Depression is more than just a feeling of deep sadness. It’s a serious mental condition that affects about 3.8% of the population, or approximately 280 million people in the world. While general feelings of sadness are a symptom of a depressive disorder, it’s more than that.
People who have a depressive disorder go through this feeling of “emptiness” and a lack of joy or interest in things they used to enjoy. It’s like they’re in a constant state of being moody, irritable, hopeless, and tired. Their appetite, sleep, and concentration levels are all affected. It’s tough for them because these symptoms have an impact on every aspect of their life, from work to relationships.
I’m writing this article because I’m a knowledgeable expert on depression – with a bestselling books about happiness and about 2 million books sold globally.
Plus I founded the therapist recommended self-paced online course called The Anxiety Cure.
I love to help people to live calmer, happier lives. So I put together this article about how to help your depression and mood.
Now, when it comes to treating depression, the usual methods involve prescribed antidepressants, pharmaceuticals, and psychotherapy. However, there’s an alternative treatment that’s gaining popularity and showing great promise: CBD.
CBD for depression has actually proven to be quite effective as a natural treatment option. Admittedly more research is needed to fully understand how CBD affects brain health and its benefits for depression and mood. But it’s safe to say that CBD can help manage the symptoms of depression better than many other options.
Let’s talk about symptoms of depression.
There are different types of depressive disorders. And each may have its own set of symptoms. But there are some common signs you’ll find in most cases:
- Feeling persistently sad, hopeless, and filled with despair.
- A sense of emptiness or hollowness.
- Guilt and self-loathing.
- Feeling isolated and lonely.
- Experiencing sudden changes in mood and personality.
- Losing interest and pleasure in activities and hobbies.
- Having apathy or a lack of emotional response.
- Becoming easily irritated and short-tempered.
- Feeling fatigued and having low energy.
- Dealing with anxiety.
- Struggling with insomnia and restlessness.
- Experiencing a lack of appetite.
- Experiencing weight loss or weight gain.
- Having physical aches and pains.
- Finding it difficult to concentrate.
- Facing memory problems.
- Being indecisive.
- Having thoughts of self-harm and suicide.
To receive a diagnosis of a depressive disorder, these symptoms typically persist for at least two weeks. Some people even endure these symptoms for years. You might have days when these symptoms are more obvious, referred to as “depressive episodes.” These are followed by days when they lessen or disappear. But you could still be diagnosed with depression.
It’s important to pay attention to the duration and frequency of depressive episodes.
These episodes play a crucial role in determining the specific type of depressive disorder you have.
For instance… In the case of bipolar disorder, which is another common mood disorder, you may experience depressive episodes followed by “manic episodes” characterized by increased euphoria, energy, and activity.
The severity of these depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe. They often depend on the specific type of depressive disorder. Regardless, they can disrupt everyday life significantly. And they can cause problems at home, work, school, or in personal relationships. Therefore, finding effective ways to manage these symptoms and treat depression is crucial.
Depression doesn’t discriminate based on age or gender.
It can affect anyone, from children to the elderly, although women tend to be more susceptible to developing depression compared to men. It’s a prevalent condition, with around 1 in 6 adults in the US (that’s over 16%) experiencing depression at least once in their lifetime. However, it’s important to note that there could be many more individuals with undiagnosed and untreated depression than these estimates suggest.
Now, when it comes to what causes depression, it’s a complex question with no simple answer. Researchers are still uncertain about the exact causes of depression. However, they have identified several key factors that could contribute to someone developing depression.
These depression factors include:
- Brain chemistry: One of the most common explanations for why a person develops depression could be due to a chemical imbalance in their brain. Usually, when a person has depression, they have less serotonin in their brain than they should normally have.
- Genetics: If your family has a history of depression, you may be three times more likely to develop depression as well, although there has been evidence of people developing depression without a known family history of it. The flip side can also be true — it’s possible for people with a known family history of depression to not develop depression themselves.
- Medical conditions or poor physical health: People with chronic illnesses are more likely to develop depression than most due to the nature and stress of their condition. Poor physical health and diet, as well as lack of exercise, may also contribute to depression. Physical and mental health can actually affect each other significantly!
- Alcohol and drug use: Recreational alcohol and drug use may alleviate the heaviness for a while, but it can actually worsen your depression in the long run, as well as lead to addiction, dependence, and substance abuse.
- Medications: Certain medications may have depression listed as a possible side effect.
- Other mental health conditions: Many mental health conditions are linked to one another and may trigger each other. For example, if you have an anxiety disorder, the likelihood of developing depression alongside it is very high.
