Aromatherapy

Essential Oils for Emotional Problems – Depression

depression
Essential Oils for Emotional Problems - Depression 2

The main symptoms of depression are feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and pessimism. Another classic symptom is no longer having a positive interest in life’s pleasures, including sex. Sufferers may additionally experience the slowing down of physical or mental actions, tiredness, loss of concentration, indecision, and impaired memory. Sometimes depressed people find themselves crying for no apparent reason, and they’re unable to control the tears. People react to depression in different ways, particularly in their eating and sleep patterns — which can be either to overeat or to not eat, and to either oversleep or be unable to sleep. Feelings of worthlessness and guilt — excessive and/or inappropriate — often accompany depression, making it easy for someone to say to themselves, “Oh, they’d be better off without me.” This is the biggest danger of depression, which is why it must be taken seriously, and why professional help should always be sought.

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In many cases, the depression started for no apparent reason. This is known
as endogenous depression, while depression that results from an identifiable event is called exogenous depression. Strangely perhaps, depression can stem from both good and bad life changes — from a promotion or a layoff, from a birth as well as a death. However, depression usually has no single identifiable cause and just comes “out of the blue,” which is appropriate because that’s what it is — a major case of the blues.

Anyone who feels depressed, for whatever reason, should certainly seek
medical advice because there is a chance that there’s an underlying physical disorder at fault, possibly involving the thyroid gland, making some cases of depression a form of hormonal imbalance (which we are aware of also in postnatal depression).

Depression might be caused by thyroid disorders, genetic factors, problems
in life, either specific or cumulative, by changes in life, either good or bad, or for no apparent reason at all. Psychotherapy can help, especially in cases where the depression started with a bad life experience. There are many different approaches, and it is worth researching which type of therapy might suit you. If you don’t want to talk about your problems, look into mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which uses meditation to treat depression. As depressed people often have trouble receiving loving touch, an aromatherapy treatment can be a great help in overcoming that barrier. Time and love are the greatest gifts, and the concern of loved ones can be a vital component in recovery.

ESSENTIAL OILS USED TRADITIONALLY IN AROMATHERAPY FOR DEPRESSION

  • Benzoin (Styrax benzoin)
  • Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
  • Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
  • Chamomile roman (Anthemis nobilis)
  • Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
  • Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
  • Orange, sweet (Citrus sinensis)
  • Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum/officinale)
  • Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)
  • Rose otto (Rosa damascena)
  • Rose maroc (Rosa centifolia)
  • Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium)
  • Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)
  • Sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
  • Marjoram, sweet (Origanum majorana)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
  • Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
  • Coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Dilute 15–30 drops in 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) of carrier oil to make a body oil. Or
make up a blend of oils using these quantities and use the recommended numberof drops for the various methods, such as bath or shower, and in all room and inhalation methods.

Classic Blends of Essential Oils to Use in Cases of Depression

BASIC BLEND 1
Benzoin10 drops
Black pepper5 drops
Geranium15 drops
BASIC BLEND 2
Clary sage15 drops
Lavender5 drops
Bergamot10 drops
BASIC BLEND 3
Rose otto10 drops
Sandalwood15 drops
Lemon5 drops

BASIC BLEND 4

Ylang ylang8 drops
Orange, sweet14 drops
Cardamom8 drops

BASIC BLEND 5

Neroli20 drops
Petitgrain10 drops

Weepy Depression

The weepy depressive will appear normal, carry out their work as usual, function at home, tend to everyone’s needs, and then burst into tears. While out and about in public, this type of depressive can be set off into a tearful episode by the words in a song being played at a supermarket, or the sight of a couple in loving embrace in the park, or by a child trustfully grasping its mother’s hand.

Anything, in fact, can spark off the tearful response, even the smallest gesture of concern or thanks. This tearful response in itself might not be classified as depression, but something is clearly wrong, and the person involved often feels desperate — they don’t smile as much as they used to, they feel unwanted, and they often wonder why they bother living. Because weepy depressives usually function so well on a superficial level, few people around them realize what agony they’re going through until suddenly they snap and end up in the hospital because, for instance, they were found cuddling a lost kitten in the gutter, crying their eyes out.

Although this person feels overemotional all the time, they may not visit a
doctor and may shrug off the crying episodes as a “one-off,” not telling those around them how often they occur. Because a person with weepy depression may seem to cope with life’s stresses and strains so well, it’s quite easy to fail to recognize that the person is really very depressed unless one actually witnesses these crying episodes. Obviously some people cry more easily than others, and we all occasionally cry with pain, rage, temper, frustration, or sadness, but the weepy depressive finds that crying is the only way they can react, and that is a different thing altogether. Quite often, the weepy depressive person has been through an emotional trauma, or a series of traumas, and nobody, including themselves, has realized just how deeply it has affected them. Essential oils that may comfort and bring a sense of relief should be used.xcc

ESSENTIAL OILS TO USE IN CASES OF WEEPY DEPRESSION

  • Rose otto (Rosa damascena)
  • Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
  • Chamomile roman (Anthemis nobilis)
  • Sandalwood (Santalum album)
  • Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
  • Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)

Whatever the degree of weepy depression, start with the Light Blend below.
If things don’t improve after three days, progress to the Moderate Blend. Stay on the Moderate Blend until things improve, and then gradually over the next week or so return to the Light Blend. If things do not improve after a week on the Moderate Blend, go on to the Deep Blend. The essential oils listed above can be used in all the usual methods. The following blends are for body oils:

WEEPY DEPRESSION: LIGHT
Sandalwood15 drops
Geranium10 drops
Ylang ylang5 drops

Blend together, then dilute 15–30 drops in 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) of carrier oil.

WEEPY DEPRESSION: MODERATE
Geranium23 drops
Chamomile roman2 drops
Benzoin5 drops

Blend together, then dilute 15–30 drops in 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) of carrier oil. The
chamomile roman can be replaced with 2 drops of an essential oil of your
choice, relative to your condition.

WEEPY DEPRESSION: DEEP
Rose maroc10 drops
Neroli3 drops
Sandalwood5 drops

Blend together, then dilute 3–5 drops in 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of carrier oil.

Agitated or Anxious Depression

The agitated depressive can never sit still for long. They’re constantly moving, fidgeting, or twiddling with something — with their hair, or fingers, pens on the desk. . . anything. Although they’re very busy, they’re not really concerned with whether a job has been done properly, so long as it’s been done and they can move on to the next job. They’ll have long faces, tired and drawn, but their minds will be racing ahead to all the plans and jobs they’ve got to get through.

This type of depression causes symptoms such as pressure headaches, eye
problems, twitches, tics, jumping muscles, and feeling as if a tight band is being gripped around the skull. The head may feel like it’s about to explode.
Agitated or anxious depression causes deep anguish that expresses itself as
anger over the slightest thing. The person will despair if a little mark has been made on the furniture, as if it were the end of the world, and they can be prone to rapid mood swings. The constant fretting will be covering up deep feelings of worthlessness and fear. There may be palpitations, unexplained tears, and irrational negative thoughts. People suffering from this type of depression usually throw themselves into work, as a means of covering up the underlying feeling of inadequacy.

ESSENTIAL OILS TO USE IN CASES OF AGITATED OR ANXIOUS DEPRESSION

Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
Cedarwood atlas (Cedrus atlantica)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Chamomile roman (Anthemis nobilis)
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Marjoram, sweet (Origanum majorana)
Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)
Chamomile maroc (Ormenis multicaulis)
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Lemon (Citrus limon)
Orange, sweet (Citrus sinensis)

Whatever the degree of agitated depression, start with the Light Blend. If
things don’t improve after three days, progress to the Moderate Blend. If things improve, stay on the Moderate Blend until the depression begins to lift, and then gradually over the next week or so return to the Light Blend. If things do not improve after a week on the Moderate Blend, go on to the Deep Blend.

AGITATED DEPRESSION: LIGHT
Lavender15 drops
Chamomile maroc5 drops
Bergamot10 drops
AGITATED DEPRESSION: MODERATE
Cedarwood atlas20 drops
Orange, sweet10 drops
AGITATED DEPRESSION: DEEP
Cedarwood atlas5 drops
Lemon15 drops
Chamomile maroc5 drops
Spikenard5 drops

For any blend, use 15–30 drops diluted in 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) of carrier oil to make a body oil. Or make up a blend of oils using these quantities and use the recommended usual number of drops for the various methods, such as bath or shower, and in all room and inhalation methods.

Lethargic Depression

Many people are struck with a form of depression that makes them want to stay in bed all day, with their head under the pillow. The lethargic depressive doesn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. Everything is a huge effort. It’s difficult to concentrate on books and papers. It can get very difficult to get out of bed in the morning, wash, and get dressed. Sleep beckons like welcoming arms. Important phone calls are ignored; vital correspondence never gets written. Everything is overwhelming. A cycle begins to develop where the inclination to sleep leads to more tiredness, and more sleeping. And yet despite all this rest, someone with lethargic depression will feel incapable of doing anything without help and encouragement.

