The following article was originally published in Health Keepers, a magazine created by Trinity's founder, Dr. Wendell Whitman. This article appeared in Volume 1 • Issue 2 • Spring 1998, pg 6-8. This article was originally titled, "Seasonal Affective Disorder (Don't Let Winter Make You S.A.D)" was written by Frank J. King, Jr., N.D., D.C.
Approximately 30 million Americans are unable to experience many of life’s pleasures because they feel so depressed. Depression is a thief which can rob its victims of their purpose in life, their family relationships, general health and even the precious gift of life itself.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
During the winter months, a form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D. is a common complaint. Those who suffer from S.A.D. can show additional symptoms of headaches, irritability, weight gain and an increased appetite and need for sleep. Shorter winter days, with the resulting decrease in sunlight, are thought to be a contributing factor to S.A.D.
All of us feel sad at one time or another. This is a normal response to the stresses of life. But if you find yourself feeling down for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to get some help. By knowing the various symptoms and thought patterns which characteristically afflict a depressed person, you can address your situation and work at [supporting yourself through] it.
Don’t let anyone tell you that depression is “all in your head.” It can affect every part of your body. Researchers believe that depression can weaken immune system function. This can cause you to be more susceptible to illness and infection and, over time, can even accelerate chronic disease. Untreated, prolonged depression can cause premature aging. It slows body function as well as causing a loss of muscle tone.
The symptoms of depression can vary according to the type of depression. With reactive depression, symptoms include self pity and loss of self-esteem. Reactive depression results from being unable to recover from stressful events of life such as the death of a loved one, relationship problems, job loss or chronic illness.
Another type of depression is physiologically based. This is often seen where there is chronic illness or drug use, which alter the person’s natural state. Another type, manic depression, which is also called bi-polar disorder, causes the person’s moods to fluctuate from feelings of euphoria and intense energy to feelings of despair and listlessness. Other symptoms of depression may include difficulty in concentrating and making decisions, feelings of hopelessness or unworthiness, and guilt. Severe symptoms of depression include thoughts of death or suicide.
Please note: If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, call your pastor, a counselor or your local suicide hot-line. A health care professional should be involved, especially if your condition has been long term, recurring, suicidal or destructive to yourself or others. If you are reading this and suspect a loved one is suicidal, ask. Bringing up the subject does not put the idea in his or her head. It is a way of getting these deceptive thoughts out of the darkness and into the light to be discussed and begin healing.
Homeopathy can [help to support the balancing of emotions associated] with depression. The correct homeopathic formula can, in many cases, [aid in reducing feelings associated with depression].
[Support the Emotions Associated with] Depression with Homeopathic Formulas
Several homeopathic remedies to consider [to help support emotions associated with] depression include: a mood enhancement formula for apathy, listlessness, melancholia, introspection, self condemnation, disgust with life, lack of self confidence or symptoms of manic depression; a grief and guilt formula for use with those who have a history of grief, guilt and disappointment; a formula for fear, [anxious feelings] and impulsive tendencies; a formula [for the emotions associated with claustrophobia] minor mood swings, nervous tension and [anxious feelings] associated with being in small or closed areas; a nervous formula for restoration of the nervous system; and a stress formula for generalized support [of] mental, emotional or physical trauma. Homeopathy is a powerful tool [to help support the balancing of emotions associated with] depression.
Lifestyle Management Steps to Assist You in [Reducing] Depression
It’s so important to live and maintain a balanced lifestyle. Be consistent by eating regularly healthy meals, regularly exercising and getting plenty of sleep. Healthy meals consist of very low sugar, low fat, non-processed, whole foods and plenty of good clean water. You are a Spirit, Soul and Body. All three realms require a balance of expression for a healthy, whole life.
(This suggestion is especially good if you suffer from S.A.D.) Soak up as much natural light as possible, especially in the morning hours. If your home has a tendency to be dark, keep the blinds and curtains open as much as possible. It may be a good idea to invest in a full spectrum light box designed specifically to “lighten up” your environment.
Renew your mind!
It is so important to keep your thoughts pure. Think about all the blessings and good things going on, and/or remind yourself of past successes. When you make this way of thinking a way of life, it becomes an automatic response. When your automatic response is to focus on the blessings, you’re better able to recognize faulty thinking when it creeps in.
Know your destiny!
Don’t wander aimlessly through life without purpose. Write down your goals along with the hidden desires of your heart, then go about the business of accomplishing them!
You are not a weak person by admitting you’re [feeling] depressed. Admission is a sign of strength—we have to confess it before we can effectively deal with it.
Incorporate into your life a good supplement program!
[Consider] taking a B complex vitamin and amino acids designed to provide optimal brain function.
It isn’t hopeless!
Though one of the symptoms of depression is feeling hopeless, it’s a lie! There is always hope. Even though at times you may feel “Oh, what’s the use, none of these tips will really help!” go ahead and try them. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!
Some individual homeopathic remedies to consider for [emotions associated with] depression:
Naja- For those who are melancholy, listless, do not wish to talk, dread to be left alone, have suicidal tendencies.
Ignatia- A valuable remedy for any experiencing grief; it can be especially helpful when the grief [may be contributing to feelings associated with] depression.
Natrum mur- When those who are grieving find any attempts at consolation irritating or aggravating.
Pulsatilla- When attempts to provide consolation are accepted and some solace is found by those grieving.
Iodum- For fear accompanied by [anxious feelings] and impulsive behavior.
Argentum nit- An important remedy for [emotions associated with] claustrophobia.
Phosphorus- For nervousness, most especially of what may happen.
Note: This article was edited to adhere to current legal and practical standards.