Monday, July 26, 2010

Homeopathic Treatment of Psychiatric Conditions and Emotional Imbalances

By Christopher Johnson, ND

Photo by Eggybird via Flickr, used under the Creative Commons License.
As a naturopathic physician I work regularly with patients who have emotional imbalances, sometimes as a chief complaint, and sometimes as simply one symptom amongst many. It seems that having some degree of anxiety and/or depression is simply a part of being human – most persons experience them at some point in their lives.

In practice, I have had significant success in treating clinical psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depressive disorders, ADHD/behavioral disorders, PTSD, bipolar affective disorder and panic disorder using homeopathy. Most patients who come to me for help with these conditions are using psychotropic medications, but are often able to discontinue or reduce the dosage of these meds (under the supervision of whoever prescribed them) once they experience improvement.

In addition to treating clinically diagnosable psychiatric conditions, homeopathy is also extremely effective at treating everyday anxieties, irritabilities, moods, etc. Literally every day I see patients who come back for their first follow up visit to tell me they feel less anxious, irritable, etc. This, even though many of these patients did not come to me for help with emotional issues and in some cases were not even aware the issues were present until they took the homeopathic remedy, became healthy, and realized how good it feels to be without emotional imbalances.

Not only do many patients tell me they feel less anxious or depressed, I actually expect it from every patient. If it is not so, I have not given them the correct homeopathic remedy and they are not truly healing. A healthy body is an emotionally calm and happy body.

Homeopathy restores health quickly, gently and usually in a permanent fashion by stimulating the body’s own healing capacity.

People are often amazed to see that emotional issues can be resolved without years of psychotherapy, yet this is common with homeopathic treatment. In other cases, patients who are undergoing psychotherapy and are intellectually aware of their issues but unable to resolve them often have rapid progress upon initiating homeopathic treatment. I have seen patients suffering from anxiety for 30 years have it resolved within weeks of homeopathic treatment.

The fact that homeopathic remedies affect the body in this manner is not trivial. Two recent major studies demonstrated that anxiety is a very significant risk factor for heart disease – as much or more than hypertension, elevated cholesterol, etc. An anxious or depressed body is one out of balance and at risk for all manner of diseases.

Unlike conventional medical treatments, homeopathy has no side effects and the positive effects are curative (to the extent the body is capable of healing) – meaning that treatment need only proceed for a finite time period, after which the patient no longer need use the homeopathic remedy to remain healthy. This was demonstrated in a 2008 study which followed 3,709 patients for 8 years. It found, “Patients who seek homeopathic treatment are likely to improve considerably. These effects maintain for as long as 8 years.”

The following is a sampling of trials demonstrating homeopathy’s effectiveness in treating psychiatric disorders:

In a 2009 randomized, double-blind trial at a Brazilian state medical school, homeopathy outperformed Fluoxetine (Prozac) on all measured parameters in treatment of moderate to severe depression.

A 2006 study of 1,783 patients receiving homeopathic treatment for a variety of complaints found, “Strongly positive outcomes… were achieved most notably in the frequently treated conditions of anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.”

A 2005 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics found, “scientific evidence of the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of ADHD, particularly in the areas of behavioral and cognitive functions.”

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