What is depression?
Everyone feels sad or “down in the dumps” at times, but the sadness usually goes away. However, for some people, these sad feelings remain for a long while. A person who feels bad for a very long time might have depression. Depression is disease that affects a person’s moods. Moods are the way a person feels and how he or she expresses those feeling. Someone who suffers from depression may feel sad, angry, irritable, tired, confused, guilty, or worthless. A person who is depressed may lose interest in almost everything he or she used to enjoy.
Depression can cause physical changes in the body, too. A person with depression may have aches and pains and other health problems. Depression also changes the way a person acts. Somebody who is depressed may yell and throw things. He or she may not eat enough or eat too much. This person might have trouble sleeping or feel so tired that he or she stays in bed most of the time. Depression can have a serious effect on a person’s life. It can cause problems with school, a job, family, and friends.
Depression is not a weakness or a personality problem. It is painful for the person who has it. The disease can also be difficult for the person’s family and friends. The good news is that a person with depression can be helped. There are a number of treatments that a doctor can use to help him or her feel better. There are also things a person with depression can do to get healthier. While there is no one single cure for depression, there is help and there is hope. No one with the disease should suffer alone.
(Jennifer Rozines Roy; Depression 2004; 10-11)
Depression may now be defined in terms of the following attributes:
- A specific alteration in mood: sadness, loneliness, apathy.
- A negative self – concept associated with self-reproaches and self-blame.
- Regressive and self-punitive wishes: desire to escape, hide, or die.
- Vegetative changes: anorexia, insomnia, loss of libido.
- Change in activity level: retardation or agitation.
(Aaron T. Beck, Beck A. Alford; Depression: cause and treatments 2009; 8.)
Symptoms of depression
- Depressed mood, “blue”
- Irritability, anxiety
- Anhedonia, loss of interest
- Loss of zest
- Diminished emotional bonds
- Interpersonal withdraw
- Preoccupation with death
- Self criticism, sense of worthlessness, guilt
- Pessimism, hopelessness, despair
- Distractible, poor concentration
- Uncertain and indecisive
- Variable obsessions
- Somatic complaints (particularly in elderly)
- Memory impairment
- Delusion and hallucinations
- Fatigability, no energy
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Anorexia or hyperrexia
- Weight loss or gain
- Psychomotor retardation
- Psychomotor agitation
- Impaired libido
- Frequent diumal variation
Signs of depression
- Stopped and slow moving
- Tearful sad faces
- Dry mouth and skin
(David A. Tomb; Psychiatry 2007; 42.)
Diagnostic criteria for depression
Depressed mood almost every day
Markedly reduced interest or pleasure in all
Significant weight loss or weight gain when not dieting
No organic cause
No delusion or hallucinations in absence of mood symptoms for as long as 2 weeks during the course of the illness.
Not superimposed on schizophrenia or other psychosis.
Treatment of depression
In the treatment of depression cause of depression has to be finding out.
Homeopathy for depression – Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat depression but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several medicines are available for depression treatment that can be selected on the basis of cause, condition, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for depression treatment:
- Aurum Met – depression with suicidal tendency
- Gelsemium – depression from heat, due to impotence
- Caladium – depression due to impotence
- Crotolus – depression with debility, faintness and aching in iliac region.
- Ammonium Carb – depression of spirits, with weeping tendency and anxiety
- Agnus Cast – depression of vital powers with general debility.
- Acid Phos – depression extreme indifference and apathy.
- Digitalis – depression along with palpitation
- Zincum – depression with skin ailments
Allopathic treatment - Treatment is available by medication especially tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, and mood stabilizers.
Other methods of treatments include – Hydrotherapy, Relaxation therapy, Massage therapy, Acupressure, Psycho therapy, Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Yoga therapy etc.