A study published in a medical journal published by Oxford University Press found that individualized homeopathic treatment is as effective and is safer than Prozac in the treatment of people with moderate or severe depression.
The eight-week, double-blind, randomized, controlled study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, custom-prescribed homeopathic remedies have an equal effect to the antidepressant drug fluoxetine (Prozac).
The researchers randomly divided 91 patients with moderate to severe depression into a homeopathy group and a fluoxetine group. The two groups showed equal improvement after four- and eight-week cycles.
With lack of sunshine many people experience a drop in their mood and can feel low and lethargic. Others feel their panic and anxieties rising . With the shifting light and darkening days our thoughts can darken and a low mood or depression can set in . A good homeopathic remedy at this point may help arrest this feeling and prevent it taking hold in the coming months.It is not surprising really when you think of the freedom that summer can bring, summer can bring a lightness of mood with its long light-filled days and the possibility of time off to relax.
Lack of daylight
When winter approaches ,darkness in the mornings and especially after the clocks go back when there is no evening light many people can literally feel as if they are shutting down. Many people work in offices that may have poor lighting and indeed have no natural light at all. Some people are affected by this in quite a profound way and it’s like a ‘switch’ and the happiness is gone .
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may arise at the change of seasons and worsens as the light decreases , in some people a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; which is linked to feelings of low mood or depression.
I think particularly if there are unresolved emotional issues the changing seasons can be a trigger for some people and they sink back to a feeling they have had before.
Treating low moods and anxiety with Homeopathy
Many people do not want to resort to antidepressants and are at a loss as to what to do , they may want a more gentle and holistic approach to their mental and emotional well-being . Here homeopathy has a place and may help to lift low mood and get you back to yourself.
Homeopathic remedies are made from plants, minerals and other naturally-occurring substances. Homeopathic remedies are gentle yet powerful medicines that can be used in all stages of life from conception to old age. The description of the remedy is in itself a description of the person that could do well on this remedy. Commonly the remedy has very detailed descriptions covering the mental, emotional and physical aspects of the person, in some cases whole books have been dedicated to very detailed symptoms of the said remedy. This detail is beyond the scope of this article as are the vast amount of remedies that may help symptoms of low mood and anxiety.
With the knowledge of your individual symptoms and your medical history I work to find the remedy that is most similar to your symptoms .
I often see people who are already on anti depressants when they come for homeopathy, many may have been on medication for a couple of years and feel they are stuck .
Homeopathic remedies can be used alongside conventional medication , the dosage and potency of your remedy will be tailored to accommodate your prescription .Generally if I am working with someone on medication we work in consultation with their GP .
DO NOT ON ANY ACCOUNT STOP TAKING A PRESCRIBED MEDICATION WITHOUT FIRST CONSULTING YOUR MEDICAL PRACTITIONER .
Only with improvement is the dosage of prescription drugs gently reduced in consultation with your G.P.
Rising panic & anxiety
Other common symptoms I’ve noticed with people aside from low moods is a rising anxiety in people , these symptoms can be mild for some and debilitating for others. Panic attacks with spells of weeping , irritability and low confidence and self esteem can make daily life increasingly difficult to bear. When I treat people with these symptoms I need to hear what is troubling the person and how it affects them.
What symptoms are you experiencing ?
I need the person to describe as best they can what symptoms they are experiencing.
Questions like when are you worse ? e.g some people are worse in the morning others are worse at night.
When are you better? What can lift your mood ?
Are you tearful, irritable, better or worse for company ?
What sort of thoughts are you experiencing ?
Are you experiencing physical symptoms/sensations ? eg. indigestion, diarrohea, tight feeling in the throat or chest, butterflies in the stomach to name a few.
Is there a lack of appetite or an excess of appetite resulting in comfort eating ?
Sleep can be affected with frequent waking or a constant desire to sleep.
What was happening at the onset of these feelings?
