Anxiety and its Differential Diagnosis in Homeopath
Aconite (Aconitum napellus)
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.
Sudden, intense ailments from fright.
Anxiety and restlessness with complaints.
Fears that do not subside.
Faintness or dizziness upon waking up.
Sudden fever with one cheek red, the other pale
Intolerance of pain.
Painful urination with anxiety
Pains followed by numbness and tingling.
Eye pain and injuries
Argentum nitricum (Arg-n)
This remedy is indicated when anxiety develops before a big event. (Examples: an interview for job, an exam, a public speech, social engagement, marriage, etc.).
Extended period of unusual or continued mental exertion
Craving for sweets and salt. Craving for strong flavors.
Enthusiastic and suggestible, with a tendency toward peculiar thoughts and impulses.
Arsenicum album (Arsenicum, Ars)
This remedy is recommended for people who are deeply anxious about their health, and extremely concerned with order and security. 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. They are typically obsessive about small details and very neat. They may feel a desperate need to be in control of everything.
Anxiety associated with later stages of head cold, with sneezing
Asthma worse after midnight, fears suffocation while lying down
Sleepiness but insomnia
Thirsty for frequent small drinks
Weak and exhausted
Desires air but sensitive to cold
Vomiting with or without diarrhea after eating and drinking
Calcarea carbonica (Calc)
People who benefit most from this remedy have a chilly constitution. The slightest cold "goes right through them." They have trouble keeping themselves warm. They have a craving for sweets, and are easily fatigued. They are 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.
Cold hands and feet
Aversion to fats
Craving for eggs
Eyes sensitive to light
Large appetite with slow digestion
This remedy is indicated when you have feelings of weakness, trembling, and mental dullness (being "paralyzed by fear"). It is also useful when a person experiences anxiety about an upcoming event such as stage-fright about a public performance or interview, or anxiety before a test, impending visit to the dentist, or other stressful events. 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.
Anxiety prior to an examination or public performance
Fatigue and aching of whole body
Limbs, head, eyelids heavy
Scalp sore to touch
Lack of thirst
Dizziness, trembling, fatigue, dullness
Ignatia amara (Ignatia, Ign)
A sensitive person who is anxious because of grief, loss, disappointment, criticism, loneliness (or any stressful emotional experience) may benefit from this remedy. The primary factor for this remedy is emotional stress, especially disappointment or grief. Other indications are a defensive attitude, frequent sighing, and mood swings. The person may burst unexpectedly into either tears or laughter.
Sensation of a lump in the throat
Chills with fever
Thirst during chills
Chills relieved by warmth
Cramping pains in the abdomen or back
Headaches that feel like a nail driven into the side of the head
Skin very sensitive to drafts
Insomnia from emotional distress
Nausea relieved by eating
Eating intensifies hunger
Indicated when a person has been exhausted by overwork or illness. Feels a deep anxiety and inability to cope. Jumpy and oversensitive. 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.
Deep anxiety and inability to cope
Jumpy and oversensitive
Startled by ordinary sounds
Nervous digestive upsets
Lycopodium patients attempt to cover an inner sense of inadequacy by putting up fronts, by pretending to be something they are not. They 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. They can feel a deep anxiety and fear of failure, when they take on responsibility. They usually do well, once started on a task.
Shakes head without any apparent cause
Gassy, constipation or diarrhea
Digestive upsets with gas and bloating
Craves sweets, warm food and drink
Wants to be alone
Cranky on waking
Fear of failure
Breaking down under stress
Natrum muriaticum (Nat mur)
The primary candidates for this remedy are personally aloof but have a social conscience and a desire to help others. 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. Easily hurt and offended, they can brood, bear grudges, dwell on unhappy feelings, and isolate themselves. They refuse consolation even when they want it. 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.
Tongue feels dry
Mucous membranes dry
Pains around eyes
Craves salt and dry foods
Weepy but won't let others see it. (Wants to be alone to cry.)
Consolation aggravates them
Angry from isolation
Fright, grief, anger
Nervous, discouraged, broken down
Indicated when the victims are openhearted, imaginative, excitable, easily startled, and full of intense and vivid fears. Strong anxiety can be easily triggered just by thinking of almost anything. They are 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 need a lot of company and reassurance. They often feel 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.
Associated with hoarseness
Tight heavy chest
Dry rasping cough
Burning pains in stomach, abdomen, between shoulder blades
Thirst for cold drinks that are vomited
People who need this remedy often express anxiety as insecurity and clinginess, with a need for constant support and comforting. They fear being alone. They are easily discouraged, moody, tearful, whiny, even emotionally childish. Getting too warm or being in a stuffy room often increases anxiety. Anxiety around the time of hormonal changes (puberty, menstrual periods, or menopause) often is helped with Pulsatilla.
Wants attention and sympathy
Changeable symptoms and moods
Craves open air
Sensitive to heat
Dry mouth with lack of thirst
Rich food upsets stomach
Insomnia from recurring thought
Loose cough, worse at night
Delayed menstrual period with scanty flow
Indicated for those who 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.
Overreact and devote attention to tiny details
Frequently catch colds, sore throats, or other illnesses.