History of Clinical Depression

There are several things you inherit from your parents the color of your hair and eyes, your skin tone, even your height. You inherit these traits because you have genes and these genes make up your DNA. Unfortunately, you also inherit predisposition to certain diseases and even mental illness. Researches have recently shown that  depression  could actually be inherited. It simply means that if someone in your family is suffering from clinical  depression , then there is a very high probability that you too could become depressed.

Years ago, scientists did not really know where  depression  came from. The environment was always identified as the primary suspect as the cause of  depression  in general, but more recent studies show a strong evidence that clinical  depression  such as depressive disorder, manic  depression  and dysthymia is actually caused by chemical imbalances, the predisposition to which is inherited.

The results of recent studies show that if you do have a parent, an uncle, a brother or a sister who is suffering or has suffered from clinical  depression , you have 1.5 to 3 times more chances of developing the same condition than someone who does not have such a condition within the family.

Recent researches have not really been successful in trying to narrow down the research to specify which gene actually causes clinical  depression . Different studies have yielded different results. It was hypothesized that the gene may be different from one family to other, but this has never been proven to date.

So there is no actual conclusion as to which gene is the culprit that causes clinical  depression . But there is very little debate about the fact that clinical  depression  is hereditary. It is nothing to be ashamed of in fact,  depression  is so common that it affects more than 19 million Americans each year. However, less than half of the people suffering from this mental illness acknowledge it and seek treatment. If you or someone in your family may be experiencing  depression , consult a psychiatrist immediately.

Depression Test

Many people who are suffering from depression may not even be aware of it. The chances are that if you have been feeling sad or unhappy for more than just a couple of weeks and have lost interest in most of the activities you used to enjoy to the extent that your daily routines are now being affected, then you could be suffering from some form of depression.

There are many symptoms associated with depression and not everyone will experience the same ones nor with the same degree of intensity. Consequently, diagnosing and treating depression can be problematic as it is important to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms such as an underlying medical condition, substance abuse, or normal responses to say, bereavement, that of course will result in feelings of sadness and despondency but which are not considered true depression.

One way of finding out if you could be suffering from depression is to take a depression test. Depression tests are often used by health professionals in the first instance to assess whether depression is indicated, and if so, how severe the depression might be.

There are many tests available but one of the most popular is the Goldberg test.

The Goldberg Test

This test was designed by Dr Ivan Goldberg and consists of 18 questions, each of which are answered by the individual using a sliding scale of responses based on how they have felt during the previous week. Once all the questions are answered, the scores (in brackets) are added up to give a final score and an indication of whether depression is likely. This test can also be useful to check periodically to see if the symptoms of depression are improving or getting worse as any change of 5 points or more in either direction is considered to be significant.

Sliding scale of responses

Not at all (0)

A little (1)

Somewhat (2)

Moderately (3)

Quite a lot (4)

Very much (5)

Questions

1 I do things slowly

2 My future appears hopeless

3 It is hard for me to concentrate on reading

4 The pleasure and fun has gone out of my life

5 I find it hard to make decisions

6 I have lost interest in things that used to be important to me

7 I feel unhappy, depressed and sad

8 I feel agitated and unable to relax

9 I feel tired

10 It takes a lot of effort for me to do simple things

11 I feel guilty and I deserve to be punished

12 I feel like a failure

13 I feel numb and lifeless, more dead than alive

14 My sleep is disturbed; I’m sleeping too much or too little

15 I spend time thinking HOW I can commit suicide

16 I feel trapped or confined

17 I feel depressed even when good things happen to me

18 I have lost weight or put it on without being on a diet

Scoring

If your score was less than 9 then depression is not indicated.

Between 10 and 17 – possibly some minor depression

Between 18 and 21 – maybe on the verge of depression

Between 22 and 35 – minor to moderate depression indicated

Between 36 and 53 – moderate to severe depression possible

Over 54 – possibly suffering from severe depression

The Beck Depression Inventory Test

Another popular test is the Beck Depression Inventory test often used by mental health professionals. This test is based on 21 self-reported questions that correspond closely to the symptoms of depression as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th Edition. Each response is based on how the individual has felt over the previous two weeks. All of the responses to the questions are identified by a score of 0, 1, 2 or 3, which are then added together at the end to give a final score.

