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Sepia and panic attacks

I have been prescribed sepia 15C, 1 per day, by my homeopath for acne. Other complaints I had, were: hair falling out and visible veins on the left leg.

A few minutes after taking my first Sepia 15C I had a bad reaction involving sensations of discomfort related to heart and breath but which passed in a few minutes.

The first week, I could not identify any reactions specific to the timing of my medicine, my acne got slightly better but I was feeling more unhappy and dissatisfied than usual.

The second week, no notable reactions at all, which I reported to my doctor. He put me on Sepia 30C, 1 per day.

I just took it once and, starting a few minutes after taking the globule, I had almost two hours of severe crisis which was explained to me as a panic attack in a hospital emergency room.
I was not familiar with panic attacks and this is the first time when this happens to me.
I read a lot of materials on homeopathy and sepia and never expected this kind of reaction.
Is it possible this is linked to Sepia?
  zorbax on 2010-02-28
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
What kind of feelings did you have in your mind at that time?
what were the physical symptoms that landed you in the ER?
In the state of panic attack you were craving for open air and cold surroundings or you prefered warm surroundings and being wrapped?
How was your activity during the panic attack like you were making intense expressions or you were still and not making any movements.

Only on the basis of the answers to the above questions it could be known that whether it was caused by Sepia.
kadwa last decade
Hello kadwa,

Thank you so much for writing and for your questions. Please see a detailed story of what happened to me. Can you help?

I took Sepia 30C in the morning, on Saturday. As I was letting it dissolve I was watching an episode of Seinfeld, in bed. I was in a good mood and looking forward for a laugh.

Several minutes after Sepia (even before it dissolved completely I think) I had a strange feeling of discomfort in the chest/head area, moving from top down and a sudden feeling of hot (like a flash down). It was all very sudden and it seemed to get lighter as other minutes passed by.
A few minutes after this episode, a crisis started. This time I felt the discomfort in the chest stronger and my hands started to shake. I thought my breathing was difficult but as I breath-in it seemed to be slightly relieved. Then, in a few minutes another crisis.

These crisis followed one another at a few minutes distance, each stronger than the previous one for 30 to 45 minutes. In the end, my hole body was visibly shaking (including my head), I could feel my heart beating, the feeling in my head and chest was not ok but, my biggest discomfort was breathing. I remember getting scared when I saw I couldn’t breathe properly. My husband opened the window and light and I thought it was a bit better. The air coming in was cooler than the air in the room. I was wrapped up and covered in bed though, and stayed warm most of the crisis, however, I think I remember the temperature of my feet changing as I felt them very cold sometimes and others not. I felt that if I would move out of bed I would fall, but I was restless due to the breathing and discomfort issue therefore I tried constantly to find a position for relief. I believe I was making intense expressions rather than be still. I got to the bathroom but it was a difficult trip and I remember, being desperate to get back to bed before falling.

The most powerful symptoms lasted for another 45 minutes or so (almost two hours now) in which we decided to go to the emergency room. In the middle of the crisis, while still in bed, I remember wanting to antidote Sepia so I asked my husband to bring me some coffee and mint. I tried the coffee and chewed a mint gum with very little relief. I tried to drink some water but I got aggravated by that.

Later, in the car and on my way to the hospital, I had the window opened and started to feel a bit better, drank a lot of water which this time made me feel better and by the time I reached the hospital I was still feeling bad but was no longer in crisis. The doctor seeing me assumed a panic attack on the grounds that all my tests showed normal results, he was an allopath skeptic about homeopathy and told me that no pill can reach the body in such a short period of time as I’m reporting.

I stopped taking Sepia 30C which I did only once on Saturday. Maybe it is relevant to say that yesterday morning (the next day) I had again some discomfort and feared I might have another episode. I immediately sat up and went to a window and as I was breathing the air outside, I felt a bit better within minutes. The discomfort lasted longer though.

Same thing this morning, on my way to work, in the car. This time I also felt intense nausea.

