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Homeopathy and PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be a debilitating and life altering disorder for people. It is initially caused by exposure to a traumatic event, that the person then re-experiences over and over again in various ways. As you could imagine, that triggers feelings of anxiety, panic, fear, cognitive issues, hyper-vigilance, sleeping problems, and much more. It is also common for people to experience negative thoughts about themselves and struggle with feelings of shame and guilt about the trauma.

There are many medical treatments that help with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, but not many that treat the underlying trauma itself.


There is ONE exception that actually treats the underlying trauma – Homeopathic Medicine.


Just like everything else in life, no two people experience trauma in the same way. What might be traumatic to one person, might not be traumatic to someone else. Each person’s reaction to trauma is also very unique and individualized. So the medicine used to treat the trauma shouldn’t be the same for everyone.


Here are some examples:


THE HOUSE FIRE

It is late at night and the Smith family is winding down for the night and getting ready for bed, when all of a sudden the smoke detectors go off and smoke is filling the house. Something inside the kitchen has caught on fire. Fortunately, everyone is safely evacuated from the house and the fire. Even though they were safe, each of them were traumatized from the fire. They were scared that they might not get out, and saddened by the memories lost in the home, not to mention the stress of finding a new home or rebuilding what was damaged. Sally, the mom, develops insomnia and depression from the event, because she keeps replaying the incident and blames herself for it happening, as she was the last person in the kitchen that night. Two twin girls, Emily and Olivia, both develop anxiety from the experience, but their anxiety is manifested in different and unique ways. Emily develops an intense fear that something terrible is going to happen. She is worried not only about herself, but about her twin sister as well as she has noticed a difference in how Olivia has been acting. Emily had always looked up to her sister as the braver twin. Seeing her brave sister struggle with a new fear, only makes her feel worse, in part because Emily has always been very empathetic and easily picks up on others emotions. Olivia has developed nightmares and a fear of going to bed, because she was about to get into bed when the smoke detectors went off. She fears that if she goes to bed another fire might happen, so she tries to stay up to prevent this from happening. Once she does fall asleep she awakens with nightmares of the event. Mark, the dad, initially was in a state of shock, but recovered rather quickly hours after the event with no residual symptoms. Each person in that house went through the same exact traumatic experience, but yet everyone was affected in different ways.


THE ROBBERY

Jane and Beth, two very close friends, were heading to their cars after a wonderful dinner catching up when they were held at gunpoint during a robbery. Both women develop PTSD from that event. Jane suffers from extreme anxiety and fear. She is extremely restless and is always moving about. She also suffers from insomnia due to her non-stop racing thoughts and extreme restlessness even when lying down. She has frequent heart palpitations and chest pains. This has caused her to develop a new anxiety about her health. Beth also suffers from anxiety and insomnia, but in a much different way. She has a fear of leaving the house as she fears that if she does something bad will happen. She mostly feels her anxiety in her GI tract with constant nausea, lack of appetite, and alternating diarrhea and constipation. Both of these women were affected by their traumatic experience, but it manifested differently in each of them.


There are also cases where things that aren’t obviously traumatic, like a house fire or a robbery, can take place that will lead to trauma in some but not others. For example, some people can be affected just by hearing about traumatic events that happen on the television. I have had patients who have reported before that they can’t watch the news because it can trigger both anxiety and sadness for them, as they are so sensitive to hearing about bad things happening. While this particular trigger doesn’t meet the specific diagnostic criteria for PTSD, those people are still greatly affected by even just hearing about those traumatic events.


Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of trauma


Now let’s look at our kids, as children are especially vulnerable to the effects of trauma. Unfortunately, is can be common for some children to be made fun of or bullied at school.


Most children are affected by this, but it affects each child in a very different way, and unfortunately this experience can be very traumatizing. For example, Little Billy is made fun of at school for having an exaggerated overbite. This leads to him developing low self esteem and symptoms of depression. He starts withdrawing at school and at home. He was once a straight A student, but now he is struggling to get homework done and failing tests. Little Johnny gets made fun of at school for having a stutter. This causes him to have extreme anger and acts out in violent ways. He tries to hold his anger in at school as much as possible, but if he is provoked he will go into a rage outburst in which he screams, curses, throws things, or hits other kids. Little Johnny has found himself to be a regular in the Principal’s office and is at risk for being suspended from school. While Little Billy and Little Johnny were both made fun of at school, this traumatic experience affected each boy in vary different ways.


Homeopathy works long term


Homeopathic medicine is a treatment that can address that individuality of each person and their reaction to a traumatic event. Because of this, the people described above would each need a different homeopathic remedy to treat their symptoms. When you treat the individual, you also treat the whole person and can stimulate true healing in the body. This is very different than how conventional medications work. Benzodiazepines, medications that suppress anxiety for a short term but don’t actually help remove it, are commonly given to anyone suffering from anxiety related to trauma, even though the way that anxiety is manifested in each person is very different. When we don’t actually stimulate the body to heal, we become trapped by the trauma, and in the case of benzos, dependent on medications that become less effective the longer we use them.

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