Aarogya Homeopathy

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Depression

Depression is feeling sad or feeling low. It is a common behavioural response to some bad or hopeless situation. But when this kind of sadness or emptiness or despair prevails for a longer duration and hampers your quality of life, it is referred as a mental ailment Depression.
Depression is feeling sad or feeling low. It is a common behavioural response to some bad or hopeless situation. But when this kind of sadness or emptiness or despair prevails for a longer duration and hampers your quality of life, it is referred as a mental ailment Depression. This needs urgent medical care. Depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interferes with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and constant if you suffer from this disease. 

Signs and symptoms of depression

The signs and symptoms of depression vary from person to person. The severity and frequency of symptoms varies from patient to patient. There are a wide range of symptoms of depression and diagnosis is made by collectively considering all the symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of depression are listed below:

Feeling of worthlessness or guilt

Lack of concentration : It is described as difficulty in remembering things and making decisions. The person feels absent minded and may reciprocate with difficulty even to normal questions..

Fatigue and decreased energy : In addition to lack of concentration, the patient is easily tired and has lack of energy.

Loss of sleep or excessive sleep: It is because of the pessimistic attitude; the patient either does not sleep or sleeps in excess to avoid the situations.

Overeating or loss of appetite : Due to the mental anxiety patient either avoids eating or has bulimia.

Irritability or restlessness : The patient is so upset with his life that he becomes irritable, he over reacts to even normal day to day situations.

Lack of interest in once enjoyable activities : the person gradually loses interest in activities including sex that he enjoyed earlier.Unexplained Aches and Pains; the patient feels pain all over the body.

Causes of Depression : Depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Some patients have positive family history of depression but it can also occur in people without any family history. Trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Some people experience depression and feel overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness for no known reason.

Triggers for depression

Conflict : Regular conflicts with family members or friends can lead to depression.

Certain Medicines : Some drugs, such as Accutane (used to treat acne), the antiviral drug interferon-alpha, and corticosteroids, can increase your risk of depression.

Illness : Depressed mood can be the result of a number of infectious diseases, nutritional deficiencies, neurological conditions and physiological problems, including hypoandrogenism(in men), Addison's disease, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, stroke, diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, and disturbed circadian rhythm. It is often one of the early symptoms of hypothyroidism

Life Events: Any physical or sexual or emotional assault, neglect, unequal parental treatment of siblings can lead to depression. Major life changes such as childbirth, menopause, and depression after child birth in case of females (POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION) can lead to this LOW STATE of mood. Teenagers face depression due to peer pressure, academic performance, pocket money, social rejection, relationship troubles etc.


Death or loss of loved one : Sadness from loss of loved one though natural, may lead to depression.

Substance abuse : Drug addicts may suffer from serious depression.

Causes of depression

Types of depression: There are various forms of depression having unique symptoms, causes and effects. The treatment of depression definitely depends on the totality of symptoms, the complete picture of the individual.

Clinical Depression : It is also called major depression or major depressive disorder or MDD. Clinically, if the symptoms of depression are present for more than two weeks a person is said to be having major depressive disorder.

Persistent Depressive Disorder or Dysthymia : In this type of depression, the symptoms are OT as severe as MDD but they are present for two years or more.

Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression : Depression is said to be manic if the patient has mood episodes that range from extremes of high energy with an "up" mood to low "depressive" periods.

Seasonal Effective disorder (SAD) : When the course of depressive episodes follows a seasonal pattern, the disorder (major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, etc.) may be described as a seasonal affective disorder.

Psychotic Depression : These patients have symptoms of MDD accompanied by symptoms of psychosis like delusions, hallucinations, paranoia.

Postpartum Depression : This type of depressive disorder is seen in some females after child birth.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) : In some females depression and other symptoms like mood swing, irritability, fatigue, anxiety, feelings of being overwhelmed are present at the start of menstrual period, this is known as PMDD.

Situational Depression or Stress Response Syndrome : This is a small phase of depression in a person's life due to a stressful event like death of a loved one, losing job etc.

Atypical Depression : This type is different than the persistent sadness of typical depression. If you have atypical depression, a positive event can temporarily improve your mood. Symptoms of atypical depression include increased appetite, sleeping more than usual, Feeling of heaviness in your arms and legs, Oversensitive to criticism.

Diagnosis of depression

Initially Physical ailments that cause depression need to be differentiated from depression. For e.g. thyroid disorders, Addison’s disease, cause depressive symptoms, thus pathological tests to rule out these are done.

