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Depression

Depression

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association there were more than 130 million prescriptions for anti-depressants written in 1998. More recently, water tests in Arlington, TX showed trace amounts of the active ingredient in Prozac in the city water supply. Both of these things are signs that depression is a serious problem in the United States.

But what is depression? Isn't it just being really sad? Actually, no.

Clinical depression can be caused by a number of factors, and profound sadness is just one of the symptoms. Some of the most common causes are biological, where there is literally a chemical imbalance in the brain. Other biological factors are caused by hormonal disorders like PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and PMDD (premenstrual dysthymic disorder), or even post-partum imbalances and menopause. Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that women are twice as likely to be depressed as men.

Other factors causing depression include genetics - it tends to run in families, though no single gene has yet been identified - stress, and chronic illness and disability. Depression also comes in a form formerly known as "Manic Depression" and more correctly called "Bipolar Disorder" where the patient cycles between depressive and manic states. Of course alcohol use, especially if you drink to excess, can also result in depression.

most cases, depression is treated with prescription medication, like Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft, but recent information has pointed to cannabis as a possible treatment as well, and one without the side effects of sleeplessness, sexual dysfunction, and agitation, at that.

Used as a relaxant, cannabis helps curb the sleeplessness that comes from depression, as well as soothes the anxiety that often presents as a symptom. Since it also offers has "euphoric" properties, cannabis also helps lift the mood, adding a little perkiness to the patient's outlook.

With bipolar patients, despite some worries about the use of marijuana making the manic part of the cycle worse, most who have used the drug report that they cycle less often, and feel more stable in general.

Some doctors claim that long-term use of cannabis can actually cause depression but there is no concrete evidence to support this. A recent Australian study found that once other factors, like tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, other drugs, etc., were eliminated, there was no real difference in the number of depressed people who had or hadn't used marijuana.

Within the medical marijuana community there is a debate over which strain of cannabis is the best choice for treating depression. The patients seem to know best, especially since each case of depression is unique, but generally speaking Indica-dominant strains are more relaxing, while Sativa-dominant strains are more uplifting.

Comments
 
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Guest | Sep 29, 2013
 
I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia. I was on Celexa, Lymictal, Gabapetin and Trazadone and they left me feeling worse. My therapist made me stop smoking and it did not help, so after a couple years of being on those dreaded pharms, I weened myself off them and went back to Cannabis and have been self treating for 3 years now and am feeling great and am feeling actual happiness! I don't care what the government claims to say, Cannabis helps unlike the pharms they shove down your throats. I have not suffered any issues since getting off the meds, btw. : )
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Guest | Sep 25, 2013
 
complex ptsd... multiple successes of traumatic events back to back to back to back.. VA screwed me up my giving me 3 different anti depressants and then forgot to put a refill on my prescription. heavy withdrawals is all i have to say. very scary!! dont take anti depressants.
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Guest | May 17, 2013
 
I have nothing negative to say about pot because I honestly believe that pot has helped me mentally where when I took medications prescribed by a doctors for my mental problems I never seemed to be stable mentally; now that I have quit all my mental meds and started using pot medically I feel so much better mentally. I am able to sleep better at night, I no longer have major anger problems, and when I'm nauseous to my stomach because of my stomach problems I am able to eat and not throw up what I eat anymore. I also feel my mind is much calmer than it was and I am able to control my talking and actions now, where before I felt out of control all the time & my mind constantly raced I very much like being in control of my feelings and thoughts.
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Guest | Feb 21, 2013
 
My anxiety, depression and happiness numbers have improved dramatically since introducing very small amounts of pot at regular intervals daily. Rumination has ceased and healthier thinking patterns have taken over. Now I don't even need to add the pot daily after a 12-15 month period I was simply trained to think more positively.
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Guest | Jan 17, 2013
 
I am a Norwegian 18 year old boy. I'm on my fifth year with severe pain in my right shoulder. I have seen numerous doctors in the biggest hospitals in Norway, without results.. (no one seem to find out what causes the pain, but the my nervesystem indicates that something is wrong and sends impulses to the brain which causes the pain) This pain causes musclecramping and stiffness in the shoulder, neck and down my back, which gives me many sleepless nights and again that makes it hard to pay attention at school. I also had to quit sport activities because my shoulder fucks everything up.. All this made me very depressed and I almost quit school because i was unable to get up in the morning. I took distance to the rest of my family and my friends, which is pretty bad.. After reading about cannabis and it's effects on the mind and body, I decided to give it a try, And MAN what a result! It soothes my pain (sometimes i don't even feel the pain at all) and helps me relax. After smoking cannabis I am able to get a full night sleep which gives me more energy and helps me concentrate at school! I also now participate in the gymclasses at school (I have the second highest grade!), gymnastics, taekwondo and I even work out on the studio! Even my family seems happier now, but they don't know i smoke.. If only it was legalized..
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Guest | Dec 29, 2012
 
