Case Study: Depression

Patient: Tania

Ages: 29

Occupation: General Admin

Health History: Depression

• 2 years ago, fainted at work, sent home, had nervous breakdown, not work since.
• Various medication, work for short time, but soon symptoms return, regular psychiatric outpatient
• Feeling anxious and agitated, Hot most of the time, feeling tired all the time, before the illness, very energetic
• Disturbing sleep, woke up several times a night, palpitations both in bed & most of the day time for no reason.
• Very hot in bed, soaked the bed sheet
• Very dry skin, nails ridged, hair thinning
• Constipation-even with good diet, good appetite (14 cups coffee per day)
• Urine dark
• Ringing ears, deafness occasionally
• Normal period, but with scant blood flow, with back pain
• Unmarried, have regular & varied partner, but nothing last….willing to have child and desperately to get pregnant
• Pulse rapid, somewhat superfaicial, tongue is dry & red, with very red tip

Yin Yang balance is the key of a good health, Yin generally means female hormone, & Yang represents men’s.
• Heat signs (feeling hot, sweat, rapid pulse, red tongue, dark urine)
• Heat caused by a deficiency of Yin (generally refers to female hormone ) chronic problem affected internal organs, disharmony
• Kidney Yin deficiency – suggested by night sweat, lower back pain, rapid pulse
• Liver blood deficiency – suggested by dry skin, ridged nails, poor energy, thinning hair. Scanty menstrual flow, sleeplessness
• Heart Yin deficiency – suggested by palpitations, poor sleep patteren, red tongue tip, and general Yin deficiency signs

How might these symptoms have developed?
Diane has had a lot of emotional problems in her life, with associated anxiety and sadness, this can deplete the Heart Yin, and excessive sexual activity can weaken the Kidney Yin. She also has obvious emotional problems concerning relationships and her desire for a child. It is probable that these factors are combining to weaken the Kidney Yin energy. The Kidney Yin fails to nourish the Liver Yin, which is closely related to Liver Blood, thus causing the Blood deficiency problems. The Kidney Yin also fails to nourish the heart Yin, causing empty heat to flare up in the heart. This leads to palpitations and the heart’s failure to house the Spirit (Shen)—hence the sleep problems. The tinnitus and the deafness result from the Kidney Yin’s failure to nourish the ears (sensory organ related to the Kidneys)

What can acupuncture do to help?
The principle of treatment I Diane’s case was to tonify the Kidney and heart Yin, clear the empty heat, calm the Shen, and tonify the Liver Blood. Diane required on-going acupuncture sessions and was advised to revise various lifestyles factors- in particular her gross overconsumption of coffees and her excessive sexual activity.
Acupuncture proved of considerable help to Diane. Six months after starting treatment she was back at work, feeling much more positive about life, and in a stable relationship that she also felt positive about. She experienced flare-ups from time to time, she felt more able to cope with them.