- December 27, 2022
Depression may appear like a trivial health condition until it develops into a severe form. Only suffers identify what it feels to be in a black hole with exactly no sentiment. Depression, therefore, is a serious disease that has an impact on everything people do in their everyday life. 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, 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, and 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 gold standard treatment options for depression. However, regardless of effectiveness of these interventions, there are certain pitfalls like poor compliance, commitment, frequent visits that sometimes impact their usefulness. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7001356/)
Marijuana appears to have antidepressant-like effects and is recommended as a supplementary treatment for depression. Its use has also been reported to reduce the possibility of repeated psychiatry visits. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6455811/)
Researchers are now exploring the course and outcome of utilization of medicinal marijuana. An observational study has concluded 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 for managing their depressive symptoms, have reported gaining back of interest in activities and self-contentment. Nonetheless, we always encourage vigilant and compassionate monitoring and reporting of adverse events and proper use of marijuana.