Ever woken up and felt like it was all too much? That the things you’ve been doing, the life you’ve been leading as all been for naught? Is there a crushing weight on your soul that you can’t quite pinpoint but it’s there nonetheless? Well, my friend, there’s a good chance you’re suffering from depression. Many of us go through ups and downs through life, but some find themselves stuck in the bottom of that valley.
These types of feelings can have a huge impact on the relationships and productivity in your life. Both jobs and friends can be lost, just because you can’t get out of this so called “rut”. Well, there’s physiological reasons for these feelings. Your brain isn’t producing the hormone called serotonin in enough quantities. This is a genetic issue, that can be resolved but something is causing the reward center of your brain to stop functioning as it should. This is how we operate: We do something good, our brain likes that we’ve done it, and serotonin is released as a result. This is how we train ourselves to be who we want to be. In the malfunctioning area of our depressed brain, we find that there’s little to no serotonin being produced for things that we should feel good about. This leads to the typical hopelessness, helplessness, and lethargy one can feel during bouts of depression. Why would you do something if you feel there is no point to it? Remember, this is not a normal state of mind to be having and is actually a physical issues rather than mental weakness.
As these feelings continue on many start to suffer from both insomnia (inability to sleep) and hypersomnia (oversleeping) in seemingly random patterns. That feeling of sleeping so much that you are still tired is common, but still many others find themselves exhausted and wanting to sleep but being completely unable to. Exhaustion starts to set in, feeling physically unable to take care of even the simplest of tasks. This leads us even farther into our depressive state.
Eating patterns will change as well. Many find themselves completely unable to eat as their brain isn’t giving them the serotonin reward we needed as hunters in our primitive roots, so the task of eating may not seem to be worthwhile. Consumption is deeply wired into our brains, however, and some find themselves overeating as they cling to one of the last things that can bring pleasure to them at the time.
That complete lack of energy doesn’t only come from the insomnia and hypersomnia, depression and the lack of serotonin causes it as well. One may find themselves unable to do something as simple as brush their hair or basic personal hygiene as these tasks do not seem worthwhile to the sufferer. At the same time they can feel restless; pacing back and forth, hand-wringing, and just finding it hard to keep still in general is very common.
These physical symptoms alone seem incredibly difficult to deal with, but past that there is the unrelenting mental anguish that depressed individuals suffer from. Sadness and grief rear their ugly heads pretty quickly in the depressive state. It doesn’t matter if the person has everything in the world to be happy of and appreciative towards; that lack of serotonin, remember? The brain is literally telling the sufferer that the things you are doing are not worth it. This is an untrue perspective. Yes, depressed people do things in a more realist sense than those with heavy manic or optimistic tendencies, but both parties are not seeing the whole picture. The depressed sees things in a lens of pure inhuman reality, but the brain should be filtering this and allowing us to enjoy life instead of just looking at it.
This is the brain turning against itself. As the state goes on we find patients starting to feel hatred towards themselves. They find themselves as completely worthless and a waste of time, completely undeserving of anything good in life. What’s more, they feel completely helpless to do anything about it. Even so much as to start having periods of extreme guilt and regret for no apparent reasoning at all. People in this state will go back and forth from anger and sadness even to the point of self-hatred in a variety of ways.
This anger can manifest itself outwards as well, with frequent outbursts becoming more and more common as the state goes on yelling at their friends at family or even themselves for something insignificant. This anger towards oneself can manifest itself in a variety of ways, like putting yourself in danger or self-harm or even suicidal ideations. Those who feels these symptoms should begin seeking help right away as this is where depression begins to become a serious hazard to one’s health.
Sufferers do have a variety of treatments available to them. Doctors can prescribe simple anti-depressants that help boost up those serotonin levels, the issue is there is a litany of side effects capable of effecting one that can appear out of nowhere; sometimes the side-effects can increase the feelings of depression and the self-harm. Psilocybin found in the “magic mushroom” that was popular during the 60’s and 70’s has been found in recent times to be very effective at mitigating depression and even curing it altogether in some cases as long as the dosage is regulated and the environment is controlled by someone who knows what they are doing. Psilocybin can make things worse as well, though, if handled improperly.
Probably the most exciting treatment for depression is the idea of Medical Marijuana in treatment. Doctors originally noticed its use for depression in cancer patients whose outlook on things was greatly improved through their use of CBD oil eliquids. This has caused an explosion of Cannabis dispensaries throughout the world where it is legal for the use of depression, as it is a highly common issue. Hash oil, edibles, and whatever form have all been shown to help depression greatly, not only mitigating the symptoms but allowing the patient to peer into themselves and help figure out why they feel the way they do.