Clinical Cases

Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder (OCD)–Argentum Nitricum

Mati uses a video case to demonstrate a remedy for OCD.


Mati Fuller

Mati Fuller

check out this video, what remedy do you think this is?

[editor’s note: the video is no longer available, still the article can be understood without it.  Basically, a young man cannot leave his apartment to go to the store to buy cereal.  He has put it off, and put it off, but today he must try as he is out of everything.]


Well, Elaine,

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis

I can’t communicate with him so I have no choice but to observe his behavior.

In this case he is definitely obsessive/compulsive and suffers from agoraphobia.  He is also fastidious and obsessive about cleanliness, but the most interesting thing about this case is how he does everything in threes.

Yes, you’re right!  He opens and closes the door three times, he flicks the light switch on and off three times, he opens and closes the kitchen cabinet doors three times!

Why three???  Why not two or four?

Interesting question!

There is something about 3 that oozes of superstitious behavior!

Aha! You’re right!

So, the first thing we have to do, if we can’t simply ASK him why he does what he does, is to mull over the issue of superstition.

Why are people superstitious?  It is basically a way of controlling their “luck.”  Bad things happen, you know, but I’ve been lucky so far, knock on wood (knock, knock, knock, 3 times).

Knock three times on the ceiling if you want me….twice on the pipe, if the answer is noooooooo…….

Tony Orlando and Dawn

Elaine!  I didn’t realize a talent show was going to break out!  But, be that as it may, we knock on wood, 3 times, to make sure the luck stays with us.

Did you know that “Knock On Wood” originally came out on Stax in 1966 by Eddie Floyd?

No, I didn’t!  Are there going to be anymore updates from the ’60’s?  No?  Good!  So, why do people feel the need to control their luck?  There is definitely intense anxiety behind their actions, as well as a perception of lack of control and possible danger.  Hmmm.  This is starting to sound like some kind of traumatic experience in the past that was never resolved, and a way to prevent anything similar from happening again.  Perhaps it was so traumatic that the person must go through endless rituals of superstitious behavior for prevention, because what if it happened again?  That would be terrible!  Does any kind of remedy picture or core story spring to mind?

Are you posing that question to me?

No, I was asking Tony Orlando and Dawn!  But now,
just for the fun of it, I looked up Mind: obsessive-compulsive disorder, Mind: fears, agoraphobia and
Mind: superstitious, and only one remedy runs through all the rubrics – Argent nit.!

“What if I can’t find a bathroom and my bladder explodes?  What if a brick hits me in the head, or a driver looses control of his car and hits me as I walk down the sidewalk?  What if???”

How do you compensate for this kind of anxiety?  Superstition is one way of coping.  Don’t walk on the lines, don’t cross the bridge, knock on wood three times (don’t say it, Elaine!) since accidents always come in threes, avoid black cats, don’t walk under ladders….

Now, the question is, why would anyone go to all the effort of preventing something bad from happening in the future?  Because whatever happened in the past was not only bad, but he didn’t manage to cope!  If he had been able to cope, he would know that it wouldn’t really be a problem if it happened again, but if he didn’t cope, another similar event would be a definite problem!

What if, in the original story, someone else had to save him?  Imagine how much fear it would create, knowing that something unexpected happened, and that he wasn’t able to save himself, and that something just as bad, and just as unexpected, could happen again at any moment?  And then, who would be there to save him this time?  What if nobody was there to save him the next time? (What if????)

With fears like that, would you sleep well?  Knowing that if something bad happened, you would basically be helpless?  If it were me, I would definitely try to find a way to cope, or control the situation, or try to prevent something like that from ever happening again.  Superstition could work, it might be worth a try, one, two, three…

One-two-three, oh that’s how elementary, it’s gonna be, come on let’s fall in love, it’s easy (it’s so easy) like taking candy, from a baby! ABC…..falling in love with you was easy for me….


