A Two Dimensional Flow Is Described By Its Components An Integrated Approach to Treat Depression

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An Integrated Approach to Treat Depression

Depression, anxiety, phobias and mental health feature in the media almost daily and it appears that depression is becoming one of the biggest problems in society. These conditions increasingly affect people living in the modern world, and research estimates that at least 17% of the adult population has or will have depression of clinical severity sufficient for treatment. A 1973 National Institute of Mental Health report on depressive disorders stated that depression accounts for 75% of all psychiatric hospital admissions, and that 15% of all adults between the ages of 18 and 74 may experience significant depressive symptoms in any given year. Current studies suggest that the lifetime risk of depression in the adult population may be as high as 30%.

Along with the rising incidence of depression there has been an explosion in the use of prescription drugs to treat the condition, but recent reports have questioned whether these are effective or actually cause more problems for the patient. Accordingly, there is increasing interest in exploring new approaches to the treatment of these conditions. Having trained in clinical psychology and psychotherapy I can incorporate many accepted methods. However, the more I worked with individuals and groups, the more I found that by incorporating the Eastern inspired approach I learned in India, I was able to achieve more effective and lasting results in a shorter period of time.

Understanding depression

In psychiatry, depression is called a mood disorder. Mood disorders have been known to man since ancient times; The Old Testament describes King Saul as suffering from severe depressive episodes. However, the term covers a wide spectrum of emotions, from deep depression to boundless euphoria and mania, and thus understanding the behavior of depressed individuals can be quite challenging.

All people experience a range of emotions and in general they are a healthy part of life and experiencing the right emotions contributes positively to our health. However, emotions are of two main types; First is emotional feeling, in other words short-lived emotional response to an event, and second is mood, which is a permanent and effective emotional response that colors the entire mental life.

Over 90% of depressed people experience chronic feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or hopelessness. However, to classify someone as having a major depressive episode, doctors look for five or more of the following symptoms over the next two weeks. There must also be a significant change in previous functioning in which at least one symptom is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure.

Symptoms:

1. Depressed mood most days.

2. Markedly decreased interest or pleasure in most or almost all activities during the day.

3. Significant weight loss or weight gain if not dieting e.g. A change of more than 5% of body weight in one month. or almost daily loss or increase in appetite.

4. Nidranasha (insomnia) or atinidra (oversleeping) almost every day.

5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation almost daily.

6. Fatigue or lack of energy almost every day

7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt

8. Impaired ability to think or concentrate or indecisiveness

9. Frequent thoughts of death

No single causal factor has been identified for why people become depressed. Several factors have been identified as contributing to its development, including genetics, biochemical changes, and personality theory. Several research papers have reported findings suggesting that relatives of patients with major depressive disorder have a higher prevalence of depression than the general population. Other research has focused on the biochemical correlates of depression and studied the role of chemicals that transmit nerve impulses from one neuron to another in the brain. Several theories have been developed about personality types related to depression.

My experience as a doctor has led me to see each client as an individual whose needs require individual attention. Humans are complex creatures whose health and well-being depend on balance in all dimensions of their lives, from physical health to behavior, energy and even environmental aspects.

Treatment of depression

Traditional western medicine usually treats depression using medication e.g. Tricyclic, heterocyclic anti-depressants and newer SSRT drugs. Psychological therapies commonly used to treat depression include individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Eastern psychotherapy combines Eastern practices such as meditation, yoga, pranic or energy healing, mantras and sound healing, with elements of traditional psychotherapy developed in the West. In treating depression and other mental health conditions it is essential to find the causative factors and explore the issues using Ayurvedic principles as well as identifying the spiritual factors. It may sometimes be appropriate to study the astrological chart of the person being treated to gain a better understanding of the individual and gemstone therapy, which is a commonly accepted practice in many parts of Asia.

The treatment of conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety is undoubtedly enhanced by the use of complementary techniques. The value of seeking help from a professional who has worked with both approaches is that they can choose the right treatment for each individual. Orthodox techniques often treat symptoms effectively, however Eastern methods may be more helpful for root causes. A therapist who understands each person’s individual needs is better able to provide them with a competent approach to their illness. For some the focus may be on traditional Western methods, but for others faster and more positive results can be achieved by blending the best of East and West in an integrative treatment program.

Most individuals can benefit from an integrative approach to depression in 3 or 4 sessions, sometimes less, depending on the nature of their condition. In any therapeutic approach it is important to ensure that clients do not develop dependence on the treatment or enjoy only temporary relief because the underlying causes have not been addressed.

A case study

Miss K, a 35-year-old woman failed to respond to conventional treatment. A holistic approach includes energy and environmental assessments as well as her medical background. She had a five-year history of depression that had been particularly severe in the previous six months. She was on anti-depressants and had several counseling sessions that she disliked.

An energetic level assessment revealed some blockages in the heart and solar plexus chakras. The atmosphere in the house was dark and gloomy, and black and gray were her main colors of choice; There was no energy flow.

She was recommended to try a combination of energy healing with Reiki and music/mantra therapy and some suggestions for changes in the home environment. She also used herbal remedies (St. John’s Wort), massage and acupuncture, and began six sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy. Her program lasted six months, but she responded very well and has been free of depression for over a year, saying she feels generally better, taking an active interest in her life and personal development.

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November 2008

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