Updated: Apr 10
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity. It can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, motivation, feelings, and sense of well-being.
Symptoms of Depression
1) You may suffer from sadness, may be due to known or unknown reason. 2) You face difficulty in thinking and concentration. 3) There can be increase or decrease in appetite and duration of sleep. 4) You may have feelings of dejection, hopelessness and sometimes suicidal thoughts. It can either be short term or long term. 5)The commonest symptom is anhedonia, which refers to loss of interest or a loss of feeling of pleasure in certain activities that usually bring joy to people. 6) Older depressed people may have cognitive symptoms of recent onset, such as forgetfulness, and a more noticeable slowing of movements. 7) Poor concentration and memory (especially in those with melancholic or psychotic features), withdrawal from social situations and activities, reduced sex drive, irritability. 8) Hypersomnia, or oversleeping, can also happen. 9)Insomnia, (also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder in which people have trouble sleeping), is common in depression.
(Major Depressive Disorder - MDD)
Depressed mood is a symptom of some mood disorders such as major depressive disorder(MDD) or Dysthymia. Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known simply as DEPRESSION, is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of low mood that is present across most situations.
It is often accompanied by low self-esteem, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, low energy, and pain without a clear cause. People may also occasionally have false beliefs or see or hear things that others cannot see or hear- ( Hallucinations).
Causes of Depression
The cause is believed to be a combination of Genetic, Environmental, and Psychological factors. 1) Genetic Hypothesis
The life-time risk for the first degree relatives of bipolar mood disorder patients is 25%, of recurrent depressive mood disorder patients is 20% and of normal controls is 7%. The lifetime risk for children of one parent with mood disorder is 27% and of both parents is 74%. 2) Psychodynamic and Psychonatal Theory
Freud suggested that the unconscious mind is divided into multiple parts, including the irrational and impulsive Id ( representation of primal animal desires), the judgmental Super-ego ( a representation of the rules and norms of society inside the mind), and the rational Ego (which serves as an attempt to bridge the other two parts).
According to Object Relation theory, depression is caused by problems people have in developing representations of healthy relationships. It has two basic patterns - the anaclitic pattern, and the introjective pattern. A person suffering with anaclitic depression experiences intense fears of abandonment and desperately struggles to maintain direct physical contact with the need gratifying object.A person with introjective depression experiences intense fear of losing approval, recognition and love from desired object.
In depression, loss of a libidinal object, introjection of the lost object , fixation in the oral sadistic phase of development(biting ), and intense craving for narcissism or self love have been postulated. 3) Biological Theories
Mood disorders are presently thought to be due to functional increase or decrease of amines
( dopamine, GABA, acetylcholine or nor-epinephrine). 4) Stress
Too much stress and chronic stress lead to major depression in susceptible people. Chronic stress leads to increase in stress hormone- cortisol, reduced serotonin and neurotransmitters in brain, including dopamine. Stress can result from sudden shocks in life such as financial loss, grief after death of loved ones or breakup or suffering from chronic wasting diseases. 5) Cognitive and Behavioral Theories
According to Cognitive behavioral theorists , depression results from distorted thoughts and judgments. Such patients think differently , mostly in negative way. They tend to blame themselves for any negative happening. This increases the risk of such people will develop depressive symptoms in response to stressful situations.
Risk Factors of Depression
- A family history of the condition, - Major life changes, - Certain medications, - Chronic health problems ( disease lasting for more than three months) and - Substance abuse (substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is use of a drug in amounts or by methods which are harmful to the individual or others) - Childhood abuse, either physical, sexual or psychological, are all risk factors for depression.
Complications of Depression
If left untreated, depression can get worse and can result in complications which affects all spheres of life like emotional, mental, behavioral, and physical.
The complications include:
panic attacks( palpitations)
seasonal affective disorder(SAD)
social anxiety or phobia (fear) leading to social isolation
losing weight or putting on weight excessively
physical pains and illnesses
suicidal thoughts and attempts
substance abuse such as drugs and alcohol
the immune system can be affected (low immunity)
prone to heart diseases
DEPRESSIVE MOOD The typical depressive episode is characterized by following features (which should last for at least 2 weeks). *Melancholic Depression
It is characterized by a LOSS of INTEREST or Pleasure in most or all activities, a GRIEF or loss, a worsening of symptoms in the morning hours, early-morning waking, psychomotor retardation, excessive WEIGHT LOSS (not to be confused with anorexia nervosa), or excessive guilt. *Depressive Ideation
Sadness of mood is associated with pessimism.
