Last updated on: 6/15/2012 | Author:

Gregory E. Simon, MD, MPH Biography

Senior Scientific Investigator in the Center for Health Studies at the Group Health Cooperative
Con to the question "Should Marijuana Be a Medical Option?"

“Using marijuana can certainly contribute to or worsen depression. Low motivation, fatigue, and withdrawal from positive activities are central features of depression and marijuana can worsen each of those problems. Some people do say that marijuana dulls anxiety or negative feelings. But it also dulls energy and motivation. And we know that activation and engagement are key parts of recovery from depression.

Marijuana can be even more troublesome for people—especially younger people—who live with bipolar disorder. In addition to worsening depression, marijuana can increase the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of psychosis—like hallucinations or paranoid ideas. In younger people who are at higher risk for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, using marijuana increases the chances of developing a severe or disabling mental illness.”

“Ask the Doctor Q & A,” Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance website, Jan. 2012

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Research Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, 2005-present
  • Senior Scientific Investigator, Center for Health Studies, Group Health Cooperative, 2000-present
  • Staff Psychiatrist, Group Health Cooperative Behavioral Health Services, 1990-present
  • Recipient, “Best Doctors,” Seattle Magazine, 2009
  • Recipient, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Gerald R Klerman Senior Investigator Award, 2005
  • Recipient, Eli Lilly “Welcome Back” Award for national contributions to improving depression care, American Psychiatric Association, 2002
  • Recipient, American Psychiatric Association Senior Scholar Health Services Research Award, 2002
  • Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
  • Member, NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council
  • Editor, Cochrane Collaboration Depression and Anxiety Review Group
  • Editor, Mood Disorders Section, Current Opinion in Psychiatry
  • Editorial Board, General Hospital Psychiatry
  • Editorial Board, Psychiatric Services
  • Resident, Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, 1985-1988
  • Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Washington Hospitals, 1983-1985
  • Intern, Internal Medicine, University of Washington Hospitals, 1982-1983
  • MPH, University of Washington, 1990
  • MD, University of North Carolina, 1982
  • BA, Rice University, summa cum laude, 1978
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Is Medical Marijuana an Effective Treatment for Depression, Bipolar Disorders, Anxiety, and Similar Mood Disorders?