Clinical Cases

A Case of Schizophrenia

Prof. Vithoulkas presents a case of Schizophrenia in a woman, treated with homeopathy.

George: This is a 25-year-old woman who was first seen in September 1978. She was mentally ill. There is a tremendous fear of death (underlined 3 times), fear of cancer (underlined 3 times). She says, “Whatever disease I hear that somebody has, I transfer it to myself.” She has a total indifference about the housework. She has a fear of the dark (underlined once), fear of being alone in the house (underlined twice), indifference to her appearance personally as well as that of the house (underlined twice), she is going into depressions frequently (underlined once). She says that she sits in a chair for long periods of time, just smoking and thinking of nothing. She says she cries with difficulty which happened after the electro-shock treatment. She stated that she had been hospitalized twice in a mental hospital. In Greece they do not give electro-shock easily. They are very reluctant to do that and they try everything else first. The patient must be in a very bad state before they will give electro-shock. She has anxiety about the health of her own people and always thinks the worst will happen (underlined twice). She has no reaction to cold or heat. She has very little perspiration. She is bothered a little by the sun. She sleeps quietly, but she takes Largotil. It is a strong tranquillizer which is used in Schizophrenia, in large doses. She wakes up between 3 and 5 a.m. and cannot sleep again. She sleeps on her abdomen and on her sides. She does not sleep on her back. She has cold feet in the mornings. She wakes up unrefreshed (underlined twice). She cannot go to sleep at noon-time. She has no vertigo with high places. She just wants to smoke and she has no appetite for food. She desires sweets and ice cream (underline once), meat (no underline), fruits (underlined once), [has aversion] to salt (once), and milk (twice). She had no particular thirst She wants to go outside and that makes her feel better. Menses had been late, especially the previous month. She says that she has a lot of sexual desire.

Question: Normal thirst or no thirst?

George: She says no thirst. A little but less than normal. It has no value in this case. I am sorry that I took away a remedy by that remark. (Laughter) Fear of death is a big rubric. Fear of cancer is a small rubric.

Question: Didn’t you say that she was also afraid of anything that came along?

George: But especially of any cancer (underlined three times). “If I hear that somebody has something. I transfer it to myself.” If somebody has colitis, she will have colitis. If somebody has a pain in the spine, she will develop a spine-pain. You know this type of people. They are very usual today with these fears. I ask you to be warned in this case in particular, that you have to take fear of death. which is underlined very strongly, and then, instead of taking fear of cancer, you can think of anxiety about health to give you the most possibilities.

Question: Hypochondriacal?

George: No. it is anxiety about health. We will explain what hypochondriacal means. That is not what it means here. We will take Bill and Dean. Bill has fear of death and Dean takes fear of cancer (anxiety about health). See what comes out.

Response: I get some of Acon., Phos., Grat., Ign., Alum., Ars., Bry., Calad., Calc-s Calc-ar., Cal-c., Calc-p., Lyc., Lycop., Mag-m., Nat-c., Nat-p., Nit-ac., Nux-v., Puls., Sep., Sil., Sulph.

Question: Why did you do that? I don’t understand.

George: We eliminated, by taking fear of death, which is underlined three times, and anxiety about health, which is also very strong. We have taken two rubrics and we see that these remedies are important.

Response: We drew the inference that the anxiety about health is there because of everything else?

George: No, it is fear of cancer. She also feels that everything she hears that somebody has. she has too. There is GREAT anxiety! With fear of death there are definitely those two symptoms that you have to start with. From here we have to continue working to decide. Fear of being alone. If we take fear of being alone. Is Aconite there?

Response: No Ars., Bry., Calc.(plain type).

George: Clac-s.? Ign.?

Response: Calc.ar., Calc-c. (in capitals). Calc-p. (italics). Lycop. ? No. Lyc. (capitals).

George: Mag-m.? No. Mag-c.? No. Nat-c.? No. Nux-v.? Ordinary. Phos. ? Three. Puls. ? Two. Staph.? No. Sulph.? No. What rubric do you want next?

Question: Anxiety about others.

George: It is Ars. and Phos.

Response: Puls.?

George: Anxiety about others? No, not Puls.

Response: Nux-v.? Anxiety about others.

George: Ars. and Nux-v.,if you take anxiety for others. You must start thinking now. Give me ideas.

Question: This is just something that I remembered from last year. She sits in a chair for a long time and does nothing. I remember that in the end-stage of Puls. They do that.

George: That is all you remember?