My sister has suffered terribly from depression over the years and has been a user for a long time. She has thrown away her pills and says she has found the perfect leaf. After my own years of useless treatment she has sent me some seeds so I've planted them and I'm hoping for the best with bated breath. I'll let you know what happens. I'll just gently ease into them. I shall also be advised by a friend who uses them for cooking.
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Guest | Oct 17, 2012
 
Current Medical Marijuana patient for MDD (major depressive disorder) and social anxiety. Bud works wonders for me.
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Guest | Sep 23, 2012
 
I'll chime in to keep this thread going. I had to play along with a VA doctor and try an anti-depressant before she would approve my getting house cats at my apartment. Don't ask. Anyway, I took it regularly until I was able to legally grow my own cannabis. I built up a resistance to depressive thoughts with the help of good old honest weed and its medicinal powers, and stopped taking the drug. If you have some will power and are willing to hope for a new attitude, Cannabis can help you heal.
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Guest | Aug 23, 2012
 
MARIHUANNA, A GOD GIVEN BLESS.
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Guest | May 15, 2012
 
I suffer from anxiety and depression. Ive been on citalopram and prozac but they give more side affects than they actual help. Currently im on prozac and smoke weed daily. I personally find sativas help me the most and leave me feeling a lot more positive about life. Indicas give me a couchlock which i dont like during the day as it can leave me feeling unmotivated. Unfortunalty i dont get a choice as i have to get my medication of dealers for 500 an ounce where i am from and not only that the quality is usually awful. Ive even gotten weed sprayed with so much chemicals it sizzled loudly, burned blue and had actual glass shards on it. I really believe it should be legalized for both medical and recreational. The stress of using an illegal "drug" is also a bad thing for people suffering from depression especially if you get caught.
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Guest | May 10, 2012
 
I am an alcoholic, and really weed has helped me a great deal! I used to drink almost daily even had a beer I would stuff at my desk at work. Needless to say the depression from it grew and everytime I drank I felt like killing myself. And started smoking by accident really, didn't know about the benefits but I started seeing them first hand and started web searches etc. It really helps the cravings, depression, anxiety and everything that comes with alcohol abuse. When I start to get the feelings that made me drink I light up! get a good night sleep and go for a walk in the morning. It's not the whole thing but really helps!
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Guest | Apr 30, 2012
 
I've been diagnosed with clinical depression over half a year ago. The medication was killing me - it helped a little with getting rid of lethargy and I became able to do daily chores and work a bit better, but at what cost! Panick attacks, insomnia, anxiety, complete lack of self-control. Now I'm gradually getting off the medication and smoking weed in the evenings instead - my God, the life is so much better. I can sleep, I can relax, I can feel happy, I'm slowly regaining control over my life. May the herb be blessed :-)
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Guest | Apr 28, 2012
 
Pharm. companies hate marijuana because they can't claim it as their own. If it is legalized, people would grow it in their homes, and the companies would lose billions. That's what they deserve for making pills that only have a 50/50 chance of working.
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Guest | Apr 28, 2012
 
If cannabis is legalized, people would grow it on their own, meaning that pharm. companies would lose money.
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Guest | Apr 28, 2012
 
Why use a pill if you can grow a life-saving plant in your own home?
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Guest | Mar 23, 2012
 
I totally concur .... i have BP and have always been told by the shrinks that it makes t=it worse / causes it and the opposite is in truth the reality....its a natural substance, the Pharms co's cant copyright it so they ignore it - it is criminal, inhumeane and they should be ashamed of the pain they cause to millions all for a few bucks. Its a travesty!
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Guest | Mar 18, 2012
 
I have deression and anxiety and was put on affexor now on Zoloft. I have side effects like sleeplessness and questioning my sexuality so I used marijuana and felt like I was on top of the world and felt like i had a grip on my life the problem is my parents dont approve of it. If any knows a good way to persuade them to allow me to use it please comment
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Guest | Mar 18, 2012
 
