MOST of us have gone through this down and in the dumps feeling on several occasions. Perhaps due to some unhappy and unpleasant event that took place earlier. But after a while, it wears off and you can shake yourself and start anew. However, if this feeling of low spirits comes about you frequently and is continuous, we call it ‘Depression‘, meaning exactly what it denotes —— a depressed state of mind. But where one ends and the other starts, one cannot really say because, depression is like a coat of dust which if not cleared; will at some opportune moment capture you totally.
Depression can be expressed in various ways and can have a number of causes. It can affect practically any age group and the peak age for severe cases of depression is 55 years in women and 60 years in the case of men. In milder cases of depression, the peak age for women is 45 years and in men it is 50 years.
The ﬁrst significant point to note is that the victim loses interest and enjoyment in practically every aspect of life. It can apply to work in the homefront or the office, the family, food and drink, sport or other interests, hobbies and desire for sex. The ﬁrst signs of depression also shows its head in personal hygiene and appearance. Gradually, there is a sense at profound alienation and loneliness with feelings of despair. Added to this are physical symptoms of a heavy head, backache, stomach disorders, heaviness in the chest, weakness, giddiness, blurred vision, etc. There is a tendency for withdrawal which accompanies a sense of psychological self-isolation and feelings of being alone even when the closest members of one‘s family are around.
The many faces of depression
All patients of depression do not have the same symptoms. Two people behaving in markedly different ways can both be depressed. What makes the picture more peculiar and unusual is the fact that depression can be accompanied by anxiety or by bouts of hyperactivity, i.e., forced gaiety, chatting and compulsive cheerfulness giving rise to the term "maniac depressive".
Most of the depression vary from slight sadness to intense despair feeling of utter worthlessness. There arc some of them, though depressed, will seldom talk of their problem or may not talk at all while on the other hand there are others who chatter continuously. People with depression also complain of lack of concentration, they cannot think clearly or make decision. Their thoughts are self-centered and lack a positive approach. They repeatedly count their blessings and blame themselves for any misfortune. They tend to magnify small incidences. They are unable to sleep well and lie awake worrying about the past, their own state and the future. Even if they do manage to sleep, they wake up unusually early which starts the day badly. When depression is accompanied by anxiety, the victim is restless and nervous.
Effects of grief
A temporary but intense state of depression can he caused by the death of a near or dear one. It is normal to express grief and when it is suppressed, it can lead to a spate of mental depression. Controlling grief and tears and bottling up ones emotions on the plea that the deceased "would not like me to cry but be brave" or because one thinks it is silly cry, are misguided ideas and never help. In fact it tends to prolong the period of grief. The bereaved person should be helped to 'let-out' their grief and talk with friends or loved ones. It prevents depression and soothes nerves.
Post partum depression This state of depression occurs in some women after the delivery of a baby. It is believed to be caused by exhaustion of labour and the strain of delivery after the arrival of the new born, due to the disturbance in the mother's hormonal system.
Menopausal depression Some women are fortunate and 'change' passes are calm and gradual while for others it can be full of anxiety, panic and depression - a time of emotional fears and nervous breakdown. of fretfulness and disharmony because of hormonal disturbances.
Suicidal depression In any suite of depression there is an overwhelming sense of helplessness and despair when there are great risks of suicide. Suicidal impulses may occur in adolescents and college students due to depressive reactions because of high expectations and high demands in married couples because there is no rapport or compatibility in u grief stricken person unable to bear the loss in a person with a chronic or seemingly incurable disease.
Heredity and environment To a certain extent depression traits tend to run in the family heredity but it is circumstances that produce the basic reactions, in individual personalities. There is almost always n definite unpleasant or untoward event or a series of events that bring about a state of depression. Where there is no hereditary cause, it is virtually always trigerred off by powerful outside events which affect the victims. In such cases, however the chances of recovery are better and faster.
A friendly understanding and positive approach by the members of the family and friends along with homeopathic medicines can combat depression.
Natrum mur For emotional and tearful depression and patients of an irritable and independent temperament. They want to be left alone and any show of sympathy and consolation makes them worse.
Lycopodium Ths is for depression in intellectuals who like to be aloof but at the same time want somebody around in the house. They are not very emotional people. They make endless speculative plans and are constantly worried about the future.
Capsicum This medicine is for depression coupled with irritability. These people always live in the past. Whatever the situation, they want to be else where. They feel intensely homesick and long for familiar surroundings.
Ignatia This is a remedy for depression following grief or bereavement. Because of a hysterical temperament, even the slightest flurry throws them into a panic and depression. They are childish, dramatic and attention—seeking.
Cimicifuga For depression following delivery of n baby this medicine is very effective. It is also for severe mental breakdown where the cause is unknown. The patient is excited, confused and depressed.
Sepia For mothers who have had a very complicated or difficult delivery. when depression sets in thereafter, any attempt to reason out or contradict the mother worsens the mental state she is in. She is continuously criticising even thing around her, from food to the doctor.
Lathesis This is for depression of a severe nature where the patient is jealous, suspicious, paranoid and full of disillusioned ideas with a feeling of hopelessness about the future.
Aurum met For depression that cannot be eased or lifted through contact or reassurance. There is an overwhelming desire to terminate life and suffering by suicide.
Argentum nit There is an obsessional tendency for suicidal impulse, like jumping into a river and drowning, etc but such impulses are rarely carried out — they only reinforce the obsession formulae —— the panic and anxiety