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Marijuana and Depression

When people find out I smoke medicinal marijuana, they usually say, “You don’t look like someone who normally smokes pot. For years people always ask me “Why do you smoke pot?” And for years my pat response has always been, “Medical marijuana saves me from a constant life of depression.” Being born from a woman who was diagnosed with manic depression, also known as bi-polar; I refused to admit that I would be predisposed to depression by way of genetics. But as I grew older, I became more aware of my off-again on-again depressive states. Never seeking medical attention for my depressive moods, I would casually roll a joint to become self-medicated, allowing the cannabis to alter my mental state of depression and calm my emotions.

I never talked to a doctor about depression until five years ago, when speaking to my physician about my health concerns stemming from work stress and my husband passing away. From that visit the doctor diagnosed me with Clinical Depression. I was surprised I was not given any additional pertinent information about my mental health diagnoses when the doctor prescribed synthetic medications and informed me to take them for a few days until I gradually feel the effects. I candidly mentioned to my physician, that I used marijuana and it helps with my depressive state. She gave me a nonchalant response. I wasn’t happy with the doctor for not giving me a professional synopsis or helpful information about clinical depression or the prescribed medicine, including the potential side effects.

For those who are unaware, Clinical depression is the most severe form of depression that is unrelated to loss or other mental conditions. The American Psychiatric Association published the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to help diagnose mental conditions. The symptoms associated with Clinical Depression may include, but are not limited to: a depressed mood, reduced interest for most activities, weight loss, decrease or increase in appetite, lack of sleep or increased desire to sleep and any recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt.

When I discovered these facts through my own due-diligence, I knew immediately that I had to learn to understand my issues and find a way to manage my depression. First, I had to accept that I was more sensitive and seriously emotional towards life than others. I began to understand that I would have to work at remaining calm and collected by medicating properly. I know mental health is a serious issue and I can reveal that by witnessing it first-hand. I think back to the beginning with my mother, who has had to deal with mental health breakdowns and episodes all through my childhood. You cannot determine a persons emotional state or their state of mental health just by looking at someone. Mental illnesses are not commonly mentioned or discussed so I do recommend if you are experiencing more than one of the symptoms previously listed above that you seek some comfort and take advantage of the opportunity to understand and become better aware of how to have a healthier mental state.

You may wonder, so many medicines are available that help with depression how does one determine the best treatment? My concern is that not all prescribed medications that are prescribed have the same effect on every person. I feel confident that working with a medical professional to see what alternatives or prescription medications will help treat the depressive condition. I read a study online, about how Vanderbilt University researchers have recently been able to show that when marijuana is consumed it allows the brains receptors to release and produce endocannbinoids naturally which allows for regulating anxiety. This backs up what I have been saying for years, that marijuana helps with anxiety, depression, and the focus of attention-span. I would like to personally thank the Vanderbilt University research team Sachin Patel, M.D., Ph.D., Teniel Ramikie, and colleagues for taking the time to study and carefully analyze marijuana for its beneficial purposes of saving lives.

Mental illness is a serious ailment, to be addressed, supported, prevented, and discussed as a real issue of concern. With the help of this new research study, more lawmakers will hopefully focus and pay attention on how medical marijuana helps patients who are suffering from a variety of diseases and afflictions. Sometimes there is no immediate cure but there can be preventive measures to end pain save lives. I support medical marijuana use for patients who suffer from mild depression, anxiety, and lack of appetite. Sometimes, there is no cure for it all, only a way to medicate and manage the symptoms.

BY PRINCESS JORDEN
STAFF EDITOR

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