Over the next weeks and months the other practitioners and I are planning on writing more about mental health and acupuncture. It’a really big topic. And we will probably just scratch the surface.
For now I want to make note about a certain kind of low grade depression that I see a lot of people having and managing.
It’s called Dysthymia, or Persistent Depressive Disorder, and it’s chronic, lasting at least two years.
It’s not clinical depression but it’s part of the same constellation of symptoms. Clinical depression has more symptoms. But with Dysthymia, folks still suffer from low mood and then a couple of the following: sleep disturbance (too much or too little ), eating too much or too little, feelings of hopelessness and despair, low motivation, low self-esteem, fatigue, lack of concentration, lack of focus, and foggy-headedness.
People with Dysthymia don’t always recognize it. They see it as their personality. They think, “this is how I am.” The people in their life can just think of it as melancholy.
I think our communities are getting better at recognizing it, talking about it and destygmatizing it. I know that in my time as a health practitioner I’ve become more attuned to the gradations of mental health stuff.
There are many causes for this type of depression. It usually comes from chronic stress, which has significant effect on the brain and body, resulting in the above symptoms. We all respond differently to life’s stresses because everyone’s life and history are different and complicated.
Getting regular acupuncture treatments can help your nervous system recalibrate, and change your body’s stress response.