive. I kept being in and out of hospital due to suicide attempts and restricting food intake leading to a Diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder which explained a lot.

Once things started getting easier after being allowed to medicate to help alleviate my symptoms at home I ended up going to visit a protest camp for two weeks. I found the atmosphere and culture on the camp so beneficial for my wellbeing I asked my parents if I could stay longer. I hoped to stay longer than the three months I did until I developed a Chronic Pain condition. It made me lacking in mobility until I had to come home. I got home and went right to A&E. I was prescribed Morphine and a few other toxic and addictive medications which I found did not help. So instead of taking them I decided to experiment with medicinal cannabis more than before. I now use cannabis medicinally every day. Its the only thing that has helped me long term and with such effectivity. It is the thing allowing me to live life. I can often eat freely. I don’t always think about suicide or self harm, my Borderline Personality Disorder is easier to live with, my Tourette’s doesn’t effect me negatively for the most part and my chronic pain that without cannabis would leave me bed bound is controlled enough I can still have a life. Cannabis is giving me the ability to keep fighting my mental illnesses and keeping me going and I will never be ashamed to say that. As a keen Environmentalist and Gardener I feel growing my own could be a great option for me including the ability to be self sufficient and knowing exactly what it is I am taking.