Question: That is something that would belong to the end-stage of any remedy?

George: Oh no, not in the way that they get if you leave them to grow to be 105 years old -they will be like that. We are not talking about that. She is 25 years old and we are talking about pathological states. Six months ago she was all right. Now she sits and she looks all day long. What I told you about Puls. is much stronger than in this case. If you remember my description of Pulsatilla’s end state, there is MUCH MORE. She does not speak at all. This woman communicates. She has fears and anxieties inside and outside the house. This is a person who is functioning. I did not underline that symptom.

Question: You mentioned it twice in the case. “I want to sit in the chair and smoke and think of nothing.”

George: The second time I mentioned was that she had no appetite and only smoked.

Response: She seems to have a lot of indifference about things – indifference to housework and appearance. There is a lot of Sepia in that. Also, I get the impression that when she says she just wants to sit in a chair and smoke and think of nothing, with suggestibility, etc.

George: Stamina is very low. That is what it means here. Her morale is very low. She has tremendous anxiety. Death is coming. “Oh, I am going to get cancer.” It is a state that you have to imagine a little bit. It is not laziness. She says, “I am not interested in putting make up on or putting lipstick on, or going out. I am not interested in making work in the house. I cannot work in the house.”

Question: What was she hospitalized for?

George: Mental disorder. We do not know the symptomatology, most probably something similar to what is happening here.

Question: Did you see the rubric “aversion to thinking,” or is that not proper in this case?

George: Use it, and from now on you may give me your suggestions of what you would prescribe.

Response: One strong point stands out, and that is that she cannot do anything, and she sits and does not want to think, but her sex-drive is still very high. It is unusual. It seems like a different placement of energy.

George: It was very high. It was underlined three times. Whether we do it by expression or by underlining, it is the same thing.

Question: Is she taking this Largotil only to sleep?

George: Only to sleep at bedtime.

Response: I think it is important that she wakes at either 3 or 5 a.m.

George: And if she wakes she cannot go back to sleep again. There is a trick in the case. You are not going to come up with the right remedy. I am putting in this case in order to show you that unless you go a little deeper you will not get the remedy. If I let you…Okay, give your remedy.

Response: Sulph., Puls., Phos. I told you that I eliminated Phos. from the beginning.

George: Ars.? You see, you are bound to give and I would be bound to give all of these remedies. I would give this because of the high sexual desire. In spite of the fact that she does not have thirst I would give Phos. This anxiety about others and that she thinks she has everything she hears others have physically, is Ferr-p. She says, “Oh, I have high sexual desire,” and here the husband jumps into the picture and says, “Oh my God, she was like an earthquake”, indicating how vibrant she was. Further information is that with the psychiatric treatment she had gone into a state of indifference, but now she is feeling well and she is very easily aroused sexually (underlined many times). Then when we came to the sexual discussion, the lady told the whole story. The whole story is that after her marriage she had been involved in a lesbian relationship with a young woman. There had been a lot of involvement, and it was after that involvement was finished that she had been hospitalized. This is Piat., in spite of the fact that Plat. does not appear in “anxiety about health”, which is so strong here. Don went straight into the heart of the matter and said, “How does that woman who has so much anxiety, have so much sexual desire?” This is a kind or thinking that we should follow. We keep asking why! WHY? We start investigating everything. She Sits and smokes. She does not want to do anything. But sex is another matter. Here is the trigger, and Don’ s mind was working correctly this afternoon. When she gives the extent of the sexual involvement with the husband, and he explains how easily the woman is aroused, we see the perversion in the sex in which she was indulging, so much so that it took her into the mental hospital, then that is the essence of Plat.

Question: From reading your article about Plat. in the journal, it talks about this romantic person who has all these ideals.

George: There arc two types: One is romantic. The other -it is not written in the paper -is the earthy type. The earthy type goes into nymphomania. The romantic type goes into grandiose thoughts and the ego blows up in the same proportion that the sex urge is controlled. If the sex urge is controlled, the ego blows up. When the sex is left in free expression, then we do not have the grandiose ideas of Plat. Forty days after the first interview she says that she has no fear at all anymore and there is amelioration. The indifference towards the house has gone. The energy is good. She only has a heavy feeling in the head which bothers her fairly constantly. Now she looks after the house and the child. She wakes up only at 5 o’clock in the morning, but then she sleeps again until 8 o’clock. She wakes up feeling refreshed and with a feeling of joy. She looks after herself now. She smokes the same. Her appetite is the same, which is no good. Her thirst is normal where previously perhaps it had been less than normal. The menses came at the appropriate time and lasted for four days. Sex, she said, at first was normal, and then she admitted that it was a bit more than normal. This was down from what it was before. There was no leucorrhoea, blood pressure was normal, and there was no reaction to weather -hot or cold. What is your prescription?

