Psychiatric Drug Therapy
Controlling depression with pharmaceuticals usually requires weeks or months of experimentation with various drugs at different dosages.Chinese herbal medicine, properly practiced, does not cause side-effects and so may ultimately be preferable to psychiatric medications.
However, there are many grave situations where psychiatric pharmaceuticals are essential, and not taking them can endanger the well-being, or even the life of the patient.More and more MD's are now working to minimize the amount of pharmaceuticals taken by each patient, and some are even working with OMD's to utilize acupuncture and Chinese herbs to slowly take the patient off of drugs and cure the root problem.
Causes of Depression
As with all disease, we need an accurate diagnosis before we can begin treatment.Depression has many causes.Not all of them will be helped by antidepressants.If your self-esteem is intact, your mood does not vary during the day, and you are not impaired socially, your depression may have a physical cause.
Some physical/biomedical causes of depression are: chronic pain, chronic fatigue, normal grief, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, folate deficiency anemia, viral disease, connective tissue/collagen disorders (arthritis), an organic brain disorder, drug side-effects, cancer, and endocrine abnormalities.Chinese Medicine can enhance the health of anyone with any of these conditions.
It is safe to say that there are people on anti-depressant medications that do not need them.More exacting diagnosis by all healthcare practitioners will lead to more appropriate treatments.Psychiatric medications often cause unwanted side-effects.Proper TCM treatment does not cause side-effects.Because TCM is a holistic medicine that integrates the body and mind in its diagnostic process and treatment strategies, it is a viable solution for the treatment of depression.
How Chinese Medicine Diagnoses Depression
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we always conduct a thorough evaluation of the patient.Symptoms and other diagnostic findings are like the pieces of a puzzle.The puzzle is a diagnosis that describes a patient's particular imbalances.In TCM (unlike western biomedicine) there is a treatment for every diagnosis.
One simple way to understand depression is to use TCM's 5-Element system.Each element is associated with a particular strength, weaknesses, color, sound, etc. Three common 5-Element types in depression are Earth, Water, and Wood.
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