Anxiety is one of the world’s most common mental health conditions, affecting an estimated 3.8 percent of the global population.
When we speak about anxiety in relation to mental health, we are usually talking about a medically diagnosed anxiety disorder. Such a condition differs from normal feelings of stress about an upcoming event, like a job interview. In these situations, anxiety can actually be beneficial, to a certain extent. It can help us prepare and pay attention to what is going on around us.
For someone diagnosed with an anxiety condition, these feelings are not tied to a specific event or situation but are present in everyday life. A prolonged sense of anxiety can have a debilitating effect on all aspects of your health, including your physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.
Finding a way to manage symptoms associated with anxiety can be very difficult as the condition tends to manifest differently depending on the patient. If you have been diagnosed with anxiety and have spent many years trying to find an appropriate way to combat your condition, medical cannabis for anxiety may be an appropriate option.
Acknowledging that we all go through periods of stress, the Mental Health Foundation suggests that:
‘If your anxiety is ongoing, intense, hard to control, or out of proportion to your situation, it can be a sign of a mental health problem.’
As per the NHS, typical symptoms of anxiety include:
- A sense of dread
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
- Shortness of breath
As you can see, these symptoms are relatively common and can be mistaken for a number of other physical and psychological conditions. If you believe you are suffering from an anxiety disorder, speak to your general practitioner as soon as possible.
There is no one strict test to diagnose anxiety — you cannot detect it in the blood or via a brain scan. A general practitioner will likely ask a series of questions to determine your symptoms and how long you have been suffering for.
The symptoms associated with anxiety tend to be very similar to other psychological conditions, including depression, making it difficult to diagnose. The NHS suggests you may have a generalised anxiety disorder if:
- Your worrying significantly affects your daily life
- Your worries are extremely stressful and upsetting
- You have a tendency to expect the worst
- Your worrying is uncontrollable
- You have felt worried everyday for a prolonged period of time — over six months.
Having arrived at a diagnosis, your general practitioner may recommend any of a number of strategies to manage your symptoms.
These strategies tend to affect patients differently. Some find them to be extremely effective while others notice no discernible change in their symptoms, which can contribute to feelings of stress.
There are many factors that impact our mental health. The food we eat, the amount of sleep we get, and the level of exercise we achieve daily can significantly reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. However, some patients will certainly require the assistance of other strategies alongside making improvements to their lifestyle.
One of the most popular ways to manage anxiety is through psychological treatment. Your general practitioner may recommend a psychologist, counsellor, or therapist, who can help you verbalise your problems and implement effective strategies to help reduce the severity of symptoms.
Some patients find medication to be very effective in helping to reduce feelings of anxiety. Medication may be prescribed on a short or long-term basis, depending on the individual needs of the patient.
Medical cannabis falls into this category. Since being legalised in 2018, the medication has been prescribed to many patients suffering from long-term anxiety who have struggled to find effective strategies to manage symptoms. Not all patients will be eligible for CBD for anxiety — speak to a medical cannabis clinic to discuss your situation and medical history.
Combination of strategies:
Oftentimes, patients find that combining multiple strategies is the best pathway forward. Keep in mind, too, that finding the right treatment approach may be a process of trial and error, which is why it’s a positive and important first-step to contact your general practitioner.
Your GP may not be qualified to issue a prescription for medical cannabis but they may be able to recommend a medical cannabis clinic where you can receive specialist advice about CBD for anxiety. For more information, speak to your general practitioner today or search for a medical cannabis clinic near you.