| Posted In - General

Black Dog

In previous posts I have written about the effect that stress and unresolved anger can have on physical and emotional health. Today I’d like to discuss depression.

From the point of view of Chinese medicine, depression is the result of unresolved emotions (especially anger) turned inward and “deep-pressed”. When the energy of anger is not allowed to motive us to change our lives and relationships, the eventual result is the energetic collapse that is characteristic of depression. Depressed individuals feel cut off from motivation and inspiration. In its most extreme and dangerous form, depression can result in the loss of will to live and even suicide.

Two of my immediate family members suffer periodically from depression, so I know first hand the devastating effect that this disease can have on individuals and families.

In recent years public awareness of depression has increased and the stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses has decreased. But in my clinical experience, it is still common for people not to recognize depression in themselves and their close family members and as a result thousands of mildly or moderately depressed individuals live for months, years, or even decades without the treatment that they need to live joyful, creative, and connected lives. The video below, produced by the World Health Organization, does a great job of describing depression in unique a way that may prompt you or someone you love to seek evaluation and diagnosis from a mental health professional.

With a clear diagnosis there is hope for effective treatment of depression and prevention of future episodes. Each case is different, but modalities such as short term prescription medication, acupuncture, essential oils, counseling, herbal medicine, dietary change and nutritional supplementation, meditation, and/or exercise can result in a new lease on life.