Depression is a disorder that affects the victim mentally and psychologically. It creates such a state of despair that it affects them physically and interferes with their social functions. There are several distinct forms of depression. Some forms of depression have seasonal causes. Some are physical, such as postpartum depression or premenstrual dysphoric depression. There are emotional depressions such as bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder.
There have been many studies done to try and determine the underlying causes of depression. While there are many physical and emotional triggers, the root cause still eludes researchers. Some tests, and the pharmaceutical companies that ran them, go under the assumption that it is all caused by a drop in serotonin in the brain. They feel it is all a mere chemical imbalance in the brain and that it can be treated with drugs. This theory, however, does not take into consideration that lowered serotonin levels are often a result of the depressed mental state rather than its cause.
Despite many depressed individuals having the lowered levels of monoamines such as seratonin and norepinephrine, artificially boosting the levels with drugs does not always remove the depression. So long as the mental state of the patient is in a negative spiral, the levels will not balance out and the depression will continue in some form or the other. Despite the drug companies assuring they have a cure, there are as yet, no studies that can conclusively point to a root cause of depression.
It is known that depression is not a disease. It is not caused by virus or bacteria. It is not contagious and cannot be passed on from person to person. Some researchers even preclude chemical imbalance as a cause. Researchers such as Griffin and Tyrrell in their book “Human Givens” propose that depression is a “spontaneous response to specific emotional introspection.” They postulate that there is no clear cause or explanation but that the patient tries to follow through with the closest understood medical explanation to feel in control of the situation.
Recent medical statistics show an alarming number of Americans, about seventy million people, suffer from some or all of the typical symptoms of depression. These normal symptoms include such things as lack of energy, feelings of uselessness, moroseness, lack of initiative and lack of enthusiasm for life itself. More severe symptoms include irrationality, despair and thoughtless decision making which can lead to physical harm or suicide.
There is no set, standard cure for depression. each case has its own unique causes and cures, or at least treatments. The only thing that is consistent is the need to find a way for the sufferer to elevate their interest in life and rise out of the rut of despair it causes.
It is this universal need for the victim of depression to find a new balance and harmony in their life to give them hope for the future that makes Reiki so well adapted as a positive treatment. This was pointed out by Doctor Harold Koenig, Associate Professor at Duke University Medical Center. He stated that “spiritual force and holistic healing plays a significant role and cannot be ignored as a variable in helping patients cope with depression.” At the 2002 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association it was acknowledged that strategies that included spirituality provided better results than those that ignored the spirit.
With Reiki’s strong emphasis on learning to balance the spiritual with the physical, it can reconnect a patient’s emotions with their spiritual well being and forge a link that gives them an internalized path out of the despair or emotional anguish that has driven them into the depressed state. While no one knows the root cause of depression, Reiki has shown itself to be a strong procedure for helping get people out of its grasp.