The fundamental abnormality of an affective disorder is a disturbance of mood, either depression or mania. Depression is by far the commoner; most patients who have manic symptoms are also prone to depressive episodes but the reverse does not apply. In a few cases depressive and manic symptoms occur simultaneously or in rapid succession (mixed affective state/ bipolar disorder)
CAUSE of Mood Disorders / Affective Disorders — Depression, Mania, Bipolar Disorder
– Genetic Factors have some role in bipolar disorder.
– Environmental factors like
- Loss of mother before age 11
- 3 or more children under 14 living at home
- Lack of confiding relationship
- Lack of employment etc
are known to play a significant role in mood disorders.
– Physical Illness – A physical illness can be followed by depression, esp. those like cancer, AIDS, and heart diseases etc which carry serious implications. Also mood changes can occur after infectious mononucleosis or influenza and other viral illness.
Depression or mania could be the presenting feature of cerbrovascular disease, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinsonism and endocrine diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome, Addison’s Disease, and hypothyroidism.
Mood changes can also be associated with drug therapy, for eg. corticosteroids, beta-adrenoceptor antagonists and other anti-hypertensive drugs. When mood disorder results directly from physical causes they are known as organc affective disorders.
– Personality – Some depressives have personality characteristics which are thought to predispose to the illness. this involves a negative attitude to oneself, the outside world and the future; the term ‘cognitive triad’ ha been applied to these attitudes.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
- Depression of mood is the primary symptom. There may be a diurnal variation of mood, depression being most distressing early in the morning or at the end of the day.
- Loss of pleasure in life (anhedonia)
- Loss of interest in oneself and others
- Low self esteem
- Self blame
- Suicidal thinking
- Feeling of guilt and worthlessness
- Sleep disturbance (initial insomnia, early morning wakening or hypersomnia)
- Poor concentration
- Headache and other pains
- Anorexia (loss of appetite)
- Weight changes
- Reduced libido
All these symptoms of depression may not be present in any single person and the level of intensity of symptoms vary from person to person.
Mood Disorders / Affective Disorders — Depression, Mania, Bipolar Disorder – HOW DIAGNOSIS IS MADE?
The diagnosis is usually done clinically based on the signs and symptoms.
Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies for Depression
Homeopathy offers very good treatment possibilities for depression with good results. There are large number of medicines which can be used and the selection of medicine depends not just on the symptoms but also on the cause. Depression is a manifestation of the disorder and to treat the manifestation it is necessary to find the cause. The success of treatment in such cases often depends on the ability of a homeopath to find the cause. The selection of medicine depends a lot on it. Like all psychological disorders, depressive illness also requires good case study and continuous monitoring by a competent homeopath. One should not try any form of self-medication. In qualified and experienced hands homeopathy offers good prognosis in this condition.
Some of the commonly indicated medicines are anacardium, arsenic-alb, aurum-met, ignatia, acid-phos, pulsatilla, natrum-mur, sepia, antim-crud, naja, nux-vom, stann, psorinum etc. The selection of medicine varies from case to case.
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT for Depression
Antidepressant drugs, cognitive therapy, and electro convulsive therapy are used.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO? – ACCESSORY MANAGEMENT
- Visit a psychotherapist or join a support group where you can talk about your emotions freely.
- Be more open with your family and friends – do not hide your feelings, share them.
- Try to remain actively involved in some work/job.
- Exercise daily – it not only is good for your body, but also for your mind. Exercise is known to increase the level of many neuro-hormones, which bring a feeling of well-being and happiness.
- Eat a well balanced and nutritious diet with ample fluids.
- Learn some meditation, yoga, or stress relieving exercises. These help a lot in regaining your control over your emotions.
SYMPTOMS OF MANIA
- Sense of well being evident as elation or ecstasy
- Confidence and self-esteem are high
- Grandiose ideas without any substance.
- Thoughtless and risky behavior
- Delusion of being especially gifted or of being well-connected.
- Thoughts come rapidly
- Speech is fast
- Physical activity is increased
- Appetite is initially increased but may be decreased later.
- Sleep hours are reduced, but this does not cause fatigue.
- Promiscuity may occur.
Homeopathy Treatment & Homeopathic Remedies for Mania
Homeopathy offers many medicines which work in such cases. In experienced hands the long term prognosis is good. Some of the medicines commonly used are belladona, stramonium, varatum-alb, hyoscamus, cuprum-met, nux-vomica, tarentula, syphilinum, lachesis, arsenic, cocaine, coffea, platina etc. There are many more medicines and the selection of medicine varies from case to case. The cause and past history of a person play a significant role in the selection of medicine. All such cases require continuous monitoring by an experienced physician.
CONVENTIONAL TREATMENT for Mania
Neuroleptic drugs like haloperidol or a phenothiazine or lithium carb are some of the drugs that are commonly used.
Electro convulsive therapy is given to resistant cases.
It is a mood disorder in which depression and manic symptoms occur simultaneously or in quick succession. It was previously known as ‘Manic Depressive Psychosis’. Each phase of mania and depression may lat for many months.
BIPOLAR DISORDER – SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Refer those of depression and mania
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT for BIPOLAR DISORDER
Homeopathy can help cases with bipolar disorder. Albeit the treatment is more prolonged and difficult than that of unipolar disorder. Most of the medicines used are similar to those used for depression and mania. The treatment usually continues for extended periods as each phase can last for many months. Also there is a tendency of relapse in such patients. But homeopathy does offer a better long term prognosis.
WHERE ELSE TO FIND MORE INFO? – INTERNET RESOURCES
A short Textbook of Psychiatry, Niral Ahuja, 4th ed, 1999, Jaypee
Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 14th ed, McGraw-Hill
Davidson’s Principles and Practise of Medicine, 17th ed, 1996, Churchill Livingstone
New Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica & Repertory, William Boericke, 2nd revised ed., 2001, B. Jain
A Concise Repertory of Homeopathic Medicines, S.R.Phatak, 3rd ed, B. Jain
Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics, Dewey, reprint ed, 1993, B.Jain