Is knowledge of psychiatry really needed for homeopathic students and practitioners?
Yes. A physician sees hordes of patients, suffering from various biological and chemical ailments every day in one’s medical practice. It is important to understand that human body is a complex biochemical and emotional process. Any symptom that the body physically or pathologically exhibits is a by-product of aggrieved mind. Thus it becomes all the more necessary for homeopaths as healers to realize and then analyze this complex process of the mind.
As homeopathy is a holistic science capable of treating various shades of psychosomatic disorders, the homeopath should understand its efficacy in treating such illnesses.
The term psychiatric disorder means a mental disorder or illness that interferes with the way a person behaves, interacts with others, and functions in daily life. Psychiatric disorders are also sometimes known as mental health disorders or mental health illnesses. There are many different conditions that are recognized as Psychiatric Disorders. The more common types include:
Anxiety disorders: People with anxiety disorders respond to certain objects or situations with fear and dread, as well as with physical signs of anxiety or nervousness, such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating. An anxiety disorder is diagnosed if the person’s response is not appropriate for the situation, if the person cannot control the response, or if the anxiety interferes with normal functioning. Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.
Mood disorders: These disorders, also called affective disorders, involve persistent feelings of sadness or periods of feeling overly happy, or fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. The most common mood disorders are depression, mania, and bipolar disorder.
Psychotic disorders: Psychotic disorders involve distorted awareness and thinking. Two of the most common symptoms of psychotic disorders are hallucinations — the experience of images or sounds that are not real, such as hearing voices — and delusions, which are false beliefs that the ill person accepts as true, despite evidence to the contrary. Schizophrenia is an example of a psychotic disorder.
Eating disorders: Eating disorders involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors involving weight and food. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are the most common eating disorders.
Impulse control and addiction disorders: People with impulse control disorders are unable to resist urges, or impulses, to perform acts that could be harmful to themselves or others. Pyromania (starting fires), kleptomania (stealing), and compulsive gambling are examples of impulse control disorders. Alcohol and drugs are common objects of addictions. Often, people with these disorders become so involved with the objects of their addiction that they begin to ignore responsibilities and relationships.
Personality disorders: People with personality disorders have extreme and inflexible personality traits that are distressing to the person and/or cause problems in work, school, or social relationships. In addition, the person’s patterns of thinking and behavior significantly differ from the expectations of society and are so rigid that they interfere with the person’s normal functioning. Examples include antisocial personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, and paranoid personality disorder. These disorders typically aren’t diagnosed until an individual is a young adult, often not until their 20’s or even 30’s. Most individuals with personality disorders lead pretty normal lives and often only seek psychotherapeutic treatment during times of increased stress or social demands. Most people can relate to some or all of the personality traits listed; the difference is that it does not affect most people’s daily functioning to the same degree. Until, someone diagnosed with one of these disorders.
Personality disorders tend to be an integral part of a person, and therefore, are difficult to treat or “cure.
Homeopathy is effective in psychiatric diseases such as:
Hysteria- Depression- Anxiety disorders- Phobias- Insomnia or sleep disorders- Bipolar mood disorders- Schizophrenia- Obsessive compulsive disorders- Emotional traumas- Behavioral disorders – Social maladjustment, and disorders of personality.
There are many different conditions that are recognized as mental illnesses. The more common types include the disorders mention above.
Personality disorders: Here only the personality based illness is taken and its homeopathic treatment is given in detail:
Personality, the definition of it: The term personality refers to enduring qualities of an individual that are shown in his way of behaving in a variety of circumstance.
Features of personality can make some people more vulnerable to emotional disorders when experiencing stressful events. In people with more abnormal personalities, unusual behavior occurs even in absence of stressful events.
The treatment of psychiatric patient is more difficult when patient has a personality disorder.
