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Hidden just under the surface, anxiety is something we all experience. Anxiety is the experience of worry, nervousness or unease, and is typically linked to an upcoming event or something with an uncertain outcome. Education and outreach on mental health used to focus on depression but a review of 48 studies from across the world suggests that anxiety is now a much larger problem. In the past decade, anxiety has sky rocketed to epidemic proportions, especially in the United States where over 40 million people or 8 in 100 people experience unhealthy anxiety.

Medical solutions

Xanax, Valium and Ativan are some of the benzodiazepines doctors prescribe to patients who are suffering from the effects of stress and anxiety. Sometimes anxiety is diagnosed as a depressive disorder and they prescribe selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (or SSRIs) such as Prozac, Cymbalta or Zoloft. These medications are known to stop anxiety or a panic attack within 30 to 60 minutes and generally last 11 to 20 hours. While they may at first seem like a godsend if you struggle with anxiety, there are many reasons to avoid taking them.

In Chinese medicine they say, wherever there is a ‘front’ there will also be a ‘back,’ and these drugs have a very big back. According to Hahnemann,”All medicaments produce two quite opposite states in the human body: the primary effect which manifests itself when the remedy begins to operate, and the secondary effect which appears only after the lapse of several hours, when the primary effect has ceased.” An example is how a laxative purges the bowel shortly after consuming it, but the next day constipation follows. Another example is drinking coffee that at first awakens and energizes, then later creates tiredness and lethargy. This is why the afternoon cup of coffee is so necessary for long term coffee drinkers. This is known as the secondary effect of medications so taking any medication, although providing an immediate relief, will have a bigger back so to speak.

There are still gaps in the science. Medical researchers do not know the exact mechanism by which benzodiazepines work. It is believed they raise levels of the calming neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or increase GABA receptor sensitivity. GABA deficiency is linked to depression, anxiety and PTSD, insomnia and drug and alcohol dependence so the theory that improving GABA levels would reduce these symptoms is logical. In the big picture though, the overall effect of benzodiazepines on the body is not known.

It is no secret that medications often have a long list of potential side effects and how they might affect each person can’t be predicted ahead of time. Benzodiazepines in particular are known to develop an addictive dependency. This makes these medications dangerous to stop and the person can either take them far longer than is recommended, or they have to carefully wean themselves off with medical supervision.

Also, medications are given for a disease label rather than the unique set of symptoms that represent the underlying state of the whole person. It is known that treating symptoms superficially and not treating the deeper source issues may act as a temporary palliative and does not often provide a lasting solution. It can in fact suppress the natural expression of symptoms and lead to more grave health issues in the future. A symptom is like a white flag calling for attention and support, but it is not the real disease.

Natural solutions

Relief from overwhelming anxiety problems can come in many forms and there are many solutions that are natural. They do not need to forcefully change the brain’s chemistry and have possible side effects. Some of these include the more well-known methods such as cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnotherapy and high intensity interval training as well there are alternative methods such as meditation, dietary changes and seeing holistic practitioners. Homeopathy is one natural solution that has shown to be very effective for anxiety and stress.

Stress has emotional and physical effects directly related to the person’s response to inner and outer pressures and perceived fears or conflicts. Long-term stress can develop into anxiety and each person expresses behavioural, mental and emotional symptoms. During a homeopathic session the mental and emotional state of a person, the physical symptoms, the perception of the person towards their experience, their susceptibility, a complete family history and whatever else the person brings up are addressed and explored by the homeopath. In allowing for the whole set of symptoms to be explored, this leads to discovering the deeper experience of the person and their inner state. The homeopath will then reach a remedy choice that can help the person with the root issues that produce anxiety.

Einstein said that, ‘We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.’ Homeopathy accesses the natural principles of healing and does not rely on mental therapy to get us out of the loop of our own thinking process. A lot of the common tools and techniques such as graduated exposure therapy, slowed breathing or distraction are useful and can help manage anxiety and keep a person functional, however getting to the root issues can make real and long term change possible.

