PSYCHONEUROSIS, PSYCHASTHENIA


She described the knee-chest position, and a dose of Medorrhinum, 10M, not only brought the fever down, and cleared all of the symptoms in the lung, but also brought out a rash like measles. He made a perfect recovery. It was not measles because he didnt have the other symptoms, and he had had the measles not so very long before. That, I think, is correct procedure.


Mrs. Mary I.P– is thirty-six years of age, fully developed, well nourished, white, married female. She has brown eyes and hair and her weight it 135 pounds, height 5 feet 32 inches. By appearance she was in the best of health physically. Thorough physical examination clinically and by laboratory findings substantiated this observation. Only the cold sweat of the palms and soles were suggestive of some psychic or nerve disorder.

In two points the family relationship is pertinent to our case. Three aunts, as school teachers, were distressingly orthodox puritanically. The father was a harsh disciplinarian. Our patient in her own words said that her father told her when she was four years of age into the hayfield to tramp down the hay on the wagon. This was only a small beginning of her girlhood life hardened into farm duties equal to those of a hired man.

She was the first born and, as her two brothers and a sister came along, here was added responsibility in the fact that the mother was sickly. Her father would box her ears when he thought her dumb in the study of her lessons or about the work on the farm. The fathers sole ambition was to pay off the mortgage on the farm. The aunts idea was that every member of the family must aspire to higher education. To top it all off, the children were to wear the religious straight-jacket.

Thus our patient was embarked on a rugged course. Was she to weather the storm unharmed?.

She naturally was affectionate, possessed of a worthy ambition, and a friendly disposition, and, much to her credit, she had an unfaltering faith. Her intelligence would possibly rate above the average.

She did not mind so much the dictum by the aunts that she should have four years of Latin and mathematics for a high rating to a college. Her choice was a course in home economics and then a business course.

Eventually, not having sufficient funds to enter the college approved by her dictatorial aunts, she earned enough money by working in an A & O store to complete a business course.

Again, twice her aunts intervened in what would in her own right be the womans supreme right of choice. They objected to her marriage when nineteen years of age because she was too young. The second time, when she was twenty-one years, they did not like the physician who was her fiance.

Thus far there was not untoward personality reaction.

Her mother died after had nursed her for several months. Now at the age of twenty-six, and three months after the death of her mother, she married a foreman in a pottery. It was a decision made as a matter of convenience to escape her keeping house for her tyrannical father. Although he was “mothers pet”. he was an honest. industrious and a quiet sort of a fellow. There were flashes of humor when he was serene.

The marriage life from the start proved embarrassing. The first week the husband, seeing the minister who had tied the knot make his entrance to their home, ran and hid himself. Shocking as this was to our patient, she entertained the minister. During the following thirteen years Mary, our patient, heroically carried on. She kept faithfully her religious vows, was active socially. While her husband remained at home when no working, he was unsympathetic to her interests to the extent of heckling her and belittling her attainments. This incompatibility naturally led to neglected of marital duties.

However, at the end of thirteen months, when starting on their stormy voyage, a baby girl came to lend some pleasure. Understand, the husband was a good provider and helpful in the house. This in a way compensated for his shortcomings, but in the patients own words. “He was not my souls companion, his life was not like mine.”.

On March 19, 1945, during an argument over finances in her Sunday School class meeting, she being the class President, she said she felt as though something hit her in the back of the head and neck. Then the thought came to her, “If only Ross (her husband) were here.” Things began to look queer and small to her. “I felt I was in a daze. A feeling like vibrations went down my back. Then all the happenings in my past life and since then were like a dream-unreal. At once I began to ask myself, Why plan? Why build? Why be ambitious? why even be here? We just exist, die and decay.” Then she experienced numbness all over her with vertigo. Now objects and people appeared smaller than ever.

Consulting a physician, her systolic pressure was 90. A nerve tonic and liver capsules were prescribed followed by indifferent results.

On September 15, 1945 she was admitted to a private sanitarium. She was given five electric shock treatment during a fourteen day period. After the fifth treatment patient remarked, “I dont need any further treatment. I am all well.” The physician in charge stated that she had claimed that there was no feeling of unreality. Previously there was mild depressions, now all symptoms of it disappeared.

