According to Acupuncture Medicine, anxiety and depression in men and women is the result of “complex interactions between diverse factors. Causes of Depression and anxiety are typically chemical and environmental. Deficiency are all part of the constellation of findings associated with depression, and all affect the Mind. As such, in practice, Chinese Medicine treatment of depression relies upon the diagnosis of each individual patient and on formulating use of a distinct group of acupuncture points unique to each individual, along with a strategy that may also include other recommendations, including, but not limited to, exercise, herbal therapy and lifestyle modifications. These varied diagnoses and ever-changing constellations of acupuncture points make the need for individualized acupuncture treatment plans vital.
There are numerous factors that can trigger the onset of depression, including bereavement, illness (such as cancer or chronic pain), social isolation or loneliness, and stressful life events (such as divorce or money problems).
But scientists don't know exactly why some people develop depression and others avoid it. Several factors most likely contribute to the development of depression, including:
Genetics (mood disorders and suicide run in families)
Trauma or abuse at an early age, which can cause long-term changes in how the brain deals with fear and stress
Brain structure and chemistry
Hormonal changes, such as from pregnancy or thyroid problems
Women are 70 percent more likely to experience depression than men, and non-Hispanic blacks are 40 percent less likely to experience it than non-Hispanic whites, according to the NIH.
In addition, people ages 18 to 25 are 60 percent more likely to experience depression than people ages 50 and above.
Signs of Depression in Adults
Depression doesn't affect all people in exactly the same way, but the illness is associated with a number of possible symptoms, which include:
Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness
Frequently feeling irritated, anxious, frustrated, or angry
Feeling hopeless, worthless, helpless, or guilty
Fatigue and decreased energy
Changes in appetite and eating habits
Inability to concentrate, remember details, or make decisions
Sleep disturbances, such as sleeping more than usual or insomnia
Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
Unexplained body aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
Thoughts of death and suicide
Slowed thinking, speaking, or movement
Depression in Men
Although men and women can experience the same symptoms of depression, there are important differences in how often they report specific symptoms, according to a 2013 report in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
Men with depression are more likely than women to report the following signs of depression:
Drug and alcohol abuse
Depression in Women
Women are 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Other sources, including the 2013 JAMA Psychiatry report, state that women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression.
Women with depression are more likely to report the following symptoms:
Loss of interest
Teenagers experience the same symptoms of depression as adults, but these changes in mood and behavior are sometimes mistaken as a normal part of puberty or adolescence.
Other signs of depression in teenagers can include:
Obsession with death, such as poems and drawings that refer to death
Criminal behavior, such as shoplifting
Withdrawal from family and friends
Sudden sensitivity to criticism
Drop in grades or school attendance
Risky behavior, such as unsafe sex and reckless driving
Drinking alcohol or using drugs
Irrational or bizarre behavior
Sudden, dramatic changes in personality or appearance
Giving away belongings
Complications of Depression
Experiencing and surviving an episode of major depression puts you at risk for more episodes in the future.
Half of people who recover from their first episode of depression will eventually have one or more additional episodes later in their life.
Additionally, 80 percent of people who have experienced two episodes will go on to have additional episodes, according to a 2007 report in Clinical Psychology Review.
Up to two-thirds of all suicides are associated with clinical depression, according to the health information resource A.D.A.M.
Depression can negatively affect your personal relationships and work life.
It may also raise your risk of developing heart disease or obesity, having a heart attack, or experiencing a sharp decline in mental function in old age.
Depression Tests and Diagnosis
There are a number of online tools and self-tests to determine whether you may be depressed and need to seek help, but only your doctor can diagnose clinical depression.
Before diagnosing major depression — the most common type of depression — your doctor will conduct exams and tests to rule out other problems that could be causing your symptoms, such as thyroid issues, brain tumors, sleep apnea, or vitamin deficiencies.
These efforts may include a physical examination and blood tests, as well as a discussion about your medications, some of which may cause depressive symptoms.
Your doctor will also ask in-depth questions about your mood and feelings, and may ask you to fill out a questionnaire.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, you must meet specific criteria to be clinically diagnosed with major depression.
You must have experienced at least five of the following nine symptoms for at least two weeks, and these symptoms must have significantly impaired your ability to function in your daily life:
Feeling sad or having a depressed mood for most of the day
Loss of interest or pleasure in once-enjoyable activities
Unexplained weight loss or gain
Insomnia or sleeping too much
Fatigue or loss of energy
Restlessness or slowed movements, speech, and thoughts
Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions
Thoughts of death or suicide
Other forms of depression have other specific diagnostic criteria.
How Acupuncture for Depression & Anxiety treatments work ?
Acupuncture stimulates a natural production of substances dopamine and endorphins which act like 'antidepressants & pain killers' which help reduce chemical imbalance in the brain and the system.
Acupuncture may be an effective way to improve depression and reduce the side effects of medication and improve metabolism (weight loss). (Please consult your medical Dr. regarding medications. Results vary).
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