It’s estimated that 18.1% of Americans are dealing with an anxiety disorder of some kind, including generalized anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress syndrome, or obsessive compulsive disorder. Unfortunately, less than half of individuals with an anxiety disorder are seeking treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Why aren’t people in therapy or at least seeing a doctor about medication? Anecdotally, there seems to be a wide variety of preventative factors, including the expense and the ability to admit there’s something wrong in the first place. Being a man seems to come with even more hesitancy about spending time with a mental health professional because of social norms that encourage men to avoid asking for help even when they need it the most.
When Anxiety Keeps You From Seeing a Therapist
It seems that for some, the very idea of sharing their struggle and events from their personal life are anxiety inducing. For example, individuals with social anxiety might struggle to see a professional because they’re fearful of being judged. Those who have trauma in their past could very well be avoidant of therapy because they’re uncomfortable with the idea of revisiting those events or worry that talking about them might make it worse.
These concerns are completely understandable, it can be incredibly difficult to talk honestly about the most difficult things in your life. However, anxiety shouldn’t keep you from getting the help you need to live a healthy and happy life.
Using CBD to Manage Pre-Therapy Anxiety
While some report that getting stoned before therapy has helped them manage their anxiety and open up about what is going on inside their head, that’s a practice that won’t work well for everyone and might be discouraged by your therapist.
Cannabidoil, or CBD, is a cannabis product that shares many beneficial properties with marijuana without the high. It’s also legal in all 50 states. Among the many benefits of CBD is its ability to lessen anxiety, which might make it a better option for use before visiting a therapist’s office.
Although many of the studies up to this point have looked at how CBD oil effects animals with anxiety symptoms, a preliminary study in 2010 looked at CBD use in individuals with social anxiety disorder. Some participants were given 400mg of CBD while others were treated with a placebo. Those given CBD appeared to experience less anxiety based on imaging taken of their brains.
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In 2011, the journal Nature published a similar study looking at the effects of CBD on anxiety about public speaking. In this study, participants were treated with 600mg of CBD and experienced quick and significant relief from their symptoms of anxiety.
Hopefully, more research will be coming our way soon, but since CBD oil has been deemed safe by the World Health Organization and has few side effects, there’s no reason to avoid giving it a try to see if it works for you.
How to Start Using CBD for Anxiety
If you’re looking for a creative way to manage the discomfort or nervousness you feel before heading into the therapist’s office, here’s a few tips for consuming CBD. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to CBD oil dosages; people respond differently to this cannabis product based on their metabolism and body weight. For this reason, we recommend starting slow and working your way up from there until you experience relief from your anxiety symptoms.
For example, many CBD products have a suggested dosage of 25mg, twice a day. Start there for a few days and then increase a little at a time until you start to feel better. If you begin to experience side effects, like fatigue or diarrhea, that might indicate you’re taking too much. Since you want to be in good shape before seeing a therapist, it might be a good idea to give yourself some time to adjust to the product instead of taking it for the first time right before any appointment.