Here are some thoughts about
Hypericum (St. John's Wort) & Depression
Published by Peter's own Prelude Press back in 1996, co-authors of this book are: Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D.; Mikael Nordfors, M.D; and of course our Peter!
After reading through the first part of this enlightening book,
I feel it is a shame that Hypericum (St. John's Wort) and Depression
seems to be largely left out of the conversation when it comes to discussing Peter's most wonderful works in which he was co-author.
I feel strongly after diving into this pretty purple book that Hypericum needs to be recognized along with the likes of Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do! If you know ANYONE including yourself who battles depression, I hope you will consider adding this book to your shelf and to your life.
Part One of Hypericum begins by asking:
What is Depression?
It includes a provocative checklist, if you suffer from weight gain or loss, disturbed sleep patterns, etc. The term anhedonia is introduced. (I have never heard of this term before in my life, have you?) "An" means 'not' and "hedonia" means 'pleasure.' This sentence in particular struck me so stunningly: "Depression also manifests itself by a lack of positives. Many people experience depression as a lack of pleasure rather than the presence of pain."
The Undertreatment of Depression
This chapter is pretty powerful to me because it speaks to me on such a personal level.
The chapter delves into the reasons why people are shy about receiving treatment for depression and how well-meaning friends can minimize what the depressed person is experiencing. I can't tell you how many times I've experienced depression and have been told "Snap out of it!" or "Get over it!" or "CHEER UP!" (Ugh!)
Staggering statistics even for 1996 when Hypericum was first published: "Each year more than 30,000 people commit suicide in the United States." Think about that one, folks. That is so heartbreaking and mind-boggling to me. The authors including our dear Peter go on to say that Depression can be a life-threatening illness. I feel that so many people do not give depression the same respect that they would with AIDS or Cancer or any other more easily "recognized" illness because it deals with "the mind" and for many "the mind" is a scary place! Images of old 1920's black and white movies featuring scary asylums...Jack Nicholson becoming zombified in the classic Cuckoo's Nest...suprisingly many of these images STILL permeate many peoples' perceptions of what mental illness really is, even today! "I have depression" seems harder to hear than "I have Cancer." Those who have never experienced crushing depression cannot truly empathize with those who suffer.
Moving along to The Treatment of Depression, the authors explain Cognitive Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy. I think this part is really cool because I never understood the differences between them until reading this book. The co-authors fully support these therapies, which I found a little surprising, but very intriguing.
Then they mention anti-depressant medication. They explain that sometimes it's a chemical imbalance thing. Research indicates that a deficiency in some of the neruotransmitters may be one cause of depression. They also feel that meds can work for many people; although personally for me, the natural route has been the only thing that works. It is SO individual-and that's what's SO challenging in treating depression. We are built so uniquely-one person might respond to a certain drug while another won't even feel any benefit.
The Difficulty in Treating Depression explains just why it is that so many people do not seek help. Some don't even realize they have a problem; some can't afford the meds; and of course a lot of people feel embarrassed going to the doctor and saying they feel they might have depression.
Personally I disagree
that there isn't really a battle between traditional meds and a more natural approach with St. John's Wort. This is just speaking from my own personal experience and not from yours or anyone else for that matter.
I was given different meds in an attempt to treat my depression, and honestly, I became zombified. However, looking back-I dealt with doctors who honestly were not as competent as Harold! (Wish I had Hari, I probably would have been saved from so much unnecessary pain! Forgive me, I digressed...)
After finally finding a caring doctor who felt that I could go au natural after being told by so many--no way Jose-I was going to have to be hooked on meds FOR LIFE,
for me to find the right doctor who gradually got me off the meds and onto St. John's Wort, SAM-E and exercise regimen was not only effective, but it has helped heal me
I hope you don't mind the digressions, it's just that after reading the first part of Hypericum,
I am just really touched on so many levels.
To order the Real St. John's Wort which works WONDERS for me, (yes I am a living and breathing endorsement) please call 1-800-Life-101.
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