About Depression and Anxiety; What’s the Difference?
Depression and Anxiety are the most prevalent mental mood disorders in modern society. The pharmaceutical companies keep coming up with new drugs in order to alleviate the suffering that these two syndromes produce. However, the medication is designed to alleviate the symptoms, not to heal them. It is a short term bandage, not a cure.
In order to address healing we have to search the bottom-line of the syndromes, find out what are the underlying issues, clear them, and help the sufferer re-emerge to perfect health as they had experienced prior to falling into the depth of these syndromes.
Depression and Anxiety are considered to be chronic conditions. As so, the traditional medical field views them as incurable conditions whereby symptoms can be alleviated temporarily by medication but cannot be cured. It means the sufferer will be “sentenced” for life to be on medication and if the person quits, the condition may become even worse.
In the last 20 years, the world has discovered Energy Therapy. In the different modalities of Energy Therapy in general, (and specifically in IPEC Therapy), the approach towards chronic diseases and syndromes is a thorough investigation for the root cause of why a person has lost their mental and/or physical health.
This investigation will find out in most cases that something was “cooking” inside for a long time, and at a certain point, the balance of health tipped over, and a chronic condition has taken over the person.
There are many reasons, shapes and forms to Depression and Anxiety. For the sufferer there is usually something going wrong physically for a while and at a certain point the sufferer develops these mental conditions as a side effect of the physical, overt or covert condition.
In others, these syndromes would come as a result of a spiritual decline that gradually reshapes the person’s philosophical approach to life, and at a certain point it becomes clear that a mental syndrome has taken hold over the psyche of the sufferer.
Anxiety and Depression: a Symbiotic Relationship
Both syndromes seem to be so different from each other, but in most cases they are actually like both sides of a coin, as one cannot exist without the other. Life is comprised of a constant flow of events. Sometimes good things happen and sometimes we face difficulties.
When that happens, most of us react normally with sadness, frustration, irritation and tend to be shaken. The degree to which we experience these feelings depend on the intensity of the negative event but we bounce back out of it.
When we do not bounce back from “bad news” or negative events, and slowly we sink into another form of being, when most of the day, for days, weeks or months in a row, we feel bad, then we understand we’ve developed either Depression, Anxiety or both.
The major symptoms of Depression are profound sense of hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism, loss of interest, apathy, emptiness, feels like a painful hole in the center of the chest or the gut, “what’s the point in living?” attitude, suicidal thoughts, profound fatigue, no energy, low self-esteem, intense guilt, either over-sleeping or insomnia, over-eating or a lack of appetite.
Many of these symptoms can happen also in Anxiety. The anxious person is highly irritated, impatient, needs to understand why he or she having these emotions, difficulty concentrating, experiences racing heart and grinding teeth, muscle tension, dread and panic.
The anxious person is majorly disconnected from one’s feelings, and is obsessed with negative scripts about the future. The anxious person doesn’t live in the here and now but mainly obsessed about a possible non-specific looming disaster.
Physical Causation of Depression and Anxiety
Depression and Anxiety are major disruptions of the body-mind’s flow of energy. The energy is derived from major organs in our body. When there are physical issues in one of these organs or more, the organ will slow down and will try to fix the problem and survive. This slowing down and/or a lack of stability in the organ, might render the psyche to slow down if Depression sets in, or, getting into irritable energy discharge if Anxiety sets in.
The major culprits will be the adrenal glands, the thyroid gland, specific parts of the brain (pituitary gland, hypothalamus, amygdala and hippocampus), the liver and the reproductive system. Actually we’re talking about the major hormonal manufacturing / distributing parts of our body.
We’re all equipped with a psycho-biological system in our body that is called the Stress System. This system is comprised of parts of the brain and the adrenal glands (an almond size glands, located at the top of each kidney). When you spend time in nature, look for a few minutes at the birds. When they are resting on the ground or on the tree, their heads are constantly moving from side to side, to foresee any danger about to loom.
