COVID, ZOOM and how medical marijuana hijacked my twins’ brains

My twin daughters were honors students and athletes. They entered senior year of high school in 2019, and earned full scholarships to college.  They were so talented and bright.

Now they’re 21. They dropped out of college, moved a few hours away and broke off relationships with the family. 

They began using medical marijuana when they were 18. Their behavior changed completely.  

COVID hit in the winter of 2020.  Lockdowns began. Essentially the second half of their senior year was remote. The girls were isolated from everything, and they claimed to be depressed. One had a new boyfriend, who —  I later found out — was buying and selling illicit drugs. By all accounts, he seemed like a perfectly normal good kid and you would not expect it from him.

ZOOM meeting yields tricky diagnosis

During that time, both girls asked if they could see a therapist. I allowed it, via Zoom. While I thought my girls were going through talk therapy, they were also getting a diagnosis from a psychiatrist who saw them via Zoom for less than 5 minutes of their first few sessions.  I did not know that the therapists were allowed to work with psychiatrists on the side, in the same practice. 

Long story short, the psychiatrist diagnosed them with PTSD.  I’m still not sure how two suburban girls who grew up in a nice middle-class family with a lovely childhood could be diagnosed with PTSD in a five-minute session. This “official” diagnosis allowed them to obtain a medical marijuana card. Because they had just turned 18, I was not allowed to know anything about this. I also wasn’t allowed to know that the psychiatrist also prescribed them antidepressants.

I’m fairly certain my daughters entered therapy with the goal of obtaining “medical” marijuana and prescription antidepressants.  I’m shocked a psychiatrist would give recommendations so loosely, without extensive testing and trial with other therapies. 

I also did not know that our state would allow 18-year-olds, with a dubious diagnosis, to get a medical marijuana card.

Why would any serious physician give teens a double dose of drugs – the antidepressants and the marijuana – all at once?   I still don’t know what the basis for the PTSD diagnosis is.

How to explain the change

Our twins went from grounded, highly intelligent kids to volatile and emotionally unstable in a matter of about 9 months. I saw this happen gradually, then all at once. Their grasp on reality was, and still is, waning.

One daughter went to the ER her freshman year of college for what appears to be cannabis-induced psychosis (although I have no way of knowing if this was the actual diagnosis. I’m only able to piece this together with what she shared with me)

The college didn’t even tell me when this happened, but she had to call for another reason and we found out.

After starting edibles, the girls dropped out of college. One is fully estranged while the other is partially estranged. They live with their boyfriends and still use drugs.

My husband, our oldest daughter and I are very concerned for them. It seems that most people dismiss the idea of marijuana or antidepressants playing a role in the change. There are staunch defenders of both. I firmly believe marijuana and antidepressants have caused their brains to go haywire. My daughters are not the same and it breaks my heart.

If you met my girls before this time, you would have seen two highly intelligent, well-grounded, talented, sweet girls with very bright futures. After drugs, they are emotionally volatile girls with a tainted view of reality. COVID was hard, but the help they sought was pure medical fraud, and our state never should have allowed this sham medicine.