Hahnemann as Psychiater


Hahnemann devoted the first week to observation only, without giving any medical treatment to his patient. While the old school physicians could not cure Klockenbring, Hahnemann succeeded in giving him back his health. Hahnemann had given up all his time and energies to this one patient….


SUPPLEMENT.21

HISTORY OF THE PERIOD PRECEDING THE GEORGENTHAL MENTAL HOME

IN the “Anzeiger,” a daily paper “for the use of the Law administrators, constabulary and all Civic professions, as also for the free and mutual entertainment of the reader on all kinds of useful subjects,” of March 8th, 1792, appeared an appeal signed by R.Z.Becker, editor of the paper, which read as follows:

Proposal for a much needed relief Institution for Mental Patients of the better classes.

Very often a person who is most useful to the world and to his family, and who is frequently indispensable, or otherwise important as regards position, means, feeling or intelligence, sinks through some trifling cause into an animal-like dullness of mind. He clings to some disjointed and fixed ideas, or his spirit shrouds itself in an impenetrable veil of brooding and melancholy. Moral as well as physical conditions combine ultimately to destroy the nervous system, Seeing that confusion of the intellect is one of the most distressing of all human afflictions, it is deplorable that little or no care is taken in Germany of this pitiable class of humanity.

The Asylums, usually run in connection with prisons and workhouses, are generally conducted in such a way that miserable beings are insufficiently fed. They are merely kept in close confinement in order to prevent them from doing harm to one another, and nothing more. Usually their malady is increased, and they become incurable by accessory circumstances, or by the rough and injudicious treatment of the attendants. There is usually only one doctor in charge of such an institution, although twenty would be required for the ultimate purpose of curing this large number of unfortunate inmates.

Often a physician in such a position has neither the courage nor sufficient knowledge for this special branch of work. He very soon wearies under the burden of his occupation and decides (as almost always happens)not to overwork himself- that is, he learns to regard callously the dozens or hundreds of these patients and to do nothing for them in the actual sense of the word.

These noblest of all creatures, destined for the exalted use of Reason, are here treated as wild beasts from Africa intended for exhibition would not be treated. Or they are kept like inanimate objects for three, four, ten, thirty or more years for the not altogether humane object of sooner or later giving them over to corruption in a silent grave- without contributing to the alleviation of the disease, without restoring them to the usefulness for which in their former days they had been so deserving of honour; they are kept, i say, with an indolence which does not credit to our century. This is inflicted upon the middle and lower classes of the population. “They must rest content with the existing institutions,” says the heartless onlooker.

What will the distinguished relatives do with such unfortunate beings? What is the husband to do, who has become more sensitive through his improved position and better circumstances, or the mother, with her sons who have occupied posts of honour, when they fall into this distressing condition? The most sincere sympathy, tears, honest sorrow,. the sacrifice of large sums of money avail nothing. Nothing can call back, in most cases, the health and reason of their beloved ones. Their inhuman speech, their foolish acts, repulse those who come near them and make these pitiable and helpless creatures a disgrace to the family. What is the family physician to do? One cannot expect him to have an extensive knowledge of this branch of medicine. He tries some known remedies, abandons them and replaces them with others, then he begins a long course of treatment which often fails to have the desired effect. In the end he wearies of the case, and advises the distinguished relatives to give the patient up and have him removed to an institution, But where? Perhaps to incarcerate the patient for ever in one of those asylums, to be herded with the disgraceful collection of criminals, unfortunates and sick of all kinds: there, the tumult of the insane, partially insane and maniacs of all degrees and classes, appeals any honest family. Should this be the fate of a family of exalted position — father, mother, husband or wife — without their seeing before them the faintest ray of hope that the health and reason of their beloved will be restored on this side of the grave?

Richard Haehl
Richard M Haehl 1873 - 1932 MD, a German orthodox physician from Stuttgart and Kirchheim who converted to homeopathy, travelled to America to study homeopathy at the Hahnemann College of Philadelphia, to become the biographer of Samuel Hahnemann, and the Secretary of the German Homeopathic Society, the Hahnemannia.

Richard Haehl was also an editor and publisher of the homeopathic journal Allgemcine, and other homeopathic publications.

Haehl was responsible for saving many of the valuable artifacts of Samuel Hahnemann and retrieving the 6th edition of the Organon and publishing it in 1921.
Richard Haehl was the author of - Life and Work of Samuel Hahnemann