Before defining limit of normalcy we must remember that anxiety is inherent nature of most of us and it is normal to feel anxious. Also temporary shivering, restlessness, perspiration, palpitations, increased frequency of urination and nail biting are normal expression of anxiety. Students may face this before exams, some may face while meeting stranger, when guests are expected or during any performance at work or in personal life.
But when this anxiety becomes more intense, more frequent, without cause and it affects your mental accuracy and prevents you from performing your daily work at optimal level , is alarming sign of paying attention to your anxiety.
In terms of psychiatric diagnosis of anxiety disorder- there are various sub classifications- panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, phobias (social, agoraphobia etc), Obsessive compulsive disorders, acute stress disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Any of these disorders should be used as diagnostic terminology only if it matches with disgnostic criteria of DSM 4 or 5 ( diagnostic and statistical manual) or ICD-10 ( International classification of disease).
For generalized anxiety disorder which is also known as GAD. Patient suffering from GAD usually does not have any specific reason for precipitating anxiety features or it is unknown or unspecified. There is always some cause responsible for developing illness but when patient expresses his/her complaints they fail to express their daily anxiety and reason behind it. They usually say it is unexplained or they do not know exactly they are anxious for what.
Highlights of diagnostic criteria
Such episodes or complaints or anxiety should be at least since 6 months or more
Person finding inability to control anxiety
Expression of anxiety should have at least three of following six symptoms : restlessness, easy fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbance.
Anxiety should not be due to any mental or physical illness.
Anxiety or worry causing significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important area of functioning.
Note : Above mentioned criteria are superficial overview .For diagnostic confirmation please refer DSM or ICD.
Homeopathic remedies help in dealing with anxiety:
When anxiety is acute and with respect to any particular situation or after specific event/incidence, we can prescribe acute remedies.
And if it is diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder then there is a need of deep acting chronic remedy / constitutional remedy. Just like any other physical disorder which is chronic in nature like Rheumatoid arthritis, Diabetes Mellitus, Hypertension are treated with deep acting chronic remedy , similarly GAD is psychiatric diagnosis which requires constitutional force .( Note- Anxiety is a symptom which can be part of any psychiatric disorder but GAD itself is a diagnosis and hence it requires constitutional remedy).
Homeopathic Remedies for anxiety:
Aconite – Remedy of fear, anxiety, anguish of mind and body. Ailments from fright, physical and mental restlessness. Also remedy for fever/ inflammatory fever caused by fright. Fears the future, crowd, crossing the street, restlessness and tossing about. Sudden and violent onset is the hallmark. Fear of death is predominant.
Argentum Nitricum – Fearful, anxious and impulsive. Wants to do things in hurry. Hallmark of remedy is apprehension/ anticipation and impulsiveness. Characteristic expression of anxiety/ apprehension is diarrhea. Apprehension for opera, meetings, church, opera diarrhea sets in. Hysterical nervous persons. Fear of impending evil, crowd and high buildings.
Gelsemium – Confusion of mind, Apathy regarding his illness. Hysterical element running through Gels. And it has the nervous hunger, or gnawing. There is much nervous excitement.Complaints from fear, from embarrassment, from shock that is attended with fear, from sudden surprises that are attended with fright. Sleep is greatly disturbed, every excitement keeps him awake. Continuous state of nervous excitement where he lies awake thinking and yet thinks of nothing particular. When the mental symptoms are present, the delirium, the flushed face, the determination of blood to the head with the cold extremities, the great heaviness of the limbs, the disturbance of sensation, the paralysis of sphincters, then Gels. Would be good for inflammation of any organ of the body. It is also a remedy for examination funk.
Arscenic Album – The anxiety that is found in Ars is intermingled with fear, with impulses, with suicidal inclinations, with sudden freaks and with mania. The anxiety takes form also in the restlessness, in which he constantly moves. If he is able to get up he goes from chair to chair. Patient is full of suicidal ideations. The restlessness seems to be mostly in the mind; it is an anxious restlessness, or anguish with the idea that anguish is a deathly anxiety. It seems that he cannot live, and it is not pain that drives him to anguish, but it is an anxiety intermingled with restlessness and sadness. This state prevails in all diseases intermingled with prostration.
Kali Ars– It is deep acting remedy. Anxiety even to great anguishes, with great fear. Anxiety in the morning on waking, but most marked in the evening and during the night. He is anxious without cause, about his health; anxious before stool; wakens during the night with anxiety and fear. Fears to go to bed, fears death, or a crowd of people, yet equally dreads being alone. Fear that something will happen. Fear of people. Easily frightened and startled. He has frightful delusions and sees images. Fretful, dislikes to answers.
Kali carb – Deep acting constitutional remedy. Full of fear, fear of death, fear of ghosts. Never at peace, full of imaginations. Constant anticipations- “what if house would burn ?, what if I do this or that ?” oversensitive to atmospheric changes. Anxiety and apprehension felt in the area of stomach. Fear of losing mental control. Constant desire for company.
Calc Ars – Extreme dullness. Fear of death, fears that existence will end. Manifests itself in form of panic attacks- fear of graveyards, fear to go to sleep. Any problem that threatens the stability of the family – health; financial; relational – will arouse great fear. Calc-ars. Palpitation of heart from slightest exertion. Urging to belch but unable to bring it up. Anxiety about health of family members.
Note- Take medicines after consulting Homeopathic Physician.