Margaret Trudeau, who suffers from bipolar disorder, spoke openly with reporters about her experience with depression and the effect of her long-term marijuana use.
It is not uncommon for sufferers to self-medicate with alcohol or marijuana, she said, rather than reach out to family and friends or seek medical assistance.
"Marijuana can trigger psychosis," said Trudeau. "Every time I was hospitalized it was preceded by heavy use of marijuana."
Trudeau was hospitalized three times for mental illness.
Her first hospitalization followed the birth of her second child, Alexandre, while she was still married to Pierre Elliott Trudeau and living at 24 Sussex Dr.
Her most recent hospitalization followed the deaths of her son Michel, and Pierre Trudeau. Although she has suffered from mental illness for 35 years, it was not until the most recent hospitalization that she was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder.
"It's hard work. It takes maturity first to comply with the pharmaceutical. There's the feeling that it is taking away from your creativity, your spark. My doctor said 'No Margaret, it's your disease that's taking away from your spark.'"
Part of the hard work for Trudeau has been completely giving up the use of marijuana, something she once thought made her feel "wonderful."
"I miss it," she said of the pot- smoking. "It is a daily struggle. If it's around, I just don't stay around.