No one is exempt from depression, the ‘common cold’ of psychiatric illness. We all go through it sometime, or the other — each in our own way. Besides, we all react to life’s innumerable problems differently. Depression affects more than 200 million people worldwide. In the worst scenario, it can lead to suicide. Over the world, a million people attempt suicide every year.
TYPES OF DEPRESSION
Circumstantial or Situational depression: Situational depression is a short-term form of depression that can occur in the aftermath of various traumatic changes in your normal life, including divorce, retirement, loss of a job and the death of a relative or a close friend. Even change of seasons especially from summer to winter can cause depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Other situations that can potentially overwhelm your normal coping mechanisms include surviving a hurricane or other major disaster, surviving a serious accident, experiencing a major illness, and even marriage.
Doctors sometimes refer to the condition as an adjustment disorder. A person with situational depression may have symptoms that are more or less identical to someone with clinical depression; however, there are certain key differences between the effects and treatment of these two disorders.
Hormonal depression: Biological and hormonal changes causes depression, especially in women. Postpartum depression for example. Many new mothers experience the “baby blues.” This is a normal reaction that tends to subside within a few weeks. However, some women experience severe, lasting depression. This condition is known as postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is believed to be influenced, at least in part, by hormonal fluctuations.
SYMPTOMS & DIAGNOSIS
Symptoms may include a persistent feeling of sadness, isolation, feelings of emptiness, spells of crying, irritability, lack of interest in things that one would have loved doing, lack of urgency, or energy, excessive sleepiness, or sleeplessness, hopelessness, decreased sex drive, dread of everything, aside from backache, headache, digestive problems and muscular cramps.As depression advances, there is an air of negativity in everything — what’s more, the individual seems to expect failure at every step. There is also just no happiness in life and career, or so they think.
Your doctor will diagnose depression on the basis of common signs and symptoms.A special questionnaire may be used for evaluation.Your doctor will also ask about any drug, or alcohol abuse, or physical illnesses that may have lead to depression.In chronic depression, your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist, who will look into your health issues, home and work environments, loss of job, marital discord, or experiences that may have had a bearing on how you feel about yourself and others.
Blood tests may be considered for women patients, when there is a suspicion of a hormonal disorder.
HEALING WITH HOMEOPATHY
Thirty-five-year-old Jayanti was brought to us by her husband with depression for over five years; she was on anti-depressants ever since. She was listless, not interested in any activity, and would sit near the window gazing at the horizon for hours. She was also aloof to her husband and their two children. When we analysed her case, we found that she had developed depression following surgery which involved the removal of her uterus, because of a tumour. Since the ovaries were also removed along with the uterus, she developed hormonal imbalance, a ‘feeling of a void’ and subsequently, depression.
We prescribed her the homeopathic remedy, Sepia Officinalis, based on her listless indifference towards her loved ones, coupled with her hormonal imbalance.When she came for one of her follow-ups, after 5 months, with her husband, she was a changed woman. She had started, as her husband confirmed, to taking interest in her daily activities and was more loving and caring towards her family.
Most individuals with depression present with common symptoms, but these symptoms come about as a result of different causes. The homeopathic remedy Aurum metallicum (Aurum met.) is prepared from the metal gold and is used to treat mental disorders, such as depression which may often lead to suicidal thoughts.The homeopathic remedy Ignatia is used to treat depression and anxiety, usually the kind that takes us by surprise or shock, like the death of a loved one, or losing your job.While treating depression, the likely ‘cause’ of what could have possibly led to depression often helps your homeopathic doctor in choosing the right homeopathic remedy.
Homeopathy, which is safe and free of medicinally induced side-effects, diagnoses the type of depression a person is experiencing, not just the problem by its name alone; it looks at each person holistically as a completely unique individual. This is not merely based on the symptoms experienced during the illness, but also on one’s personality or temperament, besides the likely cause of the health concern.