As published in the February 2010 issue of Vitality Magazine
Ten years ago a friend of mine committed suicide. Although I was aware of her life stresses and struggles with single motherhood, I never realized how deep her pain was. She always appeared cheerful and gregarious, spewing clever puns at every opportunity. It wasn’t until this tragic event that I realized the extent to which people hide their true feelings by joking around and appearing cheerful. In some cases, the more depressed the person is, the more they compensate by pretending to be happy.
Whether evident or concealed by carefully constructed optimism, most of us experience depression at some point in our lives. It can result from biochemical and genetic factors that affect the brain. Depression can be triggered after a traumatic event such as divorce, death of a loved one or loss of employment. For some, the holidays can be a stressful and depressing period due to family dysfunction. Alternately, others become sad because the joyful holiday season is over and a long dreary winter is ahead.
Depression can set in as a result of hormonal changes, common during puberty, pregnancy, after childbirth or during menopause. Some people struggle with life-long depression due to hereditary factors. The good news is that regardless of the reason for your depression, homeopathy offers an attractive solution. Individualized homeopathic treatment can help restore your sense of hope and motivation, and set you on your path to a more fulfilling and joyful life.
It is important for me to emphasize that sadness is a normal part of life. It is a healthy response to losing a loved one, separating from a spouse or feeling betrayed by a trusted friend. What may be a problem is identifying sadness as wrong and suppressing it with anti-depressant drugs. These drugs drive the condition into a deeper and chronic state, never addressing the origins of the strong emotions. The body’s natural healing response becomes stuck, not to mention the acquisition of drug side-effects.
In many cases, the sadness diminishes over time without intervention, and the person returns to feeling contented. In the event the sadness lasts a long time or is too intense, homeopathy can help process it quickly. Homeopathic medicine allows people to integrate the trauma, while at the same time healing and moving through the process of depression with ease. One example is the remedy Ignatia Iamara, which is known for relieving acute grief quickly and effectively. I prescribed this remedy for a patient whose young nephew had died in a car accident. On a subsequent visit, she reported feeling “emotionally stronger and more at ease” while dealing with the grief.
Homeopaths believe that symptoms are the body’s signals and (failed) attempts to restore balance and health. Symptoms therefore should not be suppressed, if possible. Doing so disables the organism’s innate healing mechanism. Instead, a homeopath will give you a substance that mimics the symptoms of depression to accelerate its expression and get rid of it once and for all. Here is how it works:
Our energy creates a field around our bodies (which psychically receptive people can see as auras). Our physical body is both a template for our energy body and a manifestation of it. The ease with which energy flows through our body determines the way we present ourselves in the world. When we get stuck in a particular stance or attitude to life, the energy that normally flows freely through the energy body becomes blocked in certain areas and stagnates. Disease is a manifestation of this stagnation. Homeopaths believe we are pure energy and therefore prescribe energy medicine in the form of homeopathic remedies. By studying our behaviours and attitudes, a trained homeopath can trace the distinct (stuck) energy pattern and prescribe a corresponding remedy that mimics these core themes.
Compared to the dozen or so anti-depressant drugs on the market, there are hundreds of homeopathic remedies that can help overcome depression. Every individual has unique circumstances, attitudes, expectations and genetic predispositions. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed on the basis of this uniqueness.
The following three cases show the remedies I used and the corresponding core issues being addressed with each:
Medorrhinum was prescribed for a bright and vivacious woman with a successful career. Anna got bored easily and needed a lot of stimulation. She was stuck in an energy pattern of addiction for many years, overindulging in drugs, alcohol and sex. Underneath was a strong sense of rejection dating back to her childhood. The remedy Medorrhinum helped Anna overcome the addictive behaviour, change to a career she loved and forgive her abuser.
Arsenicum Album was prescribed for a single mother with a “difficult and demanding” child. Mia had challenges setting and maintaining clear boundaries, and her child refused to obey her. She ran a business from home and had “difficult and demanding” clients. One of her biggest worries was making sufficient money. Mia had difficulties falling and staying asleep. She felt depressed and out of control as a result of her life circumstances. She was in a pattern of insecurity and anxiety. The remedy Arsenicum Album helped Mia feel calm, sleep through the night and cultivate a more harmonious relationship with her child.
Mercurius Solubilis was prescribed for a 40-year-old man who was in an isolation pattern. Following an incident at his place of employment, Jeff – once a happy-go-lucky individual – became withdrawn. His co-workers played a practical joke on him, which he felt was offensive and embarrassing. He started avoiding social situations and turned down all invitations from friends. Jeff felt as though everyone was judging him, which made him feel extremely anxious and sweaty. He spent most of his time feeling depressed, playing computer games at home. The remedy Mercurius Solubilis restored Jeff’s sense of confidence and helped him feel at ease in social situations once again.
Depression can be reactive (in reaction to a particular situation) or internal, often an accumulation of unresolved issues. We habitually mask deep feelings by keeping busy and acquiring addictions. Suppressing feelings such as anger often results in depression. If you feel depressed as a result of internalized anger, after taking your homeopathic remedy you may become more aware of your anger while at the same time your mood improves.
When depressed, we usually also feel emotionally dull and physically lethargic. Homeopathic remedies work by raising our energetic vibration. As our energy improves, our motivation and enthusiasm spark again. We become more sociable and feel less disconnected from other people. We feel lighter emotionally and more hopeful and optimistic about the future. As an added bonus, our physical ailments start to disappear.
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