The Seratonin Myth - Homeopathy and Depression
Homeopathy - whether treating depression, cancer, insomnia, Fibromyalgia, or any number of conditions, is always looking at the individual person and their expression of symptoms.
The name of the diagnosis is almost irrelevant. It’s how that condition presents in the individual person, that’s what is important to a Homeopath.
With this in mind, I read with great interest a major review of prior research led by UCL scientists, published in Molecular Psychiatry on 20 July 2022, which concluded - after decades of study - there remains no clear evidence that serotonin levels or serotonin activity are responsible for depression.
The new umbrella review – an overview of existing meta-analyses and systematic reviews - suggests that depression is not likely caused by a chemical imbalance, and calls into question what antidepressants do.
Dishing out antidepressants has been the Allopathic answer to treating depression, with varying degrees of success. For some, it has worked well. For others, it has led to a path of medication dependency, a worsening of their mental state (sometimes even suicide), and a host of unwanted side effects.
Depression affects an estimated 1 in 15 adults and 1 in 6 people will experience depression in their life. The rates of depression in children have skyrocketed since the start of the Covid pandemic, with children as young as 5 showing signs of depression.
Taking a blanket approach to depression is not the Homeopathic way. Homeopaths know that nothing happens in isolation. It can be a combination of factors that tips the scales and plummets a person into a depressive state.
What is depression? Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities. Depression exists on a continuum of severity, ranging from relatively mild, transient states of low mood to severe, long-term symptoms that have a major impact on a person’s quality of life.
The homeopathic approach to treating depression is to examine the events leading up to the depressive episode (or the time when the depression began if it has been ongoing for a long time), as well as take in existing symptoms and how depression is expressing itself for that individual.
Sometimes hormonal changes can have a part to play in depression, such as post-natal depression for post-partum women. It may be related to grief, unresolved trauma, financial worries, a relationship breakdown, or any number of factors.
Taking the time to speak to the person experiencing depression, rather than offering daily medication, helps give some understanding to the root causes of the problem, and treat it accordingly. Hence why (in my opinion), the old theory of a lack of serotonin hasn’t been the answer.
There are numerous Homeopathic remedies that can help treat Depression. These are just a snapshot of a few remedies for interest, but I do not recommend trying to self-treat depression. It’s best managed by a Professional Homeopath such as myself, who will monitor your overall symptom picture, and work out a detailed treatment plan.
Aurum metallicum is helpful for the workaholic with a tendency toward worthlessness, despair, and suicidal thoughts after a failure at work or in their personal life. Symptoms often get worse at night or during the colder months, but these individuals may find relief from calming music.
Ignatia amara - the grief remedy. This is often best for sensitive people that tend to suppress disappointment or grief. They also do not want to appear too vulnerable, defensive, moody, or guarded in the eyes of others. On occasion, they may burst into tears or laughter for no particular reason. Other symptoms may include abdominal cramps, headaches, or insomnia.
Sepia is often described as a “women’s remedy.” It is helpful when a person (often a Mother) is overwhelmed by loved ones and family members. They will also often want to be alone and they may become angry when bothered. They may feel better after crying and they prefer not to be consoled. Other related symptoms include digestion problems and menstrual issues.
Natrum Muriaticum (Nat Mur)
The person that requires Natrum Muraticum will often hide strong inner feelings such as anger, fear of misfortune, grief, or romantic attachment. They are also responsible, reserved, and guarded, and they seek solitude. Although they also seek sympathy, they can become angry if someone attempts to console them. Other symptoms include migraines, insomnia, back pain, anxiety, and hopelessness.
This is a good remedy for excessive worriers, especially for those that obsess about health and can be classified as a perfectionist. They often are depressed when they fail to reach personal lofty standards. The person’s symptoms are usually worse in colder weather, and they are also very sensitive to pain.
Lachesis is the appropriate remedy when depression is caused by suspicion, jealousy, or repressed feelings. It is also prescribed for people who dislike commitment or confinement. The person may be worrisome, very talkative, and experience menopausal depression.
If you, or a loved one, is experiencing depression or has thoughts of suicide, please contact a local organization in your area:
If your country isn’t listed here, please do a website search. There is free, 24-hour crisis line support worldwide. Don’t suffer alone, reach out for help.
If you’d like to try Homeopathy to treat depression, please contact me for a confidential, 15-minute discovery chat today. Help is available - you’re worth it, reach out x
(Moncrieff, J., Cooper, R.E., Stockmann, T. et al. The serotonin theory of depression: a systematic umbrella review of the evidence. Mol Psychiatry (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01661-0