By Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Depression and Homeopathy
Depression can have many causes, including a history of emotional trauma. Homeopathy has the potential to be very helpful for people with depression as the case taking takes into account their entire life history and their unique responses to it. This case illustrates how homeopathy helped someone with depression linked to excess responsibility, overwhelm and burn-out.
37-year-old woman, first seen August 25, 2017. Her chief complaint is a feeling of excess responsibility, helplessness and hopelessness.
“I want to disappear. With all the responsibility, kids, work, home, I feel helpless and hopeless. If I was invisible no one could want anything from me."
Tell more about disappearing?
“Take off all this responsibility and weight you have to do this. If I’m invisible then no one can see me, I can’t do anything, no one can judge me or demand something from me. But I have responsibility, kids, family.”
“It would be feeling free – I can do what I want and what I feel like doing. Doing something without acknowledgement or judgement."
“I can achieve a sense of acceptance and true happyiness, just want to sustain it. I want to feel unconditional love for myself and others, I have only glimpses of it."
“I have these dreams of flying – sometimes I see a man in the fog and he is clinging to me or I’m carrying him or I’m carrying other people. I try to show them – can can fly!
“Flying is freedom to me, to fly! Look, you can fly!
“Sometimes when I miss people I can fly and see them there and it fulfills my need to see them. I had a first love, a boy I really liked, he was really smart and I admired him. Sometimes I wondered how he was doing. I’d go and see him do what he is doing, in the flying dreams.
“It is usually dusk or night in the dreams.
“My cousin was trying to get pregnant, she came to see me at night. I flew to her and saw her at her window. She had dark spots in her stomach. I told her, it can be better and tried to explain to her how to fly. Then she got pregnant six months later.
“Or I dreams I have a friend and pick her up and carry her home in the dream.
“When there is a person I’m picking up they are very heavy, I can almost not fly.
“Sometimes I’m up somewhere and hold onto something and pull myself down so I can put my legs on the ground so I can talk to a person. But as soon as I let go I float up again. Sometimes I can’t get back to the ground, actually, it happens often.
“But I’ve never had a person I could fly with, I would like that! Finally I would be able to share what I see!
How do you fly?
“You just go, there is no magic to it.
“I’ve had flying dreams for many years, even as a child. But then it was brighter, the sky was blue. Now it is much darker and I’m not enjoying it as much, really.
Relationship with Husband
“I have another repetitive dream of trying to talk and I can’t. I can relate to that in my life. I couldn’t say what I wanted to to my husband. At work it’s okay, I have a great manager, he encourages me, but I was not able in my relationship to my husband.
“In the dream I would start to say something and my teeth are falling out. They are all rotten and falling out.
“After meeting my husband left I’ve had so many issues with my teeth, fillings not done well, then tooth pain, then root canals, three or four crowns, my teeth were never happy after that.
“I separated from my husband in March, since then I am more forgetful and have lost motivation at work. Helping others has lost its satisfaction shot I used to get. I love my job but don’t have the drive anymore.”
“I also have upper back pain and chest pain. Better with osteopath and acupuncturist."
By now I’m thinking about bird remedies due to her flying dreams, dreams of teeth falling out and her great sense of responsibility.
How do you feel about birds?
“As a young teenager, 12-13 I wanted a cockatiel so badly. One day my sister found one sitting on a fence. She called me, I held my hand out and it came!
“I also had at least one bird that was injured. Someone brought it to me. It was a hunting bird (bird of prey). He would scream and I had to feed him meat, he lived with me for three months, then someone let him out.”
She showed me a picture of a bird of prey on her phone, it looks like a falcon or small hawk.
Mother's Sudden Death
“My mom died suddenly and tragically when I was 17. I felt no one will take care of me. I felt, no one will love me or take care of me. I wanted to die and disappear, but had a ten-year-old sister. I felt that I could not leave her.
“I felt I’m not needed anymore. Who needs me, who would want me or nee me to love them?
“I always wanted to help foster kids. After separating from my husband I want to be a foster mom and give kids a home where they are safe. I divorced my husband because he didn’t really want to the kids. I felt that my dream would not be realized with him.
