The fundamental abnormality of an affective disorder is a disturbance
of mood, either depression or mania. Depression is
by far the commoner; most patients who have manic symptoms are
also prone to depressive episodes but the reverse does not apply.
In a few cases depressive and manic symptoms occur simultaneously
or in rapid succession (mixed affective state/ bipolar disorder)
CAUSE of Mood
Disorders / Affective Disorders -- Depression, Mania, Bipolar Disorder
- Genetic Factors have some role in bipolar disorder.
- Environmental factors like
- Loss of mother before age 11
- 3 or more children under 14 living at home
- Lack of confiding relationship
- Lack of employment etc
are known to play a significant role in mood disorders.
- Physical Illness - A physical illness can be followed by depression,
esp. those like cancer, AIDS, and heart diseases etc which carry
serious implications. Also mood changes can occur after infectious
mononucleosis or influenza and other viral illness.
Depression or mania could be
the presenting feature of cerbrovascular disease, neurological disorders
such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinsonism and endocrine diseases
such as Cushing's syndrome, Addison's Disease, and hypothyroidism.
Mood changes can also be associated with drug therapy, for eg.
corticosteroids, beta-adrenoceptor antagonists and other anti-hypertensive
drugs. When mood disorder results directly from physical causes
they are known as organc affective disorders.
- Personality - Some depressives have personality characteristics
which are thought to predispose to the illness. this involves a
negative attitude to oneself, the outside world and the future;
the term 'cognitive triad' ha been applied to these attitudes.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
- Depression of mood is the primary symptom. There may be a diurnal
variation of mood, depression being most distressing early in
the morning or at the end of the day.
- Loss of pleasure in life (anhedonia)
- Loss of interest in oneself and others
- Low self esteem
- Self blame
- Suicidal thinking
- Feeling of guilt and worthlessness
- Sleep disturbance (initial insomnia, early morning wakening
- Poor concentration
- Headache and other pains
- Anorexia (loss of appetite)
- Weight changes
- Reduced libido
All these symptoms of depression may not be present in any single
person and the level of intensity of symptoms vary from person to
/ Affective Disorders -- Depression, Mania, Bipolar Disorder -
HOW DIAGNOSIS IS MADE?
The diagnosis is usually done clinically based on the signs and
Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic
Remedies for Depression
Homeopathy offers very good treatment possibilities for depression
with good results. There are large number of medicines which can
be used and the selection of medicine depends not just on the symptoms
but also on the cause. Depression is a manifestation of the disorder
and to treat the manifestation it is necessary to find the cause.
The success of treatment in such cases often depends on the ability
of a homeopath to find the cause. The selection of medicine
depends a lot on it. Like all psychological disorders, depressive
illness also requires good case study and continuous monitoring
by a competent homeopath. One should not try any form of self-medication.
In qualified and experienced hands homeopathy offers good prognosis
in this condition.
Some of the commonly indicated medicines are anacardium, arsenic-alb,
aurum-met, ignatia, acid-phos, pulsatilla, natrum-mur, sepia, antim-crud,
naja, nux-vom, stann, psorinum etc. The selection of medicine varies
from case to case.
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT for
Antidepressant drugs, cognitive therapy, and electro convulsive
therapy are used.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO? - ACCESSORY MANAGEMENT
- Visit a psychotherapist or join a support group where you can
talk about your emotions freely.
- Be more open with your family and friends - do not hide your
feelings, share them.
- Try to remain actively involved in some work/job.
- Exercise daily - it not only is good for your body, but also
for your mind. Exercise is known to increase the level of many
neuro-hormones, which bring a feeling of well-being and happiness.
- Eat a well balanced and nutritious diet with ample fluids.
- Learn some meditation, yoga, or stress relieving exercises.
These help a lot in regaining your control over your emotions.