Personality further is a complex pattern of deeply embedded psychological characteristics that are largely unconscious, cannot be eradicated easily, and express themselves automatically almost in every facet of functioning, intrinsic and pervasive, these traits emerge from a complicated matrix (The body substance in which tissue cells are embedded) of biological disposition and experimental learning and now compromise the individual’s distinctive pattern of perceiving, feeling, thinking, and coping.
Personality development occurs in response to a number of biological and physiological influences. These variable includes (but are not limited) heredity, temperament, experiential learning, and social interaction.
PERSONALITY TRAITS AND HOMEOPATHY
“In Homeopathy Personality traits frequently serve as keynote for identifying the therapeutic medicine in physical illness”.
Edward C Whitmont
Potentiality of Homeopathy
Homeopathy is wholly capable of satisfying the therapeutic demands of this age better than any other system or school of medicine. Hahnemann’s name is not referred to in texts on the history of psychology nor is his name recognized in psychology today. And yet, even before Hahnemann developed the homeopathic science, he made important contributions to mental health care. In the late 1700s insanity was considered the possession of demons. The insane were regarded as wild animals, and treatment was primarily punishment. Hahnemann was one of the few physicians who perceived mental illness as a disease that required humane treatment. He opposed the practice of chaining mental patients, granted respect to them, and recommended simple rest and relaxation. Although this type of care may seem obviously important, it was revolutionary at its time.
The Homeopathic Treatment in Psychological/Psychiatric Problems
Another discovery of Hahnemann: the importance of the mental symptom Hahnemann gave a lot of interest to the mental symptoms in any case of disease, and this is very unusual. A lot of what Hahnemann did was accumulating observations than other physicians had done, making a science of homeopathy and how to practice medicine. But this thing about the importance of mental symptoms, I don’t think he got it from somebody else. There is no sign of this from the literature of his time. But we all know today a well-proven thing: in the cases the mental symptoms are often the most important
This holds good to such an extent, that the state of the disposition of the patient often chiefly determines the selection of the homoeopathic remedy; as being a decidedly characteristic symptom which can least of all remain concealed from the accurately observing physician.
We shall, therefore, never be able to cure conformably to nature – that is to say, homeopathically – if we do not, in every case of disease, even in such as are acute, observe, along with the other symptoms, those relating to the changes in the state of the mind and disposition, and if we do not select, for the patient’s relief, from among the medicines a disease-force which, in addition to the similarity of its other symptoms to those of the disease, is also capable of producing a similar state of the disposition and mind.
Personality types and heart disease:
There are three types of personality recognized, viz., Types A, B, and C. Research has established a relationship between personality type and susceptibility to heart disease. People with personality type A seem to be more prone to heart disease, are typically more driven, impatient, energetic and ambitious. In contrast, people with personality type B, seem to take life more slowly, are usually more relaxed and less likely to develop heart disease.
Type B personality: A form of behavior associated with people who appear free of hostility and aggression and who lack a compulsion to meet deadlines, are not highly competitive at work or play, and have a lower risk of heart attack.
The psychology of cancer (Type C personality): Sir Peter Medawar, the great British scientist and Nobel prizewinner in immunology, was once asked what the best prescription for success against cancer might be. ‘A sanguine personality,’ he replied. The relationship between cancer and personality has been commented on for centuries, but has come to the fore only in the last 20 years with our new understanding of the link between mental attitude and the immune system. One of the gurus of this field of psycho-neuro-immunology (PNI) is US psychologist Lydia Temoshok, who has identified a set of personality traits that, she claims, predisposes people to cancer. The two main ones are difficulty in expressing emotions, and a tendency towards helplessness/hopelessness. These add up to what she calls a ‘type C’ personality. Psychologists have now identified a “type C.” (cancer-prone) personality which may be characterized as someone who responds to stress with depression and a sense of hopelessness – type C personalities have a tendency to be introverted, respectful, eager to please, conforming and compliant.
