Monday, January 28, 2008
Medical Reports: Defeating Depression
Many people take medicine to beat the blues, but now there's another option. Seven's Richard Lemus shows us an alternate way to Defeat Depression.
WSVN -- Amarilis Rios was happily married for 35 years, until her husband Pedro died suddenly from a brain tumor.
Amarilis Rios: "When you lose your husband, it's something you never get over. I was depressed. I was also angry, extremely angry."
She couldn't sleep or function, and she eventually felt lifeless.
Amarilis Rios: "There was a point there where I didn't see a reason to live, and that was sad."
She went to her doctor who put her on a variety of anti-depressants and medications to sleep.
Amarilis Rios: "I didn't have a choice. I had to take medications."
But, after a time, the medications became too much.
Amarilis Rios: "I didn't want to live on drugs anymore. I had to find another way."
So she decided to try acupuncture.
Dr. Farrar Celada: "Acupuncture helps with anxiety and depression by affecting the brain waves and affecting neurotransmitters in the body, and it also helps raise the levels of serotonin and endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals in the brain."
Doctors suggest about six visits, and because they believe acupuncture treats the root of the problem, they feel patients see long-term benefits.
Dr. Farrar Celada: "Most people are much more relaxed. Their sleep is improved, and they are able to function better."
But, doctors warn, acupuncture isn't a cure-all for major depression.
Dr. Farrar Celada: "We only suggest acupuncture for mild to moderate depression."
After four months of acupuncture treatments, Amarilis' depression has lifted, and, the best part, she is off all her medications.
Amarilis Rios: "I feel like I want to live now, like I have something to look forward to."
Richard Lemus: "Acupuncture can cost about $70 to $80 a treatment, but many insurance companies are now covering it to treat depression and anxiety."