The Young, the Elderly, and the Physically Ill
Unfortunately, these people often have less tolerance for the side effects of prescription antidepressants, or find that prescription antidepressants may adversely interact with medication they are already taking. And then there's the cost.
For these groups especially, hypericum comes as a godsend. Its few side effects, apparent noninteraction with other medications, and relatively low cost make hypericum an ideal choice for alleviating the symptoms of depression for the young, the old, and the ill.
One must be especially cautious when giving prescription medication to children. The still-developing nervous system needs all the protection it can get. This is why physicians are often more hesitant to prescribe antidepressants for children. With hypericum, this concern is far less.
In the young and in the elderly, depression often goes untreated because of the standard justifications, "It's just a phase" (for young people) and "That's just part of getting older" (for older people). If the "phase" continues for more than two weeks, depression should be considered.
"Just getting older" should never include the symptoms of depression on an ongoing basis. As the editor of the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology, Michael Jenike, M.D., reported:
The benign side-effect profile may make hypericum a particularly attractive choice for treating mild to moderate depression in our elderly patients.
In the ill, the symptoms of depression often overlap the symptoms of the physical illness -- fatigue, aches and pains, confusion, anxiety, and others. Rather than dismiss these as "just part of being sick," depression should be considered. Indeed, serious illness can trigger a depression, so depression should especially be considered if one is not well physically.