When moods don’t just swing-they bounce, pivot, recoil, rebound, oscillate, fluctuate and occasionally pirouette....thats how patients suffering from depression feel. People who suffer from depression don’t use their symptoms as any excuse. Rather they would give anything to function “normally” on a day to day basis. These people need help and support from their family and friends and at times professional help. This support is important for patients suffering from depression to cope up and get rid of this difficult mental state.
Here is a quick review of the symptoms and pathology of depression, though the symptoms vary from individual to individual.
There are a lot of signs of depression, but you may not have them all. How intense they are, and how long they last, are different from person to person.
Some of the ways you might feel are:
Sad, empty, or anxious. It will continue over time without getting better or going away.
Helpless, worthless, or guilty. You may feel bad about yourself or your life, or think a lot about losses or failures.
Hopeless. You may be pessimistic or believe that nothing good will ever happen. You may even think about suicide.
Irritable. You may get restless or more cranky than usual.
Less interest in activities. Hobbies or games you usually enjoy may not appeal to you. You may have little or no desire to eat or have sex.
Less energetic. You may feel extremely tired or think more slowly. Daily routines and tasks may seem too hard to manage.
Trouble concentrating. It could be tough to focus. Simple things like reading a newspaper or watching TV may be hard. You may have trouble remembering details. It might seem overwhelming to make a decision, whether it's big or small.
Changes in the way you sleep. You may wake up too early or have trouble falling asleep. The opposite can also happen. You may sleep much longer than usual.
Changes in appetite. You may overeat or not feel hungry. Depression often leads to weight gain or weight loss.
Aches and pains. You may have headaches, cramps, an upset stomach, or digestive problems.
Experts believe depression is due to a combination of things:
Brain structure. The way certain nerve pathways or circuits in your brain send information may not work properly. Scans show that the parts of your brain involved in mood, thinking, sleep, appetite, and behavior look different when you're depressed, but scientists aren't sure why.
Genes. Scientists are studying certain genes that may make you more likely to get it. But even if you have them, you may not get depressed. And depression can happen in some people even when they don't have that genetic makeup.
Depression can run in families, but that doesn't mean you'll develop depression just because someone you're related to has it. And you may have the condition even if no one else in your family has it.
Life events. Something disturbing that happens to you may trigger depression. It may be the loss of someone close to you, a difficult relationship, or a stressful situation. Other things, like your finances, where you live, and whether or not you're married may also have an impact. But remember, there doesn't have to be a "reason" for your depression. Sometimes it happens without an obvious cause.
Childhood problems. People who have disturbing experiences in childhood are more likely to have depression. It may be from brain changes caused by trauma at a young age.
Other conditions. Drug or alcohol abuse, illness, long-term pain, anxiety, sleep problems, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may also be linked to depression.
Homoeopathy for Depression
Homoeopathy is quite an underrated therapy for the treatment of depression which can help on its own or in conjunction with nutritional and/or hormone therapy. Homeopathy makes more sense for depression than antidepressant drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs for depression are designed to force the body chemistry to act in certain ways—for example, to artificially increase the effects of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. These drugs may reduce symptoms of depression, but they don’t address the root cause of this type of mental health problem. Therefore, not only can pharmaceutical drugs interfere with the healing process, they may suppress it. When it comes to depression, that means that antidepressants actually can make the condition worse. When one antidepressant doesn’t work, physicians often prescribe another one, which can lead to even more side effects.
The treatment for depression has to be individualistic, taking into consideration the symptoms, the causes, circumstances of the patient and many other conditions. While treating a patient, homoeopathy takes all these factors into consideration to promote and give complete cure to the patient, so that the patient himself is able to overcome the feeling of sadness, which is more than just sadness. Homoeopathic treatment is mostly constitutional and needs a proper consultation with a homoeopathic physician. Nevertheless,I am mentioning here a few specific remedies, which have proved effective in treating many kinds of depression.
Depression is not unusual. It has become so prevalent nowadays that anti-depressant drugs have become quite a familiar name for people. Depression and anxiety have many possible causes, but it may surprise you to learn that sometimes they can be brought on by a reaction to certain food too.
We all feel depressed from time to time but we can usually link our happiness to an event or set of circumstances. However, many people suffer from depression that has no identifiable cause. This can range from feeling a bit down to being unhappy all the time and, in extreme cases, to not being able to experience any joy in life or to find any reason for living. Feeling down is usually transitory and will improve when life circumstances or mental attitude changes. However, the last three instances are more serious and require attention and treatment.
Food influences our brain chemistry. Some foods promote a feeling of well-being while others can ‘bring us down’ and suppress positive emotions. Ironically, many of the foods that make us feel good are not especially beneficial to our health, and therefore, as with many areas of nutrition, the aim is to find a healthy balance.
