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Anxiety – Health Conditions

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Anxiety is an inevitable part of life in contemporary society. Anxiety is how we feel in situations that we find are stressful or scary. It is a response to some vague, distant, or even unrecognized danger. It is distinguished from fear in that fear is usually directed towards some concrete external object or situation, such as missing a deadline or being socially rejected. It can be difficult to identify the exact source of the feeling of anxiety, but the focus is more internal than external.

Anxiety disorders are distinguished from everyday, normal anxiety in that it is more intense and lasts longer – perhaps even months after the stressful situation has passed. Alternatively, the anxiety can cause phobias that interfere with daily life. These disorders include panic attacks, social phobia, agoraphobia, and specific phobias, such as a fear of animals, heights, or travelling by airplane.

A survey, such as Edmund J. Bourne’s Self-Diagnosis Questionnaire, can help determine the presence of an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms

Anxiety disorders have physiological, behavioural, and psychological symptoms, often all at once. Physiological signs include rapid heartbeat, palpitations, muscle tension, queasiness, dry mouth or sweating, nausea, and shortness of breath. On a behavioural level, it can sabotage one’s ability to act, express oneself, and deal with everyday situations. Psychologically, anxiety is a subjective state of apprehension and uneasiness.

Causes

Often, anxiety can be brought on by merely thinking about a particular situation. Predisposing causes of anxiety include hereditary factors, childhood circumstances, and stress that accumulates over time. Behaviours that maintain long-term anxiety include anxious self-talk, mistaken beliefs, withheld feelings, lack of assertiveness, lack of self-nurturing skills, avoidance of phobic situations, muscle tension, using stimulants, a high-stress lifestyle, and lack of meaning or sense of purpose. Substances that aggravate anxiety include caffeine, nicotine, stimulant drugs, salt, preservatives, hormones in meat, and simple sugars. Poor eating habits and food allergies can also aggravate anxiety.

Nine Remedies For a Calm Mind

The most common remedies for nuisance anxiety and nervousness are listed below but chronic anxiety disorders will need a course of treatment so for best homeopathic results do make an appointment with a qualified homeopath.

As always, homeopathy treats animals just as effectively as humans so if your animal companion is prone to anxiety or panic, the appropriate remedy will help him or her also.

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Instructions on how often to give a homeopathic remedy for mild or transient anxiety is available at the end of the remedy list.

1.  Aconite napellus (Acon.)

Aconite is one of the best remedies for waves of fear or outright panic. Symptoms are sudden, intense and may follow a shock such as an accident or natural disaster. The person is agitated, restless, and fearful. They can think they are about to die and may even predict the time of death. Other symptoms may include: dry skin and mouth; thirst; pounding heart. Aconite can also treat ongoing anxiety caused by a past traumatic event.

Remember: Rapid onset, intense symptoms, agitation, fear of death, panic attacks.

2.  Argentum nitricum (Arg-n.)

Apprehension and nervousness when the person is unsure of what is likely to happen. The more they dwell on the anxiety, the worse it becomes. They are hurried, feel the heat, and crave sugar or sweet things. Sugar can lead to digestive upsets and diarrhoea and flatulence may be triggered by anxiety. People who do well with Arg-n may also have strange compulsions and “What if…” thoughts. These can include things such as stepping into a line of traffic, throwing themselves from a height, or poking something into a power outlet. Anxiety worsens with overheating and they feel better in cool fresh air and away from crowds.

Remember: Apprehension and anxiety. Strange imaginings and “what if …” thoughts. Craving for sugar. Worse when overheated.

3.  Arsenicum album (Ars.)

The Arsenicum anxiety focuses on issues of security and safety, what will happen in the future, especially at night and when alone. They tend to worry about health, robbers, or money. To manage this anxiety, they become overly fastidious, perfectionists and selfish in their insecurity. They feel better in company but become critical of others and controlling in behaviour. They are usually overly neat and tidy, chilly and better for warmth.

Remember: Anxiety about health, security, the future; perfectionists; critical; chilly; desire company.

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4.  Calcarea carbonica (Calc.)