This results in 3 common types of depressive ideas:
a) Hopelessness (no hope in future due to pessimism). b) Helplessness ( no help is possible). c) Worthlessness ( feeling of inadequacy and inferiority).
Ideas of worthlessness can lead to guilt feelings, suicidal thoughts, delusions of nihilism ( e.g. world is coming to an end, etc). * Psychomotor Activity
In younger patients ( < 40 years old), retardation is more common which is characterized by slowed thinking and activity, decreased energy and monotonous voice and sometimes patient becomes stupor (nearly unconscious or unable to think properly). In older patients, agitation is more common with marked anxiety, restlessness, hand wriggling, unease, picking of body parts, etc. * Atypical depression
It is characterized by mood reactivity (paradoxical anhedonia) and positively significant WEIGHT GAIN or increased appetite (comfort eating), excessive sleep or sleepiness (hypersomnia), a sensation of heaviness in limbs known as leaden paralysis, and significant social impairment as a consequence of hypersensitivity to perceived interpersonal rejection.
*Bipolar Mood (Affective ) Disorder
This disorder, earlier known as manic depressive psychosis (MDP), is characterized by recurrent episodes of mania episode and depression in the same patient at different times.
Bipolar mood disorder is further classified as follows:
1) Bipolar I : This is characterized by episodes of severe mania and severe depression, 2) Bipolar II : This is characterized by episodes of hypomania and severe depression. *Catatonic depression
Catatonic depression is a rare and severe form of major depression involving disturbances of motor behavior and other symptoms. Here, the person is MUTE and almost stuporous, and either remains IMMOBILE or exhibits purposeless or even bizarre movements. Catatonic symptoms also occur in schizophrenia or in manic episodes, or may be caused by neuroleptic malignant syndrome. *Depression with anxious distress
Depression with anxious distress was added as a means to emphasize the common co-occurrence between depression or mania and anxiety, as well as the risk of suicide of depressed individuals with anxiety. Specifying in such a way can also help with the prognosis of those diagnosed with a depressive or bipolar disorder. *Depression with peri-partum onset
Depression with peri-partum onset refers to the intense, sustained and sometimes disabling depression experienced by women after giving birth or while a woman is pregnant. The classification "postpartum depression," was changed in order to not to leave off depressed woman during pregnancy. Depression that occurs as a result of pregnancy is called Postpartum depression, and is thought to be the result of hormonal changes associated with pregnancy.
Depression with peripartum onset has an incidence rate of 10–15% among new mother's onset occur during pregnancy or within one month of delivery. It has been said that postpartum depression can last as long as three months. *Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression in which depressive episodes come on in the autumn or winter, and resolve in spring. This type of depression is associated with seasonal changes in sunlight ( decreased sunlight).
The diagnosis is made if at least two episodes have occurred in colder months with none at other times, over a two-year period or longer. *Suicidal Ideas
Suicidal ideas in depression, if expressed, should be taken seriously.
Risk is much more in presence of following factors:
1) Marked hopelessness. 2) Males : age >40 years, unmarried, divorced or widowed. 3 ) Written or verbal communication of suicidal intent or plan. 4) Early stage of depression. 5) Recovering from depression. 6)Period of 3 months from recovery.
-Depression may also come SECONDARY to a chronic or terminal medical condition, such as HIV/AIDS or asthma, and may be labeled as "secondary depression".
Multiple somatic symptoms (such as heaviness of head, vague body aches) are common in elderly depressive patients. *Recurrent Depressive Disorder
It can be specified into mild, moderate, or-severe without psychotic symptoms or-severe with psychotic symptoms, or in remission. *Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)/DYSTHYMIA
These disorders are persistent mood symptoms which last for more than 2 years but are not severe. This is also called as Dysthymia. And if symptoms consist of persistent instability between mild depression and mild elation, the disorder is called as Cyclothymia. *Phobic -anxiety depersonalization syndrome ( PAD syndrome)
This is common in women aged 20-40 years. It is characterized by diffuse anxiety, multiple phobias like agrophobia (fear of being in public places where there are a lot of people), claustrophobia (fear of being in small or enclosed space), panic attacks, depressive features, etc.
