Mental Conditions

Dr. Dewey discusses the homeopathy treatment of Mental Conditions in his bestselling book Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics….

Belladonna. [Bell]

      The three great remedies of the Solanacae family have an important action on the mental state, and are possibly more often thought of and indicated in mental affections than other remedies. Belladonna is a remedy for delirious states, and must be given where there is wildness, restlessness, and a desire to cut or tear the clothing. The patient springs out of bed and strikes those around him. He appears frightened and sees objects when he closes his eyes. Speech and actions are hasty. It thus becomes a valuable remedy in ***acute mania, in fact, the highest form of mania, with great determination of blood to the head, hyperaesthesia of the senses, wild eyes and dilated pupils. Such patients may even bark like dogs and are most violent and pugnacious. No other remedy is more frequently indicated and a frequent mistake here is to give it too low; the higher potencies act better and more promptly. ***Violence is characteristic, great noisiness, the patient sings, screams and curses. Delusions of every conceivable variety may be present, in fact, it suits well a buffoonish insanity with ridiculous actions. Butler says the **Belladonna melancholic is exceedingly depressed, fearful and subject to violent attacks of weeping.

**Opium has also a fantastical insanity.

**Cocaine has a sensation as if foreign bodies were under the skin; this is in reality a hallucination. It has also hallucinations of hearing.

Hyoscyamus. [Hyos]

      This is also a remedy in acute mania with extreme excitation of the sensorium and abnormal impulses. Talcott says that **Hyoscyamus ” paints the mental town of its victim a brilliant and luminous red and stimulates him to sing in merriest and most vociferous tones the songs of Venus and Bacchus combined.” The **Hyoscyamus patient will perhaps imagine he is pursued by some demon or that some one is trying to take his life; and he runs away from an imaginary foe. He is talkative and, like **Lachesis, constantly jumping from one subject to another. The face is only slightly flushed, not the violent congestion of **Belladonna. He may see ghosts and demons, but the mania of **Hyoscyamus is rather an acute non-inflammatory mania.

**Kali bromatum suits the acute mania of children where patient thinks he will be murdered or that people intend to strike him.

**Camphor has maniacal excitement, suicidal impulse. It is a splendid remedy in exhaustion psychoses with maniacal outbursts and vital powers at a low ebb.

The **Hyoscyamus patient acts silly and idiotic; is lascivious and lewd; throws the bed-clothes off and makes lewd and ridiculous gestures. Persists in stripping herself and uncovering the genitals. Nymphomania. It is a good remedy for the bad effects of extreme jealousy, fright, disappointed love, etc.

Nux moschata has occasional outbreaks of silly laughter and a delusion of having two heads.

There is also a condition of depression found under **Hyoscyamus with debility and prostration where questions are answered slowly or irrelevantly; there is a quick pulse, accumulation of sordes on the teeth, snoring breathing and dropping of the lower jaw. There is a great characteristic of the remedy usually present in these cases, namely, a constant picking at the bedclothes or objects in the air. There is also the great and characteristic symptoms of constant fear of being poisoned by the attendants, which Rhus also has.

**Cantharis. Here we have terrific outbursts of rage, the patient barks, and bites those around him. It is exceedingly destructive. Patient are filled with hallucinations and converse with people long dead. Such conditions are curable by **Cantharis when reflex from sexual or bladder troubles. There is an overpowering sexual excitement with this remedy and the patients are desperate and excessive masturbators and manias with this symptom corresponds to it.

Stramonium. [Stram]

      This remedy. like the two preceding members of the same family, has mania, and it is wild and most terrifying, filled with hallucinations: he sees rats, mice, snakes and other animals approaching him and he retires in terror. He is also loquacious; he becomes religious, prays, laughs, talks foolishly and tries to escape; again he becomes Satanic, and has outbursts of violence with ideas of persecution. It corresponds well to many phases of erotic mania, nymphomania, and the mania of masturbation. The keynote of its symptomatology is ***terror. There is also a mania for light and company. Hallucinations of hearings, hears music and men talking in foreign languages. The symptoms are changeable, full of joy, and then full of rage. Proud and then dull.

