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.

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.