Depression is a medical disorder which affects the thoughts, moods, feelings, behavior of a person it can also affect the physical health. There can be various factors like loss of close people, stressful life situations, difficulty in adaptation to the surroundings which can trigger depression.
In certain cases depression might occur spontaneously without any specific cause. In some cases the depression can be due to some organic brain diseases or a space occupying lesion (tumor) in the brain.
Signs and symptoms:
o Depressed mood The person feels Sad, Weeping spells, Hopeless and Helpless feeling
o Loss of interest in the daily activities that the person enjoyed
The above two symptoms are the most important symptoms in diagnosing depression.
Besides these most of the following symptoms should be present for more then 2 weeks to diagnose a case of depression:
o Sleep disturbances
o Impaired thinking or concentration
o Changes in weight
o Fatigue or slowing of body movements
o Low self-esteem
o Less interest in sex.
o Thoughts of death.
Types of Depression
Major depression or clinical depression:
1. Depressed mood, feeling of worthlessness, guilt.
2. Behavioral symptoms include agitation and social withdrawal
3. Difficulty in concentration and decision making
4. Sleeplessness (Insomnia) Too much sleeping (Hypersomnia)
It is a chronic form of depression in this the person might be free from the symptoms for a period of time and this will alternate with a state of depression. It is a less severe form of depression but it also places the person in the increased risk to suffer from major depression.
This can happen when one losses a close person or a close relative or loss of job one becomes overwhelmed by this. This is a normal process and with passage of time one comes to terms with the loss.
But if the person is unable to come to terms with the loss and he/she develops the signs of depression then it is termed as adjustment disorders. It can be acute if it lasts for less then 6months and chronic if it lasts for more then this period.
Bipolar depression or manic depression disorder
The person suffers from recurrent episodes of elation (mania) and depression is a characteristic symptom of bipolar depression. The person when he/she is in the manic phase will affect the judgment of the person and it might also have periods when the person has increased creativity in his work.
In this type of depression there is a swing of moods to the extremes (poles) that’s why it is termed as bipolar depression or manic depressive disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder
It is a pattern of depression related to the changes in season and a lack of exposure to the sunlight.
o Postpartum depression
o Alcohol, nicotine and drug abuse
It is diagnosed on the basis of the signs and symptoms that are present. Also your physician will do the physical examination to rule out any other abnormality that mimics depression.
If the person is having strong suicidal tendencies then he/she might have to be admitted to the hospital for observation.
Role of homeopathy in the treatment of Depression
The first question that comes to the mind is how these Homeopathic medicines are going to help in fighting the disease. As we all know in a diseased state the internal bodily mechanisms do not work in a harmonious way. So to bring back the lost harmony to its original balanced state the correct Homeopathic medicine has to be given.
The homeopathic medicine acts at 3 levels the Psyche, Neuro, Endocrines at the level of the psyche it helps to bring balance which in turn will affect the neurological balance and the correct secretion of the hormones which play an important role in maintaining the harmonious flow. The homeopathic medicines do not treat the disease but it helps in bringing back the lost imbalance back to its normal state.
To find the correct Homeopathic remedy one needs a complete case study so all the aspects of the emotional nature, Fears, Social relations, family relations, ups and downs in life have to be taken into consideration. Also the past history, problems in adjusting, Family history of any major illnesses have to be mentioned.
What has caused the present state is very important and how the person has reacted to it will be very useful. We will consider few remedies in brief and how they will be represented in the depressed state.
There is depression; sadness melancholy after love disappointment. The patient develops pain in the heart and is sleepless due to this. He is low spirited.
In Natrum.muriaticum the classic medicine we all know which is very useful in ailments coming on after love disappointment.The patient will brood over the events again and again and cannot forget it even after years have passed. The Natrum.mur patient will cry when alone and consolation aggravates all the complaints.
I will narrate a case in brief which will tell how deep a role the emotions play the patient had been referred to me by a colleague as the patient was not responding to the medicines
The patient has developed multiple uterine fibroids and she has severe pain due to them.
It took me over an hour to get the correct information the lady was very hesitant to divulge this information she is a married lady for over 30 years but she is unable to forget her first love affair which was broken.
She said she is very sad and cries when she is alone, she loves music and she just cannot forget the affair and it makes her miserable and also she feels guilty about it. This is a brief information we confirmed the other points and prescribed her Natrum.muriaticum 200c 1 dose. The result the patient never came back to me. After a months time I go a call from the doctor who had referred the case to me.
She told after that dose the pain had disappeared and the sonography showed regression in the fibroids. I asked why the patient didn’t report back. I was told she felt embarrassed as what I will think about her. But I was very happy to solve the case.
So what I want to stress on is finding the “Cause” what has led to the problem in most of the cases if we are able to develop the rapport with the patient they will express as it is told by Doctor Pierce Schmidt we have to find where the shoe pinches. This will help us in finding the right remedy and also we can offer solution.
The other important remedy is Ignatia.amara the complaints come on after a loss of close person or love disappointment.The “Sighing” in this remedy is so marked that it is impossible to miss this remedy. The patient is silent complaints coming on after emotional shock. The patient is non communicative will sit silently will brood and weep.
The depression of Aurum is extreme there is loathing of life, no desire to live, Suicidal disposition, and constant thoughts of suicide. There is also marked fear of death.
Depression can be treated with Homeopathy but a correct case history and perceiving the patient is very vital. Along with treatment the patient also will need counseling which should be provided as per the requirement. While handling patients with strong suicidal tendencies it is the responsibility of the treating physician to talk about the state to the parents or the care giver.