**Veratrum album might properly be compared with Stramonium. Here the patient may be restless and wild looking, and be violent; but with this remedy there is much physical prostration indicated by the cold surface of body, cold sweat, blue rings under eyes, etc. **Veratrum may also be well indicated in melancholia; the patient sits brooding all the time, distrusts every one. In religious melancholia, where the patient prays a great deal, is anxious about recovery, and despairs of salvation, it also has a curative action. **Lilienthal says the Veratrum patient combines the wildest vagaries of the religious enthusiast, the amorous frenzies of the nymphomaniac and the exercative passions of the infuriated demon, each struggling for the ascendency, and causing him to writhe and struggle with his mental and physical agonies.

The following is a practical resume: **Aconite, ***fear. **Stramonium, ***terror. **Belladonna, ***violence. **Cantharides, ***madness. To this also add **Veratrum, **frenzy.

Aurum metallicum. [Aur]

      Our great remedy for melancholia where there is an actual disgust for life, a longing for death and a tendency to suicide; this tendency is only mental, the patient rarely, yet sometimes, attempting it. Dr. Talcott believes that **Arsenicum oftener relieves suicidal tendencies than **Aurum.

**Arsenicum also relieves tendency to self mutilation found in such patients. There is feeling of worthlessness and despair; she thinks she has lost the affection of friends and that she is doomed to complete damnation. The memory is weak; anger or dispute makes the patient furious; there is a tendency to rush of blood to the head with these melancholic states.

**Argentum nitricum. Impulsive, always busy, errors in perception, dreads to pass a certain corner, makes mistakes as to distances.

**Glonoine. Well known streets seem strange.

Sulphur. [Sulph]

      The typical **Sulphur patient is irritable, a chronic, constitutional grumbler or else a “ragged philosopher,” life having been a failure. Its usefulness in mental conditions is extensive and it corresponds closely to religious mania or melancholia; he becomes most anxious about his own salvation, but different to that of others, an egotistic condition often seen in our asylums and sometime out of them. These patients will dress themselves up in rags and imagine that they are clad in gorgeous attire; they will wear paper crowns with the majesty of a king, prince or potentate.

**Sulphur also has a forgetfulness and patients will stop a long time to think how words are spelled.

**Aconite being an acute **Sulphur is most useful in mania and melancholia where there is a nervous excitement, fear of death, predicting the day thereof., and restlessness due to mental anxiety. It is particularly useful in sudden, and acute cases, which are worse in the evening. The patients are tortured by fears; afraid of darkness, ghosts. Convulsions of paresis may suggest **Aconite.

**Pulsatilla. Religious melancholia, despair of salvation, constant prayer, folds the hands sits like a statue; sleepless, restless and changeable mania.

Anacardium orientale. [Anac]

      A most valuable remedy in mental disease, and its guiding characteristic is the well-known sensation of having two wills, one urging him on to do what the other forbids. It is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde remedy. Another characteristic is the irritability of the patient, with an irresistible desire to swear and curse; this is not from a low moral or religious education, but from mental disease, usually a chronic mania.

**Anacardium has loss of memory, a condition for which the drug was used long before Homoeopathy established its scientific basis; again, the patient will imagine that he hears voices afar off talking to him, or he has a fixed idea that he is possessed of a devil, that he is double, or a woman will fancy that her child is not her own.

**Nitric acid. With this remedy there is a disposition to swear, the patient often imagining that she has a devil within her, that her mind and body are separate, or that her child is not her own. This remedy has also inclination to commit suicide by shooting.

**Anacardium is a remedy much used in low melancholic conditions, and its clinical record is a brilliant one. It is an excellent palliative in the dementia of old age. Butler sums up as follows: **Antimonium crudum, peevish; **Chamomilla, cross; **Belladonna, pugilistic; **Nux vomica, ugly; **Anacardium, cussed. In chronic manias it is more often curative than any other remedy.

