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Depression is medically known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. It is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that impact how you feel, think and handle basic activities such as sleeping, eating, and/or working. To be diagnosed with depression your symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
Some types of depression develop under unique circumstances including:
Other depressive disorders have now been added to the diagnostic classifications within DSM-5, including disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (diagnosed in children and adolescents) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
If you are experiencing some of the following symptoms of depression most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks you may be suffering from depression, including:
If you think you may have depression mental health professionals will be best equipped to help you. You may also inform your doctor to get a reference or be prescribed some staple antidepressants. It is recommended you speak to mental health professionals for ongoing talk therapy and treatment. You will be more likely to develop depression if you have:
Depression is treatable, even in the most severe cases. Depression is conventionally treated with medications, psychotherapy, or a combination of the two. If these do not reduce symptoms, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and other brain stimulation therapies may be recommended by a doctor or psychiatrist. There is no one-size-fits-all for treatment.
Antidepressants commonly refer to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Difference variants of these medications can work to treat depression in different people; however, they are known for their long side effect lists.
In some cases, there is an increase in suicidal ideation and behaviour in the patient, particularly within the first few weeks. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns to watch any patient on an antidepressant particularly in the first few weeks of treatment. If you begin taking an antidepressant, do not stop taking it before speaking to your doctor. This can cause serious withdrawal symptoms.
Medical marijuana for people with depression may alleviate symptoms. Studies have shown mood stabilizing effects of medical cannabis, as the endocannabinoid system is tied to serotonin and emotional wellbeing. Cannabinoids are naturally produced chemical compounds in the brain able to impact motor control, cognition, emotions, and behaviour.
The University of Buffalo, in a 2015 study, found a positive effect from medical marijuana on symptoms of anxiety and depression in people who had depressive symptoms from experiencing chronic stressful situations like war or abuse. If you have anxiety, in addition to depression, a lower THC strain with higher CBD may be more effective. Ingesting cannabis in food is also less likely to cause paranoia.
Currently, data is inclusive and more studies are currently being done to understand how medical marijuana can be used to treat mental health disorders. You can get marijuana to treat depression in states that have full legalization such as Alaska, Oregon, California, Colorado, Washington, Nevada, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8355 for help. Always consult a trusted physician and learn your state laws before using medical cannabis products.