Sorry, I’ll be quiet.

And I’ll be peace.  Oh my God!  See?  Now you’ve got me doing it!  You’re a very bad influence on the poeple around you!

I’m not getting detention, am I?

I’m considering it!  Now, where was I?????  Right!  OK.  Staying inside seems safer than going outside.  Better wash my hands and keep everything neat.  Whatever I can do to stay in control is best.  It is all about managing my anxiety.  Control is good!

Hear, hear!

Maybe, if I can stay in control, nothing bad will happen to me!  What we are seeing here is the perception of Argentum Nitricum.  Something bad happened in the past, and because he couldn’t cope, there is always the fear that it will happen again if he isn’t careful, and the fear is that he won’t be able to cope again; so, not only does he become extremely careful, but his creative mind gets involved and makes things worse.  It is the mind that keeps saying “What if?” and then he can never relax or feel safe since what-ifs can only lead to more what-ifs.

Like, what if we can’t figure out a way to end this article?!

Good point!
Now, the other thing is, Argentum’s mind is incredibly creative, that is why he can be amazing at solving problems with creative solutions, but unfortunately, Argentum’s mind can be just as creative when it comes to CREATING problems.  So, my take on this case is that this character is a definite Argent-nit.

I would have loved to talk to the person, though, to find out what exactly happened in the past. Sometimes you will find that something traumatic did happen in this lifetime before he became obsessive; and in other cases, you’ll find that they came in with that perception of life.  Either way, the video is showing us the compensatory behavior patterns that we have to try to understand.  Once we can understand the behavior, we can find the remedy.

Remember, behavior always make sense to the person who is doing it.  It always has its own logic. This is why we must keep asking why, and try to look behind the actions, or we won’t have a deep enough understanding of the core of the case.

Mati, do you know what else goes for Argent-nit?  His inability to go past a certain point! (“Mind: Imagines he cannot pass a certain point.”)  Remember?  In the video, trying to leave the house to go shopping for food, he got to the end of the street and couldn’t go any further!

I think that had to do with something he had forgotten to do, if I remember right.  Didn’t he realize that he had forgotten to close the outside door 3 times?

That’s true, Mati, he did say something about the door, that he had forgotten to close the door.  But you know what?  What is the likelihood that someone in his condition would have forgotten to close the door?  If he did, he might have done it on purpose so he wouldn’t have had to “pass a certain point”!

Whether he actually did close the door 3 times, or not, isn’t the question here.  The question is whether he THOUGHT he didn’t do it.  That would be enough reason to do it again, just to make sure that his luck wouldn’t change.  The issue about not being able to pass a certain point is also superstitious.  


It could be bad luck!  Better stay on the right side of the line!  Yes, it is all fear based, but all of these seemingly irrational behaviors have to do with managing his luck.  So, when it looks to an outsider as if he is turning back on purpose to avoid his fears, he is actually turning back to make sure his luck is still good before he tries again.  The managing of his good luck is like having some kind of insurance that he’ll be ok.

Mati, wasn’t it weird the way he could walk normally in the house but as soon as he got outside he was walking sideways against the building?  What did you make of that?

He walks normally in the house, because his original story didn’t happen in the house!

Aha!  How were you able to discern that?

It happened outside, that is why he doesn’t feel safe outside.  The fear of high buildings on both sides of the street that will crush him reflects what happened in the original story of Argent-nit!

Oh.  You’re saying that if the house wasn’t safe, he’d have delusions about the house!

Exactly!  Take Rhus tox for example, they have fears of making a mistake and dreams of fire, and they have incredible restlessness at night.  They keep springing out of bed and they can’t relax.  So, in the original story there must have been a fire, possibly after they made a mistake.  Now would you feel safe in the house at night if that could happen?  Would you sleep soundly?  Would you even want to go to bed?  My daughter went through this after they did a fire drill at her school, and it must have triggered some old memory, and Rhus-t worked brilliantly!

