We say, all of us experience to be depressed about something. For example, your long-time crush is now a husband or a wife, or you’ve dropped your expensive and favorite ice cream. Sure with those reasons, you’ll be pessimistic, and it is also common. Somehow, depression is one of a serious medical condition that needs to be taken care of. Unlike those reasons I said earlier, it is only common to be despondent if those happen. However, there are also severe ones that may lead to severe conditions that can have long-lasting effects on an individual. It can affect their ability to work, health, social life, and overall well-being.
Well, it is a mood disorder that can cause an individual with a persistent feeling of losing interest and sadness. Hence, called otherwise a major depressive disorder or clinical depression. It affects the individual’s behavior, emotions, and thinking and also can lead to physical and emotional problems.
The Symptoms of Depression
Knowing the symptoms of depression is always important and necessary. Visiting their regular doctor is an excellent place to start with. Hence, they know how to deal with it and will test them for the disorder and can help them manage the symptoms. If the disorder goes untreated, it will only worsen and can last for a long time. It may also cause pain, and there is a possibility that it can lead to suicide. And yes, it does for about 1 of 10 individuals who have depression. Well, recognizing and knowing the symptoms is key, as said earlier. However, half of the individuals who have depression have never been treated or diagnosed.
Common symptoms may include the following:
- Appetite loss or overeating
- Helplessness, worthlessness, and feeling of guilt
- Hopelessness and pessimism
- Troubles in making decisions, remembering details, and concentrating
- Cramps, headaches, migraines that won’t fade away
- Digestive problems that can’t get better even with the use of treatment
- Anxiousness, feeling “empty” and persistent sadness
- Slow speech or movements
- Losing interest in pleasurable activities such as sexual intercourse
- Oversleeping, insomnia, or early-morning wakefulness
- Suicidal thoughts or attempting to harm themselves
Depression Knows No One
For those who have this disorder, symptoms can be severe enough to be noticeable in their daily lives and activities. Some of them may feel generally unhappy or miserable without even knowing why. Thus, depression is no joke, and it may even present to kids and teens. Common signs are mostly similar to adults, yet there are differences.
In younger ones, the symptoms may include:
- Aches and pains
- Refusing to go to school
In teenagers, the symptoms may include:
- Negative thoughts
- Using alcohol or recreational drugs
- Avoiding social interaction
- Loss of interest in normal activities
- Sleeping and eating too much
- Extremely sensitive or rebellious personality
- Feeling of misunderstanding
This disorder chooses no one, and it can affect anyone. Even those individuals who appear to have a life in relatively ideal circumstances. Thus, it may include biochemistry that believed one contributor in terms of the symptoms of depression. Genetics may also include, it can run in the family genes. Personality may also play a significant factor like those with low self-esteem. It may also include those who have pessimism are mostly to experience depression. Moreover, environmental is also a risk factor for having depression. The continuous exposure to abuse, neglect, poverty, or violence can make them vulnerable to depression.
This disorder is among mental disorders that can be treatable. There are almost 80% to 90% of individuals are eventually responding well to the treatments. All of the patients may gain relief from the symptoms of depression. Hence, in treating or diagnosing depression, the process begins with interviews and physical examinations conducted by health professionals. Examinations include a blood test, making sure that the disorder is not a cause of some medical conditions like thyroid problems. This evaluation is helpful because it can identify the specific symptoms. Treatments may include:
Sometimes called “talk therapy” is a method used alone for treating mild depression. Psychotherapy may consist of the use of antidepressant medication if it is in moderate to severe depression.
There are methods in psychotherapy, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. This method is effective in treating depression and its symptoms that focus on problem-solving and the present. It may even help the person to recognize distorted thinking, changing behaviors, and the like. However, in treating depression, it may vary depending on how severe the disorder is. It might take weeks or even longer, like in most cases, improvements are noticed in 10 to 15 sessions.
The brain chemistry may also contribute to the disorder and is also a factor for their treating depression. Treatments such as antidepressants can be prescribed to help the modification of brain chemistry. This type of medication does not provide sedation, tranquilizers, or uppers and is not habit-forming. Also, this medication doesn’t have stimulating effects on individuals with this disorder.
