What is Anxiety? Anxiety can be defined as a sense of unease, worry, fearfulness and/or nervousness.
Anxiety may arise from a multitude of factors. It may result from ongoing work or home stress, grief, change in life direction, dietary or lifestyle factors. Some people have a natural genetic tendency to experience anxiety, it may run in the family. In other cases it may be triggered by a worrying about something or be part of other conditions such as insomnia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It's important to remember that people’s individual experience of anxiety can be quite varied and may coexists with other issues or symptoms.
Anxiety can be greatly helped with homeopathic and herbal medicine as the approach taken is to understand how you personally experience anxiety, what else it is associated with and what factors predisposed you to it.
I'd like to share two stories with you to show how homeopathic and herbal medicine helped with Anxiety.
Worry was the trigger to her Anxiety
I worked with a lady in her mid forties who had just been diagnosed with cancerous changes to tissue in her left breast after experiencing menopausal changes over the previous year.
From this diagnosis she began to experience intense panic attacks from her fear of the surgery. She was prescribed an anxiolytic antidepressant to subdue her anxiety which did not prove effective. On my first consultation she described to me that her anxiety would turn to panic very suddenly. Her heart would race and she would be overcome by a real and overwhelming feeling that she was going to die at that very moment, that her life was over. I prescribed her the homeopathic medicine Aconite, which significantly subdued her acute and intense feelings of fear and panic.
On her follow up visit she was able to provide me with a more complete understanding of her state. She had actually been of a nervous disposition her whole life and had always had anxious dreams. She was quite fastidious by nature and was sensitive to cleanliness and a sense of order in her environment and could become quite irritable. She was also very sensitive to cold and had a history of digestive upsets. I prescribed her homeopathic Arsenicum album to be taken daily and she reported that her nervousness began to improve. She was also able to go through her medical tests and procedures coping much better than she could have expected. She was still anxious about her medical condition however she was no longer having panic attacks and her racing heart symptoms had stopped. She was feeling much better and able to cope after only a relatively short period of time. Looking to continue working to understand the Anxiety in her history and to gently further disables the controlling effect anxiety has had over her life. Homeopathy can work harmoniously alongside orthodox medical interventions to improve people’s overall health outcomes and support them through life's unexpected challenges and health issues.
Alice's mother explained she had always had anxiety and mood swings
According to her mother 8 year old Alice had always been an anxious and moody child. As she had aged her toddler tantrums gradually turned into intense episodes of screaming abuse and tears. She needed constant attention and the intensity of her behaviour had taken a tole on the family and there was a constant underlying sadness about Alice. Occasionally the happy, bright Alice that her parents knew would emerge, only again to be overtaken by this intense state. Underlying her emotional outbursts and sadness was a constant, background anxiety.
Alice’s mother experienced unusual anger during the pregnancy and intense fear during her labour. From a young age Alice had recurring scary dreams of fire, witches and/or of being neglected and abandoned. Clearly, her state was inherited. Other ongoing or recurring symptoms included difficulty getting to sleep, sore tummies, darkness under her eyes, itchy bottom, fear of spiders and storms.
This was a complex case but a successful homeopathic medicine (Crotalus cascavella) was found. From the first dose a noticeable change came over Alice. She became brighter and happier, as if a dark cloud had been lifted. Whenever she slipped back, the medicine would be repeated which progressed her improvement. Over time Alice emerged from this anxious, dark state that had engulfed her for so long and wreaked havoc on her family. The homeopathic medicine works with the body-mind as an integrated unit. Hence the whole person benefits at all levels at once, both physically and psychologically.
One of the joys of working with children is that when given the right stimulus, they usually have the innate vitality to move on quickly, freed up to grow and develop normally.
Gerry Dendrinos is Live Well's Herbalist and Homeopath