Are you Depressed ? - homeopathy360
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Are you Depressed ?

Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life. But when sadness takes hold and won’t go away, it may be depression. More than just the temporary “blues,” the lows of depression make it tough to function and enjoy life. A person with severe depression has little or no interest in work or hobbies, and may be troubled with sleep disturbance. Depression often leads to suicide, so early diagnosis and judicious treatment with homeopathic medicines along with proper counseling is necessary to                                                                                          prevent early termination of life.
Introduction
Depression is a form of what is known as a mood or affective disorder, because it is primarily concerned with a change in mood. Everyone feels sad from time to time, but depression is an illness characterized by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. One in four women and one in six men suffers from depression at some point in their lives.
Depressive disorders is a complicated illness, which can involve a number of contributing factors – genes, environment, diet, lifestyle, brain chemicals, psychology and personality. Depressed people are typically lethargic, tearful, reclusive and less inclined to interact socially. Often the sufferer has difficulty concentrating and making decisions, has a loss of appetite and weight or a weight gain, has difficulty in sleeping a lack of energy and sometimes physical symptoms such as slow movement and speech.
Risk factors of Depression
1. Genetics: If one of the family members have suffered from depression, other may have a greater risk of developing depression, although there is currently no direct gene that has been found to cause depression.
2. Early childhood trauma or abuse: Emotional trauma and abuse has a powerful effect on the psyche. The person, who had experienced mental trauma in early life, may be more at risk to develop depression during or after a stressful life event.
3. Loneliness and lack of social support: Lack of support, whether it is family, friends or colleagues, makes someone more difficult coping with stress. Having marital and relationship problems can also make feel alone and frustrated.
4. Recent stressful or traumatic life experiences: Some events, like losing a loved one, are clearly stressful and cause enormous disruption in our lives. However, anything that causes change can be a stressful life experience, even if it is normally considered a happy event such as a big work promotion, a wedding or childbirth.
5. Alcohol and drugs: Alcohol and drugs can cause strong depression symptoms on their own. They can also make the person more vulnerable to depression even if he decides to stop using them. Some people try self medication to treat them with alcohol and drugs which only worsens the problem.
6. Finances and employment: Financial strain can be an enormous stressor. Struggling to pay the bills or mortgage, or suddenly becoming unemployed, is a very stressful life event. Being unemployed can be a blow to self confidence and can be a very difficult adjustment, especially for men.
7. Health problems or chronic pain: Health problems and chronic pain may reduce mobility, the ability to work or to spare time. They can chip away at supportive relationships and make the person feel hopeless and frustrated.
Presentations of Depression
There’s a vast difference between “feeling depressed” and suffering from “clinical depression”. The despondency of clinical depression is unrelenting and overwhelming. Some people describe it as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some people feel lifeless and empty and they are unable to experience pleasure. The presentation vary from person to person, and they may wax and wane in severity over time.

