No one is exempt from depression, the ‘common cold’ of psychiatric illness. We all go through it at some time or the other — each in our own way. Besides, we all react to life’s innumerable problems differently.
Depression affects more than 200 million people around the world. In the worst scenario, it can lead to suicide. Over the world, a million people take this extreme step, every year.
- Depression is a major public health concern. It can affect people of all ages and backgrounds; women are twice as likely to suffer from it as compared to men.
- Depression does not affect the individual alone; it has repercussions on one’s family, friends, as well as work.
- There are costs involved in terms of lost productivity and absenteeism from work, due to depression and depressive states.
- Depression is one of the principle causes of disability all over the world.
- People with a family history of anxiety, despondency, or bipolar disorder, or having alcohol or drug abuse problems, are more likely to develop the problem.
- The condition also has a propensity to worsen as time progresses. It can substantially affect the individual’s life at home and in social circles.
What is depression?
In simplified words, depression can be defined as sadness or grief that persists for an excessively long duration as compared to normal and significantly impairs the normal functioning of an individual.
On account of millions of people being affected by depression worldwide, it is a huge public health problem. It is especially important to diagnose it and treat it in time, because it affects not only the patient but his entire family as well as his work.
Depression can affect people of all ages and backgrounds; females are twice as likely to suffer from it as compared to males. The major problem with this condition is that it often has sub-clinical symptoms, leading it to be under-diagnosed and hence under-treated.
The condition has a propensity to worsen as time progresses and it can substantially affect the functionality of an individual. In the worst scenario, depression can lead to suicide, which results in the loss of as many as 850,000 lives every year.
Types Of Depression
A few decades ago, depression would be classified as:
Endogenous: This type is described as one in which there is no external cause for depression; it can be genetic in origin or may be idiopathic.
Neurotic/reactive: This type has an obvious external factor precipitating the condition. Common triggers include the loss of a loved one, end of a relationship, death of spouse, a major setback in life, etc.
Currently, depression is classified into the following types, the first two being the most commonly diagnosed ones:
Major depression: This significantly disables the sufferer and prevents him from functioning normally. It interferes with the person's ability to enjoy activities which he/she once found pleasurable. Major depression can become recurrent or chronic in nature.
Chronic depression (dysthymia): Longer duration (usually more than two years) with less severe symptoms characterise this type. It is less disabling as compared to major depression.
Bipolar depression: Also called manic-depressive illness, patients suffering from this type have episodes of extreme highs (like mania) alternating with extreme lows (like depression). This condition tends to be cyclic in nature.
Seasonal depression (SAD or seasonal affective disorder): Typically, the patient experiences episodes of depression during winter months (when there is less natural sunlight) and it gets better with the onset of spring/summer.
Psychotic depression: When depression is accompanied by the patient getting away from reality and experiencing delusions/hallucinations, it's called psychotic depression.
Postpartum depression: The onset of major depression within a month of delivering a baby is called postpartum depression; it affects almost 10-15% women.
The above types of depression can also be broadly classified as:
Circumstantial or situational depression: Changes in seasons, especially from summer to winter, can cause depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Situational depression is a short-term form of depression that can occur in the aftermath of various traumatic changes in your normal life, including divorce, retirement, loss of a job and the death of a relative or a close friend. Other situations that can potentially overwhelm your normal coping mechanisms include surviving a hurricane or any other major disaster, surviving a serious accident, experiencing a major illness, and even marriage.
Doctors sometimes refer to the condition as an adjustment disorder. A person with situational depression may have symptoms that are more or less identical to someone with clinical depression; however, there are certain key differences between the effects and treatment of these two disorders.
Hormonal depression: Biological and hormonal changes causes depression, especially in women; postpartum depression being an example. Many new mothers experience “baby blues”. This is a normal reaction that tends to subside within a few weeks. However, some women experience severe, lasting depression. This condition is known as postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is believed to be influenced, at least in part, by hormonal fluctuations.
Symptoms may include a persistent feeling of sadness, isolation, feelings of emptiness, spells of crying, irritability, lack of interest in things that one would have loved doing, lack of urgency, or energy, excessive sleepiness, or sleeplessness, hopelessness, decreased sex drive, dread of everything, aside from backache, headache, digestive problems and muscular cramps.
As depression advances, there is an air of negativity around everything - what’s more, the individual seems to expect failure at every step. There is also just no happiness in life and career, or so they think.
- Your doctor will diagnose depression on the basis of common signs and symptoms.
- A special questionnaire may be used for evaluation.
- Your doctor will also ask about any drug or alcohol abuse, or physical illnesses that may have led to depression.
- In chronic depression, your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist, who will look into your health issues, home and work environments, loss of job, marital discord, or experiences that may have had a bearing on how you feel about yourself and others.
- Blood tests may be considered for female patients, when there is a suspicion of hormonal disorder.
Benefits of Homeopathy
- Treatment with medicines made from natural sources like plants and minerals
- Treatment customized for every patient
- Effectively treats the underlying cause of depression
- Reduce emotional hypersensitivity
- Regulate serotonin (happy hormones) balance
- Improve general and mental health
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal emotion. It’s your brain’s way of reacting to stress and alerting you of potential danger ahead.
Everyone feels anxious now and then. For example, you may worry when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test, or before making an important decision.
Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
- Having an increased heart rate
- Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
- Feeling weak or tired
- Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
- Having trouble sleeping
- Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Having difficulty controlling worry
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
Anxiety homeopathic Treatment
This medicine is recommended for intense and sudden anxiety and panic attack.
This is the most common medicine prescribed to a person suffering the problem of anxiety. People scared of height and everyday things are advised to take this medicine.
People suffering from the fear of loneliness, darkness or being imperfect are provided with Arsenicum album by a homeopath.
A homeopath provides Gelsemium to treat people facing anxiety due to feelings of inadequacy. People with this type of anxiety mostly feel timid and shaky.
Ignatia is prescribed to people suffering from anxiety from any type of grief or loss. People with this type of depression often experience mood swings and are quite sensitive.
This medicine is for people experiencing childlike anxiety. Such kind of people may need lots of reassurance and support from other people.
This medicine is for people suffering from night terror or nightmares. People with this type of anxiety are scared of the darkness or being alone.