Depression is not easily understood by many. If you’re not suffering from depression, more often than not, you simply see it as something very insignificant that the sufferer only have to “snap out of it and get on with his life” for things to start going back to normal. However, for people who are suffering from this mood disorder, life can be pretty difficult.
How to Spot Depression
You need to know the signs and symptoms of depression to be able to help yourself or someone you love. If you don’t know how to spot depression, then the condition could worsen and lead to physical problems. Depression, if left unaddressed and untreated, could also potentially lead to suicide.
The most common signs and symptoms of depression are severe mood changes, inability to sleep, and loss of appetite. The individual may also suffer from crying spells as well as loss of interest in activities that he used to love and enjoy. He may also withdraw from society, his friends and his family, and he may also often talk about suicide and death.
Common Medical Treatment for Depression
Depression is commonly treated with antidepressant drugs. Therapy and counseling, be it individually given or in support groups, are also used in the treatment of depression. Nowadays, some patients suffering from this mood disorder are also choosing to undergo acupuncture therapy along with their medical treatment to help with their condition.
Acupuncture is very effective against depression, in fact, that that the World Health Organization has recognized this as a valid form of treatment for this mood disorder.
How Does Acupuncture Help Depression
You should know though that Traditional Chinese Medicine does not consider depression as a particular disease. Acupuncture does not treat the disease per se, but it alleviates the symptoms associated with depression.
The Chinese believes that the body has Qi, which is the life-force or energy of the body. Now, if there is an imbalance to the Qi, then the body will experience physical as well as emotional and psychosocial signs and symptoms. Acupuncture will restore the balance of the Qi by inserting very tiny and very fine needles along specific points in the body, called acupuncture points. The needles will stimulate the energy flow and return balance to the Qi.
Acupuncture relaxes the body and calms the mind, so through regular acupuncture sessions, the patient will experience an improvement in his symptoms. In the long term, it will lead to an overall good feeling.
Studies That Show Acupuncture Works
Numerous studies have been done to prove that acupuncture works for depression. One study was done wherein one group received tailor-fitted acupuncture therapy that addresses their depression signs and symptoms; another group received general acupuncture therapy that does not exactly address their depression signs and symptoms, while the last group was only placed on a “waiting list” but was not exactly given acupuncture therapy.
The study showed that the first group experienced tremendous improvement in their depression signs and symptoms compared to the second and third groups. It also suggests that acupuncture alone may be as effective as the conventional medical treatment for depression. However, more clinical trials with bigger samples are needed to support this therapy.
If you think that acupuncture can help your depression, then ask your psychiatrist. He may be able to refer you to a qualified acupuncturist who’s skilled in treating depression.
Jennfier Daisey, a freelance content writer, specializes in health and fitness. She’s currently providing contents for the website of AlbanAcupuncture.com, a trusted provider of Chinese therapy.