Before taking Sepia 30C on Saturday, I was on Sepia 15C, one per day for the previous two weeks.
My doctor gave me Sepia as being my constitutional remedy.
I remember the first time I took Sepia I felt the chest discomfort, some breathing issues, light head and hands trembling within 10 minutes after taking the pill but the sensation was that all these symptoms started in the chest and raised to head. Again like a flash, in a split second. As I was interviewing someone at the time, I got up and left the room for some water. The symptoms passed in a few minutes.
The following days, I had again some of these symptoms but very light and I could no longer identify a link to Sepia as they did not occur within the next minutes after taking it however, these sensations started only two weeks ago, with Sepia.
A few mornings in my first Sepia week, I felt nausea as well. However, after a week or so, I thought all these have passed and didn’t have anything more to report. That’s when I was told to go to Sepia 30C.
zorbax last decade
Sepia should not have been repeated so often in low potency, that could have created provings of some physical symptoms of the remedy. Though everything that happened cannot be attributed to Sepia. Here the factors get mixed up.
The constitutional remedy should be arrived at after proper case taking and it should be administered in high potency and in infrequent doses.
kadwa last decade
Thank you kadwa.

Does this mean sepia caused some of this? I would be interested to know what can be attributed to sepia and what cannot..
Also is there a possibility that it's not my constitutional remedy? I have to say that my innitial complaints got a bit better but, not significantly better by now.
What would you recommend I do?
zorbax last decade
Please read Sepia at-

Please compare your symptoms before and after taking Sepia, and also see whether those additional symptoms are there in the Sepia MM, that will tell you what can be attributed to Sepia.

Please copy the Questionnaire from the following thread
and post all the questions here duly answered. On that basis your remedy may be worked out.
kadwa last decade
Thank you so much. Please find below the questionaire answers:

Patient ID: Sex: Age:
Woman, 36

1. Describe your main suffering?

Acne - since 1 year ago (Jan 2009). I never had acne before (neither as a teenager or later) It got worse over the months (cystic acne) therefore I consulted a doctor. He asked for some blood tests and ultrasound which I did. As a result of those I also found I have 1 polycystic ovary (left), cysts in both breasts (doctors said it was normal – nothing to be concerned about) and 1 cyst on my thyroid – inactive (right). Conclusion was the acne was due to hormonal imbalance as the rest of the issues.

Acne scars – since two months ago or so

Receeding gums – I noted that 4-5 years ago. Checked in with my doctor as soon as I noted that but it seems it is not due to periodontal desease and I was not given any treatment. In the meantime I am sensitive about my gums and fear a serious disease. I would like to address this.

Hair falling out and dry skin– started 6-7 years ago. The texture of my hair and skin also changed in the past 2-3 years

Visible veins on the left lower leg/calf – appeared 2-3 years ago and got worse. They don’t look like varicose veins but are very visible during the day. Sometimes I can feel a tension or a faint pain in the leg as well but, I’m mostly concerned about the way it looks.

2. What other physical sufferings do you have in your body?

General state of physical weakness – started around the age of 18-19 and got stronger over the years.

3. What mental sufferings / feelings do you have associated with your physical sufferings?

I am afraid of getting old and ugly most of the time when I think of my physical sufferings. Sometimes I’m afraid of getting sick and ultimately of dying.

4. What exactly do you feel when you are at your worst?

Except for the crisis described at the beginning of this dialog I don’t remember any major health events for me. Excluding this crisis, at my worst I’m lacking energy to have fun (but never lack energy to work), feel a general weakness, discontent and dissatisfied and feel I need to do some changes in my life. When I’m like this I sit inside my home and feel to tired to go outside or meet people.

5. When did it all start? Can you connect it to any past event or disease?

Acne – about 1 year ago, Visible veins on calf – about 2-3 years ago, Receeding gums – about 5 years ago, Hair falling out and skin dryness– about 7 years ago, General state of weakness – about 17 years ago.

I’m not sure about the connection to events; the state of weakness might have appeared after a breakup in high-school or a bad experience in a hospital around 1 year later (I was in a hospital being investigated for hepatitis when in fact I had low levels of calcium). For hair and skin issues and maybe acne it might be work related stress. No idea what could cause the receding gums or visible veins.

6. Which time of the day you are worst?

I’m not a morning person and like a slow start in the morning. In case I cannot afford that, I can be anxious over the day. I lack energy in the evenings.