This is the essence of our stress system. Even though we’re living in a modern world, we’re first living creatures that can be inflicted with damage or death by another living creature. Our instincts are unlike anymore to those of the birds. Evolution helped us distinct these instincts so in many emergency cases we’re unaware to a looming danger. A normal and balanced stress system will alarm us of a danger coming and after the danger is gone, the stress system goes back to normal.
When the system is triggered, re-triggered and keeps triggering, the balance of this system is compromised. We often feel alarmed as if there is a new danger looming every second. The body-mind system erupts with Anxiety and Depression, no longer able to regulate the symptoms and the signals of the stress system anymore. When this alarm keeps going incessantly, the Depression and Anxiety will become our second nature and will set in as a permanent syndrome.
Prolonged over-activity of the Adrenal gland, “squeezes” the juice of the glands, meaning, the stress hormones (Adrenaline, Cortisol), and slowing-down of these hormonal excretion renders us eventually feeling growing fatigue and exhaustion that can last days, weeks, months at a time and there are not enough sleep hours that can make up for this fatigue.
There is a need for a professional help at this stage, in order to help these glands recover and get back to normal. Unfortunately traditional medicine, in most cases, refers the sufferer at this stage to a psychiatrist in order to deal with the mental issue of Depression, often associated with Anxiety over the sufferers sensing a of lack of control of the body’s functions.
The Depression and Anxiety at this stage might stem from the physical condition, presenting themselves as side effects but the anti-Anxiety and anti-Depressant medication will not resolve the fatigue at all. Clear the underline fatigue first and the Depression and Anxiety will be gone.
The Thyroid gland is located at the base of the throat and is responsible for maintaining the correct metabolism in the body. When a person is overwhelmed with pressure in the metabolic process (which is regulation of the secretion and distribution of Calcium to about 100 trillion cells in the body), it can become either over-active or under-active. This will throw the body into havoc, trying to get into balance when the organ itself is losing balance.
It feels like a pilot is trying to stabilize the airplane which is either diving or climbing up at a steep angle. The sense of control is being interrupted and when this continues for a long enough time, the person can develop Anxiety and/or Depression as a side effect of the organ’s malfunctioning.
Fix the thyroid issue and most likely the Depression and Anxiety will disappear. If they don’t, a professional has to keep looking for another underlying issue.
Decrease in Sex Hormones Production
The sex hormones are produced by the Testes in men and in the Ovaries in women. Both sexes produce these hormones in cooperation with the Adrenal gland and the Brain. When the flow of sex hormones production is disturbed it can lead overtime to a diminished Libido, and as a result, low energy sets in.
The sufferer’s world starts to feel dull and the body gets weaker. This is a fertile ground to feel morbid feelings about oneself. The grieving process can set in about the loss of youth and getting older. These experiences and thoughts may trigger eventually Depression and Anxiety. No wonder how Viagra and Cialis took front stage in our life. Resolution of the deprivation of sex hormones will send Depression and Anxiety out of the door.
The Liver is the hormone factory in the body. When it becomes ill, slow, fatty, or enlarged, its hormone production can be compromised. The major building block of hormones is Cholesterol. Too much or too little of it can impact the quantity and quality of the hormones in our bodies.
The hormones are messengers that transmit all kinds of information throughout the body, and a compromise in this process can lead to dramatic changes in our moods, mainly Anxiety or Depression.
This underline issue has to be dealt with first, before embarking on the road of fixing the mood disorder. The mood disorders by themselves can become precursors to let the person know that his/her Liver is not ok.
Grave chronic diseases in general plague and change the body’s physiology. Cancer, Diabetes, Heart disease, Digestive issues (Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, Ulcers, Leaky Gut, Heartburn and more), create a daily challenge for the person.
Early symptoms start to show before any diagnosis has been set, and at times, the body’s changing health signals the upcoming health challenge through a change in the moods, leads to either high irritability, Anxiety or sinking into Depression.
A visit with the psychiatrist would end up with a combination of anti-Anxieties/anti-Depressants, but if you do not see a specialist to identify the origin for the mood disorder, these mood disorders continue along with chronic disease.
