Clinical Cases

A Case of Gavia Immer (Loon)

homeopathy for anxiety

The author presents an interesting case of a new remedy.

This client was a 41-year-old female when first seen in June of 2006. She was experiencing a great deal of conflict and anxiety related to family issues. Coincidentally or not(!) the Loon proving results had been unveiled in Minneapolis during the prior week.


Patient: I have stress. I itch and have rashes that keep coming back. I’ve had a whirlwind of stresses. I want to be healthy. It’s been hell on earth.

I’m divorced; my ex-husband left me. I have four children. I re-married two years ago. My new husband has two children. There’ve been a lot of changes. We’ve moved a lot. I’m disappointed my new husband can’t fill the role of father. He rages and yells. I get between him and his daughters—’Hey, you can’t treat them like that.’

It empties me. I’m resentful that I have to send my kids away so I can take care of his. I’d like to take care of my own, too. I’ve wanted to create a good solid family. I’m trying to hold everything together (gesture). I’m re-creating family – my husband’s not there as much. I’m having to take on his kids who are having huge problems. I want my own kids to feel part of the new family.

I’m trying to help his girls, but I don’t want to empty myself, or have my own kids looking for their emotional needs to be met elsewhere. They’ve counted on me to make things all okay. Sometimes I’m afraid I’ll crack open like Humpty Dumpty. Who will put me back together?

I feel like I need to get my husband and his girls to connect. They don’t express emotion. I don’t know how to fix it for them. We’re in a place that’s not healthy–I don’t want to fail in another marriage. I don’t want his girls to self-destruct. I’d like some peace.

I think about having my kids in a house again – us against the world. If I’d waited longer to re-marry maybe my kids wouldn’t have had to go through all this stuff. I feel I have to be very strong. I have a platter that’s full. I’m holding a platter that’s full, with all this stuff on top, and it gets heavy. I feel I always need to be doing something to make things better. It’s hard to sit back and watch my husband and his girls, with them trying to get his attention.

I have to sit still so the kids will circle and land and talk to me. I feel the need to be the hub or everything will go away. I work hard to build a relationship with them as a mentor. I don’t want to miss out on younger kids – I want to help them out. It’s great to see all the kids interact together. I’ve had to downplay the accomplishments of my older kids. I’m emotional, wear my heart on my sleeve, like to scream and shout.

It’s so interesting to hear their viewpoints. They come at things from all different viewpoints. I love talking. I love to connect, to talk with my girlfriends. We can talk all over the place and solve the world’s problems.

I’ve tried to help kids connect with older good role models. I want to be everything to everybody. I want to be their parent, friend, mentor, confidante, cheerleader, someone they can count on, who won’t go away. I’m at the top of the family tree—I was adopted. I didn’t want my kids to ever feel left. My biological mother gave me up. You never forget that you’ve been adopted.

I never wanted them to feel it was them against the world, the way it was for me. I always felt I was on my own. I always wanted my kids to feel they were connected to something. I wanted to create a family – to connect. What if my adoptive parents decided they didn’t want me? I’d have nowhere to go. My thoughts were always more out there (gesture), not so rigid and conservative. I wouldn’t want my kids to feel they don’t have a connection.

In June, I had this feeling of impending doom. I was so afraid something was going to happen to my oldest son. He’s graduating, his whole life is in front of him, and I don’t want something to take that away.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m going to jump out of my skin. It feels as though my skin’s not fitting. It’s as if I don’t do something, everything’s going to fall apart, and I don’t know what to do. It’s scary.

When I’m upset, I’ll throw up. It’s an empty, hollow, sad feeling. I feel drained, empty, nothing left to give. As a little girl, I’d feel like there were needles coming out of my stomach.

At night, when my skin is itching, it feels as though it’s covered by bugs. My mind can go in a lot of different directions. Sometimes my mind feels as though I’m on ‘screen-saver’ – I’m just being.

I wish I could run away. I have dreams of running, feeling the wind. I love water—it’s very peaceful, tranquil for me. When I feel I’m going to jump out of my skin, I wish I could just run.

Water makes me feel so much better. I can sit in it, be in it. I feel like I can breathe when I’m by water. The water and wind goes right through me. It’s peaceful and safe. I float.

I have a nightmare about being pulled underwater. I love the ocean, the sound of it. I would just walk the beach for days, taking in the sound, the smell. To drag me away is very difficult.

It’s gorgeous to see the reflection of the moon on the pond. I love swimming, but then start worrying about what’s underwater. I don’t like our pet turtle—it scares me when it pops out. I don’t like spiders either.

I love watching birds. I’ve always had a pocket guide. I like colorful birds. I like color a lot. I’m always amazed at how vibrant the colors are. Blues, purples, reds, bright yellow . . . the color red catches my eye. I try to bring the outside into my home.

I love loons, the sound of the loon. I love that. I don’t like geese. They’re flying rats.

