If absolutely nothing has been able to break your cycle of depression, and you are becoming hopeless about getting better soon, maybe there is another avenue for you to go. I have spent thousands of hours doing general research on moods and the human brain because I am completely fascinated by the subject. I recently discovered something that continues to blow me away when I think about it.
Being a victim myself of bipolar depression, terrible anxiety disorders and ADHD, I know what it is like trying to escape the indescribable negative feelings and overwhelming heaviness and terror these disorders create in the mind. I am a firm believer that my falling into a heavier drinking pattern and the use of drugs as I got older was related to my depression getting exponentially worse over the years. Put simply, I think that many types of disorders and substance use and abuse are completely tied and linked to one another. What follows will probably stun you if you have never heard it before, but I think it proves that this substance linkage with mood disorders --especially depression -- exists beyond any doubt.
So here is the amazing thing: the human brain and body manufactures morphine in the identical molecular structure as that which comes from the opium poppy. It is measured in much less density, of course -- but it's there. Here is the clearest proof, published in a report just 2 years ago by the Neuroscience Research Institute: "Recent empirical findings have contributed valuable mechanistic information in support of a regulated de novo biosynthetic pathway for chemically authentic morphine and related morphinan alkaloids within animal cells"
The opium poppy, of course, is what the devil's drug heroin is made from. Not coincidentally, I believe that is why it is the most addictive drug on earth. It makes one feel so euphorically happy when they first start taking it, that the desire to feel that way gets embedded in the brain. It is really important that you understand that your brain does not manufacture a chemical that makes you feel like you have taken an opiate -- it manufactures the exact opiate itself. I find that incredible. Do you realize that in a sense we are all opiate addicts? That's an eye opener, no?
We know for certain that what the brain manufactures in terms of neurotransmitters or brain chemicals, unfortunately, it sometimes does not manufacture enough of. You have undoubtedly heard examples of other important "feel-good" neuro-chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Too little of these chemicals results in depression, and antidepressants help correct the problem. Doctors don't know exactly how most of these drugs work, mind you, and some were meant for totally different problems -- but we'll save that for another article.
The main point I am driving at is that if some people can be deficient in other brain chemicals, it certainly stands to reason that they could be deficient in their opiate levels. From what I have researched this is being referred to as either Endorphin Deficiency Syndrome, or Endogenous Opioid Deficiency. Not having enough opiates is a subject I have direct experience with and can describe for you, as a bad back got me into opiate-based painkillers and I got addicted to them. Because you develop a tolerance to this type of drug, you need more and more and more of it over time, too -- just to feel "normal" after taking the drug for several months.
Without it, after taking higher amounts for a while, you go into dreaded opiate withdrawal. I don't think there is anything more uncomfortable and frightening than this kind of withdrawal, either. Your body feels like it has the flu times 100, and your mind goes into a state of a tortured paralysis. Doing anything effectively while in such a state is nearly impossible, and your brain is stuck on one thought and one thought only -- how to get more opiates. It's called being "dope-sick", and one reason people go to rehab is to get some medical relief from such sickness by way of other drugs the doctors can give you to keep you a little more comfortable. You need mental support as well, because your brain function is totally impaired. Depression is also inevitable, and that leads us back to the point of this article.
There are growing numbers of what they call "treatment resistant" people who have got depression. The thinking is that some people are driven into depression by the lack of the naturally made opiate. Every one of the people in this group whose web comments I read experienced what they called an incredibly pronounced and dramatic lift in their mood upon taking an opiate. They are completely convinced it is the only thing that will help beating depression. After trying everything else, they get stuck in a position where they know they need an opiate, but feel very guilty about it because of the attached negative stigmas to the drug.
Fortunately, a drug has been developed that is used for easing people off of opiate addictions and it is called Suboxone. It is made in doses of 1 MG pills, where up to 18 MG might be prescribed for a heavy addict in withdrawal. But I have heard of people going on Suboxone for the long term with very good effects at just 2 MG. Now it is addicting, but people experienced with opiates say if you run out of your Suboxone you may feel a little achy for a few days at the 2 MG level, that's all. 1MG Suboxone Tablets are pictured above and have been deemed the only saving grace for these opiate deficient people. The tablets are made so that if crushed they are ineffective and difficult to abuse.
I should mention that obviously Suboxone itself is a type of substitute opiate to help addicts, and giving it to people long term where technically they could become slightly addicted is highly controversial in the medical community. Some docs frown upon this whole notion, while others know it's a life-saver.
I am not a doctor, so you need to speak with a progressive psychiatrist about everything I have mentioned here. I'll give out the website below, also. Hopefully this knowledge can make a difference in somebody's life, and help bring happiness to those stuck in the awful grip of depression-- if they are truly treatment resistant. How about you? What do you think of somebody taking an opiate type substitute for perhaps the rest of your life. Do you frown on it or believe it should be OK to practice this idea?
This kind of article gets me jazzed up hoping this information will reach somebody who has not lost hope while depressed. So please spread the word on this one and post references to this article in places where people in need might see it, please. Most of all, I'd like you to comment about what you think of this treatment idea
In 2006 I fell into a deep depression despite having a very successful Wall Street job and a Financial Radio Show. I blew off an 18 year career, exited a bad 10 year marriage, because with nothing giving me any real satisfaction it was time for a big change. After eventually being treated for depression and other things I truly wanted to focus on working with people in need.It has given me deep joy and a sense of spirituality I never had. I'm even friends with the ex again.
After running a sober living operation with two houses in Pasadena in 2007 and 2008, I founded a company that has pioneered a search technology for the recovery industry, and built the largest database of sober living homes and halfway houses in the US. It is designed to help make it simple for people to find and join sober livings or halfway houses after treatment for drug abuse and alcoholism. Rees Networks LLC is the parent company of Sober Living Halfway House Search (at sober living search.com). See what sober living is REALLY all about at Discover What Sober Living And Recovery Houses Are really About
The website for the opiate deficiency is listed on my blog called "Depression Anxiety, and Addiction" by Thomas Rees.