“A few days ago I realized: You have to be a mother to yourself. I realized I have to take care of my inner child.
Helpful and Responsible
“I had a weird relationship with my mother. I always wanted to be helpful. We had a farm, grew vegetables and had animals. There was lots of responsibility on me. I was making dinner and cleaning at 12-13, I did it all.
“My mother taught me but was not demanding. The way we grew up I had to help, but I liked it, I wanted to help. At age six or seven, when I first wanted to milk a cow, I felt so proud of what the cow gave. I wanted to please.
“When mom came home from work I’d show her: ‘Mom, I did this and that’, and she was very grateful. I was not asking anything from here. Once we went shopping, right before her death. I wanted a special dress and she said no, but I said ‘But I really want it!’ and was very upset.
“She did get it, she got me what I really wanted and I cherished that dress forever.
“The night before her funeral I had this huge pain in my chest, like a knife. Like someone stabbed me. I was paralyzed, could hardly take a breath. Then it dissolved. Since then this pain has come back here and there, lately it is always here. I had all kinds of tests, all came back negative.
No Help All Those Years
“I have done everything in my marriage as well, no help from him all those years. Two kids, soccer three times a week dance three times a week, working downtown.
“After the separation it was much easier, now he takes our son to soccer. The kids are with him two nights a week, now I have time for myself and now I don’t have to cook as much. He lied on the couch and did nothing. I just shut up and did it all myself.
“I also have back pain, mostly on the left side, parallel to the chest pain. I feel like I’ve always had it, at least from the time I went to university at 18-19. It got worse when I started working.
“Before I had a lot of shoulder pain. It is better with massage and chiropractic. I had lumps like fists, knots.
“I also have pain in my lower right abdomen sometimes.
Panic Attacks and Depression
“I went to see Anthony Robbins about ten years ago. It was good and bad. They play with your mind, walking on coals and fire, it blows your mind, you can do anything. But on the second day, a lot of emotional stuff came up, scary! In a meditative state I felt emotions five times, more, ten times more, 200 times more!
“I felt they took all the bad stuff out, good stuff in. Okay, my god I can do anything in this world! Lots of energy, balls of energy. I could understand the entire connectedness of everything. Plus I changed my diet, three weeks of blooming, I felt huge, connected, free!
“But then I got panic attacks and depression and could not stop crying. My mom’s death was in a box, I could never cry with my husband. They opened that box and I relived my mother’s death, then got bad panic attacks.
“My husband called an ambulance. I just disappeared. I have to do everything for others and my need is the last. I thought: ‘I need to be free, let me out!’
“This feeling I’m free opened my eyes.
“I was overnight in the hospital. After that a depression kicked in. Then I started doing yoga and stopped the antidepressants, had them take out my IUD, that helped tremendously.
“I could not sleep for six months. Got a new job, slowly came back to life. Almost divorced my husband then. But I was afraid to be alone.
The Dragon is out and I'm not Putting him back in
“In November-December of last year I felt super drained and empty. Stopped meditating. My husband’s father died and he became more critical with me and the kids. Then I decided to stop pleasing him and took care of myself again, went back to yoga again and to meditation. Then the idea came ‘I am not alone!’ This had been my biggest fear.
“I made it easy for him to leave. As soon as I felt better and filled myself up my energy went crazy, big and huge like a dragon! It had just been stuck in a thought pattern. The night I kicked him out I was so happy! I was singing!
“The dragon is out and I’m not putting it back in!
“But since then it’s been a roller coaster of guilt, fear, grief about losing the idea of the ideal family. One moment I’m falling apart, the next I’m happy and joyful. It’s like sailing, navigating. I’m building boundaries.
“There are two aspects – one, the dragon, you deserve more, the other no, you can’t do that, how am I going to survive.
She likes chocolate, black or green tea with one sugar, yoghurt (3), sour cream (2) even straight from the tub, butter (2) also on its own, buckwheat, rice, walnuts (2), other nuts, bananas, berries, eggs, borscht, fish, chicken, beef, marinated tomatoes, pickles.