I live in Scotland so obviously its illegal over here.. I have had episodes of depression for ten years due to traumatic events and after all of the pills I have tried: Amitriptyline 20mg per day, Prozac 20mg, Zopiclone 7.5mg (for sleeping), Citalopram 20mg, Duloxetine 60mg and Sertraline 50mg (zoloft). Stress is my trigger which doesnt help my eczema, I also have asthma and cannabis is a bronchiole dialator so why not legalise? The Government just don't want to be seen as having made a mistake making it illegal in 1929 (i think?). I would rather smoke pure weed instead of with tobacco but enjoy a joint, I need to smoke it daily, especially now that I am coming off my antidepressants. Oh and because I told the doctor I used cannabis, I got a visit from social work! Those LEGAL antidepressants that cause so many people horrible side effects and withdrawls when coming off them all say weed helps. Weed completely chills me out, I'm not anxious, it helps pain too. If any of you don't already know about Rick Simpson search youtube for him making cannabis oil. This man is a legend :)
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Guest | Feb 16, 2012
 
I take antidepressants and i also do smoke up about twice a month when i get agitated. Due to my depressive condition I tend to scratch my skin and peel the dry parts and due to this i have a sever skin chronic case on my skin and weed helps me relax and calm down.
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Guest | Jan 6, 2012
 
i have bipolar and everytime i smoke pot...the symptoms vanish and i am free to feel happy calm and relaxed when i want to.
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Guest | Oct 24, 2011
 
I suffter also from Bi Polar for the past 8 yrs and have been on so many different many medications to help keep me balanced and I have still yet to find the right one or combation . When I have expermented with weed I felt mellow, in control, and I actually was able to get a good nights sleep and my family meaning my son's/husband actully said they would rather see me do that then all those other medications because I didnt seem so wired,stressed, jittery, and I was pleasant to be around. Thank you for listening.
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jpotter | Oct 16, 2011
 
I totally agree with this article as i suffer every day with Bi Polar disorder and have been on lithium for 3 yrs and i hate the fact that i am always sleepy and disoriented but when im using thc as a medication im more alert and active and find that i can think more clearly and when i do sleep its full sleep not broken and i have less anxiety and i eat better and my stomach is not as acidy .
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Guest | Oct 11, 2011
 
I don't know what my problem is, I went to a shrink and they told me I just needed to be married. Truth was, I think I still have a borderline personality disorder syndrome that is just severe enough that I find myself alienated and alone most of the time. MM has been there thru the years as a reliable friend. It has a social benefit that is never mentioned. The outcast isn't with just a bit of it onhand. Human contact and interaction is powerful.
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Guest | Sep 20, 2011
 
I let the doctors convince me to quit smoking mj and take literally tens of thousands of dollars in zombiefying drugs once I was diagnosed Bi-Polar six years ago. Nine months ago I quit the meds cold turkey and started smoking mj again. It was rough, but I am now med free and only using marijuana and CBT techniques to control mania, depression, and anxiety. My quality of life is so much better now with this beautiful life saver of a lady.
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Guest | Sep 20, 2011
 
I let the doctors convince me to quit smoking mj and take literally tens of thousands of dollars in zombiefying drugs once I was diagnosed Bi-Polar six years ago. Nine months ago I quit the meds cold turkey and started smoking mj again. It was rough, but I am now med free and only using marijuana and CBT techniques to control mania, depression, and anxiety. My quality of life is so much better now with this beautiful life saver of a lady.
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Guest | Aug 25, 2011
 
Hahah and what they said haha gots to loves the green
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Guest | Aug 16, 2011
 
i have suffered deperssion for many years and i have a very rare type of severe deperssion and have try manny treatment i testify that cannibis is the only one that helps
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GypsyRanger | Aug 5, 2011
 
I was first diagnosed over 10 years ago after an unfortunate life changing meltdown. After 7 years, they (the shrinks) found the right cocktail which controlled my moods but i still had to depend on klonopin to sleep and to handle anxiety attacks...I had smoked pretty much from when I was 17 up until I had my breakdown so around 13 years. Don't think that I hadn't thought about smoking over those 7 years it took to get the meds stablized because those chemicals they make really cause some uncomfortable side effects to say the least. I smoked with a friend about 3 years ago and I felt like my old self again. But the truth is that I need to work through issues in therapy along with the meds that have made me gain weight...I know how crappy it feels to "skip the meds" thinking I feel better...only to spend the next few days in bed feeling like death warmed over. This isn't the first board I've seen singing the praises of MMJ...Everyone keep together and it will be available for us soon. Keep strong.
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GypsyRanger | Aug 5, 2011
 
To add another thing...I think MMJ should be used for bipolar treatment because it not only quiets the mind but it allows me to focus unlike any stimulant like vyvanse
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Guest | Aug 5, 2011
 