Response: Wait.

George: Good.

Response: Placebo.

George: Now she was given placebo for 30 days, and she returned after 40 days. She said, “Generally I feel worse. I do my job in my house. I have joy and no fears at all. I have a kind of slowness in reaction in cases where I have to give an immediate resolution-decision.” She likes to be alone in the kitchen, to turn on the radio and listen, and smoke, she does not like company. She has a kind of dullness in the head, especially in the afternoon. She sleeps well. She wakes up at 6 a.m. now and gets up at that time. She has nervous motions of the lips. She is now having almost indifference as regards sex. She says, “Oh, now I am mature.” And I asked, “What do you mean?” “I am not so much interested.” This is the expression she uses to describe her sexual desire. IN HYPERSEXUALITY, AFTER TREATMENT, THEY ALWAYS DIMINISH FOR A PERIOD OF SIX MONTHS. DO NOT TRY TO GIVE A REMEDY HERE TO MAKE THEIR SEXUAL DESIRE HIGH! The whole case is going so well, and it is going to come to normal. So from up high, it goes down to here. This is almost invariable. This energy that was used on the sexual level is now used to bring about the cure, to bring the reaction. We have seen that during that time of recuperation, we have a low sexual desire.

Question: Is this true for low sexual people like Nat-m. ? Do they come up to another level?

George: They do not come up, no. I have not seen it. I have seen it become normal, but not increased. Now she says that she is feeling the heat and the cold a little more. (There is no underlining of any of this so far). She says now that she does not have the flushes that she used to have. She had not mentioned the flushes before, but now that they are gone she remembers that she does not have them since the remedy. The appetite has become good. She still desires sweets (underlined twice) and wine. So the changes are that she is becoming a little bit warm, has no more flushes, there is still the desire for sweets and for wine (underlined once). She has an aversion to salt (underlined once), aversion to fat and milk (underlined twice). Thirst is again normal. She has no depressions at all. The only thing she has a dry cough, most probably from the cigarettes. Again she says, “I have not been able to react immediately to a situation which is challenging me.” This is the last time we saw her, in November 1978. She has remained well to date. But I would like you to tell me whether she will need another remedy and what this remedy might be in the future. You have had a few hints here for the next remedy. I would like someone to tell me. She is doing fine. This is 1978 -that is more than two years now. Will she need another remedy? Why? What is it?

Response: Possibly Puls. She is becoming more interested in the family and she is becoming more warm blooded. She has a fat, milk and salt aversion, which are all Puls.

Response: Sep.

George: You are getting warm. This is the direction now that the symptomatology takes. She is becoming more warm and she desires wine. These are two additions.

Response: And she likes to be alone in her kitchen, smoking and listening to the radio. She likes to relax and go in her, mind. I would be giving the remedy because of the slowness of the mind -the slowness to react. According to my understanding, for that woman to stay well, she has to have deeper treatment.

Response: Sulph.

George: Sulph.! Sulph. I think would be the next remedy because of the heat and the wine. These little things give you an idea that she is going towards stimulants. Also Sulph. is very slow. And she wakes up early in the morning. Do not forget that this is a symptom that continues. 5 o’clock and then for the past month 6 o’clock, but early in the morning. In the summer time 6 o’clock is 5 o’clock sun time. So if you do not get this last information, you are bound to make a mistake. If thal case was given me to prescribe for in ten minutes. I would prescribe Phos, if the husband had not voluntarily given the information…..

Question: Who told about the lesbianism, the patient or the husband?

George: She gave the information. In the beginning she said, “I don’t know why I have these symptoms.” Then she said that she did not want to tell. But at the end of the interview, she gave this information that she was involved in a lesbian situation. She went to the hospital because of that.

Question: What is the point? There was not enough to support a person going to the hospital twice and getting this very unusual treatment.

George: I don’t know. She was involved not only in sex.

Question: No, I mean before you gave us that information there was not enough here in the symptomatology to support her having been hospitalized twice. It is logical that you would ask why.

George: Yes, but also the information she has given is not the real situation she is in. She must have been in a terrible condition. The condition of Plat. psychologically is that once they go it is like hell. When they go out of that condition they can say a few things like fear of death and anxiety, but it is a real hell. It is a terrible situation inside in which. Once they come up, there is so much.