With the help of homeopathy we are able to fill in the source of both what inspires the individual and of the unhealthy state that produces disease. This is the beauty of it, the homeopathic process can help in cases of depression, anxiety and stress without causing further harm, and without or in conjunction with medications. Einstein knew what he was talking about when he said that we can only solve our problems with a different level of consciousness than where we started with it. Holistic healing approaches are one way to shift levels and see profound results.

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How does holistic treatment support healthy living? Why try homeopathy? Having a life long study in the principles of nature and healthy living, Lauren Trimble is happy to share her knowledge and experience. The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity & developing consciousness in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to her current holistic practice. If you enjoyed this article find out more at Birdsong.

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Anxiety is an individual experience

Extreme anxiety can arise with no apparent reason in certain children, but usually a child is susceptible to specific situations or events. These can include a major life change such as moving to a new city or school, or changes at home such as the parent’s separation or a new relationship. Other susceptibilities can be witnessing a distressing event, or being in an upsetting situation such as emotional abuse or bullying. If the child is different in some way such as being LGBTQ or having a visibly noticeable difference such as a birth mark, that can also trigger anxiety. However, we have all observed that what upsets one child has no effect on another child.

What to look for?

How can we tell if a kid is experiencing anxiety that is unhealthy? With young kids we tend to give a lot of tolerance for personality and individual character or for situations that are obviously difficult. Usually we can say, ‘just give it some time and they will find their footing.’ Or we can discuss the situation with them and then see if they outgrow a phase. There are things we can look out for such as sudden changes in behaviour that seem out of character or are not the usual growing pains. If a child has unexpected changes of their feelings, such as a happy child that is suddenly worried, guilty, angry or fearful this is something to observe closely. When the emotions do not shift naturally and seem to get stuck on only one ‘channel,’ that can point to a lack of adaptation and spontaneous response. Hopelessness and rejection can be signs of something deeper, and if left unaddressed may lead to more serious issues such as depression, a desire to self harm or even of suicide in later adolescence. Also, for older children, the use of drugs or alcohol, especially when they are alone can signal a need for soothing, coping and numbing out uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.

It is also important to notice if they are complaining of physical symptoms like frequent headaches or stomachaches, if they have problems eating or sleeping, or have a general lack of energy. Take notice if they start to make odd or repetitive movements such as when they are playing or resting. It is good to observe as well if they start to avoid things that before they enjoyed or liked, if they are suddenly less social or interested in being with others. And if they show any signs that they are having trouble coping with regular activities and normal everyday challenges.

What if I don’t have a diagnosis of anxiety for my child?

Observable signs and symptoms determine unhealthy anxiety in children. In older children they may also be able to provide their inner experience of physical symptoms as well as thoughts, imaginations and dreams. An official diagnosis can be difficult since behaviours such as shyness, anxiety nervousness, strange eating habits, and outbursts of temper can occur as a normal part of a child’s development. It is important to be able to discern if they happen very often, last a long time, occur at an unusual age, or cause significant disruption to the child’s and/or family’s life.

It can be reassuring to have medical tests and a diagnosis since a child is unable to fully express or understand their own symptoms and inner experience, but in some situations they may be too costly or unavailable. When there is a diagnosis and the doctor is doing tests, this can help to direct the course of action to take. With homeopathy however, there is no need for a specific diagnosis of anxiety, a serious concern is enough to warrant a trip to the homeopath. Then in collaboration with the parents, they can see if there is a general remedy to help with the stage and adaptation that the child is struggling with. In more serious cases when something is definitely wrong, it can be good to give a deeper, more individualized core remedy to help the child with all aspects of their life and to give them an opportunity for more healthy development and balance.

Homeopathy is a completely natural approach and instead of prescribing medications or lengthy therapy, a few sessions can often determine the situation and resolve the issue or with the suggestion of a remedy or remedies this can help the child to naturally resolve their issue. By naturally adapting to their current situation a child can develop greater resilience, a stronger immune system, develop their individuality and reduce the level of toxicity or stress that medications may cause.

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How does holistic treatment support healthy living? Why try homeopathy? Having a life long study in the principles of nature and healthy living, Lauren Trimble is happy to share her knowledge and experience. The art of retuning the body’s natural healing capacity & developing consciousness in a compassionate and gentle way is the gift that homeopathy brings to her current holistic practice. If you enjoyed this article find out more at Birdsong.

 

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