Depression can come from many causes and is a very common complaint in the western world. Symptoms include feeling sad, hopeless, unmotivated, pessimistic and disinterested in anything. Energy levels may drop, sometimes dramatically. It may be very difficult to concentrate or sleep. There may be thoughts of death or suicide.
Drugs are often the first, and sometimes only treatment sufferers of depression will receive for their condition. The exact bio-physiological cause of depression remains unknown to Western Medicine. For this reason your doctor can only prescribe medications which may mask symptoms of depression to greater or lesser degrees. Western pharmaceutical treatment for depression utilizes substances which appear to modify the activity of certain neurotransmitters– chemicals which transmit signals between nerve cells in the brain. Because of the nature of these drugs, many people who take them will continue to need to continue taking these drugs. How do you like the idea of taking pills for the rest of your life?
Psychotherapy can be effective in the treatment of depression because of the “mind-body” connections (or perhaps more aptly put, unity). That is to say, there can be a downward spiral where negative thought patterns impact brain chemistry which then enhance negative thought patterns and so on. Psychotherapy is often combined with drug therapy for depression.
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
There are two main types of depression identified by Chinese Medicine- Earth-type and Metal-type depression. The symptoms look somewhat different, as do the treatments. Both kinds of depression are the result of a certain kind of imbalance in the body. Both Earth-type and Metal-type depression have been treated successfully with acupuncture for thousands of years.
Earth-type depression is considered the more serious of the two types. In this type of depression the individual will withdraw. They will isolate themselves, not wanting to talk or interact with the outside world. This is the type of depression most often associated with thoughts of death and suicide. Disempowering thoughts of hopelessness may be overwhelming in this type of depression. In serious cases, I may refer out to a psychiatrist for simultaneous treatment through western means.
Metal-Type depression carries a much lower risk of suicidal thoughts, and so is considered a less serious type of depression. Nevertheless, life with this type of depressed mood can be miserable. Sufferers of Metal-Type depression are not as withdrawn and are more prone to talk to others about their depression. They can become hypersensitive or lack a sensitivity for others. They may be easily irritated, or alternately oblivious. Essentially there is a breakdown in the way they are interacting with the world.
People dealing with all sorts of mental conditions can be treated with acupuncture, including those dealing with depression. Life may seem very dark and dreary with depression, but it can be treated! To a classical acupuncturist, depression is simply an imbalanced not unlike any other. Do you remember what true joy in your life felt like? You can feel that way again.
I am currently offering a free face-to-face consultation to talk about your health concerns and see if acupuncture is a good fit for you. To schedule an appointment or free face-to-face consultation call 919-288-8448 or use our convenient online scheduling system:
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