Question: What would she have been like when she went to the hospital? She was depressed, wasn’t she?

George: Yes. She was dull and had depression. I believe that she went to the hospital with the same symptomatology as Plat, maybe a little stronger. She most probably went out of her mind at that moment and we can conjecture that she may have had grandiose ideas. She was completely out of touch with reality.

Response: It may not have been that at all. It might have been Just that the husband was so outraged that she had a lesbian relationship, that he took her to the hospital and the doctors were outraged too. I used to work in a Catholic hospital and we got all of the nuns and the priests that came in because of homosexual relationships with each other. What they did there was to give electro-shock treatments to them. In the hope that that would get it out of their brains.

George: I do not think this would happen in Greece.

Question: I have trouble in understanding how a lesbian relationship would cause such mental disease.

George: We do not have the facts of what actually happened here; therefore we may only conjecture. What we are interested in is the sexual involvement in that case. How much? What part sex plays in that case in order to find out the remedy? This is one way to evaluate the information that is given. Now we can conjecture how this can happen by saying that the woman was having certain different relationships and in one of these relationships she was very much attached to the other person. And the other person told her that she did not want more involvement. Then the violence, which is tremendous in Plat.. and the rejection from the other person brought out a complete schizophrenic condition. In Greece, in order to hospitalize a person we need two doctors to certify that the person needs hospitalization, plus the approval of the General Secretary of the judges -Attorney General.

Question: They usually give the shock for depression. That is where the most response comes from and so you can surmise that.

George: It says here that she entered the psychiatric facility two times.

Question: So it means that her symptoms were acting through the Thorazine she was taking at night?

George: No, she stopped that immediately and took the homoeopathic remedy. In such a case you can stop the medication at once. It would be best if she stopped a few days before.

Question: Are you saying in this case that Phos. also has a strong, sexual desire?

George: Yes. Phos. is not that strong and the supporting symptoms are not that strong. She sleeps on both sides. There is no thirst. While she is having so many fears, with fear of thunderstorms which she had not related in the past, she had been constitutionally a Phos. case. All these faults must go through the mind in order to evaluate the case. I did a trick and did not give you all the information. If I had done that, half of you would have said Plat.

Question: Didn’t you say that she was also afraid of anything that came along?

George: But especially of any cancer (underlined three times). “If I hear that somebody has something. I transfer it to myself.” If somebody has colitis, she will have colitis. If somebody has a pain in the spine, she will develop a spine-pain. You know this type of people. They are very usual today with these fears. I ask you to be warned in this case in particular, that you have to take fear of death, which is underlined very strongly, and then, instead of taking fear of cancer, you can think of anxiety about health to give you the most possibilities.

Question: Hypochondriacal?

George: No. It is anxiety about health. We will explain what hypochondriacal means. That is not what it means here. We will take Bill and Dean. Bill has fear of death and Dean takes fear of cancer (anxiety about health). See what comes out.

Response: I get some of Acon., Phos., Grat., Ign., Alum., Ars., Bry., Calad., Calc-s Calc-ar., Cal-c., Calc-p., Lyc., Lycop., Mag-m., Nat-c., Nat-p., Nit-ac., Nux-v., Puls., Sep., Sil., Sulph.

Question: Why did you do that? I don’t understand.

George: We eliminated, by taking fear of death, which is underlined three times, and anxiety about health, which is also very strong. We have taken two rubrics and we see that these remedies are important.

Response: We drew the inference that the anxiety about health is there because of everything else?

George: No, it is fear of cancer. She also feels that everything she hears that somebody has, she has too. There is GREAT anxiety! With fear of death. There are definitely those two symptoms that you have to start with. From here we have to continue working to decide. Fear of being alone. If we take fear of being alone. Is Acon. there?

Response: No Ars., Bry., Calc.(plain type).

George: Clac-s.? Ign.?

Response: Calc.ar., Calc-c. (in capitals). Calc-p. (italics). Lycop. ? No. Lyc. (capitals).

George: Mag-m.? No. Mag-c.? No. Nat-c.? No. Nux-v.? Ordinary. Phos. ? Three. Puls. ? Two. Staph.? No. Sulph.? No. What rubric do you want next?

Question: Anxiety about others.

George: It is Ars. and Phos.

Response: Puls. ?

George: Anxiety about others? No, not Puls.

Response: Nux-v.? Anxiety about others.

