A Case Of Depression & ‘Too Much Gas’

Words: Dr Naveen Kumar BOGGARAPU 

AB [39], presented with depression of over five years; she was on anti-depressants ever since. She was indifferent, not keen on any activity, and would sit in the balcony staring at the neighbouring skyscraper for hours. She was often ‘distant’ from her husband and their two kids.

When I analysed her case, I found that she had developed depression following surgery of her uterus, because of a confirmed tumour. Since her ovaries were  ‘eased out,’ she had possibly ‘hormonal imbalance,’ a ‘feeling of emptiness,’ and subsequently depression.

I marked her listless irrelevance, as her husband put it, to her loved ones, juxtaposed by her hormonal imbalance. I prescribed her the homeopathic remedy, Sepia officinalis 200C, which was ‘homeopathic’ to her distinctive symptom-picture, or personality. During one of her follow-ups, after four months, she looked like a transformed woman. She had started taking a keen interest in her daily activities and was more loving and caring towards her family.

Most individuals with depression present with common symptoms, but such symptoms emerge as a result of different causes. While treating depression, the likely ‘cause’ of what could have possibly led to the ‘blues’ often helps the homeopathic physician in choosing the right homeopathic remedy.

Studies suggest that conventional treatment and anti-depressants provide no more than uncertain advantage over placebo [dummy pills], not to speak of possible adverse side-effects. Besides, 40-60 per cent of depressed patients experience relapses after conventional treatment. This typifies why there is a need for natural alternatives, especially homeopathy, along with certain dietary supplements.

Depression is one of the most commonly treated conditions by homeopaths worldwide. In a 6-year study of 6,544 patients, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine [11[5], 793-798; 2005], 205 patients were treated with homeopathy for depression. 71 per cent of the patients improved.

In another review of 1,783 patient conditions, published in Homeopathy [95, 199-205; 2006], depression was the most frequently treated condition. 63.06 per cent of depressed patients, among them, experienced significant improvement with homeopathy. Yet another randomised, double-blind study of 55 patients, suffering from moderate-to-severe depression, found homeopathy to be as ‘effective’ as anti-depressant drugs [eCAM; doi:10.1093/ecam/nep114; 2009]. There was also no evidence of side-effects following homeopathic treatment.

The British Homeopathic Journal reports that of 120 ‘psychoneurotic’ patients treated homeopathically, 79 per cent improved after six months.

Dr Jack Cooper, chief psychiatrist, in a New York prison, found that homeopathy dramatically improved the health and well-being of treated inmates. Suicides dwindled to zero.

Homeopathy not only helps patients, who first and foremost suffer, or have problems to recover, from depression; it has also been shown to decrease ‘related’ depression in patients having fibromyalgia, or following oestrogen withdrawal in breast cancer.

Depression affects over 250 million people worldwide. It accounts for 4-5 per cent of total short-term disability days; in 76 per cent of such cases, the employee, as statistics suggests, is a woman. It is also reported that employers worldwide lose an estimated US$1 trillion, every year, in lost productivity, directly related to depression [and, anxiety]. A study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry [2006] found that an employee with depression averaged 27.02 lost workdays per year, from absence, or poor performance on the job.

Homeopathy has the potential to offer a fairly cost-effective, useful and safe alternative treatment plan for depression, in comparison to conventional treatment, while contributing substantially to reduced lost workdays — and, without side-effects.

‘Too Much Gas’

JR [47] presented with distension of the tummy with flatulence [gas]; this was a part of him, as he put it, for 2-3 years. The uniqueness of his flatus [gas] was that if any part of his body was felt, or touched, he would ‘fart.’ So much so, he always seemed to feel bulky in his abdomen; well, he would often press his tummy and pass gas. For relief. Or, so he thought. Once the ‘job’ was done, he would feel better. He also reported of a weird sensation of ‘a small, round-something rising from his belly to the throat and annoying him.’ He was awfully distressed with his regurgitation symptoms and other so-called ‘reflux’ symptoms.

His two baffling symptoms, led me to think of the homeopathic remedy, Asafoetida 6C. It calmed him of the ‘gassy’ Catch-22 and ‘detached’ the ‘round-something’ sensation, in his tummy, within a span of 6-8 weeks, besides restoring his digestive function to near-normalcy. He was delighted with the outcome.

When treating reflux disease, a professional homeopath should look into all aspects of the illness — when, where, and how the distress presents itself, for instance — as well as other exclusive, or inclusive, health and dispositional factors, such as the food and ‘diet’ the patient, or individual, craves for, or dislikes, including their temperament, or disposition.

While a handful of clinical studies have scrutinised the utility of ‘specific’ homeopathic remedies, most professional homeopaths consider remedies that match certain ‘reflux’ symptoms to a core, based on their knowledge and experience, subject, of course, to the select remedy ‘meeting’ with homeopathy’s personalised, or ‘bespoke,’ patient-centric point of reference.

Dr NAVEEN KUMAR BOGGARAPU, BHMS, PG Fellow in Homeopathic Dermatology [FCHD], is a Hyderabad-based senior homeopathic physician with a vast clinical experience of 20+ years. A former regional head of a chain of homeopathic clinics in corporate homeopathy, Dr Kumar has a certificate programme in homeopathic paediatrics too. He has participated and presented papers in several homeopathic medical conferences across India.

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