Homeopathy: A Healthier way to treat depression?
Depression lowers the spirits and drowns the eyes in sorrow, though tears aren’t the only reason why depressed people sometimes can’t see straight. Depression also caves in the chest, slumps the shoulders, and inhibits full breathing, usually forcing unhappy people to try to catch their breath by frequent sighing. It is sometimes said that depression brings you down to sighs (my apology to those readers who get depressed by bad puns).
On a much more serious note, depression can be a temporary passing experience or a deeply disturbing condition that may lead to suicide. Except in cases of minor depressive states, professional attention is generally recommended to help a person go through this emotional experience in a conscious manner.
Let me explain why homeopathy makes more sense for depression than antidepressant drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs for depression are designed to force the body chemistry to act in certain ways—for example, to artificially increase the effects of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. These drugs may reduce symptoms of depression, but they don’t address the root cause of this type of mental health problem. Therefore, not only can pharmaceutical drugs interfere with the healing process, they may suppress it. When it comes to depression, that means that antidepressants actually can make the condition worse. When one antidepressant doesn’t work, physicians often prescribe another one, which can lead to even more side effects.
Homeopathy, by its very nature, requires homeopath practitioners to take into account the whole person. After an extensive interview with a patient, a practitioner will consult a repertory, a catalog of symptoms and the homeopathic remedies associated with relieving those symptoms. The correct remedy is believed to stimulate the body’s natural healing response.
When treating mental health, homeopathy is both an art and a science. It requires that the homeopath practitioner elicit information from the patient about how he/she is feeling emotionally and physically and then matching the best homeopathic remedy to that particular person.
The value of homeopathy for depression has been validated in several clinical trials. In a recent Brazilian study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers divided people with moderate-to-severe depression into two groups. Half received the antidepressant drug fluoxetine (Prozac), while the other half received one of 20 different homeopathic remedies custom-prescribed by a homeopathic practitioner. After four weeks and again after eight weeks, the two groups showed equal improvement when evaluated with an established depression rating scale. (Some patients are helped by antidepressants.) But the homeopathy group reported significantly fewer or none adverse side effects.
In an older, small study conducted at Duke University, researchers found that almost 60% of patients with major depression, social phobia or panic disorder responded favorably to homeopathic treatment. And in an English observational study, researchers found that almost 64% of patients with depression reported improvement with homeopathic treatment. (This was not a comparative study.)
FOR HELP WITH DEPRESSION
What happened in your life when you got depressed?”
By tracing the condition back to its origin and then addressing that particular state with a remedy, homeopathy can actually cure any depression. And a cure in homeopathy means not only relieving the symptoms but eradicating the predisposition to a particular condition.
Homeopath practitioners see firsthand how effective homeopathy can be for treating depression, but you need to know how to take these remedies because they work differently from other types of medicines.
There are hundreds of homeopathic remedies to choose from based on an individual’s personality, symptoms and disposition. The challenge: To find the remedy that works best for your profile.
The strength of homeopathy is evident in chronic diseases, and particularly so in mental-emotional conditions like depression. You should never attempt to treat yourself for a chronic disease; professional homeopathic advice is necessary. But for some acute, temporary depressive states, homeopathic remedies can be used very safely.
Why Homeopathy Makes Sense for Depression
Homeopathic medicines are not prescribed based on the person’s diagnosed disease but on the unique way the person experiences his or her disease. In other words, homeopathic medicines are prescribed based on the SYNDROME of various physical and psychological symptoms, not just a single symptom or disease label. Although the selection of the correct homeopathic prescribing is more complex than the use of conventional drugs or even many herbal preparations, the system of prescribing that is individualized to the whole person is intellectually sound… and its results are often significant if not substantial.
The premise behind homeopathy is that symptoms of illness are not just something “wrong” with the person but are actually efforts of their bodymind to fight infection and/or to adapt to stress. Instead of using large doses of pharmacological agents to inhibit or suppress symptoms, very small and specially prepared doses of medicinal substances are individually prescribed to a person for their unique ability to cause in overdose the similar symptoms that the sick person is having. By finding a medicine that matches the symptoms of the sick person, the medicine supports and augments the body’s defenses. There is, indeed, much more that could be said about the sophisticated system of healing that homeopathy embodies and on the historical and scientific evidence that verifies its safety and efficacy, but the above information and insights provide a good introduction to why people with mild to moderate depression might be consider seeking professional homeopathic care.