Alternative Methods to Help Treatment Resistant Depression
Have you been experiencing episodes of depression where, no matter what you do—self-care, nutrition changes, counseling—nothing seems to work? Somehow, unshakeable sadness has enveloped your entire existence. Maybe you have been considering reaching out for professional help, but you are unsure what kind of treatment will help you get through this period in your life. If this sounds like you, you may have treatment-resistant depression.
What Is Treatment-Resistant Depression?
Treatment-resistant depression is just what it sounds like: clinical depression that cannot be resolved through usual treatment methods. If you experience treatment-resistant depression, you may have tried several medications combined with talk therapies or other clinical avenues. Perhaps for you, talk therapy seems overwhelming, you feel that you do not want medications, or you have even tried psychiatric medications and feel that the side-effects outweighed whatever relief they were able to provide you.
The depression that you are experiencing can feel paralyzing and can create a wall that prevents you from engaging in anything with anyone that might bring joy. When you Google treatments for depression, you are presented with so much information that it is easier to turn off the computer and go to bed than wade through the ocean of information. There are so many avenues to explore beyond typical depression treatments. It is important to discuss a few of your options.
Natural and Holistic Treatment Options
THC (Marijuana): When the word marijuana is brought into the mental health treatment conversation, most people still see images of glassy-eyed teenagers covered in Cheeto dust and staring at cartoons, but marijuana has proven medical uses as well. Individuals reported that medically-prescribed marijuana lowered their depression levels and improved their overall quality of life.
Research done in 2015 by the University of Buffalo found that marijuana activates the same receptors in the brain as the chemical known as endocannabinoid. Endocannabinoid receptors are involved in many physiological processes, including mood-boosting. Following this research, more states made both medicinal and recreational cannabis legal. As such, medical marijuana use is a viable treatment alternative for treatment-resistant depression. Associating its use with the words “stoner” or “pothead” is limiting and does not acknowledge the other uses it has in the proper context.
Psilocybin (Mushrooms): Psilocybin is the active chemical in what is often called magic mushrooms. This chemical is taken in small doses known as "microdosing." When individuals engage in the use of Psilocybin, they do not go on some cosmic trip, as Hollywood would like you to believe. The effects of magic mushrooms are often described as spiritual experiences bathed in bliss. When Psilocybin is combined with talk therapy or psychotherapy, individuals report a significant reduction in depression symptoms. Microdosing can even cause a feeling of being uplifted and overall happiness.
MDMA (Ecstacy): MDMA—also known as Ecstasy, E, or Molly—is a relatively new avenue for treatment-resistant depression. MDMA was approved for treatment trials in 2017, and the results have been favorable in the treatment of depression. MDMA carries potent chemicals that help release serotonin—the happiness chemical—in the brain. When MDMA is combined with more traditional therapies such as talk therapy, it is possible to work through past traumas while having more control over emotions.
Departing From More Traditional Forms of Treatment for Depression
THC, Psilocybin, and MDMA are often villainized in mainstream media. Using these three treatments for depression may cause a fear of stigmatization and being called a drug addict. Despite the opposing views on these three treatments, research proves that THC, Psilocybin, and MDMA all have the potential to lessen or eliminate the symptoms that come with treatment-resistant depression.
Now is the time to change society's perceptions of each of the mentioned treatments. The medical community has been looking at psychedelics to treat mental health issues since the 1960s. As more studies are conducted, more information is available that presents the positive effects on mental health.
No longer do you have to worry about the constant and debilitating side effects of certain medications. You have choices. It is up to you to educate yourself and ask questions. All three of these options have had proven positive outcomes on treatment-resistant depression, but you may not be comfortable exploring these avenues, and that is okay.
Please keep in mind that this article is not written to encourage you to run out and get high with THC, Psilocybin, or MDMA. This article is simply intended to show you that there are alternative treatments for those who are experiencing treatment-resistant depression. It is up to you to educate yourself and decide. The choice is yours to make with the information you receive.
Using psychedelics to help ease your mental health symptoms is now an option and is being accepted by many members of the medical community. However, they may not be for everyone. If you are curious about how Marijuana, MDMA, or Psilocybin can help alleviate symptoms associated with treatment-resistant depression, speak with your provider and let them know that you are interested in exploring these avenues. As more and more members of society use cannabis for personal, recreational, and medical uses, the stigmas of the past are starting to dissipate. Keep in mind that these alternative methods are still best when used in conjunction with talk therapy or other, more mainstream forms of treatment. Whether you are interested in exploring these avenues or more traditional therapies, Achieve Medical Center would like to provide the support and education you need. Our staff of highly trained professionals can help you find the treatment route that is right for you. Call (619) 375-3977.