This is a major depressive episode (usually acute) super imposed on an underlying dysthymia or neurotic depression (usually chronic ).
Prognosis of Depression
(Prognosis : An opinion about the likely development of a disease or an illness)
Good Prognostic Factors:
1) Acute or abrupt onset 2) Typical clinical features. 3) Well adjusted premorbid personality. 4) Good response to treatment. Poor Prognostic Factors:
1) Co-existent physical disease or alcoholism. 2) Double depression 3) Catastrophic stress or chronic ongoing stress. 4) Unfavorable early environment ( childhood).
MANAGEMENT - In conventional system of medicine (allopathy) and in Homeopathy
1) Somatic Treatment
Antidepressants are used for management and treatment of depression. Some of the antidepressants have serious side effects such as hypertensive crisis and hepatic toxicity. Common side-effects of antidepressants include dry mouth, weight gain, dizziness, headaches, and sexual dysfunction.
2) ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy)
Formerly called as electric shock therapy, is a treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in patients to provide relief from mental disorders. 3) Lithium Medications
It is used for manic episodes as well as for prevention in further episodes of bipolar mood disorder. Lithium is taken by mouth. Common side effects include increased urination, shakiness of the hands, and increased thirst. Serious side effects include hypothyroidism, diabetes insipidus, and lithium toxicity. 4) Antipsychotics and other mood altering drugs.
Side effects of antipsychotics include sedation, headache, dizziness, anxiety, diarrhea, tremors , Akathisia — an often distressing sense of inner restlessness.
It is called as neurosurgery of mental disorder (NMD).
It is indicated in certain cases: i) As an adjunct to somatic treatment ii) In mild cases of depression
These methods are:
a) Cognitive therapy
It aims at correcting the depressive negative cognitions(ideas) like hopelessness, worthlessness, pessimistic ideas,and replacing them by cognitive and behavioral responses. It is useful in mild to moderate,non-bipolar depression. b) Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
It aims at changing the personality itself,rather than just ameliorating the symptoms. It is useful in depressive or manic episode. c) Behavior Therapy
It includes social skills training, teaching problem solving, assertiveness, self control and decision making. It is useful in mild cases of depression. d) Group Psychotherapy
Group Psychotherapy is useful in mild cases of depression. e) Family Therapy
Apart from educating the family about nature of illness, it aims for decrease in interpersonal difficulties,stress,etc.
In mild cases of depression, dysthymia and mood disorders, Homeopathy has a good role to play.
Homeopathy stimulates immunity and helps to cope up with depression.
Homeopathic counselling works wonders and helps to overcome grief, shock, anger, mental restlessness,etc. Homeopathy is a holistic way to strengthen the mind (emotional and psychological aspect) along-with betterment in physical symptoms.
In severe cases of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, potential suicidal risk cases,mania etc, Homeopathy can be used as complementary treatment along with conventional treatment.
What can Homeopathy do?
How Homeopathy is different in treating depression?
As we know the causation, symptoms and the after effects of depressive episodes , we now need to find solutions which would help us to cope up with the present mental condition and stop or reduce it's further episodes. Eventually previous healthy mental state has to be restored.
Allopathic treatment uses antidepressants , anti-psychotics, sedatives, painkillers and other drugs to control or suppress the symptoms of depression. But we must understand that mere suppression of depression or mood disorder won't cure it rather it makes the patient numb like robots with no feelings or emotions.
The Homeopathic approach to mental suffering is different. Homeopathic medicines don’t suppress the symptoms. Homeopathic medicines stimulates the immune system and initiates processes of release of good hormones (like serotonin) which has been altered or reduced and thus state of sadness and depression flourished.
According to Homeopathy, a complete case-taking is done , noting down all the presenting symptoms of the patient, his history is taken ( his words are noted and his family is being asked). Further his desires, aversions, his appetite and thirst, his hobbies, his inclination towards hot or cold temperature, his basic nature ( extrovert/shy, fearful/bold, reaction to sadness and anger, weeping response, consolation factors, modalities,etc are noted); and most importantly the triggering factors , after which he suffered from mood disorder or depression are noted down.
