Homeopathy for Depression – from Arsenicum Album to TuberculinumTamara Der-Ohanian August 1, 2012
When did your depression begin, and what was going on in your life at that time? This is one of the first questions your homeopath will ask when you’re seeking help for depression.
The answers are as diverse and colorful as the patients themselves. Perhaps you have felt depressed all your life due to hereditary factors. Maybe it began after a major and traumatic event in your life, such as divorce, abuse, death of a loved one, or loss of employment. Or possibly you became depressed as a result of hormonal imbalance, which is common during puberty, after childbirth and during menopause.
The answer to the origins of your depression provides an important clue to finding your individual homeopathic remedy. At the same time, regardless of the triggering event of your depression, homeopathy can help you get unblocked, turn the corner, and set you on the path to recovery.
Most people’s perception of homeopathy is that it is herbal medicine used for minor conditions, such as runny noses, allergies, and indigestion. In reality, homeopathy is the most complete form of medical science in existence. Not only can homeopathy address simple conditions, it is can also be successful in curing serious illnesses such as chronic migraines, endometriosis and depression. The limitations of homeopathy are only relative to that of the organism’s ability to heal itself. If an organism is capable of producing a disease, under the right conditions it is capable of reversing this process and restoring its health.
Homeopathy is a medical science based on the law of similars. This means any substance capable of promoting symptoms or disease is also capable of curing them, when administered in infinitesimal or homeopathic doses. The homeopathic approach to curing depression is no different. After listening to your story, your unique symptoms and circumstances, a homeopath will give you a substance that is capable of producing depression in a healthy person.
There are over 3,000 homeopathic remedies to choose from. Treatment of any disease is based on the totality of symptoms expressed by the individual. Therefore, in homeopathy we cannot assign remedies to specific disease labels. Instead, the remedies are unique to individuals. Each individual suffering from depression expresses it quite differently, with different feelings, behavious and symptoms. As a result, 10 people diagnosed with depression will probably receive 10 different homeopathic remedies.
For example, one of my patients who had been depressed his entire life, who had feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and had difficulties expressing his feelings, made great progress with the remedy Natrum Muriaticum. While another patient suffering with life-long depression, who was a perfectionist, was unable to tolerate mediocrity, had rage and suicidal thoughts, made great improvement with the remedy Aurum Metallicum.
On the other hand, two recent cases of depression involving hormonal imbalance received the remedies Lilium Tigrinum and Sepia. In another case, the remedy Tuberculinum helped the recovery of a patient who became severely depressed after separating from her husband. And Arsenicum Album created a spark of optimism for a young woman who had been depressed since a childhood occurrence of sexual abuse.
After taking the indicated homeopathic remedy, patients will start noticing changes within a few hours to several days. Most people experience increased energy and motivation. This becomes the catalyst for positive changes in their lives. I have had numerous patients clean out their garage or the entire house after taking a homeopathic remedy – a symbolic expression of cleansing. People adopt a more positive outlook on life. Depressed patients treated homeopathically may once again begin engaging in their favorite activities.
Since homeopathy treats the person and not the disease, the process of cure will take the same path regardless of your initial complaint. Whether you initially consult a homeopath because of your depression, chronic earaches or asthma, all your health issues will be addressed regardless.
Other reactions to homeopathic remedies include “no change” or “temporary worsening” of the condition. No change is a sign that either the chosen homeopathic remedy or the prescribed dose was incorrect. Worsening symptoms are generally a good sign in homeopathy. During the process of cure, sometimes the symptoms become aggravated for a short period. After the aggravation period is over, the symptoms steadily improve.
The length of time needed to cure depression (or any disease) depends on the severity and the length of time you’ve had it. So it is not realistic for your homeopath to assess how long treatment should take until your response to the remedies becomes apparent over a period of time. While long-standing conditions may take months or years to heal, there will be improvement quite soon. Conversely, an acute condition such as a sprained swollen ankle can be healed within 30 minutes with the remedy Arnica (as just one example).
An important point to consider is that with homeopathic treatment, illnesses and symptoms tend to disappear in the reverse order of their original appearance. For example, if you have had eczema for 15 years, depression for seven, and insomnia for three, the insomnia will be cured first, followed by the depression and finally the eczema.
Not only can the correct homeopathic remedy restore your health, but prolonged homeopathic treatment can even eliminate predisposition to certain diseases. If eliminating the root cause of your depression is your goal, then homeopathy is the medicine of choice.
Tamara Der-Ohanian, DSHomMed, HOM, was a registered homeopath practising in North York, Ont. She also taught at the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. Tamara passed away in 2019. For those who are seeking homeopathic approaches to illness, Kerry Walker is a colleague of Tamara's and a graduate of The Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine. She can be reached at 647-781-4861 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org