- External factors: Difficult external situations, such as the death of a loved one, financial troubles, relationship problems, abuse or mistreatment, isolation from loved ones, lack of connection or support, poor or unhealthy environments, major or unexpected life changes, and many other stressful external events can lead to long-term depression. While it’s normal to feel grief or depression after difficult or traumatic experiences, it’s usually the lack of healthy coping mechanisms, self-care, and support from others that brings about the onset of clinical depression.
Types of Depressive Disorders
According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition, or DSM-5, depressive disorders can usually be classified into the following:
- Major depressive disorder, or clinical depression, is the most severe form. You’re diagnosed with it if you experience five or more symptoms for at least two weeks, almost every day.
- Persistent depressive disorder is a milder form, with mild to moderate symptoms occurring most days for two years or more.
- Seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal depression, kicks in with the change of seasons, usually starting in fall and winter and easing up in spring and summer.
- Bipolar disorder, or manic depression, involves extreme “manic” episodes filled with euphoric highs and increased energy, followed by extremely low depressive episodes similar to major depressive disorder.
- Psychotic depression shares symptoms with major depressive disorder but also includes psychotic symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, and extreme paranoia.
- Prenatal depression occurs during pregnancy, while postpartum depression happens within four weeks after giving birth.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affects women who experience depression, irritability, mood swings, fatigue, anxiety, and changes in sleep and appetite at the start of their period. It can coincide with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
- Atypical depression is unique, with symptoms such as oversleeping, increased appetite, weight gain, feelings of being weighed down, and sensitivity to rejection. Interestingly, people with atypical depression may experience a temporary lift in mood following positive changes or events, whereas those with major depressive disorder may not.
Now, let’s explore treatments for depression:
- Medication is a common approach to treating depression. Mental health professionals may prescribe antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or atypical antidepressants. These medications target chemical imbalances in the brain that may contribute to depression.
- Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy, is another popular and effective treatment option. It involves engaging in conversations with a licensed therapist or psychologist who can help you identify and change unhealthy thought patterns and behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy are a few examples of psychotherapy techniques.
- Brain stimulation therapy – for people who don’t respond to antidepressants, can’t take them, or have severe symptoms with a high suicide risk, brain stimulation therapy may be recommended. This treatment directly stimulates the brain using methods like electrical currents or magnetic waves.
- Self-care plays a significant role in managing depression, especially when immediate access to medication or psychotherapy isn’t available. Engaging in activities you enjoy, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, avoiding substances like alcohol and drugs, and seeking support from loved ones can make a positive difference. It’s also important to shift your internal dialogue and mindset, being kinder to yourself, challenging negative thoughts, acknowledging personal growth and achievements (no matter how small), and focusing on the positive aspects of your life.
Remember, depression is treatable, and there are options available to help you navigate through it.
Natural Remedies for Depression: CBD
If you’re finding that medication and/or psychotherapy aren’t for you, then CBD oil for depression could be an effective alternative treatment for depression!
Medication and psychotherapy, especially in combination with each other, have been shown to be highly effective in dealing with depression, but they don’t work for everybody. Antidepressants may have adverse side effects (depending on the type), may interact with other drugs and medications you’re taking, or just don’t work for some people.
The same can be said of psychotherapy, depending on the type of therapy or even the matchup between the patient and the therapist. Finding the right medication and the right therapist can also be a challenge in itself, and may involve a long and possibly costly process of trial and error before you find the perfect fit.
Unlike antidepressants, which usually take months of continued use to be completely effective, CBD is quicker to take effect. CBD doesn’t alter your brain as much as antidepressants do, yet it provides the same benefits with less risk or side effects. CBD oil for depression has shown significant promise as a natural treatment for depression and in self-managing its symptoms.
If antidepressants just aren’t your thing…
Try taking CBD alongside therapy — with the permission of your mental health care provider, of course! What if you’re already taking medications, or going to therapy, but want to try CBD? CBD for depression and mood may be able to enhance your treatment and help you relieve its symptoms! Think of it as another pair of helping hands, holding you up so you can stand better on your own two feet.
It should be noted, however, that if you’ve been prescribed antidepressants by a psychiatrist or mental health professional, don’t stop taking your antidepressant without consulting your doctor, or you may risk experiencing withdrawal symptoms. If you want to discontinue taking your antidepressants and try CBD, speak with your doctor first before making any changes.
It’s also not advisable at this moment to take CBD and antidepressants together without first consulting a trusted mental health professional, so it’s best to speak with your doctor before you try CBD with antidepressants, or as an alternative to them.
Does CBD Help With Depression?
Now to the important question — “Does CBD help with depression, really?” The answer to this is a resounding, yes!
