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What Are the Signs of Depression? Can Kratom Help?

A new study from the Boston University School of Public Health revealed that depression continued to elevate well into 2021 and climbed to over 32.8%, affecting 1 in 3 adult Americans.

With so many people suffering from depression, we find ourselves looking for coping outlets wherever we can, whether it’s taking anti-depressants or turning to substances such as alcohol or illicit drugs.

What if there was a more natural and effective alternative that wasn’t so damaging to your health? Let’s explore the link between kratom and depression.

Last updated 7 days ago by Wade Paul

What Are the Signs of Depression? Can Kratom Help?

What is Depression?

Depression is a condition that affects the way you act and feel. It can also very much impact you physically, not just mentally. Feeling depressed can surface intense feelings of sadness or desperation, typically along with a loss of interest in hobbies or activities you used to enjoy.

Depression is treatable. However, it can severely impact your work and home life if left untreated. This could leave you unable to repair and regain certain aspects of your life that have already been damaged or lost.

There are different types of depression, including:

  • Major Depression
  • Persistent Depressive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • ‘Situational’ Depression

Symptoms of Depression

It’s essential to know the signs and symptoms of depression. Then, if you feel hopeless and depressed, know that it’s okay to reach out and get help from someone you trust.

Common signs of depression may include:

  1. Feeling sad, agitated, irritated, etc. more often than not
  2. Loss of interest in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed
  3. Decreased libido
  4. Changes in appetite and weight — i.e., weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
  5. Change in sleep habits, either sleeping too often or not sleeping enough
  6. Fatigue and lethargy, feeling tired most of the time
  7. Increase in fidgeting (e.g., inability to stay still, pacing, handwringing, cracking knuckles, biting nails, etc.)
  8. Feeling worthless or guilty
  9. Overthinking scenarios that are out of your control often
  10. Difficulty thinking, focusing, or making decisions
  11. Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression is caused by various factors, including genetics, personality, drug abuse, taking certain medications, specific health issues or illnesses, and more.

Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer as to why someone struggles with depression. However, regardless of the cause, this condition should be taken seriously.

Related: Does Kratom Cause Depression?

The Effects of Kratom On Depression

Kratom is a powerhouse of benefits, and it could potentially mitigate the impact of depression.

It’s important to note that kratom will not cure depression, it’s merely a tool used to offset the debilitating side effects and help you manage your responsibilities. If you or a loved one suffers from depression, it’s important to get the proper care and attention from a mental health specialist.

How Does Kratom Work?

The active ingredients in kratom, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine, act on the same receptors that some antipsychotics do: D2 dopamine, serotonin, and alpha-2 adrenergic receptors. Because of this, it’s possible kratom could be used as an antipsychotic and anti-depressant [1]. These alkaloids bind to opioid receptors found within the brain, which help relieve physical pain and keep the user relaxed.

These benefits may be why so many users report experiencing such powerful uplifting and anxiolytic effects after taking their dose of kratom.

Until scientists take a closer look at the anti-depressant effects of mitragynine, we won’t know for sure if this is enough to be considered a treatment for depression, or not. Although, what we do know is that kratom has been used for many years to enhance mood, promote energy, increase focus and concentration, control physical pain, induce euphoria, and so much more.

Which Kratom Strains Are Best For Depression?

Some of the best kratom strains for depression will help you feel focused and relaxed and promote a clear, peaceful frame of mind. It can do a good job of fighting lethargy, a common symptom associated with depression.

Red strains are more relaxing and help with sleep and pain — perfect for anxiety and calming some of those underlying issues that come with depression. White strains are energizing, and mood-boosting — the motivation and improved outlook can help battle the low energy and discouraging thoughts. Green strains fall in the middle and can be helpful for times when you don’t need too strong of a push either way.

Red Maeng Da is excellent for managing chronic pain and inducing deep relaxation. It can help you forget about your worries and may also help you sleep if your depression causes insomnia or restlessness.

Maeng Da strains offer users mood enhancement, increased concentration, and positivity and can provide you with a boost of clean energy to fight off any depression-related fatigue.