Symptoms were sensation of numbness, misery in the pit of the stomach, depressed, retarded, feelings of unreality, indifference, unworthiness and guilt. There were some imaginations. viz., she thought someone was going to blow up the schoolhouse. Once she experienced hearing a voice predicting that something would happen and sure enough Roosevelt died. “I don;t believe in fortune telling, though,” she remarked.

The patient, in giving her experience at the sanitarium, said that the electric shock treatments brought her out of her dazed condition, so that for one week she did not remember or think about the “burden of death,” as she termed it. then the idea of death returned stronger than ever.

Refusing to take more electric shock treatments, she was advised to consult an experienced psychiatrist. So in October, 1945, he prescribed Benzidine Sulphate, one tablet to be taken twice daily. This was faithfully done during the following three months. The husband stated that during the last few weeks in this period she was in bed most of the time being greatly depressed, crying, and had lost interest in everything. In the last week she threatened suicide. Persistently she said she had the means of carrying out this threat.

It was at this critical stage she was committed January 12, 1946 to a State Hospital. In addition to the picture of the mental disorder as narrated, she had lost affections toward her daughter and others. Immediately on admission in a few days she became mentally keen regarding her situation.

She asked persistently that something be done to restore to her the sense of reality. The fact of her inability to think and act normally was distressingly evident to her.

THERAPY.

Confession my bewilderment where and how I should come to grips therapeutically with this case, I prescribed Platina 1M. Later I discovered there was a physical angle to consider.

In the meantime a clergyman gave her religion-psychotherapeutic talks. Effort was made to help her in re-establishing a rational pattern of life. She had lost all concern for her daughter, Kathleen, now fourteen years old. She was told that Kathleen required motherly advice and guidance now through her first critical period of life, so immediately it was constantly on he mind to devise plans whereby she could obtain money. At one time she said she would be a singing evangelist. Then it was something else she purposed to do to obtain money. Her ideas were so absurd and visionary that time was spent disabusing her mind of them.

The husband received his course of correction. It was for me to jar him loose from his self-sufficiency. He was sternly told that he must change his attitude, if he wished the respect and love of his wife. He must manifest interest in the things she will be interested in. He was instructed in what constituted normal marital relationship. Surprisingly, the response was most immediate.

On Easter Sunday the husband, unquestionably in all sincerity, endeavored to make it a day to be long remembered. He took her to church. This he had never done. After church was over, on sitting down to the dinner table, the wife made the remark of Kathleen, the daughter, “I dont see why I brought you into the world.” The husband, in relating this, said he could have slapped her face. Later, the husband took her alone for a ride, thinking possibly he could reason with her. No; she at once accused him of having her committed to the State Hospital and that she had a notion to kill him and Kathleen for it Naturally, the husband and daughter discontinued their visits.

No desirable progress was being accomplished, so closer investigation revealed that at the age of 7 she had had double pneumonia with whooping cough. Her life was threatened, followed by slow recovery.

She was bothered every winter with throat trouble. At the age of 25 rheumatic fever lasted from Christmas to the following April. This started on the inner side of the left ankle with pain and swelling, extending upward into the left leg and arm; then it passed over into the right side where the rheumatic condition was less severe. Tonsillectomy was performed subsequent to the rheumatic attack. Dating from this operation, she said she experiences, prior to every menstrual period, a prickling, tingling sensation with extreme soreness under both clavicles. This completely disappears as soon as the flow starts.

Beginning in childhood to the present date, a painful drawing sensation in the occipital region extending into the neck comes when she is tired or when excited.

As long as she can remember she has had “Rose Fever.” Every June there is a copious, watery discharge from the nose and eyes. The eyes are swollen and red. All the symptoms are worse at night. However, this periodic attack of coryza did not come during this year, 1945, of her mental disorder.

Another and last symptom, she is always smothered in artificial and in summer heat.

Rather than for me to flounder around in the therapeutic field, I submitted the case to the BGS (Boyd-Grimmer-Stearns) method of selecting the similimum. Sending a blood specimen, together with the symptoms, to Dr. Grimmer, he prescribed Di-Calcium phos. plus Calcium gluconate plus Vitamin D, the 200th. This was given on May 8, 1946. On the second day the patient came to me with her eyes red and swollen, with profuse coryza of eyes and nose. This continued for forty-eight hours and ceased as suddenly as it had started.

