By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
What is Anxiety
Anxiety is the feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about the outcome of something uncertain. While this is predominantly a psychological feeling, it does have some physical effects too. It is often noticed that one’s blood pressure shoots up the moment one is gripped with anxiety.
Is anxiety normal?
It is perfectly normal for one to feel anxious under some circumstances. In case one is caught in a difficult situation physically, financially or socially, it is normal for one to feel some degree of anxiety. At times, it may even be necessary for one’s survival. It causes a lot of hormones like adrenalin to be released which makes one more alert and ready to fight or run. In case of being near a rampaging mob, it is the anxiety which will prepare you to focus on the danger and plan your escape. Let us say a family member is seriously ill or has met with an accident. It is bound to cause some anxiety to all family members, close relatives and friends. It would be abnormal if one does not feel anxious at such a moment. The moment one has overcome such a situation, one starts feeling normal.
Therefore it is not the normal anxiety that one is talking about here. We are concerned with abnormal anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorder is when it keeps on occurring even when there is nothing wrong. All circumstances around one are normal and there is no reason for worry; still a person feels anxious and nervous. This feeling may become so overpowering that it makes it difficult for the person to carry on his normal day to day activities. Such a situation needs medical attention. We are concerned about such situations here.
Types of anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorder is a generalized term and covers a number of different conditions.
- Panic disorder- In such a situation the anxiety level is very high. There are physical symptoms too like high BP, profuse sweating, chest pain, palpitations and choking feeling. Such a panic attack may come out of the blue for no rhyme or reason. The timing is purely random.
- Social phobias- Here one is excessively worried about how people will judge him or her. There may be too much worry about speaking in public or appearing in public. Some degree of self consciousness is perfectly normal in all people. Here this self consciousness becomes so pronounced that it impinges on your normal life.
- Specific or Limited phobias- Here a person is perfectly normal except in certain particular circumstance when he or she reacts disproportionately. Some people may have phobias of spiders, dogs, lizards, of flying or of heights. It is only when they are faced with these situations that they react completely out of proportion. At all other times, they are perfectly normal.
- Separation anxiety disorder- There is extreme reaction when one is forced to separate from one’s possessions or one’s home or a close person. Such disorder is more common in children but is often seen in adults too.
- Agoraphobia- Here there is too much anticipation about how to escape from a potentially dangerous situation. It is often seen in closed spaces like lifts or in crowded places or aeroplanes.
- General anxiety – In such cases a person remains anxious most of the time for no rhyme or reason. There seems to be a complete failure to relax one’s mind and body.
Symptoms of anxiety disorders
The commonly observed symptoms are as follows-
Palpitations are commonly observed. The heart beat becomes unusually fast and the heart feels like pounding.
Increased sweating may also be present. One may be present in a perfectly cool environment but the sweating is profuse.
Uneasiness is often complained of. There is no tangible reason for the unease but the person is not comfortable. In extreme cases, there may be panic also.
Restlessness is also commonly seen. One keeps moving around and is not able to sit still. It is often seen that one is uncomfortable at a particular location and he changes his location. Within a short span, he is again uncomfortable and changes to another location.
Sleeplessness is another commonly seen symptom. People suffering from these disorders often complain of sleeplessness. They may feel sleepy but when they lie down on the bed, they are unable to fall asleep.
Breathlessness is again commonly present. There is nothing wrong with the respiratory system or the heart but the person is breathless most of the time.
Nausea may also be present in some cases.
Dryness of mouth
Dryness of mouth is often complained of by a number of people suffering from anxiety.
Treatment of anxiety disorders
The conventional medicine does not provide any hope for treating anxiety disorders. The medicines usually prescribed do not in any way help or even claim to cure it. They just artificially keep the mind calm for a couple of hours. Once the effect of a pill wears off, the patient starts feeling anxious again and has to take another pill. This is a vicious and a never ending cycle. Over a period of time, the body becomes resistant to the pills and the doctor prescribes some stronger ones. A couple of years down the line, even they stop showing any effect and still stronger pills are needed. So there is little hope of curing the problem.
Homeopathy for anxiety disorders
Homeopathy does not claim to have any magic wand to cure anxiety disorders overnight. Homeopathic medicines take a couple of months to start showing their results. The striking difference in the results of homeopathic medicines and those of allopathic medicines is that the results of homeopathy are permanent. Slowly and slowly patient starts to grow out of his anxieties. The same triggers which used to cause havoc earlier stop causing any difficulty. The patient is able to rationalize his thoughts and is able to control his reactions. That is just like any other normal human being.
5 best Homeopathic medicines for anxiety disorders
As it is seen in other diseases, there are more than hundred homeopathic medicines that can be used for the treatment of anxiety disorders. The trick is to match the symptoms of the patient as closely as possible with that of the known homeopathic medicines. Once that is done, there is no way the patient will not get better.
Here I am giving a short list of 5 best homeopathic medicines that I have commonly used for treating this problem. When the list has been shortened to 5 medicines, this does not in any way mean that there are only 5 medicines for such cases. It also does not mean that these 5 medicines will be able to cover all such cases. It just means that these medicines are more commonly indicated.
Aconite- Best homeopathic medicine for anxiety attacks that start suddenly.
Ignatia- Best Homeopathic medicine for anxiety due to grief
Arsenic Album- Best Homeopathic medicine for anxiety about one’s health
Argentum Nitricum – Best Homeopathic medicine for anxiety with fear of height
Nux Vomica- Best Homeopathic medicine for anxiety regarding business
Here is a brief description of the symptoms of each medicine so as to enable you to understand the different medicines better.
Aconite- Best homeopathic medicine for anxiety attacks that start suddenly
Aconite is one of the best homeopathic medicines for anxiety attacks that appear out of the blue. There is a certain suddenness or violence to the whole episode. The patient is fine one minute and the next he seems to be gripped with unexplainable anxiety. Such attacks are often attended with a fear of death. The patient is restless. She cannot tolerate music as it makes her sad.
Ignatia- Best homeopathic medicine for anxiety due to grief
When the whole trouble has been brought on due to some unpleasant event in life, Ignatia is one of the best homeopathic medicines. Such an unpleasant event may have been the death of a close family member or a loved one or separation from a cherished relationship. The emotional element is the uppermost in such cases. There is lot of sighing and sobbing seen in the patient.
Arsenic Album- One of the best homeopathic medicines for anxiety about one’s health
When one is over anxious about one’s health, Arsenic Album is one of the best homeopathic medicines. One may or may not have any health situation. In most cases, even a minor trouble is blown out of proportion in the mind of the patient. One starts to imagine that one has some incurable disease. It is often attended with a great degree of restlessness. The patient feels thirsty but is able to take only a sip or two.
Argentum Nitricum- Best homeopathic medicines for anxiety with fear of height
When the patient has great fear of heights, Argentum Nitricum is one of the best homeopathic medicines for anxiety. At the same time, there may be impulse to jump out of the window. The patient feels that the time is passing too slowly. There is great degree of trembling. The patient has a strong longing for sweets.
Nux Vomica- Best Homeopathic medicine for anxiety regarding business
When the anxiety is primarily regarding his or her business or office, Nux Vomica is one of the best homeopathic medicines. Such people are usually aggressive in nature and get angry easily. They may even be prone to frequent use of stimulants like tea, coffee, smoking or alcohol.