Depression
224 Case Studies
30 Member Stories
73 Research

Anti-depression drugs may work for many people but may also trigger unpleasant side effects. While scientific evidence to support it is limited, some people find homeopathy helpful.

Depression causes & symptoms

Depression is a chronic, long-term or recurring and treatable disorder, in which the individual experiences sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness, loss of rationale, or loss of interest. Depression affects the way someone feels about oneself and how one thinks about things. Women tend to be affected by depression more than men.

Signs of depression include changes in mood, sadness, indifference to things which are usually pleasurable, and a decrease in the standard level of functioning. Many times, you can find changes in the operation of biological processes such as sleep, appetite, energy, and libido. Sometimes these functions will decrease while at other times they will increase. Although the exact cause and nature of depression aren't clearly understood, it's thought to be an illness involving an imbalance of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters.  Frequently, a combination of psychological, genetic, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder. Homeopathy for depression uses combinations of herbal, mineral, and other organic products to ease anxiety symptoms. These dilute homeopathic concoctions would occasionally be toxic in large doses. It's essential to take note that no generic or off the shelf standard homeopathic remedies for depression. Instead, homeopathic remedies are only targeted for patients who suffer from a specific form of depression. The totality of the patient's unique symptoms and background has to be taken into consideration. Only an experienced practitioner must treat the patient.

See: Anxiety, Depression, Hairloss, PMS, & Wrist pain with Bisoma & Tetrasoma Acupuncture, Sasang Herbs

Homeopathy for depression

Anti-depression drugs may work for many people but may also trigger unpleasant side effects. While there's little scientific evidence to support it, some people today find homeopathy helpful. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate homeopathic remedies, so the components in those remedies may be less consistent and, sometimes, dangerous. It's imperative to speak to a physician before trying homeopathic approaches.

The theory behind homeopathic remedies is that "like cures like," and the lower the dose, the more successful a remedy can be. A practitioner may recommend that the patient with an illness take extremely minute doses of a chemical that would cause the same symptoms as their illness, except in large doses. Homeopathy is based on the belief that lower doses of the same ingredient may reverse symptoms. There's not any conclusive scientific evidence to suggest that these homeopathic remedies work.

The homeopathic remedies are made by grinding plants or other substances and then dissolving them in alcohol to create the 'mother tincture.' In the mother tincture, the remedies are produced by the process of dilution (usually 100:1) in water or alcohol and succussion (a method of persistent violent shaking that is thought to energize the medication ). The dilutions are often repeated several times. This high dilution process also brings about the criticisms of homeopathy in that the preparations are so dilute that they can barely contain any of the original substance. The memory of water and other theories have been advanced to overcome this criticism.

Does homeopathy work?

Homeopaths have gained an understanding of the treatments over the past 200 years. These treatments can now be matched to the individual and their symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are diluted, safe and free of side-effects. It's been argued that they might function as a catalyst, pushing the body's systems to find a cure. But a constant scientific explanation based on repeated scientific trials and testing hasn't been proven.


See: Homeopathic Medicine Arsenic Album 30 for Controlling Anxiety and Depression

Homeopathic remedies for depression

Homeopathic remedies used in treating depression

The British Homeopathic Association, which utilizes this approach, highlights the following remedies for stress:

- Arsenicum album

Made from white arsenic, this treatment is indicated for men and women that worry unduly about their health and overly critical of themselves and others. They're in danger of depression if they don't attain their high standards. 

- Kali phosphoricum

Benefits people that are normally clear-sighted and extrovert, who suffer from the effects of fatigue from overwork by getting shy, seeking their own business, and flinching at sudden noises. 

- Pulsatilla nigricans

People needing this remedy seem childlike with emotions that differ from moody and clingy to yielding and sensitivity. When depressed, they shout easily and enjoy consolation and want the support of others. 

- Sepia

Sepia consists of cuttlefish ink. It's used for weary, irritable people -- particularly when overwhelmed by their responsibilities to family members. They guide their irritability towards nearest and dearest and have trouble in describing their symptoms. The remedy is used for loss of libido, postnatal depression, and menopausal symptoms, particularly when accompanied by a tingling sensation in the pelvic region.

- Aurum metallicum

Produced from gold and used for men and women that are workaholics having an excessive sense of duty. This leaves them prone to grief, feelings of worthlessness, and suicidal ideas following a perceived failure in their work or personal life. 

