DISEASES OF THE MIND


The delusions from which patients are pat to suffer are past counting. Some see ghosts, others see spiders or rats. Some find that all objects look very tall, others that they look very small. Some feel sure that they are being poisoned, that people are laughing at them, others are sure that they are in their grave, or that something terrible is going to happen, etc. For those afflicted with a fear complex, Scutellaria will prove most useful.


THE anatomist does not know the mind because its existence cannot be shown by dissection. Orthodox medicine speaks of disease of the brain, but the brain of a patient whose mind has been deeply affected might be absolutely normal from the point of view of the anatomist, the pathologist and the brain specialist.

The mind is an intangible entity which is scarcely considered by orthodox medicine. It is of very great importance. The brain may have been affected by an blow, by a malformation, by a tumour, by tuberculosis, syphilis and numerous other circumstances. The mind may act on the brain and on the body as a whole through brain and nerves, and may act very powerfully.

If an employee in a bank has forget book entries for his personal profit, or if a business man has made a false balance sheet or made misleading statements to the income tax authorities for his own ends, he may in due course begin to fear that he will be found out, and be dishonoured and punished. The fear of consequences may prey on his mind. He may become nervous, complain about sleeplessness and indigestion, he may fall off in weight, become anaemic or jaundiced, and eventually he well be urged to consult a doctor or a specialist.

Doctors and specialists may examine such an individual most once conscientiously and most ably, but they may not find any physical cause for his obvious suffering, and eventually they may tell the individual that his sufferings are not organic, or that his troubles are purely nervous, or that they are imaginary, and he may be told to pull himself together, or to take a rest or go in for some healthful sport, etc.

What are called diseases of the nerves or diseases of the brain are very frequently diseases of the mind. A woman may decline in health because she desires children and has none, or because she lives in the fear that her husband may be unfaithful to her, or that she is going to lose her good looks, or she may be ailing because she is not a social success, etc.

Orthodox medicine delights in classifying diseases and disorders. In the orthodox text-books we find the various aberrations of the mind from which people suffer, classified under numerous headings, and those who are guided by the orthodox text-books endeavour to classify and label every case which comes before them, and then they endeavour to treat the case in accordance with the recommendations contained in the standard literature on the subject. Unfortunately the text-books offer poor guidance.

They suggest bromide and luminal for the nervous and the restless, they suggest even stronger poisons for other defects and disorders. The dopes recommended will keep the individual fairly quiet, but they will not cure the obvious disease.

It is extremely difficult to deal with diseases of the mind. Some people suffer from delusions, others are morose, deeply depressed, suicidal or almost suicidal. There are men and women who are so weak that they can scarcely undertake the most trivial tasks such as writing a letter or keeping their bodies in fair condition. There are those who sit in a corner and stare into space or on the floor, and refuse to talk. There are those who chatter incessantly.

There are old men and women who tell you the same story half a dozen times within an hour. The busy general practitioner or specialist, when he sees any of these cases, especially if they are chronic cases, is apt to shake his head and to say that nothing can be done except making the individual a little more comfortable, and the treatment is often more dangerous than the disease.

In diseases of the mind the practitioner should either decline the case or he should be determined to be thorough and painstaking in the hope of producing a cure. If he wishes to do the latter, then he must start by enquiring carefully, tactfully and thoroughly into the causation of the trouble.

He may discover that the trouble was due to a heavy fall or blow, and if the practitioner knows anything about Homoeopathy, he will immediately think of Arnica, which is a princely remedy for such emergencies. Arnica is apt to cure injuries done before, during or after birth, it is equally good for injuries to the muscles and to the nerves, to the body and to the mind.

If the injury occurred many years ago, then Arnica is given in a high potency, let us say the 30th potency or the 200th. The latter is a favorite prescription of mine. There are, of course, many other injury medicines, among, is perhaps mare suitable for injuries to the body than injuries to the mind. An injury may hurt bones and muscles, but it may also hurt the nerves.

In nerve injuries Hypericum is particularly valuable. Many diseases of the mind or of the brain are caused by a fall producing a lesion of the spinal column. A fall on the tail-bone is particularly dangerous because it produces a concussion along the signal column and it is apt to affect the organs of the body, the brain, of which the spinal marrow is an extension, and the organs which are activated by the nerves springing from the spinal narrow.

One must carefully enquire into the history and inheritance of patients whose minds have become affected. Syphilis is a most important factor. It may be acquired, or it may have been inherited by the patient. Therefore the practitioner should make his own test with a few doses of Syphilinum, let us say in the 200th potency given once a week or so. Usually the first dose shows clearly whether Syphilis should be seriously considered as a factor.