Even with a nice Sativa, Unfortunately I still need to take an antidepressant...my chemical imbalance is more whacked than what my sativa's can handle. I've been on Sativas for over 40 years and just about the same with a variety of antidepressants. Most of them were 'cocktails'...now, I'm retired and use my sativas and only take 1 antidepressant, and I feel pretty good. I will never experience Joy like the rest of people, but I do pretty good...
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CannaConnoisseur | Jul 15, 2011
 
I suffer from depression and I find that a nice balanced indica-dominant strain is perfect for me, such as Chem-4, Romuland Grapefruit, Urkulan, etc. Although some many strains like Jack Herer and Blue Dream help a lot too, with uplifting euphoric effects.
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Guest | Jun 26, 2011
 
I have used med mari very successfully to treat threat my mood and cycling symptoms related to dysthymic and cyclothymic disorder, as well as ADHD, anxiety and PTSD. For me - I have found it most effective when I use it in balance it in combination with traditional medicine (combnation of therapy and one pharmaceutical - a low dose of Celexa. Med mari has freed me from having to take multiple meds/a med cocktail (1 pill of one type versus 3 pills of different types) - titrate as needed. I find the Sativa balance of this strain good because I like something long lasting that is not too intoxicating but is rather uplifting + allows me to focus, concentrate + function well.
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Guest | Jun 10, 2011
 
Cannabis er det beste mot depresjoner
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| Jun 8, 2011
 
i feel depressed often , and yes cannabis does alter my mentality on situations. which in returns begins to creat positive vibes within myself.
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Kushie Q | May 1, 2011
 
I have dealt with depression since I was a child, I am bipolar and I have taken so many drugs that the doctors hand me, that it isn't even funny. When I started to smoke, it helped more than all the years of chemicals I was handed.I only wish that as a small child I had been given just one thing that helped only half as much. Depression is a lonely feeling and what helps is to have a sense of relaxed peace, MMJ does that for me. I am a true believer and an example of the effects.
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Guest | Apr 24, 2011
 
After my tour of Iraq i was diagnosed with having severe PTSD,and mild TBI. I was put on numerous meds by the VA, none of which worked, or only worked temporarily. I gained 75 pounds, had no energy, was in a zombie like state and even more depressed. If i missed a dose i would become severely sick like someone having withdrawls from heroin or something. I decided to try smoking cannibus. Not only did the pain in my knees and back become more tolerable, but i was getting full nights sleep and I'm never depressed when i smoke, infact i don't have a single negative thought or memory go through my mind. I'm happy and everyone (meaning my family) is happy too. I honestly can't function like a normal person unless i smoke. I only wish it was legal in florida. i know many people would benifit from cannibus, especially Those with PTSD, and depression. I know i do.
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MrDoc | Mar 31, 2011
 
I agree with lindzz, Doctors hand out pills today like they solve problems of the people who go in their speaking of problems they experience. It only begins an addiction or it doesn't help at all. I am a person living with lupus and sometimes can have some pretty saddening thoughts about what I am going to do about slowly degrading, or what my family thinks about the situation. I live with some depression, but I choose to just smoke marijuana because it makes my life better. I admit, I take pain medication for extreme pain/aches, but I just find that cannabis does much more for depression than any pill can. Depression is much more serious than a pill you can take, you need to figure out why you feel the way to you do and try to fix that, the pill that makes you forget about your problems won't fix your problems, just mask them for the time being.
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lindzzz | Mar 30, 2011
 
It is awful that doctors continue to prescribe anti-depressants that can make depression worse or end in fatality. There is no threat of death in the use of cannabis. As a person who has had to make the switch from pills to cannabis for mental health purposes, I can tell you that those pills are a negative mind-altering experience and I would have been better off never starting them. It is so easy for a doctor to say 'take these twice a day and it'll be better' when in reality people are dealing with deeper issues. I feel that people with depression would benefit from cannabis use in concurrence with therapy services, to help counsel them and show that you don't have to be on pills for the rest of your life to feel better.
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SkillitHits247 | Mar 29, 2011
 
My lady's younger sister, 20yrs old, suffers from depression that came from PTSD after being violated at the age of 13. It's sad because her sister is already taking Prozac for her depression and possibly that new drug that is taken with your anti-depression medicine that is all over the TV Commercials (you know, the one that has the possible risk that can INCREASE YOUR DEPRESSION AND POSSIBLE INCREASE IN SUICIDE). My lady's family grew up in the generation where the government was pushing the war on drugs in the media and in schools with programs like D.A.R.E. (oh remember that!); and her sister along with the rest of her family all have that bad-judgmental-outlook on marijuana and just ignore the proven benefits that marijuana has that would help all of their illnesses.