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Homeopathy and Depression

Depression is one of the most common health conditions in the world. Depression isn't a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply "snap out of." Depression, formally called major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a medical illness that involves the mind and body. It affects how you think and behave and can cause a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may not be able to go about your usual daily activities, and depression may make you feel as if life just isn't worth living anymore.

Effective diagnosis and treatment can help reduce even severe depression symptoms. And with effective treatment, most people with depression feel better, often within weeks, and can return to the daily activities they previously enjoyed.

Causes of Depression

Depression has no single cause; often, it results from a combination of things. You may have no idea why depression has struck you. Whatever its cause, depression is not just a state of mind. It is related to physical changes in the brain, and connected to an imbalance of a type of chemical that carries signals in your brain and nerves. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters. Some of the more common factors involved in depression are:

  • Family history. Genetics play an important part in depression. It can run in families for generations.
  • Trauma and stress. Things like financial problems, the breakup of a relationship, or the death of a loved one can bring on depression. You can become depressed after changes in your life, like starting a new job, graduating from school, or getting married.
  • Pessimistic personality. People who have low self-esteem and a negative outlook are at higher risk of becoming depressed. These traits may actually be caused by low-level depression (called dysthymia).
  • Physical conditions. Serious medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, and HIV can contribute to depression, partly because of the physical weakness and stress they bring on. Depression can make medical conditions worse, since it weakens the immune system and can make pain harder to bear. In some cases, depression can be caused by medications used to treat medical conditions.
  • Other psychological disorders. Anxiety disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and (especially) substance abuse often appear along with depression.

Signs and symptoms of depression

  • Depression of mood is the primary symptom. There may be a diurnal variation of mood, depression being most distressing early in the morning or at the end of the day.
  • Loss of pleasure in life (anhedonia)
  • Loss of interest in oneself and others
  • Low self esteem
  • Self blame
  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Feeling of guilt and worthlessness
  • Sleep disturbance (initial insomnia, early morning wakening or hypersomnia)
  • Poor concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Headache and other pains
  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Weight changes
  • Constipation
  • Reduced libido

How to manage Depression

Try to identify the root cause of your depression. Causes of depression can be psychological, emotional, physical or spiritual. The homeopathic treatments you use will vary depending on the cause, so it is necessary to pinpoint where your depression stems from before you can treat it.

When did your depression begin, and what was going on in your life at that time? This is one of the first questions your homeopath will ask when you’re seeking help for depression.

The answers are as diverse and colourful as the patients themselves. Perhaps you have felt depressed all your life due to hereditary factors. Maybe it began after a major and traumatic event in your life, such as divorce, abuse, death of a loved one, or loss of employment. Or possibly you became depressed as a result of hormonal imbalance, which is common during puberty, after childbirth and during menopause. The answer to the origins of your depression provides an important clue to finding your individual homeopathic remedy. At the same time, regardless of the triggering event of your depression, homeopathy can help you get unblocked, turn the corner, and set you on the path to recovery.

Each individual suffering from depression expresses it quite differently; with different feelings, behaviours and symptoms. As a result, 10 people diagnosed with depression will probably receive 10 different homeopathic remedies.

For example, a patient who had been depressed his entire life, who had feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and had difficulties expressing his feelings, made great progress with the remedy Natrum Muriaticum. While another patient suffering with life-long depression, who was a perfectionist, was unable to tolerate mediocrity, had rage and suicidal thoughts, made great improvement with the remedy Aurum Metallicum. Two recent cases of depression involving hormonal imbalance received the remedies Lilium Tigrinum and Sepia. In another case, the remedy Tuberculinum helped the recovery of a patient who became severely depressed after separating from her husband. And Arsenicum Album created a spark of optimism for a young woman who had been depressed since a childhood occurrence of sexual abuse.

Homeopathy offers very good treatment possibilities for depression with good results. There are large number of medicines which can be used and the selection of medicine depends not just on the symptoms but also on the cause. Depression is a manifestation of the disorder and to treat the manifestation it is necessary to find the cause. The success of treatment in such cases often depends on the ability of a homeopath to find the cause. The selection of medicine depends a lot on it.

There are various triggers or stressors which lead to depression and they are well represented in the complete repertory as Ailments from

  • Ailments from disappointment in love- Nat mur, Ignatia
  • Ailments from ambition deceived- Nux vom
  • Ailments from bad news- Gelsemium
  • Ailments from business failure- Ambra Grisea
  • Ailments from death of child- Ignatia
  • Ailments from domination by others- Lycopodium
  • Ailments from friendship deceived- Magnesium
  • Ailments from honor wounded- Staphysagria
  • Ailments from reputation loss of- Aurum met
  • Ailments from reversal of fortune- Lachesis
And many more……..

After taking the indicated homeopathic remedy, patients will start noticing changes within a few hours to several days. Most people experience increased energy and motivation. This becomes the catalyst for positive changes in their lives. People adopt a more positive outlook on life. Depressed patients once again begin engaging in their favourite activities. Since homeopathy treats the person and not the disease, the process of cure will take the same path regardless of your initial complaint.
The length of time needed to cure depression (or any disease) depends on the severity and the length of time you’ve had it. So it is not realistic to assess how long treatment should take until your response to the remedies becomes apparent over a period of time. While long-standing conditions may take months or years to heal, there will be improvement quite soon.

