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.