First of all, yes, I do think that marijuana can be profoundly beneficial for a depressed person.
I believe that there’s nothing wrong with using it. Cannabis has been grown and traded and consumed all around the world for thousands of years. George Washington smoked it; George Washington Carver smoked it.
And in our time, in the 1950s and 1960s, therapies using marijuana were under development by the psychiatric community — and they were showing promise. But when the drugs were outlawed, so were the studies.
Now that medical marijuana has become something of an established right, the psychiatric community is again experimenting with hallucinogens, and again, they are finding encouraging results.
My own use of cannabis has been sporadic. I go through phases where I crave it, and phases where I don’t even think about it.
I know that this back-and-forth has taught me a great deal. As a depressed person, you are aware of being aware of the different streams of your consciousness. So when you become aware of the state of mind imparted by cannabis, you can remember how to mimic some of it’s effects on your own. You are given a visceral experience of what it is like to have a different consciousness. You toy with changing consciousness. These experiences have helped me a great deal in my efforts to heal.
I should also tell you that I rarely drink alcohol, and that I have never used any drug other than marijuana — except this one time:
Now, given the state of healthcare in our country, I am very grateful that I had access to a psychiatrist at Kaiser. I certainly do not want to sound like I’m complaining about having health care when so many people go without it. But Kaiser’s entire line of treatment was geared to drugs. The doctor told me as much. She wanted to hear my story so she could name disorders and prescribe medications for them, which is exactly what she did.
I agreed to take Citalopram, the generic version of Celexa. And I refused to take the OCD drug along with it. I thought I should take one drug at a time so I could study it. She thought this was pointless, but she was very polite about it.
But if you are depressed, you know exactly what I mean. You can study it. You will know if you can use it.
And I know that a lot of people truly benefit from Citalopram (Celexa), Sertraline (Zoloft), Escitalopram (Lexapro) and Fluoxetine (Prozac). I am certain that people use these drugs in ways similar to the way I’ve used cannabis. I certainly hope that some of what I’m writing here is useful to people using these drugs, even though they weren’t the right path for me.
There is a natural desire to play with this drug phenomenon, and most people do. I strongly believe it is possible to use these drugs to progress towards mental health.
But obviously, a cure is better than a therapy. For those of us who have used drugs as therapy, can we now embark on a cure?
I’m beginning to think that might be possible. One thing is for certain: enhancing the level of redox signaling molecules in your brain has a wonderfully supportive effect on all of your positive efforts, and it somehow weakens and dissipates the negative parts of your consciousness you are trying to control.
It simply enhances healing, and your brain heals to a more functional version of itself, same as any other tissue.
But this tissue takes your consciousness along with it.