Depression affects men and women of all ages and backgrounds. About two thirds of adults will experience depression at some point in their lives.
Depression is often seen as a negative emotion. However, it's normal to experience some depression in your life if it's mild and short lived. This can occur from loss of a job, partner or loved one and even a lack of sunlight.
The more chronic form of depression can affect people severely and for many years. This form of depression needs to be treated as it greatly affects quality of life and day to day function.
Symptoms of depression include a loss of interest or pleasure in life, have a low mood and have feelings of guilt or low self-worth, including disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy levels, physical and emotional pain, poor concentration and an increased sensitivity to pain.
Sometimes people can suffer from a combination of anxiety and depression. Depression can also be stress related when people feel their stress is never going to get better causing mental and emotional stress that leads to a depressive disorder.
Clinical depression is a major depressive type disorder that will take longer and more treatment to cure. It's categorised as a mental disorders.
Women are twice as likely to become depressed as men. This may be due to hormone changes during their menstrual cycle, at menopause and after childbirth.
Acupuncture for depression
Treatment of depression is normally with antidepressant medication. A holistic approach is to use traditional Chinese medicine.
From a traditional Chinese medicine viewpoint, depression is more than just a chemical imbalance in the brain. It can highlight an underlying health problem that needs treating. By treating the person's overall health, traditional Chinese medicine is able to combat the root cause of depression.
Randomized controlled trials have shown that acupuncture treatment is as good as anti-depressants at treating depression, just without the side effects.
Research studies have shown that it can have a therapeutic effect on depression by altering the brain's mood chemistry, increasing production of serotonin and endorphins. It may also benefit depression by acting on the nervous system, including those involving dopamine, noradrenaline, cortisol and neuropeptide Y.