7. What are the things which aggravate your suffering and which are those which ameliorate the same?

I didn’t note significant changes in my symptoms over the day except for the leg veins which seem to be better in the evening after I am at warmth in bed and in the morning when I wake up. They get more visible over the day. The acne seems to get better overnight as well as the texture of my skin. I could not note any patters where gums or hair are concerned.

8. Do your think your sufferings have relation to any external stimuli (like, change of place) or any internal biological changes in the body, like, menses (in females)?

It may be that acne is getting worse prior and during menses. Skin is worse after a long day at work especially when stressed but not necessarily. Skin is also worse when exposed to cold.

9. When do you feel better, during hot weather or cold weather, humid or dry weather?

I like late spring and summer and warmth however I do not feel my best when it’s too hot. I take humidity well when it is hot and cannot really make a difference between dry and humid weather. I hate winters and cold and humidity when it is cold.

10. Describe your general mental set up? Are you Moody, Arrogant, Mild, Agreeable Changeable, Nervous, Suspicious, Easily offended, Quiet, Arguing, Irritating, Lazy etc.

Moody - sometimes
Arrogant – not lately (I was in my younger years)
Mild – rather not
Agreeable – most of the time
Changeable – sometimes ( very changeable in my younger years),
Nervous – not so much latterly (very nervous until 1-2 years ago),
Suspicious - yes,
Easily offended - yes,
Quiet - sometimes,
Arguing - yes,
Irritating - no,
Lazy - yes

- How do you feel before or during a thunderstorm?

- Scared /Very scared especially if the winds and thunderstorm are strong

- Do you like being consoled during your tough times?

- yes

- Are you sensitive to external stimuli like smell, noise, light etc?

- Not significantly. I am sensitive about light only if I want to get some sleep during the day but other than that I think not

- Do you have any typical habit or gesture like nail biting, causeless
weeping, talking to one self etc?


- How do you feel about your friends, family, your children and especially your husband / wife?

Ok with no excesses either way. I’m rather happy than sad, appreciate my marriage and my husband and like being with him. Lately I get moments when I look at him and get a strong feeling that I love him.
I have no children.
Have family which I love (my mother and my husband’s family) but I’m not anxious to see them too often. Sometimes they can annoy me.
Have a couple of friends and we keep in touch on a weekly basis – spending time during the weekends. Since Sepia I missed our weekly meeting though.
Have other friends which I see rarely due to schedules but keep in touch quite often over the phone.
I am very fond of all my friends but feel that I would be overwhelmed if they would all want to meet during the same weekend.

11. What are your fears and do you dream of any situation repeatedly?

Major: Fear of heights, Fear of flying, Fear of getting ill/sick - Fear of death, Fear of deep water.
Other minor fears as well: insects, vague discomfort in elevators etc.
No repeated dreams.

12. What do you crave for in food items and what are your aversions?

I mostly crave sweet foods. The exact thing is varying from time to time. Lately it is chocolate in a jar. Sometimes I crave raw vegetables, sometimes fruits.
I like cheese and cream but am not crazy about straight milk. I like soups, eggs and chicken, some fish, meat (rarely) etc. I drink a lot of coffee.

I cannot eat any type of seafood (I tried, it doesn’t do me bad but I don’t like it), any foods which are not clearely defined (either solid or liquid), any foods that do not look good.

13. How is your thirst: Less, Normal or Excessive?

I link water with my sense of well being. Most of the time when I don’t feel so good I drink water and feel better. During weekdays, when I work I drink less water than I should, during evenings and week-ends it is normal, if I’m not feeling too well, it might get excessive.

14. How if your hunger: Less, Normal or Excessive?

Almost no sense of hunger during the day usually. Excessive in the evenings.

15. Is there any kind of food which your body can’t stand?

Sea food

16. Is your sweat normal or less or more? Where does it sweat more: Head, Trunk or Limbs?

Less than normal. I feel my head and limbs almost never sweat. Trunk might be normal

17. How is your bowel movement and stool type?

Normal; Almost daily – I guess it might miss 1-2 days before menses

18. How well do you sleep? Do you have a particular posture of sleeping?

I sleep very profoundly and don’t hear the alarm clock in the morning. I’m usually sleeping on my right side but I could just as well sleep on the left side. I feel I will not be able to sleep at all lying on the back.

