Depression – it falls into that small category of things like combat that, if you haven’t been in it, you can say you can imagine it all you like. But it’s truly different. Dick Cavett
Today, I touch upon depression in my continuing series on healthcare options for those who may find themselves uninsured. If the current AHCA healthcare plan is passed, mental health is one of many illnesses that insurance plans may not cover along with pregnancy, disease prevention and pre-existing conditions.
I believe we all understand and accept the occasional bout of sadness or “the blues” which is considered mild depression. Sometimes, life goes sideways and we’re faced with the loss of a job, a loved one, moving or the birth of a child. Yes – postpartum depression is real.
It happens to nearly all of us and, for the most part, we know that we’ll bounce back in due time. Most of the time we do work through the life events that bring sadness with them.
Many times, we still manage to function in our daily lives knowing that difficult situations are part of life, but what happens when the depression last longer than a couple of weeks? What happens when you lose interest in everyday activities such as going to work, preparing dinner, having sex, enjoying hobbies and friends and have trouble sleeping?
From my own experience, I know that someone telling me to “snap out” of depression is not only cruel but unrealistic. It’s like asking someone with a broken leg to get up and walk it off. Yes – it can be done but each of us are different in how we process this disease.
Make no mistake – I don’t pretend to even know a thimbleful of information about depression. Most of what I’ve learned is through my own experience and conducting research to help myself without resorting to anti-depressants. I don’t have or want that option and seriously, the side effects of anti-depressants are far worse than the disease.
What I have learned is that it’s REAL. It’s not some made up problem that’s all in your head. Some of the physical symptoms can be fatigue, loss of appetite (for food and sex), headaches, difficulty concentrating or thinking, excessive sleeping or disrupted sleep patterns and restlessness or irritation. In severe instances, thoughts become suicidal – not that you intend to carry out your thoughts, but they are present.
Cause and Effect of Depression
Even though depression takes place in the brain, the physical effects are every bit as real and frustrating for the one who is going through it as well as friends, family and co-workers. If you’re not sure what you’re experiencing is depression, here is some good information about what it is and when to get help.
The American Psychiatric Association explains depression like this:
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
WebMD.com is another trusted resource for information on many concerns. They explain how to tell if you need to get help for depression:
If you have five or more of these symptoms for most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have major depression. Your primary care doctor is a good place to start. Your doctor can screen you for depression, and help you manage and treat your symptoms so that you can feel better.
How Can Aromatherapy and Holistic Life Coaching Help?
So many people talk to me when I’m at markets about their struggle with depression. My heart breaks for you because I know living with depression can be overwhelming. Aromatherapy and holistic life coaching are both wonderful tools for addressing your concerns with no side effects.
There is solid scientific research* to back up the use of essential oils for depression (and for anxiety – read more in this post about anxiety). When inhaled or diffused, Ylang Ylang, Lavender and Bergamot are powerful oils to help balance emotions and physical responses associated with depression.
Consider Peaceful Ease Aromatherapy Rollerball to help manage your symptoms. Each oil in this blend is specifically chosen for its’ ability to balance and uplift. If you’ve been around me for any length of time, you know that I always consider emotional qualities when selecting oils for your concerns and depression is no different.
As a holistic life coach, I look at what’s going on in your life for the root of your depression. When it is NOT caused by a life event such as chronic illness, birth or something of this nature, then I ask:
- Is there a part of your life where you feel unworthy?
- Do you have a sense of hopelessness?
- Are you feeling a sense of loss not easily explained?
- Where do you lack clarity in your life?
- Are you living outside of your integrity?
I don’t want to gloss over depression and pretend that it’s no big deal. It is a big deal and the sooner you get ahead of it, the better off you are. Yes, you may very well be capable of dealing with depression on your own – I applaud you. But please don’t let embarrassment or fear keep you from reaching out to me as your aromatherapist or your medical professional.
Another alternative is acupuncture. ScientificAmerican.com has an interesting article on how acupuncture can help you manage your symptoms. In the coming months, we’ll explore alternative modalities that can help with many of your health concerns.
Where do you see yourself with depression today? I would love to talk with you to see how we can work together and help you help yourself. Please take a moment to fill out this short contact form and let’s get started today.
I’m grateful you stopped by today – blessings,
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned in the blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional for any health issues.
*Chang SY (2008) Effects of aroma hand massage on pain, state anxiety and depression in hospice patients with terminal cancer. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi 38: 493-502 (Article in Korean). Cited by Dobetsberger C, Buchbauer G (2011) Actions of essential oils on the central nervous system: an updated review. Flavour and Fragrance Journal 26 (5): 300