Symptoms are expressed in the mind as well as in the body, and every individual has a different way of expressing these. For example, person A who is suffering from headache which is located on the left side of his head and relieved by hard pressure on the site and on the other hand, another person B who has a right sided headache, that worsens by pressure. Person A may be a sensitive and soft hearted individual and person B on the other hand may be strong willed and shrewd in nature. Thus these two individuals would need two different medicines for their complaint of headache. Everyone of us is unique and thus requires a different medicine. These medicines have no side effects, are safe and bring about a gentle cure.
It has been found that the person who is administered the medicine for an ailment not only is cured of the illness, but develops long lasting resistance and improves his general health. This was the most important finding and one would appreciate how this helps us to understand the role of Homoeopathy in maintaining mental health. Thus, early complaints like loss of sleep due to some worry, impatience and irritation due to pressure of work, loss of concentration due to anxiety of performance etc. are every person’s experiences at some time or the other. These tend to interfere in our experience of harmony, health and happiness. We are obviously not mentally ill but we are not quite up to the mark. Yoga and meditation would be the obvious choice. But not all get the opportunity to learn and practice these disciplines. It is under these circumstances that the correct homoeopathic medicine will do wonders. And that is what we see in exam related anxieties of students, grief reactions after our near ones pass on or distress after some disappointments.
Master Hahnemann described ‘Vital Force’ in his Organon of Medicine as follows: “ In the healthy condition of man the spirit like vital force, the dynamis that animates the material body, rules with unbounded sway and retains all the parts of the organism in admirable harmonious vital operation as regards both sensations and functions, so that our indwelling, reason-gifted mind can freely employ this living, healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence.”
To add a few quotes by the pillars of homoeopathy namely Dr Kent, Dr Close and Dr Roberts. Kent in his ‘Lectures on Philosophy’ says “The man wills and understands; the cadaver does not will and does not understand; then that which takes its departure is that which knows and wills. It is that which can be changed and is prior to the body. The combination of these two, the will and the understanding, constitute man; conjoined they make life and activity they manufacture the body and cause all things of the body. With the will and understanding operating in order we have a healthy man. Then man is the will and the understanding, and the house which he lives in is his body.”
Dr. Stuart Close in “The Genius of Homoeopathy” echoes these thoughts: “Life is the invisible, substantial, intelligent, individual, co-ordinating power and cause directing and controlling the forces involved in the production and activity of any organism possessing individuality.
“Health is that balanced condition of the living organism in which the integral, harmonious performance of the vital functions tends to the preservation of the organism and the normal development of the individual”.
To top it all, a quote from Dr Roberts “Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy”: “No two individuals are alike. The development of the vital energy in one differs from that in another. Each one possesses a special personality and a special psychophysical construction which is determined by the interplay of hereditary tendencies and factors of disease.”
A close examination of these references only depicts the advanced thinking and astute perception of the stalwarts. They understood mental health very well and thus could set the guidelines for treatment of the same. These concepts also enlighten the role of Homeopathy which considers disturbances in the vital system responsible for illness.
How to get help from Homoeopathy?
Since homoeopathy is the medicine of individualisation, all that is related to the individual must be known. A homoeopathic doctor will start with asking the preliminaries like your name, age, education, address, profession. The mental distress will then be identified by its symptoms along with certain individual components such as for example if the patient is suffering from loss of a loved one, is depressed, every individual will have different thoughts and react in ways individual to them. Some may experience loss of sleep, some lack of concentration, some restlessness; some might indulge in overwork and tire themselves to get over the low feeling. There may be physical symptoms which may accompany the psychological complaints like increased desire for eating a particular type of food or aversion to a particular type of food, some joint complaint which might have started at the same time as the event causing distress. This comes from the observation that what affects the mind, affects the body and vice versa.
The doctor is interested in not your complaints alone but in you as a person. He will then ask you certain question related to your nature.
Related to your body
Related to the mind
More questions may be asked depending on the type of complaints. A relative may also be involved to get additional information. It usually takes about an hour to complete the enquiry and more at times depending upon the nature of the complaints. The data is essential in understanding you and your problem. The beauty of this method of interviewing the patient is that often enough the individual gets some insight into his/her problems which often facilitates healing. However trivial the symptoms may be, It is the patient or the ”I” who is telling it, suffering from it. Thus it is of paramount importance in formulating the therapeutic plan
Along with homoeopathic medicines, the doctor will indulge into friendly conversations with the patient. This is an important part of the healing process.
Example of Homoeopathy in the service of Mental Health
A boy who was appearing for his board examination had episodes of anxiety just months prior to his finals. This boy had no such episodes in the past. On enquiry, it was leant that he had lost confidence in himself after receiving a few marks less than usual in one of the preliminary exams. This confidence was restored with homoeopathic medicines. To add to the cure, the homoeopath took the role of an assuring friend. The boy performed well in the examination.