I have dreams of flying, swimming underwater, being able to breathe underwater.

Practitioner: How do you feel about fish?

Patient: I like to look at them. I like to eat them. (laughing).

Assessment: The client has a strong desire for her children to experience a supportive home and family, and to protect them from the sense of struggling alone. She acts as the ‘hub’ for her family, and sits still so the children ‘circle and land and talk’ to her. She wants to maintain peace and safety – ‘it’s us against the world’, and she’s protective of her stepdaughters against their father’s anger. She described a sense of impending doom as her oldest son was soon to strike out on his own.

When she’s stressed by circumstances, she wants to run away. Alternately, she finds peace next to and in water. She has dreams of flying and swimming underwater, and has fears related to what’s underwater. She doesn’t like the way the pet turtle ‘pops up’, and thinks of geese as ‘flying rats’.

To protect her children against the wounds of abandonment, she works to ‘hold things together’ for a sense of connection. Yet she feels she could also ‘fall apart like Humpty Dumpty’.

Symptoms shared with the loon proving include anxiety for children, dreams of flying and swimming underwater, sadness, a connection with birds, an affinity for bright colors and the color red, a ‘trance-like state’, fear of spiders, nausea, and needle-like pains.

Plan: Gavia immer 200C


Patient: The rash has resolved. My dreams have changed, but I don’t remember them. I’m more balanced, not jumping out of my skin. I’m calmer.

I left my husband. I’d get nightmares if I spent too much time with him. I haven’t had such highs and lows. I’m feeling calm and deliberate instead of a wild crazy woman. The nightmares are very real; there’s fear, sadness, draining. It hurts inside; I feel like I want to run.

I don’t want to be alone, but at the same time I do. I have conflicting emotions. Home is security. I miss the connection with my husband, but I don’t have the trust that the other stuff won’t pop up. It feels like a roller coaster. When I left I felt this huge relief, like I could breathe. Before leaving I felt like I was holding my breath. I didn’t have the fear of being on my own.

I was very, very determined to get a home, a place kids could call home. That really drove me; it filled my every waking hour. I got the new house all set up within a day or two. I got all settled in, and it felt really good. I felt like I really needed to put things back together for myself and my kids, before they left again for school.

I’ve created this calm, good place in my new home, like the sun room in the old home. I haven’t had that for a long time—probably five years. I hadn’t had a space like that. I’ve invited two couples over. When the kids go to their father, I don’t like to be alone.

I felt trapped by my husband; I couldn’t get away. It’s okay to be alone, but I love sharing my life. I like having someone to talk to. Someone who will be there forever is what I’ve always wanted.

Growing up, I thought ‘I can do it myself’. I didn’t want to need anybody, but at the same time I do. When my first husband left me, I was very afraid. I had to do it on my own. That was a good feeling, but also wanted a relationship with someone that would be forever.

There’s a comfort when I was in a relationship, I like knowing there was someone there, always at your back, if you needed it. I liked being able to talk through things, not necessarily fixing problems. I liked discussing ideas, going around it (gesture), looking at all sides.

I love those times when everyone’s around, talking, when it just happens. I love those moments. When I’m alone, I have a sense of peace, like the quiet, the serenity, the calm, to be with my thoughts. I sort through things, write in my journal, enjoy complete thoughts without interruption. I find it peaceful. I’ll think of memories, good and bad, and work through them.

I like when people pop in and out, when someone stops in and says hello. I always wanted a house by the sea. I don’t have a pond anymore. My old house had a pond–I always sat out on the deck. Someone asked, ‘What are you going to do when it gets cold outside?’

I like to float in the water. My parents have a house on the lake. I’d go on the lake in a kayak. It’s so low, next to the water. You feel like you’re a part of it. I could fall asleep.

One of the best things in the world is waking up early, watching the fog lift, listening to the loons. I like being in a big heavy sweater, walking on the beach. I’d also love to be in a hot air balloon, just floating in the sky. I’m determined to do that.

I love watching bald eagles soar. With loons, I love to hear them call. It’s almost haunting.

Practitioner: What’s your favorite animal up North?

Patient: The loon.

Practitioner: Can you summarize how you’ve felt since the remedy?

Patient: The remedy has helped me to feel more balanced, clear-headed, not like I was spinning out of control, that I could do things on my own. When I separated I knew I had a clear path. Now the path isn’t as clear. I need to know which direction to go.

Analysis: The follow-up was extended to see whether the newly proven remedy had truly helped. The client was beginning to resolve the conflicted desire to escape her husband’s volatile temper, and in moving was determined to establish a new home for her children. She saw a clear path when she separated from her husband, but now was experiencing some old confusion about which way to go.

Plan: Repeat Gavia immer 200C


Patient: Things are going well. I have more focus, I don’t get quite as overwhelmed. I’m finding quiet time, I need that. I take it so that things don’t just keep coming and coming. I’m taking more time to reflect.

