In our My CBDiary blog series, guest blogger Kim describes her personal experiences as she tries out CBD for the first time. She uses her diary to assess whether CBD supplements can offer some relief for the sombre moods to which she has been prone for a very long time.
Part 3: Hello Darkness, My Old Friend…
I don’t think the SupMedi people had any idea that I’ve come across recurring depressions in in my life, when they asked me to write about CBD for their website. (Or perhaps I ooze it so severely that they did have an idea).
The fact is, although I’m much better now, I do remain vulnerable and can still have bad days, if I’m triggered. These will be a bit heavier and last longer than the average “bad day.”
Once you’ve had an encounter with depression, in most cases you will remain permanently vulnerable to it. The chance of relapse after depression is 50 percent. After two depressions, it becomes 70 percent; and after three depressions it hits 90 percent. You know that persistent myth, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” It was coined by Nietzsche – before he went mad – but I feel Heath Ledger put it more accurately. As his Joker claimed in The Dark Knight: “Whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you… stranger.”
But do not abandon hope, for not all is lost. You can learn how to get through a depression. When you know how to recognize the signals, you are more aware that these feelings are not reality. You’ll learn what steps to take to get rid of them. And you be able to get rid of them much faster.
Furthermore, I have made some measure of peace with ‘my dear melancholy’ and I’m actually doing quite well…
I have been through a lot of therapy, but against all doctor’s advice, I never took any medication.
I disliked many things about the idea of taking antidepressants. The feeling that I had to solve the problem in myself and not ‘just numb’ it. And the daily intake and dependency of a chemically manufactured drug wasn’t making me all too exited either. There is a lot of money to be made in the antidepressant industry, roughly $ 15 billion a year worldwide. In other words, it’s a commercial drug.
On top of all that, there’s the various scandals that surrounded antidepressants in recent years. For example, the significant increases in adolescent suicides after taking on antidepressants. These numbers where held back by this highly profitable industry for years. (Today they’re mentioned in the prescription). Other known side effects include weight gain, loss of libido and sleeping problems, high blood pressure and emotional numbness.
There were also studies that showed how antidepressants only really help a small group of people; mostly those suffering from major/ severe depression. On top of that, it is difficult to lay off the medication once you’re on it. Withdrawal symptoms, and direct or even harsher “relapses” are just around the corner.
Shiny Happy Prozac
So, there’s a lot of question marks when it comes to a daily intake of chemicals that affect your brain and emotions. I was especially afraid of the emotional numbness, or losing a part of myself. Antidepressants not only take that edge off your negative feelings; they also curb your positive ones.
Also, for milder mood disorder complaints, antidepressants do not seem to be your “Go to” tool.
Now there are many people, especially in the cases of major/severe depression who benefit greatly from antidepressants, or wouldn’t even be able to go to therapy, without it. There are also many types of medication on the market as we speak. And since I’ve never tried any of those, I can’t say for sure whether it was a good idea not to. I might have just gotten fat and happy with Prozac, and it would have saved me a lot of trouble and digging up the past.
This is only my experience, I don’t know anything.
The reason I did dare to start using CBD is because of the naturally occurring cannabinoids. They’re not just derived derived from a plant, either: there are also naturally occurring cannabinoids receptors in our brain. And there are no known side effects when it comes to using CBD.
First, I will not recommend people who suffer from depression to take CBD. Or exchange their medication for CBD. I simply don’t know enough to make those kinds of statements. I myself do not suffer from depression at the moment. But with mild mood disorder complaints like listlessness, lack of concentration or just the lack of strength to ‘nail things,’ which can be associated with that persistent gloomy feeling… (even when triggered during the current Lockdown), I personally do notice positive effects.
“Use Focus, your best karate still inside.”
What I mainly notice when using CBD – and I didn’t see this one coming – is improved concentration. I feel more energetic and I manage to keep a longer “tunnel” focus. This has a positive effect on the work I do and that has a positive effect on my mood. I am happier with myself and with ‘what I have gotten out of the way’ and that gives me more courage and less stress or that feeling of “hopelessness.” And the mild agitation I noticed in the beginning was gone after about ten days.
Anyway, as I said in my previous blog, I don’t want to practice too much pseudo science based on the personal experiences of this one, rather weird, character. So next week we will see if the effects last and what the scientists or studies tell us when it comes how CBD affects our mood….