Tests to diagnose depression

The doctor asks questions that are used specifically to screen for depression. It’s important to keep in mind that the inventories and questionnaires the doctor may use are just one part of the medical process of diagnosing depression. One example of a screening test is a two-part questionnaire that has been shown to be highly reliable in identifying the likelihood of depression. When you take this test, you will be asked to answer two questions:

1. During the past month, have you been bothered by feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?
2. During the past month, have you been bothered by little interest or pleasure in doing things?

The answer to these questions will decide the proceedings of case.
Few Screening Tests are:

  • The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) -- a 9-item self-administered diagnostic screening and severity tool based on current diagnostic criteria for major depression.
  • Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), -- a 21-question multiple-choice self-report that measures the severity of depression symptoms and feelings.
  • Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale -- a short survey that measures the level of depression, ranging from normal to severely depressed
  • Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) -- an instrument that allows patients to evaluate their feelings, behavior, and outlook from the previous week.
  • Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD), also known as the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) or abbreviated to HAM-D - a multiple choice questionnaire that doctors may use to rate the severity of a patient's depression.

Management of depression

Management of depression needs both psychotherapy and medicine. Counselling of the patient plays a major role in managing depression. The homeopathic drugs that can help in management of depression are as listed below:

Arsenicum album

Made from white arsenic, this remedy is indicated for people who worry unduly about their health or who are perfectionists and overly critical of themselves and others. They are at risk of depression if they fail to reach their own high standards. People who respond to Arsenicum album are often physically worse in cold weather, very sensitive to pain and suffer most between midnight and 2am.

Aurum metallicum

Made from gold and used for people who are workaholics with an excessive sense of duty. This renders them prone to despair, feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts following a perceived failure in their work or personal life. People who do well with Aurum metallicum often feel better by walking outdoors.

Calcium carbonicum

Suits people whose outward strong, dependable and industrious appearance hides a shy and introverted nature. Such people can be left feeling fatigued, anxious, withdrawn and self-pitying by overwhelming work pressures. People who respond to this remedy, which is made from the inner layer of an oyster shell, are chilly people who sweat easily, who periodically feel sluggish and suffer with insomnia – especially when away from home.

Ignatia amara

Suits those who become depressed after trying to suppress feelings of grief, despair or emotional upset at the expense of outbursts of hysteria or mood swings. People who respond to the homoeopathic form of the St Ignatius bean may suffer from a lump in the throat and frequent bouts of yawning. The remedy is often used after bereavement.

Kali phosphoricum

Benefits people who are normally clear sighted and extrovert, who suffer from the effects of exhaustion from overwork by becoming shy, seeking their own company and flinching at sudden noises. Alongside the change in mood they often develop muscular weakness, yellow discharges and may wake early with hunger pangs.

Lachesis muta

This remedy made from snake venom can help depression caused by repression, jealousy or suspicion. Suits people who hate commitment and confinement. They may worry about world affairs and be very talkative. Lachesis may treat menopausal depression, particularly if the woman feels worse on waking and suffers with hot sweats.

Natrium carbonicum

Gentle, unselfish people who care deeply for their family and friends may become depressed after a loss or disappointment. They try to hide their feelings from others, which does not help their condition. Constitutionally, they have weak digestive systems and a marked intolerance to dairy products. When suffering, they isolate themselves and may listen to sad music. Natrium carbonicum may help in these cases.

Natrium muraticum

This remedy is helpful for sensitive, refined, serious-minded people, whose inner feelings are strong and may be of anger, grief or fear of losing control. The manner in which they bottle up these feelings may lead to depression. They dislike consolation from others and appear stoical and controlled. They need to be alone to cry and can be moved to tears by music. People benefiting from this remedy often suffer from migraines and are fatigued by the sun.

Pulsatilla nigricans

People needing this remedy appear childlike with emotions that vary from moody and clingy to yielding and sensitive. When depressed, they cry readily and enjoy consolation and need the support of others. Pulsatilla is a useful remedy for depression due to hormonal changes after childbirth or menopause. The woman will often crave sweet foods and put on weight.

Sepia

Sepia is made from cuttlefish ink. It is used for weary, irritable people – especially when overwhelmed by their responsibilities to family members. They direct their irritability towards loved ones and have trouble in explaining their symptoms. The remedy is used for postnatal depression, loss of libido and menopausal symptoms, especially when accompanied by a sagging feeling in the pelvic area.

Staphysagria

Suppressed emotions, particularly rage, that can erupt under severe pressure, can be helped with this remedy. When the person is well they are mild and yielding, but they can be addicted to work. A high sex drive is often present. Stress related headaches, toothache and stomachache are pointers to the use of this remedy.

Updated: February, 17 2015

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