CARBOHYDREATES AND MOOD;
When we eat foods containing carbohydrates and sugar, they encourage the absorption of tryptophan into the brain. Tryptophan is a mood-lifting amino acid that is contained in protein foods .Eating carbohydrates allows tryptophan to be more readily absorbed. Bananas, turkey, cottage cheese and dried dates contain high levels of tryptophan.
All nerve impulses in the brain are carried between the nerve cells by substances known as neurotransmitters.Tryptophan is a precursor to the neurotransmitter called serotonin-low levels of which have been long associated with depression and anxiety.Antidepressants affect serotonin levels in the brain.Some antidepressants belong to a group of drugs known as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake inhibitors(SSIRs).These work by inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin in the brain,allowing it to remain available and so to produce a feeling of well being.
Vitamin B6 is also involved with the synthesis of serotonin.Ensuring that your diet is rich in foods containing B6 could help to lift mild depression.
It is no coincidence that when we are feeling depressed, the food we crave are likely to be sweet ones – ice creams, chocolate and cake. These foods directly affect brain chemicals. Think what happens when dieting: these carbohydrate-rich foods are removed, inevitably leading to a craving for them – as mood dips and the food cravings become stronger, this ultimately leads to the failure of the diet.
DOPAMINE AND DEPRESSION;
Dopamine, another brain chemical, acts like a neurotransmitter by helping nerve impulses in the brain cross the tiny gap in between nerve cell. Low levels of dopamine are linked with the incidence of depression, while increased levels can bring about feelings of well-being.
Dopamine is synthesized from tyrosine, an amino acid found in protein foods. It requires the vitamins B12 and B9 (more commonly known as folic acid), as well as the mineral magnesium, for its production
Foods rich in tyrosine include almonds, avocados, bananas, cottage cheese, lima bean, peanuts (raw and unsalted), pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. Foods high in vitamin B12 include fish, dairy products and spirulina (although it is not clear whether humans can absorb B12 from spirulina). Those high in folic acid include calf’s liver,soya flour,green leafy vegetables(especial;;y broccoli),eggs,brown rice.A good supply of magnesium can be obtained from sunflower seeds,green leafy vegetables,wheatgerm,soya beans,mackerel,swordfish and cod.
DEPRESSION AND NUTRIENT DEFICIENCY
There is a correlation between some levels of vitamins(especially B-complex) and depression.Blood plasma levels of these nutirents have been shown to be low in those suffering from depression,and many people have reported that their symptoms improve when they increase their intake of foods with plentiful B vitamins.Vitamin B3 has been shown to be the most effective in managing depression,along with B6 and zinc.Try eating some vitamin B 6 rich foods everyday to see if it helps.
DEPRESSION AND FOOD ALLERGIES
Manyatimes simple food allergies or intolerances are the culprits and once identified can be remedied easily. Symptoms range from dark cirles under the eyes to skin problems,insomnia,irritability and anxiety.
The trigger foods can be highlighted by a simple blood test.However,in many cases it is easier to remove one or all of the most likely allergens from the diet.
One example of a food allergy that has a strong link with depression is gluten allergy,which causes coeliac disease.If people with this severe sensitivity to all gluten grains do not avoid gluten in their diets,they are more likely to suffer from depression.
The most common allergens are wheat,dairy products,and citrus fruits while in the US,corn replaces wheat as the most prevalent allergen.Many other foods can be responsible,including fast foods or junk foods,colourings and additives.
Although depressed clients get excellent resultsby avoiding certain foods,it is still advisable to seek the advice of your doctor if you are depressed,especially if you have been so for a long time.
• For acute depression following grief, such as after the loss of a loved one or a job, the breakup of a relationship or a recent experience of abuse…
Symptoms: Sighing, a lump in the throat, frequently alternating moods.
Remedy: Ignatia amara, derived from the seeds of the St. Ignatius bean tree.
• For depression that arises following a humiliating experience, insult or loss of pride…
Symptoms: Bouts of anger aimed at yourself or someone else.
Remedy: Staphysagria, derived from the herb stavesacre.
• For depression related to loss or grief, particularly if you tend to dwell in the past, suppress your grief or have haunting memories…
Symptoms: You are an emotional individual who does not like to express his emotions and rejects sympathy.
Remedy: Natrum muriaticum derived from sodium chloride (table salt).
• For chronic depression, including depression marked by feelings of despair and lack of meaning in life…
Symptoms: You engage in self-condemnation, self-reproach and self-criticism. You imagine that obstacles are in your way and impede the reaching of goals. You expect bad news and things to go wrong.
Remedy: Aurum metallicum, derived from gold.