I thought long and hard about whether or not to write this post. Actually, I still don’t know if I should post this. I have been thinking about it since the early stages of the election, again the day after the election, and again many times since inauguration. I waited and waited, not wanting to seem like I was taking a political stance since my job as a doctor is to help people heal, not to push my opinions or my agenda onto them. I was afraid that no matter how I wrote this, it would seem like I was stating one side was better or more right than the other, and that I would make people I care about and care for feel alienated.
What led me to ultimately decide to write this is that people I know and people I see in my practice are suffering – no matter who they voted for. I realized that right now, what we need as a nation is some good healing, and the best place to start that work is with individuals. I finally decided that I would write about the remedies that I have seen be the most useful for people who are suffering from what I call Acute Election Stress Disorder (not a real diagnosis, but I am sure you can relate if you are reading this blog.
Homeopathy can help.
The main things that have come up in my friends and my patients are disappointment, anger and anxiety, and there are a few remedies that have been useful for most people in these circumstances.
Ignatia for Disappointment
No matter who you voted for, after the election everyone I know had some form of disappointment. The most obvious disappointment was felt in those whose preferred candidate lost. But there was also strong disappointment for those whose candidate won. I know many Trump supporters who felt a significant sense of disappointment and even loss following the election. They lost friends who assumed that anyone who had voted for Trump was a racist or misogynist or xenophobe. They saw their loved ones attributing hate to anyone who could have voted for Trump, without bothering to find out how they had reached the decision to vote for him.
The homeopathic remedy that most effectively treats acute disappointment is Ignatia amara. This remedy is well known to treat grief, which some people might be feeling right now if they had very strong opinions about the election. Less well known is how Ignatia very effectively treats disappointments of all kinds. Generally people who need Ignatia will have bouts of crying that come in short bursts, but not always. If those tearful moments do come, they will often want to be alone because they don’t feel better when people try to comfort or console them. They will often have a feeling like there is a lump in their throat, or like their throat is getting tight. When people need Ignatia, they will often feel better as long as they can keep themselves busy or distracted, but then start to feel the emotions well up as soon as they have nothing to do.
Ignatia helps people process the feelings of disappointment quicker than they would on their own. It often helps people feel more focused and calmer without having to constantly stay busy.
Staphysagria for Anger
Again, regardless of who you voted for, you might be experiencing some anger. One of the remedies that treats anger really well, and that I have seen help people with Acute Election Stress Disorder, is Staphysagria. The flavor of anger, if you will, that Staphysagria treats the best is indignation. What I mean by indignation is the anger that comes with a feeling of disbelief about how someone could possibly do something that is so clearly wrong by your sense of moral standards or belief about how life should be. A phrase I hear people say when they are indignant is “How could he?” or “Who does she think she is?” or “why can’t people just…” You get the picture. Staphysagria works best for people who feel the anger but then work to suppress it, making it linger longer than if they were to just get it all out. That being said, it can also be really helpful when you have reached the point where you just can’t hold it in anymore, and feel like you want to explode from the anger. You might even get so mad you throw things (or want to). Usually the feelings of anger come with a sensation of heat in the chest, neck or head, but not always.
Staphysagria works wonders in helping people handle the things that are making them angry more effectively, even when the circumstances that made them angry haven’t changed. They feel more productive and goal oriented rather than feeling like a victim of circumstance.
Lycopodium for Anxiety
The final major emotion people are feeling is anxiety. Our new president’s goals to shake up DC have led to some decisions about appointing advisors that have less experience than we are used to seeing in the federal government. Some policies that have been proposed have people feeling concerned about their safety or that of their loved ones because of their national origin or citizenship. Other people are concerned that they will lose their much needed healthcare. And finally many people are just anxious about what will happen with their neighbors who voted differently than them. Much of this anxiety can be summed up as anticipatory anxiety, meaning anxiety anticipating what is to come.
Lycopodium is an amazing remedy for anticipatory anxiety. Often when people who respond to this remedy feel their anxiety in their guts. They feel bloated and gassy, or maybe even like they are going to have diarrhea. They may have changes in their appetite where they either feel full after a very small meal, or eat a huge meal and still feel hungry again about 30 minutes later. Lycopodium can also be helpful for people when they have anger that they are trying to suppress as well.
Hope for Healing
However you voted, and however you are affected by current politics, I hope that you can find some relief so that you can resume being your best self. I truly believe that when we are all healthy, safe, and at peace that the world will be a better place.
Dr. Jennifer Bahr ND
Founder of Resilience Naturopathic