Homeopathy can be especially helpful for many mental health conditions. However, some of my personal favorite conditions to treat consist of anxiety, PTSD, and depression. This, I am sure, has to do with my own healing journey and health experiences. As a young child, my parents struggled with addiction. Unfortunately, this led to a fair amount of childhood neglect before my mother ultimately overdosed and passed away. After enduring a traumatic childhood, my house eventually caught on fire. Although I had not directly witnessed the fire, I had lost my childhood home and with it the remainder of an already fragile foundation of safety and security. Metaphorically and physically speaking, my world came crashing down. It was like a switch had gone off and the world suddenly became a very dark and scary place. Without a sense of equilibrium, I began to suffer from daily panic attacks and a debilitating state of chronic anxiety. The panic attacks further perpetuated the fear as I was only 12 years old and unable to comprehend what was happening. My subconscious had become convinced that death was imminent and was doing its best to prepare me for disaster. Daily life became a struggle. I became so fearful that I was unable to leave the house for long periods of time. More days than not I had to return home early from school due to yet another panic attack. The chronic fear was so intense I would often wake in the middle of the night sobbing as I was convinced, I was about to die. Due to the severity of my anxiety, my grandmother was forced into an early retirement in order to fully take care of me. The constant state of anxiety further led to a deep, dark state of depression and ironically, suicidal ideation. Too fearful to live and yet too afraid to die. I was stuck in a perpetual limbo, my own personal hell.
Desperate for relief, I sought out countless healthcare providers, psychiatrists, counselors and psychologists who threw all sorts of labels my way, ranging from “anxiety,” “panic disorder,” “OCD,” “agoraphobia,” and “ADHD.” Each provider doing their best to label my condition based on the symptoms presented. The following several years, I spent playing a game of trial and error with numerous psychiatric medications, all to no avail. One medication would help alleviate a symptom, only to create yet another symptom in its place. This side effect would then require yet another medication in order to subsequently manage it. I eventually fell into the pharmaceutical “snowball effect” which led me feeling even worse than when I had started to begin with. While it was not necessarily the provider’s fault, but rather, that of the conventional medical system that had failed me. One of its many victims, I had become lost in the system of polypharmacy. In hindsight, I had been over diagnosed, mis-diagnosed and most certainly over medicated. At its peak, I had been prescribed over 10 different pharmaceuticals at only 12 years old. Already incredibly dissociated from the trauma experienced, the numerous amounts of medications had only further intensified that effect. I hated the way I felt. This wasn’t me. It was at this point, I realized that western medicine didn’t hold all the answers I expected it to. There just HAD to be another way. Through the guidance of my psychiatrist, I was able to gradually wean myself off of the all the medications. With consistent therapy, the anxiety and depression gradually improved. But it wasn’t enough. Although, I was no longer experiencing debilitating panic, I still had the lingering residue of fear in my system. With perseverance I continued on with my search, my quest for resolution.
Ever since I was a small child, I had dreamed about becoming a doctor. Call it intuition or what you will but I knew it in my heart and soul that Dr. Werner would one day become a reality. My experience with the conventional medical system deterred me from that path so I began exploring other avenues. Ultimately, this led me to the discovery of naturopathic medicine and becoming a naturopathic doctor. Once again, call it intuition, but I had a deep “knowing” that it was my calling. I eventually moved across the country to start one of only five licensed naturopathic medical schools within the US. Let me tell you, those first couple months of medical school had been brutal. Not only had I experienced a “culture shock” moving away from a small town but my workload and stress had significantly increased. One of my colleagues and I lovingly refer to medical school as a “spiritual bootcamp.” All the shadow work laying repressed and/or dormant came right back up to the surface to all but slap us in the face. While I had previously believed I had managed my anxiety and depression adequately with therapy, I was vastly mistaken. Everything I experienced at 12 years old returned with a vengeance. It was then that I sought out care with a naturopathic doctor who specialized in homeopathic medicine. I had little knowledge of what homeopathy even was at the time, but I didn’t care. I was desperate for relief. If there was even the slightest chance it could help me, then I was all in. During that first appointment, I had experienced the most thorough and detailed intake of my life. Never before had I had a doctor actually sit down and truly listen to me like a human being. Finally, there was someone who took me seriously and validated my concerns. I no longer felt that I was “just a number” as I often experienced before. Soon after the appointment I was prescribed a homeopathic remedy. What happened afterwards, words cannot adequately express. The closest analogy I can give is that it was like I could feel the sunshine on my face for the first time. It wasn’t until after I started the remedy that I realized my sense of feeling “normal” was entirely skewed. After being in a state of anxiety for so long, I had forgotten how it actually felt to not have it at all! Over the next several weeks my panic attacks became far and few between. The daily anxiety and sense of dread that I didn’t even realize I had to begin with, resolved. The homeopathic remedy had returned my body back to its natural state of balance. I finally felt like my old self again. All without any artificial sedation or side effects. This was me. How had I ever forgotten?!
As my nervous system recalibrated, my spirits lifted. I gradually became more confident, capable, and assured of myself. Something I had previously never experienced. What once was a shy and timid girl soon transformed into an empowered woman. This was it. This was what I had been searching for all along. Even others around took notice. Teachers and classmates at the time commented on the change and how I was now speaking up in class. One of my colleagues at the time, was a practicing ER doctor who had decided to pursue a career change into naturopathic medicine. She described herself as logical and science based and had originally been a huge skeptic of homeopathic medicine. After noticing my personality change and blooming confidence she soon inquired as to what I was doing. I then explained how I had begun homeopathic treatment. She later confided that the change she witnessed in me is what led her to believe in the validity behind homeopathic medicine. She has now since pursued extensive education on homeopathy and actively utilizes it within her own practice.
These health experiences have helped shape and form the doctor I have become. It has allowed me to recognize the importance of holding space and truly listening to someone. Being able to recognize the importance of individualized medicine and not just following a standard protocol is crucial. After sustaining the change and transformation that homeopathy instilled. I have thus, since dedicated my life to honing my skills as a naturopathic doctor and practicing this beautiful medicine as it allows healing to occur at an even deeper level. It is with a profound sense of gratitude and honor to have the ability to share my knowledge in order to help others on their own healing journey.
I wish I could tell you all that I no longer experience anxiety at all but that would be a lie. However, what I can say is that it no longer rules my life as it once did. I no longer experience the crippling dread of anxiety, depression, or debilitating panic attacks. More days than not are instilled with a sense of peace. The anxiety I now face tends to primarily arise during periods of change and that of growth. Upon reflection, what a great barometer that is to know I am growing and heading in the right direction! Although homeopathic medicine cannot actively do the work for you, it certainly makes the experience and process a lot easier. As of today, I continue to utilize it alongside EMDR therapy, and I can say that it has made all the difference!
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