Those who need Calc. have a fear of change and of losing control. As a result they insist on routine and struggle to keep things the same which can make them seem stubborn or obstinate. Frequently heavy in build, they tire easily on exertion or when walking uphill or climbing stairs. They sweat easily on exertion or during sleep, especially on the back of the neck. Fear of the dark, insects, spiders, and animals, especially dogs, are common. They can’t stand hearing about or seeing unpleasant things and acts of cruelty. They can sometimes struggle with confusion and worry that they are going insane.

Remember: Fear of change and losing control; tiring on exertion; perspiring easily; anxiety on hearing about unpleasant things.

5.  Gelsemium sempervirens (Gels.)

People who need Gels. suffer from performance anxiety that leads to weakness of muscles. Any exertion produces trembling of the muscles – knees may knock, legs may shake, and hands can tremble. They can feel paralysed by the anxiety, helpless and want to hide away. Gelsemium is one of the remedies used for agoraphobia (fear of wide open spaces) and influenza when the sufferer has weakness and trembling.

Remember: Anxiety, weakness, trembling, desire to hide away, unable to cope.

6.  Kali arsenicosum (Kali-ar.)

Anxiety about health, especially about heart disease or a heart attack. This can result in panic attacks or make them sleep with their hand over their heart. Anxious thoughts can increase at night making them avoid going to bed. They can even imagine that they see dead people. Frequently feel chilly.

Remember: Anxiety about heart problems. Anxiety worse at night.

7.  Kali phosphoricum (Kali-p.)

A remedy for those with anxiety from feeling overwhelmed. Easily, stressed, startled and frightened. Oversensitive and delicate. Easily exhausted and irritability from exhaustion or anxiety. Physical ailments from worry, overwork, and overexcitement. They can fear having a nervous breakdown or fear something bad will happen.

Remember: Oversenstive, overwhelmed and anxious. Exhaustion and irritability with anxiety.

8.  Lycopodium clavatum (Lyc.)

People who need lycopodium suffer from anticipation anxiety and stage fright. Lack of self confidence. However, once in the middle of a presentation they frequently relax and do well. Anxiety in new groups and situations that is covered up with bravado or over talking. Anxiety often accompanied by bloating. Craving for sweets.

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Remember: Lack of self confidence; boasting and bragging; bloating and desire for sweets.

9.  Phosphorus (Phos.)

Many fears and anxieties but especially of being alone. Fears and anxieties always relieved in company. As a result, those who need Phosphorus are generally sensitive, sociable and friendly. Fear of the dark, ghosts, thunderstorms and many other things. Startle easily. Sensitive to odours and sounds. Vivid imaginations. Highly suggestible and highly empathic. Phosphorus types generally enjoy cold drinks, sweets (especially chocolate), ice cream and spicy food.

Remember: Many fears and anxieties, especially of being alone. Friendly, empathic, suggestible.

Further Help

If none of the above remedies suit your symptoms, please see a qualified homeopath for a more appropriate remedy as others not discussed within the list are available.

References

i Heulluy, B, Essai Randomise Ouvert de L.72 (specialite homeopathique) Contre Diazepam 2 dans les Etats Anxio-Depressifs. Metz, Laboratoires Lehning.

ii van den Meerschaut, Lodewijk and Sunder, Andrea. The Homeopathic Preparation Nervoheel N can Offer an Alternative to Lorazepam Therapy for Mild Nervous Disorders. eCAM 2009 6: 507-515; doi:10.1093/ecam/nem144

http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/6/4/507?etoc

iii Davidson, J, Gaylord, S, ―Meeting of Minds in Psychiatry and Homeopathy: An Example in Social Phobia, Alternative Therapies, July, 1995,1,3:36-43.

iv Davidson, J, Morrison, R, Shore, J, et al., Homeopathic Treatment of Depression and Anxiety, Alternative Therapies, January, 1997,3,1:46-49.

v Magnani P, Conforti A, Zanolin E, Marzotto M, Bellavite P. Dose-effect study of Gelsemium sempervirens in high dilutions on anxiety-related responses in mice. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2010 Apr 20.

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