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Homeopathy and Depression

Sarah’s Story: The end of one woman’s battle with depression.

Sarah (name changed for privacy reasons) had battled with endogenous depression on and off for 12 years. She had been diagnosed a number of different antidepressants for her condition. “I tried at least 4 different antidepressants; Exefor, Zoloft, Arapax and Aurorix, says Sarah, “all in varying doses from the minimum to the maximum. Then Lithium was added. But none of it worked in the end, just more of the same.”

Sarah existed in a self-described ‘limbo’ for months at a time where she just felt emotional numbness. In addition she gained weight from some of her medications, had low energy and would often sleep all day watching television to put her asleep. In time the Lithium affected her thyroid, for which she started taking thyroid medication.

In the 2 years previous to seeking Homeopathic treatment for her depression, Sarah had lived with the constant stress and anxiety of living with an adult child who had multiple drug addiction. She lived in constant fear for her own health and sanity and that of her son. “I was frantic with fear and felt reduced once again to a blob of useless pathetic futility,” she says. “Suicide was considered as an option.”

Sarah had her whole case taken Homeopathically and based on this whole picture, including her life history, a Homeopathic remedy was prescribed for her to take. “The Homeopathic treatment you started me on seemed so bland,” she said. “A few drops of this, etc. But something went to work and without my realizing it my brain did a turn around, picked up bundles of good energy and took off. Anxiety, grief, sadness, despair, rage, feelings of uselessness and low self esteem, all seemed to vaporize and I felt re-energised with a sense of acceptance and contentment.”

Sarah continued with ongoing constitutional homeopathic treatment to strengthen and support her whole system while dealing with her son’s addictive behaviour. She has made Homeopathy her medicine of choice and now only sees her homeopath when she feels she needs to, mainly for treatment of simple, everyday conditions.

As time has progressed Sarah has found the strength to leave her son to take more responsibility for himself, having tried to help him for years. Sarah now reports, “I can now experience being playful, carefree, joyful, hopeful and independent in my ability to live within society.”

Homeopathy and Depression

Depression is a huge health issue in our modern society. Within the circle of people you know it is likely that one or more of them are taking some form of anti-depressant medication. Many people have even been told they need to take them for the rest of their life.

Depression covers a wide range of mental, emotional and physical symptoms. The Macquarie Dictionary defines depression as follows:

Dejection of spirits; a state of despondency characterized by feelings of inadequacy, lowered activity, sadness and pessimism; mental disorder characterized by unresponsiveness to stimuli, self depreciation, delusions of inadequacy and hopelessness; a lowered state of vital powers or functional activity.

You may have experienced depression only at a specific time in your life. Perhaps after the passing-on of a loved one, after losing a job or after the birth of a baby. For others depression is a much more constant companion which can pervade their lives for years. The orthodox medical profession distinguishes between a number of different types of depression. The main categories are: Reactive (resulting from distressing or traumatic events), Chronic (long-term and associated with low self esteem and ongoing coping difficulties), Endogenous (attributed to chemical imbalances in the brain with no other obvious triggers), Antenatal/Postnatal (occurring during pregnancy or after childbirth) and Bipolar Affective disorder or Manic (experiencing two extremes of moods from great highs to deep lows). Homeopathy doesn’t focus so much on these diagnostic categories but rather the actual symptoms of the patient. Combined with other information gathered when taking a whole case (see below) a homeopath seeks to find the medicine whose symptom picture most closely matches that of the individual patient.

Homeopathy is a system of energy medicine developed 200 years ago by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. It is based on the Law of Similars (like cures like) which states that: substances which are capable of producing specific symptoms in a healthy person will alleviate those same symptoms in a sick person. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, developed this principle 2,400 years ago but Hahnemann was the first person to use this principle in a systematic way. 