Medications like antidepressants can provide improvements for the first or two weeks. However, if patients have fewer improvements or none at all after several weeks of intake, psychiatrists may change the medication’s dosage or may shift to other antidepressants. Other psychotropic medication can also be helpful, but it is necessary to consult or let their doctors know if this might help them or not. Some health professionals recommend their patients to continue taking their medication for 6 or more months if there have been improvements. They may also recommend long-term maintenance treatment to reduce the risk of having the disorder.
ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) Treatment
It is a common medical treatment for severe depression that did not respond to other treatments. It involves electrical stimulation of the brain as the patients are under anesthesia. Patients with the disorder will receive ECT for two to three times a week. It has a total of 6 to 12 treatments.
CBD – Cannabidiol
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 100 compounds a cannabis or marijuana plant. This type of compound is the 2nd most prevalent active ingredient of the plant. It is a vital component of medical marijuana from the hemp plant. This compound does not produce psychoactive effects like its cousin, the THC. While they are both similar, both compounds act differently in the body. The THC can provide the feeling of euphoria or normally call as the “high.” However, CBD doesn’t have any effects on the body, and it doesn’t provide “high” or a feeling of euphoria.
CBD and Our Body
Our body produces cannabinoids on its own and has 2 cannabinoids receptors – CB1 and CB2 receptors. Hence, all cannabinoids, including CBD if taken by the body, it produces effects in our body through these receptors. The CB1 receptors are found in every part of the body, yet many of them are in the brain. These receptors deal with pain, mood, thinking, memories, emotions, coordination, and movement. On the other hand, CB2 receptors are in our immune system. It mostly affects pain and inflammation. Researchers believed that the compound is attached to CB2 receptors. However, it appears that CBD does not work directly in both receptors. Instead, CBD directs the body for using more cannabinoids on its own.
CBD for Depression
There are different research and studies in which prove that CBD can help patients with depression. Using CBD can also cause fewer adverse side effects rather than using pharmaceutical drugs. Research from 2014 explains that CBD can be useful for assisting the symptoms of depression. It also includes a positive interaction on the serotonin receptors in the brain. The serotonin impacts different functions in the body. It may include the individual’s emotional state, happiness, or well-being. For those reasons, keeping the serotonin levels in the brain balanced can be a key therapy for combating depression.
Different Usage of CBD for Treating Depression
There are a lot of CBD products that are now available in the market for treating depression, as the following methods:
- Oral: It may include oils, capsules, tinctures, and sprays. These types of mixes can be taken orally as they are. They can also be used in other preparation that includes coffee or smoothies.
- Vaping: It is one of the fastest ways to ingest by using CBD oil. However, there are speculation and debate on the long-term safety of using this kind of method. Moreover, this method can cause irritation as well as coughing.
- Edible: There are wide varieties of edible CBD products, from food to drinks. It includes CBD infused gummies or brownies.
- Topical: It may include CBD-infused creams, lotions, or other beauty products. However, this method is more likely best for treating pain rather than mental health problems.
CBD-rich Cannabis For Depression
Aside from mentioned above, they can also use CBD-rich cannabis for combating their disorders. They can use traditional smoking methods on this strain. This CBD-rich strains may include:
- Harle-Tsu Strain: This strain is a Sativa-dominant with high CBD levels that reach up to 22%. The strain has only 1% of THC levels that most users don’t feel any psychoactive effects when they use this strain. It is known for providing relief to those who have depression and anxiety disorders.
- Harlequin Strain: A Sativa-dominant hybrid that is equipped with 10% CBD levels with moderate levels of THC. This strain is known as a medical cannabis strain by most users and patients. It can help combat the symptoms of depression as it relaxes the mind and over-all body.
- ACDC Strain: A high-CBD, Sativa-dominant strain with CBD levels that reaches up to 20%. Like Harle-Tsu strain, it has only 1% THC content. The strain is known to provide help to those patients who are experiencing depression or anxiety.
That being said, CBD has a great possibility in treating not only the symptoms of depression but the disorder itself. Still, further studies and research needs to be done to understand its capabilities fully. If they have depression, they should always consult with a professional doctor. Professional doctors know all the treatment that is best for the disorder. However, if they want an alternative or natural way of treating their condition, they can always use CBD products.
The information above should not be considered a medical recommendation. The content is written to enrich the reader’s knowledge. Any use of materials and content mentioned in this article should be first consulted about by a physician.