Green Malay is another superb choice for anyone trying to control their depression. Many users reach for this strain when battling anxiety, stress, and depression. Enthusiasts have known Green Malay kratom as a “mental-health” strain.

If you want something powerful in the analgesic area, try the Maeng Da. However, if you don’t mind a milder experience that is still strong and highly effective, try the Green Malay.

Kratom Side Effects

Kratom is well-tolerated but still comes with side effects. However, these are usually minor and easy to avoid — with proper use.

The most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Sleeplessness
  • Irritability

More severe effects include:

Kratom: How to Use it Properly

We talk about proper use, but what does that mean?

  1. Only use kratom when you really need it, and always use the smallest amount possible.
  2. Take occasional breaks from it.
  3. Always check for possible interactions with other medications.
  4. Never use it with alcohol or tobacco.
  5. Only use kratom that’s been tested by third-party labs and comes from reputable vendors.
  6. Choose the right kratom strain and the proper dose for the job.

By following these steps, you can avoid the potential issues that come with long-term kratom use. Overall, kratom is safe and can be a useful tool for managing mood disorders.

Common Treatments for Depression

Anti-depressants aren’t necessarily what people make them out to be. They aren’t a magical “happy” pill, and they come with risks — but they are effective.

These medications work by balancing neurotransmitters in the brain that impact mood and emotions. As a result, they typically help you sleep a bit better, increase your appetite, help you focus, among other things. Your primary care doctor or psychiatrist will prescribe you any necessary medications to help control your symptoms.

Psychotherapy is another effective option [2]. It’s also called ‘talk therapy’ and helps the person work through problems with techniques like cognitive behavior therapy, psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychoanalysis. These methods help you figure out the underlying cause of your depression and help you move forward by learning new coping mechanisms.

Other Natural Methods of Managing Depression

Many people are not keen on taking anti-depressants or anything that affects their mood. The lists of side effects are always a mile long, and some of them can be quite frightening to hear.

People are trying to find safer, natural ways to control their depression without taking these medications. Sometimes, vitamins and supplements are good for naturally managing depression [3, 4].

For example, vitamins B-3 and B-9 are both helpful in managing symptoms because these vitamins help the brain manage our mood.

In addition, vitamin D, melatonin, and St. John’s Wort are all recommended for those who face seasonal depression. Magnesium, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids may also be beneficial.

These might work for some people, but it’s a good idea to work closely with a doctor. You don’t want the depression to worsen, and even natural products — including kratom — can interact with medications.

Also see: Does Kratom Interact with Melatonin?

Final Thoughts: Kratom & Depression

Millions of Americans and individuals spread all across the globe face crippling depression every day they wake up. Some people are unwilling to fill their bodies with artificial medications designed to make them think, act, and feel differently. Most of these people would prefer a safer, more natural alternative.

That’s where kratom has come into play. This plant can tackle many different problems, both physical and mental. So it’s no wonder why so many have switched from taking prescription and street drugs to kratom.

If you think you are depressed, talk to your doctor. Also, if natural remedies like kratom are what you’re interested in, be sure to bring them up.

References

  1. Johnson, L. E., Balyan, L., Magdalany, A., Saeed, F., Salinas, R., Wallace, S., … & Grundmann, O. (2020). Focus: Plant-based Medicine and Pharmacology: The Potential for Kratom as an Anti-depressant and Antipsychotic. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 93(2), 283.
  2. Munder, T., Flückiger, C., Leichsenring, F., Abbass, A. A., Hilsenroth, M. J., Luyten, P., … & Wampold, B. E. (2019). Is psychotherapy effective? A re-analysis of treatments for depression. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 28(3), 268-274.
  3. Hoffmann, K., Emons, B., Brunnhuber, S., Karaca, S., & Juckel, G. (2019). The role of dietary supplements in depression and anxiety–a narrative review. Pharmacopsychiatry, 52(06), 261-279.
  4. Rakofsky, J. J., & Dunlop, B. W. (2014). Review of nutritional supplements for the treatment of bipolar depression. Depression and Anxiety, 31(5), 379-390.