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Wilson
04-17-2003, 05:45 AM
Is TCM helpful with mental issues such as anxiety or depression. I have family who are wrestling with whether or not they should see a doctor/therapist to deal with mainly anxiety issues. With all the simple drugs that are around these days, it seems that society is very quick to turn to them to solve these mental issues. I understand that, for some, anxiety and depression is caused by chemical imbalances and that medication can help clear this up. Is it possible to use TCM to help these chemical imbalances.

Also, is it possible to teach someone who might have clinical anxiety or depression issues to relax using TCM or meditation techniques. I'm talking about someone who really struggles with settling their mind and who believes that medicine is the only answer. I can meditate to clear my mind, however, when I talk to others struggling with anxiety, they feel it is almost impossible to clear theirs.

I am not a big fan of doctors who are so quick to prescribe medicine without any tests.....some will do it over the phone after they ask a few simple questions. They say these medicines will do no harm if you do not need them. It seems to me that there could be other ways. Does anyone have any insight on these topics? Any sources of reference that I could read or look for?

Thanks.

prana
04-17-2003, 05:55 AM
Depression is a weird one. Sometimes meditation can make yourself more sensitive to the anxieties and make things worst, so sometimes, sitting meditation is not the best way.

What really helped was getting into a good sport, or perhaps a good hobby and generally trying to not allow yourself to put yourself down. That really helped me..

I used to take medication, from 3 times the standard dose to 1 and then none in about 6 months, thanks to a good sport and much time for me to meditate (yup meditation did help me personally.... but may not be a good point to start) but one thing is for sure, I still believe up till this day that those drugs did something very bad to my memory, I have the memory of a gold fish.

... anyways... back to reality.;

Former castleva
04-17-2003, 11:06 AM
You did not say what kind of anxiety,or possibly what kind of depression.
Also note that common condition of thyroid disorder(s) can be easily misdiagnosed as psychiatric to point an example out.

" I understand that, for some, anxiety and depression is caused by chemical imbalances and that medication can help clear this up. "

All that we feel is basically chemistry,these conditions will make no exception,other factors are not to be denied though.
Psychiatry is no easy science and due to these difficulties may not have a very good reputation among all circles.
I know what conventional quackery can do to you (bad science among science will do)
To the point,I cannot say whether meditation will help or not but I cannot help but notice that I do know of no evidence for meditation clearing neurochemistry.

"Is TCM helpful with mental issues such as anxiety or depression. "
As you might know,psychiatry is still in its infancy in certain manners.
Im extremely skeptical for these obvious reasons (of course this is not meant to "convert" you but to point out my concern)
Finding relief from ones own action should not be denied either.

"I am not a big fan of doctors who are so quick to prescribe medicine without any tests.....some will do it over the phone after they ask a few simple questions. They say these medicines will do no harm if you do not need them. It seems to me that there could be other ways. "
There are good resources for basic information on www.
For a message board more relevant for this,go to www.wingofmadness.com recommended.

As for drugs,they can be of great help or they may simply not work.This also varies between inviduals.
Better off without drugs than with drugs,good to do some search to get to know what to expect and for possible side-effects.
Im not a big fan of doctors that hand medication away like that either,that simply does not work in psychiatry.
A combination of therapy and possible medication as an example might come in more handy.
Drugs CAN be harmful,it is best to gather the information possible and to know as much as possible about them in order to know what to expect.
On the other hand,jumping on the wagon of "natural" care trying to scare you away with their talk about "toxins" may not lead to great discoveries either.

Becca
05-10-2003, 11:38 PM
My dad and brother were both diagnosed Bi-Poler. Thier pscychiatrist recommended them to a Tai Chi/Tai Chi Quan instructor in Westminister, Co as supliment to convetional drugs. After several years and lots of practice, both are Depicote-free and have been able to maintain it. on the other hand, my dad still needs help from time to time with his anxiety attacks.

Repulsive Monkey
05-11-2003, 01:22 AM
Depression and mental Diseases can have superb turn-arounds with TCM.
The root of depression can come from several different origins in Chinese thought but a amin one is through Liver Qi Stagnation. Phlegm misting the mind is another classic in mental disease, but I can't sayenough how well Chinese medicine can tackle mental illness and emotional blockages.

bodhitree
05-11-2003, 05:40 AM
There is a spiritual solution to every problem. May not be the easiest or fastest, it may take a long time, a lot of work, or searching for the right teacher, however there is a spiritual answer out there (and there normaly simpe). Western medicine 1give em drugs 2cut it out of them.

ZIM
05-11-2003, 03:16 PM
Wilson-
You've gotten some pretty good advice already, the problems with meds, the problems with meditation.

You didn't specify type of mental illness, so i'm going to go by the assumption that the ppl involved have not been diagnosed professionally. That could be a problem in that identifyin whether its unipolar or bipolar depression, dysthymia, or a particular form of anxiety can be critical in providing any advice.

If the ppl want to just talk to a therapist in order to get a dfiagnosis, they can do that. If they feel that meds are the only way to solve it, then by all means support their decision, even if you disagree with it- its their life. Guohen does have a valid observation, BTW- esp. when he calls them 'restraints'. Its a difficult issue, and one that the MH field struggles with currently.

That said, certainly excerise can be of immense help in sorting out the person. Sometimes that with an attendent change in diet clears it up enough for them to decide where to go next, if at all. All that without a potentially limiting diagnosis following you around. [Stigma still is, unfortunately, a problem].

Encourage them, if they'll listen, to get into a program of excercise first, then proceed from there. There are good books out there that may be of help, but primarily after they've started down the road.

edit: One thing should be mentioned- if the ppl are suicidal or ho mocidal in their thinking patterns, even jokingly, take it seriously. Do not be afraid to explore those areas with them- sometimes just asking 'have you felt this way?' can relieve that pressure for them. You won't be giving them ideas, either.

Christopher M
05-11-2003, 06:05 PM
Wilson - I'd strongly recommend seeing a doctor about it. Just go in with the attitude that you don't have to do what the doctor says; talk to him frankly and get his thoughts and what he thinks the options are.

If depression and/or anxiety has been very bad for a long time, I can say that one great advantage of medication is getting something that will help you sleep. Of course, there are OTC products for this as well, but they may not be ideal or work. Just getting regular sleep can be what is needed to end the vicious cycle of depression/anxiety where you need to be active to feel better, but your very problem is that you can't get active!