Psychological influences: Dreher (1988) reports on specific characteristic that have been associated with individuals who develop cancer. The term type C personality has been coined to describe these characteristics. Cancer has been sometimes called the “nice guy’s disease.” Dreher (1988) describes cancer-prone individuals in the following way: “They are always trying to please other people and constantly putting their own needs last. They rarely show anger and Type C person is a suppressor, a stoic, a denier of feelings. He or she has a calm, outwardly rational, and unemotional demeanor, but also a tendency to conform to the wishes of others, a lack of assertiveness, and an inclination toward feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.
Researchers who have studied these characteristics identify the following profile for the Type C personality: Extreme suppression of anger and hostility (experiences these emotions but does not express them). Exhibit calm, placid exterior. Commonly feels depressed and in despair. Low self-esteem; low self worth. Puts others’ needs before his or her own. Has a tendency towards self-pity (acts as a martyr). Sets unrealistic standards and is inflexible in the enforcement of these standards. Resents others for perceived “wrongs,” although others are never aware of these feelings.
Suggestive homeopathic remedies for type C personality tab: Homeopathic remedies can normalize a person to his personality potential, and save a person from oncoming psychopathological growths due to his personality tab. (Brief reportorial analysis for the most useful remedies. To describe the following remedies, although briefly, will be out of scope of this paper).
Mind – mild, gentle, yielding
arn. ars. borx.. cocc.. lyc.. nat-m. nit-ac.. puls. rhus-t.. sil.
Mind – anxiety – others, for
ars. aur-m-n. aur-s. bar-c. cocc. phos.. staph. sulph.
Mind – benevolence
carc.. cocc. nat-c. tung-met.
Mind – tolerant
aeth. arge-pl. arizon-l. aster. carc. caust. coff. cot. cupr. des-ac. falco-pe. glycyr-g. ign. lath. lyc. mag-c. mag-m. naja nat-ar. nat-m. staph. tritic-vg.
Mind – introverts
arn. aur. aur-m-n. carb-an. caust.. ign… ph-ac.staph.
Mind – ailments from – anger – suppressed
aur-m-n. coloc. ign. lyc. moni. nat-m.. staph.
Mind – generous; too, always a giver
kali-s. nat-m. nux-v. olib-sac. op. ruta staph. sulph.. tritic-vg. vanil.
Mind – servile
gels. lyc. m-arct. puls. sil. staph. streptoc. sulph.
Mind – comply to the wishes of others; feeling obliged to
Mind – selflessness
carc. iod. nat-c. podo. puls. rhus-t. ruta
Mind – pities herself
aur-m-n. calc. carc.. nat-sil. nit-ac. podo. puls.. staph.
Mind – confidence – want of self-confidence
aq-mar. aur-m-n. bar-c. carc. caust kali-c. kali-n. kali-p. kali-s. kali-sil. kola lac-c. lyc.. med. moni.. nat-m pall. petr. ph-ac. puls. pycnop-sa. sil. symph. tritic-vg.
Mind – weak ego
alum.. bar-act. bar-c.. calc.. con. croc lyc.. petr. pic-ac. podo. puls. rheum sil. staph. sulph.
Mind – emotions – suppressed
ign.. mag-m.. staph. tritic-vg.
Traits of Type ‘A’ Behavior Key Characteristics:
The theory describes a Type A individual as ambitious, aggressive, , controlling, highly competitive, impatient, preoccupied with his or her status, , and . People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving “workaholics” who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence.
In his 1996 book, Type A Behavior: Its Diagnosis and Treatment, Friedman suggests that Type A behavior is expressed in three major symptoms: free-floating hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents; and impatience, which causes irritation and exasperation; and a competitive drive, which causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality. The first of these symptoms is believed to be covert and therefore less observable, while the other two are more overt.
Additionally, Type A behavior often includes: Competitiveness. Strong Achievement-Orientation
Certain Physical Characteristics that Results from Stress and Type A Behavior Over Years.
