Cases

Patient Examples

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Case Example #1: Anxiety and Panic Attacks

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Emma* came to see Dr. Paré with a concern of increasing anxiety and panic attacks. She had been working long hours, in a job she didn’t care for, and had many social commitments.  As the stress increased, she reported feeling more anxious.  She first noticed that it felt like food was getting stuck in her throat and she was having a hard time swallowing, which was always worse in the morning. Her tongue was very dry and felt swollen. She went to see her doctor, had several tests run, and was put on a few medications; but no one could come to a diagnosis. The lack of diagnosis led to increased anxiety over her health. She felt like no one knew what was wrong and she was going to die. About a month later she was having a difficult time breathing, heart rate was up and she felt like she was going to die so she went to the emergency room where they told her she was having a panic attack.
 
She then started having trouble sleeping because she was afraid if she fell asleep she would stop breathing and suffocate to death.  At times she would drift off, but wake in a panic feeling like she couldn’t breathe with a heaviness on her chest. She was unsure if it was due to the medications her doctors prescribed and started to get paranoid that they were prescribing meds that would hurt her.
 
Emma had lost several pounds due to the lack of eating out of fear of choking, was on leave from work, was withdrawing from friends and felt that she was no longer the funny, chipper person she once was. Based on her specific presentation of anxiety, Dr. Paré recommended the homeopathic remedy Lachesis 30c.** She also began taking magnesium before bed.
 
At her one-month follow up, Emma reported that her anxiety over her health had significantly improved and she hadn’t had any panic attacks.  She still had some trouble getting a restful sleep at night, but wasn’t waking with panic or worried that she would suffocate. She still experienced some difficulty when swallowing pills, but wasn’t as fearful of choking when eating and started to eat more regularly again.  Over the next 6 months, some of Emma’s symptoms returned and we increased her potency of homeopathic Lachesis accordingly.  We also made appropriate dietary and lifestyle modifications.  Currently, Emma is experiencing only mild anxiety described as “muscle tension”, has gained back the weight she lost, eats and swallows without any fear or difficulty, is working a full time job and coaching field hockey on the side, gets an average of 6 hours of sleep per night and is no longer on any pharmaceutical medication.

Case Example #2: PANDAS

Mary* first came to see Dr. Paré with her father when she was 9 years old. She had been sick with a fever and digestive issues a couple of months prior, and after her acute symptoms seemed to go away, she began having intense obsessive thoughts and compulsively asked for reassurance.  Her father reports that she was given a tentative diagnosis of PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections), although none of her doctors knew much about it.
 
During her first visit, Mary shared that she had “so many thoughts in her head."  She was watching a cartoon movie that had a ghost in it and suddenly felt afraid of ghosts even though she had never been afraid of them in the past.  Her thoughts quickly multiplied and centered around a fear she was going to die (most often out of fear that she’d stop breathing or not be able to get enough air), fear she’d go crazy, fear she wouldn’t like anything that she once liked anymore, and a fear of hurting herself or someone else.
 
Mary wanted to stay home more frequently because her fears would intensify if she were away from home. She used to be very independent and liked to play in her room by herself, but her father reported that she wanted to be around the family a lot more recently and needed reassurance that everything was going to be fine. She stated that this was because the thoughts were worse when she was by herself, and when she was around others the thoughts were less intense.
 
She also started to get tics and muscle twitches, would think she heard people calling her name when no one was really calling her, would see movement out of the corner of her eye like someone was there even though she logically knew no one was really there. These symptoms were understandably very uncomfortable for her.
 
Based upon Mary’s unique presentation, Dr. Paré recommended homeopathic Phosphorus 30c**. At her 2-week follow-up Mary noticed about a 50% improvement in her symptoms.  Her thoughts were still there, but less frequent and less intense. Her father reported that she was asking for reassurance less frequently and was beginning to do stuff on her own again.  She had a new symptom of dizziness, so Dr. Paré increased her potency of Phosphorus.
 