Cimicifuga. [Cimic]

      In depressed states this is one of our best remedies. The patient is weak, depressed, “shrouded in a dark, heavy, mental atmosphere “; suspicions people and objects appear strange and unnatural, the brain feels too large. This sensation of a pall of gloom, or horrible sadness, settling over her is characteristic of the remedy. It is often expressed as a feeling as if something were about to happen, or as if they were going crazy. It thus becomes an important remedy in suicidal melancholia, melancholia of pregnancy in hysterical, rheumatic and neuralgic subjects, and especially in puerperal mania. Vision of rats and mice are sometimes seen, and the remedy has been successfully used in delirium tremens.

**Calcarea carbonica. The patient sees objects on closing the eyes which vanish when they are opened; like **Cimicifuga, it has an apprehensive state of the mind, the patient fearing she will go crazy, and that people will observe her.

**Alumina. Low spirited, apprehensive, fear of going crazy.

**Iodine. Fear of going crazy, shuns the doctor, has a dread of people, fears every occurrence will end seriously.

**Calcarea phosphorica. Dementia from masturbation in the young and senile dementia are often benefited by this remedy.

Delirium from drink or uterine troubles in rheumatic subjects will often suggest **Cimicifuga.

Natrum muriaticum. [Nat-m]

      The patient requiring this remedy is melancholic, hypochondriacal, sad and hopeless about the future, easily angered, in fact, consolation aggravates. There is emaciation and a prematurely aged look. The periodic nature of the attacks may suggest a malarial basis. Overheating in the sun as a causal indication is a prominent symptom. Patient sheds floods of tears. With this remedy there is a persistent recalling of past unpleasantnesses and grievances. His memory is poor, conversation disconnected, has hallucinations of hearing and delusions. It has awkwardness, like **Bovista, Lachesis, Aethusa, Apis, Ignatia and Nux vomica.

**Pulsatilla. Mild, gentle and tearful, seeks consolation; not introspective like Ignatia.

**Natrum carbonicum. Hypochondriacal, dependent on gastric disturbances. The patient for whom **Natrum muriaticum is suitable is apt to have unjustifiable antipathy against certain people.

Sepia. [Sep]

      Another melancholic remedy is **Sepia, which has dark forebodings about her disease, weak memory, sense of helplessness and great susceptibility to excitement, and still more to terror; despair; she dreads to be alone, wants company, but has an aversion to her own friends and is indifferent to her household affairs. It is especially useful in women with leucorrhoea and organic disease of the uterus or ovaries.

**Stannum. Low spirited in lung affections—an uncommon state; a tearful disposition; fears he will go into a decline.

**Thuja. Patient hurried; trifles make him angry; fixed idea of being brittle and will not permit anyone to approach, or that she is under the influence of mesmerists or spiritualists. Soul and body separated. Music causes weeping and trembling of feet.

Ignatia. [Ign]

      Most cases of melancholia at some period of their treatment require **Ignatia; it suits women better, while **Arsenicum and Nux vomica are more suitable to men. The **Ignatia patient is melancholic, given to sighing, with a tendency to weep. she hides her grief, is introspective, changeable and silent. It is a remedy full of disappointments, and jealousy, and is most suitable to complaints arising from fear, grief, shock, or prolonged brooding over real or imaginary troubles. They refuse sympathy, but fancy themselves neglected by friends. The patient has a disposition to brood over her sorrows, has remorse about imaginary crimes, is intolerant to noise and tends to fixed ideas. Lasciviousness is a symptom that should not be overlooked.

Phosphoric acid. [Ph-ac]

      This remedy suits conditions of long continued disquiet of the affections, the chronic and of long lasting effects of grief rather than the acute forms. A great characteristic is indifference, homesickness; is not irritable, but slow of comprehension; shows no interest in anything, a don’t care condition. Another characteristic is failure of memory.

**Picric acid is a rival of **Phosphoric acid in threatened dementia praecox, with utter prostration, burning in spine, weakness of legs, pains in back and occiput. Desire to sit still without taking interest in surrounding things.

Nux vomica. [Nux-v]

      This remedy suits overworked fidgety business men of sedentary habits; they cannot bear to be opposed, are irritable and irascible, easily put out, quick to act; those of a fitful temper and where there is a great disinclination to mental work.

