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Can Marijuana Worsen Depression?

a young woman struggles with symptoms of depression

Content Warning: This blog contains information about depression, self-harm, and suicidal ideation. If you are struggling, help is always available. Dial 988 for 24/7 access and support from the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

In recent years, the topic of marijuana has become increasingly prevalent in discussions surrounding mental health. As the stigma surrounding its use diminishes and its acceptance grows, it’s important to examine the potential effects of marijuana on mental health conditions such as depression.

If you or a loved one is struggling with symptoms of depression and substance abuse issues, know that help is available, and an improved mental state is possible. Contact Evoke Wellness at Cohasset at 866.931.6429 or online for information about our depression treatment program in Massachusetts and how we can support you.

Can Marijuana Worsen Depression?

When it comes to mental health, the effects of marijuana can be complex and vary from person to person. Some individuals may find temporary relief from certain symptoms, while others may experience negative effects. When it comes specifically to depression, the relationship between marijuana use and its potential to worsen depressive symptoms is a topic of ongoing research and debate.

Factors that influence this relationship can include:

  • Genetics
  • Amount and frequency of marijuana use
  • Strain and potency of marijuana
  • Presence of other co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Individual’s unique response to marijuana

While marijuana can temporarily alleviate certain symptoms such as stress or anxiety, its long-term effects on depression are less clear. Some individuals may report feeling improved mood or relaxation after marijuana use, leading them to believe it helps with their depression. However, these effects may be short-lived and may not address the underlying causes of depression.

On the other hand, research suggests that marijuana may have the potential to worsen depression in some individuals. THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, can affect the brain’s reward system and levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which play a role in mood regulation. Disruptions in these systems can potentially exacerbate depressive symptoms or trigger episodes of depression.

When to Seek Help for Depression

Depression can manifest in various ways, and recognizing the signs is the first step toward seeking help. While everyone’s experience with depression may differ, some common symptoms include persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, changes in appetite or weight, sleep disturbances, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Signs it is time to seek professional help for depression include:

  • Symptoms impact daily life and functioning – Depression can significantly impact your ability to carry out daily activities, such as going to work, taking care of personal responsibilities, and maintaining relationships.
  • Persistent or worsening symptoms – If your symptoms of depression persist for two weeks or longer, or if they continue to worsen over time, it’s essential to seek professional help.
  • New or worsening substance abuse issues – Individuals who struggle with depression will often turn to drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Risks of self-medication include dependence, abuse, and addiction.
  • Interference with relationships or work – Depression can strain relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. It may also affect your performance at work or school.
  • Increased risk of self-harm or suicide – If you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it’s crucial to seek immediate help from a mental health professional or helpline.
  • Impact on physical health – Depression can take a toll on your physical health, leading to problems such as chronic pain, headaches, digestive issues, and sleep disturbances.
  • Lack of improvement with self-care strategies – If self-care strategies, such as exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation techniques, are not alleviating your symptoms, it may be time to seek professional help.

Seeking help for depression can be challenging due to various barriers, including stigma, lack of awareness, and financial constraints. However, it’s essential to remember that reaching out for support shows strength and resilience. Talk to your healthcare provider, reach out to a mental health professional, or confide in a trusted friend or family member. Remember, you don’t have to face depression alone.

Overcome Depression with Help and Support from Evoke Wellness at Cohasset — Call Now

Depression is a serious mental health condition that deserves attention, care, and support. Recognizing the signs of depression and knowing when to seek help are crucial steps on the journey to recovery. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression and addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

Remember, there is hope, and with the right support and treatment, it’s possible to overcome depression and regain a sense of well-being. Call 866.931.6429 or contact Evoke Wellness at Cohasset online to learn about your options for depression treatment.