Clinical Cases

Teen Mental Health and the Death of a Beloved Pet

The author describes how homeopathy can help to deeply heal mental trauma caused by grief and bereavement.

Watching your child suffer from a mental health issue can be the most excruciating and upsetting experience. Even if you manage to get some professional help within the National Health Service, you still have to negotiate endless psychiatric visits, probing questions and chemical prescriptions. None of these interventions deal with the initial sense of loss of your son or daughter’s childhood.

Childhood and teen years should be celebrated and can be the most joyous times of life. However when mental health problems strike, it feels as if your world has fallen apart. Homoeopathy is a form of medical treatment that doesn’t interfere with the body’s own ability to self correct. Patients have been suffering from mental health issues since the beginning of time and homoeopaths have a vast array of relevant treatments. They don’t produce side-effects or cause mental health issues to worsen.

I have been working in homoeopathic private practice for over 10 years and support my clients during mental-health upsetments. I use the word ‘upsetment’ to describe any form of mental imbalance. I do not use words like schizophrenic, bipolar, manic depression or hallucination. All these words form a barrier to true understanding and relief. In conventional medicine, treatment cannot begin until a diagnosis has been made.

Treatment Starts Right Away

In homoeopathy, treatment can start straight away, as we are interested in symptoms not diagnosis. A diagnosis only helps a practitioner, not the patient. The patient needs treatment, understanding and space and time to heal.

We negotiate a suitable course of treatment, review it as and when needed, and ensure that the child in question is supported, heard and understood.


I have a firm belief that this gentle non-addictive approach brings speedier and longer lasting results. Samuel Hahnemann understood health and illness and was completely at loggerheads with the prevailing view that illness was caused by something outside the body. The conventional view is that diseases are caused by a virus, a bacteria, an injury or as is the classic explanation in mental health, “a chemical imbalance in the brain”. If it were true that the brain was seriously chemically imbalanced, then people suffering from mental illness would be dead. Mental illness rather has a lot to do what preceded the mental upsetment. In older children, and those in their teen years, indulging in too many stimulants, alcohol, drugs and cigarettes can cause mental upsetment.

In younger children an erratic lifestyle, grief, loss and uncertainty can cause mental upsetment.

In my practice I have treated children suffering with ADD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, OCD, personality disorders, depression, eating disorders and various syndromes. I put these diagnoses to one side and ask about the children themselves. In homoeopathy we want to know all about the person not the condition, because it is the person that we treat.


Hahnemann said diseases are dynamic, not material. Their aetiology could be a miasm (an inherited susceptibility to something), an emotional experience, or a physical injury that then puts strain on other parts of the body. In Allopathy, or conventional medicine, the emphasis is on identifying the cause of the illness, and then removing it. The result of this has been to remove literally, parts of people’s bodies, or to incapacitate various functions of the body.

Let’s step back a bit. Health is not just the absence of disease. It’s about feeling in the “flow”, enjoying life, not being held back physically or mentally from achieving goals and desires. Illness isn’t something that happens to the body, it is something that the body opens itself to. You know what this is like and have experienced it yourself. A cold is going around at work and most of your colleagues have caught it. You however, are feeling very bright and frisky and are involved in an exciting project. You don’t get the cold until you take a long weekend off. If the cold was caused by an outside event, how is it that you didn’t catch it when everyone else was succumbing? You didn’t catch it because your mental health and physical well-being were bigger than the cold itself.

Being Bullied

Your sister who is three years younger than you, lives in the same house, eats the same food, has the same parents as you, and becomes mentally unwell after a episode of bullying at school. You were bullied at the same age, but it never affected your mental health. Why is this? In homoeopathy we call it “susceptibility”. When we’re treating someone, we’re thinking about his/her own personal susceptibility.

The Death of a Beloved Pet

Ben, age 16, came to see me with his mother. He had been feeling unwell for seven months and was anxious, sleepless and lacking in energy. He was also being influenced by different atmospheres and felt ungrounded. He said he was suffering from “hyper-awareness”. He was seeing colours around people, and when he played the piano, different chords were different hues of colours.

He was also over-thinking.

I asked what had happened prior to him feeling unwell, and he told me his dog Poppy had died. He said he’d had her for eleven years and they were really close, and that when she died, he felt a part of him had also died. He and Poppy had slept together since he was six years old and she used to sleep on the pillow next to him.

As his mother was so worried about Ben’s mental health, she had quite rightly taken him to the doctor. However there is no medical treatment for child mental ill-health and he was prescribed a frightening amount of medication that was developed for adults: Prozac, Risperidone, Zopiclone, Valium, Ativan and Amitriptyline.

Needless to say none of these medications had worked and after suffering all their side-effects he was still sleepless and feeling anxious.

I prescribed the homoeopathic remedy Ignatia 30c, one dose before bed, for three nights. I also prescribed a new remedy I had proved earlier in the year, made from sand taken from the Karnark Temple in Egypt, which helps with loss and bereavement:


Six days later his mother phoned me to say that Ben was feeling better. He had had a good cry, mourned the loss of his beloved pet, changed his bedroom around was now sleeping better.

Seven months of ‘conventional’ treatment had done nothing to reduce his anxiety.

Six days of homoeopathic treatment had cured the case…..

About the author

Mary English

Mary English lives and works in Bath, England and has been practicing homeopathy since 2001. She helps run a free clinic for clients with drug and alcohol issues and is a Trustee for the Homeopathic Charity. A Diplomate of the School of Homeopathy in Devon, Mary has conducted a number of provings, including Thunderstorm: "Tempesta", Stanton Drew Stone Circle: "Calculus Orbis", Roman Bath Spa Water: Aquae-Sulis, and Great Wall of China. on twitter and facebook


  • Hello Dr.Mary,
    This is a superb article,very interesting.Hope you will write more. I have also seen a case that was cured by a single dose of Ignatia. 9 yr old child, saw robbers first time in his life in his own home,they were somewhat like terrorists.,The child saw his parents were so frightened,and after this incident he had become speechless for many days. He did all his routine work silently, parents tried a lot but he did not speak a word.Then a single dose of ignatia200 gave a miracle. He slept soundly that night and the next morning he was talking normally.

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