19. Do you think you are able to satisfy your sexual desires in general?


20. How do you think you are different from others, if at all?

I may be more sensitive than normal. I tend to overanalyze everything. I dislike not being right as I’m cautious and always try to do the right thing in all circumstances and related to all people I come in contact with. I like for people to like me and suffer if they don’t even in cases where I don’t like them either.

21. What medications have been taken earlier by you to treat the diseases and do you have any particular symptom surfacing after the medication?

I tried addressing the above ailments with vitamins and herbal supplements, topic creams, organic foods etc, at first. When they didn’t work I turned to homeopathy.

I first consulted a doctor who prescribed 2 months of:
- Kalium Bromatum 9C - 1 each morning
- Lachesis 9C/Mamma Tota 9C - 1 in the evening alternating days.

My acne got greatly aggravated within the first 3-4 weeks from starting the treatment. I felt shame of leaving home in that period because of the way my face looked like. In the second month it was no longer cystic acne therefore I thought it got better.
My mood aggravated in the first 3-4 days from starting the treatment. However, after that, I felt lighter and happier than usual both at work and at home.

Due to inaccessibility to this doctor I got to a different homeopath after 1.5 months especially due to the fact that any of my ailments failed to show significant improvements and I wanted confirmation that what I’m taking is right.

This time I got recommended Sepia 15C and later 30C, however he recommended a two weeks break of medication as Lachesis and Sepia don’t work together. So I had a two weeks break before starting with Sepia

Once I stopped the first treatment, all my acne issues stopped suddenly (the next day) but slowly reappeared over the next weeks. I was left with scars though. My mood was still good over the two weeks with no medication but towards the end it got closer to my usual self. It got worse with Sepia but not significant until the day I took Sepia 30C.

Additional to the crisis during the day I took the Sepia 30C, I also had a couple of hours when I couldn’t stand seeing my husband or getting comfort from him and I cried alone for 2-3 hours. This is not natural to me in the later years but, I was like that sometimes in my teens/early twenties.

22. What major diseases are running in your family?

Both grandmothers had Alzheimer before they died. This happened to them around or after the age of 90. My father dyed of cancer at 55. One of my aunts, in her 70s developed a heart disease. My mother has osteoporosis treated but she’s generally well.
Most women in my family start to have hearing problems after 50-60 years. Most men in my family died at early ages – different reasons.

23. Describe, how do you look like? Describe your overall appearance

I’m white, dark straight hair, dark eyes, skin is dark for a white person (like Mediterranean skin), 160cm’s not too thin but not fat. I have dark circles around my eyes since a very early age.


If you are not having normal menstrual cycles, please answer the following questions:

- Are the periods early, regular or late in general? How long do they last?

- It varies with no pattern between 25 and 32 days since 1 year ago. Before that they were normal. Usually 6-7 days.

- Do you suffer from any kind of physical or mental discomfort before, during or after the periods?

- pain in the back and legs. Sometimes I can feel my ovaries. No mental discomfort.

- Is the flow scanty, normal or excessive?

Excessive at first then scanty

- Is the blood thick bright red or pale watery?

Bright red first day and then pale

- Do you notice any clots in the flow?

zorbax last decade
Your constitution doesn't seem to be sepia or lachesis, to me you seem to be a pulsatilla lady.
Sepia and Puls are inimical so Puls should not be taken after Sep.
Therefore you should take a single dose of Antimonium Crud 30c to antidote Sepia.
After a gap of 2 days you should take three doses of Pulsatilla 30c at a gap of 4 hours for only one day (not daily) and report back after 15 days.

One dose means
If the medicine is in pills form 4 pills. Don't touch pills with hand. Use cap of bottle to take pills.
If the medicine is in liquid dilution form, 3-4 drops in some 20 ml water. Sip up slowly.

Please follow homeo restrictions like no coffee, no raw onion/garlic, no strong perfumes, don't eat or drink anything within 30 minutes before or after taking medicine.

