Depression is a condition that varies in intensity and duration, can appear at any decade of life, and according to the National Institute of Mental Health the occurrence of depression in children is increasing. Research on the treatment of depression of children and adolescents with conventional antidepressants has not proven to be effective. In fact, there is an advisory regarding an increase of suicidal risk in children and adolescents treated with conventional antidepressants.
Symptoms of depression include changes in mood, sadness, indifference to things that are usually pleasurable, and decrease in the usual level of functioning. Often, there are changes in functioning of biological processes like sleep, appetite, energy, and libido. At times these functions will decrease, at other times they will increase.
It is important to keep in mind that there are no homeopathic remedies for depression per se; that is, homeopathic remedies are for patients who suffer from depression. The totality of the patient's particular symptoms must be taken into account. One person may be depressed and yet have increased sleep while another will be sleepless; one will have increased appetite while another has decreased appetite. Therefore, it is imperative that the patient is treated by an experienced practitioner who will consider the totality of the symptoms; otherwise, the chances of depression improving with homeopathic treatment will decrease.
There are many reports of the treatment of depression over 200 years of homeopathy. However, even though the particular cases are strong from a clinical standpoint they are still anecdotal from a conventional perspective. As example of this clinical material, Dr. Bodman presents a series of cases of depression, anxiety, sleep disorder, phobias, neurosis, cerebral sequelae from a stroke, Menniere’s disease, migraines, and other conditions treated successfully with homeopathy. (Bodman, F., 1990, “Insights into Homeopathy”, Davies and Pinsent Editors, Beaconsfield Press, England)
Researchers have concluded that homeopathy may be useful in the treatment of some patients with anxiety or depression, either as an adjunctive treatment or as a sole treatment in patients who specifically request it. Obviously, the clinician must weigh the risks and benefits of a homeopathic intervention especially in situations when there are demonstrably effective conventional treatments and when the patient is either acutely psychotic or suicidal. There are several limitations in that study, as presented by the author, and only larger, double-blind controlled trials can provide answers to the questions that arise when using homeopathy in the treatment of disease, in general, and in psychiatry in particular. (Davidson J, et.al, 1997, “Homeopathic Treatment of Depression and Anxiety”, Alternative Therapies, Vol.3, No.1, January)
Bernardo Merizalde, MD, DHt