June 17, 1946. During the past ten days the patient says she feels entirely like a different woman. She has her natural mother love for her daughter. The sense of unreality is not frustrating her.

June 22, 1946. during the past week there has been daily an exchange of love letters between patient and husband. On this date the remedy was repeated in the 200th before the patient was released from the hospital for a trial visit to her home.

June 22, 1946. During the past week there has been daily an exchange of live letters between patient and husband. On this date the remedy was repeated in the 200th before the patient was released from the hospital for a trial visit to her home.

August 7, 1946. Patient has been having a ravenous appetite. Progress is at a standstill. Now Natrum-hexa-meta-phos. 1M was prescribed by BGS method.

September 25, 1946. “I just do things because I am here. I feel heavy, draggy and slow in motion. I have a very severe pain in chest going through to the back beneath the shoulder blades. It comes and goes,” Sac. LAc. given.

October 24, 1946. Patient writes she has had a attack of the “flu” reminding her of a similar attack during World War I. Influenzin Hispanica 10M was given. The menstrual flow was dark, scanty and offensive with cramping pains. Aching of the neck at base of the brain and aching in stomach region was present.

November 1, 1946. She had aversion for sweets; now desires them. during past few weeks nausea in the mornings, while moving around. It also occurs suddenly during the daytime. She had a sensation as though the stomach turns over. Natrum hexa-meta- phos. 1M.

January 23, 1947. The old symptom “feeling that life is unreal; having to make myself do things; crying and depression in the morning-all have disappeared.”.

Sample of blood, as of all previous prescriptions, was forwarded to Dr. Grimmer. Natrum hexa-meta-phos. 10M prescribed.

REMARKS: The patient reported about every month. She was normally adjusted in her home life, active in church and social life. a letter was received May 7, 1947 in which she stated that after examination by her family physician she was declared a member of the “stork club.” “I am just fine. Everyway just perfect. I certainly have a different outlook on life than a year ago.” ATHENS, OHIO.

DISCUSSION.

DR. A.H. GRIMMER: These papers are extremely interesting because they show the possibility we have in our homoeopathic materia medica to cope with these situations. Some of these case that had the traditional treatment, considered the scientific treatment, had very poor or indifferent results. The way we homoeopaths will have to cope with these cases is to take the case as Dr. Carr did, going back to the beginnings of things.

When you meet just the immediate condition of the patients, you have just the more acute manifestations of the disease or disorder, and while sometimes you will have to prescribe on that, too, you will eventually, before you cure them, have to give a deeper remedy to meet the long line of constitutional symptoms that have led to the patients mental illnesses; for, after all, the mental and emotional parts of the individual are the real parts of the individual. The physical is merely an expression of these other things, and those are the things we have to put in order before the physical can come in order. Even our old school friends now are beginning to recognize that. They are beginning to know- psychiatrists and psychologists are beginning to know-the effect of mental and emotional disturbances on physical health.

Of course, Hahnemann was the first one to discover that thing and to give it to the world, and that is why he stressed the importance of mental symptoms in our prescribing.

As far as selecting remedies by the blood, where we have only a paucity of symptoms to guide us, and where therapeutic symptoms have been obscured by bad treatment, treatment that only makes and suppresses, then sometimes these “blood” remedies can come in in a remarkable way. We need provings of some of the remedies that we developed over the blood.

We have no provings of either one of the remedies the doctor mentioned. One is the combination vitamin that is put up by some of the pharmacopoeia of the old school be proven as a valuable remedy. It has come in in a number of other very chronic cases and relieved them, where other remedies could not be seen or could not be given, and where some that were given on broad homoeopathic lines failed to act.

The Natrum hexa, meta, phos. is another very valuable remedy, a combination chemical remedy, sodium and phosphorus, given by a California engineer and chemist who is an ardent homoeopath. This remedy was given to me to test electronically and see what possibilities is had. Well, it has very wide and powerful possibilities for the cure of all kinds of deep acting, degenerative disease, and clinically it had proven to be efficacious in some very difficult conditions.

I want to thank Dr. Carr for bringing this to our attention. It is a very enlightening paper indeed.

