THE ALCHEMYCAL PAGES
The following information is garnered from a website on the
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting
340 million people in the world today, accounting for a full 10%
of productive years lost throughout the world.
No one is immune from depression - it occurs in people of all
social classes, all countries and all cultural settings. One in
four women and one in ten men can expect to develop depression
during their lifetime, but it's not just adults who suffer......depression
affects at least one in 50 children under 12 and one in 20 teenagers.
About half of all cases of depression is unrecognised and untreated.
About 10-15 per cent of depressed people take their own lives.
Depression costs for example the United States an estimated $53
billion each year.
The World Health Organisation predicts that by the year 2020 depression
will be the greatest burden of ill-health to people in the developing
world, and that by then severe depression will be the second largest
cause of death and disability.
BUT DEPRESSION IS ONE OF THE MOST TREATABLE MENTAL ILLNESSES.
The core symptoms of depression are:
loss of energy and interest
a feeling of physical illness or of being rundown
altered appetite and sleep, and
a slowing down of physical and mental functions.
In addition, many genuine physical problems, such as heartburn,
indigestion, constipation, headaches or altered
periods often go hand-in-hand with depression. This happens so
commonly that many people focus on these
problems without realising they are depressed.
But its probably the relentless feelings of
that also accompany depression which are the most difficult
to cope with. One indication of the depths of despair
experienced by sufferers is the fact that depression is the most
common cause of suicide.
Even so it is very hard for anyone who has no personal experience
of depression to really understand the extent
of the problem. This account written by an anonymous sufferer,
which appeared in the British Medical Journal,
helps put it in perspective:
"A symptom of the bad times is that you think that they
will never abate. You convince yourself that you are
doomed forever to a state of half life. You awake to a sighing
gloom and an inordinate effort of will is required to
leave your bed. You know that you should get up to arrest the
feeling of despair, but the listlessness which is a
characteristic of the condition holds you there, gazing upwards
in static stare, musing over the endlessness of
the day ahead. Everything is an effort and is carried out in slow
motion. The smallest task is a weight on
you...Minor problems become issues of magnitude. Decisions are
deferred and avoided. Simple tasks are
shelved. Worst of all is the disintegration of your self-confidence.
You fumble in speech and in action. The
ringing of a telephone assaults you and you shrink from answering
And depression may affect not just the anonymous, given the
famous writer W. Styrone, in his book entitled
'Darkness visible', providing us with an in-depth description
of his own personal experiences when he suffered
Should you experience symptoms like the ones mentioned above,
you are advised to discuss this with your
What causes depression?
The exact cause of depression remains unclear. The most probable
explanation, and the one on which treatment
with antidepressant drugs is based, is that it is an imbalance
in certain chemical messengers (also called
neurotransmitters) in the brain.
The neurotransmitters, of which there are about 30, transfer
messages between nerve cells in the brain. Some
evidence suggests that depression is caused by a deficiency in
two neurotransmitters called noradrenaline and
serotonin. Although this does not explain everything that is known
about depression, it does at least serve as a
useful 'pharmacological' model and is usually referred to as the
monoamine hypothesis of depression.
But if depression is caused by an imbalance in these neurotransmitters,
what triggers it in the first place ?
All the above comes from the website and of course I do not
recommend you take anti-depressants. All drugs do is merely cover
up the symptoms without addressing the real cause or causes of
the illness, and in addition are toxic and damage the immune functions
of the body.
If we look at the core symptoms from the point of view of
yin and yang we can see that they are all more on the yin side.
I should add that it would not be surprising to find that most
people who suffer from depression are overweight and it is undoubtedly
true that EVERY person suffering the symptoms of depression has
Chronic Intestinal Stagnation - for a detailed descroption and
account of this condition and how it arises you will need to buy
my book, "The
End of Medicine" which you can do by clicking on the
So, the reason for depression (or any psychological disturbance)
is that the human organism is constituted of physical body, etheric
body and astral body such that disturbances in the physical body
manifest as disturbances in the astral body (the locus of feelings,
emotions, attitudes, thinking, memory, etc.). This means that
the so-called "chemical imbalances" in the physical
brain are also symptoms of the condition.
Rudolf Steiner's incisive statement needs to be broadcast
far and wide :"All physical disturbances have their origin
in the psyche (astral body or soul) and all pyschological disturbances
have their origin in the physical organism".
Thus, in the quest to heal ourselves of any illness symptom
we have to work both on the physical body AND the astral body
at the same time.
A study of the Five Transformation Theory
shows that disturbances or imbalances in any of the five paired
organs manifest pyschologically as well as physically. In the
case of depression there are three main paired organs involved
and these are, in order of importance, lungs/large intestine,
liver/gall bladder and kidneys/bladder.
So to heal ourselves of depression is relatively speaking,
straighforward. We adopt a macrobiotic dietary regimen and do
the Ginger Compress Regimen on our abdomen
which addresses the imbalances in the physical body. And we start
working on the astral body by developing specific psychological
The most important of these is gratitude. It cannot be overemphasized
how significant in the healing process is the development of UNCONDITIONAL
gratitude. This was one of the first lessons I learnt from George
Ohsawa. This means we are grateful for everything, especially
our misfortune and our illness. This idea is simply axiomatic
to any macrobiotic practice and if it is not developed then the
healing process is seriously undermined.
Other important psychological impulses which will help strengthen
the astral body are the development of patience, discipline and
consistencey in our macrobiotic practice, and attention to detail.
The practice that most helps the development of the latter three
is learning how to cook macrobiotically - it is simply not possible
to heal fundamentally if we do not take the trouble to learn to
The macrobiotic way of eating and the foods employed do not
in any way consitute a cure and it is incorrect to approach our
macrobiotic dietary regimen as if it were some formula that we
take as it if were a more "natural pill". There is no
healing power in any of these foods, there is no "active
ingredient" or "cancer-fighting nutrient" present
in any of these foods.
This is where the latest so-called "natural alternatives"
like "nutraceuticals" and "phyto-chemicals",
not to mention vitamin and mineral supplements are so far off
the mark - taking these will simply not get the job done (see
Food and You for more discussion on this
The key point I want to make is that chronic illness symptomologies
of any description whatsoever are indicators that our entire lives
are out-of-balance with respect to the rhythms of nature and the
cosmos. It is therefore not a question here of treating these
symptoms with some chemical ingredient, as any so-called "chemical
imbalance" is ALSO a symptom of our life being out-of-balance.
So, of course it makes no sense to introduce into the body more
chemicals which are in the long run only going to cause even more
imbalances while utterly failing to address the underlying reasons
for the imbalance.
So what if you take these pills and you feel better able to
cope? As time goes on the underlying imbalances will simply become
more pronounced and further degeneration will take place and these
will more than likely manifest as cancer ( a person dies of cancer
every 58 seconds in the US) or heart disease ( 3 people die of
heart related conditions every 60 seconds in the US) or some other
However, it is important to note that if you do choose to
adopt a macrobiotic approach to healing yourself of depression,
and if you are taking these very powerful and toxic medications,
that you do not simply stop these medications cold turkey. It
is easier on you and your body if you start your macrobiotic dietary
practice and only after four months do you start considering weaning
your body off the medication. And this you do gradually over a
period of 4 - 8 weeks. BUT, it is important to note that as long
as we continue to take drugs ( of any kind ) that we are seriously
undermining our body's ability to heal itself.
Copyright The Alchemycal Pages © Kaare Bursell,