Dr. Gregory Jantz

Whole-Person Approach to Treating Depression

August 28, 2015

In a whole-person treatment approach, the entire body is recognized as an important component in depression. The whole-person approach accepts the body as a complex organism and looks for systemic reasons for depression.

The body is not merely along for the mind’s ride into depression. The body is an active participant with the capacity to aggravate or improve symptoms of depression. The whole-person approach looks closely at the physical, emotional, environmental, and spiritual factors involved in depression.

Understanding the complete picture of an individual’s depression leads to effective whole-person solutions. For many people, their first stop on the road to recovery from depression is into a physician’s office. After all, they feel bad. Whatever the factors leading to their depression, many will attempt to obtain a medical diagnosis for physical symptoms:

  • Changes in sleep patterns, either sleeping too much or too little
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight, resulting in either putting on excessive weight or losing weight
  • Fatigue and lack of vitality
  • Trouble remembering or concentrating
  • Heightened anxiety or irritability
  • A failure to thrive

These are all physical signs that point to depression and can arise from a variety of physical causes.   There’s a very real possibility that what is going on inside a person feeling depressed includes a physical component and is affecting their resolve to overcome depression.

After a mental decision to intentionally recognize, promote, and sustain optimism, hope, and joy, the body may not be in a position to follow the mind. The body may be holding back. In order to go forward, it is important to examine what is happening physically and make changes to assist in the recovery process.

Addressing physical conditions can have a dramatic effect in overcoming depression. In the whole-person approach, the body itself is considered to hold its own special key to the reason behind depression. Physical illnesses are explored as well as physical conditions that may not be diagnosed or readily apparent. Even when blood work and medical examinations are done, the physical culprits involved in depression can be overlooked.

Like a detective, it is critical to be informed and persistent to discover the truth. Throughout the journey to reach beyond depression, be aware of any physical factors impacting the ability to sustain recovery.

If someone you know is suffering from depression, remember that it’s important to seek professional guidance when diagnosing and treating depression. For more information about depression treatment, call  The Center • A Place of HOPE at 1-888-747-5592 to speak confidentially with a specialist today.