Lethargic depressives appear unsociable. Aside from the fact that they won’t meet you in town for a social engagement, when you go to visit them they’re so unpleasant, you’d think they were trying to drive you away — which they are, of course, but it isn’t personal. Anyone can get depressed like this. It might be a creative person being too critical of themselves, or a timid person who has been deeply hurt and emotionally wounded, or even a selfish, domineering person, now criticizing everyone else for not being able to do things properly but having no energy for doing them themselves. People with lethargic depression often display hopelessness and overwhelming desolation.

ESSENTIAL OILS TO USE IN CASES OF LETHARGIC DEPRESSION

Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Cistus (Cistus ladaniferus)
Melissa (Melissa officinalis)
Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
Eucalyptus lemon (Eucalyptus citriodora)
Eucalyptus peppermint (Eucalyptus dives)

Whatever the degree of lethargic depression, start with the Light Blend. If
things don’t improve after three days, progress to the Moderate Blend. If things improve, stay on the Moderate Blend until the depression begins to lift, and then gradually over the next week or so return to the Light Blend. If things do not improve after a week on the Moderate Blend, go on to the Deep Blend.

LETHARGIC DEPRESSION: LIGHT
Grapefruit10 drops
Rosemary10 drops
Frankincense10 drops
LETHARGIC DEPRESSION: MODERATE
Cypress10 drops
Eucalyptus lemon15 drops
Geranium5 drops

In the Moderate Blend you can substitute another essential oil, relevant to the situations and difficulties that led to the depression. If you do substitute, reduce the cypress to 5 drops and the eucalyptus lemon to 10 drops, and then add 10 drops of your chosen essential oil, making the total of 30 drops again. Dilute in 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) carrier oil.

LETHARGIC DEPRESSION: DEEP
Immortelle15 drops
Clary sage5 drops
Vetiver2 drops
Lemon8 drops

Dilute 15–30 drops in 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) of carrier oil to make a body oil. Or
make up a blend of oils using these quantities and use the recommended number of drops for the various methods, such as bath or shower, and in all room and inhalation methods.

Hysterical Depression

It’s sometimes difficult to know whether someone is suffering from hysterical depression or having a bout of bad moods and temper. Hysterical depressives will exaggerate everything, want to be noticed, and let everyone know they are suffering. They will heave great sighs, shout, scream, and cry. They might be vivacious one minute and suicidal the next. Nobody will be able to do anything right. If you tread quietly, you’ll be “creeping about,” and if you carry on normally, you’ll be told you don’t care, especially if you’re cheerful.

Shy, introverted people can become hysterical depressives, just as the
naturally exuberant personality can. This type of depression often affects people who have become depressed through circumstances, such as job loss, bereavement, financial problems, relationship failure, misunderstandings, and loneliness. The person may start having nightmares and become paranoid. Their rapid mood changes make others wonder if they aren’t two people in one skin. They often become suspicious and jealous, and they are constantly moaning and feeling miserable — to the point of crying or screaming. Shaking and trembling can be signs of hysterical depression — which is a most unpleasant state to be in.

ESSENTIAL OILS TO USE IN CASES OF HYSTERICAL DEPRESSION

Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
Chamomile roman (Anthemis nobilis)
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
Linden blossom (Tilia vulgaris/cordata)
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanoides)
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)
Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Marjoram, sweet (Origanum majorana)
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Spikenard (Nardostachys jatamansi)

Whatever the degree of hysterical depression, start with the Light Blend. If
things don’t improve after three days, progress to the Moderate Blend. If things improve, stay on the Moderate Blend until the depression begins to lift, and then gradually over the next week or so return to the Light Blend. If things do not improve after a week on the Moderate Blend, go on to the Deep Blend.

HYSTERICAL DEPRESSION: LIGHT
Lavender10 drops
Chamomile roman10 drops
Mandarin5 drops
Valerian5 drops
HYSTERICAL DEPRESSION: MODERATE
Neroli15 drops
Mandarin10 drops
Bergamot5 drops
HYSTERICAL DEPRESSION: DEEP
Vetiver10 drops
Bergamot13 drops
Chamomile roman7 drops

Dilute 15–30 drops of these blends in 1 fl. oz. (30 mL) of carrier oil to make a
body oil. Or make up a blend of oils using these quantities and use the
recommended usual number of drops for the various methods, such as bath or shower, and in all room and inhalation methods.

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