- Calcium carbonicum

Suits people whose external powerful, dependable, and industrious appearance hides a shy and introverted nature. Such individuals may be left feeling fatigued, anxious, withdrawn, and self-pitying by overpowering work pressures. 

- Ignatia amara

Suits those who become depressed after attempting to suppress feelings of despair, despair, or emotional upset at the cost of outbursts of hysteria or mood swings. 

- Staphysagria

Suppressed emotions, particularly anger, which may erupt under acute pressure, can be helped with this remedy. When the individual is well, they're light and yielding, but they might be addicted to work. A high sex drive is often present. 

- Lachesis muta

This treatment made from snake venom can help depression brought on by repression, jealousy, or suspicion. Suits people who despise commitment and confinement. They may be concerned about world affairs and be quite talkative. Lachesis can treat menopausal depression, especially if the woman feels worse on waking and suffers from hot flashes.

- Natrium carbonicum

Gentle, unselfish folks who care deeply for their loved one's family members and friends may become depressed after a loss or disappointment. They try to hide their feelings from other people, which does not help their situation. 

- Natrium muraticum

This remedy is useful for sensitive, elegant, serious-minded individuals, whose internal feelings are powerful and might be of anger or fear of losing control. The way they bottle up these feelings can lead to depression. 


Dosage guidance

The potency (C) of this remedy is dependent on the number of dilutions and is described by a number. To pick a dose, possibly seek help from an experienced homeopath.


See: Ashwagandha benefits for anxiety

Other natural remedies

Other natural remedies

Some other natural treatments with a higher quality of research supporting their use include:

- Valerian root

- Magnesium

- Lavender

- Passionflower


See: Why Magnesium is important for your diet

Scientific studies in Homeopathy for depression

The limited available recent study on these remedies has primarily been in animal research. One 2012 research study found that ignatia might relieve anxiety in mice. The mice that received this treatment displayed reduced physical signs of depression. However, the writers of a 2017 systematic review and meta-analysis looked at 75 trials of homeopathic remedies. They discovered that "reliable evidence is lacking" and that the quality of the present evidence was low.

Depression is a frequent reason for patients to consult homeopaths. The reviews aim to evaluate the efficiency, effectiveness, and security of homeopathy in depression.

1. Thirty databases and sources were used to identify studies reporting on homeopathy in melancholy, published between 1982 and 2016. Studies were evaluated for their risk of prejudice, model validity, aspect of homeopathy, and comparator.

Results: Eighteen studies assessing homeopathy in depression have been identified. Two double-blind trials of homeopathic medicinal products (HMPs) for depression were evaluated. 

Limited evidence from two placebo-controlled double-blinded trials indicates HMPs may be comparable to antidepressants and superior to placebo in depression, and patients treated by homeopaths report improvement in depression. All in all, the evidence provides a possibly promising risk-benefit ratio. There's a need for further high-quality studies.

2. There are many case reports of the treatment of depression of homeopathy. However, though the specific cases are compelling from a clinical standpoint, they're still anecdotal from a traditional perspective.  In other studies, researchers concluded that homeopathy might be useful in the treatment of some patients with depression or anxiety. This treatment could be either as an adjunctive therapy or as a sole treatment in patients who specifically request it. The clinician must weigh the benefits and risks of a homeopathic intervention, particularly in situations when there are demonstrably effective conventional treatments. 


See: Beat Depression with Meditation

Side effects

Side effects and risks

Even though a remedy is "natural" does not necessarily imply it is safe. The risks of using homeopathic remedies include:

- contamination of ingredients

- safety issues that researchers have not studied

- formulations that vary from bottle to bottle

- interactions with other drugs

ingredients not listed on labels

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't evaluate the claims which homeopathic supplement makers create. This implies there is no certainty that the products work even if the producers claim they do. Someone using a homeopathic treatment for depression may also be vulnerable to allergic reactions or unwanted side effects. Having depression and anxiety does not necessarily indicate a person must take medication. In actuality, therapy, meditation, diet changes, exercise, and other lifestyle changes can be quite useful. People may speak to a physician or specialist, like a therapist or psychiatrist, for help choosing the ideal treatment.

See: Functional medicine for depression

Summary

Depression is treatable with the ideal mix of treatment, lifestyle changes, and, sometimes, medication. While a few natural remedies can make great complementary remedies for individuals with depression, there's little compelling scientific evidence that homeopathy is effective.

See: Ayurveda treatment for depression

References

1. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, Volume 22, September 2018, Pages 22-36, Review article

2. Homeopathy in the treatment of depression: a systematic review

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See: Yoga treatment for Depression

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