The hypochondriac, by long and painstaking discussion, may be persuaded that there is no real stomach lesion. Insisting in the progress, even to exaggeration, will in time greatly encourage the patient.
Oftentimes the patients attitude and “drives” are based on false premise. His fundamental desires and motives are of the worst sort. Here he should be helped to see the ill-fated results when his motives are logically carried to their completion. He then should be instructed how to take steps in the direction of readjustment.
Again, a person may have followed a morbid preoccupation in matters that are of fantastic character. If he has intellectual leanings, the introduction of study, reading and interesting discussions of helpful character, will stimulate him to broaden his viewpoint. Thereby his mind will become pliable for constructive and creative thinking.
One naturally finds social misfits. Because of his peculiar instinct or emotional drive, the patient is a problem in his home or at his work. Here is a study of his personality make-up and his possibilities for readjustment. Assist him in self-analysis and advise relatives and his associates of the use of tactful methods which may greatly clear up a disagreeable situation.
It is to be expected that any and all of these psychotherapeutic measures will fail in several and many of the neurotic cases. If a neurotic case perchance greatly improves, even to recovery, there is no guarantee against relapses of the same condition or another just as bad, if not worse.
Were we to depend only on psychotherapy, correctives in the habit of living and other adjuvants in treatment which the dominant school employs, we would have no claim to exist as a distinctive school of medicine. There is not a colleague here within sound of my voice who is not here because of the faith that is in him. Sometime and somewhere he saw the light of the truth in the similar remedy. He may have experienced this under the personal influence of the remedy or by conviction from observation. The problem is personal if one does not measure up to, or as near as possible to, the standards set by the masters of the only Law of Cure.
Should we depend upon and popularize surgery in the various maladies of neurosis we should be classed as fakers; but thanks to the only materia medica that is rich in psychopathological symptoms, and through the all-potent influence of the homoeopathic remedy, personality disorders beyond numbers have been corrected.
Time does not permit me to give symptomatology of the suggested remedies: mention will be made of a few leading remedies.
For prostration of the mind, Anac., Bry., Cocc. i., Gels., Nux v., Pic. ac., Spig.; for deeper acting remedies, Arg. m., Arg. n., Aur. m., Bar. c., Calc. c., Calc. p., Carb. v., Con., Cupr., Graph., Hep., Kali p., Lach., Lyc., Nat. c., Nat. m., Nat. p., Nit. ac., Nux m., Phos., Phos. ac., Puls., Sars., Sep., Sil., Sulph., Zinc. and its compounds.
Remedies for hysteria are legion. Possible leaders are: Ign., Lach., Nat. m., Puls., Cocc., Asaf., Hyos., Nux m., Phos.; and others almost as important; Acon., Arg. n., Ars., Aur., Cact., Calc., Camph., Cimic., Coff., Con., Ferr., Graph., Kali c., Lyc., Mag. mur., Merc., Mosch., Nit. ac., Plat., Sec., Sep., Sil., Sulph., Tarent., Valer., Verat. For fainting hysteria: Cham., Cocc., Ign., Mosch., Nat. m., Nux m., Nux v. Hysterical lasciviousness: Plat. and Tarent. Hysteria after suppression of discharges: Asaf. and Lach. Obsessions of fear: of animals: Chin., Stram.; of being bitten: Hyos., Lyss.; of cholera: Lach., Nit. ac.; when ready to go to church or opera, Arg. n., Gels.; of consumption: Calc.; of walking past certain corners: Arg. n., Kali br., of something creeping out of every corner: Med., Phos.; of public places: Nat. c., Nat. m., Nit. ac., Phos., Rhod., Sep.; of water: Bell., Hyos., Lach., Lyss., Phos., Stram.
Remedies having anxiety are numerous but to particularize them we find: anxiety when alone: Ars., Dros., Mez., Phos.; anticipating engagement: Arg. n., Gels.; ascending steps: Nit. ac., in children: Bor., Gels., Kali c.; on closing eyes: Carb. v., Mag. mur.; from music: Nat. c.; from night watching: Cocc., Nit. ac.; from noise: Sil.; riding down hill: Bor., Psor.; about trifles: Ars., Chin., Con., Sil.
For the psychopathic personality such remedies for kleptomania: Ars., Caust., Cur., Kali c., Lyc., Nux v., Puls., Sep., Sulph.; pyromania: Hep.; mania for throwing things into the fire: Staph.
The following cases are recalled as occurring in general practise.
William D., age 24 years, dark complexion, small in stature and round shouldered. Quiet, shy and naturally inclined to be irritable. Beginning in childhood he suffered with an inveterate nasal discharge. During past three months the amount of discharge greatly lessened under local treatment. It was becoming more noticeable that a state of anxiety was developing. This proved so aggravating during the night that he became restless. Nothing would pacify him but auto rides. The family was almost worn out from driving through the country after midnight. His emotional activity centered on the idea that his hair was turning gray– as a matter of fact it was black. A few other symptoms were noted, thirst for cold water and large quantities at a time; craving for sours and refreshing articles of food. He was very sensitive to cold. This case was called to my attention after being summoned to complete papers for his insanity. The committing judge deferred sending him to an institution. In the meantime, I suggested to the family the prescription of a remedy; Ars. 1M. B & T. hand made potency was given. In eight hours the reaction– as one wishes to term it — was startling. The patient was home in the kitchen, grabbed the bread knife, rushed to the looking-glass and was about ready to draw the blade of the knife across his throat. His mother rushed to his side in time to save a possible suicidal act. Immediately the lad sat in a chair, replying, “Mother, dont worry, everything is now all right”. Naturally the neighbors became alarmed, telephoned the judge and William was rushed to the state hospital. After six weeks under observation he was discharged. The medical staff declared that at no time was there any evidence of a mental trouble.
Mrs. Walter H., age 30 years, a refined, cultured lady, wife of a dentist, socially inclined and a member of several ladies organizations. Of late she was gradually losing interest in everything. She had a dread of appearing in public with an indescribable fear. She was now recovering from a “cold”. There were sharp darting pains, very changeable in location. In every way she felt much better in the open air. I was particularly interested in the history– if there were any fear back of the condition. The patient stated that the most disturbing event in her life, and which frequently came to her now while in a passive mood, occurred when a child about five years of age. The neighbors and her parents discussed in her presence in an excitable manner, the fighting that was going to take place between the Catholics and the A.P.A.s. This so impressed her that it kept her awake nights and sometimes she dreamed of people fighting. Pulsatilla corrected her handicap so she became a leader in society circles.