Depression is a very
common problem, which is likely to be experienced by at least one third
of the population during their lifetime.
Symptoms of depression
vary from one person to another, and from one episode to another, however
there is some commonality. Frequently there is a persistenly low mood,
or feeling of being down. There may be continual tiredness, general
lack of concentration and energy, loss of appetite and disturbed sleep.
One may also experience feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
and a loss of enjoyment in things or activities that previously brought
In addition to
the wide variety of symptoms, there is also an extensive range of causes
of depression. Some of these are hormonal changes (such as those experienced
during post natal depression or menopause), seasonal affective disorder
or SAD and stress.
is a relatively common illness in western society, it is very important
to note that ongoing or severe depression must be consulted by a physician
and should not be left untreated or to self treatment.
such as major depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder are, in
Chinese medicine, diagnosed as spiritual disorders.
As such, they
are recognized as serious diseases, not just a result of stress, anxiety
involves the use of acupuncture and herbs and in the intial stages
may also include the use of western drugs (in cases where someone is
suicidal or acutely psychotic). In this situation, once stability is
returned, the drugs are gradually removed and TCM treatments are continued
to settle the agitated or restless spirit.