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dancing with the devil

I haven't started the antidepressant yet, but I'm doing well. Maybe the worst of this depression passed right when I hit my breaking point and saw the doctor. Or I could just be on an extended upswing. Or it could be that the little experiment I've been doing is working. You probably won't approve, but I'm going to share it anyway.

I'm attempting to treat my depression with... tobacco. Smokeless tobacco. I've read about other people doing this, so I wanted to give it a try before going on medication. The idea is that if my brain was benefitting from smoking, abruptly cutting off the supply prevented it from being able to gradually rewire (assuming it can). By temporarily feeding my brain a little of what it's been missing, I'm giving it a chance to fix itself. I know this totally sounds like the logic of an addict, but I'm doing it anyway.

If I wasn't an addict, I'd just start smoking again and gradually ween myself off cigarettes. But I am, so I can't do that. What I'm using instead is Swedish snus. The Swedish part of that is important because it's the safest tobacco product available. You're probably grossed-out by the thought of an oral tobacco and so was I at first. Snus is entirely different than what you're thinking of, though. It's a flavored, powdered tobacco in a tiny tea-bag-like pouch and there's no spitting involved (and apparently lots of chicks use it, so it's not just a guy thing). Anyway, it's not gross at all. It's actually quite tasty.

Since I'm not looking for a new habit (or to up my nicotine use), I got the weakest snus available and I have a strict schedule for it. I think the average snus user uses like 5-10 a day. I'm using one snus every other day. Since it's been several months since I've used any tobacco, my brain has surely already done some adjusting, so I figured I'd start with as little as I thought might work and see what happened. Well, the amount seems to be perfect.

Within 40 minutes of the very first snus I felt WAY better. I'm not kidding. It was fucking dramatic. What I felt wasn't happy or peppy or alert or focused; what I felt was relaxed... calm... good. It could be at least partially a nicotine thing since the nic I get from my ecig now is so minimal that my body might've just been going OMFG NICOTINE!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!! But from everything I've read, it's the other stuff in tobacco that actually calms you, while the nicotine makes you alert and focused (and keeps you coming back for more). So I'm inclined to believe this was a tobacco thing and not a nicotine thing. No way to know for sure, though. If this works, I don't care why anyway.

Two days later, when I used another snus, I got that same awesome feeling again. Since then, though, I don't detect anything when I use a snus. I just enjoy the taste and hope it's helping. I've been feeling pretty normal for 11 days now while doing this (a general calm and much more even keel). There were two times where I could feel myself getting out of whack again but it was short-lived both times. Like I said at the beginning, the apparent early success of this experiment could just be coincidence, but I'm going to stick with it unless something changes.

My plan going forward is to continue using one snus every other day for the remainder of a month. Then I'll use one every couple days for another month. After that I'll either stop it all together or drop to fewer for one more month. If the depression comes back at any point, I'll know my brain ain't a gonna feex itself and I'll use real meds.


( 16 comments — Add a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
Hell girlie, if it makes you happy... but you get yourself a banjo to go with that stuff and that's a whole 'nother issue entirely ;-)
Apr. 2nd, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
What about Daisy Dukes? Can I start wearing those?
Apr. 3rd, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
Cat's reaction?

"She'll need a new name, to go with that, like RoxyMaeLyn or something..." ;-)

*googles Daisy Dukes* Oh sweet child of mine! Hell, I'm guessing they'd make The Man happy *bg*

Apr. 4th, 2010 04:58 pm (UTC)
LOLOLOLOL - I'd pay money (not a lot of it you understand, I hardly have any left) if you did a one-weekend changeover to RoxyMaeLynn and started typing with a low-brow southern accent. I'd fall over giggling like a fiend!!

(Pity I don't have any icons of Cameron in that bar to put on this post)
Apr. 2nd, 2010 05:19 pm (UTC)
This sounds like an excellent plan to me. I see the logic of it for sure. Good luck! And good on you for being so determined to kick this thing, by whatever means possible.
Apr. 2nd, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks. My husband was skeptical at first but he's noticed how much better I am and he's totally on board with my plan now. I think he was about to lose his mind over me losing my mind ;)
Apr. 2nd, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
Huh ...

Apr. 2nd, 2010 08:00 pm (UTC)
Apr. 2nd, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're feeling better!! :)
Apr. 4th, 2010 05:45 am (UTC)
Thank you. Me too!
Apr. 2nd, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC)
My biggest thought is that I'm glad you're feeling better.

Everything else is mostly 'Isn't snu a Suessian term?'
Apr. 4th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
No, those are sneeches.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Self Medication
Since you have a long history of successfully self medicating your depression by using nicotine, this plan doesn't seem especially risky.

While viewing wikipedia skeptically as a medical reference, it SEEMS as if the Snus is a relatively safer method of dosing nicotince, compared to anything but your E-cig.

Maybe the new flavorings will induce the man to pay more attention, too? That can't hurt.

I'll still talk to you if you take up the banjo. It will remind me of the good old days on the Chattooga.

As far as the Daisy Dukes, what's not to like?
Apr. 4th, 2010 06:30 am (UTC)
Re: Self Medication
Since you have a long history of successfully self medicating your depression by using nicotine, this plan doesn't seem especially risky.

Nah. In terms of nicotine, the only risk is that I could inadvertently up my tolerance a bit. I think that's unlikely with this low usage, but if it did happen, I know I can get it back down again when I'm done with snus.

While viewing wikipedia skeptically as a medical reference, it SEEMS as if the Snus is a relatively safer method of dosing nicotince, compared to anything but your E-cig.

I did a lot of reading about swedish snus specifically before deciding to do this. At most, it increases the risk of oral cancer and pancreatic cancer slightly above someone who uses no tobacco. But even that's just presumed risk based in statistics. I believe the little I'm using in a short-term scenario is inconsequential health-wise.

As for Daisy Dukes... unless the snus has some effect on my brain that makes me suddenly love having my butt cheeks hanging out, I don't see that happening :P
Apr. 4th, 2010 04:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Self Medication
A daily walk in the sunshine with the Daisy Dukes = vitamin D + attention.

Just remember there's always somebody around who's enough years older, that your butt cheeks still will make his day...

As long as you can handle the attention, it should be a mood booster!

Kayaking on Friday got me some compliments... very nice.
Apr. 5th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
Re: Self Medication
Kayaking on Friday got me some compliments... very nice.

( 16 comments — Add a comment )


roxy burglar
Roxy Bisquaint

Roxy Bisquaint...

Is self-indulgent. Over thinks everything. Tweets too much. Looks really good in these jeans. Wants to eat butterscotch. Makes herself laugh. Obsesses about aging. Does some crunches. Lives with two ghosts. Procrastinates daily. Measures once, cuts twice. Hates Foo Fighters. Drinks lots of coffee (keep it coming). Puts spiders outside. Brings balance to the force. Draws a perfect curve. Enjoys dark chocolate. Bangs on the drums. Always gets in the slow line. Orders from a menu. Hopes to be reincarnated. Speaks fluent Sarah Connor. Cooks tasty crack theory. Loves a good storm. Dances like a dork. Picks some locks. Tips well. Refuses to share the popcorn. Dreams about the future. Ignores the clock. Sings off key. Has a superpower. Shoots the paper bad guys. Needs some eyeliner. Goes to bed at dawn. Can't resist good smut. Quotes movie lines. Eats whipped yogurt. Lets the story tell itself. Maintains a rich fantasy life. Knows all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe.

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