The following physical characteristics often accompany TAB (Type A Behavior): Facial Tension (Tight Lips, Clenched Jaw, Etc.) Tongue Clicking or Teeth Grinding. Dark Circles under Eyes. Facial Sweating (On Forehead or Upper Lip)
Negative Affects of Type A Behavior: Over the years, the type of extra stress that most “Type A” people experience takes a toll on one’s health and lifestyle. The following are some of the negative effects that are common among those exhibiting TAB: Hypertension: High blood pressure is common among “Type A” personalities, and has been documented by research to be as much as 84% more of a risk among those with Type A characteristics. Heart Disease: predict that, for those exhibiting TAB, heart disease by age 65 is a virtual certainty.
Job Stress: “Type A” people usually find themselves in stressful, demanding jobs (and sometimes the jobs create the Type A behavior!), which lead to metabolic syndrome and other health problems.
Social Isolation: Those with TAB often alienate others, or spend too much time on work and focus too little on relationships, putting them at risk for social isolation and the increased stress that comes with it.
Suggestive homeopathic remedies for type ‘A’ personality tab: (Brief reportorial analysis for the most useful remedies)
Mind – anger,
anac. cham. hep. kali-c. kali-s. merc. nat-m. nit-ac.. nux-v. petr. sulph.. tarent. vanil.
Mind – fight, wants to, intolerant
dulc. nux-v. tarent.
Mind – aggressive, attacking.
dulc. hyos. lyss. stram. tarent.
Mind – striking
bell. cina. hyos. nux-v. tarent. tub. verat.
Mirilli’s themes – ambition (ambitious)
chin. dulc. lyc. nux-v. verat.
Mind – business – desire for
ars. carc. cere-b. con. fel ferr. lach. nat-s. sulph. tarent.
Mind – businessmen – worn-out businessmen; suited to
aur. calc. coca kali-p. nux-v. toxo-g.
Mind – punctuality, always on time
Mind – restlessness – busy
aur. bar-c.. brom.. dulc. ign. ip. kali-s. lach. mosch.. verat.
Mind – impatience
cham. cina ip. nux-v. sulph.
Mind – irritability
apis ars.. aur. bry. calc-s. cham. hep. iod.. kali-i. kali-s.. nit-ac. nux-v.. petr. staph sulph.
Mind – ambition – increased – competitive
apis arg-met. arg-n. aur. canth. carc. crot-c. crot-h. cupr. ferr. form. lach. lyc. nat-m. nux-v. sil. sulph. thres-a. verat.
Mind – tense
acon. ars.. bamb-a. carc. cocc. cortico. cupr. dulc. dys.
Mind – hostility
Mind – workaholic
aur. aur-s. bar-c. coff. tarent. tub. valer.
Mind – enemity
anac.. cic.. nat-m. nit-ac.nux-v.
Mind – extroverts
carc. phos.. sulph. tritic-vg.
Brief description of some personality type illness remedies:
Aurum metallicum (type ‘A’ personality) is indicated in high achievers who take their tasks very seriously and can be devastated by failure or humiliation, even to the point of contemplating suicide. These patients easily feel deserted by family and friends and are plagued by a deep sense of guilt. There is a sense of compression and depression throughout psyche and organism, also around the heart (angina, rheumatic heart disease, endocarditits, pericarditis, arrhythmia, hypertension, valvular heart disease, fatty degeneration of heart…). Compressive pains are also experienced in the bones, especially at night, and there is a characteristic boring and intense headache at the inner angle of the right eye. Nervousness and oversensitivity in regard to noise and confusion are further symptoms.
Kali carbonicum has a strong sense of duty, adheres to rules, and stoically works unceasingly, denying emotional needs until the body yields to the pressure. In the heart region, there may develop angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, palpitations with flushes of heat and air hunger; the chest may feel cold. There exist both, a general sensitivity to drafts and an aggravation from cold drinks when overheated (cf. Bellis perennis). Anxiety and emotional excitement are felt in the stomach region; there is the possibility of ulcer formation; sweets are craved; the upper eyelids are swollen; there is sleeplessness between 2 and 4 a.m.
