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Anxiety or Fear

It’s okay to use homeopathic remedies at home to help yourself through an acute bout of ­anxiety resulting from a known cause (e.g., a recent trauma, shock, or loss). But the best way to heal chronic, ongoing, or disabling anxiety is a comprehensive consultation with a professional homeopath, along with supportive psychotherapy as needed. Treatment may change as you heal and grow. Here are some remedies that homeopaths often use to help people with anxiety:

  • Aconite: For acute situations when sudden fears overtake us rapidly. Intense fear (or ­presentiment) of death, as well as ­palpitations, shortness of breath, flushed face, and trembling.
  • Argentum nitricum: Fearfulness and anxiety about many things especially bridges, closed spaces, heights, and personal health. Speaks quickly, in a big hurry, and tends to have diarrhea (everything is in a rush!). Everyday ­scenarios cause worry, leading to obsessive-compulsive behavior. This can become abject terror, leaving the person feeling lost and insane. Warm blooded, craves sweets and salt, and complains of ­anxiety in the morning and before appointments.
  • Arsenicum album: Pacing to and fro, fretting over what may or may not happen, anguishing over their health and that of family members, and needing company. Chilly and thirsty for sips of water, they feel worse at or after midnight. Controlling, fastidious, and critical, particularly when in ill-health. Worries about robbers, insanity, or security and especially about money matters. Burning pains are relieved by heat.
  • Calcarea carbonica: Craves stability, protection, and status (as a form of protection, not ambition), and dreads disaster. Anxious when things are left undone or not going according to plan. Neatness out of concern for contagion and a need for order (vs. Arsenicum “neat freaks”). Listmakers. ­Anxiety may manifest as anger, envy, hatred, withdrawal, unresponsiveness, despair, or indifference.
  • Gelsemium: Apprehensive and timid, these people feel they haven’t the resources to do what they’d like to do. They dread performances of any kind, for fear they’ll lose control or something terrible will happen. Vertigo, weakness, trembling, chills, diarrhea, drowsiness, and even speechlessness from fright. When trembling, they want to be held. They fear falling, crowds, and fainting (or heart attack); they desire light and quiet.
  • Ignatia: Acute, recent grief or loss. Sensitive, refined, and heartbroken people who are biting their lips or cheeks, repeating to themselves, “I just can’t believe it, I can’t believe it...” Averse to consolation, they may appear defensive, sigh frequently (as if to ground themselves back into their bodies), and experience ­radical mood swings—bursting into tears or laughter.
  • Lycopodium: Any new challenge creates anxiety due to a severe lack of confidence. They may have an emotional swagger but are easily intimidated by anyone perceived as more powerful. Responsibility in work or relationships can create ­debilitating anxiety and fear of failure, which may manifest in ­sexual difficulties, irritability, digestive ­complaints, and claustrophobia.
  • Natrum muriaticum: Considered the “stiff upper lip” remedy, people who need it are profoundly ­sensitive and inhibited due to many ­anxieties; silent with grief after a loss. They are fearful of tight, narrow spaces, anxious at night, worried about robbers, and secretly terrified of being humiliated or rejected. Anxieties are often cloaked by migraines, ­tingling in the extremities, palpitations, insomnia, and isolation or feigned indifference.
  • Phosphorus: People needing this may be bright-eyed, social, loving, and empathic—but when frightened, they are excitable, suggestible, “spaced out,” easily vexed, fearful of robbers, and in need of reassurance. They gulp cold water (but then either vomit it or get nauseated by it) and are much worse at night. Their anxiety often has something to do with love; they worry endlessly about the object of their attachment not returning their affections. They can be very angry about rejection and obsess on it.
  • Pulsatilla: Sensitive, easily upset people who need a great deal of consolation and reassurance and are as changeable as an April day. They tend toward childish rumination and pouting if they don’t get the attention and emotional security they crave, quickly becoming fearful of rejection. Dependent on others for reassurance. Worse in warm rooms, being covered in bed, and after eating rich foods; better from fresh air, mild exercise, and consolation.
  • Silica: Lack self-confidence and fearful of new undertakings, especially speaking in public. Yielding, yet obstinate. Overly conscientious/anxious about trifles (obsessive); they overwork and exhaust themselves to avoid failure. Chilly, thirsty, chronically constipated, and ­better with consolation and sympathy.
  • Stramonium: Night terrors, both in sleep and waking states. The person is anxious, obsessive-compulsive, and feels forsaken or alone in the wilderness (similar to Pulsatilla); but a mild demeanor may mask violence of thought or action. Mania, delirium, or diabolical delusions may be present.

Learn how much to take and how often to take a remedy.