Depression’s Increase and the Cannabis Reaction
Do you suffer from depression? If so, you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from this mood disorder, so you are not alone. New statistical information about how depression is increasing in the United States was recently shared in an article extraction lab.
Evidently, between 2011 and 2014, there was a 33% increase in the diagnosis of depression. (1) Prior to this, The National Center for Health Statistics reported that between 1999 and 2014, antidepressant use increased by 65% in 15 years, from 7.7% of Americans to 12.7% for those 12 and older, with women using them twice as frequently as men and at a rate of 19.1% for those 60 and older. (2)
The good news is that “universal depression screenings” are becoming more commonplace, and that people are talking about and receiving treatment for their mood disorder with pharmaceutical drugs.
I’m left wondering why this depressive state has gotten so much worse. The world has changed significantly since January 1, 2000, to start with. Anyone could become depressed from it. Below, I probably missed something, but these are the instances that come to mind:
11 September 2001
ongoing domestic and international terrorist attacks
mass shootings in schools
increasing deaths and opioid addiction
Multiple Middle Eastern wars
Fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding, blizzards, and droughts are among the severe natural disasters.
2011’s Fukushima nuclear disaster The 2008 financial crisis
expensive real estate
income that is insufficient to cover living expenses
more homeless people
Donald Trump’s presidency and the divisive 2016 presidential election
Of course, the difficult personal circumstances that the majority of us occasionally face are not included on this list.
The biggest winners are the pharmaceutical companies.
Pharmaceutical antidepressants are the standard “go to” treatment and coping mechanism for depression, despite the fact that the majority of antidepressant-package inserts caution of one or more side-effects. Along with the side effects, many people also complain about difficulty quitting antidepressants when they are ready to.
Increased neuro-inflammation has been linked to depression. Inflammation is now widely recognised as a precursor to numerous disease processes.
here comes medicinal cannabis.
Studies on cannabis and depression show great promise. Cannabis is known to reduce inflammation. (3) Because of its chemical constituents, particularly THC and CBD, actual healing—as opposed to symptom masking—can take place to rebuild weak immune and brain systems. (4) It has minimal to no side effects and is non-toxic and economical.
“… the team examined Strainprint data, a mobile application that allows cannabis users to monitor changes in symptoms as a result of experimenting with various dosages and cannabis chemotypes. Self-reported depression symptoms overall decreased by 50%. (5)
Why then don’t more people try cannabis for medical purposes before going down the pharmaceutical route? I propose that there are three primary causes:
The stigma perpetuated by the 1936 Reefer Madness film propaganda and the ensuing 1937 Marahuana Tax Act
preference for believing what doctors prescribe
a general ignorance of cannabis use for medical purposes as opposed to recreational purposes
After trying everything else to treat her depression, a friend of mine turned to medical marijuana. She claimed that it gave her her life back, which motivated her to tell others about her experience.
As far as I can tell, the numerous tragic events of this century have fundamentally altered the world from how we once knew it. For those who are aware of the differences, this change is at best disorienting and at worst depressing. Despite this, I firmly believe that using cannabis responsibly and for therapeutic purposes can help people overcome their depression and stay emotionally and mentally healthy throughout.
The world might not change the way we want it to, but we can.
Olivia Goldhill (1) In the US, the diagnosis of depression has increased by 33%, which is positive. May 14, 2018
(2) Laura A. Pratt, Ph.D., Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D., and Debra J. Brody. Usage of Antidepressants Among People 12 and Over in the United States, 2011–2014 15 August 2017
(3) Neuroinflammation and Comorbidity of Pain and Depression, by A. K. Walker, A. Kavelaars, C. J. Heijnen, and R. Dantzer. December 2013
de Mello (4) Schier AR, Coutinho DS, Machado S, Arias-Carrión O, Crippa JA, Zuardi AW, Nardi AE, Silva AC, de Oliveira Ribeiro NP Cannabidiol, a chemical compound found in Cannabis sativa, has effects that are similar to antidepressants and anxiolytics. 2014
Cannabis use temporarily reduces the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, according to Cuttler C. et al. April 24, 2018
Susan, a 2018 graduate of the Holistic Cannabis Academy, has been personally involved in a variety of wellness modalities for over 45 years. Her current goal is to help people find and remove stressors that cause them to become ill, while also offering advice on how to live a life filled with inner peace, happiness, and inspiration.
Her path to becoming a lifestyle-wellness and cannabis coach was obvious even as a young child because she was always asking “why” and challenging social norms.