Major consequences of Depression
·         Can reduce brain size, shrinking the hippocampus area of the brain (defect in learning and memory).
·         Increases stress hormone levels.
·         Increases the risk of osteoporosis.
·         Increases the risk of hypertension.
·         Can affect blood sugar levels.
·         More prone (twice than normal) to develop Asthma.
·         A study shows that nearly half of those reported chronic tension headaches also have anxiety or Depression.
·         Depressed adults are six times more likely to have seizure.
·         One study shows a link between depression and Infertility.
Therapeutic Lifestyle Change for Depression
Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) is a wellness-based, research-supported activation approach for treating depression. When someone is depressed, it is important that they do something for their depression, rather than just talk about it. When we act in new ways, we help our mind to shift gears to jump from its well-worn set of tracks onto a new set. In the context of supportive counseling, it assists the individual to make the changes which help them feel better.
This is based on the idea that our modern lifestyle puts people at risk for depression for many reasons. And because most people spend so much time indoors at their jobs, our exposure to full spectrum light is low. The five components of the TLC program all supported by research help patients with depression.
These components are:
·         Exercise: Make the habit of regular exercise that can be performed easily. These exercises like walking, swimming, cycling etc affect all our body parts and we feel more relaxed. Regular exercise provides natural, mood lifting chemical changes in the body.
·         Diet: Eating a regular, balanced diet is important for both the physical and mental health. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been consistently linked in the research with good mental and physical health.
·         Social Interaction: Our need for social interaction varies, but being with other people, especially supportive friends and family, has a huge positive impact on depression. Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression.
·         Sleep Hygiene: A good night’s sleep is one key for coping with and moving on from depression. There can be many reasons people don’t sleep well like depression, stress, anxiety, lack of exercise, and the realities of the work schedule are a few of the most common.
·         Make getting the right amount of sleep as a priority.
·         Light Exposure: A therapeutic dose of full spectrum light can help with both mood and, if used each morning with the sleep/wake cycle.
Food Recommendations in Depression
Vitamins – B: It plays a major role in the normal functioning of the brain and the nervous system. In fact, the B vitamins are often referred to as the stress and energy vitamins. Nevertheless, irritability, fatigue, poor concentration, anxiety and depression can all be signs of a B vitamin deficiency. Most importantly, studies show that clinical depression sufferers often have low levels of one or more of the B vitamins (especially B6, B12 and folic acid). Best food sources of the B vitamins: whole grains, all seeds, nuts, liver, kidney, eggs, bran, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, lentils, beans, soybeans, peas, dairy products, and green leafy vegetables.
Zinc: Zinc has an arsenal of important functions, including it is essential for energy production and brain health. Zinc has been found to be deficient in depression sufferers. Best food sources of zinc: meat, liver, seafood (especially oysters), wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, pumpkin seeds, eggs, ground mustard, and nonfat dry milk.
Complex Carbohydrates: One should eat a diet that includes lots of complex carbohydrates because a diet that is too low in complex carbohydrates can cause serotonin depletion and depression.
Best food sources of complex carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds, nuts, brown rice, millet, legumes, soybeans, and soy products.
Omega-3 fatty acids: The brain requires essential fatty acids to function properly. Researchers have found that the lack of omega-3 fatty acids is linked to depression. Best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids: Cold water fish like salmon, trout or tuna.
Tryptophan: It is an essential amino acid used by the brain to produce serotonin, a chemical that is instrumental in regulating mood. Best food sources of tryptophan: turkey, fish, meat, cottage cheese, milk, bananas, dried dates, peanuts, all protein-rich foods.
Foods to Avoid in Depression
Wheat gluten has been linked to depressive disorders and one should consider omitting wheat products from the diet. Avoid artificial sweetener aspartame, which can block the formation of serotonin and cause headaches, insomnia, and depression in individuals who are already serotonin-deprived.
Aspartame is found in diet sodas and other products.
Avoid foods high in saturated fats; the consumption of these fats found in meat or fried foods leads to sluggishness, fatigue, and slow thinking.
Avoid all forms of sugar, including normally “good” sweeteners such as honey. The increase energy supplied by these sugars (simple carbohydrates) is quickly followed by fatigue and depression.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods.
Counseling for Depression
If anyone has ever suffered from a depression, he doesn’t want to go there again. Even if one have dealt with me precursors of depression like stress and fatigue, then he wants to find various ways to beat back the “black dogs” (as Winston Churchill called his depressive episodes) before they attacks.
Take good care of yourself: If the person doesn’t get enough sleep, eat erratically and exercise by tapping on a keyboard, he is setting himself up for a fall. Although it’s not proven that fatigue, for example, causes depression, common sense tells that enough sleep, the right food fuel and activity will help to stay on an even keel.
Be good to each other: Our relationships with others can be a huge source of strength in managing stress and fatigue and preventing depression. However, the good-quality relationships meant lower rates of depression for both men and women, although the overall rate of depression for women was still higher.
Make time for friends, fun, and activity: It’s so easy to let friendships and time with extended family slide, especially when we’re already pulled up in too many directions. But having a network of support is the most important way to prevent depression. It’s true that making time for fun, as simple as telling a joke at dinner will put more deposits in our anti-depression bank. Finally, losing ourselves in an activity reading, assembling model cars, playing bridge etc. allows us to concentrate on something other than worries and to lose in the moment.
Walk it off: Exercise has been shown to be as effective in fighting mild depression as Prozac. And it’s thought to be effective at keeping depression at bay in the first place.
Leading Homeopathic Remedies for Depression
Arsenicum album: Great anguish and restlessness. Anxious, insecure, and perfectionist people who need this remedy may set high standards for themselves and others and become depressed if their expectations are not met. Worry about material security sometimes borders on despair.
Aurum metallicum: Feeling of self condemned and utter worthlessness. This remedy can be helpful to serious people, strongly focused on work and achievement, who become depressed if they feel they have failed in some way. Profound despondency, with through disgust of life and thoughts of suicide; constantly talks of suicide.
Causticum: A person who feels depressed because of grief and loss (either recent or over time) may benefit from this remedy. Ailments from longlasting grief and sudden emotions. Frequent crying or a feeling of mental dullness and forgetfulness People are often deeply sympathetic toward others and, having a strong sense of justice, can be deeply discouraged or angry about the world.
Ignatia amara: Sensitive people who suffer from shock, grief or disappointment and try to keep the hurt inside may benefit from this remedy. Melancholic, sad, tearful; not communicative.
They may also burst out laughing, or into tears, for no apparent reason. Frequent sighing, sobbing and yawning are strong indications.
Kali phosphoricum: Extreme lassitude and depression. If a person feels depressed after working too hard, being physically ill, or going through prolonged emotional stress or excitement, this remedy can be helpful. Slightest labor seems a heavy task. Headaches from mental effort, easy perspiration, and sensitivity to cold, anemia, insomnia, and indigestion are often seen when this remedy is needed in a patient with depression.
Natrum carbonicum: Patients are usually mild, gentle, and selfless making an effort to be cheerful and helpful, and avoiding conflict whenever possible. After being hurt or disappointed, they become depressed, but keep their feelings to themselves. Even when feeling lonely, they withdraw to rest or listen to sad music, which can isolate them even more and they are often worse from music.
Natrum muriaticum: Ill effects of grief, disappointment from unnatural love, of fright, anger etc. Depressed, particularly in chronic diseases. Anxiety, brooding about past grievances, migraines, back pain, and insomnia can also be experienced when the person is depressed.
Phosphoric acid: The patients seemed listless with impaired memory, apathetic and indifferent. Effects of grief and mental shock. They cannot collect thoughts or find the right word; difficult comprehension. They are often confused and indifferent to the affairs of life.
Pulsatilla: People have a childlike softness and sensitivity, and can also be whiny, jealous, and moody. When depressed, they are sad and tearful, wanting a lot of attention and comforting. Depression around the time of hormonal changes e.g. puberty, menstrual periods, or menopause etc. can often be helped with this remedy.
Sepia: People who feel weary, irritable, and indifferent to family members, and worn out by the demands of everyday life may respond to this remedy. The patients are highly ambitious, oriented and when her ambitions are sacrificed, they become depressed, melancholic, and tearful and often become indifferent to the affairs of life and to her family.
Menstrual problems, sluggish digestion, and improvement from vigorous exercise are other indications for this remedy to prescribe in a patient with depression.

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