Risks of Suppressing Symptoms

Do Not Suppress Symptoms!

When I get asked “What’s the best way to get/stay healthy?”, my first and best answer is “Do not suppress symptoms!” You may not have heard this before, but suppressing symptoms is one of the biggest contributors to ill health and it is largely under your control!

Definition of Suppression

Suppression happens when you attempt to reduce or altogether eliminate a symptom, or to prevent its expression in the first place. Any type of symptom–physical, mental, emotional or spiritual—can potentially be suppressed.

Types of Suppression: Inside/Outside

The source of the suppression can come from the outside or from inside ourselves. Examples of external suppressive agents might include drugs—prescription, over-the-counter and recreational—surgery, vaccines, food, weather, relationships, living conditions, among many others.

An example of suppression that might occur from within is when you consciously suppress an emotion like anger or jealousy. You might do this for a variety of reasons including wanting to be accepted, loved, or not wanting to be abandoned, attacked, etc. You might also unconsciously suppress various aspects of yourself, i.e. without realizing that you’re doing it. These aspects stay buried in the unconscious, remaining hidden from your awareness; these can often be revealed in your dreams. In Homeopathy we look at the dreams for these hidden gems.

In reality, most suppression occurs by conscious choice even if it appears to come from outside factors. For example, reaching for a painkiller the moment a headache hits, taking an antibiotic for a viral infection despite knowing theSuppressing symptoms with prescription drugs risks of doing so,  continuing to stay in a bad relationship. As such, the line between inside/outside gets blurred.

Why You Might Suppress Symptoms

Mostly for the sake of convenience, instant relief, vanity, or because it fulfills some deep psychological need. We live in an age of immediate gratification and our medical choices reflect that impatience. Who would want to put up with aches and pains or acid reflux when popping a pill can take away the suffering in short order? Who wouldn’t want to get rid of an unsightly skin eruption to have clear skin by the weekend? We don’t have enough time in our busy lives to even consider the possibility—let alone make room for—suffering or a less than perfect appearance.

The Vital Force and Suppression

Unfortunately, there is a huge price to pay for all this symptom suppression. The Vital Force–the sustainer of life–creates symptoms as a kind of relief valve to maintain balance in the body. In ideal circumstances, the Vital Force has no need to do this so you are completely well and virtually symptom free.

In the real world, however, this ideal of health rarely happens. Your Vital Force gets mistuned by  adverse life circumstances, severe acute illness and bad heredity. It always strives to keep symptoms as external as possible to protect vital organs and systems. External symptoms include things like runny noses, skin eruptions and inflamed joints.

Symptom as relief valveWhen you suppress symptoms–superficial or deep—you are closing off a relief valve. Then two things can happen. If you’re lucky,  the same symptom will resurface somewhere in the body. What often happens though is that your Vital Force creates a new relief valve with new symptoms located deeper in the body. Simply put, suppression can lead to more serious illness. This is a bad direction for your health to take.

Suppression in Action: A Case of Depression

While every case of suppression (an almost universal phenomenon these days) is as unique as the individual, I am going to share a hypothetical case that illustrates the suppressive process. Our subject–let’s call her Marnie–is a nineteen year old college student who suffers from intermittent bouts of mild to moderate depression. In betweendepression these episodes she does alright, active in extracurricular activities at school and staying on top of the academic demands. However, when the depression hits–usually when the demands become too much for her to handle–Marnie’s life comes to a standstill. During these bouts that last 2 or 3 days, she feels unmotivated, lethargic and without purpose. As college becomes more difficult, the depression is starting to affect her academic performance, particularly at exam time.

Marnie has been suffering from depression since her junior year of high school. Seeing a counselor on a regular basis has helped her get over the hurdles but does not prevent the depression from returning. In her detailed homeopathic interview she reveals that as a young child she had a fairly severe case of eczema that was treated with steroid creams. The eczema stayed away for a while but then would resurface when she was under stress. Finally, it seemed to go away for good.

With the stress of starting high school, Marnie began to experience pain in her joints, particularly her knees and ankles. This led to her taking continuous doses of anti inflammatory drugs which managed to hold her joint symptoms at bay. Within two years, however, the depression surfaced. Luckily for Marnie, she and her mother decided not to suppress her emotional issues with medication but to seek out a natural path to healing.

Homeopathy Takes the Long View

In conventional medicine, these phases of ill health in Marnie’s life–the eczema, joint pain and depression–would not be viewed as having any connection to each other. Homeopathy takes the holistic view that the entire timeline of a person’s life is connected in a causative way and that a person’s current state of health can be traced back to all the suppressive events of a lifetime.

If you have health concerns that you feel may be related to too much suppression in your life, contact me here to discuss how Homeopathy can help you!

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