Compare that to Lycopodium, who is also afraid of making mistakes.  The difference is that Lycopodium was safe in his house.  He just locked the door and didn’t open it when the bell rang.  So, Lycopodium feels safe in the house and loves being at home.

You’re right!

Anyway, Argent-nit got trapped in the falling debris and had to be saved by someone else!

So, where would you walk if you knew debris could suddenly be falling from above and crush you?

At the edge of the building.

Bingo!  In Argent-nit, it is all about managing the “what ifs” by compensating to prevent unforeseen circumstances from affecting them like they did in the past.  And this applies to all their weird or compulsive behaviors, from superstitious acts to not being able to cross a bridge or walk another step.  They are totally guided by their fear, so when something triggers the fear, that’s it – they can’t go on!  Forget about walking normally down the street!  That would totally max out their fears!

Right, they’d be just asking for trouble!

When he’s walking back to the house, you hear him saying “I got so close, I was almost there…”  But, he couldn’t do it, even being so close.  He realized something that wasn’t right, or hadn’t been done, and he had to go back.  Rational mind didn’t have any power, even though he was so close to where he was going, because fear rules Argent-nit in his unbalanced state.
So, what we see as compulsive behavior is simply preventive measures to Argentum.  And, because he doesn’t necessarily know anything about the original situation that caused his distorted perception of reality, he won’t be able to explain to you why he’s doing it.  We can only get an insight into why by looking at the original situation, which is reflected in the fears, phobias, dreams and delusions associated with his remedy profile!

So Mati, what you’re saying is, that if you look at any remedy with a complete profile, and you put together everything that’s in the delusions, fears and dream rubrics, you will be able to piece together a story and conclude that people who need this remedy have had this or that situation happen to them, they were attacked or they were abandoned or they were in a fire or they were robbed or poisoned ….. So, then they spend their lives trying to keep this story from happening again.  Do I have that right?  So, consequently, you were able to determine what the Argent-nit story was–and frankly, it sounds like an earthquake to me– but, where does it say that someone else had to save him?  And how significant was that fact?

You’ll find Argent-nit listed under Mind: helplessness.

Oh, OK!

If you are in despair and feeling helpless, and you can’t help yourself, there is only one solution – to seek help from others.  And this is basically the essence of Argent-nit’s neurosis.  If he had been able to help himself in the original situation, it would have empowered him.  It would have given him confidence that if something similar would happen again, he could deal with it.  But, in Argent-nit’s case, he couldn’t cope with whatever happened.  So, just the thought that it could happen again is enough to make him panic, since he already knows that he won’t be able to cope the next time.  So, he must do whatever he can to prevent and compensate, and the more the fear takes over, the more obsessive he gets.

So Mati, here is your great contribution to homeopathy, if I may say so:  You have pieced together the elements of the mental rubrics in a remedy, you have looked at them, and have discerned that the reason for the fears, delusions and dreams a remedy has is due to an original event that occurred–and this event could even have occurred generations back and was passed on, meaning the patient would know nothing about it and not be able to explain his behavior!


The parents or grandparents could have passed it on.  Fears don’t exist for random reasons.  (For example, since I haven’t been robbed at gunpoint, I don’t have fears of being robbed and don’t do things to try to prevent it from happening.)  So, the delusions, fears, etc. are there for a reason–because something actually happened at some point in time.


So, when you see a case, you are interested in hearing what a person does, how he acts, how he acts in relationships, what gets in his way of moving forward, etc., because then you can see what the patient is defending against or afraid of.  A person who feels safe at home but can’t go outside would NOT need Rhus tox!  A person who feels safe outside but frightened at home would NOT need Lycopodium.  A person who who can help himself if he makes a concerted effort in a crisis would NOT need Argent-nit!  And the reason you know all this because you have pieced together “the original story” !

That’s right!  You got it!

