Social anxiety disorder, literally called SAD, is extremely frustrating. Debilitating. Soul- and life-destroying. For sufferers, any form of social interaction, no matter how mild, can prove overwhelming, insurmountable in its most severe form. Some days, just leaving home can be incredibly difficult. Drug treatments have horrible side effects, and for most, marijuana just may be the answer.
Understanding Social Anxiety Disorder
Extreme social anxiety is much more than feeling overly shy. In fact, it is highly stressful, causing immense worry about other people and their opinions, even if their judgment exists only in your head. Specifically, social anxiety disorder causes an irrational fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, embarrassed, or worse, in social, public, even performance-focused environments.
Because the intensity of this fear causes an aversion to most social settings, sufferers tend to withdraw from their everyday life. The anxiety is so extreme that it interferes with even the most ordinary daily routines, such as work or school. For them, normal life becomes stressful, even painful. Meeting strangers or being a point of attention can be devastating for someone afflicted with this condition.
SAD is a chronic mental health disorder, one that qualifies for marijuana delivery in Elk Grove and surrounds. Without treatment, it does not typically get better on its own. Although its causes remain under study, according to Mayo Clinic, it is clear that biological and environmental factors are both to blame. Some experts break up the potential causes of SAD into three different categories:
Many scientists believe that social anxiety disorder may be a behavior learned over time. If a parent or other person raises you while suffering themselves, then you might be at a higher risk of having it yourself. There may be other environmental triggers, as well. For example, experiencing one especially embarrassing social encounter may teach anxiety in all future situations.
Social anxiety may also be genetic. An inherited trait. Anxiety disorders frequently run through families, but scientists are still busy determining if this is because of inherited characteristics or simply learned behaviors. If parents are sufferers, their behavior can affect the child’s immediate environment, but some evidence exists to suggest a genetic association, as well.
The brain contains the amygdala structure, any malfunction of which can contribute enormously to the development of SAD. The amygdala is responsible for controlling your response to fear. If it becomes overactive, then your fear response is more intense. It makes no difference what it is you fear, just that it overwhelms you and prevents you from living your life, whether real or perceived.
More people suffer from SAD than anyone realizes. According to Medscape, approximately 10 million people in the United States have some form of social anxiety, making it the third most common mental health issue. What is more, research shows at least seven percent of folks suffering from SAD as you read this. If you live in the United States, you have a 13 percent chance of developing this disorder.
Symptoms of SAD
The symptoms of social anxiety are extensive; interfering with everyday functioning, even the most normal routines. Sufferers become distressed around people, panic attacks are common. They sweat, and heart rate becomes rapid. Breath is short; you feel nauseous and full of dread. You cannot sleep; fatigue is your enemy. Muscles are tense and you cannot concentrated. Stress is overwhelming.
Conventional Therapy for SAD
Currently, traditional treatments for anxiety issues rely on a combination of both prescription drugs and therapy, the most common of which is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. It involves talking about your emotions, behaviors, and thoughts with a therapist. Ideally, it helps patients identify and address false and negative perceptions. As you recognize triggers, a therapist teaches you to manage the response.
Existing anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety, drugs all into one of five groups. There are antidepressants, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, hydroxyzines, and buspirone. Each category has its own list of specific medications, and each comes to its own risks and benefits to weigh. Most are addictive and have a long list of their own side effects, some potentially lethal.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, antidepressants are the most common medication prescribed for anxiety disorders. Of these, the most common are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. Examples of popular SSRIs include Lexapro, Zoloft, Celexa, and Prozac. However, they are not particularly safe, with these just some of their noted side effects:
- Nervousness or restlessness
- Heightened suicide risk of suicide
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
Using Medical Marijuana for Social Anxiety Disorder
Although some patients do respond well to anxiolytics, others suffer tremendously from the side effects and find very little relief. Research now shows cannabis an effective and safe alternative for treating anxiety issues. However, one needs to understand how marijuana interacts with the human body to know how it works for treating SAD and other anxiety-related disorders.
The human body has its own endocannabinoid system or ECS. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this system maintains homeostasis and is responsible for regulating various crucial processes, including immune response, cellular communication, metabolism, appetite, memory, sleep, emotion, and so much more.
The ECS functions with different receptors, namely CB1 and CB2. Most CB1 receptors work primarily within the brain and spinal column. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, mostly inhabit the immune system. This is where marijuana proves valuable. Cannabis contains an abundance of different cannabinoids. These enter the bloodstream and bind to these same receptors, supporting their function.
However, different cannabinoids trigger different responses. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and cannabidiol, or CBD, are the two most famous of them and are simply abundant in cannabis plants. THC binds to CB1 receptors to aid the nervous system. It is also the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana use.
In contrast, CBD is non-psychoactive and produces no mental effects. It interacts with CB2 receptors working within the immune system. CBD boosts health and healing from the inside, via your body’s own immune response, and guarantees the beneficial medical properties of marijuana without any of its mind-bending side effects.
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Because cannabinoids interact with the ECS, they influence the body’s many systems directly, including those stunted by a social anxiety disorder. Cannabis works similarly to standard anxiety medicines, such as by acting as an agonist on GABA, the main neurotransmitter responsible for balancing levels of anxiety throughout the body. Most prescribed anxiolytics target GABA specifically.
Now, you can order from Elk Grove weed delivery and surrounds to benefit from the latest research. It shows cannabinoids, specifically CBD, actually changing GABA activity within the body. These promising results suggest that marijuana might well be just as effective, if not more so, and certainly safer, at treating social anxiety disorder.