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Depression & Anxiety

There are appropriate times for you to feel anxious or depressed, and others that really only change with treatment. As a normal part of life it is appropriate, even healthy, to become more vigilant and on edge when there has been a shock or trauma. In that situation we should become more watchful of the world around us so that is does not happen again, like driving more carefully after someone swings into your lane of traffic (as a mundane example). Similarly, when we experience a loss or make a major life transition, it can be very important to retreat inward for a time in order to give space for reflection, and as a kind of protection. We are busy inwardly, and need to decrease our stimulus from the outside. These are processes of adjustment that most people will experience at one time or another.

The shift from a common reaction to a problem arises when that state gets stuck. This can happen in a variety of ways:

  • If a shock or trauma is repeated, or wounds deeply and suddenly, then our body may stay in that mode of reaction. Then our vigilance, or our sorrow, continues to be carried long beyond the initial situation--like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or grief that remains so long it becomes a depression.
  • Or sometimes, there is no clear or rational stimulus for the way we feel. Whether we happy or sad, anxious or irritable, does not seem to be related to what we are dealing with in the outside world. It rises up more from the within, an inner imbalance, since we seem to carry it around with us.
  • Or, thirdly, there are times, actual biographical rhythms, when we are loosened from our routines and asked to re-evaluate our life and see if we are moving in the right direction. At these times we "dissolve" a little--which can feel disturbing and disorienting--because we may not know why an impulse or shift in perspective is coming. Anthroposophic medicine recognizes these shifts (we could also call them "nodal" points) which come with a rhythm of seven years: 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56, 63. Seeing that their are frequent, rhythmical phases of human growth and development can be very helpful and reassuring.

These different patterns respond best to different kinds of therapy. Sometimes we benefit most from conversation, but other times we really need medicines for the body. Part of our treatment is to explore these patterns and find the treatments you will respond to the best; options commonly include: herbal and homeopathic medicines, counseling, art therapy, massage, meditation, or anthroposophic organ treatment.

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