Depression is a clinical picture that has lately received increasing attention in general-medicine treatment. According to the health-insurance industry, psychological disorders are on the rise, with depression taking first place among them—and there's already talk of a new unseen widespread disease. The German Federal Health Ministry reports that ca. 4 million Germans are affected, and that ca. 10 million will suffer from depression at least once by age 65...
Depression is a clinical picture that has lately received increasing attention in general-medicine treatment. According to the health-insurance industry, psychological disorders are on the rise, with depression taking first place among them—and there's already talk of a new unseen widespread disease. The German Federal Health Ministry reports that ca. 4 million Germans are affected, and that ca. 10 million will suffer from depression at least once by age 65. Depression more and more renders people unable to work. Based on the latest announcements from German pension funds, it is an alarming sign that the number of early retirements due to depression is constantly rising. Also, the number of inpatient treatment days for psychological disorders has risen by 58% over the past 20 years. For these reasons, depression has taken on an increasing socioeconomic significance.
Conventional Diagnostics and Therapy
We are thus encountering ever more patients with depression in my naturopathically-oriented general practice, typically with the following classical symptoms:
- Depressive mood
- Loss of happiness and interest
- Greater tendency to fatigue
Specialists are also starting to talk about “depressive episodes”, since it is often a disease picture that varies over time, having its ups and downs. Depending upon how the aforementioned symptoms coincide, it can be a matter of:
- Mild depressive episodes
- Moderate depressive episodes
- Severe depressive episodes
The term “depression” is of Latin origin, being derived from the word deprimere, to suppress or repress. Repression of emotional factors leads to flattened affect, loss of affective resonance, drive inhibition, thought obstruction and sleep disorders. The victims feel inferior, helpless, personally devalued, they complain of hopelessness and exaggerated feelings of guilt. Their waking hours are plagued by senseless circular trains of thought, irritability, loss of libido and anxiety. Added to this are physical symptoms such as lack of appetite, weight gain or loss, pain (frequently thoracic pressure or more generalized, but also as the expression of somatization) as well as greater susceptibility to infection.
Conventional diagnostics focuses on symptoms and the healing process. As a rule, therapy involves various different chemical antidepressants, or herbal agents for light to moderate cases (especially high dosages of St. John's wort extract). The medication is often accompanied by psychotherapeutic conversation therapy. However, experience has shown that, for many patients, this approach doesn't seem to be enough to noticeably restore their quality of life. When depressive patients in my practice are asked whether therapy with antidepressants and/or psychotherapy has helped them, they often answer in the affirmative. If, however, one asks them whether things are going subjectively well for them, as a rule the answer is “No”.
Restoring Well-being and Vitality energetically
Empirically, the subjective state depends crucially on the charge and harmony of so-called life energy, which is in most cases considerably disrupted in depressive patients. By “life energy” (also referred to as: Aura, Ch'i, Orgone etc.) is meant an invisible force field that surrounds the body and is said to exercise an important regulatory function on the organism as a whole, and the vegetative system in particular. As we know, acupuncture, yoga and similar methods strive to increase life energy—but often without success in depression cases, since something unknown is blocking the patient. Likewise, other common possibilities for regeneration and recuperation such as sleep, vacation, and sports are often not successful in depression cases.
The holistic therapist should therefore look for other ways to favorably influence life energy as the elemental source of subjective well-being. From a naturopathic viewpoint, energetic blocks are often decisively responsible for the lack of necessary life energy. With the aid of Psychosomatic Energetics (PSE), a complementary-medicine testing and therapy method which is a central part of my practice, one tries to ascertain the cause of the energetic blocks in order to then eliminate them. If this is done consistently over the span of several months for depression cases, one will often see a definite, lasting improvement or outright cure.
In applying PSE, one first determines the extent of life energy deficiency. With the aid of a testing device (REBA® test) and the kinesiological arm-length test, the patient is energetically stressed while the device addresses different life energy aspects (Vital, Emotional, Mental, Causal) in escalating steps (see figure 1). The results are expressed as percentages of a standard value of 100%. Generally, depressives exhibit significantly lowered Vital and Emotional readings of about 10–20%. The readings improve as energy is restored during the course of PSE therapy, at which point the depressive symptoms also decline. The PSE energy readings are thus good clinical parameters, and also match up with how patients feel subjectively. Patients feel that they are understood when the readings are explained to them—which, experience has shown, significantly improves compliance.
When, in the second step, one looks for the causes of the poor energetic condition, one will find, with the aid of special homeopathic compound agents, in most patients segmental disorders of one of the seven energy centers (Chakras). The second testing step uncovers the related emotional conflicts behind the disturbance of the currently tested energy center—which, according to PSE, act energetically as primary blocks. Once the current conflict is dissolved, the patient will then have more life energy available.
