THE STATUS OF MENTAL SYMPTOMS


The predominant mental symptom was hopelessness as to her health, as to condition of her heart etc., though not worried; weakness marked, increased by mental or physical effort; tearful: desire for open air which relieved; exhaustion from talking; excitement upset her; better going without food; diarrhoea more or less, worst at night, worse from acids; at times globus hystericus, and empty sensation in stomach and abdomen.


Mental symptoms take a place according to their relation to the location of the affection; their “rank of value” is the same as that of other symptoms. To be of most use they must be idiosyncratic and recent.

If the part affected be mind or head, mental symptoms may constitute the sensations; but in most instances, no matter where the location, mental symptoms rank as the chief concomitants. Their value bears direct relation to the fact that man is such as are his thought and affection–by virtue of his ability to think what is true and to will what is good–and hence perversions of truth and goodness, in thought and affection, are valuable as symptoms; for example, desires, aversions, (including longings, mental and even physical), antipathies, fears, doubts, irritability, sadness, etc.

Disorders of the intellect and memory may be, in that order, decreasingly useful and the symptoms of the mind, in Boenninghausen, thus somewhat more important than those of the intellect which follow.

The full working out of a case and especially the concomitants, determines the remedy–the foundation, i.e., location and sensations, having been properly laid–therefore when mental symptoms are classed as the chief concomitants they are not relegated to a subsidiary position but, on the contrary, given the most important and influential place, barring the essentials in the foundation, for location especially, and sensations as far as they can, must be covered, i.e., have been acted on, or rather developed by the remedy in its pathogenesis, if that remedy is to be effective in the case.

Again, the value of a symptom is enhanced by any modification; this is particularly true of mental symptoms with which a modality or associated condition seems to be of higher worth, often times, than the mental symptom itself in leading to the remedy, as the modality defines and gives character to the symptom-group. For example “wild, crazy feeling in the head, with pain in right iliac region,” Lil-t.; or “anxiety on closing eyes.” Con.; or the “despondency after eating” of NUX-V.; or the “despondency during sweat” of Con.

As regards the selection of symptoms, with which to find the remedy, from the mass one is often deluged with in a mental case, I can best illustrate by the following, which I indeed reported once (North American Journal of Homoeopathy, June 09.) but not the “working out” nor the method of deduction from it, which was then, and has since been, a help and gave me an insight as to the handling of mental, or complicated, or partially developed cases, which I could not have found out in any other way. For that reason, perhaps, it will bear repeating.

Case 1

was a nervous prostration following acute articular rheumatism, or rather beginning with it. The patient, a married woman 50 years old, had experienced deep chagrin following a family disgrace–“mortification;” this precipitated the rheumatic attack. Several remedies were given, and the arthritis cured, but neurasthenia followed.

She complained in a voluble manner of numerous symptoms, of pains here and there, of cold and weak sensations, of profuse sweat, which she feared would weaken sensations, of profuse sweat, which she feared would weaken her and cause death. Not an organ or part of the body but was affected in some way. She told her sensations most entertainingly, occupying in the description, provided one would listen.

Here is the repertorial study as I made it then; the rubrics are the same that were taken at that time, but the order in which they are now used was evolved a little later; still that does not alter results nor conclusions. Remembering that the part affected was the mind, the symptoms can be resolved into a first group of cause, location, sensations, and related aggravations and ameliorations thus:

Cause—

1. Mortification (“offense received”), p.280.

Maurice Worcester Turner