Original patient complaint: Anxiety, Depression
We have found homeopathy to be consistently effective in treating mental and emotional problems. When there is a combination of mental, emotional and physical symptoms, as if often the case, all three spheres should improve with the simillimum (the exact remedy needed by the individual). Because all symptoms result from an imbalance of the vital force, once it is brought into balance with the correct remedy, the result will be balance on all levels. Not only will the specific symptoms improve, but so will the person’s energy and overall sense of well-being. Such is the case with Greg whose case follows.
Greg, age 40, first came to see us for homeopathic treatment two years ago. “I have blood sugar problems. I had two grand mal seizures in 1989 and 1990. I’ve been on Dilantin 100 mg tid since my second seizure. During the first few months after starting Dilantin, my right foot started to drag. That lasted eight months. I also had some slurred speech. My blood sugar has been up and down ever since I started the Dilantin. It’s been really bad during the past six months. I’ve been on a hypoglycemic diet, but it hasn’t helped much. It’s possible I’ve had this my whole life. When I was younger, I became easily wound up. I’d lose my temper for unexpected reasons. It would blow over in a minute or two. As a teenager, I’d eat pancakes Saturday morning then go back to sleep for three hours. I worked in Indonesia for 15 years teaching sports to teenagers. I came here when the job possibilities there ended.
I experience a lot of nervousness . If I eat any sugar, I feel grumpy 30 minutes later, then a loss of energy. I can feel my heart react to food or lack of food. It’s a battle to keep on an even keel.
I have mood swings in which I fall apart and can’t think clearly. I think everything’s going bad. Sometimes I cry when I feel this way.
I’m up and down.”
When we asked Greg whether he was open or reserved, he replied, “I tell people more than they need to know about my feelings. I can overreact to things and make things worse than they are. I’m very trusting.” Upon inquiring about his childhood, he told us it was great.
What is Greg’s main problem? His anxiety. His mind went too fast, which caused him to sleep poorly. He worried all the time. He had frequent heart palpitations. He suffered from an extreme case of hypoglycemia. He had been unsuccessful, and at times unrealistic, in intimate relationships. He had few friends and felt very discontented with his job, his relationships, his living situation and his life. Overall, Greg was very unhappy.
This is not a case for which we consulted the repertory. This is unusual for us. We generally analyze the case carefully, select key elements and the rubrics which fit best, than choose the one remedy which matches best. Greg’s symptoms seemed to us to clearly fit the remedy Argentum nitricum (Silver nitrate). We began by giving Greg a potency of 6C three times daily because he was taking Dilantin 100 mg three times a day due to the seizures.
At his first follow-up, one month later, Greg was feeling better. His gas, which he had not mentioned in the first visit, was improved. “I’ve felt a while lot more relaxed. I’ve had hardly any instances of rapid heartbeat. I’m calmer, not shakey or nervous. I’m handling my work stress a lot better. I can’t muster the energy to get stressed out about it. It’s not as important. I don’t pee at night anymore. I reach a level of sadness, but it only goes so far. It doesn’t snowball like it used to. I haven’t had to desperately monitor my eating. I still eat regularly, not I’m not as affected when I don’t. I’ve almost completely cut out my Chromium. I’ve had no problem choking on food. The corners of my mouth are still cracked.”
We continued to give Greg Argentum nitricum in increasingly high potencies with less frequency. By six months, he was taking a 30C potency as needed. He had gradually decreased his Dilantin, and was now taking one dose every four days. He felt very strongly about getting off his seizure medication and we felt that doing so very slowly was best given his history of anxiety and severe hypoglycemia.
He has continued to do better and better. He changed to a job he loves and feels much better about himself. It is now two years after he began homeopathic treatment. He was given one dose of Argentum nitricum 200C eleven months ago and two doses to hold as needed when he left for seven months abroad. We saw him again recently. He feels really well. He can no longer remember most of what bothered him before. He felt extremely well during his trip except for a bit of traveller’s diarrhea. Despite travelling in rigorous conditions, his hypoglycemia was fine. He had a satisfying romance during his travels. He was just beginning to have some ups and downs again, so we gave him Argentum nitricum 1M.
Argentum nitricum is an excellent homeopathic remedy for people who are extremely anxious. They are usually open, outgoing, talkative, and very likeable. They sometimes have so much mental energy pouring out that they find it difficult to not say too much, as Greg described. They often have a very strong desire for sweets and can have a terrible aggra-vation after ingesting them. They can have considerable anticipatory anxiety, fears about their health, and often (though Greg did not) extreme claustrophobia, fear of elevators, bridges, high places, and corners.
Rajan Sankaran, in The Substance of Homeopathy, discusses the metal aspect of Argentum nitricum. These people are performers, especially in times of crisis. They are very afraid to be late and often feel a need to confirm their appointments several times. They are often singers (“a silver tongue”), orators or writers and may suffer from laryngitis or throat problems after performing. Remember Greg’s problem with choking.
People needing Argentum nitricum are generally quite warm, like Greg. They tend to love sweets, salty foods and fats.
Some of you may wonder how it was possible for Greg’s hypoglycemia to improve so much despite his discontinuing Chromium. From a homeopathic perspective, any symptom, including hypoglycemia, is a result of the imbalance of the vital force of the individual. When the organism is restored to balance with the correct remedy, most or all symptoms, depending on the individual circumstances, will improve. We often use nutritional supplements as an adjunctive treatment to support the person physiologically, but they are not necessary. In fact, there are some homeopaths who don’t even allow their patients to take vitamins, minerals or other supplements while they are being treated homeopathically. Because we are naturopathic doctors, we do recommend a multiple vitamin and mineral and sometimes a few other supplements for the whole person. We do not, however, recommend specific nutritional supplements to eliminate particular symptoms. This we leave to homeopathy and we do not want to mask symptoms because it will make it more difficult to evaluate the success of the homeopathic treatment.