And the cause/triggering factor can be grief due to loss of loved ones(death of dear ones), separation from spouse ( divorce/death), children bearing loss of parents ( orphans or children staying with only one parent), sudden financial losses, loss of power or position, loveless childhood (very strict parents), breakup( in long committed relationship), sexual abuse ( in children and females), fear after violent attacks, humiliation in public or being deceived/ cheated in relationship or by fraud. It can also happen when the expectations gets broken down by the ones on whom they had strong emotional faith ( trust broken).
Now totality of symptoms is made and the peculiar, uncommon symptoms are taken into the account. Finally by such individualization of the patient , Homeopathic similimum is found out. This is constitutional medicine which will help the patient to cope up and bring him into state of realization to come into terms with his depression and help him to recover early. In some cases along with the constitutional remedy, therapeutic medicine can be given to ameliorate ( not suppress) the severe symptoms .
If the person is coping then there is little or no need to intervene. But if they aren’t getting better with time rather going into deep stages of depression, then individualistic Homeopathic constitutional medicine can be helpful.
Homeopathic Medicines for Depression
Coming to terms with life without your loved one and coping with the impact of their death will still take time, care and attention. Grief can manifest as sadness, irritability, anxiety or disturbed sleep. Emotional trauma can be the consequence from sudden events leaving lasting distress or fear.
The best way to deal with grief is to come to terms with this massive change in life ( chronic grief - natrums).
Loss of loved one or any sudden financial loss can lead to shock. Shock has elements of fear, agitation and even panic. (aconite)
Then comes a time of tremendous emotion and mood changes that can be dramatic, swinging wildly from deep depression to hysterical laughing within minutes. (Ignatia)
Anger will emerge to a greater or lesser extent depending on both the character of the individual and their prior feelings towards the deceased(magnesiums).
There can be deep sense of loss - a “forsaken feeling”. They don’t just feel alone, they feel as if they’ve been left alone.(pulsatilla, natrums ).
There is a long list of Homeopathic medicines for Depression.
Let us study few important Homeopathic medicines for depression in detail.
1) IGNATIA AMARA
The complaints arise after shocks, grief, disappointment,felt unloved during childhood. Ignatia amara is homeopathic medicine for depression when the person affected suffers from Changeable moods and broods silently. They are melancholic,sad,tearful(uncontrollable weeping) with unfillable emptiness felt in stomach and sensation of lump in the throat. Sighing and sobbing is commonly present.
Ignatia is well indicated in person who get emotional and sad after breakup or loss of loved ones.
Ignatia patient will sob hysterically at first,in a kind of shock reaction, followed by weeks of emotional volatility ,in which outbursts of sobbing and anger alternate with periods of silent (but very painful) grieving. They will isolate themselves when hurt and they avoid conversations (Not communicative).
2) NATRUM MURIATICUM
They have mental symptoms after ill effects of grief, fright, anger, separation from loved one, etc. Natrum mur is homeopathic medicine for people who are depressed, particularly in chronic diseases. Consolation aggravates and the person wants to be alone to cry. Tears with laughter(causeless weeping).
They have tormenting thoughts ( deeply depressed natrum patient is striked by painful memories which had been suppressed for years- they agonise (worry and think for long time) over them, relive the trauma again and again, unable to stop the replays in mind). Suicidal thoughts are also common in deep depression cases.
They become irritable and depressed as a result of suppressing sadness. Natrum mur is well indicated in depression that results from psychological defence mechanisms which stirs up the latent emotions ( like guilt,fear, sense of worthlessness) into full awareness.There is fear of loss of loved one, social disapproval, fear in crowd and claustrophobia. 3) AURUM METALLICUM
There is loveless childhood (strict parents expecting child to excel in school), ailments from criticism, shutting down of emotions, grief, disappointed love, lack of self worth.
Aurum metallicum is homeopathic medicine for depression in people who have forsaken feelings (lonely feeling)and frequently blames himself when things go wrong. They have feeling of self-condemnation and utter worthlessness. They have great deal of anger as a result of neglect that he experienced as a child and get angry on least contradiction. After episodes of anger explosion they feel very guilty for temper outbursts.