Duck is favorite meat (3), likes the firmer texture and the darker colour.
Raw milk, “a sense of freedom with raw milk, not restricted.”
Averse mustard (3), horseradish (2), too spicy. Relish (2).
Digestion is good, sometimes aggr from ice cream, with pain and nausea.
Sleep is pretty good, bed at 10:30, up at 5 am. Wakes on back with arms up sometimes and feels so open.
Can get a burning feeling in her head from being hear high power voltage lines. Always had this.
The client is a recently separated woman who wants to disappear from all the responsibility in her life. She has a history of taking on a lot of responsibility willingly even as a young child. Did all the housework in her marriage on top of working full time as a professional. Long history of being dominated by husband for 17 years.
Lost her mother at 17 under sudden and tragic circumstances. Long history of flying dreams in which she carries people, often in the dark. Dreams of teeth falling out. Chest, shoulder and back pain. Loves to eat duck. Loves birds and healed a small bird of prey as a teenager, possibly a falcon.
I did not repertorize the case as I recognized the remedy fairly quickly as Falco peregrino, the peregrine falcon, from reading Jonathan Shore’s book on the Bird remedies.
Prominent rubrics from the Falco proving:
Falcon and hawk both feel conflicted between the need to take care of the family and freedom
The patient repeatedly expresses a strong desire for freedom, alternating with the need for security which her marriage provided, but in the end she broke free.
From the proving: “I hunt with them, but I remain a free hunter. Speed. Sailing above the desolate land. I wear the crown of freedom.”
Comment from Shore: “Although the urge for freedom is characteristic of birds in general, it finds its most intense expression in the Falcon in the form of resistance to subjugation or domination by another.”
A key aspect according to Shore is the need to protect children
From the proving: “I take a child that is in danger to calmer waters and protect him. I was as if I had spread my protecting wings so that the waves couldn’t harm the child.”
After the patient’s mother died she wanted to leave, to disappear, but she stayed to take care of her younger sister.
The patient wants to offer a safe home to foster children. She got divorced to a large extent because she felt that her husband did not want to share that dream and also because he was too critical of their children.
Of interest is that Horus, the Egyptian Falcon god protects children.
Another key feature of the remedy is the desire for the good opinion of others
From the proving: “I think about giving up my freedom, giving up freedom in exchange for admiration, acceptance, and love.”
“Am I a bird or am I a soul? Feelings of infinite freedom. I allow people to capture me because I want to feel as they do.”
The patient was very much looking for love and acceptance. She felt that nobody would want her, love her or take care of her after her mother died. She stayed with her dominating husband because she was afraid to be alone and described herself as a pleaser.
The patient also complained about long-standing back, chest and shoulder pain, all of which are common for bird remedies.
Birds don’t have teeth and the sensation of the teeth falling out has been recorded in a number of bird remedy provings.
Obviously she had flying dream and more importantly, she dreamt that she was carrying someone in her dreams. Falcons and hawks have to work very hard to feed their young by hunting and then carrying the prey to the nest.
Prey may be heavy; her dreams seem to correspond with that sensation. It is of note that she used to dream of flying in the light when she was younger, but now she is flying in the dark in her dreams.
Also of note is that her favorite meat is duck. Falcons usually hunt other birds for prey, while in free fall flying as well as from water. Water fowl are part of their diet.
Interestingly, she also took care of an injured bird of prey as a teenager. This might actullay have even been a Peregrine falcon.
Plan: Falco peregrino 200CH.
Follow-up September 26, 2017
“I’m feeling more balanced. More in my territory. I understand more what’s acceptable and what isn’t. I’m more assertive, I stand for it, “this is what I believe in.”
“I don’t like the anger that arises. I’m trying to understand why.
“I feel more assertive with the kids. My son wanted to have a friend sleep over on a weeknight and I was able to say no. Before I was more submissive.
