My apologies for not posting an oily blog yesterday; I was writing a blog post for my adoption agency about my reaction to Robin Williams’ suicide. I had planned to write another back-to-school with crazy hippie oils article today, but I feel compelled to at least address the topic of mental health.
Before I do, let me make some disclaimers. There is no one, silver bullet cure for depression or any other mental health issue. There is not a magic oil that would have prevented Robin Williams from hanging himself. I wish there was. But health issues are complicated, they have many triggers, and are best responded to by a multifaceted approach. Depression has mental, physical, spiritual and emotional causes and consequences, and should be respected when treated. It is not something that you can will your way out of or blow off as just being sad. It is also not something that you can just pop a pill for and be cured. In fact, there is not really a cure outside of an act of God, only treatment. And the treatment is lifelong.
Now that you know I’m a good social worker and not trying to sell you snake oil treatments, on to the, uh, not snake oil.
Essential oils have long been used in aromatherapy applications as mood enhancers. Most people have smell preferences that make them happy, strawberries is a popular one. I noticed when my son broke his arm last year that one of the doctor offices pumped in orange scent, in fact. And, there have been some studies using DoTerra oils in hospital settings (see video) to reduce stress for hospital employees. But are scents just a temporary upper or do they actually have medical benefits to treat conditions like depression? I’ll admit I was somewhat skeptical; I thought well maybe a counselor could diffuse a scent during a session, but it probably wasn’t going to take the place of Xanax.
This may be true. But it is also true that if oils have physical therapeutic applications they should also be able to address mental therapeutic applications, right? It turns out they do, and in some cases work better than pharmaceuticals.
At this point I will refer you to the disclaimer above. Oils are not a silver bullet but can be used as a part of a multifaceted treatment approach that may include diet, exercise, counseling, and pharmaceuticals or hospitalization when necessary. Everyone take a deep breath - those of you who think oils fix everything and those of you who think oils fix nothing. Moderation is key here, people.
While too complex a topic to go into in a single blog post, I wanted to highlight a few studies. By the way, Aromatic Science and PubMed are great places to search for studies on oils for those of you who like to respond to everything, “But - SCIENCE!” This topic of depression on Aromatic Science has some great oil suggestions and study references in the footnotes. Some more studies below:
Ok there are probably more, but I wanted to share some DT specific resources with you as well. One of the reasons I went look at EOs was to help with my son’s anxiety. I realize it has an underlying cause, but sometimes you have to treat the symptom to get to the root, even if you do so only by process of elimination. Below are a couple of resources, including the mood matrix using DT oils. I’d also encourage you to follow my Pinterest board on essential oils, as I regularly pin oil “recipes” that pertain to moods. As with everything, please understand that I’m not a doctor, and I’m just trying to keep my family health as naturally as possible, just like you. And please don’t get your panties in a wad over names of blends; Liquid Xanax is just what some person came up with to describe how the combination of Balance and Serenity worked for them.
Also, if you or someone you know struggles with depression or suicidal thoughts, please get help. As I said in my adoption agency blog, if there is anything we should take away from the tragedy of Robin Williams’ suicide, it is that despite what he believed, there are people who cared deeply for him, his loss was felt deeply, and he was worth saving. So are you.
You are just as important as Robin Williams.
You are worth saving.
You are important.
You are essential.
Please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline if you need immediate counsel or referrals to local resources. 1-800-273-8255
Please note, while there may be affiliate links or payment for reviews, all opinions are my own. You can't buy a good review from me, people. I am way too mouthy for that.