Know If You're Depressed - Will Cannabis Help? | cannabisMD

How to Know If You’re Depressed – Will Cannabis Help?

depressed feeling down

Everyone feels down or downright miserable sometimes. Whether, impacted by grief, stress, heartbreak or life changes, it is completely normal to experience sadness. Normally, these feelings do not persist past a week and they do not infringe on our ability to function in society. This is a natural response to having a hard day or hearing sad news. Sometimes these feelings can even come out of the blue but we can cope with them through support networks, like family or friends.

Depression Symptoms

Clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is not merely having a rough day. It is a prolonged, persistently low or empty feeling that is caused by neurological functions. It is an illness, a mental illness. These feelings commonly persist so much we struggle to get on with our day to day lives. You may have clinical depression if:

  1. The low mood or symptoms of depression last for two weeks or more
  2. The symptoms interfere with your daily life, causing an inability to function and partake in necessary daily activities.

If you qualify for the above clauses, you should see a medical professional. Clinical depression is a serious development in a patient’s life. It can impact health, wellbeing, relationships, work or school, etc. It is important in the illness is properly diagnosed. Depression can also be part of a physical condition or be a feature of a different mental health problem–like PTSD or bipolar disorder, for example. Once correctly assessed, individualized approaches to recovery and support can be organized.

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or emptiness
  • Irritability, angry outbursts and constant negativity
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in daily activities and in the things you once enjoyed
  • Difficulty concentrating–restlessness and agitation
  • Anxiety and indecisiveness
  • Lack of motivation, loss of confidence, and avoiding responsibilities
  • Sleep disruption and insomnia or hypersomnia oversleeping
  • Comfort eating or decrease in appetite, no enjoyment in food
  • Tiredness or fatigue without physical cause
  • Loss of vitality, sex drive
  • Turning more to alcohol, cigarettes or other substances to cope
  • Thoughts of self-harm, wishing to be dead, or suicidal ideation.

Due to how we are socialized men and women often show depression differently. Younger and older people often show symptoms differently too. It is often difficult for a person to recognize depression in themselves. Their friends and family sometimes can not even see it. The person can be blamed by others for their changes in behavior as well.

Support and Treatment – Depression can impact any type of person no matter age, gender, or class. It is not a sign of weakness and merely a mental illness. Normally depression can be treated but only if the individual seeks medical help. When looking for support for depression, you must acknowledge everyone experiences mental illnesses differently, so treatment and support varies by person. What works for one, may not for another. If a treatment does not work, it does not mean your depression cannot be cured; it means the treatment in question is not right for you.

Does Medical Cannabis Treat Depression?

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 behavior.

It is hard to determine if medical cannabis can treat depression. In states with medical cannabis, you can get a prescription for your depression. A study, in 2017, at Colorado State University found there is a connection between people with anxiety and depression and recreational use of cannabis. This does not necessarily mean marijuana makes you depressed or anxious, as it could mean people with depression and anxiety are already self-medicating with marijuana. Further studies are required to better understand the results of this study.

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. If you are having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8355 for help. Always consult a trusted physician or a health professional and learn your state laws before using medical cannabis products.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
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