Depression is a mood disorder that affects 300 million people in the world. Earth has an estimated 7.6 billion people, the percentage that is affected by this condition is pretty significant. One of the signs of depression is suicidal thoughts. More than 800 thousand people die from suicide every day. A global pandemic that has led to a lot of research into anything could put a dent in that number. It is important to lay some groundwork. To understand the nitty gritties of depression. To dispel some myths.
Impact on Brain Functions
Three integral parts of the brain are affected when one is depressed. The hippocampus is responsible for memories and production of cortisol. This hormone is produced during periods of high stress and depression. This hormone is responsible for everything bad that could happen to the brain when one is depressed. The brains generates fresh neurons as deemed fit. However, exposure to excess cortisol can cause slow production and damage to the existing neurons. This will cause memory problems. The prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for decisions among other functions, will shrink due to excessive cortical. The same problem will affect the amygdala by enlarging it. The general result will be inability to control emotions and function properly as a human being with respect to decision-making and reaction to situations.
Types of Depression
There are different types of depression classified by cause and other factors. Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) is a long-standing condition that is characterized by episodes of extreme sadness with milder episodes between them. If the symptoms last for two years, one can stop assuming it is a mere mood swing and get help.
Perinatal depression occurs during pregnancy and/or after delivery. One will experience sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion. Symptoms, which will usually get in the way of maternal functions. Some form of psychosis accompanies psychotic depression. Seasonal affective depression is brought on by the dark seasons. That is, seasons that are synonymous with little to no sunshine. Bipolar disorder is not the same as depression but patients will usually suffer periods of extreme depression.
World of Hurt behind the Smile
Symptoms of depression vary from patient to patient. Some experience constant sadness for long periods. Others withdraw from the society while others will seem normal in the eyes of the public but come apart behind closed doors. The worst happens when the patient starts having suicidal thoughts. At this point, it becomes a matter of life or death.
There are risk factors or triggers, if you may, that could lead to exacerbation. Unemployment is attributed with being one of the major causes of depression. Others are bereavement and psychological trauma.
Dispelling Some Myths
Depression is very highly and often misunderstood. It is subject to some very ridiculous myths.
Myth 1: Throw yourself into work
What? Absolutely not! Working more will not make a difference. In fact, in some cases, workaholism are considered a symptom of depression especially among men. Working more to mask the symptoms will do nothing to alleviate depression. It might work for a bad week or day or even the blues but never for depression.
Myth 2: Buck up, there is nothing medically wrong with you
Wrong again! Depression is a medical condition. It has been a disease for eons. In fact, it is a major contributor to the global disease burden. Some may term this condition as self-pity and nothing could be further from the truth.
Myth 3: A depressed person will walk around with tears in their eyes
This is ridiculous. Like people do not know how to mask their sadness? Ever heard of those suicide cases that come out of nowhere? Well, they do not. Suicide will have been a long time coming. No one notices because the person is happy as a lark at all times when really they are in tatters inside. Most of the most depressed people are the happiest.
Myth 4: A relative committed suicide, the same fate awaits all close family members
Well, this disease can be passed down in families. However, with early detection it is possible to escape the noose. The rest of the family is not doomed to wallow in depression.
Treatment varies from patient to patient. A specialist will diagnose and prescribe a proper and effective course of treatment. It will range from antidepressants to psychotherapy to brain stimulation. CBD has recently entered that list and deservedly so.
Efficacy of CBD
In 2014, a study was conducted on the efficacy of CBD against depression and anxiety. Animals were subjected to swim tests, conflict tests and a maze. There were fewer instances of depression and anxiety in the presence of CBD. In 2009, a study on mood and mental health disorder produced evidence that the endocannabinoid system is crucial in mood disorders. The endocannabinoid system has receptors that interact with serotonin and dopamine receptors. These are mood-enhancing tools in the brain. CBD is also very effective for the management of cortisol levels.
Some studies and research have shown presence of cytokines in depression patients. This means that there is inflammation therefore the brain tries to attack like it would an infection. This calls into action the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD.
CBD is also very potent against symptoms and side effects of depression like sleep. Insomnia is common in depressed people. With CBD, one will sleep like a baby and give the body a chance to heal and repair itself. This will work to reduce irritability and attention deficit. There are pains that occur as a result of depression. Headaches, joint pains, stomach upsets and other forms of pain are prevalent in depressed people. CBD is excellent in combating these. Another common accompaniment of depression is social anxiety. Studies have shown that CBD will ease this problem.
This product can be used in a variety of ways. It can be used in recipes. One can rub a little oil on the temples to relieve headache. It can be used in beverages. One can also put a few drops of the oil under the tongue. There really is no limit to the ways in which CBD oil can be used.
It comes in different concentrations. Most product packaging will have directions for use and dosage. The bottle might come with calibrated dropper for easy adjustment of dosage. One should start with the smallest possible dose.
The method of extraction of CBD matters. Ti sis because some methods leave toxin residue which then goes to complicate things in the body. A CO2 extraction is best. It produces a pure product.
This is another broad area. Edibles encompass snacks and even full meals infused with CBD. Herbs like rosemary and lavender go a long way in helping CBD perform its duties. For the management of depression plant fibers, onion, garlic, leek and artichoke are great additions to the CBD edibles for enhanced results. Fermented foods like yoghurt and chamomile tea also help with the production of serotonin.
This is best for already established vapers. There are CBD vape juices in the market that would work well. However, there are concerns that since vaping involves heating it might affect the composition of the CBD. One should do their research for this before he or she decides to use vaping as the mode of CBD delivery.
CBD pills are very easy to dose. They come in specific doses in varying concentrations. It is easy to execute measured adjustment of the dosage with this mode. There is no risk of spillage unlike tinctures and oils. This mode is said to be the most expensive of all CBD products.
This is a pretty new product. It is CBD in its purest form with nary an impurity. It actually contains up to 99% CBD. It is so pure, it can be dosed by weight alone. Just like the oil, these crystals have a myriad of uses. They can be used in recipes in place of the CBD oil. They can be used to make oil tincture and e-liquid. The tincture should be stored in an amber or dark bottle and kept in a cool dark place. One can also dab it. Dabbing is a form of smoking that uses an oilrig or wax vaporizer. However, this is not advisable for already established dabbers as the method comes with some risks.
Light Up a Blunt
A marijuana strain is a variety or hybrid created with one or more amplified cannabinoid. Some strains have been found to be helpful with depression. These are mostly sativa dominant strains. This is the kind of strain that provides invigorating and uplifting effects. Sativa dominant strains are best for social anxiety, depression among other mental and mood disorders. It is important to note that the strains will have degrees of other cannabinoids like THC.
Harlequin has a ratio of 5:2 to THC. It gives happiness, relaxation, uplifting, focus, and energy. ACDC is among one of the most CBD dominant strains. It has a ratio of 20:1 against THC. It is a favorite among users for medicinal use. It is effective against pain, anxiety and for relaxation.
Sour tsunami is almost a super strain. It is a combination of two very sativa dominant strains: NYC diesel and Sour diesel. The NYC diesel gives one a deep full body relaxation. It is famed for freeing the user from paranoia. This on its own can be very effective for psychotic depression. Sour diesel is a fast acting strain against stress, pain, and depression. The effects are very long lasting.
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