“About one week after taking the remedy I had a flying dream again. I was carrying a child, he was heavy. I was trying to get away from someone who wanted to get me and the kid. I was jumping from building to building. I felt my wings were not strong enough. I carried the kid to an apartment. I felt I had to take care of them and monitor who is trying to get into the apartment.
“I felt anger and felt stronger. I came and I wanted to protect them and attacked the one who was chasing us. I wanted to throw them from the building. Before no one ever chased me in the dreams. Also, this time I carried someone to a destination, I never before had a destination. I carried him to safety and fought.
“I’ve been working on the separation agreement. Before I would have felt resentment to what my husband proposed. This time I handled the emotions better. I was forceful and pushing!In ten minutes I was clear about what would have taken one or two days to mull over before."
Feeling more assertive and more flexible and accepting
“I feel more assertive and at the same time more flexible and accepting. My daughter asked to paint her room and I said, okay, let’s get paint! I just did it. I feel whatever comes, I can handle it
“I had another dream. There was a building, like a castle. It felt like a castle on top of a mountain. I was enjoying the scene but there was a drop. A very beautiful and colourful view but suddenly I was on the edge and staggering off the edge, clinging to the edge to get back and climbing back up. Then I was fine.
“At work I used to be more controlling, I wanted to do it. Now I can ask the staff what they want her to do. Before I felt I needed to go Kundalini yoga to make me feel better, now I feel I don’t have to go, I can enjoy myself here, now. I can sit in a chair and get the same benefit as going to a Kundalini yoga class.
"I feel more centered. Before I feel like I can almost touch this good feeling but can’t hold it. Now it’s right here!
"Before I always felt I have to eat better, have smoothies etc. Now I’m not pushing myself. Okay, I make a smoothie, it just happens. Now it’s a pleasure, not a chore. I want to do it instead of I should do it, it comes lighter, easier.
"I used to have constipation, it was getting better before the remedy, but now it is all okay. Also my period was strange before, two days were very heavy. Now it is normal and only four days in total.
"Also, last year I had conflicts with my son’s soccer coach. This year, I was with him and I wanted to get a kid from his team to mine and he yelled at me. He screamed at me, but it had no effect! It didn’t touch me anywhere! I could not care less! I just smiled at him and nodded, okay. Before I would have cried and felt bad."
Great result from Falco 200CH! The patient is feeling much more assertive and at the same time more relaxed. Her digestion and menstrual period are better as well.
She had a couple of interesting flying dreams, one of carrying a child to safety to an apartment with other children while being chased. Then she attacked the aggressor and wanted to throw him off the building. This is interesting as the Peregrine lives on apartment buildings in cities, the only bird of prey that does this.
The other dream of the castle high on a mountain with a steep ledge is also interesting. The Peregrine prefers to hunt from a ledge and also nests on ledges. At some point the young have to take their first flight right off the ledge.
Plan: Wait. Client was sent home with additional Falco 200 CH in case of a relapse and instructions to only use it if the feeling of wanting to disappear returns.
Follow-up June 8, 2018, 10 months later
“After the last visit I felt super-balanced, really good. I’ve been meditating daily for 30 minutes. I ask for unconditional love, I feel it and experience it.
“I had a dream where I was flying around the home, connected with a string. I felt I don’t need it and broke free. I flew into space and someone was flying with me! But it was not a person. It is so wonderful, to fly with someone and to be able to express myself. I woke up feeling so happy! At the end of December I met this person, he walked into my life. I had my eyes closed and someone walked in.
“A relationship developed quickly, a relationship on a different level. I could not sleep at night for two weeks, my whole body was pulsating. I felt my heart beating all night long. After three weeks I said ‘I can’t handle this!’ He decided to pull away and then I started sleeping again. Our chakras were connecting. It felt like non-stop energy healing. That connection, support, protection.”
“Fears of losing, not being needed. That I have to do something in order to get love.
“Other dream recently: As a child I took care of animals, cows etc. I had a dream that I had forgotten to feed or milk the cow. In my dream I would try to go and do it but would never make it. Then I dreams that I finally made it but the cow was dying on the floor, barely breathing, poop everywhere. I felt, oh my god, I never fed you! I bring food and water. Then I see a little calf. Oh my god, you had a baby! Not only was I not feeding you but I also was not feeding your baby! Then I woke up.
