The Nation's Health + Mental Health

Health Tips: Homeopathic Remedies for Anxiety Disorders

Chronic anxiety disorders can benefit by treatment from a trained homeopath. But for short episodes of transient, self-limited anxiety, you can use the appropriate remedies.

Aconite is the medication of choice if your anxiety is the result of a sudden fright or shock. If you are grief stricken (such as when one of your loved ones die), the homeopath may give you ignatia. In situations such as stage fright and other anticipatory and performance anxiety, gelsemium is recommended. If you have anxiety accompanied by diarrhea, gelsemium is the preferred choice. Other homeopathic remedies are described below.

Begin with a 6x potency and take two tablets every two to four hours depending on the severity, or acuteness, of the illness. Once you begin to notice improvement, increase the intervals between dosages, and when it seems that improvement is well on its way, discontinue the treatment. If you use a remedy longer than necessary, it might tend to cause the symptoms to recur.

Take your remedy with a clean mouth free from drink, food, tobacco, toothpaste, or mouthwash. Allow the tablet or granules to dissolve in your mouth rather than swallowing them with water, and do not ingest anything except water for fifteen minutes after taking the remedy.

Homeopathic Remedies for Anxiety Disorders

The following remedies may be useful to you in treating symptoms of anxiety.

Aconite (Aconitum napellus)

A panic attack that comes on suddenly with very strong fear (even fear of death) may indicate this remedy. A state of immense anxiety may be accompanied by strong palpitations, shortness of breath, and flushing of the face.

Symptoms

Sudden, intense ailments from fright. Anxiety and restlessness with complaints. Fears that do not subside. Faintness or dizziness upon waking up. Sudden fever with one cheek red, the other pale Intolerance of pain. Painful urination with anxiety Pains followed by numbness and tingling. Eye pain and injuries Throbbing headache. Unquenchable thirst.

Argentum nitricum (Arg-n)

This remedy is indicated when anxiety develops before a big event. (Examples: an interview for job, an exam, a public speech, social engagement, marriage, etc.).

Symptoms

Emotional upset Fear Anxiety Extended period of unusual or continued mental exertion Dizziness Diarrhea Craving for sweets and salt. Craving for strong flavors. Enthusiastic and suggestible, with a tendency toward peculiar thoughts and impulses.

Arsenicum album (Arsenicum, Ars)

This remedy is recommended for people who are deeply anxious about their health, and extremely concerned with order and security. Panic attacks often occur around midnight or the very early hours of the morning. The person may feel exhausted yet still be restless-fidgeting, pacing, and anxiously moving from place to place. These people may also have digestive problems or asthma attacks accompanied by anxiety. They are typically obsessive about small details and very neat. They may feel a desperate need to be in control of everything.

Symptoms

Anxious Anxiety associated with later stages of head cold, with sneezing Asthma worse after midnight, fears suffocation while lying down Fearful Irritable Restless Sleepiness but insomnia Thirsty for frequent small drinks Weak and exhausted Desires air but sensitive to cold Vomiting with or without diarrhea after eating and drinking

Calcarea carbonica (Calc)

People who benefit most from this remedy have a chilly constitution. The slightest cold 'goes right through them.' They have trouble keeping themselves warm. They have a craving for sweets, and are easily fatigued. They are dependable, solid people who become overwhelmed from physical illness or too much work and start to fear a breakdown. Their thoughts can be muddled and confused when tired, which adds to the anxiety. Worry and bad news may agitate them, and a nagging dread of disaster (to themselves or others) may develop. Fear of heights and claustrophobia are also common.

Symptoms

Increased perspiration Night sweats Cold hands and feet Dizziness Nausea Ravenous hunger Aversion to fats Craving for eggs Eyes sensitive to light Pale face Large appetite with slow digestion

Gelsemium (Gels)

This remedy is indicated when you have feelings of weakness, trembling, and mental dullness (being 'paralyzed by fear'). It is also useful when a person experiences anxiety about an upcoming event such as stage-fright about a public performance or interview, or anxiety before a test, impending visit to the dentist, or other stressful events. Chills, perspiration, diarrhea, and headaches will often occur with nervousness. Fear of crowds, a fear of falling, and even a fear that the heart might stop are other indications for Gelsemium.

Symptoms

Nervousness Apprehension Anxiety prior to an examination or public performance Fatigue and aching of whole body Limbs, head, eyelids heavy Headache Scalp sore to touch Sore throat Lack of thirst Dizziness, trembling, fatigue, dullness

Ignatia amara (Ignatia, Ign)

A sensitive person who is anxious because of grief, loss, disappointment, criticism, loneliness (or any stressful emotional experience) may benefit from this remedy. The primary factor for this remedy is emotional stress, especially disappointment or grief. Other indications are a defensive attitude, frequent sighing, and mood swings. The person may burst unexpectedly into either tears or laughter.