CBD is known for its ability to help people relax, uplift their mood, and relieve stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, and pain. When it comes to CBD and depression, CBD can aid in coping with many of the symptoms of depressive disorders, such as anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings, physical pain or discomfort, and cognitive dysfunction, among other things.
How does it do it, you ask? You see, most CBD products are made of a specific combination of cannabinoids derived from the cannabis or hemp plant. CBD itself, or cannabidiol, is just one of many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. CBD products may have just one cannabinoid (usually just CBD or CBD isolate) or many.
When consumed, these cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system(ECS), which is a complex network of cellular receptors found in our body. When cannabinoids influence our ECS, they regulate a bunch of different biological functions, including our mood, sleep regulation, stress response, pain management, and cognition. This is how CBD delivers all its famed benefits directly to us!
You might be wondering…
If you’re new to CBD, you’re probably wondering if CBD products will make you “high.” The short answer to that is, no, they won’t. The longer answer is, CBD products just don’t have enough of the cannabinoid, THC, to create that psychoactive “high” that cannabis is associated with. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid that induces that psychoactive effect. Yes, CBD products can contain THC. Some may even have only THC. But legally, only a trace amount of 0.3% of THC is allowed in CBD products, which isn’t enough to get you “high.”
While you might think it a good thing to not have THC in your CBD, a little bit of THC could actually be better for you! Having more than one cannabinoid in your CBD products could bring about what’s called an “entourage effect.” This suggests that you get amplified benefits and effectiveness from having many or even all cannabinoids working synergistically together. So if you see a little bit of THC in your CBD oil, don’t fret! It could be just that little boost you need!
Try CBD for Depression and Mood
CBD for depression is an excellent holistic treatment for depression and we’ve got the best selection of CBD for mood swings to help you manage those symptoms and boost your mood.
- Breathe Broad Spectrum (Stress Blend): Broad Spectrum CBD for Stress and Anxiety is made to calm the mind and encourage internal peace and tranquility. This is a THC-free formula, if you’d rather not have that in your system, but contains a heaping dose of CBC, or cannabichromene, a cannabinoid known for its mood-elevating and focus-enhancing effects. It’s the perfect blend designed to help you find peace and comfort in even the lowest of days!
- Summit Full Spectrum (CBD + CBG): Summit CBD Oil with CBG, meanwhile, is ideal if you want to experience that full entourage effect. With full spectrum CBD oil for depression, you can have both an entourage effect and the most effective and potent support yet for symptoms of depression. The spotlight ingredient of this formula is CBG, or cannabigerol, which delivers a host of benefits for people with anxiety and depression. CBG can increase levels of anandamide, also called the “bliss molecule,” which in turn increases dopamine levels, or the “happy hormone.” Take that, chemical imbalance! It also encourages sleep and regulates your circadian rhythm, stimulates the appetite, acts as a neuroprotectant, and balances your mood. It’s the most excellent CBD for depression and mood swings!
- Cosmos Delta 9 THC Gummies – 5mg THC + 25mg CBD: Wild Theory Cosmos Delta 9 THC Gummies – 25mg CBD + 5mg THC Gummies are the perfect little treat for anytime you start feeling a bit down. If you don’t like the taste of CBD oil or just prefer something small and sweet, these CBD gummies work for any occasion! Enjoy amazing support and relief from physical pain, anxiety, insomnia, and stress. With some added THC, you’ll also enjoy a powerful boost to your mood, mental outlook, and clarity to bring you overall balance and harmony. If giving yourself a sweet little treat helps to brighten your day, now you can take it to the next level with these CBD and THC gummies!
- Strata CBD + THC Tincture – Unflavored: If you want to be able to mix your CBD oil with your favorite drink or recipe, now you can with Wild Theory CBD Strata Full Spectrum CBD THC Oil – 2.5mg THC + 25mg CBD! This CBD oil for depression is completely unflavored so you won’t find even a hint of that strong, earthy CBD taste. Achieve ultimate support and peace of mind with this winning formula of CBD and Delta 9 THC — one of the strongest and safest forms of THC out there! It uplifts your mood, encourages deep sleep and relaxation, soothes aches and pains, calms racing and anxious thoughts, and stabilizes your mind, all with minimal side effects.
Boost your Mood with CBD for Depression!
Depression can be hard and scary to deal with alone. But with the support of your loved ones, the help of a professional, and of course, the powerful supportive elements of CBD, you could be on your way to a better, more well-adjusted you! CBD as a potential alternative treatment for depression still remains an area of further study, but there’s no denying the potent benefits and indisputable promise of CBD as one of the best natural remedies for depression and its symptoms.
Be sure to check for these CBD products in your favorite CBD-friendly health shop.
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