At this time of year, some people are unable to look forward to events such as holidays or family celebrations. Five to ten per cent of patients visiting their GP will be suffering from “clinical” or “major” depression. Too many people still think that depression is “all in the mind” and there is a great deal of guilt felt by sufferers that they cannot just snap out of it.
As well as clinical depression, where symptoms are severe enough to affect day to day living, 15 to 30 per cent of patients will have depressive symptoms but still manage to continue with work or home life without serious problems. People come with a variety of complaints, including a feeling of persistent fatigue, lack of appetite or excess appetite resulting in comfort eating, not able to look forward to enjoyable events (holidays or family celebrations) as mentioned earlier, poor sleep, feelings of anxiety and low self-esteem, guilt for “not really being ill”, feelings of not coping, lack of interest in activities or relationships, loss of sex drive and generally feeling cut off from the world. Whilst most of us can experience all of these feelings at some time to a greater or lesser extent, it is when they last for weeks on end that we start to feel unwell and out of balance. It is in these circumstances that the body starts to need a little help to recover.
Doctor’s Medications for depression are antidepressants which are claimed to rebalance the mood hormones, commonly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and less often, the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). However, their effectiveness in mild or subthreshold symptoms is questioned by modern research and they are now not routinely advised for GP use by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Herbal treatments also work in a similar way to conven¬tional antidepressants although usually with a lower rate of response and side effects.
Homeopathy’s place There are many homeopathic med¬icines used to treat the numerous symptoms of depression and anxiety. It is important to make sure that your symptoms are not due to another illness such as an underactive thyroid or a stomach ulcer, so please talk to your GP first to make sure of the diagnosis before starting homeopathic treatment. Just a few examples of commonly used Homeopathic remedies are listed below.
Ignatia: Where depression follows from bereavement, loss, or a shock, such as witnessing a fatal road accident, Ignatia can be useful. The symptom picture is typified by emotional ups and downs with mood swings and is often quoted in homeopathic reference books as “laughter alternating with tears”. Having suffered the loss of my own parents, I know myself the separation feeling that one undergoes when someone close to you dies and I remember being able to talk quite calmly one minute, and then being overcome with tears soon afterwards before becoming calm again a few minutes later.
Often the sufferer can prove difficult for friends and loved ones to deal with as they are SO up and down, resistant to sympathy and oversensitive to well-meaning advice, which may be wrongly taken as criticism. Ignatia patients tend to “bottle things up” and cry and give deep sighs during the course of their consultation. It may be hard for them to talk if they are overcome with their miserable situation and friends can find it well-nigh impossible to cheer up such patients. Poor sleep is common and so is the feeling of a ball or something stuck in the throat, known conventionally as Globus syndrome. I often give a few Ignatia 30c tablets to recently bereaved patients to take when needed, especially around the time of the funeral, and will use a 200c on a weekly or monthly basis for persistent depressive symptoms.
Nat Mur: Another remedy that can bottle things up, but reacts quite differently to the Ignatia patient is Natrum Muriaticum. This is a most frequently used homeopathic treatment for symptoms of stress, such as those typified by depression. I find it very useful when a patient has never been well since a shock or loss and feel as if they have a wall between them and the rest of the world. Often they have been unable to cry since bereavement and feel that they have not grieved properly for their loss. They feel worse for sympathy yet are very empathetic people. They sometimes build up a barrier emotionally and can appear somewhat cold and distant. They can worry about upsetting people unintentionally by saying the wrong thing and also can take things the wrong way.
Sepia: When all energy is drained, and the patient feels they are unworthy of love. Especially for women who are sad, silent, solitary individuals, completely lacking in zest. Tears are never far away and a feeling of having to keep emotions under control otherwise one will have to scream is typical of the strain that is felt.
Sepia women will often say they love their husbands or partners but cannot manage the physical side of the relationship, which they feel is starting to cause difficulties for their other halves. Sepia suits women who have nausea at the mere smell of food. They can have a sinking, or “all-gone” feeling in the pit of the stomach, especially when they wake, which is not relieved by eating.
If you would like to book a homeopathic appointment to address Depression or anxiety please call Karuna 0408705650
Consultations can also be done via skype or over phone.
Karuna Tohow. Dip Hom Med, Ayur Cert, LBA Cert, BW Dip A.T.M.S