Perhaps in a few decades time, the notion that marijuana is ‘highly addictive,’ ‘has no medicinal value,’ and is ‘dangerous’ will be known as one of the greatest medical lies ever told. At the same time that the government bans weed on a federal level, Big Pharma is allowed to sell its harmful, and often deadly, drugs.
One of the worst crimes committed by these nefarious companies lies in the field of mental health, and in particular, depression. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 16 million American adults suffer from a Major Depressive Disorder, while millions more have conditions such as Persistent Depressive Disorder, or PTSD.
As you probably expect, Big Pharma has jumped on this problem like leeches, and they look to market their anti-depressants as the cure to all ills. A government study in 2017 found that the number of Americans taking anti-depressants rose by 65% in the period from 1999 to 2014, and incredibly, over 12% of Americans aged 12+ take one of these drugs, many of them without realizing the terrible side effects and long-term problems associated with anti-depressants.
Everyone knows that Big Pharma likes money, but are you aware that its thirst for profit is putting your life in danger? Did you know that marijuana is a safer, and much cheaper alternative? Probably not, because government propaganda keeps you in the dark. In this article, however, we hope to bring to light the dangers of anti-depressants, as well as the benefits of weed for your depression.
Anti-Depressants – The Drugs Don’t Work
The trouble with subverting the norm and telling the truth is that people are conditioned to view such truths as ‘conspiracies.’ America’s dependence on pharmaceutical drugs is well-known around the world – ever wonder why drug use in the United States far outweighs every other Western nation’s consumption? It certainly isn’t because we’re sicker (or at least we weren’t until Big Pharma took hold).
The reason is that the population of other countries actually realize that excessive medication is dangerous. In America, new drugs get fast-tracked without the necessary studies, while long, medium and short-term risks are all but ignored. If you don’t yet know the full horrors of anti-depressants, keep reading and be astounded.
Anti-Depressants Increase the Likelihood of Suicide
Yes, you read that right; the drugs you think are helping could actually cause you to unravel mentally. You would think that the rate of suicide would have fallen since anti-depressant use has increased so markedly, but in fact, the rate has risen from 11.27 suicides per 100,000 people in 2007, to 13.42 in 2016.
Also, a 2016 study looked at over 70 trials which involved over 18,000 people, and found that in people over the age of 18, anti-depressant use actually doubled the rate of suicide! One of the most common classes of these drugs is called Serotonin Specific Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which act by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin into the brain. So basically, they are somewhat effective at the beginning of treatment.
However, SSRIs do nothing to help you in the long-term. On the contrary, they can actually hurt you quite severely. Eventually, your brain reduces the amount of serotonin it releases, so as you take on an increased dose of the drug, there is less and less of the “happy chemical” released, which makes you feel even worse. SSRIs may give you more energy, but they don’t help remove negative feelings. Also, an energized but depressed individual is dangerous, as they are more likely to harm themselves or others.
Long-Term Side Effects
It is ironic that the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 labeled marijuana as ‘highly addictive’ without any proof, when anti-depressants are the epitome of addictive. If you’ve ever been on an anti-depressant for a long time and tried to stop, you feel as akin to what heroin addicts might go through when trying to kick their habit. And actually, heroin users don’t take as long to recover from their side effects as do prescription painkiller addicts!
When a heroin addict stops taking the narcotic, for example, they feel like death for several weeks as their body’s endorphins attempt to fill the gaps. However, it takes your brain a lot longer than this to readjust its serotonin levels, and according to some studies, it can actually be a permanent state!
You may notice that the official medical term is ‘discontinuation syndrome,’ but it should be called ‘withdrawal.’ A 2015 study by Chouinard and Chouinard found that new and ‘rebound’ symptoms can happen for as long as six weeks after withdrawing from an anti-depressant, while other disorders associated with long-lasting receptor changes could last much longer.
An Increase in Violent Behavior
As a legal drug, alcohol is associated with an increased likelihood of violent behavior – one of the reasons why Prohibition was introduced in 1919. However, booze has nothing on anti-depressants when it comes to violence; of the ten legal drugs most likely to increase aggressive and violent conduct, five are anti-depressants.