Fig. 1 Typical PSE test situation—kinesiological arm-length test, patient recumbent (REBA® test device in upper left, to which patient’s arm is connected via a cable).
When testing various conflict themes, usually a single compound agent responds—e.g., Suppressed Aggression for depression. In such cases, the ampoule Chavita® 3 (upper abdomen) and the conflict agent Emvita® 9 will react positively in the kinesiological test, with the symptomatology Pent-Up Rage. Patients with rage themes may seem from the outside to be particularly acquiescent and friendly, because they have largely repressed their true aggressive impulses into the subconscious. This agrees with the psychoanalytic interpretation which construes depression as pent-up aggression.
For therapy, one prescribes the Chakra and conflict agent that responded in the tests, i.e. Chavita® 3 in the above example (for the upper abdomen, where, according to the old saying, “the rage lives”) and the associated conflict agent Emvita® 9 (with homeopathic high potentiations such as Tarantula, Lycopodium etc., which represent repressed aggression). Using the energetic resonance phenomena which the homeopathic compound remedies trigger, the emotional conflict is dissolved within a number of months. Energy intake thereby becomes increasingly normalized, and the patient experiences a gradual improvement of physical and emotional symptoms.
The following case descriptions are representative of the many cases which I have time and time again encountered in my daily clinical practice.
Case study 1: Monika, 59
The patient has been suffering from depressions for years, because of which she had taken early retirement. She complains of anxiety and sleep disorders, feels feeble and lacking in drive despite taking Mirtazepin and Maprotilin.
The initial examination with the REBA® test device reveals a vitality reading reduced to 30%, likewise emotional resilience. The patient can identify very well with these readings as far as her overall health is concerned. Over the course of 4 therapy sessions in all, 4 subconscious conflicts were found to be blocking energy intake. The themes were “experiencing life as a struggle”, “withdrawal and insult”, “rage” and finally “disrupted self-esteem”. Therapy consists of administering the respective Chavita® and Emvita® remedies corresponding to each of the conflict themes, easily taken as morning and evening dosages of 12 drops each.
By the end of treatment, the readings for vital strength and emotional resilience had risen to 90%, which was clearly reflected in how the patient felt: much more active and stable, anxiety gone, she sleeps well, her drive has markedly improved, she can recognize and realize her goals. The antidepressants are no longer needed.
The next case points up how young people also are suffering more and more frequently from depression. We have noticed in the practice that the number of juvenile and teenage depressions is regrettably on the rise.
Case study 2: Ingo, 23
Ingo has been suffering for several months from a strong inner unrest, feeling very tense. He has been depressed ever since his parents' divorce and his grandmother's death. He does not feel up to the demands of his schoolwork. Despite psychotherapy and taking, initially, Fluoxetin and then later Cipralex, he is not doing any better.
The first testing session's readings reflect his clearly reduced sensitivities: a Vital reading of only 20% and an Emotional reading of a mere 25% are measured. Six therapy sessions are needed to dissolve the conflict themes “flight from reality”, “withdrawal and insult”, “feeling closed in”, “frustration”, “perseverance” with the corresponding homeopathic compound remedies Chavita® and Emvita®.
Thanks to the energy increase resulting from the treatment, the Vital reading rose to 100% and Emotional to 95%. He experienced a noticeable increase in his sense of well-being, and by his own testimony things are going doing great; he feels more and more up to the demands of his schoolwork and made a good grade on the final exam. He feels balanced and centered, is no longer restless and has plenty of drive. The thoracic pressure has disappeared, and he no longer needs Cipralex.
In treating depression with Psychosomatic Energetics, it is not always possible—as in the aforementioned cases—to discontinue antidepressants. Nevertheless, it can be clearly said that PSE treatment enables most patients to find their way back to their true quality of life. The resolution of subconscious energy-storing conflicts gives them back their lost life energy. Improving the energetic situation goes hand-in-hand with greatly increased physical and psychological well-being, more drive and sufficient stamina for everyday life.
During the months of PSE therapy, the patient re-acquires the courage to face life, and can slowly but steadily overcome the emotional low points. To this extent, PSE in a sense also has a psychotherapeutic effect. The entire healing process proceeds gently, effectively and with enduring effect, as the results once achieved are either permanent or at least long-lasting. Because of its simplicity and clarity, I consider PSE to be an outstanding diagnostic and therapeutic method for dealing sensibly and effectively in everyday practice with the increasingly prevalent problem of depression. This method has become an integral and indispensable part of my naturopathic and holistically oriented daily practice.
Dr.med. Birgitt Holschuh-Lorang MD
Zum Scheidberg 9