Have you ever been overwhelmed by a massive amount of work with an unreasonable deadline? How would you feel after many anxious days and nights of caring for sick loved ones with precious, few breaks? Do you remember returning to your day job while still caring for your colicky newborn by night? What do these situations have in common? Burnout! Those of us who have experienced the results of burning the candle at both ends for extended periods can tell horror stories about the toll it takes on our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Each of us will respond to burnout in a different way, depending on our own unique constitution. Don is a stock broker who handles investments for big-name clients in a volatile environment. The pressure to perform is ever constant and one slip could cost him his job. Don releases his tension with a few too many beers and two packs of cigarettes a day.
Debra used to run a successful florist shop but for the past eight years she has been caring for her three active youngsters; cooking, cleaning, ironing and catering to the needs of her career-oriented husband Lately she has found herself weeping for no apparent reason and she is bewildered by her unusual lack of patience with her family.
Stephen, an advertising executive, has been climbing the corporate ladder since he joined the company five years ago. His dad is the company president. Stephen is very aware of his dad’s expectations of him and he has been driving himself even harder in an attempt to keep one step ahead of the depression that threatens to engulf him.
These are only a few examples of the coping mechanisms we employ to neutralize the effects of the stress we experience in demanding situations. In his book “Emotional Healing With Homeopathy”, Peter Chappell says “When a particular situation becomes too overwhelming for us to process, we develop a pattern behind the suffering.” This pattern, which traumatizes the psyche, acts like a default switch. When we overextend ourselves in any way, the body automatically slips into its predetermined behaviour for coping with this trauma for the sake of our survival.
For each of us the coping mechanism will be different. Don overindulges, Debra weeps and Steve gets depressed. Knowing how to live without traumas or how to reduce or recover from them is a great boon to our lives. Ideally, we should call “time out” in order to regain some order and balance to our lives. However, this is rarely an option in today’s hectic pace. Nevertheless, it is possible to help the healing with homeopathic remedies.
Homeopathy is a system of natural medicine that is based on the ‘Laws of Similars’. By “mimicking” the inner trauma, homeopathic remedies can stimulate the natural healing mechanism – the body’s vital, innate intelligence – to release the trauma.
Overindulgence in anything, whether it be alcohol, sex, cigarettes, coffee or even work can create an imbalance in the system and will throw everything else off. Don’s personality chooses indulgence as his default for stress release and the trauma becomes a habit. Don needs a few doses of the homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica, a powerful healing substance for those who depend on stimulation to function. These people are usually tense and high-strung with a strong inner urge to achieve. A few doses of Nux Vomica can help the system achieve equilibrium.
Debra has reached the end of her tether. Her constitution chooses its release in tears, but something else is happening as well. This normally tolerant wife and mom has had enough of compromising herself. Her psyche cries out for recognition of this by defaulting to uncharacteristic behaviour – impatience. Sepia is the remedy that will bring Debra back to a state of balance and will help her gain clarity regarding her own needs.
Stephen has always driven himself to achieve. His father and grandfather were the same, achieving great wealth and success. But depression was no stranger to them either, and, like Stephen, they also chose their careers to meet their fathers’ approval. A few doses of Aurum would have helped them overcome their depression and fleeting thoughts of suicide. The above remedies are only a few of the many that could be helpful during burnout.
Others to be considered are Phosphorus for burnout from over-impressionability, Phosphoric Acid for weakness after long-standing grief, Silica for a delicate personality, Natrum Muriaticum for burnout from perfectionism and suppressed feelings, Zincum for nervous system excitability and loss of sleep and Nitricum Acidum for collapse from anxiety over dangers to self and others.
Homeopathic remedies are safe and non-toxic and can often be self-prescribed, however if the condition is chronic it may require professional help from a qualified homeopathic practitioner or naturopathic doctor.