The answers to the questions are intended to give an indication of how a person views how they are functioning psychologically and physically, and how they appear to be coping on a daily basis. For example, responses will give an idea of:

o How sad you are feeling

o How you view the future

o If you feel like a failure

o Your level of satisfaction from activities

o If you feel guilty

o If you feel deserving of punishment

o How disappointed you are in yourself

o If you often blame yourself

o Whether you have thoughts of suicide

o How often you cry

o If you feel irritated and annoyed a lot of the time

o How much interest you have in other people and social situations

o Your ability to make decisions

o How you view yourself and your appearance

o Your ability to carry out your work

o Your sleeping patterns

o Your energy levels

o Your appetite

o Any weight fluctuations

o If you are fearful or worry about physical symptoms and health

o If you have lost interest in sex

Conclusion

It’s important to remember that no test, no matter how good it is, can give you a reliable diagnosis. If you think you or someone close to you are experiencing symptoms of depression then you should seek professional advice either from a GP or other health professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate help. Your GP will be able to discuss symptoms with you in much more detail and will be able to identify other factors that might be influencing how you are feeling. Once an accurate diagnosis is made then treatment options can be discussed that will help get you back to how you used to be.

Depression in Teenagers – Now What Can We Do?

No doubt you have seen the recent news headlines about a federal panel that recommended to the FDA that anti-depressant medications carry the strongest possible warning label for use in children and teenagers. This recommendation to the FDA shook the medical community, especially those who work with depressed young people. The biggest problem from the treatment community’s point of view was not the recommendation for the warning label, but the way that the media portrayed the panel’s recommendation. The panel reported that 2% to 4% of children and teens who were given anti-depressants for the treatment of  depression  became suicidal, that is they had suicidal thoughts, or made suicidal attempts of one kind or another. None of the 4,000 children and teens studied committed suicide. What the media did not report well is the fact that 15% of children and teens with  depression  who receive no treatment will commit suicide. These 15% will not just think about it, but will actually kill themselves. So what are we to do? If the media had their way it seems that no teens with  depression  would receive anti-depressants. As a result the suicide rate for those who could be using the medication would rise from nearly zero percent to about fifteen percent. But at least we wouldn’t have to be concerned about evil medications. Look, I understand that there actually are young people, even adults, who have become suicidal only after beginning treatment with an anti-depressant. Some have in fact gone on to take their own lives. This is absolutely tragic. But so is the fact that untreated  depression  is potentially a fatal disease. Fifteen out of one hundred young people with  depression  take their own lives. They should be allowed to receive a treatment that will lower the suicide rate dramatically, and without any stigma attached to it by the media. Recently we had a patient brought to our counseling center named John (not his real name). John was rebellious, angry, withdrawn, and in trouble often, and yet he was diagnosed and treated for  depression . When we think of someone who is depressed, we usually picture a sad, tearful, lonesome person. But teenagers with  depression  don’t look like adults with  depression . Current studies show that there are about as many teenagers who are depressed as there are adults that are depressed. However,  depression  is exhibited far differently by teenagers than by adults. Teenagers do not commonly display gloom, self-depreciation, or talk about feeling hopeless like adults do. Teenagers with Major  Depression  are described in diagnostic manuals as often becoming negative and antisocial. Feelings of wanting to leave home, or of not being understoodand approved of increase. The teen often changes, and becomes more restless, grouchy, or aggressive. A reluctance to cooperate in family ventures, and withdrawal from social activities, with retreat to one’s room are frequent. School difficulties are likely as concentration is affected. Sometimes there is inattention to personal appearance and increased emotionality. Often there is an increased sensitivity to rejection in love relationships as well. Teenage boys will often become aggressive, agitated, and get into trouble at home, at school, or with the law. Teenage girls will sometimes become preoccupied with themes of death or dying, and become decreasing concerned about how they look. Suicidal thoughts are common. Some studies suggest that 500,000 teens attempt suicide each year, and 5000 are successful. Increased use of alcohol or other drugs is common, along with other forms of “self-destructive behaviors.” Poor self-esteem is common with teenagers, but especially with those who are depressed. Parents are often confused and frustrated when their teens begin to act like this. Sometimes parents become stern disciplinarians, or even put the teen down, which only serves to increase feelings of guilt and  depression . Other times, parents feel helpless, and stand by waiting for adulthood to arrive. Of course neither course is the right one to take. If you know of a teen whose behaviors have changed to look like what has been described above, let the parents know that there is help available, and encourage the family to seek help from a professional. With proper diagnosis and treatment a depressed teen, or adult, can be greatly helped. If someone close to you is suffering from  depression , first please understand that  depression  is a very emotionally painful condition. For some people with  depression  it turns into a “terminal illness” due to suicide. Please take the situation seriously. 1) Get a medical evaluation. Symptoms of  depression  can be the result of a wide assortment of illnesses, including thyroid problems, viral infections, and other factors. 2) Deprex is an amino acid and homeopathic medicine for the treatment of  depression  that we have seen work well with our patients. It may be worth trying as long as the situation is “stable” and there is no suicidal thinking on the part of the depressed person. 3) Medications such as Prozac can be very helpful for more difficult cases. Consult your doctor. These medications are often prescribed by Family Practice Doctors, but in most cases ought to be monitored by Psychiatrists. 4) Increase intake of Protein somewhat. Use a protein powder supplement, just like a weight lifter. 5) Exercise daily. Just get out and walk for about 15 minutes. 6) Seek out counseling from someone who is good at treating  depression . This can do a world of good for you. However, always use great wisdom and common sense when choosing a therapist. Some are good, and some are not, so choose wisely.

