Friday, May 27, 2011

Can Medications like Antidepressants Help Everyone with Depression?

Western medicine approach to solve medical problem is to find the cause of something and then fixing it.  This approach has its good and bad...just like everything in life.  The great thing about this approach is that, if we know what the cause of the problem is, then we can fix the problem accurately and effectively.  The main flaw with this approach though, is obviously, if we do not have a full understanding about the problem eg depression, then we are not going to be able to provide a complete solution.  In Western Medicine, we believe that Depression and Anxiety maybe due to chemical imbalance like Serotonin, Adrenalin and Dopamine in the brain.  However, this is not the complete picture as medications that recalibrates these brain chemicals, do not provide a complete cure for everyone with depression.  Although, despite this, there is still good evidence that it is effective in treating depresion and anxiety for a proportion of patients.

The Eastern philosophy to solving a health problem is sometimes about going back to the basics and look after one's body and then allowing the body to heal itself.

This requires that you should aim for good nutrition, avoid toxins like smoking, alcohol and drugs, regular exercise, adequate and good quality sleep, good fluid intake, and very importantly, a healthy positive mindset, good self understanding and developing a high Emotional Intelligence (EQ).  One can achieve more resilience and a higher EQ through counselling and gaining more knowledge on CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and ACT(Acceptance and Committed Therapy) and then most importantly, apply it to your every day life.

I encourage all sufferers to talk to your Doctor about counselling,CBT or ACT in addition to your medication needs.  There is good evidence that doing both ie medication and counselling have the best outcome.

Dr Vin Tran

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