depressedAccording to The Merck Manual of Medical Information, depression is a feeling of intense sadness. This feeling may be the result of a resent loss or some such sad event but is out of proportion to the event and persists beyond an appropriate length of time. They go on to say that depression is the second most common psychiatric disorder after anxiety. An episode of depression typically lasts for 6 – 9 months but in 15 – 20 percent of suffers can last for 2 years or more.

The causes of depression are not fully understood. While there are a number of factors which may make it more likely for one to experience depression, (heredity, a side effect of medication, an introverted personality and emotionally upsetting events) it may also arise or worsen without any apparent or significant life stress. Women appear to be twice as likely to suffer with depression than men are.

Symptoms will typically develop gradually over a period of time (days or weeks). The symptoms include feelings of mild sadness to intense feelings of guilt and hopelessness. One may experience difficulty in thinking, which would include the inability to concentrate. There is a lack of decisiveness and a loss of interest often with a diminished involvement in work and recreation. Other symptoms can include headaches, insomnia or excessive sleep and decreased sexual drive. In severe depression in addition to the above there is a withdrawal from activities, the physical symptoms get worse and one can entertain suicidal thoughts. People suffering from severe depression should consult their doctor.

Essential oils can help to lighten and uplift one’s mood. Just the right blend applied in massages, baths, diffusers and personal perfumes can all be helpful at such times. When deciding which essential oils to use in a blend there are a number of things to consider and as many symptoms as possible should be taken into account.

For instance if the person is restless one would include the more calming essential oils such as, Roman Chamomile, German Chamomile, Clary Sage, Lavender, Sandalwood and Ylang Ylang in the blend. On the other hand however if the sufferer were lethargic it would be more useful to include some of the more uplifting essential oils such as Bergamot, Geranium, Jasmine, Neroli, Tangerine, Orange and Rose in the blend. Neroli can be a wonderful addition to any blend if the person is suffering from anxiety as well as depression. As so many different essential oils are useful in fighting depression it is also important to take into consideration each individuals own personal smell preferences.

Robert Berkow, Mark H Beers, Andrew J. Fletcher The Merck Manual of Medical Information Merck Research Laboratories, 1997
Beverley Hawkins Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201 courses 1999.

Depression Buster Blends

Blend 1 Blend 2 Blend 3 Blend 4
2 drops of Roman Chamomile 3 drops of Grapefruit 4 drops of Bergamot 3 drops of Sandalwood
3 drops of Clary Sage 2 drops of Geranium 1 drop of Geranium 1 drop of Rose
2 drops of Lavender 2 drops of Palmarosa 2 drop of Lavender 2 drop of Ginger

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