DR. THOMAS K. MOORE: Mr. Chairman, I simply wish rise in appreciation of what I have seen here today. Simply looking at Dr. Carr was an expression of homoeopathy, because we have been seeing him here among us through the years and he has appeared a testimonial to the action of homoeopathy in a severe case of aluminum poisoning; so looking at him was fine. And I have certainly enjoined this presentation and will look forward to seeing it published where it can be gone over carefully.

These mental cases, which Dr. hahnemann seemed to feel were very simple, are really very difficult, and here we had to resort to the “B.S.G.” technic, which is certainly very interesting.

DR. EDWARD WHITMONT: I should to ask one question here for consideration, which is question of case management. I remember in the first case the Influenzin Hispanica mentioned for recurrence of a “flu” resembling an old previous condition, a retracing of a symptom. Shall we give the remedy at all for an old condition of this kind that possibly may be just an old symptom, or may not?.

I am right now up against this very problem in a case of PSYCHONEUROSIS which, under Lachesis, is developing, I think, three weeks after the remedy has been given, a very severe attack of “flu.” I have given a remedy-whether right or wrong, I dont know yet-and I should like to put this question: How long, for instance, after the curative remedy has been given, would you consider that an acute current condition is an old symptom? How long would you abstain from giving a remedy, and when would you give one? I should also like to know whether even Influenzin had any appreciable action or not.

DR. P. C.PAUL: I should like to ask Dr. Carr in regard to his very interesting paper, whether the Influenzin is what is prescribed in Phosphorus. I think it would act well and probably it is guess work, because he mentioned the Influenzin, that since the “flu” that the patient got, she has never been well. On that basis I think Influenzin is the similimum in that case, and it was given last, and so he got results. I think if he gave it first, he would not bother too much about Phosphorus and other things; and that is my solution.

DR. WILBUR K. BOND: I should like to ask Dr. Carr if he concentrates his attention more on the mentals of an insane case than the physicals and generals. For instance, many of these case give symptoms, we will say, of Belladonna, of Hyoscyamus or Stramonium. Would he accent those qualities in prescribing for the patient, or would he pick out some more characteristic physical general?.

DR. V. TABER CARR: Well, I think we have something to talk about! There is one thing I might emphasize, and that is about sending blood specimens. This method of the “B.G.S.,” as I call it, for diagnosis, while the remedy which we are driving for is in abeyance-this entails a great amount of time and even mental energy. It is very taxing on the system. I was out in nineteen- twenty-something Dr. Underhill and Dr. Stearns were there at the time-to learn all we could from Dr. Abrams work. It consumes a great deal of time to run a blood through these reactions, and especially when you come to selecting the remedy. It is very helpful to give the operator as fully as possible your case in anamnesis, for we, as homoeopaths, realize that it is the symptoms that steer us towards our objective goal, and this will help the operator to select remedies that are within the scope that cover those symptoms. It is an immense saving.

Aluminum was mentioned-oh, I dont know why you brought that up, but I might report on that aluminum. It was during the course of getting over it I had the “flu” and it was a brain type, cerebral. I was on vacation in Washington, D.C., at the time, and it hurried me back to New York City to see Dr. Stearns. I dont know how to describe that sensation of cerebral “flu,” but it is something you never want to experience. You just feel as though you are going to be taken our of your environment; in fact, you are almost losing interest in yourself and everybody else. You are just wondering what is going to take place. I hope never have it again.

He gave me one of the Influenzas at the time. While we are on that, that will clarify it. I think somebody mentioned about the use of Influenzin, whether we should wait to give it as an intercurrent remedy, and how long. Here is something that several years ago an old homoeopath. Dr. Wardell, I think, said, that the nosodes apparently in the majority of cases travel right along with your constitutional remedy and seldom interfere seriously.

This influenza attack came up in this case, and she had been a reasonable length of time from the last potency, if it was an old condition that flared right in your face, then the only question was to get rid of it. Influenza is the most insidious and the most aggravating condition you have to reckon with. You must get rid of it, ofttimes, before you get rid of your infectious troubles. While we are on that question. I was rather surprised and dumb founded to see the number of mental cases that come to the hospital that have had influenza, and whose troubles dated from that condition.

V. T. Carr