Psychological Causation of Depression and Anxiety
Mood disorder is a psychological symptom. As mentioned above, it can be triggered by physical reasons which in many cases are overlooked, as discussed in the previous segments. At the end of the day, we’re discussing the issue of mood disorder as a psychological symptom.
Life is a dynamic process comprised of multitude events, in which part will render us happy and part will render us sad and/or worried. It’s part of life and we have learned to deal with that.
But sometimes, it’s not that simple, and certain events can shake us to the core, and when one bad event is followed by another, something in us can become stuck and lose the regular flow of life.
In such condition, our outlook of life is changing and our philosophical perception of life can change. The time goes by and we cannot bounce back, and a mood disorder sets in after an incessant continuation of this Anxiety or Depression and we cannot shake those feelings anymore.
Traumatic events of death of someone close, losing a job, facing a bad diagnosis, a significant financial loss, PTSD, can be some examples of times when some people can fall into bad mood disorder and with passing time, they deteriorate and become increasingly severe. This is the right time to seek for professional help.
Traditional treatment and substance abuse in Treating Anxiety and Depression
When a person is finally realizing that they have fallen too deep and will power cannot reverse their condition, they start to look around. Some will call directly the family doctor or turn to a local psychiatrist.
The purpose of course will be to alleviate the severity of the symptoms. Both doctors will make a brief assessment and according to the type of the mood disorder (Anxiety or Depression) they’ll prescribe the right medication (Prozac, Welbutrin, Zoloft, Lexapro, Klonopin, Ambien, Xanax and many more).
There will be a few doctors who will explain that the medication is not the solution but rather a temporary fix, adjacent to deeper psychotherapy. The majority of doctors will prescribe the medication and help building up the right combination of drugs that come with fewer side effects and have lasting effects of alleviating the symptoms.
Rarely a doctor will go on to either explore or refer out the patient to seek the underline issue for this mood disorder.
Some patients will find soon enough that a good kind of alcohol or psychotropic drugs (LSD, Marijuana, HDMA, all kind of pills with no specific names, Cocaine, Heroin and many more) can alleviate temporarily the pain and these will become the treatment of choice. Of course, when keep using these substances on a regular basis, one needs over time more and more in order to produce the same pain relieving result, and the person becomes dependent on the substance. This is when and how people develop addiction.
Healing Anxiety and Depression
Mood disorders of Anxiety and Depression come with underlying reasons and when these reasons are not properly identified and cleared, the person who suffers will continue with an endless road towards symptom alleviation but no recovery and healing these mood disorders.
I described above many possible underlying issues to be identified and explored. In IPEC Therapy, we use the Muscle Test to detect what’s underneath the mood disorder and what should be done to clear it.
In this technique, the therapist “converses” with the sub-conscious part of the mind and gets reliable and accurate answers that lead towards the process of recovery. Adjacent to this therapy, there is always room to explore through regular Talk Therapy.
At times, when the pain and discomfort of the Anxiety and Depression is too high, I refer out the patient to a physician who can prescribe an appropriate medication in order to reduce the pain while therapy keeps digging into identifying and clearing the underline issues. Eventually, when therapy clears enough ground, the patient in many times, is feeling better and voluntarily gives up the use of medication.
Of course, we all want to be healthy and balanced all the time. To be vibrant and energetic means that we keep ourselves in check most of the time. Our body is an amazingly complex and treating it gently with the right nutrition, exercise and hydration is very helpful in maintaining optimal health.
However, our mind is residing within the body and without cultivating it, the body’s health will not survive. The mind needs a constant expression of our story, our feelings, thoughts, fantasies and beliefs, especially to people who we love and who love us.
It never ceases to surprise me how many physicians experience disease as an obstacle in the physical dimension of our life, and the mind, our spirit is perceived like an acute side effect; they say about disease that if you don’t see it, under the microscope, in naked eyes, in the laboratories, it might not exist. So I think, if I cannot see Anxiety and Depression as tangible objects, why bother feeding it with tangible medication?