COVID-19, Mental Health, and CBD
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to remember that our mental health is essential to our overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.”
Mental health is important at every stage of life and should be cared for, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Poor mental health and mental illness are not the same things. According to the CDC, a person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being.
The need to care for our mental health has become increasingly more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has not only negatively impacted many people’s mental health, but it has also created barriers to treatment. Millions of adults and children across America experience mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Studies show that the pandemic has fueled a rise in mental health prescription use. Over the last year, an increasing number of people have reached out for help dealing with stress, anxiety or depression. Nationwide, 28 states have seen 10-50% increases in the number of people taking prescription mental health medication in the last year. Statistics suggest that one out of every four people are now taking mental health medication.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a substance chemically derived from Cannabis sativa (Hemp) and is non-psychoactive. Hemp contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and is excluded from the controlled substance act and available at local retail stores as herbal supplements.
CBD is purported to be used for various medical and psychiatric conditions: depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive illnesses as well as pain. According to studies, CBD may treat both depression and anxiety by altering serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical in our bodies that play a role in our mood, sleep, digestion, and behavior. Our self-regulating endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a roll in regulating sleep, mood, appetite, memory and more. CBD interacts with our ECS to help maintain balance throughout our body.
Self-care strategies are good for your mental and physical health and can help you take charge of your life. Take care of your body and your mind and connect with others to benefit your mental health.
Take Care Of Your Body
- Get enough sleep
- Participate in regular physical activity
- Eat healthy
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs
- Limit screen time
- Relax and recharge
Take Care Of Your Mind
- Keep your regular routine
- Limit exposure to news media
- Stay busy
- Focus on positive thoughts
- Use your moral compass or spiritual life for support
- Make connections
Get Help When You Need It
Hoping mental health problems such as anxiety or depression will go away on their own can lead to worsening symptoms. If you have concerns or if you experience worsening of mental health symptoms, ask for help when you need it, and be upfront about how you’re doing.