Place of residence: Russia
Relationship status: divorced twice, two adult children
Profession: Owner of a company (Management relinquished, involved in the background)
Upon her entry to the CALDA Clinic, Natalija complains about concentration difficulties and circles of thoughts. She feels alone and longs for a new happy relationship. She is afraid of getting older and of loneliness. Natalija seems pensive and serious. She experiences her life as a constant battle which takes too much energy from her and runs away from herself and others. If she feels depressive, she withdraws for weeks at a time, just lying in bed and watching television. She lacks a daily routine. Natalija does not want to show any weaknesses and is very strict with herself.
An advance diagnosis of depression is determined with her. She does not yet, however, agree with it. She believes she has an anxiety disorder. The anxiety, accompanied by sweating, always occurs in the morning, even before waking up, but also when she sleeps during the day. Her stomach feels as if she is sitting on a swing. When her daughter had to undergo a tumour operation one year ago, headaches, dizziness and the feeling of sand trickling over her head start. Her General Practitioner prescribes Natalija with hydroxyzine and paroxetine. She reacts to the independent abrupt withdrawal of hydroxyzine with a paralysing feeling in her legs. To combat the anxiety, she smokes and drinks a lot of coffee. Difficulties staying asleep with early morning waking are joined by difficulties getting to sleep.
Natalija has a life full of losses behind her. Her first marriage was unhappy. Her son was born with a severe disability. He is care-dependent. Ten years ago, Natalija got a divorce. Two years later, she lost her father to cancer, as well as her new partner to a car crash within a short period of time. Natalija is inundated with guilt: she conceals the seriousness of her father’s diagnosis from him, she has an argument with her boyfriend on the evening of the fatal accident.
The fears begin after a bad court dispute with her ex-husband. Several years later, Natalija gets married again and gets an abortion several times without her husband knowing. She describes this as extremely traumatic. The depression becomes stronger and she is tortured by feelings of guilt again. She also divorces her second husband. For years, Natalija has worked with disabled people and founded an institution where her son also lives. There, she volunteers several hours a week. This activity gives her a life mission and helps her to accept this tough fate.
Objectives and Diagnosis
Natalija comes to the CALDA Clinic due to diffuse fears, sleep disorders and the desire to give up her antidepressants and her sleeping medication. One month ago, she succeeded in quitting smoking.
Internally, the aetiology of the dizziness complaints from Natalija remain unclear. A psychosomatic component is assumed. Nothing further can be determined except a premenstrual symptom. Mentally, the diagnoses of adaptation disorder are mixed with fear and depressive reaction, a burnout syndrome, a post-traumatic stress disorder including a persistent complicit sadness and dependent personality traits. On the part of orthomolecular medicine, a dyslipidaemia with increased cholesterol, increased inflammatory and oxidative stress and a weakness in the adrenal glands can be found. Serotonin and vitamins B2, B6, B12 and D3 are deficient. The hair mineral analysis reveals chronic acidification.
Our team of experts develops the following therapy plan for Natalija after carefully checking all results:
Paroxetine is gradually phased out, parallel to this, an anti-depressive and anxiety-relieving support through micronutrients takes place. Learning relaxation techniques reduces inner unrest, while stress management and social competence training support self-assuredness. A trauma therapy is mandatory for numerous trauma and the heavy feelings of guilt. To reduce the diffuse fears, depression and improve sleeping quality, neurofeedback and alpha stimulation are indicated. Yoga, dance and movement therapy promote body awareness and mindfulness. At her request, Natalija receives English lessons. To support the regeneration of her adrenal glands, morning activities in the outdoors are planned. Relaxing interventions are generally planned in the afternoon and evening.
Progression of Therapy
At the beginning of the therapy, relaxation techniques and initial trauma-therapeutic approaches are conveyed. Right from the beginning, Natalija is open to our holistic concept and motivated. She is weaned off the anti-depressants without any complications thanks to the orthomolecular supplementation. Even her sleep quality rapidly improves. Special care is given to weight management, as quitting smoking has led to putting on three kilograms of body weight. Regular workouts and an adapted dietary plan allow for gradual and regular weight loss. The blood fats, serotonin level and vitamin B values become normalised.
Natalija develops a morning ritual with a forest walk and meditation, which essentially helps her to overcome the non-specific fears and worries. She seems increasingly more peaceful and emotionally balanced, gains energy and vitality. A trustful therapeutic relationship is formed in a short period of time. The morning anxiety attacks subside and finally completely disappear.
In the intensive trauma therapy, Natalija faces the difficult feelings of despair, loneliness and guilt and feels significantly more relieved. The complicit grief with unresolved feelings of guilt resulting from the accidental death of her beloved partner after an argument is processed with mourning work, EMDR and clinical hypnosis. This central thematic cannot be completed in the short time of the five-week stay and is continued at a later point in time. We can, however, achieve an enormous relief and alleviation in this primary phase.
Conclusion and Continuation of Treatment
Control is very important for Natalija. She wants to determine which team members can work with her and which cannot. Any primarily unforeseen changes are very difficult. This need for control with inner insecurity is made a subject of discussion. Natalija feels very lonely in her life and longs for a partner. She has never lived alone before. She has to learn how to do so by first finding a way to herself and in a second step, finding a way out of her tendencies towards dependency. By perceiving her own needs and wishes, resource activation and mindfulness, Natalija experiences deep satisfaction and can implement her newly gained energy purposefully.
For the transfer to the everyday, it is helpful to stick with morning rituals such as yoga or meditation, to start the day reinforced and find her inner centre. Natalija has a strong connection with nature. The involvement in the care of her intellectually disabled son is an important source of power. However, Natalija should develop other resources that boost her feeling of self-worth and make her everyday more life more lively. Visiting self-help groups for grief sufferers could be one way of working further on feelings of guilt and fears of loss. Growing out of dependency in a self-determining and independent future still needs time. The adapted micronutrient mixture with an additional vitamin D3 substitution is carried out for at least six months and then checked.