At her one month follow up Mary and her father reported that things overall were still better, but that new obsessive thoughts including a fear of being poisoned, fear of being possessed, fear of committing suicide and fear of hurting her sister had come up. She was also having moments where she would panic, stating that she physically felt like she couldn’t breathe. At that time we switched her remedy to homeopathic Arsenicum 30c** as it more appropriately fit her presentation. Two weeks later we checked in and the thoughts were far less intense and not interfering with her daily activities and her panic was gone. Over the last 10 months Mary has needed to increase her potency of Arsenicum a couple of times when she gets triggered, however, continues to improve. At this point she is about 80-90% better overall, and is able to live a much more peaceful life.
 
This is a typical example of what to expect with the homeopathic management of OCD.  As thoughts and compulsions change, or individuals get triggered, the appropriate remedy may change as well.  As the body heals, the thoughts and compulsions will naturally become less intense and the individual becomes less sensitive to things that once would be triggering to them.        

Case Example #3: Anxiety and Postpartum OCD

Samantha* came to see Dr. Paré for support with chronic anxiety that steadily had been worsening since the birth of her daughter a couple of years ago. She was put on Effexor which seemed to help decrease the frequency of panic attacks, but she was still experiencing intense anxiety on a daily basis.
 
She described her anxiety as a constant worry and inability to stop thinking about things.  The worry drained her of all of her energy and she had to take a leave of absence from work. Her main worry, at the time, was over her health with a fear of death. She noticed physical symptoms such as dizziness, numbness, headaches and shortness of breath; she was worried that she had an illness that was going to lead to death. The more she worried about them, the worse the physical symptoms seemed to get.  When she would notice a physical symptom she’d compulsively look it up on the Internet getting worried about what she had, sometimes waking up from sleep to research her symptoms. If she heard of someone else having an illness she immediately would think she had it too.
 
With her panic she would feel nauseous with a heavy feeling like a pit in her stomach. Her chest would get hot, and she could hear her heart pounding in her chest. She would physically shake and feel short of breath. She’d sweat on her hands and underarms. She’d get a headache and her vision seemed “off” as if she was rocking and couldn’t keep objects in focus. The worst time of day for her seemed to be around 4-6 PM. Around this time her headache would worsen and she’d notice chills and achiness. She would get very cold and want something warm on her neck, but then almost immediately start sweating. After eating dinner she’d feel somewhat better, although it was hard for her to get herself to eat due to the nausea.
 
Since the birth of her child she also noticed she had been more irritable, had been crying more frequently and had a painful heaviness in the bladder, like something was pulling it down with an urgency to use the restroom.
 
Based on Samantha's specific presentation of anxiety, Dr. Paré recommended homeopathic Sepia 30c**. At her one month follow up her anxiety was about 80% better. The numbness, tingling and shortness of breath were gone, headaches were happening only occasionally, and were without visual disturbances. When she would feel a physical sensation she wouldn’t panic, look it up on the Internet, or immediately think she would die. Her chills were better, but still there on occasion. Her energy improved, she was sleeping through the night and she decided to go back to work part-time. She was still having an urgency to use the restroom, but it was no longer painful or uncomfortable. Over the next couple of months, Samantha's axniety returned some around triggering events, but never reached the same level of intensity as it did prior to beginning her homeopahtic remedy. Dr. Paré increased her potency of Sepia accordingly when the anxiety returned. She still has not had a panic attack since her first visit and is currently experiencing only mild anxiety in stressful situations.     
 
* All names have been changed.
 
**Homeopathy is an extremely individualized system of medicine. The remedies chosen for each of the above individuals was done after their current presentation and history were discussed in great detail.  Even if you relate to a patient's story, the remedies that helped them may not be best suited for your specific health concerns.  Self diagnosis and the beginning of homeopathic or other supplemental support outside of a healthcare provider's direct recommendation is not advised.