Acupuncture and Depression
Depression is an illness involving the mind and the body and that because it affects how one feels, thinks, and behaves, depression can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems such as sadness, irritability or frustration, reduced sexual drive, insomnia or excessive sleeping, changes in appetite, agitation or restlessness, slowed thinking, indecisiveness, distractibility, fatigue, and loss of energy. So many symptoms for a single illness.
Depression affects 26.2 % of all Americans, which means that when you board a bus to work in the morning, one in every four passengers is clinically depressed. It is a hidden illness that often goes undiagnosed and untreated because we can easily blame its symptoms on something else. Thus, we spend a lifetime convincing ourselves that when we say day after day, “I am so tired, I don’t feel like going out. I’m not hungry, sexually motivated, or interested enough to participate,” it is just a defect in our personality.
Depression changes people close to us. Loved ones can feel a loss of emotional connection with someone who is depressed. Friends at work may have to put in extra hours to make up for the loss of productivity when their co-workers’ depression interferes with their job.
Western medicine has created drugs, which successfully treat many types of depression and anxiety. Because these drugs are so powerful, however, suddenly starting, stopping, or changing dosage can lead to unpredictable outcomes. Children and young adults, especially, may react to these medications in ways not predicted by FDA trials. On the other hand, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture, which uses the body and mind’s own mechanisms to combat depression, may be a safer first approach to less severe cases since innate systems are tweaked rather than radically altered.
Depression and anxiety are associated with an imbalance of hormones such as serotonin, GABA, dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and progesterone. Acupuncture and herbal medicine have been verified to make your own body produce balanced hormones, not too much, not too little. After patients have acupuncture treatment, they feel more motivated, happier and have more positive attitude. Chinese herbs also can help improve different internal organs, such as adrenal gland, liver and stomach, to make your body produce the right amount of feeling good hormones such as serotonin, Dopamine, GABA and progesterone.