Major depression affects 7% of adults, with nearly two-thirds of them experiencing severe symptoms that interfere with their personal relationships. Dr. Beijing Men has extensive experience using acupuncture and other Chinese medicine therapies such as herbs to effectively help patients improve their mood and recover from depression. If you feel overwhelmed with ongoing feelings of sadness and hopelessness, call one of the offices in Seattle or Bellevue, Washington, or book an appointment online.

Depression Q & A

When should I seek help for depression?

Like everyone else, you go through occasional depression or the blues, making it hard to know when your mood becomes a major problem. One key guideline is to look at how depression affects your ability to live daily life.

When you take a day or more away from work or you avoid enjoyable activities like an evening out with friends, it’s a good sign your depression is more profound than the blues and not likely to heal without help.

The primary symptoms of depression include:

  • Depressed mood most of the day
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, or guilty
  • Feeling fatigued or low in energy
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Inability to concentrate, think, or make decisions
  • Weight gain or loss or change in your appetite (eating more or less)
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

If you have five or more of these symptoms and they last longer than two weeks, it’s a red flag that you have major depression.

What causes depression?

Depression arises from a complex interaction of imbalanced brain chemicals, genetics, and environmental influences in your life. If you have a family history of depression, you have a higher risk for the disorder than those who don’t have a family history.

Many challenges can influence or trigger depression. Health problems, lack of sleep, trauma, childhood abuse, medications, and stress can all cause depression.

What is the treatment for depression?

Dr. Men is an expert in acupuncture and has used it for years to help patients recover from depression. Studies also support acupuncture’s ability to improve depressive symptoms. One study used functional MRIs to show that acupuncture improved connections in the brain.

Before beginning treatment, Dr. Men evaluates your medical history to determine whether your depression is caused by an underlying chronic illness or medications.

Traditional Chinese medicine differentiates depression into three types, which guide the meridians and acupuncture points targeted to restore mental clarity, reduce agitation, and calm your heart and mind.

Chinese herbal medicine is also an important component of your treatment. A depression herbal formula serves to relieve depressive symptoms and balance energy throughout your body. Dr. Men may also recommend tuina (therapeutic massage) to relieve neck muscle tension, or moxibustion, when your fatigue and depression are severe.

When you need help lifting yourself out of depression, call Integrated Oriental Medicine or book an appointment online.