Abstract: Anxiety disorders are associated with the personality of the patient. It also has a genetic trait behind it. Such disorders run in families. Here, I will be discussing few cases from my case records that have been treated with the application of the constitutional homeopathic treatment.
What is anxiety? We hear this word commonly in our day to day practice. Some people consider anxiety as stress; some consider anxiety as worry. People come to our clinics with different causes and different patterns of anxiety. People tend to worry and become anxious over different activities and events. I have seen such disorders commonly running within a family; therefore, somehow I feel that there is an element of genetic trait. Anxiety disorder is common in people of every age and both the sexes. But this has to do a lot with the personality of the patient. Many anxious patients say that they are anxious as long as they can remember. Many times, it is a state, where there is a little or no cause to worry but they have been habituated to worry from one or the other problems. The most common areas of worry are family, relationships, work issues, money and health.
Sometimes, anxiety becomes so severe that it is difficult for the patient to control as there are many other symptoms associated with it like difficulty in concentration, fatigue, irritability, difficulty in falling asleep, if at all they fall asleep, sleep is quite restless and unrefreshing. The patient becomes quite restless and startles easily. There may be headache, little trembling or shakiness and sometimes one may also get nausea and loose stools.
The goal of the homeopathic treatment is to help the patient to function well in the day to day basis of life. Proper constitutional homeopathic medicine is the best answer to the problem as many anxiolytic drugs can produce severe side effects. Only in an extreme case, I refer my patient to a psychotherapist for cognitive behavioural therapy. If the patient is already on anxiolytic drugs like serotonin, norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, benzodiazepine such as alprazolam, I try to reduce it as early as possible.
Let me quote some interesting cases from my clinic. The first case is of a man aged 55 years, who was diabetic for last 17 years and was on anti-diabetic drugs. He was keeping all the dietetic restrictions for his diabetes. He was working in a bank on a good post. Suddenly, he developed irritability and started losing his temper quite frequently and later on developed anxiety. When this happened, the blood sugar levels started to go high. He was never like that before. All these things started in the last 6 months. I tried to find out the cause but I could not. The only thing that had changed in last 6 months was his place of work; he was transferred to a new office and in that particular office, the work was quite chaotic and hence, he had to spend extra energy. The staffs working under him were not co-operative and slowly he started feeling neglected and humiliated. On the other hand, his wife had to go to United States to meet her sick mother and for about three and a half months, he was managing home as well as office all alone.
The symptoms were worse in the morning and in the night. When he woke up in the morning, he developed sudden anxiety and in the night, when he would to his bed and wanted to close his eyes, all the anxiety would come up. The anxiety was related to his health i.e. what if something happens to him? Or if diabetes does not remain under control? Or if he develops some heart problem or paralysis? Whenever he became anxious, he would also get eructation with distension of the abdomen. To divert his attention, he would go out of his house for buying grocery, shopping or in the open space in presence of people.
Slowly, he observed that he could not focus and concentrate on his job especially in the morning hours. This happened from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. He did not feel like getting up, eating his breakfast and doing his routine course. Otherwise, he was a responsible and duty bound conscientious person, who wanted to improve the situation at his work place.
The parents were very strict and with this fear, he was obedient and performed well in the school. This affected his confidence to some degree and later, he would always take opinion of people around him before making any decision. He also complained of acidity if he would eat during the period of anxiety. He developed loose motions during the attack of anxiety and sweated all over his body whenever he exerted even slightly. He complained that he could not have a heavy meal; his body functions were well when he had a light meal like soup or salads which he enjoyed eating.
I started treating him with Lycopodium but nothing much happened except that his acidity and eructation were little ameliorated. Rest of the symptoms were the same. He was a hot patient; he needed fan; he needed an air-condition. He would take a hot water bath even in Bombay but that may be due to the culture as 60% people in Bombay take a hot water bath in the morning even in summers.
I was trying to figure out a remedy based on the causative factor. Now I took two more additional symptoms — ailments from responsibility and rudeness of others because the staff that used to work under him was not co-operative and this new situation required an extra responsibility. I added these symptoms with the previous symptoms like
- Anxiety in bed
- Anxiety with fear
- Anxiety about his health
- Anxiety morning waking on
- Business incapacity for
- Desire for company
- Concentration difficult morning
- Self-confidence want of
- Confusion of the mind morning
- Fear waking on
- Eructation empty
- Nervous diarrhoea
- Sleeps on side
- Perspiration after slightest exertion
- Love for soups and salads
Based on above symptoms, I prescribed Magnesium muriaticum 30C, one dose everyday for three weeks. After three weeks, he reported that he felt much better. I continued the same medicine for three more weeks and I saw a definite improvement in his anxiety. After one and a half months, his anxiety came down to almost 70% and this time, I gave him placebo and advised him to change his lifestyle and to accept people’s handicaps. I gave him a little session on psychotherapy and asked him to go for a morning walk and listen to the music.