For some the trigger might be pressure from too much work and a feeling of not being able to cope, for others it could be the shock of hearing bad news, a loss of job, grief over loss of friendship,the break up of a relationship or the death of a loved one, disappointment ,deception ,tragedy and loss unfortunately these things can happen and none of us are immune.
Basically I need to know what’s been happening in your life and how are you really feeling ?
Based on all the information given I then look for remedies that have similar symptoms to the person and prescribe a well chosen remedy that covers all the individual symptoms of the person . There are many remedies that can be used for the treatment of low moods and anxiety and they all have particular symptom pictures so choosing the best match is based on the presenting symptoms.
It is important to be sure that these symptoms aren’t due to another illness for example in some cases it can be due to an underactive thyroid and it is wise to consult your GP to find out if this is the case.
Homeopathic medicines are not prescribed based on the person’s diagnosed disease but on the unique way the person experiences his or her symptoms.
Conventional Medical Treatment with anti- depressants (SSRI’S)
The most common conventional drugs used for depression and Anxiety are a group of drugs called Selective Serotonin Re uptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) which act by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is one of the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) that carry signals between brain cells. SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin in the brain, making more serotonin available. However no drug is without side effects …
The issue with anti depressants that many people have is that it can have a numbing effect on the emotions overall and many report that whilst they may not feel as low and are functioning they cannot access feelings of happiness on occasions that they would expect to feel joy . In this so-called “emotional blunting” people report rather than feeling down they feel ‘flat’ and emotionally numb.
Where this blunting of emotions can be preferable to very strong negative feelings and has a very definite place in treatment especially where people are at risk. But it may not be a long term solution for everyone as it does not treat the underlying cause for the low mood .
Common side effects of fluoxetine (Prozac) are nervousness, insomnia, weakness, anxiety, drowsiness, tremor, diarrhea, dyspepsia, nausea, headache, xerostomia, decreased sex drive, anorexia, and decreased appetite.
Black Box Warnings
An FDA black-box warningis the most stringent precaution a drug can carry before it is pulled from the shelves. It takes its name from the black border that surrounds the warning information on the drug’s packaging. In 2007 The FDA required antidepressant manufacturers to update existing black-box warnings about the increased risks of suicidal thoughts and behavior during initial treatment ( first 2 months).
Depression in Pregnancy…. ‘One in Six’..
Interestingly in an article by Kitty Holland in the Irish Times (Nov 1st 2016) pregnant women came under the spotlight for being at particular risk of depression during pregnancy.
‘Irish women have among the highest levels of depression during pregnancy in the OECD, the first study of the issue in the State indicates. The study, published on Tuesday by the Trinity college Department of Psychiatry, finds one in six women – 16 per cent – “are at probable risk of depression” during pregnancy….
The study says there is growing evidence that depression during pregnancy can “compromise the physical and mental health of the infant”.
The stigma around depression, and seeking help, was felt to be greater for pregnant women as pregnancy was “a time . . . conventionally associated with happy anticipation”.
This is indeed a very vulnerable time in women’s lives and many women struggle with the idea of medication and in many cases see it as off limits.
But there are alternatives that may help with your low mood and certainly doing nothing and suffering is not the answer.
Here homeopathy could become a valuable resource whilst pregnant as homeopathic medicines can be taken safely during pregnancy and in many cases may help diminish unwanted physical, emotional and mental symptoms .
Testimonial from a patient suffering from very low moods and anxieties.
‘I attended a consultation with Pauline to help me to regain mental & emotional balance. Pauline was instrumental in supporting me during this time & recommended remedies that allowed this journey to unfold naturally & in a way that was healing & balancing for my emotional & mental health. I continued to attend consultations regularly after this as I found Pauline to be very compassionate and knowledgeable and the remedies she recommended (prescribed) worked on many levels with profound and lasting results. I would highly recommend attending a consultation with Pauline as she is skilled in dealing with such a wide variety of both physical, emotional & mental issues & her ability to recommend (prescribe) homeopathic remedies that work gently to rebalance & support the mind, body & spirit is exceptional.’