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Homeopathy can dissolve depression

A powerful, effective holistic tool: Declan Hammond explains some of the benefits of homeopathy in treating depression


Based on principles known and used since the time of Hippocrates in ancient Greece, homeopathy, as we know it, was first systematised by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann (1755 -1843) and has since spread worldwide. It is a safe and effective form of natural medicine that offers a real alternative to those looking for a more natural approach to healing. In the hands of a qualified practitioner, homeopathy is a powerful and effective tool that is truly holistic in its nature.

Over the last two hundred years, homeopathy has proved itself to be extremely effective in treating a vast range of ailments, ranging from acute infectious illnesses to chronic conditions such as eczema, asthma, arthritis, allergies, neurological and autoimmune disorders. Emotional trauma, psychological disorders and psychiatric complaints respond especially well to homeopathic treatment.


A safer medicine

A homeopath recognises that symptoms of ill health, such as depression, are merely expressions of an underlying imbalance in the patient's energy. All the symptoms the patient presents with — physical, emotional, mental, even spiritual symptoms are seen as manifestations of this imbalance. Rather than controlling or indeed suppressing these symptoms, the practitioner will treat them collectively, their totality representing what needs to be cured, usually with a single remedy.

These safe, natural remedies, individually selected, are prescribed in minute doses to stimulate the patient's energies and thereby rectify the underlying imbalance. By treating the source of the illness in this way, patients experience a return to health in a gentle way, without any of the potential complications or dangers of conventional medical treatment.


Case histories

Anna, a single woman in her late sixties, presented for treatment with a diagnosis of depression and anxiety. She was suffering from chronic insomnia; terrifying panic attacks; intense restlessness; a compulsive need for order and cleanliness; constant diarrhoea with abdominal cramps; trembling with weakness in her limbs and heart palpitations. She was taking five different prescribed medications to treat anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, blood pressure and insomnia and had been drinking up to a half bottle of whiskey every night to get to sleep.

She is retired from professional life and had been the sole carer of her aged mother, a long-time sufferer of Alzheimer's. While under Anna's care, her mother had a serious fall, was taken into hospital and will remain there for the foreseeable future. Anna had a "mini breakdown" at that time and all her symptoms started soon after.

Anna was treated homeopathically with the remedy Arsenicum album, a remedy often required by people experiencing intense anxiety, arising from a deep sense of insecurity and inability to adapt to life's changing circumstances.

The treatment lasted six months, at the end of which Anna had come off all her conventional medication. Her blood pressure and bowel function were normal; she slept "like a baby"; was free of panic attacks; only drank whiskey socially. Most importantly for her was a newfound zest for life. Instead of feeling depressed about her own and her mother's circumstances, she now sees her life in terms of opportunity and is excited about what the future holds for her.


Barry, 56, was CEO of a large publishing company. He described himself as "a born leader" and was at the top of his profession for the last decade. Despite all the evident signs of success (top of the range car, expensive clothes and exclusive address), he was deeply depressed and suicidal. His life was not worth living and the only thing that had kept him from suicide was the deep sense of responsibility he felt for the family he would leave behind.

He worked from an early age, had always been driven in his career to succeed, to work hard, to achieve the highest goals. But having achieving all that he had striven for, he found it meaningless. Suffering from regular angina attacks, with elevated cholesterol levels and dangerously high blood pressure, Barry despaired of ever getting well and felt that a heart attack was imminent. He had not told his family or friends about his condition. This was his responsibility alone. The fact that he was so ill had proven to him that he was really a failure in his life. He was responsible for taking care of his family and employees, was consumed with worry and guilt about what would happen to them when he was gone and constantly berated himself for not having been strong enough to shoulder it all.

Barry's homeopathic treatment was daily doses of the remedy Aurum metallicum, metallic gold, renowned for its ability to bring people out of deep, hopeless, often suicidal depression and a treatment for a wide range of serious heart disorders. Patients needing this remedy often experience life as an unbearable burden that they alone must carry.

During his treatment, Barry recognised that his depression stemmed back to the death of his mother while he was in his teens. Instead of grieving, he had thrown himself into his work and buried all the pain of her loss. Over the year he was treated homeopathically, he went through an intense period of grief and shared this with his wife and close friends. When he came through this he decided to take early retirement from his job. Much to his amazement his family were delighted at this. An incredible weight had lifted from Barry's shoulders and he felt that his life had just begun. To his cardiologist's amazement, Barr's heart and circulation symptoms had "disappeared" and his medication was discontinued.


Finding a homeopath

Despite being used widely abroad, homeopathy, as a profession, is still relatively new to Ireland. The study of homeopathy is a demanding one. Professional training takes a minimum of five years study and internship before the student can become a registered practitioner. Unfortunately many medical practioners in Ireland, both conventional and alternative, use homeopathic remedies with their patients, without the rigour of such training.

To get the best quality homeopathic treatment, it is important to ensure that the practitioner is appropriately qualified, insured and registered with a professional body, such as the Irish Society of Homeopaths (see below). In addition it is useful to enquire about the length of time they have been in practice and what previous experience they have with the condition that is to be treated.


The homeopathic consultation and treatment

A first consultation with a professional homeopath will last at least an hour. During this time a detailed case taking will include details of all current body/mind symptoms, as well as general questions about the patient's personality, temperament; personal and family histories. Lifestyle, stress levels and causative factors will also be touched upon.

Typically, one remedy will be chosen to cover all of the above and the patient will be seen at regular intervals to monitor treatment and results. Frequency of consultations and length of treatment will vary according to the patient's individual needs and circumstances.

The results of homeopathic treatment are surprisingly rapid and can also be very profound. Patients can expect to experience not only an amelioration of their symptoms and a return to health but also a heightened sense of purpose and a deeper engagement with life, in all its forms.


Declan Hammond is director and cofounder of The Irish School of Homoeopathy, Dublin. He practices at The Summerhill Clinic, Sandycove, Co Dublin. Phone/Fax: 01 2020018


Further reading

Discovering Homeopathy: Medicine for the Twenty-First Century. By Dana Ullman, Gollancz. A good overview of the topic for the general public.
Emotional Healing with Homoeopathy. By Peter Chappell, Element. A self-help guide to the use of homeopathy for healing emotional trauma.
Homeopathic Psychology. By Philip Bailey, North Atlantic Books. An introduction to some of the main remedies used in homeopathic treatment.



The Irish School of Homoeopathy http://homoeopathy.ie
Provides introductory courses in homeopathy for the general public and professional training courses, in both Dublin and Cork.
Irish Society of Homeopaths http://irishsocietyofhomeopaths.com — the professional registering body for professional homeopaths in Ireland. The website provides a list of trained practitioners throughout the country. The initials ‘ISHom' after their names are awarded on registration.

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