5 Tips to Reduce Depression

While war and poor economic conditions begin to affect people all over the world, more and more people suffer with  depression . The more we focus on news events and the business climate, the more we are depressed. Whatever the reason you feel is the cause of your  depression , the following five simple tips guarantee you reduce it significantly.

1. Do not read newspapers.

Newspapers publish negative stories most of the time. Even in peaceful periods, newspapers will find the worst in humanity and place negative stories on display in order to promote sales and subscribers. Stories focused on War, rebellion, death, destruction, doom and despair abound in the newspapers.

You will not miss any news. Friends, family, and your local air raid siren will keep you informed if your attention is needed. Only pay attention to the things you can control in your life.

Stop reading the newspaper and reduce the negative input to your brain.

2. Turn off your television.

Watching and listening about the horrible economy and the losses associated with War will add to  depression . In fact, you guarantee the feeling of helplessness. Helplessness allows  depression  to nurture. If you really need to watch or listen to these kinds of news stories, promise yourself you will bury yourself in the documentaries that are sure to follow in the next 5 or 10 years. A way you can eliminate most of the negative input to your brain is by setting it aside for a date somewhere in the future. I guarantee in the future, you will not find it very interesting.

When visitors come to your home, make sure you turn off your television and keep it off. News television broadcasters are fighting for your guests’ attention as they promote despair, war, death, and destruction with many headline news interruptions. Those little banners that run across the bottom of the screen achieve your attention and they take hold of your consciousness. Television will diminish your positive spirit.

3. Say good things about others

My Mother always says, “if you can’t say anything nice about others, don’t say anything at all.” However, when you find yourself in a conversation and a relative says, “Remember Uncle Phil?” ” He was an alcoholic” Respond with ” yes, Uncle Phil was an alcoholic and he was the most charitable person, I have ever met.”

Connect your friend’s negative statement about Phil with a positive one. Set yourself up to find the positive in anyone’s statement and you will keep negative thoughts and  depression  from overtaking your life.

Og Mandino, a great motivator once said, “treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight.” “Your life will never be the same again.”

4. Get physical exercise

Adults forget about exercise when suffering from  depression . Make sure you are exercising daily and sending more oxygen to your brain cells. The result of exercise will improve your health as well as your attitude.

5. Breathe deep and relax.

Practice the following breathing exercise to relax your body and mind.

Breathe deeply and relax. For 2 or 3 minutes each hour, take a short mental vacation.

You can engage in this exercise while you are standing in the checkout line at the supermarket or when listening to others while talking on a telephone. You can complete the exercise at home or at work.

Take three deep breathes and relax. As you inhale, concentrate on calm and peaceful thoughts. You may think about relaxing by a mountain, by the ocean or comfortably in your favorite room at home.

As you exhale, concentrate on pushing any tension out of your lungs.

Focus on positive images in your life. Focus on laughter, love, excitement, and hope.

Keep breathing in and out in this pattern until you feel better. If you practice the exercise often, you will notice wonderful changes in your outlook and in other aspects of your life.

Reduce your  depression  now! Enjoy your family, your friends, and your life.

–Wayne F. Perkins

Depression and Homeopathy

 Depression  is a medical disorder which affects the thoughts, moods, feelings, behavior of a person it can also affect the physical health. There can be various factors like loss of close people, stressful life situations, difficulty in adaptation to the surroundings which can trigger  depression .

In certain cases  depression  might occur spontaneously without any specific cause. In some cases the  depression  can be due to some organic brain diseases or a space occupying lesion (tumor) in the brain.

Signs and symptoms:

o Depressed mood The person feels Sad, Weeping spells, Hopeless and Helpless feeling

o Loss of interest in the daily activities that the person enjoyed

The above two symptoms are the most important symptoms in diagnosing  depression .

Besides these most of the following symptoms should be present for more then 2 weeks to diagnose a case of  depression :

o Sleep disturbances

o Impaired thinking or concentration

o Changes in weight

o Agitation

o Fatigue or slowing of body movements

o Low self-esteem

o Less interest in sex.

o Thoughts of death.

Types of  Depression 

Major  depression  or clinical  depression :

1. Depressed mood, feeling of worthlessness, guilt.

2. Behavioral symptoms include agitation and social withdrawal

3. Difficulty in concentration and decision making

4. Sleeplessness (Insomnia) Too much sleeping (Hypersomnia)

Dysthymia

It is a chronic form of  depression  in this the person might be free from the symptoms for a period of time and this will alternate with a state of  depression . It is a less severe form of  depression  but it also places the person in the increased risk to suffer from major  depression .

