Throughout all the discussions and media attacks on homoeopathy during the last few years, one thing is never mentioned and that is the extraordinary effectiveness of homoeopathic medicines to treat symptoms relating to psychological problems. These include emotional states such as grief, fright, anguish, anger, indignation, guilt, remorse, disappointed love, homesickness, jealousy.
So often on taking down a detailed case history these states can be traced back to some life changing event, something a person never fully got over or recovered from. They may stem from an unhappy childhood, a broken family or a traumatic experience.
Emotional problems frequently relate to an unhappy marriage or a difficult partner, divorce, death of a child, parent or loved one. Depression can be caused by a host of reasons. Maybe it was the result of a failure in the mind of the patient, or betrayal by a husband or wife leaving them for someone else. Panic attacks often date back to a terrible shock or fright.
A causation can nearly always be found for every negative mental or emotional state but the homoeopathic practitioner must individualize the case to find the curative remedy in the Homoeopathic Repertory and Materia Medica.
Take for example Anticipatory Anxiety. There are 72 homoeopathic medicines listed under the rubric ‘Ailments from Anticipatory Anxiety’ (i.e. shaking, sweating, rushing to the loo, stammering, etc.) In order to ascertain exactly the correct one for the patient, not only does the homoeopath have to find out the way the person behaves but more importantly, precisely which situation triggers the anxiety.
It could be fear of being late for an appointment creating this state in which case one would have to look in the Repertory under: ‘Anxiety – anticipation from – an engagement’ which show the main remedies to be Argentum Nitricum, Arsenicum, Gelsemium, Lycopodium, Medorrhinum. But each one would be anxious in a different way for a different reason! Each remedy has a whole picture which fits a certain type of person or state and this must be individually matched to the patient.
It could be Anticipatory Anxiety before an exam (Aethusa, Carcinosin, Cuprum, Gelsemium, Silica, Thuja) or maybe before giving a speech or talk in front of an audience or perhaps an actor or singer about to go on stage (Coca, Gelsemium, Ignatia, Kali Phos, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Phosph. Acid). Then again it could be anticipatory anxiety before going to the dentist or doctor (Phosphorus, Stramonium).
This gives some idea about how precise the homoeopathic prescription must be to heal and clear negative fears and emotions we all feel but in serious conditions can become chronic states that can last a lifetime if left untreated. Over time, a negative state of mind will affect the body and eventually cause physical problems.
For serious mental and emotional conditions, psychiatrists are happy to dole out tranquillizers and antidepressants. These do not treat the root cause of the problem but merely put a lid on them where they are forever festering beneath.
As long ago as the 5th century BC, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said there were two laws of healing — the Law of Opposites (orthodox medicine) and the Law of Similars (Homoeopathy).
Many people think homoeopathy is not scientific. Yet the healing properties of every homoeopathic medicine are collated during what is known as a Proving. With every new medicine to be tested, a number of healthy people (Provers) are given the 30c potency and told to keep taking it until they start developing symptoms. They must record all these symptoms meticulously which will go into a database. Symptoms that are experienced by all the Provers are noted as being the main symptoms of the remedy in the Proving. Finally these are written up in the Materia Medica under the new remedy and then it can be given to a person who is ill suffering from these same symptoms. All of the knowledge about a particular substance is elicited during the Provings.
The materia medica lists homoeopathic medicines alphabetically. It describes all symptoms — mental, emotional physical — for each one. Different personality types go together with different remedies. For example Calcarea Carbonica types tend to be overweight, blond and timid. Pulsatilla types are also blonds, clingey, shy and tearful. Phosphorus people can be dark, redhaired or fair and are excitable and dreamy. Lycopodiums are bossy and intellectual.
The homoeopath records a full picture of the patient taking down the details of his/her mental, emotional and physical symptoms and then finding the homoeopathic medicine that most closely fits. In a large material dose, this medicine would create the symptoms which need to be cured, but a small potentized dose will simply stimulate a healing reaction, enabling the mind/body to come back into Balance.
What are the most common states we see in our Society today? Anger, depression, fear, anxiety, jealousy, blame and guilt.
Anger – there are hundreds of homoeopathic medicines for this and it is necessary to discover exactly what makes the patient angry in order to find the correct homoeopathic medicine.
Depression – Again, what Caused the depression? The remedy must be found that fits the causation as well as the way the depression is manifesting. Maybe it was a number of things but can be one main thing that needs to be addressed. Each homoeopathic medicine relates to different types of people and different causations. Fear and Anxiety have many causes.
Grief is common in our world for many reasons. One of the main grief remedies is Natrum Muriaticum given to people who internalize their grief, can become bitter and do not want to discuss it. Ignatia is more for the acute stage of grief, the person who slams the door, cries hysterically and tells everyone to leave them alone. There is Phosphoric Acid for grief where the person becomes progressively exhausted to the point where they become indifferent to everything around them. The remedy Staphysagria is also for grief and nearly always in relation to disappointed love and they are usually indignant types. Phosphorus is also a grief remedy and it’s used for very sympathetic people who are much more open to talking about their problems.
Again this is only 5 out of at least 70 remedies listed under Grief! The whole state of mind/emotions and body must be recorded in order to find the remedy that most closely fits all the symptoms.
Turning to jealousy, there are over 30 remedies listed in the homoeopathic repertory, under this symptom (or ‘rubric’). The main ones are Lachesis, a competitive, ambitious and very talkative type; Hyoscyamus, the suspicious and obsessive type of person and Nux Vomica, an ambitious, efficient and fiery type.
People who blame and hold grudges can become sick with all manner of complaints including gall stones and heart conditions. This is a state of mind frequently found nowadays. The main homoeopathic remedy for those who are severely bitter and even revengeful is Nitric Acid. There are about 40 remedies listed but again it is necessary to find the individualized remedy.
The choice of remedy to be taken in any of the above states should only be given by an experienced and qualified homoeopathic practitioner. Reading a self help book or thumbing through the literature in the health shop is unlikely to help you find the homoeopathic medicine to cure you. There are in fact 4,000 homoeopathic medicines, although about 100 are most commonly used (known as Polycrests).
Only homoeopathic pharmacies and practitioners stock the higher potencies such as the 200c, 1000c (1M) or 10,000 (10M) potencies which tend to be used to treat mental and emotional states.
Decisions are made by the homoeopathic practitioner about how long your remedy/potency is likely to work and when you need to come back. High potencies can work for months before another consultation is necessary, making homoeopathy good value for money. The homoeopath will also be likely to see other remedies you are going to need further on in the treatment. There is a clear methodology to be adhered to for a complete cure. Very often people can slowly be weaned off their pharmaceutical drugs as cure progresses but it is easier to treat them if they are not taking any drugs at all.
This essay is a very simple introduction to the use of homoeopathic medicine for psychological disorders and was written to show that there really is another choice than an addiction to anti-depressants and tranquillizers and a genuinely better way for people who want to avoid them.
Copyright © Louise Mclean 2008
Editor, Zeus Information Service