Moreover, did you know that a person on Prozac is almost 11 times more likely to commit a violent or aggressive act than is an individual on other drugs? Regardless of this, physicians are happy to prescribe it like candy even though it should be the sponsor of Fight Club. Only the anti-smoking medication Chantix is more likely to cause you to put a fist through a wall than Prozac.
Ineffective in the Long-Term
You could almost forgive anti-depressants for at least some of its negative effects (not the suicide ones obviously), as long as they offer a long-term solution. Alas, though, they are only moderately effective during your treatment period (short and medium term), and relapse is common. Remember, your brain fights back against the effects of these drugs which means their ability to reduce depressive symptoms becomes limited over time, and increasing the dosage only makes things worse.
After a moderate impact in the first eight weeks, anti-depressants begin to cause more harm than good. In fact, some studies show that placebos offer about 80% of the beneficial symptoms! After a few months of use, your brain will push back to the point where your depressive symptoms return, and once you stop taking the drug, things get even worse. The three-month risk of relapse after taking an SSRI is an incredible 43%!
We haven’t even covered the other side effects of anti-depressants, which include the death of neurons, increase in the risk of breast cancer, and a marked increase in cognitive decline. Also, a variety of studies have shown that when older women use anti-depressants for a long time, there is a 70% increase in the risk of ‘mild’ cognitive impairment and an overall increase in the risk of dementia.
Why Are People Turning to Cannabis Instead of Anti-Depressants?
Marijuana is pretty much the opposite of anti-depressants in relation to the symptoms outlined above. For example, cannabis use possibly decreases the risk of suicide. A recent study, in fact, investigated suicide in states where weed was legal, and found that the overall suicide rate fell by 10%.
Although you could experience marijuana withdrawal, there is no evidence to suggest that it causes long-term changes in the brain. Admittedly, though, chronic users can experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, but the side effects are still significantly milder than those associated with anti-depressant symptoms.
So you might be wondering why anti-depressants make people more aggressive. As it transpires, we process serotonin differently, and too much of it can lead to increased aggression. A small but fascinating 2011 study looked at ten patients with excessively high levels of serotonin. All ten were treated with anti-depressants; eight of them murdered someone, while the other two were noticeably more violent. All of the patients returned to a less aggressive mood once they stopped taking anti-depressants.
Marijuana is different because it actually reduces aggressive behavior. Cannabis plays a major role in our endocannabinoid system, and in one study, it was shown that a group of mice became more aggressive when their cannabinoid receptors were blocked. Also, even when the mice received a synthetic cannabinoid (which is less effective than the real thing), their aggressive behavior decreased significantly.
Additionally, a study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy in 2017 found that 63% of patients used weed as a substitute for sedatives, opioids, and anti-depressants. Effectiveness and a reduction in side effects were the main reasons for the change.
Why Does the Government Persist in Allowing Anti-Depressants to Pollute America?
The answer to this question is simple: Profit. Since marijuana use could save Medicare hundreds of millions of dollars a year, it is nothing to do with budgetary restrictions. Instead, the answer is in the millions of dollars ‘donated’ by Big Pharma lobbyists. The Food and Drug Administration is well aware that anti-depressants are dangerous, it just doesn’t care.
Moreover, while the FDA required SSRIs to carry a warning as far back as 2005 (which was expanded in 2007), it barely scratched the surface in terms of shedding light on what anti-depressants do to the human body and mind. We are talking breast cancer, bleeding in the skull, mental health problems, liver damage, heart problems, congenital disabilities, and so much more.
So let’s be real (and by that, I mean ‘cynical’) – depression is the perfect condition for Big Pharma to exploit, because it is common, incurable, long-term, and requires multiple medications. Instead of ruining your life with these dangerous and useless pills, book therapy sessions and get better via a tried, tested, and proven method.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a state where marijuana is legal, whether recreationally or medicinally, consider using it to combat your depression instead of leaving yourself open to the horrors of anti-depressants. Weed won’t make you aggressive, and it could reduce suicide risk. Moreover, it carries far fewer (and less serious) side effects, and is significantly cheaper in the long run.