In your book (Beyond the Veil of Delusions) you show how you can spot a remedy-type by observing how people behave in relationships and spotting the original story.  How did you happen to pick your title; and also, what questions should we add to our questionnaires so that we can elicit the information about a person’s original story?  I have already added to my questionniare, “What always seems to happen to you in relationships?  Is there a ‘same old story’?”

You could also add “What part do you normally play in relationships?”  Lots of people can relate to this, and will answer “I am always the one who…”

I chose the title “Beyond the Veil of Delusion” because the delusions are like a veil.  The delusions determine our feelings, actions and even the way we perceive reality.  We think that what we see is real, while the truth is, we don’t.  This is what the Indians call Maya, which means something like “seeing that which is not.”  Only enlightened beings can see reality as it really is, without filtering all their information through the mind and its many delusions.  By understanding how it all works, we can get a glimpse of what reality is like when we no longer believe in our delusions, so that is why I chose the somewhat mysterious title of “Beyond the Veil of Delusions.”  We are here to learn to go beyond the delusions, to see them for what they are, and to break our old patterns, and the book is meant to inspire you to take the first step towards doing so.

So, Mati, in your book, you reveal the Original Story of many common remedies–Lycopodium, Nux v., Staphysagria, Phosphorus, Nat-mur, Medorrhinum and others–and you show, by using real life examples, how people in relationship “talk past each other” as they attempt to keep their original story from ever happening again!  Have I described it correctly?

Yes, they do “talk past each other” but the reason for that is that both have different perceptions of reality.  Every remedy has a certain perception of reality that only applies to people of the same remedy type.  So, for example, 2 carcinosins understand each other really well, because they basically “speak the same language.”

The biggest problem with relationships is that we always attract people of a different remedy type!

Oh great!

This happens because we unconsciously agree to play parts in each other’s stories so we get the opportunity to see our patterns more clearly (and two people of the same remedy type won’t challenge each other).  So, basically, what we end up with is two people with two different perceptions of reality.  What is true for one, isn’t true for the other, and what is relevant to one, isn’t relevant to the other.  Relationships will always be difficult.

Meaning that God is having a big laugh at our expense!  (“…I think I’ll put this passionate Lachesis male with a Sepia female who won’t want to be touched by him, and I’ll put this self-involved Lycopodium jerk together with a needy Pulsatilla girl who won’t give her the attention she needs–that should be entertaining…. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!”  Oy!)

The solution, of course, is to understand the patterns that create the dysfunctional dynamics in the relationships, because this helps us not take things so personally.

Well said.  Hope to see you back again soon, Mati, with another video case!

I look forward to it, Elaine; and now, who sings “1-2-3”?

Len Barry of the Dovells.

I should have known. 


Beyond the Veil of Delusions

Mati Fuller, DIHom (Pract) Mati is the author of Beyond The Veil of Delusions

Write to Mati at [email protected]

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

About the author

Mati Fuller

Mati H. Fuller, DIHom (Pract) was born and raised in Bergen, Norway and came to the United States in 1985. She lives and practices in Colorado and is author of "Beyond the Veil of Delusions, Understanding Relationships Through Homeopathy." [email protected]


  • Hi Mati and Elaine. I like very much the way you go throug different aspects of homeopathy ,the way of asking and answering is very easy to follow and gives great information to.Look forward to read more of your columns. Regards Pirjo from Finland

  • I love the Beyond The Veil of Delusions book. Very insightful, and yes, I believe a lot of relationship hardships can be avoided by understanding constitutional types. But love makes you blind, doesn’t it?…
    This way of teaching, ie. video analysis is very effective. Thanks.

  • Here it is, 2022, and I just now found this wonderful article. I love how you and Mati explain the original problem of these remedies and how these fears can be passed down through the generations. It’s just fascinating — and makes so much sense. I really love this article (and the music, Elaine!). I have Mati’s book. Every time I read it, I learn something new.

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