When I say the word homeopathy what comes to mind?
*Please note before continuing*
I should start by saying I am not a practicing homeopath. In the past I have taken homeopathic medicine due to a combination of curiosity and desperation, so my experience stops with the taking of the medicine. I have, however, done extensive reading on the topic and spoken to a few homeopathic sources.
I am also not a doctor. I’m in no way suggesting that you use homeopathic medicine in lieu of traditional medicine in the case of major depressive disorders or mental health conditions. (Read more about depression here.) Nor am I suggesting that homeopathy removes the need for other therapies. You can use homeopathy in the case of mild mental illness, but SHOULD NOT replace medication or therapy for more serious conditions which may require regular treatment and heavier medications.
By all means, it is possible to use in conjunction with said treatments and medications. It’s always wise to speak to your psychiatrist or general practitioner before making a change to your treatment plan.
What is homeopathy and how can it benefit both physical and mental illness?
In the world of alternative medicine, homeopathy is possibly the most renowned. If you haven’t tried it, you’ve at least heard of it. But how much do we actually know about homeopathy, and can you really use it effectively to combat both mental and physical illnesses?
My experience with homeopathy began earlier this year and lasted for approximately six weeks. My friend’s sister (K) has been a loyal user of homeopathy for a number of years, and so she kindly sent me some samples to help with my emotional and mental distress.
Hesitance about alternative medicine
I had never tried homeopathy, and I was hesitant and confused by how to take them. They appeared to be in the form of small, cloudy ‘balls’ with strange names and no ingredient list.
After a quick google search and chat with K, she reassured me of their authenticity and purpose. However, I was still concerned about how they would react with my anti-depressants. I didn’t actually start taking them until after speaking with my therapist, who insisted it couldn’t hurt as a complementary treatment.
Once my mind was put at ease, I began taking Kaliphos 6Xand Ignatia 30c three times a day. Both medications were intended to help ease the symptoms of stress, mental fatigue, and anxiety, all of which I was feeling on an intense level at that point in my life.
The effects weren’t instantaneous, much like other medications. It wasn’t a miracle fix all that kicked in after just one use. Just like traditional medications homeopathy requires repeated and continued use in order to reap the benefits.
After a few weeks I began to feel my dark mood (which at the time was nothing short of suicidal) shift slightly. I gained more energy over time and felt better able to cope with the hands I was being dealt. These positive side effects continued even after stopping the medication and in conjunction with other therapies and yoga, I was able to maintain a level of normality.
It’s unclear how much of this was placebo effect and how much was genuine, however, results are results, placebo or not. The mind is a wonderful thing and even if it only thinks it’s being altered, that’s good enough for me.
The history of homeopathy
“Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine that uses remedies to stimulate the body’s own innate ability to heal itself. It offers superior results by treating the underlying causes of illness, not just the symptoms of the disease. When the core problems are removed, the body is freed up to release the symptoms, so restoring health and harmony.
They can safely be used alongside conventional medicine. They are non-addictive and easy to take as remedies are available in both pill and liquid form.
Homeopathy acts as a form of preventative treatment. By boosting the body’s immune system, homeopathy can help improve a person’s susceptibility to illness and infection.”
What is homeopathy?
(Eileen Scullion, Homeopathy Healing)
Homeopathy is a complementary medicine, considered to be an alternative and natural treatment for various illnesses. Modern homeopathy was first discovered by Doctor Samuel Hahnemann in the late eighteen century. He was dissatisfied with medicine at the time which still practiced things such as bloodletting, wherein a person was bled with the belief that it would cure them of illness. He believed this practice, among many others, to be both barbaric and counter productive.
Instead of invasive procedures which possibly did more to harm the patient than good, Dr. Hahnemann came up with the concept of homeopathy while translating William Cullen’s “A Treatise on the Materia Medica”.
In the book it claimed that cinchoca (the bark of a Peruvian tree) was effective in the treatment of Malaria. Hahnemann took this and produced the principle of similarity, or the idea that ‘like cures like.’ Simply put, this theory presumes that if something can cause an illness, then it can surely cure it.
This would go onto become the foundations of modern homeopathic medicine.
How can it be used in the treatment of mental and physical illness?
In the traditional sense, homeopathy was used to treat physical ailments and ‘mystery’ illness that, in hindsight, ancient physicians couldn’t explain. When suffering from ‘depressive’ episodes, it was assumed you were possessed by a demon or suffering some other, unnatural phenomenon.
With the miracle of modern medicine and understanding of the human brain, we’ve become more aware of mental health concerns for what they truly are; Illness, but housed within the brain. Like physical conditions, mental illness has become valid a general concern in the eyes of modern medicine. Although mental illnesses are still very much stigmatized in comparison to other ailments, it’s a far cry from exorcisms and bloodletting in a bid to ‘rid the evil.’
Homeopathy and mental health
Homeopathy has been used to not only treat physical ailments, but also mental. Although traditional medicine such as SSRI’s are available, there are a number of drawbacks that can make these less desirable in regards to treatment.
SSRIs, or similar medication, is often accompanied by side effects. These range from physical reactions such as nausea and headaches, to the more severe such as increased depression and suicidal ideations. Although these medications are sometimes necessary in order to control brain chemistry, there are other options out there in regards to treatment.
Homeopathy can be used as a sole treatment or it can be used alongside other therapies and medications. However, as previously stated, in the case of more severe psychiatric conditions or serious suicidal ideations, it’s best to speak to your GP or psychiatrist before making a change to your treatment. Homeopathy will not be enough to regulate brain chemistry and symptoms in the case of more serious conditions, but you can use solely in the event of less, more time sensitive conditions such as minor depression, the grieving period and acute stress and anxiety.
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How do you get started with homeopathy?
Whether you’re interested in taking homeopathic remedies or you want to learn about the science behind it, there is a vast array of information available online. If you’re interested in getting started with homeopathy, try these kits available from such places as Helios Homeopathy. You can also pick up various books in your local library. You can even use a mobile app called Homeopathy UK.
About the Author
I’m Chloe, content creator and owner of Nyxie’s Nook, a blog dedicated to mental health, recovery and general wellness. I love being able to help and inform others through the use of my writing, and pride myself on providing nothing but the best content.
I started this blog in March 2019 in a bid to raise awareness for mental illness. Usinf my experience, I especially focus on Anorexia Nervosa and Anxiety, two such disorders I suffer from. However, what started out as a hobby, quickly turned into something much, much more!
Nyxie’s Nook has become a place to talk about all mental health issues and the struggles that come along with recovery. I cover a variety of subjects ranging from general wellness right up to more specific recovery related content. I not only aim to cater to those in recovery but to people in all walks of life.
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