George: Ars. and Nux-v.,if you take anxiety for others. You must start thinking now. Give me ideas.

Question: This is just something that I remembered from last year. She sits in a chair for a long time and does nothing. I remember that in the end-stage of Puls. They do that.

George: That is all you remember?

Question: That is something that would belong to the end-stage of any remedy?

George: Oh no, not in the way that they get if you leave them to grow to be 105 years old -they will be like that. We are not talking about that She is 25 years old and we are talking about pathological states. Six months ago she was all right. Now she sits and she looks all day long. What I told you about Puls. is much stronger than in this case. If you remember my description of Pulsatilla’s end state, there is MUCH MORE. She does not speak at all. This woman communicates. She has fears and anxieties inside and outside the house. This is a person who is functioning. I did not underline that symptom.

Question: You mentioned it twice in the case. “I want to sit in the chair and smoke and think of nothing.”

George: The second time I mentioned was that she had no appetite and only smoked.

Response: She seems to have a lot of indifference about things – indifference to housework and appearance. There is a lot of Sepia in that. Also, I get the impression that when she says she just wants to sit in a chair and smoke and think of nothing, with suggestibility, etc.

George: Stamina is very low. That is what it means here. Her morale is very low. She has tremendous anxiety. Death is coming. “Oh, I am going to get cancer.” It is a state that you have to imagine a little bit. It is not laziness. She says, “I am not interested in putting make up on or putting lipstick on, or going out. I am not interested in making work in the house. I cannot work in the house.”

Question: What was she hospitalized for?

George: Mental disorder. We do not know the symptomatology, most probably something similar to what is happening here.

Question: Did you see the rubric “aversion to thinking,” or is that not proper in this case?

George: Use it, and from now on you may give me your suggestions of what you would prescribe.

Response: One strong point stands out, and that is that she cannot do anything, and she sits and does not want to think, but her sex-drive is still very high. It is unusual. It seems like a different placement of energy.

George: It was very high. It was underlined three times. Whether we do it by expression or by underlining, it is the same thing.

Question: Is she taking this Largotil only to sleep?

George: Only to sleep at bedtime.

Response: I think it is important that she wakes at either 3 or 5 a.m.

George: And if she wakes she cannot go back to sleep again. There is a trick in the case. You are not going to come up with the right remedy. I am putting in this case in order to show you that unless you go a little deeper you will not get the remedy. If I let you…Okay, give your remedy.

Response: Sulph., Puls., Phos. I told you that I eliminated Phos. from the beginning.

George: Ars.? You see, you are bound to give and I would be bound to give all of these remedies. I would give this because of the high sexual desire. In spite of the fact that she does not have thirst I would give Phos. This anxiety about others and that she thinks she has everything she hears others have physically, is Ferr-p. She says, “Oh, I have high sexual desire,” and here the husband jumps into the picture and says, “Oh my God, she was like an earthquake”, indicating how vibrant she was. Further information is that with the psychiatric treatment she had gone into a state of indifference, but now she is feeling well and she is very easily aroused sexually (underlined many times). Then when we came to the sexual discussion, the lady told the whole story. The whole story is that after her marriage she had been involved in a lesbian relationship with a young woman. There had been a lot of involvement, and it was after that involvement was finished that she had been hospitalized. This is Piat., in spite of the fact that Plat. does not appear in “anxiety about health”, which is so strong here. Don went straight into the heart of the matter and said, “How does that woman who has so much anxiety, have so much sexual desire?” This is a kind or thinking that we should follow. We keep asking why! WHY? We start investigating everything. She sits and smokes. She does not want to do anything. But sex is another matter. Here is the trigger, and Don’ s mind was working correctly this afternoon. When she gives the extent of the sexual involvement with the husband, and he explains how easily the woman is aroused, we see the perversion in the sex in which she was indulging, so much so that it took her into the mental hospital, then that is the essence of Plat.

About the author

George Vithoulkas

George Vithoulkas

George Vithoulkas is an Honorary Professor of the Moscow Medical Academy, Professor in the Kiev Medical Academy, Honorary Professor at the University of the Aegean, Greece, Collaborating Professor in Basque Medical University (2001-2004) and Doctor Honoris Causa of "Doctor ViktorBabes" University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Timisoara in Romania. In 1995, he established International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Alonissos, of which he is the director. In 1996, he was honored with the Right Livelihood Award (also known as Alternative Nobel Prize) "for his outstanding contribution to the revival of homeopathic knowledge and the training of homeopaths to the highest standards".

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