Updated: Sep 29
Overwhelmed by Responsibility
Some years ago, I was at home, cleaning the kitchen, when, from out of the blue, I dropped into an emotional black hole. A feeling of total despair and hopelessness engulfed me; it felt like I was carrying an overwhelming burden of responsibility. I slumped on the floor, tears running down my cheeks, mentally reviewing the futility of myself, my life - of everything! This state wasn’t altogether foreign; in my younger years, depression had been a frequent companion, but never before had I experienced it with this intensity and coming seemingly from nowhere.
One chink of light; a single word on the edge of my awareness: ‘aurum’. This is the name of a homeopathic remedy that I had been prescribed some years earlier. A practising homeopath myself, I recognised that this remedy matched my state. People who respond well to aurum tend to have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. They will set unrealistically high goals for themselves and can tip into depression when they believe they have failed to fulfil these high standards.
Overcoming considerable inertia, I fetched my bottle of aurum remedy and took a dose. Pause. Observe. The clouds began lift. I felt a little better. Two more doses that day, and the dark feeling passed.
This was a dramatic resolution to a very intense situation. It also affirmed what had first attracted me to homeopathy; that symptoms of depression and other debilitating psychological conditions (as well as a wide range of physical complaints) can often be effectively managed using homeopathy.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a traditional form of medicine. According to the World Health Organisation, which acknowledges homeopathy as a valid form of health care, it is the second most widely used system of medicine in the world, with over 200 million users.
Homeopathy was formally introduced to the world in 1810, when German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, published his definitive work: ‘The Organon of Medicine’. In this book, he set out the principles on which homeopathy is based. These principles hold as true today as they did 200 years ago.
The foundation of Homeopathy is the ‘Law of Similars’. In essence this states that a substance, which can produce symptoms in a healthy person, can be used in minute doses to relieve similar symptoms in a sick person. For example, one homeopathic medicine prescribed for people experiencing insomnia, contains minute amounts of coffee, a substance normally regarded as a stimulant.
Each homeopathic remedy has a unique ‘symptom picture’, the spectrum of symptoms that the remedy has been shown to produce in a healthy person and resolve in a sick person. The task of the homeopath is to ascertain the symptom profile of each patient, and identify the homeopathic remedy that best matches this.
One widely used homeopathic remedy is called natrum muriaticum (nat-mur). People who need nat-mur are usually serious, conscientious types who are triggered when let down by those they depend on. They withdraw into themselves to stave off further disappointments. They will sit silently with
their sadness and reject any comfort offered. They can be very sensitive to music.
One woman who matched the nat-mur profile was immersed in sadness; to the extent that she had lost confidence in herself. She was unable and unwilling to talk with anybody about how she was feeling. She believed her husband would laugh at her or get angry if she tried to express her concerns.
This woman took three doses of nat-mur, and felt quite buoyant for about two weeks. We then adjusted the dosage so that she continued to take one dose, once a week. From that point she was able to maintain a happy and confident state of mind.
Homeopathic medicines are recognised as being low risk, and generally there are no contraindications when taking them alongside orthodox prescription medicines. Often those on antidepressant medication are able to reduce the dosage over time, though this should be only done under the guidance of the prescribing doctor.
Burdened by Guilt
Another woman who came for treatment was going through a difficult legal process, which required her to stand up for her rights. It was a time when she needed to be very alert and responsive to events, yet she found herself ‘frozen’. She was filled with guilt; somehow this was all her fault, the consequence of something ‘bad’ she that had done. And because of this, she had no resolve to deal with the real situation around her.
Her dilemma matched the remedy picture for homeopathic cyclamen. In the cyclamen state, the person believes that, because of some wrong he or she has done, something bad has occurred. He or she will put on a sunny face to the world, hiding the guilt and shame that is paralysing them inside. After a few doses of cyclamen this woman was able to put aside the feeling of guilt and handle the real challenges in her life.
The Process of Classical Homeopathic Treatment
These are three examples of how classical homeopathy has helped to alleviate the paralysing grip of depression. There are dozens, even hundreds of other homeopathic medicines that could apply to other people in different situations and with different mental and emotional states. The job of the homeopath is to identify the medicine that best fits each case.
This is done through an in-depth interview. A first consultation will last up to ninety minutes. As well as exploring the issues around the depression, a complete medical, personal and family history is taken, and environmental stresses are considered. Subsequent visits last about one hour.
Often, once the ‘constitutional’ remedy is identified, it may serve the patient for years, only needing to be repeated when there is a return of the original depression symptoms. At other times, a first prescription may only address the first layer of a case, and after the initial burst of well-being wears off, it is time to revisit the situation, see what has changed and find the medicine that now best fits the patient’s symptoms. When a condition is long-standing it can take time to effect lasting change and it is wise to expect treatment to extend over four to six consultations, before firmly assessing the effectiveness of treatment.
I conduct consultations in person (in Artarmon and Five Dock in Sydney) or online. Or to find a classical homeopath in your area visit the Australian Homeopathic Association (AHA) website: www.homeopathyoz.org.
B Sc (Hons), Adv Dip Hom (Syd), AHA, AROH
Use medicines only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare practitioner. This advice does not replace professional care.
These suggestions are for the treatment of minor aliments only and are not suitable for the treatment of chronic, serious or on-going illness.
 World Health Report, WHO Global Atlas of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Map Volume, 2005
 Hahnemann, S. (1842) Organon of the Medicinal Art, Palo Alto Ca, Birdcage Books
 Lanksy. A. L. (2003) Impossible Cure, Portola Valley, Ca: R.L.Ranch Press