These were the last days of the great physician Abu Bakr Al Razi (Razis) as he decided to withdraw from a pain-filled world. Weeks later, the greatest physician of his time passed away in his bed, blind and broke.
In the language of our modern conventional medicine, physicians will probably diagnose him with depression. In his own medicinal system, though, Abu Bakr al Razi wasn't depressed, he was just a 'Melancholic'.
'Melancholic' is a body type, or temperament, as it is called in Greek, Unani, Islamic medicines, and modern-day Western herbalism. This is one of the four main human temperaments that reflect our human personality, inclinations, health and life choices. An old-day physician needed to know his client's temperament before any diagnosis could be made. This bit of information makes all the difference. A sanguine (another human temperament) who says these exact words, is definitely depressed, while a melancholic, is not. He is just trying to restore his inner balance by choosing to temporarily seclude from a cruel disturbed environment.
A melancholic person may seem depressed to an unexperienced eye. As he/she tends to worry about the entire world's problems, he/she carries lots of woes and aches. A melancholic genuinely tries to ease the world's misery and pains. He/she has a very sensitive personality, he is very kind-hearted, giving and caring. He is an introvert by nature, may spend days non-end in reflection and pondering percolating his creative ideas until they finally see the light. No hurry. Despite being a very responsible person, boundaries, rules, and deadlines stress him/her beyond measures.
Melancholy is the temperament of philosophers, writers, artists and reformers. They may choose not to actively engage in changing the world and leading the crowd, yet they surely achieve that through their sincere consistent work.
Still, melancholics are the most prone of all temperaments to depression and isolation as they not only drag their own pains, but carry the burdens and woes of the entire world. Although they are introvert, they need to be socially involved to feel their use and value in serving their community. This is the only cure for their aching hearts. Engagement in social services and/or in a valuable cause and mission is essential for easing their depressed nature and ending their tendency for isolation.
It is important to note here, that people rarely carry one pure temperament. So, generally, you will rarely find a pure melancholic. It is usually a unique combination of 2 or more among the 4 temperaments (sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, and melancholic) with one of them being dominant. and this is what creates our uniqueness as human beings.
How do you detect a melancholic?
A melancholic is an introvert, extremely sensitive, and creative person. He/she is very caring, yet he rarely shows his care or expresses it verbally. Their care is evident in times of need. He/she loves pondering, day dreaming, reflecting and deep thinking. He/she usually has a poor self-image, is pessimistic, sees all the negative and wrongs in a given situation. Physically, a melancholic has dry and cold constitution (i.e. dry skin, cold hands and feet...) and a fairly poor digestion. Their appetite varies according to their mood and they experience frequent gas and bloating. They usually do not have a very strong constitution nor do they have a great immunity. Ambiguity, stress, and rapid frequent life changes could seriously wreck havoc with their physical, mental and psychological health.
What do melancholics need?
If you are a melancholic, you will definitely benefit from lots of sunshine, gentle but continuous physical activity, and connection with earth and nature. You will also need lots of hugs and support from a close friend or a trusted relative. You need a sincere trustworthy friend to share your thoughts, perceptions, and insights with. And most importantly, you have to keep yourself engaged in a long-term meaningful project or life mission. Get your share of reflection and inner pondering, yet keep socially active and avoid total isolation.
On the physical plane, melancholics need light but nourishing foods. They needs lots of leafy greens and detoxifying vegetables to boost both their digestion and their immunity.
With Health & Healing