A Case Of Fear & Panic

Words: Dr Pallav THANAWALA

A 39-year-old gentleman started his treatment with me, two years ago, for recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. During one of our interactions, he happened to tell me that he felt claustrophobic — so much so, that he thought he would not survive ‘if the lift got stuck at some place.’ This feeling, however, remained subdued as he could successfully avoid such ‘eerie situations’ — or, sense of fear gripping him again. In fact, the thought never come up during his follow-up visits.

It was about a year ago that he went on a holiday, with his family, to Turkey. There they visited quite a few caves. He quickly experienced extreme fear of getting a heart attack and dying. Though the feeling was awfully intense, also uncomfortable, he persisted willfully not to spoil the good time his family was having. The episode got over, also forgotten, once they returned home.

He went to Dubai, a couple of months ago, on vacation with his family. They stayed at a high rise hotel. He was uncomfortable, panicky and restless, pronto. So much so, that a doctor was sought at night. The doctor prescribed some medication and suggested psychiatric consultation. The family called off the vacation and returned home, the next morning.

He has ever since not been feeling well, what with a few scattered panic attacks adding to his distress.

He informed me that he’s been getting these ‘attacks’ all the more frequently now.

When he visited me on a fine morning, recently, wearing a barren expression of a preoccupied mind with dullness, he vividly described the episodes that started, on waking up, following uneasy sleep, with breathlessness, attended to with a feeling — ‘as if paralysed.’ This was all in the head, all right. He felt that he wanted to ‘get out of the place and go away somewhere.’ He was anguished and he could not describe this feeling clearly though. He had once described it as restlessness, yes, but when I asked him whether he had thoughts racing in his mind, or he experienced physical restlessness, he said ‘no’ to both. So, I asked him a tad indirectly whether he felt any confusion about what to do, or what was happening. He said, yes. He said he had extreme fear. He feared he might harm himself. He felt extremely lonely too. He did not want to talk to anyone.

His blood pressure was 150/110. He quickly asked me whether his raised BP was the reason for all his symptoms. Would he have to start with anti-hypertensive medications, right away?

His symptom-picture of the mind was as follows:

  • Forsaken
  • Approached, aversion of being
  • Escape, desire to
  • Absorbed; buried in thought
  • Anguish
  • Prostration of mind
  • Confusion of mind
  • Anxiety; respiration, difficult, anxious with.

I placed profound emphasis on his mental state, where, on one side, he felt exceptionally lonely, and, on the other, he did not want to talk to anyone. This is of paramount importance in homeopathy — for prescribing the most suitable remedy that fits the individual, or patient’s overall personality, as also symptoms.

I prescribed him Baryta carbonicum 200C, based on his overall emotional and mental picture, along with Kali phosphoricum 6X to calm his nerves, as it were.

I asked his family to monitor his blood pressure, so that we could take action if it didn’t come down.

His reading at midnight, after starting with the homeopathic remedies, was 132/86. He sent me a message — “Much better,” on WhatsApp.

I enquired with him, after a week, and he said, “I’m doing quite well. Lot of improvement.”

Baryta carbonicum, from its homeopathic perspective, I reckon, alleviated his panic and confusion, gently and safely. He became fully functional — without further ado.

Dr PALLAV THANAWALA, BHMS, MS [Psychotherapy & Counselling], Certified Psychometry Test Professional, and MBA [HR], has been practising homeopathy, based on classical homoeopathic principles, for 30 years. He uses psychometric tools to understand the patient and psychotherapy during counselling sessions. He has also published review articles and papers in homeopathic journals. He lives in Pune, India.

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