After one and a half months, he reported that he rarely got an attack of anxiety. I prescribed Magnesium muriaticum 1M, one dose and asked him to be on placebo for a long period. After 4 months, there was no trace of anxiety. He happily accepted his new job. All problems related with the stress, physical problems and emotional problems were much better. He could sleep nicely and enjoyed his life.
The second case is of a 37 year old male working as a Mathematics teacher in a Secondary School. He developed sudden anxiety and weakness of memory. He considered this normal but it became quite troublesome and started affecting his work. Now students started making comments on his mistakes and he was forced by his wife to see a general practitioner, who prescribed him some tranquilizers but the drugs did not suit him. One of his relatives, who was my patient, recommended him homeopathy. He came to me with the complaint of severe anxiety in the morning as soon as he woke up. He did not want to go for his work and had a strong fear that he would not be able to perform.
He was quite discouraged and negative, thinking that he would not be ever able to teach mathematics. He suddenly forgot what he wanted to teach in the class. He would forget equations and calculations and made mistakes while teaching. He would forget things which he had kept. He was quite sad and depressed in the morning because of his anxiety as it was hindering his routine life and his job giving him a fear of financial insecurity.
He was a quite timid individual and was not much ambitious; always wanted to do a simple job and earn money for his family. He never had big dreams. He was suffering from male pattern baldness which gave him some complex. As a student, he suffered from migraine, therefore, he always thought that it was better not to do lot of education and strain his brain. His migraine was always worse in a warm and congested room and was better in cold open air. He was thirsty and constipated. In the morning, he had to visit the toilet 2-3 times to clear his bowel. His hands were always cold and rough because of cracks. He would sleep on his right side. He did not like to eat vegetables and preferred eating legumes, rice and meat.
I asked him the cause for this anxiety. He replied that this was a slow ongoing process for last one year but it became worse in the last three months ever since one of his colleagues died in a road accident two years back. He observed that his health deteriorated since then. He kept on thinking what if something happened to his health? This also affected his mind strongly.
He was very mild. He mentioned that in the night, it took a lot of time to go to sleep. The sleep was quite interrupted and restless. He woke up at 2 or 3 o’clock in the night and it became difficult for him to wake up in the morning and he did not feel like going to his school.
Thinking that he was teaching in a class of 65 students which was a big number, I prescribed him Kali-phos 30C and later on Kali-phos 200C. The main indications for this remedy were:
- Anxiety in the morning
- Confusion in the morning
- Fear of work
- Making mistakes
- Sadness in the morning
- Headache better in the open air
- Coldness of the hand
He did not improve with the medicine, therefore, I increased the potency to 200C and then 1M but nothing happened. The symptoms remained the same. Then I discovered that he had a dirty yellow discolouration of his tongue. I thought about the remedy which had an extreme degree of thirst with yellow discolouration of the tongue, hot patient with anxiety in the morning especially after waking up, fear of work, fear of death, memory problems especially for what he was about to say or what was about to do and constipation for soft stool. These were some leading indications of Kali sulphuricum.
I immediately changed my prescription to Kali sulphuricum 30C, one dose everyday for next 15 days. The response was dramatic. The first thing to improve was his sleep. He could sleep comfortably. The remedy did not help in improving his anxiety, therefore, I repeated Kali-sulph 30C for one more month. His memory improved, the mistakes became less often and he was more confident which was a good sign. After three months, his anxiety became better by more than 60%. I asked him whether he thought about the incident of his colleague who died in a road accident. He told that he never thought of that. He realized why he was so anxious being so educated. This was a good sign.
Kali-sulph is a remedy which does not have a big mental picture, but we can use this remedy many times by knowing the common traits of Kali and Sulphuricum. The only difference that I see with other Kalis is that Kali-sulph people are basically mild. They are not obstinate and headstrong like other Kalis. Many times, I see the element of self-pity in Kali-sulph; they are warm blooded and thirsty. They have a yellow coating of the tongue, their hands are cold to touch and they have a cracked and dry skin.