Aromatherapy has a wide number of uses and can be particularly beneficial in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression. People suffering from depression are trapped in a cycle of despair and hopelessness. This negative emotional state can be very hard to deal with, but holistic treatments such as aromatherapy for depression can often make a difference by lifting the mood and helping the patient feel more positive about life.
Why use aromatherapy for depression?
There are plenty of drugs available to treat depression, but many of them cause unwanted side effects. Consequently, in cases of mild depression, it can often be more advantageous to try alternative therapies such as aromatherapy, which combined with changes to the lifestyle, can make a positive difference.
How does aromatherapy for depression work?
Depression is an illness rather than a state of mind. It can sometimes be triggered by anxiety and stress, but in most cases, there is no obvious reason why the person is depressed. The symptoms of depression are wide-ranging and there can be an overlap with anxiety disorders and stress related health problems, but in all cases, the problems are centered in the limbic or emotional center of the brain.
Aromatherapy essential oils stimulate our sense of smell. Some oils relax and calm us, promoting sleep, whereas other essential oils can enliven us and stimulate us physically. Aromatherapy can also help to promote a sense of wellbeing, which is important for anyone suffering from depression.
Although using aromatherapy for depression can be very helpful, it is important to remember that aromatherapy should not be considered a cure for depression and it usually works best as a complimentary therapy in conjunction with other treatments. People with mild depression will certainly benefit from the use of aromatherapy, but anyone suffering from severe depression will require additional help and support from a medical professional.
Essential oils can be used in many different ways and aromatherapists can blend oils to suit many purposes. You can add oils to a relaxing bath, or use them as massage oils. Different essential oils have different properties and some aromatherapy oils are more suited to the complimentary treatment of depression than others. Aromatherapy oils useful in the treatment of depression include:
Lavender – the scent of lavender is very relaxing and lavender essential oils is very good for soothing tension, relieving the symptoms of depression, stress, insomnia and migraines. A few drops sprinkled on a pillow or added to a warm bath can promote wellbeing and help you to get a good night’s sleep.
Basil and Clary Sage essential oils are both useful for treating the symptoms of depression, anxiety and fatigue.
Ylang-ylang and Sandalwood can help to relax and sooth away tension, which makes them a good choice for anyone suffering the effects of depression.
Jasmine essential oil improves alertness and increases energy levels, which in depressed people are often severely dampened.
Other essential oils known to be helpful for lifting the mood and relieving the symptoms of depression include: