The article describes use of homeopathy for anxiety. It covers the basic information about anxiety disorders, their cause, general management and best homeopathic remedies for its homeopathy treatment..
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal response to stressful events or we can say that it is an alarm mechanism to prepare an individual for a physical response to perceived danger. However, when it happens out of place or is out of proportion, it becomes the anxiety disorder.
You can better understand the nature of anxiety by looking at both what it is and what it is not. For example, anxiety can be distinguished from fear in several ways. When you are afraid, your fear is usually directed toward some concrete external object or situation. The event that you fear usually is within the bounds of possibility. You might fear not meeting a deadline, failing an exam, being unable to pay your bills, or being rejected by someone you want to please. When you experience anxiety, on the other hand, you often can specify what it is you’re anxious about. The focus of anxiety is more internal than external; it seems to be a response to a vague, distant, or even unrecognized danger. You might be anxious about “losing control” of yourself or some situation. Or you might feel a vague anxiety about “some thing bad happening”.
Anxiety affects your whole being. It is physiological, behavioral, and psychological reaction all at once. On a physiological level, anxiety may include bodily reactions such as rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, queasiness, dry mouth, or sweating. On a behavioral level, it can sabotage your ability to act, express yourself, or deal with certain everyday situation.
Psychologically, anxiety is a subjective stage of apprehension and uneasiness. In its most extreme form, it can cause you to feel detached from yourself and even fearful of dying or going crazy.
The fact that it can affect you on a physiological, behavioral, and psychological level has important implications for your attempts to recover. A complete program of recovery from an anxiety disorder must intervene at all three levels to
- Reduced physiological activity
- Eliminate avoidance behavior
- Change subjective interpretations which perpetuate a state of apprehension and worry
Anxiety can appear in different forms and at different levels of insanity. It can range in severity from a mere twinge of uneasiness to a full-blown panic attack marked by heart palpitations, disorientation, and terror. Anxiety that is not connected with any particular situation, that comes “out of the blue,” is called free floating anxiety or, in more severe instances, a spontaneous panic attack. The difference between an episode of free floating anxiety and spontaneous panic attack can be defined by whether you experience four or more of the following symptoms at the same time (the occurrence of four or more symptoms defines a panic attack):
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Trembling or shaking
- Nausea and abdominal distress
- Dizziness and unsteadiness
- Feeling of detachment or being out of touch with yourself
- Hot flushes or chills
- Fear of dying
- Fear of going crazy or out of control
If your anxiety arises only in response to a specific situation, it is called situational anxiety or public anxiety. If you have a disproportionate apprehension about driving on freeways, going to the doctor, or confronting your spouse, this may qualify as situational anxiety. Situational anxiety becomes phobic when you actually start to avoid the situation. If you give up driving on freeways, going to doctors, or confronting your spouse altogether.
Often anxiety can be brought on merely by thinking about a particular situation. When you feel distressed about what might happen when or if you have to face one of your phobic situations, you are experiencing what is called anticipatory anxiety.
Cause of Anxiety
Anxiety may be caused by a psychological condition like prolonged or unusual stress, a physical disease like hypoglycemia, hyperthyroidism, caffenism; the effects of drugs, addictions, or a combination of these. Anxiety symptoms are considered clinically important when they are abnormally severe, usually prolonged and when cause impairment in social or occupational functioning.
Mechanism of Anxiety
Five neurotransmitters, which include serotonin, norepinephrine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and cholecystokinin, are involved in managing the state of anxiety. Serotonin and GABA are inhibitory as they quiet the stress response, while the other neurotransmitters play a part in triggering it.
The amygdala and the hippocampus are two parts of the brain that play the most important role in anxiety. If there is a threat, amygdala will alert the rest of the brain, including the hippocampus, which creates memories from the threatening event that are then stored back in the amygdala. The amygdala and hippocampus are both responsible for activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, the system that regulates the stress response.
Symptoms are initiated by a part of the brain-stem called the locus ceruleus. When there is a stressful situation, neurons in the locus ceruleus start firing more intensely than usual. Norepinephrine is then released from the nerve endings to act on the heart, blood vessels and respiratory centers, causing the rapid heartbeat, higher blood pressure and quick breathing. The hypothalamus stimulates the sympathetic nervous system to release the stress hormone corticotrophin-releasing hormone, or CRH. CRH then acts on the adrenal cortex to release glucocorticoids. This is the biochemical mechanism for anxiety. The memories of the past stressful events stored in amygdala, can precipitate or simulate the whole experience of the event and result in a anxious state or even a panic attack.
Symptoms of anxiety mainly include:
- Fear and apprehension
- Increased startle response
- Insomnia or disturbed sleep
- Mental and physical restlessness
- Lack of concentration or abstraction of mind
- Over sensitiveness
- Increased sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of libido
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Numbness and tingling
Conventional treatment of anxiety disorders usually consists of a combination of psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and medication. Psychological counseling can include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychotherapy, or a combination of therapies. Medicines which are commonly used to control some of the physical and mental symptoms include antidepressants, SSRI’s, benzodiazepines, tricyclics, and beta-blockers etc.
Homeopathy Treatment for Anxiety
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat anxiety but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several well-proved homeopathy medicines are available for treatment of anxiety disorders that can be selected on the basis of cause, condition, sensation and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. Some important remedies are given below for homeopathy treatment of anxiety:
Pulsatilla, Sepia, Natrum mur, Lachesis, Aconite, Arsenic alb, Opium, Calcarea carb, Stramonium, Cuprum met, Hyocyamus, Gelsemium, Argentums nitricum, Lyssinum, Cannabis indica, Lycopodium, Kali carb, Camphora, Medorrhinum etc.
Aconite – In this homeopathy remedy, the complaints are so sudden and violent that the patient is under great nervous irritation, and excitement. Even trivial complaints are accompanied by great fear and anxiety of mind. Great anxiety and excitement, patient is hasty in every action. Tendency to start at everything; thinks his thoughts are coming from stomach; music is unbearable and makes her sad, complaints from fright, anxiety and excitement. Patient is extremely restless-mentally as well as physically. Patient tosses about in agony, must change his position often. Fear of future, fear of going out, of crowd, of crossing street.
Arsenic album – anxiousness and mental restlessness is marked in this homeopathic remedy. Always moving from one place to another, physically too weak to move, so he wants to be moved from place to place, Fear of death; fear that he is having some incurable disease. Sad and hopeless of recovery; Fear when alone, anxiety about money, feels as if he will die soon. Suicidal tendencies, weary of life. Impulse to commit suicide, over sensitiveness to circumstances and surroundings, patients is extremely fastidious, wants everything in proper place, even when he or she is sick.
Sulphur – anxiety with fainting spells, profuse sweating, worse in the morning. Mentally lazy, always tired, occasionally restlessness and hasty. Irritable, impatient of others, selfish, easily excited and offended. Always in dreams, delusions, thinks rags to be beautiful things. He is a ragged philosopher, very unclean, does not care for neatness, he thinks there is no need of cleanliness. Suspicious and mentally depressed. Very forgetful, confused, absent minded, having aversion to mental, as well as physical efforts. Aversion to bathing. Overambitious, day-dreams, boaster.
Argentum Nitricum – anxiety makes the patient to walk fast; due to anticipation, patient is very anxious and nervous, apprehension and fear, when getting ready to go to any gathering such as church or opera etc, diarrhea sets in. Patient is always in hurry, time passes too slowly.
Impulsive, impulse to jump, when in a high place.
Fear of crossing corners of street, fear of death, fear of looking at high places. Patient is sad, melancholic with great anxiety, forgetfulness and dullness. Defective memory, Child does everything in great haste. Cannot face the strangers.
Borax – This homeopathic medicine has anxiety aggravated by upward or downward motion, going in elevator, worse till 11 p.m. Great fear of downward motion, child cries when laid down in the bed, he clings to the nurse. Fear of falling when rocking, dancing, singing, going downstairs, or going rapidly down to the hill. Fidgetiness and nervousness.
Anxious about trifles, anxious during downward motion, excessive nervous, easily frightened by slightest noise or an unusual sharp sound, a cough, a sneeze, cry, lighting a match etc. Patient becomes nauseated and excitable after mental exertion and in anxiety. Children wake suddenly, screaming and grasping sides of cradle without apparent cause.
Bryonia – anxious about business, even when seriously ill; mind is hazy and confused. The patient dozes frequently, while his eyes are closed, he sees people who are not in the room. Mild type of delirium first during sleep, and later on during waking hours.
Talks incoherently, about his business affairs or events of recent happening, wants to go home as he thinks he is away from home; he wants something but do not know what he wants, desires things which cannot be had, which are refused when offered.
Causticum – full of apprehension; patient is melancholic, lachrymose, hopeless, and foreboding. Prone to fits of anger, startled easily, the least things make the child cry who is peevish. Forgetful, taciturn, and extremely restless, especially at night.
Always anticipating some dreadful events, patient lacks mental balance, hysterical women who have lost all control of herself, especially at night. Intensely sympathetic for suffering of others, ailments are worse when thinking about them. Mental symptoms that come on from suppression from skin eruptions.
Calcarea Carb – anxiety and fears in the evening with restlessness and palpitation, mental weakness, inability to prolonged mental exertion, difficult thinking. Weak memory, confusion, misplacing of words, forgetfulness, indolence.
Irritable, obstinate, and sad. Inclined to weep, fear of insanity and anxious. Ailments from prolonged worry or anxiety, prolonged application to business, from excitement of the emotions. Fears loss of reason, fear of death, of consumption, of misfortune, of being alone. Horrible dreams, startled at every noise.
Gelsemium – This homeopathy remedy has anxiety due to fright, fear, exciting news, stage fright; worse while appearing for examination or interview etc.
Ignatia – anxiety due to grief or mental shock, alteration of opposite mental states, such as joy and sorrow, or laughing and weeping. Patient weeps and broods in solitude, becomes hysterical from disappointment; patient weeps, laughs, shrieks, jerks and twitches and may go in to convulsions or faint. Involuntary sighing.
Patient is unable to control her emotions and excitement. Absent-minded, aversion to company
Anacardium – Anacardium has dullness and sluggishness of mind, memory impaired or sudden loss of memory, anxiety better after eating. Absent mindedness, lack of confidence in himself and others, very easily offended. Irresistible desire to curse and swear, tendency to use violent language, aversion to work, indolence, all complaints are worse from mental exertion.
Thinks he is possessed of two wills, one commanding to do what other forbids; hallucinations that a demon sits on one shoulder and an angel on the other, feels he is double, mind and body are separated. Suspicious about everything around him, anxious while walking, as if someone is pursuing him.
Note: The above homeopathy medicines are just an indicator of how we can treat anxiety disorders with homeopathy. Please consult a qualified homeopath in person for a full case analysis and to find the best homeopathy remedy for your individual case.