Depression and Anxiety Common Symptoms After Quitting Weed
Quitting weed is not an easy process despite what some may say. People smoke weed for many reasons and hard users often find it to be a soothing companion. Most know that in the long term it could cause many difficulties to their health but the desire is a powerful one and many continue despite this knowledge and despite the consequences for them in terms of their lifestyle and friendships. It is a powerful and addictive habit. Therefore, quitting will have its complications. Two of the biggest complications are with anxiety and depression. Many report these symptoms and many return to their habit because the pain of both is just too much to bear. It can take months for the body to become accustomed to being without the drug both psychologically and physically, so what can we do about the anxiety and depression after quitting smoking weed?
Tips on Relieving Depression and Anxiety Symptoms after Quitting Weed
Proper nutrition is essential. Vitamins and minerals are the fuel for the body. Proper serotonin production is essential for a person to feel good as is balanced neurotransmitter function. It is therefore essential to give the body what it needs. Avoiding processed foods and junk foods, sugary snacks and fried foods are essential as they can deplete not only the nutrition but also make it difficult for the body to absorb the necessary nutrition from healthier foods. If you have been used to living on junk food, do not expect to be able to have a balanced and perfect diet immediately. I would always advise adding to your diet rather than preventing yourself eating what you crave. After all, if you have already quit a powerful and enjoyable habit, it is not going to be easy to quit other bad habits at the same time. Go slowly and build in some good food. Think about your body as a machine and try to give it what it needs to do its job. Mood is greatly affected by what you feed your body.
Your body will have to be hydrated. Plain water and teas such as green tea, chamomile and other herbal teas can soothe. They take a bit of getting used to, especially without the sugar but they are a worthwhile addition. Peppermint tea is great for soothing the gut. Did you know that around 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the gut? Gut health is essential for mood.
Exercise is another great way to alleviate anxiety and depression but again do not dive into a heavy program of exercise all at once, take your time. Start with a walk and build from there. Many chemicals, mood enhancing and relaxing are produced when you exercise so never underestimate the benefits of a good walk.
Relax the body and the mind, maybe a long soak in a bath, maybe a sauna, both are very detoxing in addition to the relaxing aspect. Epsom Salts are great as the Magnesium in the salts is absorbed through the skin and into the body. Magnesium is a very relaxing and calming mineral.
Some find great benefit in music or meditation, keeping in the moment and banishing worries from the past or the future. It can take a bit of time to find the benefits of meditation but it can be well worth the effort in the long run.
As they say, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Do you have someone that you can talk to? What about some counseling or what about recording some of your worries then shredding the paper that you have written them on, this is a great way to clear the mind. The mind can have a habit of making us feel bad about ourselves.
Some turn to medication, anti-depression pills or medication for anxiety symptoms and some then report an addiction to the tablets or side effects. It may be best to try some of the ‘natural’ methods first. There are many supplements and herbs available to help with both depression and anxiety, it is worth talking to someone, a Herbalist or Nutritional Therapist could help you there when you’re trying to stop smoking pot and you are dealing with depression.
What about some of the alternative therapies if you have the money to indulge. If you have quit your habit, you may have some spare cash and could try a few to find your favorite. Acupuncture has some great reviews, some find help in a regular massage and some enjoy Reiki, find the one that suits you best and remember to try some of the lesser known treatments such as Bowen or Cranial Sacral Therapies, all have great benefits both for the body and for the mind.
It does help to have good positive people around you when trying to quit marijuana. Avoid negative people and those who will bring you down. Do not underestimate the power of positive energy and how that can make you feel. That in itself can go a long way to helping with anxiety and depression.
Think about some feel good factor hobbies, what do you enjoy? Go for it and throw yourself into the hobby in a big way. When you use up your time and keep yourself busy and become productive, it can help you feel so much better.
You may have to spend a bit of time playing around with ideas to allow you to help yourself. Remember that the way you feel in the moment is temporary and someone once said to me, ‘if you feel happy…..just wait a while’ and similarly if you feel sad….just wait a while. Life is full of its ups and downs and it is how you choose to see them and deal with them. Some people are very good at dealing with difficult situations and others find it tricky. Take tips from as many people as you can and seek out those who cope well and learn from them. In my experience a positive mindset goes a long way, it is always better to look at a half full glass than a half empty one. With practice it becomes a habit that you will want to keep!
Good luck and remember to keep going, positive thoughts and a step at a time, don’t rush and don’t expect too much too quickly.
Phoenix Rising Addiction Center offers outpatient addiction and dual diagnosis treatment programs in Aliso Viejo, California in Orange County. To receive information on how to overcome symptoms after quitting weed, contact our Admissions team for a confidential assessment and to review your treatment options call 949-518-0345.