Clinical Cases Homeopathy Papers

The Classical Reaction

Written by Sue Young

Homeopath and historian Sue Young presents three cases where the simillimum released extreme, sometimes unbearable mental-emotional reactions. She wonders if amelioration without aggravation is a myth that must be reconsidered.

First published in The Homeopath Journal no: 64  Winter 1997 and on Homeopathy Online Issue no. 5 October 1997

Submitted to H’pathy Virtual Magazine on 16.8.2022

The discussion of methodology in Homeopathy is as vital now as it’s ever been, and Post Covid 19 and Long Covid it may have a hidden relevance in this debate? I wonder if we need to revisit the Classical Reaction, considering the Strange, Rare and Peculiar times we are currently living in?

I had a particularly nasty Covid infection in early November 2021, which has left me in Deep Thought ever since. I experienced such a deep sense of fear that I couldn’t even talk about it for weeks, which turned out to be an outpouring of all the Epigenetic[1] fears I’d inherited from my father. This odd reaction completely paralysed me and took almost nine months to take shape in my consciousness. This experience has completely changed me forever.

My paternal grandfather and his 6 brothers lied about their ages, ran off to World War 1 and entered the battlefield of Ypres (19 October-22 November 1914). Only 2 of them survived. My father suffered the Black Dog depression every 5th November for the rest of his life, and the British Legion told me this was because ‘… Bang Racket Night…’ sounds like a battle field and many old soldiers simply can’t abide it. The 9th November was dad’s birthday, the 11th November is Armistice Day, and mum died on 14th November. I also suspect dad received his World War 2 call up papers for the Royal Navy in November 1939. These dates enacted themselves exactly in the background of my 2 week self-isolation between my first LFT+ test and my first negative LFT- test.

This epigenetic, synchronous echo built in the background of three generations of my family over 107 years, slip sipping in and out of our family subconscious with absolute ease until Covid turfed it out of me and put me on the ground sobbing, as I held onto my Vagus Nerve with both arms for weeks while it cried it’s heart out, until it finally left me, calm and free in a pale, watery sunshine recovery.

I was already pondering the question of exactly how Mind and Body connected in our manifest physical body, as I had been lucky enough to attend the fabulous lecture series by Dr. David Lister at the Swedenborg Society on the Cartography of the Brain in 2017 and 2019[2], when David discussed the ‘… model of the brain to describe its features, particularly the hippocampus… (as described in Arcana Coelestia Swedenborg 12 volumes 1747-1756 §4050)… [and the]… infundibulum[3] and his comparison of the starry skies, the cerebral cognitions of faith and the way hormones or chemical messengers correspond to angelic messengers, and also the fiends of hell[4]

I was then lucky enough to hear Professor Mark Solms’ fascinating lecture for the Weekend University on 25th March 2022 entitled Consciousness & The Mind Body Connection  wherein he explained in great detail the Mind Body plugin at the Reticular Formation[5] deep within our Brain Stem, which offers us a possible explanation to any potential ‘… Golden Lining…’ underpinning Covid and Long Covid infection? Solms ‘… goes beyond other neuroscientists by paying close attention to the subjective experiences of hundreds of neurological patients[and]… asks why our brains, which function unconsciously for the most part, require consciousness at all… [and]… asks how the subjective stuff of experience can be inserted into our mechanistic account of brain functioning. There seems to be no place or need for subjective experience in the physical universe… [6]

Then I joined the July 2022 HINT zoom, always a fascinating thing to do, and amongst the very last few chats thrown out as the host closed the session, were a few comments asking if there might just be a ‘… Golden lining… ‘ underpinning Covid and Long Covid once it has totally cleared up and departed, leaving the patient shaken if not stirred in a completely new thought space? Perzackly!

I’ve also been lucky enough to discuss this subtle thought fluid of half formed ideas several times with David Lister over the past few months, and he wisely informed me it is the flow of emotions that is paramount. I totally agree. I am also surrounded by wonderful homeopathic colleagues who take my ponderings seriously enough to openly discuss and consider them with me. How fortunate I am to be a homeopath with such ready connections to such great minds surrounding me?

We are all witnessing and worried about the outbreak of crime, PTSD, mental illness and stress breaking out all around us as we ‘… live in such difficult times…’ Human violence and war is also an enormous concern. If Covid and Long Covid is reprogramming our Reticular Formation, then maybe we should be more aware of the Classical Reaction, because so very many people are going through this horrible time alone with no support and often with poor medical and social backgrounds and histories. What of them?

These anxieties put me in mind of an ancient paper I wrote in 1988, which could do with a re-airing at this time because it considers the dangers of sudden explosive release of the enormous emotional and potentially epigenetic compressions built up in some cases? If I am right, then we must become ever watchful for these potential catastrophes underlying Covid and Long Covid and its often extremely complex recovery.

The Classical Reaction

Male d.o.b. 20.8.1966 consulted me on 17.8.1988. Pale, Slender, tall and very nervous, sitting all coiled up, tense, hands around face. He complained of a ‘… continuous nervous knot like permanent butterflies... ‘ around his heart, which ‘… pounds fast…’ with nausea < anticipation.

HO suicide attempt aged 15 ‘… to do with being gay…’ This OD consisted of a cocktail ‘… about 40 tablets… all downers…’ which resulted in a stomach pump and waking up in hospital after 2 days ‘… crying, freaked out and me legs didn’t work…’ He had lots of injections in hospital (he didn’t know what) and was on a ward for 10 weeks. Seeing the state of the other patients ‘… shamed…’ him into walking again ‘… it felt very strange being 6’ instead of 3’ tall…’ and he remembered ‘… terrible aches…’ in his legs, right knee, tense muscles, which ‘… continuously prevented sleep…’ He still gets this when he is ‘… highly strung…’ He has constant low back pain, sharp like a trapped nerve, which radiated in a circle from L3/4 to mid thoracic and over both hips. It often starts 2 hours after getting up in the morning and can last all day, it is often < evenings but absent in sleep. It is not relieved by hanging from a door frame or from yoga.

