Anxiety and depression is society being medicalized?

‘Tens of thousands of children are being given antidepressants despite warnings that the pills may harm developing brains for little benefit,” we read in The Times, 21 July 2018, Saturday issue. What is the world coming to!’

The figures are staggering. According to NHS data more than 70,000 under 18s and almost 2,000 of primary school age children are prescribed antidepressants! Thus, says the article, doctors “medicalize adolescence”. But not only that age group is subject to over prescriptions: older people are twice as likely as the above groups to be prescribed antidepressants, we read in a two-page article in the same issue of The Times. It would seem there is by far the biggest risk of depression in the elderly. Millions of people are stuck on long-term antidepressant use, is the long and short of it.

Thinking as a homeopath which is my vocation and profession, I ponder what madness this is. Even beyond the obvious side effects that these pills entail, just consider the costs: antidepressants are costing the NHS £235 million a year. How does that compare with NHS homeopathic substances costing a yearly £92,412 (2016 figures)? On the other hand if you want to purchase a tube of homeopathic pills privately, you don’t need to reach deep into your pocket either, they go between £4 and £6. The above article quotes there is a “severe lack” of other available options….

What is homeopathy then? Unproven ‘Scotch mist’? – if we are to believe the various negatively biased medias.

Well, let me quote in turn the enlightened 19th century polymath Herbert Spencer who already pointed out in the 1800s the following:

“There is a principal which is a bar against all information, which is a proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is: Contempt prior to investigation.”

Indeed, there are nearly 500 good quality studies available in favor of homeopathy. Available to explore for anyone who would care to look further before readily expressing negative opinions.

I am in no way suggesting that homeopathy is the only option, especially not in serious depressive illness, such as bipolar disease or schizophrenia, or when a person entertains suicidal thoughts. Nevertheless, it is well worth looking into homeopathy as a complement to traditional treatments in mild to medium depressions. This medical system is an invaluable tool, one of the coping strategies in building up resilience from within not from without, while facing life’s inevitable challenges.

So, let’s look at some homeopathic options:

Arsenicum album

This is a major anxiety remedy. People needing Arsenicum album are perfectionists and because they are insecure there is a strong need to control their environment. They set high standards for themselves and others and become depressed if their expectations are not met. Worry about their finances may even drive them to despair. There is anger with much restlessness, but there is also a lot of sadness, melancholy moods. Extreme restless anxiety with depression is the keynote. If the person is full of fears, weary of life and irritable, with gastric symptoms present, Arsenicum Album is well worth looking into.

Aurum Metallicum

Tendency to deep depression, melancholy mood, profound despondency, full of intensity. The Aurum person is strongly focused on achievement and is very controlled, likely to bottle up enormous amounts of anger. He (this is mostly a male remedy) tends to feel hateful towards those who offended him, and sensitive to criticism, maybe reminding him how he was handled as a child. After an outburst of anger there can be self-condemnation, feelings of worthlessness. The depression manifests in disgust of life, although there can be great fear of death. The depression can be triggered by grief, business failure, extreme fatigue. There is over sensitivity to noise, excitement, confusion.


One of the first remedies we consider when someone sinks into depression as a result of any type of grief, unrequited love or bereavement. Sensitive people who try to keep the hurt inside may benefit from this remedy. The person is highly emotional, feels everything so intensely, it overwhelms their rational thinking. There can be up and down mood swings, anger followed by quiet grief. They sigh frequently and are tearful while talking about their symptoms. I cannot tell you how many times I have prescribed Ignatia, a real gem, to lighten the burden of grief.

Natrum muriaticum

This remedy is similar to Ignatia. It is its deeper, more serious sibling. In this remedy, there is also a profound sense of abandonment. Childhood memories of emotional pain, the depression is the result of old suppressed bottled-up emotions. They can build up a barrier, an armor, to insulate and protect against old injuries. With a lack of reaction such a person seems cold, distant. There might be a feeling of numbness if anything, no tears, hiding it all so deeply as if subconsciously determined never to get hurt again. A person may never have been able to grieve a loss, a shock properly. This ongoing silent grief leads to a joyless existence.

Natrium mur prescriptions can help to resolve old grief that a person never seemed to be able to let go.


I have only seen Sepia being prescribed for men once or twice, as Sepia is predominantly a female remedy. Sepia is the independent woman seeking to be herself. Should she have to surrender this independence, her identity, to a husband, family, she turns inwards. Also, she becomes irritable, discontented and this discontentment leads to depression. Her depression manifests in apathy, indifference, total lack of zest, and the sadness is overwhelming. Sometimes she is more anxious than apathetic, sometimes has fits of weeping. Then again the depression can give in to a spirit of malice. She feels unenviable, unlovable, drained of energy, yet feels better for physical exercise which makes her feel alive – and is often attracted to dancing, or “must go for a run”, in order to feel alive. She is in tune with her body, so when she is not physically active she can feel the numbness inside, the lack of the taste for living. This can manifest in indifference to loved ones.


The above selection is just a taster – there are scores of other homeopathic remedies addressing anxiety and depression, depending on the sufferer’s constitution. Often a simple constitutional prescription will address the problem. The remedies and potencies individually match each person; this is why self-prescribing for anxiety and depressive states is not really a good idea. So, if you think you would like professional homeopathic help please get in touch.