In conditions of resistive melancholia and negativism where the patient resists everything done for her, with no interest in anything, offensive breath, etc., it is often productive of beneficial results. The most disagreeable of maniacs with “pure cussedness,” difficult to manage, apposed to everything, is the **Nux vomica patient. Hypochondriasis in the sedentary is met well by the remedy.

**Lycopodium has a torpor of the mind; the patient is melancholic and hypochondriacal, dependent mostly on digestive and hepatic troubles.

The **Nux patient is oversensitive; every harmless word offends and every little noise frightens. They are anxious and “besides themselves.”.

Cannabis Indica. [Cann-i]

      This remedy produces marvellous kaleidoscopic visions and illusions as to time and space; a minute seems thousands of years, and a thing a short distance off seems yards away. He imagines he is swelling and his body is becoming large, that he hears numberless bells ringing; a multitude of images crowd the brain and he feels as if he were somebody else. Voices come from a great distance and seem to enchant him.

Lachesis. [Lach]

      The snake poisons all have poisoned minds. With **Lachesis there is great loquacity, the patient jumping from one subject to another; jealous, fear of being poisoned and refuses both medicine and food. Has to think how words are spelled. Muttering delirium, with dropping of the lower jaw and illusions, such as imagining that he is under some superhuman control or that he is dead. Melancholia at change of life. Delusion that he is persecuted, worse after sleeping Neurasthenia.

Agaricus. [Agar]

      A menacing frenzy causing patient to assail himself and other. Incoherent talking, delusions of power and personal importance; a tremulousness is often present which terrifies the patient. Mania complicated by chorea.

Platinum. [Plat]

      The proud, egotistical mental state of this remedy is too well known for comment. The patient has illusions, everything is inferior to her in body and mind, and she looks down on everybody with contempt. Objects look smaller or strange, there is indifference, everything seems too narrow. There is a great dread of death which seems near. It is a useful remedy in hysterical mania, where things seem horrible, and all serious thoughts are displeasing.

**Palladium. Music excites, constantly getting slighted, is easily offended and scolds continually.

Women with tendency to nymphomania and excitement of the genitalia indicate well **Platinum.

Baptisia. [Bapt]

      This remedy is seldom used in mental affections, its field being confined to typhoid conditions, where it is indicated by a wandering of the mind; he is restless and disturbed; he cannot sleep, and he thinks he is double and scattered about, and he must move to get his pieces together again. These are the mental characteristics of **Baptisia, and together with the weakness and other symptoms of typhoid indicate it in that disease. In dangerous forms of melancholia with stupor assuming a typhoid condition there is no better remedy.

Chamomilla. [Cham]

      This remedy is of great use in diseases of the mind where there is over-sensitiveness and a snappish irritability. Children and adults also, that are especially sensitive to pain, snappish, short and cannot be civil, consequence of anger.

**Staphisagria. Trouble from anger, pride and envy.

**Colocynth. Colic from anger.

**Bryonia. Gastro-enteric symptoms from anger, apathetic, irritable, obstinate and passionate.

Arsenicum. [Ars]

      Useful for the depressed delirious, fear of death, fear of being alone, with strong suicidal tendencies. See ghosts and vermin, crawling on bed. It relieves the tendency in the insane to the mutilation of the body, picking at the skin until sore, chewing finger nails, etc. Exhaustive insanity and acute delirious mania with typhoid symptoms and rapid exhaustion. Acute melancholia and especially melancholia agitata come within the province of **Arsenicum. Restlessness, thirst, physical exhaustion and midnight aggravation.

**Silicea. With this remedy there is an erethism combined with the exhaustion.

W.A. Dewey
Dewey, Willis A. (Willis Alonzo), 1858-1938.
Professor of Materia Medica in the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical College. Member of American Institute of Homeopathy. In addition to his editoral work he authored or collaborated on: Boericke and Dewey's Twelve Tissue Remedies, Essentials of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Essentials of Homeopathic Therapeutics and Practical Homeopathic Therapeutics.