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Yoga and spirituality for treating depression by John Robinson

Article Author Biography
Yoga and spirituality for treating depression by
Article Posted: 02/19/2013
Article Views: 83
Articles Written: 270
Word Count: 544
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Yoga and spirituality for treating depression

CLICK HERE ">Depression is a condition in which a person feels mentally down for very long periods of time. A person with depression is not very easy to identify, at least in the initial stages, but as time passes; people close to him can identify this condition and seek medical intervention.

It is from inside

Although there are external causes for depression; the root of the problem is the mind. It is not a wound that shows up because of an injury. An incident can trigger it, but that in itself is seldom the entire cause, because many people withstand greater tragedies more easily. So, what is the way out?

Treatments look at two angles: One, treating symptoms, and two, treating causes. Treating symptoms involved putting the patient on anti-depressants. Essentially, these don’t alter the chemical composition of the brain, but soothe tensions by stimulating it to release chemicals that are known as “happy chemicals”, or chemicals that cause a person to be happy. One of the prime chemicals in this category that the brain releases is serotonin.

When serotonin is produced or sometimes induced into production through medicine; the brain displays an improved functioning of sleep, calmness and related brain functions.

Same effect as medication Research has proven that yoga, an ancient practice of rhythmic breathing that originated in India several millennia ago; could hold the key to producing the same results as anti-depressants.

How is yoga different from medication?

One, yoga is done with active and voluntary participation from the person doing it. Since there is no coercion; the brain is programmed to perform better with the release of serotonin and related chemicals.

Second, yoga does not offer any side effects unlike medications. Medications may make a person attain a level of calmness, but this is seldom long-lasting and free of side effects. Yoga, on the other hand, is natural and free of chemicals and pollutants. By stimulating the brain on the participant’s own accord; it induces the changes that medications bring about, but much more mildly and without harmful side effects.

No magic bullet

So, is yoga the ultimate cure for depression? Yes and no. Yes, because even when done over many years, there is no such thing as overuse in yoga. No because it has to be done on a very long term basis. Unlike medication; yoga does not give relief within five minutes of starting. Many people who suffer depression find it difficult to concentrate on even small things in their daily activities. Getting them to sit for long hours for meditation is a tall order.

It is up to the individual, finally Yoga helps patients with depression look at their problem through a new perspective. It doesn’t change situations. It is like counseling in this sense. A counselor can help a patient look at life afresh, but cannot change the root of the problem. If the death of a dear one is what has brought about depression in a person; yoga, medications and counseling can help the person look at possibilities of leading life without that person; it cannot bring that person back to life. Grappling with tragedies is ultimately up to the individual. Some accept it faster, while some others take longer.


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