Adjustment disorders

This can happen when one losses a close person or a close relative or loss of job one becomes overwhelmed by this. This is a normal process and with passage of time one comes to terms with the loss.

But if the person is unable to come to terms with the loss and he/she develops the signs of  depression  then it is termed as adjustment disorders. It can be acute if it lasts for less then 6months and chronic if it lasts for more then this period.

Bipolar  depression  or manic  depression  disorder

The person suffers from recurrent episodes of elation (mania) and  depression  is a characteristic symptom of bipolar  depression . The person when he/she is in the manic phase will affect the judgment of the person and it might also have periods when the person has increased creativity in his work.

In this type of  depression  there is a swing of moods to the extremes (poles) that’s why it is termed as bipolar  depression  or manic depressive disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder

It is a pattern of  depression  related to the changes in season and a lack of exposure to the sunlight.

Causes:

o Heredity

o Stress

o Medications

o Illnesses

o Personality

o Postpartum  depression 

o Hormones

o Alcohol, nicotine and drug abuse

Diagnosis

It is diagnosed on the basis of the signs and symptoms that are present. Also your physician will do the physical examination to rule out any other abnormality that mimics  depression .

If the person is having strong suicidal tendencies then he/she might have to be admitted to the hospital for observation.

Complications:

o Suicide

o Dependency

Role of homeopathy in the treatment of  Depression 

The first question that comes to the mind is how these Homeopathic medicines are going to help in fighting the disease. As we all know in a diseased state the internal bodily mechanisms do not work in a harmonious way. So to bring back the lost harmony to its original balanced state the correct Homeopathic medicine has to be given.

The homeopathic medicine acts at 3 levels the Psyche, Neuro, Endocrines at the level of the psyche it helps to bring balance which in turn will affect the neurological balance and the correct secretion of the hormones which play an important role in maintaining the harmonious flow. The homeopathic medicines do not treat the disease but it helps in bringing back the lost imbalance back to its normal state.

To find the correct Homeopathic remedy one needs a complete case study so all the aspects of the emotional nature, Fears, Social relations, family relations, ups and downs in life have to be taken into consideration. Also the past history, problems in adjusting, Family history of any major illnesses have to be mentioned.

What has caused the present state is very important and how the person has reacted to it will be very useful. We will consider few remedies in brief and how they will be represented in the depressed state.

In Digitalis

There is  depression ; sadness melancholy after love disappointment. The patient develops pain in the heart and is sleepless due to this. He is low spirited.

In Natrum.muriaticum the classic medicine we all know which is very useful in ailments coming on after love disappointment.The patient will brood over the events again and again and cannot forget it even after years have passed. The Natrum.mur patient will cry when alone and consolation aggravates all the complaints.

I will narrate a case in brief which will tell how deep a role the emotions play the patient had been referred to me by a colleague as the patient was not responding to the medicines

The patient has developed multiple uterine fibroids and she has severe pain due to them.

It took me over an hour to get the correct information the lady was very hesitant to divulge this information she is a married lady for over 30 years but she is unable to forget her first love affair which was broken.

She said she is very sad and cries when she is alone, she loves music and she just cannot forget the affair and it makes her miserable and also she feels guilty about it. This is a brief information we confirmed the other points and prescribed her Natrum.muriaticum 200c 1 dose. The result the patient never came back to me. After a months time I go a call from the doctor who had referred the case to me.

She told after that dose the pain had disappeared and the sonography showed regression in the fibroids. I asked why the patient didn’t report back. I was told she felt embarrassed as what I will think about her. But I was very happy to solve the case.

So what I want to stress on is finding the “Cause” what has led to the problem in most of the cases if we are able to develop the rapport with the patient they will express as it is told by Doctor Pierce Schmidt we have to find where the shoe pinches. This will help us in finding the right remedy and also we can offer solution.

The other important remedy is Ignatia.amara the complaints come on after a loss of close person or love disappointment.The “Sighing” in this remedy is so marked that it is impossible to miss this remedy. The patient is silent complaints coming on after emotional shock. The patient is non communicative will sit silently will brood and weep.

The  depression  of Aurum is extreme there is loathing of life, no desire to live, Suicidal disposition, and constant thoughts of suicide. There is also marked fear of death.

 Depression  can be treated with Homeopathy but a correct case history and perceiving the patient is very vital. Along with treatment the patient also will need counseling which should be provided as per the requirement. While handling patients with strong suicidal tendencies it is the responsibility of the treating physician to talk about the state to the parents or the care giver.