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Depression and thermal treatments: a case report.

Keywords: Depression, Thermal Treatment, Improvement

Introduction and Objectives

Depression is the name assigned to a series of behavioural, emotional and thought changes. When these changes become chronicle they significantly harm different areas of a person's life. The depressed person sees the world differently and expresses his emotions differently. According to the World Health Organisation, Depression is a widely prevalent disease in the world.

Materials and Methods

Case description: Female, 46 years-old, married, one son with 22 years-old. No relevant personal background. In June 2011 her father died suddenly. She started to reveal sadness, lack of interest in activities she used to appreciate, relevant weight loss (12kg in 4 months), insomnia, devaluation feelings, relevant asthenia and anorexia, difficulty concentrating and generalized pain that did not disappear with analgesics. She went to a psychiatrist that diagnosed Major Depressive Disorder. She was medicated with antidepressants that she could not specify. She went on a sick leave and was forbidden to go out alone and to drive. Since she revealed no clinical improvements, a relative that used to go to Termas de Sao Jorge (Sao Jorge Thermal Baths -TSJ), suggested her doing a thermal treatment.


She went to TSJ (medical consultation) on the 29th October 2011. She was thin, pale, hypotonic and revealed severe apathy and sleepiness. She could not walk by herself and was helped by her sister. Several symptoms strongly influenced her everyday life. She was clinically and physically evaluated and was prescribed a 21 days treatment that consisted of: Gymnasium, aerobaths and full body manual massage. At the gymnasium the first main aims were: walk training and muscles strengthening.After this period of thermal treatment she continued the same treatment thrice a week until the end of 2011. By end 2011 she had a medical consultation at TSJ and she revealed major improvements. She continued doing stronger muscular strengthening exercises at the gymnasium and more intensive walk training. In December 2012 she changed to a different psychiatrist and the antidepressant medication was reduced. In 2012 she went to TSJ again. She arrived by herself for medical consultation and she looked stronger and livelier. She had gained 3kg. Her emotional and physical symptoms had improved. Medical evaluation at TSJ enabled to conclude she has evolved favourably, but that until recently she was dependent from others.


This clinical case wants to raise consciousness to the importance of thermal treatment in depression cases. Treatments should be personalized both in terms of mental and physical aspects. In addition to maintaining the antidepressant treatment prescribed by the psychiatrist, it is fundamental to advise the patient to change his lifestyle (for instance make exercise and eat healthy food), socializing in a supportive environment, correcting negative thought patterns and improving his adaptation to the outside world. Independently of its specific therapeutic indications, attending thermal baths, with a supportive environment and the professionalism of hydrologist doctors and qualified technicians, is always positive for a period of active rest, healthy eating, relaxing balneotherapy and climate change. All this helps improve the different symptoms associated to Depression.

Cachapuz Santos C (1), Silva V (1), Pinheiro J (1), Cantista P (1)

(1)Termas de Sao Jorge. Santa Maria da Feira. Portugal
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Title Annotation:texto en ingles
Author:Cachapuz, I.; Santos, C.; Silva, V.; Pinheiro, J.; Cantista, P.
Publication:Anales de Hidrologia Medica
Date:Dec 1, 2012
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