PA Homeopathy - Dr. Bernardo A. Merizalde

PA Homeopathy Blog

Dec 13, 2017

Homeopathic treatment for mental illness

In 1866, H. N. Guernsey taught psychiatry at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia, PA and cited 39 homeopathic remedies for the treatment of mental illness. Today, a homeopath looks at mental symptoms, what organs and/or segments of the body are affected, and what the patient’s pathology is to select the best remedy.

As I began explaining in my last post on Homeopathy and Psychiatry,
homeopathy has played a part in mental wellness for over 140 years. The following excerpt of mine, which originally appeared in Integrative Psychiatry—edited by Daniel A. Monti and Bernard D. Beitman and published by Oxford University Press—continues the explanation.

The Process Of Homeopathic Treatment

After the homeopath takes a complete case history, a comprehensive set of symptoms are selected based on their importance, severity, and the predomi¬nant characteristics and peculiarities that are unusual or out of the ordinary; for example, preferring cold wraps for headaches, while being chilly in the rest of the body. Such peculiarities help with the choice of one remedy over another for a patient with a particular illness. For example, if the above-mentioned chilly patient also has depression, he or she may need Phosphorus, while a depressed patient who tends to be hot may need a different remedy such as Pulsatilla.

Hahnemann used the term "constitution" to refer to those distinguishing characteristics of an individual present at birth, along with such intrinsic factors as climate, education, diet, morals, customs, and habits that will contribute to the manifestation of chronic diseases. He advised that physicians have to con¬sider a patient's physical constitution, their affective and intellectual character, lifestyle, social position, family relations, age, sexual life, and so on in order to determine the best treatment for the patient (Hahnemann, 1842). Assessment of constitution continues to be part of the homeopathic evaluation. Within this context, it is the person's particular constitution with its corresponding suscep¬tibilities that will determine responsiveness to particular remedies. By identify¬ing a person's constitutional makeup, the homeopath identifies the best-suited remedies for that patient.

Homeopathic researchers have developed a Constitutional Type Questionnaire (CTQ) that tests the validity and reliability of 20 common homeopathic constitutional, broad spectrum acting remedies in a patient population. The goal of this instrument is to help the homeopath screen indi¬viduals for provings, as well as to help select remedies for patients (Davidson, Fisher, Van Haselen, Woodbury, & Connor, 2001; Van Haselen, Cinar, Fisher, & Davidson, 2001).

One study (Bell, Baldwin, Schwartz, & Davidson, 2002) examined the association between the CTQ and scores on standardized psychological and medical measures. The scales included were the chemical intolerance index (CII) for environmental sensitivity, the NEO (Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness) personality inventory, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSD) for defensiveness, the Harvard Parental Caring Scale (HPCS) for perceived mother and father traits, the Profile of Mood State (POMS) scale, the Pannebaker Symptom Checklist (PSC), and a global health rating scale.

The majority of CTQ constitutional-type scores correlated significantly with greater neuroticism, lower MCSD defensiveness, and greater psychological dis¬tress on the POMS subscales. NEO extraversion and Openness subscales cor¬related with specific CTQ scores in directions consistent with clinical remedy pictures. They also found confirmation of traditional homeopathic views for specific remedies with scores from standardized conventional scales.

Homeopathic remedies are generally safe and nontoxic. Lower potency rem¬edies commonly are found in health food stores, usually in dilutions of 6X, 6C, and 12C. Recommended frequency of the dosage varies depending on the acuity of the symptoms: if they are acute, the remedy can be repeated every 2-4 hours; if they are moderate, every 6-8 hours; if they are mild, once per day.

It is considered that a remedy is effective if the patient improves after three to four dosages. If there is no improvement, it is an indication that a different remedy or potency may be needed.

Homeopathic training is rather involved, and it can take several years to learn the nuances of remedy selection and follow up, as well as the knowledge of the homeopathic materia medica and the repertory—the dictionary of symp¬toms with the corresponding remedies. Homeopaths use various remedies with 4 apparently different biological actions. Some induce symptoms acutely, such as Belladona, Hyosciamus, Stramonium, and Veratrum album. Other so-called slow acting remedies, like Natrum Muriaticum (Sodium Chloride), Silica, Phosphorus, or Sepia (Cuttlefish Tincture), take a longer time and repeated dosages to manifest their particular symptom picture. The selection of the remedies is always based on the totality of symptoms of the patient and consid¬ering her or his peculiar or characteristic qualities (Hahnemann, 1842/1996).

There are about 39 remedies cited by Guernsey, with their characteristic symptoms for the treatment of mental illness. Besides the mental symptoms, the characteristics of local (in what segment of the body), organic (which particular organ), and pathology are matched with the clinical pictures observed during the proving in order to select the correct remedy (Boericke, 1927; Guernsey, 1866).

The clinical picture, supposedly elicited in some published proving, is described in such a way as to resemble clinical syndromes found in conven¬tional nosology. The narrative of the proving of Aurum Metallicum (gold) reports: "hopeless, despondent and great desire to commit suicide, disgust of life, feeling of self-condemnation and utter worthlessness" (Guernsey, 1866). For more information about specific remedies, the largest reservoir of data and the main tools of any practicing homeopath are the homeopathic materia medica and the homeopathic repertory (see Homeopathic Remedies in Psychiatry Table below) (Neatby & Stonham, 1948/1987; Schroyens, 2004).

Homeopathic Remedies In Psychiatry

homeopathic remedies in psych


Bell, I. R., Baldwin, C. M., Schwartz, G. E., & Davidson, J. R. T. (2002). Homeopathic constitutional type questionnaire correlates of conventional psychological and physical health scales: Individual difference characteristics of young adults. Homeopathy, 91, 53-74.

Boericke, W. (1927). Materia medica and repertory (9th edn). Philadelphia, PA: Boericke and Runyon.

Davidson, J., Fisher, R., Van Haselen, R., Woodbury, M., & Connor, K. (2001). Do constitutional types exist? A further study using grade of membership analysis. British Homeopathic Journal, 90, 138-147.

Guernsey, H. (1866). Hysteria. Hahnemannian Monthly, i(u), 387-404.

Hahnemann, S. (1842/1996). Organon of medicine, 6th Ed. Trans. Brewster-O'Reilly, W Redmond, WA: Birdcage Books.

Neatby, E., & Stonham, T. (1948/1987). Manual of homeo-therapeutics (Indian edition). India: Jain Publishers.

Schroyens, F. (2004). Synthesis repertory (Synthesis Repertorium Homeopathicum Syntheticum), (9.1 edn). London, England: Homeopathic Book Publishers.

Van Haselen, R. A., Cinar, S., Fisher, P., & Davidson, J. R. T. (2001). The constitutional type questionnaire: Validation in a patient population of the Royal Homeopathic Hospital. British Homeopathic Journal, 90,131-137.

Recommended reading:
Homeopathic medicine and psychiatry

facebook twitter linkedin