Noone is spared from stress or tension. We all have to go through the grind sometime, each in our individual ways. Besides, we all react to stress differently. Medical researchers say that there may be a biochemical foundation to depression.

Sadness and other negative feelings are all normal reactions to a serious loss and/or tragic event. Also, everyone suffers, now and then, from a mild case of blues. When depression persists to a point where it affects your daily life, it also leads to a lack of ability to live normally.

Mind researchers suggest that depression may be biologically or genetically-based. Neurotransmitters in the brain may be one possible cause of depression. Neurotransmitters are chemicals released across a small space between a neuron, the basic unit of the nervous system and the receptive site of another neuron (synapse). Lower levels of one neurotransmitter—norepinephrine—at the receptor sites are, therefore, blamed for depression.

Sometimes, the cause of depression may not be known. Certain conventional medications, like anti-hypertensive or medications used to treat high blood pressure may be a trigger. A severe lowering of the mood can also occur as a reaction to lack of sunlight all through the winter months, or changes in the inner biological clock that runs us all, especially during new or full moon nights.

moody blues

Researchers suggest that people who are depressed have learned to be depressed. They also suggest that a person who develops symptoms of depression may have very few close relationships and little social support from those that do exist.

Social support, in the form of family and friends, often acts as a pillow to stress.

SIGNS

Negativity in all aspects of life, such as a feeling of pessimism or a belief that nothing can make your life better.

Changes in sleep pattern, like sleeplessness, disturbed sleep, getting up too early, or sleeping more than is necessary.

Changes in eating patterns, such as lack of or change in appetite or eating too little or too much.

Fatigue; difficulty in concentrating or making decisions.

Isolation, withdrawal from people, and neglecting one’s appearance.

Persistent sadness; and, self-disgust.

Social withdrawal, digestive disturbances, gloom and, in certain cases, suicidal tendencies.

HEALING WITH HOMEOPATHY

Thirty-eight-year-old Jayanti was brought to us by her husband with depression for over five years; she was on antidepressants 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 details, we found that she developed her depression following surgery that involved the removal of her uterus, because of a tumour. Since the ovaries were also removed, along with the uterus, she developed hormonal imbalance, and subsequently her depression. Based on her listless indifference towards her loved ones, coupled with her hormonal imbalance, we prescribed her the homeopathic remedy, Sepia Officinalis, which corresponded to her presenting symptoms— hormonal imbalance and “being indifferent to people who she ought to love best”. When she came for one of her follow-ups with her husband, six months down the line, she was a changed woman. She had started taking interest in her daily activities and was more loving and caring towards her family.

Depression is one of the most commonly treated conditions by professional homeopaths worldwide.

In a six-year study of 6,544 patients, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (11(5), 71 per cent of patients on homeopathic treatment improved.

Homeopathy not only helps patients who first and foremost suffer, or have problems to recover, from depression; it has also been shown to reduce related depression in patients having fibromyalgia, or following oestrogen withdrawal in cases of breast cancer.

Homeopathy has the potential to offer a fairly cost-effective, effectual and safe alternative treatment plan for depression, in comparison to conventional medicine, while contributing significantly to reduced lost workdays.

SELF-HELP

Sit quietly; ask yourself what exactly is disturbing you.

Take a good look at how you respond to daily events.

See how you can make adjustments to reduce your stress levels.

Don’t blame others for your problems.

Exercise regularly for 20 minutes, 3-4 times a week; or go for a 30-minute walk 3-4 times a week.

Eat healthy and nutritious food, with 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables, everyday.

Avoid sugar and caffeine. Remember, sugar and caffeine raises your stress levels.

Develop a hobby to take your mind away from stress.

Try relaxation, yoga, meditation, music tapes etc.

Become socially involved; watch a TV comedy show.

The individual, or a loved one, or caretaker, should consult their doctor, if one is not able to control one’s depressive spells, and follow-up on a regular basis.

(Dr Mukesh Batra, a homeopath of international repute, is Founder-Chairman, Dr Batra’s, the homeopathic healthcare group. In a career spanning four decades, he has treated over a million patients and has been honoured with several fellowships and over 50 national and international awards, including the Padma Shri. He has authored several books, including Healing with Homeopathy.)

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