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Depression treatment: a holistic solution (body, mind and spiritual)

Updated on October 12, 2013

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Depression: Descriptions, Types and Symptoms

In times of low and gloom, what do you do?

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes depression as a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration. These problems can become chronic or recurrent and lead to substantial impairments in an individual's ability to take care of his or her everyday responsibilities. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide, a tragic fatality associated with the loss of about 850 000 lives every year.

Very broadly and based on symptoms, depression can be described as either psychotic, melancholic, non-melancholic, or atypical.

  • Psychotic depression is a severe type since it is biological in nature where severe psychomotor disturbance is observed, with strong guilt feelings, delusions and/or hallucinations are commonly experienced.
  • Melancholic depression is also biological but quite less in severity with serious depressed moods, psychomotor disturbance and delusions also observed. In general, people suffering from this type are not able to experience positive mood despite cheerful events.
  • Non-melancholic depression is not primarily biological, but more of reactions to stresses in life. Depressed mood can be shorter in duration (about more than two weeks) and can be caused mostly by inability to adjust in social settings such as in relationships and/or can be work related.
  • Atypical depression which is also a major type is characterized by mood reactivity being able to be cheered by positive events. Interpersonal rejection sensitivity is also prominent. Interestingly, it is characterized by reversed symptoms, such as over-eating (instead of loss of appetite) and over-sleeping (instead of insomnia).

The Efficacy (or Non-Efficacy) of Conventional Depression Treatment

It has been observed that the medical profession in general, and seemingly the general public as well, view depression as a kind of a disease; in which case, it can be cured through prescription drugs such as antidepressants. The issue with this kind of perspective is that it makes drugs as the medication of first choice rather than the last option. This becomes a valid concern given the fact that antidepressants may not really that effective to the majority of users. And , either over the short or long term period from its use, various medical journals report that antidepressants have been proven to manifest negative side effects, such as, head ache, sexual dysfunction, increase agitation, weight gain, to name a few. Further, with drugs as the more convenient way of treatment, the other natural and unconventional methods which could be more effective ways to deal with this condition, may be sidelined if not totally missed out.

Early detection of depression by the patient himself or by other people around him and early diagnosis by a medical professional is essential so that any deterioration of the condition and possible more serious complications may be abated. It should be stressed that untreated depressive conditions could lead to other debilitating illnesses such as heart, cancer and severe neurological conditions.

Considering that depression is a serious health condition, a depression treatment that is most effective and more workable has to be uncovered. More than ever, the pharmaceutical companies and medical scientists which include psychiatrists, psychologists, and people engage in neuroscience and health care professions are faced with the great challenge to provide better options for depression treatment to the sufferers.

Thus, to be able to get the best applicable treatment, it is very important therefore that the person (or his loved ones) takes time to observe and assess what type of depression that person is going through. For instance, people suffering from melancholic and psychotic depressions or clinical depressions may ordinarily respond only to physical drugs such as antidepressants as prescribed by the medical doctor. Meanwhile, non-melancholic sufferers may respond very well to counselling, psycho therapies and other natural means.

Fame or success does not guarantee that a person can escape from depression since this condition spares no one who is at risk. Even celebrities could suffer from this psychological and emotional condition. Watch Jim Carrey's short yet interesting interview about his own experience on spirituality and overcoming depression.

An Integrative Approach to Depression Treatment

An integrative approach to depression treatment has a greater chance to work quite well especially for those people who may be suffering from non-melancholic depression, meaning, the person has no biological cause for depression.

People who are depressed are usually helpless and hopeless. And based on the testimonies of a good number of sufferers, such miserable condition can only be addressed effectively through holistic or integrative approach, meaning, an application of a combination of natural and medical approaches. Natural approach refers to providing love and care(generation of love from self and other people), lifestyle change - proper nutrition, adequate sleep, physical activity or workout, socialization and spiritual exercises such as prayer and meditation combine with proper medications, preferably, herbal or plant based and organic.

Find help and know that hope resides within, never without you. Know what you want and "be" that which you want. If you want attention from others, give that attention first to yourself so that you can attend to others. Natural method as depression treatment usually works well since the body has a natural way to cure itself if given the proper care and attention.

A True Story of Healing Through Natural Means

More than twenty years ago. Mom Josie was diagnosed to be suffering from clinical depression. During that time, she had lost her appetite to eat and to sleep even at night. She just kept to herself and no amount of prodding can make her communicate with anyone, not even a word nor a facial reaction can be drawn out from her. For twenty years, the doctor placed her under pure pharmaceutical drug. She was given sleeping pills for her inability to sleep and antidepressant for her depression. Her family noticed no change in her condition. And when her husband died, she did not even shed a tear nor show any indication of sadness.

Then one day, through a neighbor, the daughter of Mom Josie met a doctor of natural medicine who asked her to stopped all the drugs her mother was taking. Instead, she was ask to give her a combination of hydration and massage therapy using healing oil made of special herbs at least three times a day for an hour each therapy session. Mom Josie was also made to take what is known as healing diet, consisting mostly of soft diet (hot porridge, stew and any food preparation with lots of water and juices). She also took herbal pills composed of omega 3 and vitamin b complex.

The daughter diligently followed all the instructions. And within few months, her sacrifices paid off when Mom Josie slowly recovered. According to the daughter, her mom has since then 85% recovered. She can now smile, entertain guests, remember their names, perform some household chores and go to church. Without doubt, it was love and care which did it for this family who could now enjoy each others company in joy and thanksgiving. The last time I saw them, both mother and daughter are guests in a television program unabashedly telling their story to inspire depressed people not to give up.

"Love one another: you'll be happy and healthy. It's as simple and difficult as that." _ Michael Leunig

Radical self love is Gala Darling's answer to depression. Watch her sharing of her true-to-life experience.


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    • anupma profile image

      Dr Anupma Srivastava 

      6 years ago from India

      Very informative hub. Depression is a very common disease nowadays. People get depressed soon.

      Your hub has focused on every aspect of depression. Thanks for sharing.


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