Nux vomica: The typical nux vomica patient is well described by the “type ‘A’ personality”. They are impatient, competitive and ambitious. They are irritable and impatient and particularly hate waiting in lines or in traffic. They also tend to be highly sensitive to light, noise, odors and other stimulants. Nux vomica is personality-driven; sensitive; feels everything strongly; capable of hard work and diligence; receptive and intelligent. He is over civilized city dweller, over intellectual or overwrought an overworked lawyer, or book-keeper, a tyrannical clerk, precise, fussy, critical, overbearing, oversensitive, and jumpy and subject to fits of uncontrollable temper.
Sulphur: Strong, hot, fiery personality, generous in giving out energies and money. When stressed or ill may show self-aggrandizement, over-taxing his/her ability to give, become dirty, smelly, disorganized. Would rather rip off a button than deal with a challenging buttonhole. Sulphur is impatient with those around him, with the slow world that cannot keep up speed with speed and flight of his imagination. For every problem he quickly has a suggestion of what ought to be done. Could he be anything but impatient? Thus the Sulphur personality, acting as a catalyst, always feels that he must keep things and people on the move; he must always take the initiative, lest things become stagnant.
Lycopodium: High self-esteem, resilient, adaptable, can burn brightly. When stressed or ill may become detached, distrustful of extremes (intellectual or emotional), avoids confronting problems on deeper levels of relationships. A neurotic personality ensues: general apprehension, fear of breaking down under stress, melancholic depression, over sensitiveness. Egoistic and self-centered, easily offended, intolerant and quarrelsome, unable to endure opposition, haughty and domineering, mistrustful, miserly, greedy, envious. Worse from anger, vexation, and mortification.
Calcarea carbonica: A pearl, lustrous personality can be a very hard worker. Understands others, by nature a nurturer. When stressed or ill may become isolated, defensive, obstinate, insecure, lethargic, and inactive. Devoid of initiative and courage, easily cowed, weepy, fearful, apprehensive and depressed; the compensating opposite as over excitability with a tendency to spastic conditions.
Silicea: Many facets, durable, holds to principles, conscientious. When stressed or ill may lack animal warmth, cold hands and feet, lasting exhaustion from mental exertion, hard, inflexible, critical of others and self. He is well organized, but devoid of fiber, stalk or firmness. Silicea tends to be very orderly, spic and span, but shy and timid without self-confidence, often anticipating failure. They are irritable and impatient when too hard pressed, aroused or provoked.
Pulsatilla: Delightful personality, radiant, lovely in moving with the winds of events. When stressed or ill may feel blown about, changing mind, dependent on others for support. [Has innate sense of the value of human relationships and God’s plan for human society. Fairness and support are expectations, and lack of receiving these from society can be extremely distressing]. They are fickle, irresolute, impressionable, rather superficial types, always in need of support and sympathy.
Phosphorus: Radiates a captivating energy, spontaneous and calls upon her/his strong psychic sensitivity and extrasensory perception. When stressed or ill, they may lack sustained energy to carry out their plans, and their many imagined goals may dissipate and be unrealized.
Mary C Townsend, Essential of Psychiatric/Mental Health published by F A Davis Co, Philadelphia
James C Coleman Abnormal Psychology and modern Life University of California at Los Angeles
Cornelia Richarson-Boedler, Psychosomatic illness and Homeopathy, Published by B.Jain, New Delhi.
Encyclopedia Homeopathica (RADAR 10.5003).
Edward C Whitmont, Psyche and substance, published by B Jains, New Delhi.
C M Boger, A synoptic Key of The M M, published by B Jains, New Delhi.
Philip M Bailey, Homeopathic Psychology, published by B Jains, New Delhi.
Is knowledge of psychiatry really needed for homeopathic students and practitioners?