“Physically I only still have a little pain between my shoulder blades and a bit of lower back pain. I did a 21 day meditation to clear past lives.
“My digestion is really good, no more constipation. My appetite is good, I gained 10 pounds which I wanted to.
“My teeth are getting better, too.”
Relapse. She has fears of losing, not being needed, that she has to do something in order to get love. She dreamt that she neglected her duty of taking care of a cow and her calf, another indication of Falco.
Plan: Falco 10M, one dose.
Follow-up March 9, 2019 (Nine months later)
“I’m feeling more confident. I usually avoid conflict but have had incidents in which I’ve been very capable of dealing with it. The husband of a relative was aggressive towards her and I was on him, grabbed him and threw him out on the porch! I wanted to tear him apart! I was wearing a long dress and a scarf and my relative said I looked like this huge bird fighting!
“I dated someone for a while. I had always felt as if I needed to please men for them to love me, but with him I felt like I could be myself and still be loved. No need to do anything.
“I dreamt that I went into a cottage, it was very bright with white curtains, near the ocean. There were huge shells on the beach, I could walk inside of them. Then a storm comes with huge waves, the cottage is very close to the water, it is splashing onto it. But I’m just standing there, I am not afraid, I feel safe. Suddenly the water parts and this child is running from the other side towards me. I’m wondering if he or she will make it, but I’m just wondering, without any fear. Then I can see the water closing again behind the child and wonder if he or she made it.
“Another dream, I’m trying to get off the road, I’m crawling on it. Why am I crawling, I can fly! I can see a huge wave coming towards town, a Tsunami. I come down and yell at people to get to higher ground, the kids, puppies etc. I’m trying to help them. I have to get the babies there first!
“Them I’m up there at the gates, receiving people, directing first aid, I can see the kids and puppies came in. I feel a lot of care, but yet calm. I am calm and it’s okay. It’s supposed to be happening like this.
“I’ve been doing holotropic breath work and had insights into past lives. I’m a captain, taking people to the war. I didn’t make it, some people didn’t make it.
“There is a scene on top of a mountain, a white, bright home, a lot of people, I lead them. I’m asking ‘what am I supposed to do? Nothing, just be strong.’ I can see the valley and a mountain. I could fly into it, almost as if it was my place.
“I ask myself ‘how can I help people to release or ease the trauma they’ve been through? Childhood and past life trauma? I’m thinking of retraining as a counsellor to work with children, abuse, childhood trauma. My heart calls me there!
Her ideal home?
“A home where kids can have a garden, animals, yoga, a dance studio, counsellors. I work with kids, helping them to find themselves, making them stronger. I’ve had this dream for years but before I was afraid to put it out there, if felt too overwhelming.
“I want freedom for people. It’s great to work with kids, the trajectory of their lives can be more easily adjusted. It’s like playing golf, a small adjustment at the beginning can result in major changes down the line.
“I would like more energy to go after my dreams.”
Assessment: The patient is doing much better overall. She is feeling more confident and assertive and even had a relationship in which she did not feel as if she had to work hard to be loved, she could just be herself. She is more seriously thinking about a career change now as a children’s counsellor. Her dreams are still clearly falcon dreams of tops of mountains, valleys, water and helping others.
This has been a remarkable falcon peregrine case so far with a deep transformation with the remedy. It will be interesting to follow this remarkable woman on her journey for the next few years, to witness her soar more and more in freedom and joy.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH is a homeopathic practitioner in Sooke, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She has special interests in children with developmental and behavioural challenges. She is also very interested in bird remedies.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH is a homeopath with a special interest in children with developmental and behavioural concerns. Cases are all from her practice. Names have been changed, they were published with permission and are intended for education in homeopathy only. They are not intended as medical advise or solicitation. Homeopathy treats the person, not the condition.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
Sooke, BC, Canada
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4