Baltimore Homeopathic Study Group

Homeopathy for Mental Health Problems

In conventional medicine there is a disturbing trend to characterize unhappiness as a disease. Unhappiness was taken out of the realm of psychiatry and put in the realm of the general physician. In conventional medicine there is no attempt to cure the problem. only to make people happy despite their problem by drugging them. Though drugs can be life saving, this is a disturbing trend.

In homeopathy we try to get the life story and see how it has affected the person. We look at the whole person. There is no distinction made between physical, emotional, and mental health. They are all linked. In homeopathy you look at the whole picture.

There are differences in case taking when treating mental illness. You need to be able to set aside your biases and be non-critical and non-judgmental. You need to treat the patient with respect. There is often a reluctance to talk about emotional problems. I call this the "finger problem." Patients come in complaining of a problem with their finger, where the problem is really emotional.

It's important to watch the patient's gestures. When the gesturing occurs, you are seeing a deeper level of the case. Sometimes the pace or volume of what they discuss change. Often the hand gestures don't match what the patient is saying. Another clue is misattribution of symptoms. They will say this is the problem because of these things. For example, last Friday a guy came in for asthma. When described his symptoms he described constriction in his breathing when seeing dirt or fiberglass. I asked him what the worst case was.. He said when he saw dust scintillating through a window. Obviously he had a problem with dirt and uncleanliness. Sometimes people will talk about significant problem in the past and then they discount it.

When people are uncomfortable talking about mental and emotional symptoms, you need to create a safe space. One way to do this is to ask about the effect of the trauma on someone else. What they will describe are actually the patient's symptoms. They can't know how another person feels and they project their own feelings on them.

Another symptom of emotional problems is an exercise addiction. When I hear of people running marathons, that's a symptom. It's the same thing when they meditate every day. I had a guy in his late fifties who ran five marathons every year. It started after his father died of a heart attack.

Many patients find it easier to come in for a physical problem.

When people state over and over that they are very healthy, there's something hidden there. I go back and forth asking about physical and mental problems. Sometimes the energy of the patient's description will lag. Often the patient pauses and what the patient says next is significant. Posture is also a significant symptom. I look at the handwriting on the patient intake form and how are they seated in the waiting room. What is the eye contact? Most communication is non-verbal. This is even more so with mental and emotional cases.

What is happening now with this unhappiness disease is a terrible thing. No one wants to change their life or admit they are pursuing an empty dream. Happiness is natural. When you are unhappy that is a roadblock. I feel all problems are due to a disturbance of the vital force, but sometimes I cannot help people. One lady claimed I had poisoned her with the homeopathic remedy.

Here are two cases. A 75 year old woman complained of arthritis, poor balance, and a runny nose. She said she had problems with restless, legs, falling asleep when driving, and fluid in her left ankle, which she called "Milroy's syndrome." She had severe left shin pain that cause her legs to buckle. She could not climb up the steps of a bus. She said, "I have a reputation for being a nasty person. I have a wicked older sister that always make me look bad. I have trouble forgiving people." I gave her a dose of a remedy. The cramping and pain in the leg sinus problems went away, as did the arthritis. I take this as a case of a mental problem because I take nerve symptoms as mental symptoms.

I saw a six year old boy whose chief complaint was motor and vocal tics. He was worse after several physical injuries. He fell out the top bunk of his bed and broke his collar bone. Then he was hit in the face with a horse shoe. His left eye blinked. During the interview he made an arm motion with his arm and got up and spin. When the tics were worse he was constipated with lumpy stools. He was afraid of bugs, "but only the ugly ones." He liked to drink ice cold water. He was worse from haircuts. When he got puncture wounds they took a long time to heal. The ears were red. He was worse in the heat. I gave a remedy. Afterwards he dreamt that the house was on fire and zombies were in the basement. The symptoms worsened, especially at night. I went up to a higher potency. He developed an interest ins sharks and piranhas. I was dissatisfied with this remedy and switched to another based on the stool symptoms and the new remedy resolved the case.

Paul Faust
Baltimore Homeopathic Study Group
March 5, 2007