General adaptation syndrome, stress is one of body’s reaction when it becomes subjected to environmental pressures. This pathology, quite common in today’s world, manifests itself by a set of symptoms that start by affecting the brain, which then increases its production of cortisol. The adrenal glands therefore produce cortisol, a substance that subsequently acts on the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Yet these two brain areas are crucial: first, the cerebral cortex is where the information processing and stress take place (immobilization, attack, drain, …) while the second, the hippocampus, is the brain region that acts against this stressful stimulus and helps to ensure regulation. However, if the production of cortisol is too high, the induced stressful stimulus can no longer be regulated by the hippocampus which then becomes saturated, thus letting the stress invade the brain. The amygdala, the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus and the anterior cingulate cortex are all affected, which leads to nervous reactions and emotional sensitivity.
Stress manifests itself differently in different people, although generally, the symptoms linked to this disease can be classified into four distinct caterogies: physical symptoms, mental symptoms, emotional symptoms and behavioural symptoms. Physical symptoms occur most frequently and are characterized by fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, headaches, muscle tension, shortness of breath and dizziness. As for mental symptoms, they are identified by a reluctance in decision-making, a drop in the ability to recall, and a lack of attention and concentration that results in the multiplication of mistakes.
But the most visible signs of stress to the affected person’s circle of acquaintances are the emotional and behavioural symptoms. Indeed, on the emotional level, stressed people are easily irritable, lack self-confidence, are likely to be worried, anxious and taciturn, and / or experience a lack of libido. Moreover, they are disorganized, frequently absent-minded, pessimistic, like to isolate themselves, and have social and relational problems as well as compulsive behaviours such as an excessive consumption of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, chocolate, candy, caffeine , etc..
When resorting to homoeopathy, the effective treatment is determined according to the source of stress. Thus, for those who have a sustained pace of life and related gastrointestinal disorders, intakes of Argentum nitricum prove to be most adequate. Phosphorus is the most suitable remedy for those that are naturally nervous or often tired and hyperactive. As for Sepia, it is best suited to perfectionists and anxious persons that have a very strong sense of duty. Ambra grisea is also effective in the treatment of stress that results in a lack of self-confidence. Finally, Ignatia is the most suitable homoeopathic remedy to help individuals that live in a stressful environment where frustrations frequently occur.
Stress is not only linked to one’s lifestyle and surrounding environment; it may also appear as a result of unusual events or situations, for example the day before exams or in case of emotional shocks (loss of a loved one, divorce, etc.). Homoeopathy is ideal for dealing such types of temporary stress that are often troublesome. Gelsemium sempervirens is best-suited for treating anxiety experienced during exams for example. And when it comes to dealing with stress caused by emotional shocks, Arnica montana proves to be the most effective remedy. Finally, regarding those faced with a difficult situation, such as speaking in public for example, they can overcome their stress and shyness with Ambra grisea or three daily 2-granule intakes of Staphysagria 9 CH.
Good to know: Homoeopathic treatments are excellent to relieve stress. Indeed, they act on the source of the pathology, and each treatment can be tailored to the patient’s type of stress and personality. This is the case of Gelsemium sempervirens, which relieves anxiety or phosphorus, which may be taken to alleviate nervousness.