Stress is a body’s normal reaction to certain situations. It helps us determine what to do in a given situation and helps us react to protect ourselves. You might feel stress when studying for a test or meeting a deadline at work, but this stress actually helps you to accomplish what needs to be done.
Anxiety disorders come in when that stress stops being normal stress, or when the person feels stress when they shouldn’t. When this happens, you might suffer from an anxiety disorder. Here are some signs that you might be suffering from a disorder.
- Your reactions to stressful situations are often severe and leave you paralyzed with fear or uncertainty.
- Your anxiety keeps you from doing normal things, like going to parties or gatherings, because you fear the stress of the situation
- You have trouble sleeping and are frequently exhausted
- You have muscle aches when you haven’t done anything physically strenuous. These muscle aches are often a sign of tense muscles due to stress
- Your worries are excessive or unreasonable. You might fear things that normal people wouldn’t or believe something terrible is going to happen when you have no evidence to believe that’s true.
- You suffer from frequent indigestion or no appetite. One of the first things affected when someone is anxious is their appetite. They might not eat at all or eat too fast, resulting in frequent upset stomachs.
- You become very self-conscious. People who are anxious often feel like the center of attention when they’re really not. They might think everyone is looking at them or judging them.
- You’ve become obsessed with perfection. Panic disorders and type A personalities often go hand-in-hand. If you’re suffering from a lot of anxiety because you can’t meet your own standards, this could be a sign of a disorder.
- You start having compulsive behaviors. These behaviors might include doing things like washing your hands frequently or turning the lights on and off again. If these compulsions become rituals, they might be symptoms of an anxiety disorder.
While everyone feels stress sometimes, those who suffer from anxiety disorders usually feel it all the time, or at least most of the time. Someone who regularly suffers from any of the above symptoms for an extended period of time might be suffering from an undiagnosed panic or anxiety disorder.
If that is the case, you should consider seeing a doctor to treat your condition. You might benefit from anti-anxiety medication or therapy to help get your symptoms under control. The worst thing you can do for an anxiety disorder is ignore it, so it’s best to treat your condition as soon as possible.
As marijuana becomes more socially acceptable, as well as used in medicinal practice, many people with anxiety and depression disorders are wondering if medicinal marijuana might be the best way to deal with their condition. While in some cases, it has been proven to help, in others, it can only hurt. While many people in the medical community support marijuana in medicine, those considering using it should understand that it is not a one size fits all medication.
In some cases, marijuana has been shown to increase depression, though no solid studies are available. However, proponents of using it argue that it is an ideal form of long term medication, especially for those who would normally take narcotics.
If you’re considering medical marijuana, you should try to determine if you are a good candidate before you talk to your doctor. Some things to consider.
- Marijuana is not a cure-all. There are certain mental illnesses that marijuana is not recommended for. While it might help in the face of anxiety or panic attacks, it is often not ideal for people who suffer from more serious disorders like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder. In some cases, it’s also not been recommended for individuals with depression, though most studies were inconclusive.
- It’s not available everywhere. Chances are, if you’re searching for marijuana for mental illness, you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal. Check your state’s laws carefully, as we would not encourage you to use marijuana illegally. Nothing causes more anxiety than an arrest record!
- How will you use it? Marijuana is no longer just a smoking substance. Capsules, candies and oils are available to reduce the potential of throat problems due to inhaling smoke. Keep in mind that smoking is often the cheapest method and the most readily available.
- Do you have a history of substance abuse? While marijuana is physically non-addictive, people do become emotionally addicted. This is a substance that you will use as needed. As a result, it’s easy to overdo if you’re not sticking to a controlled schedule.
- Are you comfortable with the stigma? Marijuana is the most commonly used recreational drug in America, with an estimated 1 in ten adults using regularly. This popularity has giving marijuana a disreputable reputation and some people won’t believe that you’re using it strictly to control an illness. Are you able to deal with people who think that you’re using your illness as an excuse to do drugs?
- Can you afford it? For many people, prescriptions are covered by insurance. This is a good thing, as these anti-depressant or anxiety prescriptions could cost a lot of money. But marijuana is rarely covered under health plans, do to the controversy. Going on a medicinal marijuana regimen can be costly with no insurance.
If you are considering using marijuana for your mental illness, then you need to consider all the variables. This is a drug that comes with much more of a stigma than any other drug, and might not be ideal for all illnesses. If you are thinking about it, you should discuss the possibility with your medical provider.
For most people who suffer from depression, their problem is pretty obvious and mainly emotional. There might be a feeling of hopelessness and difficulty maintaining interest. Sometimes, those symptoms aren’t so obvious though. In many cases, people might have physical symptoms of depression that they mistake for something else.
Headaches – The frequent tension felt during depression can present itself as tension headaches that can feel as bad as migraines. For someone who is depressed, these headaches might cause frustration and anxiety, which will result in a cycle of depression and ongoing headaches. Headaches also have the additional side effect of making people light sensitive, which might make them not want to leave the house.
Back pain and body aches – It’s hard to tell if chronic pain causes depression or if depression causes chronic pain, but the two often go hand in hand. While it’s difficult to pinpoint why, it might be due to the way the person carries themselves, or limited physical activity, but people with depression frequently suffer from some form of chronic pain. Exercise is known to help with depression, but those with chronic pain might be more hesitant to participate in exercise. Chronic pain is so common in depression, that some anti-depressants are actually used to treat chronic pain.