Considered a variant of Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD occurs after an individual experiences or witnesses a life-threatening natural or man-made disaster such as an earthquake, tsunami or the violence of war. Other causative events may be major vehicle accidents or violent personal attacks such as physical or sexual assault.
Those who suffer from PTSD often re-live the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged. These symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person’s daily life.
Fifty-one year old Yvonne developed similar symptoms of anxiety and panic after she recently discovered the bloodied body of her next door neighbour. That night she felt sick, shaking, sweating and found herself ‘constantly showering’ with a strong feeling of being dirty and unclean. The image of seeing her neighbour dead haunted her … “the blood all over him, in his eyes, his face, all through his beard … I just can’t get that picture out of my head”. In addition to having recurring nightmares in the weeks since the event, Yvonne began to wake in the mornings in a complete state of panic - sweating, shaking and not able to breathe. When it’s bad she also feels nauseous and suffers with recurrent diarrhoea.
A homeopathic remedy was prescribed, largely based on Yvonne’s unique experience of the event, but also taking into account the set of physical signs, symptoms and her strong emotional response. This kind of analysis is sometimes called ‘symptom matching’ – matching the distinctive symptoms of the patient to the equally distinctive symptoms of the homeopathic remedy.
4 weeks follow-up:
“I haven’t had a nightmare for 3 weeks now. The anxiety hasn’t been as bad. I did have a bit of a panic attack last week on Monday morning but it wasn’t a bad one … no actually everything has settled down well”.
1 year follow-up: No return of panic attacks or nightmares.
Lee Formica is a registered homeopath with a background in social work practice. She is currently undertaking post graduate studies in mental health counselling through the University of New England. She is available for consultation at the FWC on Tuesdays and Thursdays.