Integrative Mental Health: Water Depression

Presently in the field of medicine, doctors have noted that in many patients when their physical ailments have been treated to the point of curing their disease, the disease often returns. When only treating the body and not treating the mind the result would be equivalent to dressing a wound and not cleansing it first. Once the wound is covered, it is ripe for the growth of infection and disease below the surface. Healing the body without healing the mind allows for the return of the physical ailment and/or the opportunity for new physical ailments and disease to arise. One key factor in the return of disease is the level of stress endured by the individual. Stress is a mental state of duress that will begin as a manifestation in the mental/emotional realm first. When it does not stop there it steps down into mental/emotional ailments such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis. The next step down from there are the physical ailments such as the aches and pains associated with depression, or the development of high blood pressure from post-traumatic stress disorder. Using such holistic approaches as Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine in addition to western approaches can help to resolve the stress that causes mental distress that later manifests into mental and often physical disease.

Using the Ayurvedic/elemental approach and the mental wellness cycle chart that is posted let’s take a look at the mind body connection related to depression. There are different elemental types of depression and for our purposes and intents we will look at “water” depression which is very emotional depression harboring many tears and much sadness. So the thought that begins this is usually something one is very emotional about such as the ending of a relationship. In the Air state one would take on the negative thoughts associated with the ending of the relationship. In an attempt to prevent this feeling/state from happening Fire is ignited and emotional blocks are put in place which does not help to resolve the initial problem that spawned the negative thoughts. Over time (short time for some, longer time for others) Water emotions manifest into the mental disorder of depression. Eventually in settles in the Earth element causing physical manifestations of the depression. Through the use of Counseling and Holistic medicine one can work through the Water, Fire, and Air elements on the left side of the chart to return to the Ether element of mental wellness and stability. Attached is a suggested course of treatment from a holistic approach for “Water” Depression:

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