As the children head back to school, Katie Biggs – a local homeopath with a 15-year conventional medical background – explains how alternative medicine can help anxious pupils
The most recent surveys of child and adolescent mental health have shown that in an average school classroom of 30 youngsters, three will have a mental health condition.
Over the last decade there has been an increase in testing pupils due to governmental shifts in educational attainment targets. Social media has also become a part of many teenagers’ lives. Both these factors add stresses and anxieties, and the pressures on our young ones are ever increasing. It’s an unfortunate truth that the school environment can present triggers for many such difficulties.
We know that long waiting times and unequal access to young people’s mental health services are putting lives at risk, and emergency services are handling more mental health cases all the time. So, what is available out there that does not involve potential side effects or dependency forming reliance on prescription drugs?
Homeopathy is the use of highly diluted remedies from plant, animal and mineral sources to gently stimulate our natural healing responses. For example, aconite is a highly poisonous plant, and if consumed in its raw, toxic state causes sweating, a feeling of imminent death or doom, nausea, palpitations and difficulty breathing. These symptoms will be easily recognised by those who have experienced a panic attack. Homeopathy takes the aconite and through crushing and succussion (shaking vigorously), sometimes up to a hundred times, it no longer poses a threat, but now holds a natural stimulating quality, which when taken at the onset of a panic attack, switches on the body’s natural responses and decreases anxiety.
The leaps made in a child’s cognitive and growth rates can produce irritation and stress on the body’s nervous system. Homeopathy can alleviate this in a gentle way, allowing the body the time it needs to adapt to the changes. Homeopathy also takes great care to examine the person holistically and pick away at their qualities, character, history and any iatrogenic influence (caused by conventional medicines).
At this time, as a society, we have, through research and reflection, recognised that we have a huge problem with mental health decline, especially among our children and teens. Unfortunately, the government has yet failed to produce a robust sustainable model of assistance and is failing our youngsters.
Complementary and alternative medicines and approaches, such as homeopathy, mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy and acupuncture, are a real option for parents before treading the path to the use of conventional antidepressants.