In a serious cases on must carefully discuss the position not only with the patient, but also the patients relatives, who may be able to throw a powerful light upon the cause. An unhappy home, desire for children or fear of children, and innumerable other factors have to be considered. The practitioner must forget that he is a practitioner, and he must act as a detectives if he wishes to cure.

Every disease from which the patient has suffered in the past must be taken under review. The patients mind may have been upset by a bad measles attack, or by an apparently slight measles attack which was considered to be slight because there was not a sufficient eruption. Vaccination is apt to upset not only the body, but also the mind. Skin disease is an endeavour of Nature to eliminate poisons from the body by way of the skin. Suppression of skin disease by outward treatment has created innumerable cases of disease of every kind, including insanity.

More than two thousand years ago Hippocrates drew attention to the fact that insane may frequently be restored to normal health by the free use of powerful purgatives. Constipation and auto- intoxication undoubtedly lead to disorders of the mind. Everyone suffering from constipation is apt to bet troubled with headaches and depression. If depression has become deep-seated permanent, then it is called Melancholia.

The vast majority of cases of Melancholia are due to selfpoisoning, which, as a rule, comes front the bowel. If taken in time, practically all melancholics can be restored to normality, or something like normality, by judicious regulation of the intestines, and I think dietetic regulation is infinitely better than regulation by the use of purgatives.

Mental power depends largely on physical health, and physical health depends largely on nutrition. If one goes through an Indian village after a good harvest, one finds that the people are contented and smiling. A year after when one goes through the same village, and if there has been a bad harvest or starvation, one finds that a large number of the inhabitant have become mentally abnormal.

One can produce mental abnormality in animals by starving them. Once can also produce mental abnormality in animals by giving them enough to eat, but by feeding them on demineralized and devitaminized foods with an inadequate proportion of vitamins, become diseased in body and diseased in mind. Hundreds of experiments on unfortunate laboratory animals have yielded this result.

The practitioner who wishes to cure must not only study the patients health history and inheritance,his injuries, his complaints and worries, may of which he may wish to hide, but he must also study the diet of the patient, and he should, before all, order a diet composed of the most natural non-putrefactive foodstuffs in their most natural condition.

Homoeopathy has a great wealth of medicines which act on the mind. The irritable can be greatly relieved by Nux vomica. Those who are irritable and at the same time unreasonable will be greatly benefited by Chamomilla, especially if irritability is coupled with desire for movement and hyper-sensitiveness to pain. A child who yells and demands her doll from the nurse, and throws it at the nurse when doll has been handed to her, who shrieks and yells and demands to be carried, may be cured of he tantrums with a very few doses of Chamomilla 3x.

For depression of the ordinary type, Ignatia 3x is extremely valuable, particularly if the patient sighs a great deal, and does not wish to talk. That remedy is also excellent in hysteria. It will rapidly cure those women who complain that they have the feeling of a ball rising from the stomach to the throat which compels them to swallow all the time, yet they cannot swallow down the ball.

Some of the patients are not merely depressed, but they are suicidal. In deepest depression, Aurum (Gold) is most helpful, particularly if the depression, Aurum deepest at night. Incidentally every patient who suffers much more at night than in the daytime should be suspected of Syphilis, acquired or inherited, for syphilitics suffer most at night time. No one can tell why this should be the case, but the fact is unchallengeable.

A great medicine for those who are restless is Arsenicum. The ARsenicum patient is, as a rule, spare of build, active, ultra- tidy, and is unable to sit still or lie still. Body and mind are never at rest. The Arsenicum patient loves heat, desires hot foot, hot drink. Very frequently Arsenicum patients are money mean or miserly.

In cases of extreme restlessness one should think of Tarentula. A Tarentula patient not only cannot keep still, but his movements are extremely jerky and rapid. Onlookers cannot understand how the patient can keep it up. A child was brought to me. She was a charming girl but she jumped about like a doll on a rapidly pulled string. She did not jump about pleasure, but aimlessly and jerkily.

Night and day she displayed the utmost restlessness, to the despair of those around her. I sent first a few doses of Arsenicum 6x which did a little good. I then gave Tarentula 200, and a few doses changed the character of the child completely. It appears that the bite of the Tarentula Spider produces similar symptoms. This is in accordance with the principle that like cures like.

There are cases of apparent mental decay. There are patients who are slow in answering question, they have lost their memory, they have lost their will power, they do not feel suicidal, but they are weary of life, they do not trust anyone, and they tell everyone that they are afraid they will lose their reason. People who are going to lose their reason never say so.

