Adolescence is a time of great change, inside and out, while the brain develops at an unprecedented rate. Alongside this, the pressure of school and studying increases, and puberty brings hormonal changes. Relationships shift as teens begin naturally to move away from dependence on their parents and towards their own identity as an adult, and the responsibilities that come with being part of the wider community. Friends become more important, but this can also be attended by peer pressure and relationship challenges.
All this can feel by turns exciting, terrifying and confusing. It is a momentous time, attended by great emotional intensity. It is also a time when our vulnerabilities can become more apparent. Many adolescents encounter problems with low mood or even clinical depression, anxiety, low self esteem, exam stress and insomnia. Skin conditions and menstrual problems can also surface during puberty, and I will take a look at these in my next blog post. I have seen many cases where – in all these areas – homeopathy has helped immensely.
Homeopathy offers an unhurried, open space to talk. Somewhere you can say how you are really feeling – with no lectures, nagging or judgement. The remedies prescribed are tailored to the unique way you experience things, and are designed to kick start a healing process, from the inside out. Most people find that homeopathy not only reduces the symptoms they are struggling with, but also restores mood and energy levels, and helps you get the most out of a night’s sleep.
Each homeopathic prescription is carefully matched to the person, and below are just a few of the remedies we might typically prescribe (out of several thousand possibilities) for an adolescent client.
Aurum is a remedy often prescribed in cases of depression. The person who will benefit from Aurum takes things seriously (their relationships, their work or study), and finds it difficult to lighten up and have fun. They are reserved, don’t share much with others, and often have a limited social circle. They want to be the best at what they do, and tend to self criticism and low self esteem if they don’t come up to the mark.
Nux vomica is often found helpful for people who push themselves hard to achieve good grades or do well at work, but find it difficult to relax and switch off. They can easily fall into needing alcohol to relax and to sleep, and stimulants such as caffeine or various recreational drugs to keep them going during the day. They can become irritable and easily frustrated, and tend to suffer from headaches and IBS. Nux vomica is one of the remedies used in helping those who are dependent on recreational drugs to withdraw from them.
Helleborus is a remedy which has a particular focus on depression that strikes during puberty. People who need Helleborus find it difficult to think clearly, and stare into space a lot. They feel gloomy and despairing, and may begin to feel envious of others who seem happier. They are self critical, feeling that they get everything wrong, and find it difficult to communicate their feelings to others.
Apis is a remedy perhaps better known for its effect in the treatment of local allergic reactions (eg in stings of insects). However it also has a wider range of uses, and has a particular affinity for mood swings and emotional difficulties arising during puberty. Those who might benefit from Apis at this time develop very changeable moods, and can become extremely irritable, restless and fidgety, or crying one moment and laughing the next. Everything annoys them, and they can find it very difficult to concentrate.
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