- June 28, 2023
Depression may appear like a trivial health condition until it develops into a severe form. Depression is a serious disease that has an impact on everything people do in their everyday lives. The World Health Organization has labeled depression as the second most frequent cause of disability in the world. Depression is the consequence of imbalance of the neurotransmitters in the brain that leads to the disturbances in cognition, frame of mind, temperament, social functioning, and physiology. People experience unhappiness, deep sadness, feelings of worthlessness, and feelings of despondency and misery. These core characteristics of depression also include lethargy, lack of concentration, suicidal thoughts, emotional seclusion, persistently feeling down, the inability to feel pleasure, and alteration in eating and sleep behavior. Depression is thus a bitter experience. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2395346/)
With proper intervention and education, people suffering from depression can have purposeful and worthwhile lives. It is also important to recognize the intrapersonal, genetic, environmental, and biological factors besides correcting the chemical imbalance. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5310101/)
Antidepressant medicines like tetracyclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and cognitive behavior therapy are considered the gold standard treatment options for depression. Regardless of the effectiveness of these interventions, there are certain pitfalls like poor compliance, commitment, and frequent visits that sometimes impact their usefulness. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7001356/)
Researchers are now exploring the course and outcome of utilization of medicinal marijuana to treat depression. An observational study has suggested that the use of medicinal marijuana may decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression in clinically depressed and apprehensive people. (https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.729800/full)
A number of our patients, who are taking marijuana to manage their depressive symptoms, have reported gaining back interest in activities and self-contentment. Marijuana may not be for everyone to treat depression, but it may provide patients with a safe alternative treatment. Please discuss with your healthcare provider.