So here we go. It’s time to talk about the big D. ‘Dactyliomancy’ you say?
I am talking about depression.
This is an article about CBD oil and depression. So you expect a long word count-filling rant on what scientists say depression is and what causes it. This is usually followed by some statistics on depression and its history. Then, a long rant about all the same stuff about CBD, followed by a few paragraphs to link them together. Those kinds of articles are like Ted talks. You start off knowing nothing about a subject. Then, by the end, you are even more confident that you know nothing about the subject.
I’m assuming that since you are here, you already know what depression is. Not the scientific explanation wrapped up in political and pharmaceutical agendas. I’m talking about your personal experience of depression. That is more real than anything that has come out of a laboratory, ever. Scientists will tell you they know more than you about depression. But they don’t. So let’s skip all the bollocks and get right to the point.
What the hell can you do about it?
It’s a little different for everybody, isn’t it? If you read my article on anxiety, you will know that I like to begin by separating the mental from the physical. I have said that anxiety begins as a physical sensation. We then wrap words and pictures around it to bring it to life. Our belief that it is a ‘mental issue’ is further deepened by society and doctors. I don’t believe depression is much different in that it is a physical issue rather than a ‘mental’ one.
I’d like to ask before we go too deep that you reserve any kind of sensitivity you have to the subject. Perhaps you have suffered from depression yourself. Perhaps you know someone who has. Maybe you have seen tragedy as a result. But that doesn’t mean you own it. When you take ownership of a subject like this, you are bound to take offence when anything challenges what you think you know. I would like to encourage you to take a beginners mind here. Understand that I am not expressing the way things are, just some ideas about the subject which may be correct or not.
Like my ideas on anxiety, I believe that depression also has to do with the blood and its ability to carry substances around the body to different muscle groups and organs including the brain.
Since the early days of ecstasy in the 1990s, many people got to know the effects of serotonin on the brain. An overload of it results in states of orgasmic type bliss. Too little of it, as realized, in the days following, leads to the opposite state. The saying ‘Suicide Tuesday’ refers to the Tuesday following a big weekend on Ecstasy.
So, serotonin is often linked with that feeling of pleasure. But, in the same way that there is no actual pleasure in ecstasy (MDMA), there is no actual pleasure in serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter. What that means is that it is more involved with transportation than anything else. You can also think of it as a messenger or courier. You can read a lack of serotonin in the brain as ‘I need more serotonin. We think that serotonin is that ‘feely good chemical’. But a lack of serotonin in the brain just prevents solid communication. When there are fewer couriers around, the messages can’t get through as quickly (or at all) and function breaks down.
It is often presumes that serotonin lives in the brain, but that’s just not true. Serotonin is utilised throughout the entire body. Wherever there is process, there is serotonin.
So why does serotonin cause bliss?
The bliss that is experienced when somebody takes MDMA can also be experienced through other methods such as sexual orgasm, meditation, and sneezing (briefly). We assume that this bliss comes from the serotonin but this is not the case. Serotonin is a transporter. That is its function. We use most of ours to control our conceptual mind. We use it to carry information about who we are, where we come from, what we like, what we don’t like. In other words, the functioning of the ego. Everything that we believe we are. We need a lot of serotonin to keep this function running.
When we take MDMA, serotonin is pulled away from the conceptual part of the brain and so the ego collapses. The bliss that we experience is not something fabricated by the drug. It is a part of our mind that is usually hidden by all the thoughts that run around in our heads. When we sneeze, when we orgasm and when we meditate, this also happens in different ways. A different part of the body requires serotonin. Without serotonin, the thinking mind cannot function. This is why when someone takes a lot of MDMA, they can forget who they are. MDMA does not contain any bliss inherently. It is simply a message that says close this door, open this door. Then the serotonin obeys as they produce that function in the body.
It can feel like there is a limited amount of serotonin in the body and therefore a limited amount of ‘bliss’ that one can experience. But, the body can make more serotonin, it produces it all the time. The serotonin does not make bliss, it exposes it when it migrates.
The problem of depression in relation to serotonin is not one of shortage, it is one of distribution.
Try tensing your stomach muscles or any other muscles. You need serotonin is to do this. You will notice that when you tense your abdomen, your thoughts pretty much stop. This is because serotonin is required to help tense the stomach. Tensing your abs pulls serotonin from the brain. You should read about the link between tension in the abdomen and thoughts during zen meditation or sumo wrestling.
Based on this, you might think that it is good to not allow the serotonin to get into that ego part of the brain. But that is also dangerous since we need that part of the brain to help us function in the normal world. It is not a matter of making some part of us dysfunctional. It is a matter of having a balance of serotonin in different parts of the body and brain. Too much in the conceptual part of the brain and we become depressed and can feel overwhelmed by our thoughts. But, not enough and we can start to lose touch with reality.
So consider that depression is not due to a lack of serotonin in the brain. But, actually due to an excess of serotonin in the conceptual part of the brain. To begin to control this, we have to clear the highways that allow the serotonin to move freely in the body and brain.
We produce a lot of serotonin in the gut. From there it moves to the various parts of the body and brain to work as a transmitter of information. Wherever there is serotonin, there is powerful communication between cells.
The body and mind knows where it needs serotonin and in what levels. We don’t need to try and control the process. SSRIs try and take over this process and manage it. Scientists believe they know what parts of the brain need serotonin and which parts don’t. They are wrong, and, the long term effects of SSRIs prove it.
So, how can we ease depression?
If the channels of the body are clear, then the blood can transport serotonin wherever it needs it. If the channels are blocked or tight, or the heart is weak, the serotonin cannot get to where it needs to go. When there is tension or inflammation in the body, it causes roadblocks where toxins begin to build up. These toxins start to clog our system. The serotonin can’t get to where it needs to go so, certain parts of our system begin to become dysfunctional.
How can CBD oil help?
So here it is. CBD oil is considered a powerful inflammatory and muscle relaxant. By reducing inflammation and relaxing muscles, CBD oil can help clear the pathways and channels of the body. This allows for more effective transportation of serotonin around the body. When the serotonin has free movement, it can go where it needs to go and we can start to return to balance. CBD oil is not a miracle cure, but can be a part of this plan to ‘clear the channels’.
If you want a so-called ‘holistic’ approach to depression you need a multi-pronged attack.
Increase the strength of the heart through cardio training if you can
Drink chamomile tea which is also an anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant
Do some form of yoga, particularly inversions
Take CBD oil
Avoid acidic foods that cause inflammation
Manage your stress levels to keep muscle tension low.
Whatever I have said here should not be taken as fact.
It is unsubstantiated, but it is a useful idea to consider. I get sick of hearing the same old things about how to deal with depression. People tell you to exercise, eat healthily, etc. But I feel it’s good to understand the link between those things and your depression. Also, it’s good to consider new approaches. Like anxiety, I believe (just my opinion) that depression is very much a physical condition. If we understand the value of allowing the serotonin free movement in the body then we can work on keeping our channels open.
As always, consult a medical professional before taking CBD oil or engaging in any of the ideas in this post.
This article is a collection of ideas by the author. It does not constitute facts or advice in any form. Please consult a medical professional and check the legality in your area before purchasing or taking CBD products.
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