Homeopathy and Mental Health,

I hold a particular respect for physicians who study the effect of putative drugs by self-application. One of them is Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy.
The idea of homeopathic medicine is based on the principle of similarity, that is „like cures like.“ Literally translated „homeopathy“ means „similar disease”.
Homeopathic remedies contain energy, the parameters of which remain unknown to mankind. Similar to the concept of „psychic energy“ in psychoanalysis, „homeopathic energy“, remains a working concept which has nothing to do with our understanding of physical energy. For now!
Homeopathic medicines are obtained only from natural sources: minerals, plant and animal products, a fact which indicates that natural resources hold a special kind of energy that we provisionally call ‘homeopathic’. In support of this idea is the observation that effective homeopathic remedies do not come from the synthetically produced chemical substances.
Homeopathic remedies are made through two major phases: conceptual and production.

Conceptual phase
With Hahnemann and his associates, the conceptual phase consisted of the following: several consecutive days administration of subtoxic doses of a medicine of natural origin (for example, a tincture of quinine bark) and thoroughly describe the subjective feelings of intoxication.
Hahnemann’s logic went roughly as follows: „If in toxic doses, quinine provoke dizziness, when used to make a homeopathic remedy the latter will act against dizziness in general, regardless of the reason that caused it.“ That is the principle of similarity. This exhausted the conceptual phase with Hahnemann. Today, ideas for new homeopathic drugs can come from numerous specialized clinics, the fields of toxicology, microbiology, neurochemistry etc.
Production phase
Production phase passes through two mandatory procedures:
1. Dilution: If we take 1 ml. of the „mother“ tincture and blend in with 9 ml of double distilled, apyrogen water, we will get 1 DH (decimal (1:10)) dilution. The dilution of 1 ml of the „mother“ tincture in 99 ml of water is 1 CH (centesimal (1:100)) dilution. Of the solution thus obtained we can get 2 CH dilution by taking 1 ml of it and blending in 99 ml apyrogen water. So, 2 CH means dilution 1:10000; 3 CH – 1:1000000, 9 CH – 1:1000000000000000000, etc. In homeopathy, the most commonly used dilutions are in the range of 5 to 30 CH. Professional homeopaths have at their disposal a wide range of dilutions: from 1D to 200 CH. The greater the dilution, the more powerful the effect of the homeopathic remedy, but for a smaller number of pathological symptoms.
2. Potentiating: After each dilution, the bottom of solution dish is shaken by striking it against a mat 30 to 40 times (Hahnemann used a big book). This manipulation is called „potentiation“.
Today there are homeopaths who believe that homeopathy only affects the bodily symptoms, but not mental.
Others, like Peter Chapel, for example, are convinced that homeopathy affects both somatic and mental functions. This concept in homeopathy seems more justified. Clinical observations on psychosomatic diseases show that the psyche and body affect each other and are inseparable parts of one organic whole.
Two personal observations:
1. In their daily practice, every psychotherapist comes across the so-called „difficult“ patients. Such patients are usually motivated to start therapy because of continued suffering from neurosis, but by the third or fourth session suddenly stop speaking, finding it hard to recall things from the past. In other cases, they tend to show theoretical knowledge of neuroses, to argue, to deviate from the therapeutic process, to form hostile or amorous fantasies about the therapist. Psychotherapists understand that this is unconscious resistance that in some patients grows to especially high rates, which makes them “difficult” to work with. For the past 15-16 years, I’ve been suggesting to my „difficult“ patients to determine their homeopathic model according the methodology of Peter Chapel and then continue working with them. It is my personal impression that psychoanalytic work with such patients gets easier on the background of homeopathic remedies,. They find it easier to recall the past and the unconscious resistance against the psychotherapeutic process grows weaker.
2. Fifteen years ago, a patient of mine, a young Ukrainian woman, 30 years of age, had become obsessed with the idea that a psychic she had been introduced to 7-8 years earlier by a friend, was madly in love with her. She was convinced that from time to time, she could hear his voice, calling her out to join him and live together. After several responses to such „invitations“ of his, she had found herself at the Psychiatric Clinic in Kiev, diagnosed with „Paranoid schizophrenia, hallucinatory-paranoid syndrome”. Since then, the woman had had several episodes, all on the same topic, always ending with hospitalization in various psychiatric clinics. After her last hospitalization, already stabilized, she was on Fluanxol-depot, and living on a temporary basis in Bulgaria with his father. Using the Peter Chappell questionnaire, I identified her homeopathic model as „Hyoscyamus“. I offered her to take 15 CH Hyoscyamus „Boiron“, 5 granules every morning, sublingually. On the third day, my patient came into my office, visibly excited and told me that her guru was calling her again and she was ready to go to him. She left the same day, travelling by bus about 500 km to Kyiv, but instead of living with her guru, she got to live in the psychiatric clinic with her consecutive psychotic attack. I was horrified. I shared this with a respected colleague of mine, a Swiss psychodynamic oriented psychiatrist, Director of a cantonal mental hospital in Switzerland. His opinion was, that it was not possible for a homeopathic remedy to cause a schizophrenic attack. According to him, the intake of the homeopathic remedy and the onset of the psychotic attack had only been a coincidence.
In homeopathy practice, however, the clinical observations show that very often, a correctly selected homeopathic remedy may, in the beginning of treatment, aggravate the symptoms. For the experienced homeopath, that is a proof that the homeopathic remedy is working. Taken together, all of this gives us at least some food for thought:
“Is it possible for homeopathy to influence the psychodynamic mechanisms of neuroses and psychoses?“
I think that in the treatment of neuroses, psychotherapy is the first tool of choice, while homeopathic remedies can have auxiliary and preventive role. With schizophrenia…, one has got to be careful! Any experiments with homeopathic treatment of schizophrenia should only be undertaken in the protected environment of clinical conditions!
1. Peter Chappell, Emotional Healing with Homeopathy, Element Books Ltd, Shaftsbury, Dorset, 1994.
2. Bowman WC, Rand MJ, Textbook of Pharmacology, 2nd Edition, St Luis: Blackwell Scientific Publications; 1980.
3. Edward C. Whitmont, “Psyche and Substance Essays of Homeopathy in the Light of Jungian Psychology”. Nord Atlantic Books, Homeopathic Educational Services, Berceley, California, 1912.
Dr. Valcho Yordanov, M.D. Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, www.ValchoYordanov.com

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