The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255
I have been helping patients get off of anti-depressants for decades and have witnessed the clinical efficiency of utilizing acupuncture and herbal therapy for depression. Recent studies affirm my experiences showing that acupuncture is a cost-effective and efficient way to reverse depression. As discussed in a previous blog linked here, acupuncture can actually re-wire the brain making anti-depressants unnecessary.
My work with veterans and with those suffering from opioid dependency brings me into contact with a patient population that is highly susceptible to depression and suicide. I am hyper-vigilant in addressing emotional wellness, even when patients are coming to me for pain management or opioid withdrawal. The circumstances revolve around a constant churning murky flow of unfortunate facts:
- Depression among opioid users is statistically high
- Suicide among opioid users is growing
- PTSD among veterans is linked to both depression and higher suicide rates
- Veterans are more susceptible to opioid dependency suicide
When treating these populations there is a constant causality dilemma that health practioners must keep in mind: Did the depression lead to opioid use? Did the opioid use lead to depression? Did PTSD lead to depression? Did chronic pain and immobility cause depression? The possible scenarios are endless, but the connections are real. The impressive thing is that licensed acupuncturists (L.Ac.’s) are trained to treat all of the causes and results at the same time, and acupuncture is a proven therapy. The more we raise awareness of the efficacy of acupuncture, the less we will see people suffering in hopeless dispair.
Spackman, E., Richmond, S., Sculpher, M., Bland, M., Brealey, S., Gabe, R., … MacPherson, H. (2014). Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Acupuncture, Counselling and Usual Care in Treating Patients with Depression: The Results of the ACUDep Trial. PLoS ONE, 9(11), e113726. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0113726
MacPherson H, Richmond S, Bland JM, Lansdown H, Hopton A, et al. (2012) Acupuncture, Counseling, and Usual care for Depression (ACUDep): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.
Whiting M, Leavey G, Scammell A, Au S, King M (2008) Using acupuncture to treat depression: a feasibility study. Complement Ther Med. 16:87–91.
Cosio D. Unveiling the mask: The relationship of chronic pain and psychopathology. Presented at: PAINWeek 2018, September 4-8, 2018, Las Vegas, Nevada. Presentation BHV-02.
Blakey SM, Wagner HR, Naylor J, et al. Chronic pain, TBI, and PTSD in military veterans: A link to suicidal ideation and violent impulses? [published in March 8, 2018]. J Pain. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2018.02.012