There is fear of death and Anthropophobia (fear of people). Mental derangement with constant rapid questioning without waiting for reply. Cannot do things fast enough. Aurum personalities are oversensitiveness to noise, excitement, confusion.There is involuntary weeping and obsessive worrying which exaggerates to pessimism (negativity about everything).
Aurums depression is full of intensity, a torture that results in increasingly insistent suicidal thoughts and talks about committing suicide.
4) KALIUM PHOSPHORICUM
Kali phos is homeopathic medicine for depressed people who are haunted by and longing for remembering past events, They suffer from anxiety,sleeping difficulties, nervousness,shyness, lethargy, starts easily, irritable and have great despondency about business. They are disinclined to converse. Some cases show indifference, can be cruel to spouse and baby.
They have fear that something bad will happen, bad news, disease, agoraphobia, when alone. Kali phos patients suffer from MENTAL EXHAUSTION - Brain-fag, hysteria, night terrors, somnambulance, Loss of memory, slightest labor seems a heavy task,difficult concentration and are forgetful for names and words.
5) SEPIA OFFICINALIS
Sepia is homeopathic medicine for depression in people marked by indifference to everything. They become indifferent to loved ones and averse to occupation, to family. Sepia patients gets irritable and easily offended.
They dreads to be alone, very sad and Weeps when telling symptoms(involuntary weeping).They suffer from slowness of mind. There is fear of insanity (going mad), restless anxiety,can get so hopeless and considers of suicide. 6) ARSENIC ALBUM
Arsenic album is homeopathic medicine for depression along with great anxiety and restlessness. They have fear of illness, cancer or death, of being left alone. Great fear,with cold sweat. So hopeless that they think it useless to take medicine or visit doctor. Suicidal thoughts are present. Hallucinations of smell and sight.
Arsenic patients are confused, Miserly, malicious, selfish, lacks courage, insecure. They may even be frightened about robbers breaking into the house. Fear of dying, poverty, their health, and dislike being alone. To compensate for their fears they can become very controlling of their environment, trying to keep it in order ( fastidious).
7) ACONITUM NAPELLUS
Aconite is wonderful homeopathic medicine for depression after sudden fright and ailments from strong emotions. If there is fear of death with restlessness and anxiety, it works well.
There is palpitations and constant worry. This is the “Arnica of the Emotions”.
Stramonium is homeopathic medicine for depression when the patient is fearful of the violent events( threatened violence or robbery). They become so anxious that they do not leave the house due to fear and may have difficulty sleeping due to nightmares.
Staphysagria is homeopathic medicine for depression after deep anger and indignation(shock) or humiliation. They will either suppress their feeling( keep it inside and feel the hurt) or express it or respond very angrily to perceived insults.
Staphysagria works well in cases of sexual assault or for mothers who have had a difficult delivery and had to endure an C-section.
Pulsatilla is homeopathic medicine for depression when there is forsaken feeling (lonely feeling). Seen in children who suffer the feeling of abandonment and become clingy and tearful easily. They want their mother’s attention at all times. This state can be brought on by the absence of a parent due to divorce, or when the child first starts going to school or loveless childhood ( due to strict parents demanding child to excel in school). Pulsatilla females feel unloved and are tearful with changeable moods.
Note : These are the indicated medicines and should be taken after the advice of qualified Homeopathic Doctor. A constitutional medicine is prescribed according to case history and individualization of patient.
Why Choose Homeopathy Online for Treatment of Depression?
With Homeopathy Online , during your first online consultation, case history is taken which includes your present main complaint, duration of the symptoms, family history, mental symptoms, any treatment if you have undergone before. Also, we take into account the overall picture of patient – the emotional makeup and general health, the type of illness and specific “modalities” that make the symptoms better or worse. In this way we individualize one patient from another, hence the medicine is then prescribed.
After the consultation, finally we provide you the required steps which you need to take to get rid of the problem from its root cause :
1. The medicine prescription, if medicines are required to be taken
2. Diet Chart
4. Weekly or Monthly follow up, depending upon the severity of problem
To get the treatment for Depression, please visit at -> https://www.homoeopathy-online.com/book-appointment
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