Depression Pt. 1: What It Is & What We Know CBD Can Do

Along with pain, sleep, anxiety and stress, depression is one of the most commonly reported reasons for consuming CBD oil.

It’s also a leading cause of disability we’re facing today, affecting almost 5% of the population or more than 264 million people of all ages worldwide. 

That means that for every 100 people you pass on the street, five will have been suffering from depression. And, likely, in hiding. Who knows, it could very well also be a family member or someone else we’re close to.

In this blog, we will explore what depression is, how it’s being dealt with in different ways around the world and any taboos potentially making it difficult. 

In Part Two, we will conclude with what scientific research there is to find about the potential benefits of using CBD for depression.

Depression, from a Scientific Perspective

Perhaps you’ve felt some significant mood swings during the fall and winter times when there is notably less natural sunlight. 

For some, this seasonal shift can get severe enough that it can also lead to one form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Depression, scientifically speaking, is a mental health condition characterized by changes in brain chemistry and structure, often involving imbalances in neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) and alterations in specific brain regions. These changes can lead to a range of symptoms, including persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, fatigue and feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness. 

Needless to say, it can be a difficult spiral to get out of.

While we have identified various factors that contribute to depression, such as genetic, environmental and neurological factors, we still do not fully understand the precise cause or trigger for depression in specific individuals. 

A statistic that stands out, by the World Health Organization, is that depression is about 50% more common among women than among men. Worldwide, more than 10% of pregnant women and women who have just given birth experience depression.

So, what are we doing to manage this global issue?

Depression, from a Cultural Perspective

It’s not a secret that we all experience sadness from time to time.

Yet, depression is most likely experienced in hiding. 

This prevalent phenomenon even has a name: “smiling depression”. Meaning, you feel inner turmoil but aren’t showing it to others.

Tackling depression, for an individual, is a rough battle. Then, there’s also how we tackle depression as a “whole”, or as a society – which can sometimes turn out to be an even tougher one. The “nice idea” is that if we could make it easier as a society, we could put more focus on the individual.

Where depression is somewhat looked down upon, disorders like anxiety probably are too – it boils down to a general issue of mental health. It’s a “weakness” that you, yourself, have created, right? At least, that seems to be the philosophy in some places. Yet, trauma and other psychological affairs tend to be more complicated than that.

It’s also challenging for us to get a realistic view of the global situation when depression is rarely reported. In some cultures, depression as a disease entity is entirely missing, making it difficult to talk about something that’s “non-existent”.

In fact, with so many probable factors for why anyone could develop depression, some still unknown to us, we shouldn’t be looking away, or down on it. Depression is more prevalent in some than others; nobody prefers to have a genetic predisposition for it.

There are known, effective treatments for mental disorders, but more than 75% of people in low- and middle-income countries still receive no treatment. Barriers to effective care include a lack of investment in mental health care, lack of trained health-care providers and social stigma associated with mental disorders. 

Treatments can be expensive to develop and even for individuals to invest in. What doesn’t cost anything is our personal and social approach.

The Unique Challenge When it Comes to Managing Depression

Depression is not a one-size-fits-all condition – there are still many subtypes of depression being identified even today. Thus, depression can come with significant variability in symptoms and experiences.

Often, it co-occurs with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders or substance use disorders, which can further complicate diagnosis and treatment.

What can be different about treating mental health disorders is that they may require a unique and tailored process for everyone; we all have different origins and a long cascade of personal events that may have contributed to our present condition.

Going forward, it’s essential that we become better able to recognise depression as a medical condition, just like any other illness, and that it requires the same proper care and treatment.

With the gradual acceptance of mental health, those suffering will be more prompted to seek out the treatments they need. Just knowing that it’s not accepted makes us less likely to even say it out loud – possibly even to yourself, when you’re alone.

How We Can Move Forward with Managing Depression

Depression can be difficult to explain; why can’t someone simply change the path they so evidently know isn’t good for them? We need to remember that depression isn’t always so straightforward and that can sometimes even bring another layer of shame or guilt to the already hopeless feeling.

In the end, we’re confident we’ll keep improving our ways of managing depression, making better treatments available as well as making each other feel less afraid to act against this life-threatening condition.

For sure, that all starts by opening up some dialogues.

Next, in Part Two, we’ll share with you what CBD science has to offer in terms of its ability to assist in managing depression.


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What LAYV® users say

Loes-chanLoes-chan
14:01 13 Mar 24
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Tom
@tomdima0711
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We (my wife and I) love this product. We use it to relax and unwind in the evening for a better night's sleep. We both noticed that our stress levels dropped significantly.....
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@angelique_acc
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