Not only can the correct homeopathic remedy restore your health, but prolonged homeopathic treatment can even eliminate predisposition to certain diseases. If eliminating the root cause of your depression is your goal, then homeopathy is the medicine of choice.

Homeopathic Remedies for Depression

Arsenicum album: Anxious, insecure, and perfectionistic 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. When feeling ill, these people can be demanding and dependent, even suspicious of others, fearing their condition could be serious.

Aurum metallicum: 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. Discouragement, self-reproach, humiliation, and anger can lead to feelings of emptiness and worthlessness. The person may feel worse at night, with nightmares or insomnia.

Calcarea carbonica: A dependable, industrious person who becomes overwhelmed from too much worry, work, or physical illness may benefit from this remedy. Anxiety, fatigue, confusion, discouragement, self-pity, and a dread of disaster may develop. A person who needs this remedy often feels chilly and sluggish and easily tires on exertion.

Causticum: A person who feels depressed because of grief and loss (either recent or over time) may benefit from this remedy. Frequent crying or a feeling of mental dullness and forgetfulness (with anxious checking to see if the door is locked, if the stove is off, etc.) are other indications. People who need this remedy are often deeply sympathetic toward others and, having a strong sense of justice, can be deeply discouraged or angry about the world.

Cimicifuga: A person who needs this remedy can be energetic and talkative when feeling well, but upset and gloomy when depressed—with exaggerated fears (of insanity, of being attacked, of disaster). Painful menstrual periods and headaches that involve the neck are often seen when this remedy is needed.

Ignatia amara: Sensitive people who suffer grief or disappointment and try to keep the hurt inside may benefit from this remedy. Wanting not to cry or appear too vulnerable to others, they may seem guarded, defensive, and moody. They may also burst out laughing, or into tears, for no apparent reason. A feeling of a lump in the throat and heaviness in the chest with frequent sighing or yawning are strong indications for Ignatia. Insomnia (or excessive sleeping), headaches, and cramping pains in the abdomen and back are also often seen.

Kali phosphoricum: 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. Exhausted, nervous, and jumpy, they may have difficulty working or concentrating—and become discouraged and lose confidence. Headaches from mental effort, easy perspiration, sensitivity to cold, anemia, insomnia, and indigestion are often seen when this remedy is needed.

Natrum carbonicum: Individuals who need this remedy 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 can 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. Nervous and physically sensitive (to sun, to weather changes, and to many foods, especially milk), they may also get depressed when feeling weak or ill.

Natrum muriaticum: People who need this remedy seem reserved, responsible, and private—yet have strong inner feelings (grief, romantic attachment, anger, or fear of misfortune) that they rarely show. Even though they want other people to feel for them, they can act affronted or angry if someone tries to console them, and need to be alone to cry. Anxiety, brooding about past grievances, migraines, back pain, and insomnia can also be experienced when the person is depressed. A craving for salt and tiredness from sun exposure are other indications for this remedy.

Pulsatilla: People who needs this remedy 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. Crying, fresh air, and gentle exercise usually improve their mood. Getting too warm or being in a stuffy room can increase anxiety. Depression around the time of hormonal changes (puberty, menstrual periods, or menopause) can often be helped with Pulsatilla.

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. They want to be left alone and may respond in an angry or cutting way if anyone bothers them. They often feel better from crying, but would rather have others keep their distance and not try to console them or cheer them up. Menstrual problems, a sagging feeling in internal organs, sluggish digestion, and improvement from vigorous exercise are other indications for this remedy.

Staphysagria: Quiet, sensitive, emotional people who have difficulty standing up for themselves may benefit from this remedy. Hurt feelings, shame, resentment, and suppressed emotions can lead them to depression. If under too much pressure, they can sometimes lose their natural inhibition and fly into rages or throw things. A person who needs this remedy may also have insomnia (feeling sleepy all day, but unable to sleep at night), toothaches, headaches, stomachaches, or bladder infections that are stress-related.

Flower remedies are useful in dealing with a number of conditions often associated with mild depression.

Agrimony is recommended if you tend to maintain a smiling appearance while suffering inner anguish and despair.

Centaury is helpful for depression accompanied by feelings of intimidation.

Cherry Plum relieves feelings of fearfulness, whether of things real or imagined.

Gorse may be chosen for a sense of hopelessness

Honey- suckle for those whose thoughts dwell on happier times past

Mustard is the remedy for sadness and feelings of ineffectuality

Rescue Remedy is the first choice to ease acute anxiety.

Sweet chestnut for bleak despair

Walnut is useful for depression that results from difficulty in adjusting to change.

Wild Rose is more beneficial for people who have lost interest in life, who have become apathetic and have stopped caring about anything-something many mildly depressed people experience.

Willow for depression caused by resentment

A person going through a period of mild sadness or depression may find relief through homeopathy. The guidance of an experienced homeopath is often valuable, to choose a remedy that fits the situation best.