Please read my posts on the breathing exercises called as Anulom Vilom Pranayam and Kapalbhati Pranayam by following the links given below. Please practise these pranayams regularly for half an hour preferably in a garden early in the morning. You may practise at any other convinient time. The only restriction that you have to follow is not to do these exercises within 4 hours after meals. You can have meals not within 15 minutes after finishing these exercises.
kadwa last decade
Hi kadwa,

Thank you so much for your patience and advice. I read through pulsatilla description and it looks like me in most aspects but not 100% (a lot more than sepia though)

Before starting with the new treatment I need to ask you if there is any risk related to taking 30C doses.

My fear is not to aggravate my current state, as since I took sepia I have long periods of sickness every day, involving the descriptions above. Is this going to ware off?

I read that pulsatilla is somewhat similar to sepia and has effects on the central nervous system etc.

Can you please help me understand the consequences and maybe how does this work?
zorbax last decade
It is just impossible to find all symptoms of any remedy in any person. If you read a MM you will find that many contrary symptoms are present in the remedy. Thatswhy we look for totality of symptoms and not total mass of symptoms.
As a thumb rule one should take remedy in low potency if the remedy is expected to act at a physiological plane like if there is tooth ache tissue salts act best in low potency. One should take remedy in high potency, when the remedy is expected to work at a dynamic plane. A dynamic plane means the remedy will stimulate the vital force and the vital force will effect the cure. Therefore indicated homeo remedies work best in 30c potency and above.
The biggest problem that people have while taking homeo remedies is that they fail to divide the things as to those happening due taking the remedy and those happening due to other factors.
Sometimes remedies are blamed for the things that they have nothing to do with.
Sepia acts for a duration of 40-50 days, so you can rest assured that all proving symptoms will cease by that time. You may do the breathing exercises till then.
kadwa last decade
It might be worth getting tested for Cuttlefish allergy. Sepia is made from Cuttlefish juice. If you are allergic to Cuttlefish, you will be allergic to couple of other food.

Usually homeopathic dosage is kept low, so that this type of reaction does not happen.

Their might be problem with medicine also: what if label says Sepia 30 and inside it is something different or not correctly made.

Good Luck.
dhundhun last decade
What dhundhun says is always interesting. But here i would like to say that there is not a single molecule of the medicinal substance present in the remedy when it is taken in the potencies 12c and above. So the point of allergy to cuttlefish may not apply. The other point that he had made can make all patients panic.
kadwa last decade
Thank you again kadwa.
My dialog with you has been really supporting for me and kept me hopeful, especially since I felt so sick the full week.

The great news is that today I felt normal again. You know, my pulse was around 110-130 throughout this week and I was very worried for obvious reasons but today it's back to normal. If my feeling is correct and this whole crisis was caused by Sepia, and today I'm better - this means that the effects started to ware off - or maybe the good part of the Sepia effect should be about to kick in now :)

I'll try the breathing exercises going forward.
I'm also very interested to work with myself and not develop a real fear of homeopathy and I'll take any encouragement you have about that.

I want to continue to read and learn about it and that's why I would be interested to know what is MM you are inviting me to read?

Thank you dhundhun for your input.

Is it possible to be a problem with the medicine (to have something else inside?). I bought it from the Pharmacy and it was produced by a well known homeo company. Do you know of cases when this happened?
zorbax last decade
It is good that you have started taking interest in reading MM. Reading a MM is more interesting and entertaining than reading a novel!! So you can read anything you like. There in one Dr. Mountson (Girilal) on this forum. He is one of the greatest sensational homeopaths of our time. He has come to the conclusion that homeopathy helps more those who prescribe than those who are prescribed !!
Pulsatilla ladies generally give a monologue and they think that they are having a dialogue!!
kadwa last decade

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Information given in this forum is given by way of exchange of views only, and those views are not necessarily those of ABC Homeopathy. It is not to be treated as a medical diagnosis or prescription, and should not be used as a substitute for a consultation with a qualified homeopath or physician. It is possible that advice given here may be dangerous, and you should make your own checks that it is safe. If symptoms persist, seek professional medical attention. Bear in mind that even minor symptoms can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and a timely diagnosis by your doctor could save your life.