Symptoms

Vomiting Sensation of a lump in the throat Chills with fever Thirst during chills Chills relieved by warmth Cramping pains in the abdomen or back Headaches that feel like a nail driven into the side of the head Skin very sensitive to drafts Introspective Sad Brooding Tearful Rejects company Disappointed Grieving Insomnia from emotional distress Nausea relieved by eating Eating intensifies hunger

Kali phosphoricum

Indicated when a person has been exhausted by overwork or illness. Feels a deep anxiety and inability to cope. Jumpy and oversensitive. May be startled by ordinary sounds. Hearing unpleasant news or thinking of world events can aggravate the problems. Insomnia and an inability to concentrate may develop, increasing the sense of nervous dread. Eating, warmth, and rest often bring relief.

Symptoms

Exhaustion Deep anxiety and inability to cope Headaches Jumpy and oversensitive Startled by ordinary sounds Backaches Nervous digestive upsets

Lycopodium (Lyc)

Lycopodium patients attempt to cover an inner sense of inadequacy by putting up fronts, by pretending to be something they are not. They feel anxiety from mental stress and suffer from a lack of confidence. They can be self-conscious and feel intimidated by people they perceive as powerful. They can feel a deep anxiety and fear of failure, when they take on responsibility. They usually do well, once started on a task.

Symptoms

Shakes head without any apparent cause Facial contortions Gassy, constipation or diarrhea Sour belching Claustrophobia Irritability Digestive upsets with gas and bloating Craves sweets, warm food and drink Night cough Wants to be alone Cranky on waking Bullying tendency Fear of failure Breaking down under stress

Natrum muriaticum (Nat mur)

The primary candidates for this remedy are personally aloof but have a social conscience and a desire to help others. Deep emotions and a self-protective shyness can make these people seem reserved, aloof, and private. Even when feeling lonely, they tend to stay away from social situations, not knowing what to say or do. Easily hurt and offended, they can brood, bear grudges, dwell on unhappy feelings, and isolate themselves. They refuse consolation even when they want it. They are often sympathetic listeners to other people's problems. Claustrophobia, anxiety at night (with fears of robbers or intruders), migraines, and insomnia are often seen when this remedy is needed.

Symptoms

Tongue feels dry Mucous membranes dry Nausea Insomnia Claustrophobia Migraine headache Vomiting Pains around eyes Craves salt and dry foods Weepy but won't let others see it. (Wants to be alone to cry.) Consolation aggravates them Angry from isolation Fright, grief, anger Nervous, discouraged, broken down Depressed

Phosphorus

Indicated when the victims are openhearted, imaginative, excitable, easily startled, and full of intense and vivid fears. Strong anxiety can be easily triggered just by thinking of almost anything. They are nervous and sensitive to others. They can overextend themselves with sympathy to the point of feeling exhausted and 'spaced out' or even getting ill. They need a lot of company and reassurance. They often feel better from conversation or a back-rub. Easy flushing of the face, palpitations, thirst, and a strong desire for cold, refreshing foods are other indications for Phosphorus.

Symptoms

Anxious Fearful Weak Associated with hoarseness Tight heavy chest Dry rasping cough Burning pains in stomach, abdomen, between shoulder blades Thirst for cold drinks that are vomited Nausea Night sweats

Pulsatilla (Puls)

People who need this remedy often express anxiety as insecurity and clinginess, with a need for constant support and comforting. They fear being alone. They are easily discouraged, moody, tearful, whiny, even emotionally childish. Getting too warm or being in a stuffy room often increases anxiety. Anxiety around the time of hormonal changes (puberty, menstrual periods, or menopause) often is helped with Pulsatilla.

Symptoms

Sensitive Weepy Wants attention and sympathy Changeable symptoms and moods Craves open air Sensitive to heat Dry mouth with lack of thirst Rich food upsets stomach Insomnia from recurring thought Head colds Loose cough, worse at night Delayed menstrual period with scanty flow

Silicea (Silica)

Indicated for those who are capable and serious, yet are also nervous, shy, and subject to bouts of temporary loss of confidence. Anxiety can be extreme when they are faced with a public appearance, interview, examination, or any new job or task. Worry and overwork can bring on headaches, difficulty concentrating, and states of exhaustion, oversensitivity, and dread.

Symptoms

Worry Overwork Headaches Difficulty concentrating Exhaustion, Oversensitivity Overreact and devote attention to tiny details Low stamina Frequently catch colds, sore throats, or other illnesses.

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