“People who have never dealt with depression think it’s just being sad or being in a bad mood. That’s not what depression is for me; it’s falling into a state of grayness and numbness.”
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — A politician who recently lost in his bid for congress has blamed God “for allowing the glitter of money to prevail over my sincere intention to serve the people.”
The politician claimed he lost “because I didn’t have the money to buy votes” and that “I already made a lot of sacrifices and I could feel that I was the people’s choice from the very beginning, but money prevailed and I can’t understand why God has allowed it.”
We suspect the politician is depressed.
Because he could not accept defeat, he found it hard to move on.
What is eating him up is a clear and simple depression, one of the most common human emotional disorders.
Depression may be manifested in varying degrees: from feelings of slight sadness to utter misery and dejection, according to H.K. Bakhru, a member of the Nature Cure Practitioners’ Guild in Mumbai.
Depression is a very unpleasant malady and is far more difficult to cope with than a physical ailment, he said.
The growing complexities of modern life and its resultant crises, as well as the mental stress and strain of day-to-day life, usually leads to the disorder, Bakhru stressed.
The most striking symptoms of depression, Bakhru explained, are an acute sense of loss, inexplicable sadness, loss of energy, lack of interest in the world around, and fatigue.
We further learned from Bakhru that a disturbed sleep is a frequent occurrence.
Other symptoms of depression are loss of appetite, giddiness, itching, nausea, agitation, irritability, impotence or frigidity, constipation, aches and pains all over the body, lack of concentration, and indecisiveness.
Bakhru pointed out that cases of severe depression may be characterized by low body temperature, low blood pressure, hot flushes, and shivering.
Prolong periods of anxiety and tension, he said, can cause mental depression.
He recommended the following for remedies: apple, cashewnut, asparagus, cardamom, lemon balm, rose, vitamin B, dietary consideration.
A person suffering from depression can overcome it by being more active, turning away from himself, and diverting his attention towards other people and things, according Bakhru.
The pleasure of achieving something overcomes distress or misery, he added.
Exercise also plays an important role in the treatment of depression. He said it not only keeps the body physically and mentally fit, but also provides recreation and mental relaxation.
“It is nature’s best tranquilizer. Exercise also tones up the body, provides a feeling of accomplishment, and reduces the sense of helplessness,” Bakhru wrote in Natural Home Remedies.
He added: “The patient must also learn the art of relaxation and meditation which will go a long way in curing depression. He must gain control over his nervous system and channelize his mental and emotional energies into restful activities.”
Bakhru said this can be achieved by ensuring sufficient rest and sleep under quiet conditions.
“Meditations will help create a balance in the nervous system,” he explained. “This will enable the hormonal glands to return to a correct state of hormonal balance and thereby overcome the feeling of depression,” he concluded.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)