Depression and Anxiety: Symptoms and Treatment
While depression and anxiety are separate conditions, they may occur in a person at the same time. Also, even though these conditions have their own individual causes, they share a lot of the same symptoms and treatment options. In this article, we look at both conditions to give you a better understanding of what they’re all about.
Depression and anxiety symptoms
There are certain symptoms of depression and anxiety that may overlap including sleep issues, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. However, there are some important differences which may help you differentiate one from the other:
It’s normal to feel upset, down or sad at times. But when you have these feelings for several days or several weeks, you may start feeling concerned. Some of the behavioral and physical symptoms of depression include:
- Chronic fatigue, frequently feeling sluggish, and a decrease in energy levels.
- Difficulty in remembering things, concentrating or making decisions.
- Experiencing cramps, aches, pains or other gastrointestinal issues with no obvious cause.
- Changes in your weight or appetite.
- Oversleeping, difficulty sleeping or waking up too early.
People who suffer from depression may also experience some emotional symptoms including:
- Losing interest in hobbies or activities which used to bring pleasure.
- Persistent feelings of emptiness, anxiety or sadness.
- Feeling pessimistic or hopeless.
- Restlessness, anger or irritability.
- Experiencing feelings of guilt, helplessness or worthlessness.
- Having thoughts of suicide or death.
- Attempting suicide.
As with depression, feeling anxious once in a while is totally normal, especially when you’re faced with problems, important decisions or life-changing events. However, suffering from chronic anxiety can be extremely debilitating as it may lead to irrational fears or thoughts that start interfering with your life. Some of the behavioral and physical symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling tired or fatigued easily.
- Difficulty remembering things or concentrating.
- A racing heart and muscle tension.
- Frequently grinding teeth.
- Sleeping problems like restlessness, difficulty falling asleep or feeling tired even after getting enough hours of sleep.
People who suffer from anxiety may also experience some emotional symptoms including:
- Always feeling on edge, restless or irritable.
- Difficulty controlling fears or worries.
- Always feeling panicked or dreadful.
Treating depression and anxiety with CBD
Using CBD oil for the treatment of depression and anxiety shows promise – but there isn’t enough evidence for experts to consider this as a standalone treatment option. If you’re interested in taking CBD to alleviate your depression or anxiety symptoms, speak to your doctor about it first.
CBD for anxiety
It’s not exactly known how CBD can help relieve anxiety although experts believe that it works with CB1, a receptor in the brain. The interaction between this receptor and CBD changes the signals of serotonin. At its core, the main problem of those suffering from anxiety is low levels of serotonin.
This is a neurotransmitter related to well-being and mood. Anxiety medications promote the brain’s absorption of serotonin allowing you to get more of this neurotransmitter. Apparently, CBD oils work in a similar way.
CBD for depression
CBD may also have a similar effect for those who suffer from depression since low levels of serotonin may also contribute to this condition. Since CBD can help your brain increase its absorption of serotonin, this has a positive effect on your motor skills and emotions.
CBD may also have a positive effect on the part of the brain known as the hippocampus, which plays a role in the regulation of emotions. When you suffer from depression, the hippocampus suffers too. But CBD may help promote the formation of new neurons in this part of the brain in order to improve its functions.
Exercise and a healthy diet
Apart from taking CBD, exercising regularly and following a healthy diet may positively affect both conditions. Exercise boosts your body’s endorphin production – a hormone that makes you feel good. It also has long-term benefits as it rewires the brain in positive ways.
As for the diet, eating whole, healthy foods ensure the overall health of your body and mind. In particular, consuming foods rich in folic acid and omega-3s may help ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Make sure that you’re getting enough sleep
Most Americans — 82% — find one extra hour of sleep at night somewhat or extremely valuable. Depression and anxiety may cause you to lose a lot of sleep. Unfortunately, when this happens, it may worsen the conditions. To solve this problem, try creating your own bedtime routine to help you wind down at night and fall asleep easier. The more rested you are, more these conditions may improve.