What is it?
An abnormal and persistent sadness or loss of pleasure that lasts for at least 2 weeks, depression is generally due to multiple factors. Depressive mood can be due to a malfunctioning in any system of the body, and is not something someone can just “snap out of.” Physical symptoms such as weight loss or gain, fatigue, insomnia or hypersomnia are part of the picture, along with mental symptoms such as loss of concentration, guilt, feelings of worthlessness, and general sadness. Certain medical conditions, medications, and life situations can put a person at risk for depression.
• Traditionally more common in women, but affects men as well
• Prevalence is consistent across races and cultures
• Can run in families
• Older age and physical illness can predispose a patient to mental health problems
• Poverty, unemployment, and other stressful situations can contribute
• Chronic pain may be a cause or a result
• Thoughts of harming oneself or suicide may be present. If this is the case, seek emergency medical attention by calling 911 or your local suicide hotline.
How do we treat it?
We look at more than your mood when deciding how to treat this debilitating condition. Depression can result from an imbalance in any body system. We will explore the cause of your symptoms-chronic disease, hormonal imbalance, nutrient deficiency, or something else. Lab testing may be helpful in determining the ultimate cause of your depression. In some cases, an ancestral model may be deeply ingrained, and we will assist your body in letting go of those patterns of depression through natural remedies, lifestyle adjustments, and appropriate counseling such as talk therapy or Hakomi. We may recommend gentle bodywork such as craniosacral therapy or energetic work such as acupuncture to guide you to physical and mental wellness. Most importantly, we will focus on achieving sustainable mental health, rather than becoming overwhelmed in symptom management.