Mental stasis is found in all social strata, although more common in advanced civilized states. There is an increase with the uncertainties which accompany war, in both soldier and civilian population.
It more or less interferes with the necessary activities of a complex society, making it difficult for the individual to meet the needs of economic existence. Therefore we find the incentive to obscure the expression of mental stasis, resulting in many strange quirks found among individuals seeking medical relief from this complicated ailment.
Being of wide-spread occurrence, the condition plays a large role in the diagnostic psora of Hahnemann. In proportion as the constitutional vision of chronic disease enlarges, one may appreciate important fact.
Both hereditary and environmental habit should be included in the study and treatment of this subtle condition. Patience and tactful approach are needed in eliciting the complete symptom group directing to remedy selection, which, unless modified, will ultimately lead to organic disease.
In this respect homoeotherapy with an extensive background, in both health and pathogenic proving, presents a successful technique in case coverage, inclusive of both mental and physical function.
Mental stasis is a distinct diagnostic entity, which for deeper study may be sub-divided into various symptoms, having specific aggravations and ameliorations. These form the pathway to the selection of the single remedy. Experience has repeatedly proven that a careful use of the homoeopathic method results in improved psychological and physical health, thereby offering irrefutable evidence of medical efficiency in its treatment.
When we take into consideration the limited circulatory network of the cerebrum and the powerful impact of repeated exacerbations of modern emotional stress, we can readily conceive of the structural damage which in time may be done.
Hahnemann, early accepting the value of psychic symptoms, developed definite deductions, which, if put into practice,will materially sweeten the problems of the modern physician. We, the beneficiaries of his solid and grounded approach to disease phenomena, may increasingly benefit therefrom.
Mental stasis is observed following haemorrhages; excessive exudations; in the draining of the vital fluids, both psychical and physical; delayed convalescence; great emotional crises; loss of reputation and property; etc.
It is then that such remedies as China. Chininum ars., Carbo veg., Ignatia and Sulphur were used by the older homoeopaths, and they are of equal value today. The flow of the vital force is again set into motion, the gloom and despair of mental stasis dissipated by the gentle stimulation of the dynamic remedy in potency.
During this particular period of recuperation it becomes necessary to observe the various phases of the vital index, in order to restrict, revamp, modify and adjust the remedy and potency intake.
It is a wise policy to educate the patient in the long-range treatment aspect, to prepare for other potential conditions being uncovered. This will better prepare the way for conservative handling of the unknown reactive tendencies within the patient.
In the duality of organic unity there exists a correspondence to effect a balance. As soon as there is established cellular improvement in a sub-normal part, the reflection is seen in all other parts. Muscular coordination is enhanced, digestion activated, relaxation of the intestinal walls and flatulency reduced, peristalsis increased and constipation overcome.
The cardio-vascular function and oxygen intake are quickened by the gentle potency stimulation, ever placing homoeopathy within its own and specific sphere.
Psora, mirrored in the light of a broader concept of general neurasthenia, has taken a considerable part of the position formerly occupied by the eruptive tendency found in primitive peoples.
There are many factors involved in chronic mental stasis, and social science is exploring them in detail. We fully agree that the exciting cause should be corrected, if possible. It is here where the value of the remedy in potency opens new avenues for exploration. When the course has been definitely charted and sustained, each disease problem becomes, as ever, a new one to test the therapeutic ingenuity of the physician.
Each person in mental stasis carries the curtain of obscurity, which sooner or later must be pierced to evolve the indicated remedy.
One of the basic symptoms of this condition is despair, which is the outgrowth of anxiety, fear and confusion. It is found in such remedies as Arsenicum; Aurum; Calcarea; Ignatia; Kali phos; Lachesis; Psorinum and Sulphur. It is often a pivotal symptom, around which may be built the psychic picture for ferreting out the remedy.
Another symptom of mental stasis is disgust. It is an extension of discontent and discouragement. Especially in these days of uncertainty we see all around evidence of this triad, which has its inception in Psora, and tends to become malignant in sycosis and syphilis. It truly becomes serious when general and specific loathing of life and its activities becomes a fixation, and unfolds into the delusion that one cannot exist anymore, aptly pictured in Thuja.
We realize the necessity to recognize early the destructive forces at work in progressive mental stasis, and to make corrections in its incipiency. Nothing like the dynamic potency will divert this insidious condition into normal channels, and stands in bold relief against the common use of sedatives.
The various stages of depression leading up to a deep melancholia may easily be misinterpreted by excitement and exaltation of fancies. It may eventuate into malignant behaviour, suicide, homicide, sex perversion, family disruption, and a long train of corresponding anti-social acts.
