Are you experiencing depression? If that’s the case, you are not alone and so are among the millions of Americans plagued by this mood disorder. A recently available article shared new statistical details about how depression in the U.S. is increasing.
Apparently the diagnosis of depression increased 33% between years 2011 and 2014. (1) Previously, The National Center for Health Statistics reported that antidepressant use jumped 65% in 15 years between 1999 and 2014: from 7.7% of Americans to 12.7% for those 12 and older, twice as high for women than men, and 19.1% for all those 60 and older. (2)
The good news, they state, is that “universal depression screenings” are happening more routinely, and that this mood disorder is not any longer in the closet: people are discussing it and treating it… with pharmaceutical drugs.
I’m left to wonder why this depressive state is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds? For one thing, there’s a whole lot that has changed on the planet since January 1, 2000. It’s enough to create anyone depressed. I probably missed something, below, but here are the examples I can recall:
September 11, 2001
The Patriot Act
Ongoing terrorist attacks both domestic and international
Mass murders at schools
Increasing opioid addiction and deaths
Multiple wars in the Middle East
Intense natural disasters: fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding, blizzards and droughts
The Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011
The overall economy of 2008
Overpriced real estate
Earnings that don’t match the cost-of-living
The divisive presidential election of 2016 and presidency of Donald Trump
Of course, this list does not include challenging personal situations the majority of us experience every once in awhile.
Pharmaceutical companies will be the big winners.
Though a lot of the antidepressant-package inserts warn of one or another side-effect, pharmaceutical antidepressants are the ubiquitous ‘go to” solution and coping mechanism for depression. Additionally, besides the side effects, many people report difficulty in moving away from antidepressants when they are prepared to do so.
Depression has been linked to increased neuro-inflammation. It is common knowledge now that inflammation is really a precursor to many different disease processes.
Enter therapeutic cannabis.
Cannabis may reduce inflammation and holds great promise in studies about depression. (3) Due to its chemical compounds, especially THC and CBD, actual healing, not just symptom masking, can occur to restore deficient parts of the brain and immune system. (4) It really is non-toxic, cost-effective and has little to no side-effects whatsoever.
“… the team analyzed data from Strainprint, a mobile application cannabis users can use to track changes in symptoms after using different doses and cannabis chemotypes. Overall, self-reported outward indications of depression decreased by 50 percent.” (5)
So why don’t more people try cannabis medicinally before heading down the pharma trail? It is suggested there are three significant reasons:
The leftover stigma promoted by the Reefer Madness movie propaganda of 1936 and subsequent 1937 Marahuana Tax Act
The preference to trust doctors and what they prescribe
A general lack of understanding of therapeutic, not recreational, cannabis use
A pal of mine used cannabis medicinally to help her get over depression after nothing else worked. She said that it gave her back her life, which inspired her to talk about her experience with others.
As far as I could tell the multiple devastating events of the 21st century have radically changed the planet from as we once knew it: disorienting at best and depressing at worst for many who know the difference. Having said that, I believe it is still absolutely possible to fly from depression and remain emotionally and mentally well through it all with the help of responsible, therapeutic cannabis use.
The world might not change in ways we prefer but we are able to.
(1) Olivia Goldhill, Depression diagnosis is up 33% in the US, and that’s a very important thing. May 14, 2018
(2) Laura A. Pratt, Ph.D., Debra J. Brody, M.P.H., and Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D.. Dispensaryherbs.com Antidepressant Use Among Persons Aged 12 and Over: United States, 2011-2014. August 15, 2017
(3) A. K. Walker, A. Kavelaars, C. J. Heijnen, and R. Dantzer, Neuroinflammation and Comorbidity of Pain and Depression. January 2014
(4) de Mello Schier AR, de Oliveira Ribeiro NP, Coutinho DS, Machado S, Arias-Carriï¿½n O, Crippa JA, Zuardi AW, Nardi AE, Silva AC, Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. 2014
(5) Cuttler C, et al., Cannabis use temporarily eases outward indications of depression, anxiety, stress. April 24, 2018
Susan is really a 2018 graduate of the Holistic Cannabis Academy with over 45 years of personal involvement in the spectral range of wellness modalities. Her mission today is to intervene in the noise of modern life and help people identify and remove stressors that trigger their dis-ease while providing strategies towards a full time income connection with inner calmness, contentment and inspiration.