An example of this principle is the Homeopathic remedy Ipecac. Derived from a Brazilian shrub, Ipecac has been used by Western medicine for years, in a syrup form, to induce vomiting. A homeopathic dose of Ipecac however, will actually relieve continual vomiting and nausea in a person, by stimulating the body to heal itself.

Homeopathic medicines are derived from plants, animals and minerals and undergo a process called Potentization, whereby they are succussed (shaken) and diluted beyond there being any physical trace left of the original substance they were made from. In other words, they are energy medicines and consequently stimulate the body’s own healing processes, rather than merely just suppressing symptoms.

As energy medicines, Homeopathic remedies act on a person’s energy or Vital Force (called Chi in Traditional Chinese Medicine). Another principle of Homeopathy is that when a person develops ailments, what first goes out of balance is their Vital Force. This then manifests as the symptoms we can observe.

A number of pharmaceutical drugs are used to treat depression, the most common being Prozac and Zoloft. These drugs seek to control or suppress depression symptoms but can also produce side effects. Prozac, for example, can produce the following side effects in some users: sexual dysfunction (decreased sex drive), insomnia, anxiety, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, headaches, diarrhea, and skin rash.

St John’s Wort (Hypericum) is a herb now commonly available at pharmacies for treatment of depression and anxiety. This is not a homeopathic preparation because it is a physical dose of St John’s Wort. While it seems to help with some symptoms such as weeping, apprehensiveness and mental excitement, Hypericum in Homeopathy is more often used for treating nerve pain such as injuries to toes, fingers, the back and tailbone. There are a number of other Homeopathic medicines which are far better at treating depression and/or anxiety.

Homeopathic treatment of depression has many benefits but there are four in particular that stand out:

1. Homeopathic treatment always individualises. It does not give the same medicine to all people with depression. It carefully matches the patient’s symptom picture to that of the medicine (ie: ‘like cures like’).

2.  The whole person improves if given the correct medicine ie: a person will experience an improvement on all levels; mental, emotional and physical.

2. Homeopathic remedies have no side effects, because they contain nothing physical the body can react to. They do not create an additional disease picture on top of the depression picture already present.

3. Homepathic treatment goes right back to the cause of the depression; in fact this is taken into account in choosing the medicine.

Homeopathy does not seek to merely control depression but to remove it all together. Treatment of mental/emotional ailments should always be done by a qualified homeopathic practitioner. Never attempt to self-treat depression homeopathically. It is a whole-person issue which needs a person’s complete case to be taken. When a homeopath takes a person’s whole case, the Initial Consultation takes 1½ -2 hours. All of the following areas are covered and taken into consideration when choosing the best homeopathic medicine for a particular patient:

- ailments (mental, emotional, physical)
- life history
- medical history
- family medical history
- patient constitution ie: what is unique about this person including food tastes, energy, personality, sleep pattern, etc
- modalities: factors that aggravate or improve ailments

In Homeopathy there are not just one or two medicines which are used to treat depression. There are a large number of medicines, all of which differ in their causation and symptom picture. Such Homeopathic medicines include Ignatia amara (St Ignatius Bean), Natrum muriaticum (Sodium chloride), Aurum metallicum (Gold), Causticum (Potassium hydrate), Sepia (ink of the cuttlefish), Phosphoricum acidum (Phosphoric acid), Arsenicum album (Arsenic oxide), Natrum sulphuricum (Sodium sulphate).

If you wish to read more on Homeopathy and depression there is an excellent book titled Prozac Free – Homeopathic Alternatives to Conventional Drug Therapies by Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman (available through the website below). The authors offer compelling reasons for considering Homeopathy as an alternative to taking conventional medications. The authors discuss the serious side effects of these drugs and their failure to treat the underlying causes of depression, anxiety, and other mental and emotional problems. Using case histories from their own practice they demonstrate the long term success that is achievable through Homeopathic treatment.

http://www.livingwater.net.au/index.php/Articles/The-End-of-12-Years-of-Depression-Naturally.html 

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Guest Monday, 21 May 2018

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