Recognized homoeopathic prophylaxis in early years would save many lives from crime and degradation, and reduce the crushing tax burden society carries today. Poverty, crime and all forms of vice are but the broadened angles of the diagnostic chain.
Mental stasis is the harvest of nerve depletion. One widespread cause is found in the tubercular diathesis. A prominent symptom, and of clinical importance, is tubercular fatigue, fundamentally tincturing all activities of the individual life. There is a decrease and alteration in the metabolism, a loss of normal cellular adaptation and unbalanced nutrition, which may be due to faulty assimilation, defective hereditary pattern or to economic imbalance.
In the study of the miasmatic background we are enabled to bring more organic harmony where other methods of treatment fail. It is in this homoeopathic sea of complacency where the final judgment of disease cause is better handled, and where temporary expediency resolves into the balanced adjustment.
Lastly, but by no means least, is the prevalent world-sense of guilt; the rebuke of ones self or others; and the resultant remorse; all of which form an integral part of mental stasis, and are found in such remedies as Arsenicum; Aurum; Belladonna; China; Digitalis; Hyoscyamus; Ignatia; Lycopodium; Natrum mur.; Pulsatilla, and Staphisagria.
As homoeopathicians it is a definite purpose to custom-fit the mental symptoms with the physical and pathological in our remedy adventure. In this fascinating endeavor we will find mental stasis plays an important part. Its study will often give us a new clue leading out of the routine path, where prospects of success are usually meagre, and into the desired opportunity for master prescribing.
HAMDEN, NEW HAVEN, CONN.
DR. GUSTAVE TUFO: In one of our meetings on psychiatry, one discussant got up and said he could treat such cases constitutionally, and I replied he might do it subjectively but not objectively.
Now, when you have a patient with a simple depression, melancholy and agitated, an anxiety neurosis, you cant very well, as in the three miasms, psora, sycosis, and syphilis, treat him generally. He must be treated specifically and not constitutionally.
Dr. Waffensmiths paper was very interesting, I thought.
DR. HARVEY FARRINGTON: Dr. Tufo is an expert in his line and he knows diagnosis and he knows also how to use homoeopathic remedies, but I do not quite agree with him in his statement that these cases of psychoses and other forms of mental derangement can be treated specifically. The very fact that this man prescribed a remedy which is not supposed to be indicated in dementia praecox, or has never been used for it, as far as we know, proves the fact that by prescribing on the symptoms– which is prescribing homoeopathically, which is prescribing individually or specifically — we get results which the routine prescriber and the man who prescribes on liver and constipation and a few other common symptoms, does not get except in just a few cases where it happens to be the right remedy.
This is a lesson that is overlooked by a great many homoeopaths, and in the records in our literature for years back, I have read time and time again of those who believe that we should prescribe on the pathology of the case, which is, of course, prescribing on generalizations, and is not accurate, and is really not according to the correct teachings of homoeopathy.
DR. W. W. YOUNG: About three years ago there was an article which appeared in the bulletin of the Menninger brothers, one of whom in the war was Chief of Psychiatry of the service, One of the two brothers about six weeks ago was united with the University of Kansas, which marks a move in the change in the emphasis on undergraduate education in the United States. In this journal there was an article dealing with a rather extensive research project with curare. The attempt was originally to find some agent other than those already known, such as metrazol and insulin, so that by use of it in cases of convulsions they could by shock therapy return the patient to normal physiological status.
In their work they had quite a series of these convulsive manifestations, all different diagnoses, but convulsions was the major feature, and by purely, we might say, empirical experience, they found that peculiarly enough a certain number of their patients did remarkably well, and others did very poorly.
The researches then displayed rather superhuman ingenuity by beginning to wonder why one patient might respond and the others not, so they proceeded to take the anamnesis of each case in the totality of symptoms, both subjective and objective, and began to select their cases on the basis of their what-you-might-call homoeopathic symptomatology.
Then it was strange, but rather paradoxical, the thing that came to their attention, that once they did this type of selection, they were faced with a peculiar fact, that their best results were to be obtained by the employment of the smallest possible dose, rather than a large one, and their final conclusion in the paragraph–I cannot remember the exact words, but it was to this effect, that this is an astonishing discovery, possibly for the first time recognized in all of medicine, and that on the basis of this, if our conclusions are correct and our observations are exact enough, and our abstractions from our observations are also correct, we may infer that if other research is carried on in this manner, perhaps a great deal of benefit can be had for the human race. (Applause).
DR. J. W. WAFFENSMITH [closing discussion]: I thank you for this discussion. It is my opinion that there are no physical symptoms about corresponding mental ones. They may be modified to such an extent that they are not found; but there are mental symptoms which corresponds to physical, as well as physical that correspond to mental, because, after all, the human organism is a duality, and this duality shows both angles of the whole.