Being aware that their reasoning power is disappearing, they try to hide the fact from those around them. Those who display the characteristics mentioned may be greatly benefited by Mercurius, especially if there are other Mercurius symptoms such as hypersensitiveness to changes in the weather and temperature. Mercurius patients are as sensitive as Mercury in a barometer.

Besides, Mercurius patients usually are thin, have evil smelling breath, a mouth very wet with saliva, they are apt to perspire heavily, and perspiration does not relieve them.

Much mental suffering and anguish are caused by sex factors among men, and especially among women. Love disappointments have frequently produced disorders of the mind. After all, sexual passion is the strongest passion we know, and if that passion is foiled, grave consequences may ensue. The change of life occasionally produces extremely serious mind symptoms in women, and similar, but lesser, symptoms may occur at every menstrual period.

There are women who are perfectly normal except before, during or after the menstrual period, when then may become mentally totally abnormal. There are women who, every month, are tearful, terribly depressed, morose, violent, incredibly excited, etc. Grave mental disease following the change of life is often favourably influenced by Lachesis, the well-known serpent poison, which I give as a rule in the 30th or 200th potency, preferably the latter.

Some women become sexually highly excited either at the monthly period or about the change of life. Not a few women lose their reason after the change. One of the best medicines for climacteric insanity is Lachesis, the serpent poison, which, as I have said, I usually give in the 30th or the 200th potency.

There are many minor symptoms which are described as purely nervous, and which are treated as incurably by orthodox practitioners. There are men and women who cannot keep their feet still. They fidget even in their sleep. Zincum 3 will act as a specific and their restless feet will become normal, even if they have been restless for decades. Those who are oversexed may find great benefit if they are given Onosmodium, and particularly Hyoscyamus.

The sedatives given by orthodox medicine are dangerously strong and dangerously poisonous. As sedatives one can give Chamomilla, Valerian, Ignatia and various other medicines. One has to make ones selection by studying the Materia Medica. Somnambulism is a curious condition of the mind which causes people to walk about in their sleep. That condition can, as a rule, be cured with homoeopathic medicines, among which phosphorus 3 a Opium 30 are perhaps foremost.

Those who have been weakened by sexual excesses should be given phosphorus 3 or diluted phosphoric acid, then drops in water after meals, and those who are shameless will be greatly benefited by a few doses of Hyoscyamus.

Those who are extremely sensitive and weak are apt to do well when given Theridion 30 or Selenium 6,30 or 200. The mentally afflicted who are benefited by music should be given Tarentula, particularly if they have the restlessness associated with that medicine. Haughty people will do well in innumerable cases with Platinum, People suffering from religious mania should be given Sulphur or Psorinum, or both Sulphur and Psorinum, and the result will surprise the prescriber.

The delusions from which patients are pat to suffer are past counting. Some see ghosts, others see spiders or rats. Some find that all objects look very tall, others that they look very small. Some feel sure that they are being poisoned, that people are laughing at them, others are sure that they are in their grave, or that something terrible is going to happen, etc. For those afflicted with a fear complex, Scutellaria will prove most useful.

Of course, only an inadequate outline can be given, but the few facts mentioned may help prescribers, and the information supplied may induce readers to study the subject adequately with the help of the Materia Medica, and of the great repertories of symptoms.

I have found diseases of the mind as curable as diseases of the body. Perhaps I have been very fortunate; perhaps it is due to the fact that I have unending patience and perseverance, and that people are apt to give me their confidence. In diseases of the mind it is particularly important that patients should trust the individual who wished to treat them. Scientific examination if of little value compared with the establishment of perfect sympathy between the healer who wishes to cure and the patient who wishes to be cured.

J. Ellis Barker
James Ellis Barker 1870 – 1948 was a Jewish German lay homeopath, born in Cologne in Germany. He settled in Britain to become the editor of The Homeopathic World in 1931 (which he later renamed as Heal Thyself) for sixteen years, and he wrote a great deal about homeopathy during this time.

James Ellis Barker wrote a very large number of books, both under the name James Ellis Barker and under his real German name Otto Julius Eltzbacher, The Truth about Homœopathy; Rough Notes on Remedies with William Murray; Chronic Constipation; The Story of My Eyes; Miracles Of Healing and How They are Done; Good Health and Happiness; New Lives for Old: How to Cure the Incurable; My Testament of Healing; Cancer, the Surgeon and the Researcher; Cancer, how it is Caused, how it Can be Prevented with a foreward by William Arbuthnot Lane; Cancer and the Black Man etc.