I’m working through nightmares (remembering dreams). I’m working through the feelings of being abandoned by my mother and ex-husband. I was fine by myself. I can do it. I’ve been separated from my current husband, but we’re not getting divorced. I felt an urgency before—I don’t feel that now.

I’m having flashbacks from childhood, or when my ex-husband left. I’ll remember something very strongly, very vividly. I didn’t receive a Christmas card from my birth mother. I was able to let that go. In the past I’d just cry and cry.

A lot’s coming up and I’m working through a lot. It feels good. I have a feeling of incredible determination, instead of ‘life is going to end’. The flashbacks are easier to handle—it’s not taking me as long to come out of them.

I don’t feel the anxious feeling as much. I still worry about the kids, but in the past I’d get much more wrapped up in their problems, try to fix things. Now I tell them they’ll need to figure it out.

I love sitting outside in the morning. It’s so serene and peaceful. I watch the geese. They don’t bother me as much as they used to. I used to call them flying rats. Now I like their honking. laughing)
Assessment: The client continues to describe significant healing from her childhood wounds. In the past much of the pain was projected and re-experienced through her children’s trials, and now she’s stepping back from their smaller problems and telling them ‘they’ll need to figure it out’. She’s working through nightmares and flashbacks, and is experiencing increased focus, determination and peace.

Plan: Wait. Client was told the name of the remedy.

Phone follow-up 15 months following last visit:

I feel less chaotic. I’m more centered, calm and peaceful. I’ve come to an acceptance that I don’t have to control everything. I don’t get pulled into the drama of day-to-day life. I’ve found space for myself—it’s important, and it’s okay that I take it. My alone time is spent in quietness and stillness.

I’m living more in the present, not triggered by things in the past or worrying about the future. I have less triggers. In the past, I’d have daydreams about conflicts in childhood, my divorce and my current husband. I’d get pulled into it so strongly, I’d be lost in it. Even the littlest things could trigger it.

I’m not feeling I have to be the ‘be-all and end-all’. I’m living in the moment. With quietness and stillness I fill myself up and then I have more to give. The drama of life doesn’t drain me any longer.

I don’t have the feeling of jumping out of my skin, or that I have to run away. I can find that peace within myself, not relying on or expecting external circumstances or people to do that for me. I have more acceptance—things are the way they are. I don’t have to fix it. I can just be what I am and give what I have to offer, and that’s enough.

Even in the midst of chaos, I can find joy in what is, rather than wanting to run. I can smile—’this is just what is’. With my childhood, again, there’s a complete acceptance of what was and is. I finally fit—I belong, but it’s within myself. In the past I never felt good enough, as if something was missing. Now I feel good enough just as I am. I can stand strong and accept what is.

Family is still very, very important to me. But now I’m enjoying my family for who they are. I love cooking dinner, sitting around the table, discussing things. It’s lovely.

I recently moved back to live with my husband. That’s going very well. He’s grown incredibly. He doesn’t rage any more. He’ll get tense, but then he brings awareness to it. I don’t feed it; I don’t get pulled into the drama. Now we’re able to grow together.

I’ve reflected a lot about the loon remedy. Nature’s huge for me, and now even more so. That tone of the loon’s call is so incredibly soothing. When I need to replenish myself, I’ll visualize myself being with water, watching the grace and poise of the loon. It gives me incredible peace and strength.

Anytime I feel troubled, I do that visualization. It gives me the same profound peace that I experienced years ago, just after my divorce. I was sitting in a kayak way up North, listening to the loons in the early morning. That’s when I realized “I’ll be okay.”

Author’s note: The client has had one repeat dose of the remedy in the two years since her last follow-up, and continues to do well. In thanking her for the consent to print her history, she stated the following: I hope this remedy can help others as it’s helped me. Sometimes in the midst of it all, one does not realize how incredible the journey was, and how far one has come. No one should feel that depth of despair. It’s my honor to share my story in the hope others could experience a way out, to know that things can change.

This case was originally published in the American Homeopath

About the author

David A. Johnson

David Johnson, CCH, RSHom(NA) is a homeopath residing in the southern Wisconsin area of the US. He is the author of “Radiance, Resonance and Healing: The Homeopathic Periodic Table” (Emryss Publishing) which is based on his 20 years of experience of matching the theoretical schema of Series and Stages with the words of clients. His email is [email protected]


  • “…us against the world…” = animal kingdom
    “…I can sit in it (water)…I float…I love swimming…” = source language
    feeling of being trapped = tubercular miasm??
    Why was the remedy repeated at the first follow-up even though the patient showed much improvement? Or was the impression that the remedy was becoming exhausted?

    • Thanks for the question. Yes, her experience after taking the first dose was she ‘saw a clear path when she separated from her husband’ . . . At the follow-up she described how she ‘was experiencing some old confusion about which way to go’ . . . so in that context the remedy was repeated.

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