I. – INTRODUCTION
Anxiety, emotional state in which people feel uneasy, apprehensive, or fearful. People usually experience anxiety about events they cannot control or predict, or about events that seem threatening or dangerous. For example, students taking an important test may feel anxious because they cannot predict the test questions or feel certain of a good grade. People often use the words fear and anxiety to describe the same thing. Fear also describes a reaction to immediate danger characterized by a strong desire to escape the situation.
The physical symptoms of anxiety reflect a chronic “readiness” to deal with some future threat. These symptoms may include fidgeting, muscle tension, sleeping problems, and headaches.
Higher levels of anxiety may produce such symptoms as rapid heartbeat, sweating, increased blood pressure, nausea, and dizziness.All people experience anxiety to some degree. Most people feel anxious when faced with a new situation, such as a first date, or when trying to do something well, such as give a public speech. A mild to moderate amount of anxiety in these situations is normal and even beneficial. Anxiety can motivate people to prepare for an upcoming event and can help keep them focused on the task at hand.However, too little anxiety or too much anxiety can cause problems. Individuals who feel no anxiety when faced with an important situation may lack alertness and focus.
On the other hand, individuals who experience an abnormally high amount of anxiety often feel overwhelmed, immobilized, and unable to accomplish the task at hand. People with too much anxiety often suffer from one of the anxiety disorders, a group of mental illnesses. In fact, more people experience anxiety disorders than any other type of mental illness. A survey of people aged 15 to 54 in the United States found that about 17 percent of this population suffers from an anxiety disorder during any given year.
Read the entire article at: Anxiety & Homeopathy. – Dr. Sayeed Ahmad.
A panic attack that comes on suddenly with very strong fear (even fear of death) may indicate this remedy. A state of immense anxiety may be accompanied by strong palpitations, shortness of breath, and flushing of the face. Sometimes a shaking experience will be the underlying cause. Strong feelings of anxiety may also occur when a person is just beginning to come down with a flu or cold.
This remedy can be helpful when anxiety develops before a big event: an exam, an important interview, a public appearance or social engagement. Dizziness and diarrhea may also be experienced. People who need this remedy are often enthusiastic and suggestible, with a tendency toward peculiar thoughts and impulses. They often crave sweets and salt (which usually make their symptoms worse).
People who are deeply anxious about their health, and extremely concerned with order and security, often benefit from this remedy. Obsessive about small details and very neat, they may feel a desperate need to be in control of everything. Panic attacks often occur around midnight or the very early hours of the morning. The person may feel exhausted yet still be restless/fidgeting, pacing, and anxiously moving from place to place. These people may also have digestive problems or asthma attacks accompanied by anxiety.
This remedy is usually indicated for dependable, solid people who become overwhelmed from physical illness or too much work and start to fear a breakdown. Their thoughts can be muddled and confused when tired, which adds to the anxiety. Worry and bad news may agitate them, and a nagging dread of disaster (to themselves or others) may develop. Fear of heights and claustrophobia are also common. A person who needs this remedy is often chilly and sluggish, has a craving for sweets, and is easily fatigued.
Feelings of weakness, trembling, and mental dullness (being “paralyzed by fear”) suggest a need for this remedy. It is often helpful when a person has stage-fright about a public performance or interview, or feels anxious before a test, a visit to the dentist, or any stressful event. Chills, perspiration, diarrhea, and headaches will often occur with nervousness. Fear of crowds, a fear of falling, and even a fear that the heart might stop are other indications for Gelsemium.
A sensitive person who is anxious because of grief, loss, disappointment, criticism, loneliness (or any stressful emotional experience) may benefit from this remedy. A defensive attitude, frequent sighing, and mood swings are other indications. The person may burst unexpectedly into either tears or laughter. Headaches that feel like a nail driven into the side of the head, and cramping pains in the abdomen or back, are often seen when this remedy is needed.
When a person has been exhausted by overwork or illness and feels a deep anxiety and inability to cope, this remedy may help. The person is jumpy and oversensitive, and may be startled by ordinary sounds. Hearing unpleasant news or thinking of world events can aggravate the problems. Insomnia and an inability to concentrate may develop, increasing the sense of nervous dread. Eating, warmth, and rest often bring relief. Headaches, backaches, and nervous digestive upsets are often seen when this remedy is needed.
Individuals likely to respond to this remedy feel anxiety from mental stress and suffer from a lack of confidence. They can be self-conscious and feel intimidated by people they perceive as powerful (yet may also swagger or be domineering toward those with whom they feel more comfortable). Taking on responsibility can cause a deep anxiety and fear of failure, although the person usually does well, once started on a task. Claustrophobia, irritability, digestive upsets with gas and bloating, and a craving for sweets are often seen when this remedy is needed.
Deep emotions and a self-protective shyness can make these people seem reserved, aloof, and private. Even when feeling lonely, they tend to stay away from social situations, not knowing what to say or do. (Inhibitions sometimes leave completely if they turn to alcohol, which makes them feel embarrassed afterwards.) Easily hurt and offended, they can brood, bear grudges, dwell on unhappy feelings, and isolate themselves�refusing consolation even when they want it. However, they are often sympathetic listeners to other people’s problems. Claustrophobia, anxiety at night (with fears of robbers or intruders), migraines, and insomnia are often seen when this remedy is needed.
People who need this remedy are openhearted, imaginative, excitable, easily startled, and full of intense and vivid fears. Strong anxiety can be triggered by thinking of almost anything. Nervous and sensitive to others, they can overextend themselves with sympathy to the point of feeling exhausted and “spaced out” or even getting ill. They want a lot of company and reassurance, often feeling better from conversation or a back-rub. Easy flushing of the face, palpitations, thirst, and a strong desire for cold, refreshing foods are other indications for Phosphorus.
People who need this remedy often express anxiety as insecurity and clinginess, with a need for constant support and comforting. The person may be moody, tearful, whiny, even emotionally childish. (Pulsatilla is a very useful remedy for children.) Getting too warm or being in a stuffy room often increases anxiety. Fresh air and gentle exercise often bring relief. Anxiety around the time of hormonal changes (puberty, menstrual periods, or menopause) often is helped with Pulsatilla.
People who need this remedy are capable and serious, yet are also nervous, shy, and subject to bouts of temporary loss of confidence. Anxiety can be extreme when they are faced with a public appearance, interview, examination, or any new job or task. Worry and overwork can bring on headaches, difficulty concentrating, and states of exhaustion, oversensitivity, and dread. Responsible and diligent, they often overreact and devote attention to tiny details�making their worries (and their work) more difficult. They often have low stamina and come down with colds, sore throats, or other illnesses after working hard or being under stress.
Dr. Lynn F. Bufka and Dr. David H. Barlow (MS Encarta Encylopedia 2002).