Also referred to as numbness, emotional numbness is common among people who abuse with antidepressants.
When this happens, one cannot feel happy Nor sad. You simply feel numb and unable to cry or laugh when the situation calls for it and you may feel less empathy for others. It can also significantly reduce your motivation as well as your enjoyment when you do things that used to bring you joy. This is the double-edged sword that comes with taking antidepressants, as well as all the side effects each drug can actually cause.
A new study analyzed the effects of Lexapro, a Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Lexapro is a common antidepressant, which works on levels of serotonin which we know as reuptake sites. It blocks the recycling of serotonin in these parts of the brain allowing us to keep more serotonin so that symptoms of depression are reduced. For most people, treatment with Lexapro and other SSRIs takes about 4 weeks for its full effects to be felt.
However, is it worth the emotional anesthesia that comes with it?
Report finds it all over 40-60% of the population who consume SSRIs experience emotional relief. They also found that things were no longer pleasurable, although it is not clear whether this was a result of depression or drugs. One of the most recent studies on this topic, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, was conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge led by Professor Barbara Sahakian. reveal to Watchman“In a way, this may be partly how they work. They take away some of the emotional pain that people with depression feel, but unfortunately they also seem to take away some of the pleasure,” she says of the emotional retreat.
For the study, 66 volunteers were assigned to take escitalopram (the generic name for Lexapro), or a placebo, for 21 days. Then, they were asked to take a series of cognitive tests that measured their memory and attention as well as other functions. According to Sahakian, escitalopram made no difference in test results. “The drug does nothing negative for cognition – from this point of view it is very good,” she says.
On the other hand, study participants who took SSRIs were found to be less responsive when exposed to reinforcement learning, as they were asked to respond to a positive or negative stimulus. Two screens were shown, one that would give a bonus 4 out of 5 times while the other screen would only give a bonus once in 5 times. They eventually learned to choose the positive reinforcement screen but the possibilities were changed so the participants did not know what to expect from the new judgments.
In addition, volunteers who took SSRIs reported having more difficulty reaching orgasm during intercourse. This is a known side effect of SSRIs.
According to experts, the emotional relief that SSRIs cause is also related to the dose, as well as their effect on the prefrontal cortex and prefrontal lobe. Patients have the option of lowering SSRI doses or changing their medications as needed.
Is cannabis a better alternative for depression?
Hemp contains two primary cannabinoids: the psychoactive THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and the relaxing CBD (cannabidiol). The human body has endocannabinoid receptors present everywhere, especially in the brain, to which these cannabinoids bind and help treat many diseases. mental health disorders.
Countless people have had success with marijuana for depression as well anxiety.
in Study 2022 Among more than 7,000 adults with depression and anxiety, researchers found that marijuana use was associated with improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety. Even better, the effects of cannabis were long-term: improvements were seen after 12 and 18 months of treatment.
“To our knowledge, this study is the largest completed study to date examining the effect of medical cannabis use on anxiety and depression outcomes using longitudinal data and validated questionnaires,” they wrote. “Provides evidence of the effectiveness of medical cannabis as a treatment for anxiety and depression that is not currently available otherwise, demonstrating that patients who seek medical cannabis treatment for anxiety and depression can experience clinically important improvements,” they wrote.
The authors conclude, “This study provides a reasonable justification for completing large clinical trials to further the understanding of medical cannabis as a treatment for anxiety and depression.”
while, Another study It found that long-term cannabis consumption of CBD also helps patients with depression, anxiety, and pain. Canadian researchers analyzed the effect of CBD products on 279 people over the course of 6 months. Patients with severe symptoms appear to benefit the most.
“This study on CBD-enriched products demonstrates the potential of RWE (Real World Evidence) to advance medical cannabis research and practice guidelines, especially in a world where CBD use is growing exponentially but scientific data is limited,” they wrote.
“It was revealed that CBD-enriched therapies have a beneficial effect on patients with self-reported moderate or severe symptoms of pain, anxiety or depression and general well-being but not in patients with mild symptoms,” the authors write.
There is certainly promising evidence that marijuana can help treat depression. It may take some trial and error with various THC and CBD products until you find exactly what works for you. However, it is a safer alternative and won’t numb your feelings but works well for many people. There are no side effects to worry about, but if you’re already taking existing medications, talk to your healthcare provider about incorporating cannabis into your health routine.