Attempting to do anything whilst being depressed can be a real uphill battle, so the idea of coming for treatment may be even too much to handle, but if you’re reading this then it probably means that you’ve reached the point where enough is enough.
Throughout my ten years of practice I have seen and treated all manner of people suffering from depression.
The best thing you can do is to call the clinic right now on 01273 359 050 to book your Free Health Assessment, so that we can begin to get this awful condition resolved.
One of the beautiful things about Chinese Medicine is its ability to diagnose the type of depression you have and to work steadily to clear it. I explain about the different manifestations below.
As you begin to feel lighter and happier there will be things you can do to assist treatment that I will suggest and demonstrate to you.
Life simply doesn’t need to be a matter of getting through the day and what is clear from all manifestations of depression is that there appears to be a real need for something to be lifted. Give me a call so I can get to work. Its time to be thought of as a joy to be around, not someone that people avoid.
The Conventional View
Depression may be defined as a feeling of being dejected and miserable and as a consequence withdrawing from life. You may feel as though you are pessimistic, tired and lacking in motivation and drive. If you are suffering from depression it is quite likely that you are having trouble thinking, collecting your thoughts and formulating ideas.
Sources tell us that in 2008 depression was estimated to cost the UK £7.5 billion a year in medication, benefits and lost working days. What is more concerning is that the World Health Organisation estimates that by 2020 depression will be second only to chronic heart disease as an international health burden.
Interestingly it is believed that twice as many women are likely to suffer from depression as men and that nearly 2/3 of all adults will experience depression during their lifetime.
How we treat your condition
This will include some dietary, exercise and lifestyle advice, but please don’t worry, I’m not expecting you to take it all on-board at once! Once we have diagnosed which form(s) of depression you are suffering from (see below), we will create a treatment plan and strategy to re-balance you.
Chinese Medical Diagnosis
From a Chinese medical perspective we look at depression as coming from up to 9 different imbalances, which are differentiated by subtle differences in it’s manifestation.
When a patient is suffering with a severe feeling of melancholy, experiences mood swings, irritability, feels uptight and tense, frustration, a feeling of a lump in the throat, sighs a lot, holding in emotions lead to depression and the symptoms get better with activity and exercise, we can say that the pattern of depression is Liver Qi Stagnation.
The key cause of this type of depression stems from problems in ones personal life. A state of repressed anger, frustration or resentment over a long period will cause the circulation to become impeded, the Liver Qi will become stuck giving rise to Liver Qi stagnation.
If there is a sadness and depression and a tendency to weep, a shortness of breath, a tightness or oppression of the chest, a lump in the throat, palpitations, weak voice and an over sensitivity to outside influences it is said to be Lung and Heart Qi stagnation that may have arisen from Heart and Lung Qi deficiency.
If a patient lacks concentration, is tired, has heavy limbs, a heavy head, a ‘woolly’ or muzzy head, a stuffy chest and wants to lie down and do nothing, this is thought to be depression arising from Damp.
Damp is caused by a number of factors, which may include damp living conditions, a tendency to wear wet or damp clothes or to not dry your hair properly before going out. It may also be caused by sitting on damp ground and spending too much time in water. Dampness may also be caused by an imbalance with our internal organs, such as a weakness of Spleen energy and / or Kidney energy. The cause of this imbalance is usually down to poor dietary habits including excessive consumption of cold raw foods, fruit and icy cold drinks or may be caused by eating contaminated food.
Another pattern of depression commonly seen in the clinic is where the symptoms consist of mental confusion, a lethargic stupor, vomiting, a rattling sound in the throat and difficulty in speaking or being able to remember words (aphasia). This is recognised as Phlegm Misting the Heart and is caused by constitution if seen in children or if adults are suffering it may occur from the excessive consumption of greasy – cold – raw foods, which leads to the formation of Phlegm. Although diet is though to be it’s origin, we usually find a background of severe emotional problems such as long term anxiety.
The fifth pattern of depression is known as Heart Blood Stagnation, where a pain in the chest, agitation especially at night, short tempered, restless sleep and lots of dreaming are evident.
The causes are usually rooted in emotion problems, in particular anxiety, grief, resentment or bottled up anger over a long period. All these factors can lead to a stagnation of Blood in the chest, which is where pent-up emotions tend to be kept in the body, impeding the flow of Blood and Qi in this area. In Chinese medicine Heart Blood is the physiological basis for the Mind and any emotional problems, so any emotional problems may lead to a stagnation of Qi or Blood in the Heart.
A patient suffering from fatigue, who is dispirited, weak, has a poor memory and concentration and has mental confusion, may be suffering from a deficiency of Yin energy.
If they experience the above with a deep depression, confusion and lack direction and purpose, they may be said to be Liver Yin deficient.
If they have the above Yin traits plus they are lethargic, exhausted, lack will and drive and have a poor memory, they may be suffering from Kidney Yin deficiency.
If the above Yin general symptoms prevail and they also show signs of suffering from extreme tiredness, sadness and loneliness, are dispirited and are easily affected by psychic forces, they are said to have a deficiency of Heart and Lung Yin.
The seventh pattern is known as Qi Deficiency and is characterised by tiredness on exertion, poor energy and apathy.
If the above symptoms manifest and there is a sadness or lack of joy, a spiritual lassitude, lack of vitality, and a lack of spirit, then Heart Qi is said to be deficient.
If the general Qi deficiency symptoms present themselves and the patient is suffering from grief, dislikes speaking, has a weak voice, and is easily affected by outside influences then Lung Qi is thought to be deficient.
A patient suffering from depression with symptoms of poor memory, poor concentration, bursting into tears easily, feels unable to cope, has weak limbs, extreme lethargy, obsessional thoughts and poor concentration is thought to be suffering from Heart Blood and Spleen Qi deficiency.
If you are tired easily, fearful of making plans or decisions, lack a sense of direction and vision and confused about the aims of you life, then you are said to be suffering from Liver Blood deficiency.
Finally when a patient shows signs of fatigue, is cold and depressed in energy and mood, they are categorised as suffering from Yang deficiency.
If the above symptoms are coupled with a spiritual lassitude, sadness with a lack of joy, a lack of spirit, a lack of vitality, and a stuffy sensation on the chest, then Heart Yang deficiency is the diagnosis.
If the above are evident with lassitude, lack of energy, apathy, lack of will power, doesn’t want to do anything or go out, curling up, fearfulness and lack of libido, it’s Kidney Yang deficiency.