Very frightened of adults he reported his earliest memory of his father ‘… throwing me against a wall in a temper…’ Both his parents drank and they divorced 14 years ago, but have just recently remarried each other. Client is the youngest child of this family, with an elder brother and 2 elder sisters. Always top of his class at school, he took his O levels in his 4th year, his A levels (Art and English) in  his 5th year, and CSE English lit grade 1 ‘… without taking the exam…’ With his brother, he swam competitively between ages 6-13 and was ‘… tipped for the Olympics at age 10… ‘ By age 12 he was swimming for England ‘… I loved competition, I loved winning…’

He saw a lot of violence in his youth and survived a strangling and knife attack. His brother bullied him mercilessly. Then he rebelled with ‘… cannabis, pills, sulphate, cocaine… I was out of my head all the time… I thought people were just beneath me…’ Friends pushed him into his first sexual encounter with a boy aged 16, which left him ‘… lacerated… ‘ after anal sex. He had been a ‘… goody goody…’ and his rebellion and his parental divorce all fed into his suicide attempt.

He subsequently trained in child care and had been a full time nanny, regretting he’d turned down a Fine Arts degree. He was now out of work and staying in all the time, living with his siter and pondering his next step. He had just broken up with his current boyfriend.

Physically, he’d had a normal delivery, was breast fed, he’d had all the normal childhood vaccinations, all the childhood illnesses (except mumps), croup aged 7 and scarlet fever aged 9, and a HO of constant right ear infections and this ear leaked all the time (clear fluid < swimming) with constant ache. He still gets this on occasion. As a child he’d had lots of styes that would burst. He’s always been very chilly > closed, warm rooms. He never sweats. He ‘… loves all weather…’ He is a doormouse but he does have rare insomnia and he has always been > evenings and < mornings. His head always ‘… thumps like a clamp…’ with acute thumping headaches 2-3 a month. They always affect his temples and come on at 4pm <<< sudden movement, bright light, tension.

His skin had always formed a welt from any touch. He showed me by lightly drawing the end of a match lightly along his arm, and within seconds, a HUGE raised red welt appeared. He used to do this deliberately to get out of games at school. If he scratches or rubs himself with a towel, his face will distort ‘… I can look like elephant man…’ If he jumps too hard, the soles of his feet will swell up. He has no known allergies but thinks salt may exacerbate his headaches.

Colds go straight to his chest with an itchy, burning throat that makes him gasp for air < cold air, frost, fog >> drinking ice cold water ‘… I love water… I want to sit on a rock by the sea and stay there forever…’ He is always very thirsty for ice cold water, fresh orange juice and fizzy drinks. He ‘… HATES… ‘ salt because it was given him in hot water when he took his overdose. He is always ‘… paranoid about having a heart problemeverything I eat goes straight to my heart…’ He ‘… HATES…’ fish with a phobic reaction and nausea. He ‘… HATES…’ vinegar, spicey food, hot food, yoghurt, sweets (though he has lots of sugar in his tea). He craves beans on cheesy toast, and raw steak with raw green vegetables. He is a finicky eater and will happily go without eating for days, and sometimes has to force himself to eat with no appetite, or he will succumb to sudden hunger binges.

HO kidney stones, painful and frequent ‘… I could pebble dash a beach…’ He always passes them OK. His urine is OK and he forgets to go, with a very strong bladder. His bowels are fine.

He remembers being a bright, enthusiastic child, very aware of a fer of male violence due to his father and brother. He was quiet, but extrovert with temper tantrums. He does lose his temper ‘… like a bomb…’ when he throws things and ends up crying. He cries very easily and in front of people, though he is more likely to cry or sulk than lose his temper < reprimand. He is restless and fastidious, his concentration and memory are excellent.

He is clairvoyant and has had ‘… visitations since childhoodfrom nuns, from and old man who used to visit me at night… and we would sit and chat… the nun came to me in hospital and sat on my bed and told me it would all be OK...’ He can turn this on and off at will and he remembers clearly as a child telling his mother ‘… when I was a man I had a big, black horse and a house...’ Archangel Michael wants to be his spirit guide ‘… but I’m not really interested… I feel him occasionally near to my own form… he is not troublesome…’ He admits to being … a bit freaked out…’ by the light that surrounds everyone, but he mostly ignores it as ‘… it’s always there…’

He meditates and reads ‘… vast quantities… always reading…’ He has constant vivid dreams of being shot at, of heights, of helping people in a war, about stopping a woman jump off a bridge, of telling people they will get better, of speaking different languages, of being sucked into a mirror by something evil (just before his suicide attempt) when his brother tried to save him by pulling him out by his arms. His brother and sister did actually save his life at that time by making him vomit before the ambulance arrived.

As I was a homeopathic student under supervision in 1988, I took this case to my home tutor and my college tutor group Much animated discussion followed and a group decision of Syphilinum 1m single dose was recommended and given on 30.11.1988. On 3.12.1988, he had a violent temper outburst involving headbanging car windscreens, tearing up a seat in a cinema, bending iron railings with his hands, he then attacked his best friend, but was luckily held down by five friends. He then came round to my house and smashed in my front door, reducing it to firewood. Oddly enough, I was not frightened by him and reminding him there were children present I merely told him to go and he ran off in tears (my wonderful builder came straight round and made me secure for the night).

I phoned his sister, and 20 minutes later she appeared hand on hip walking her brother down the street by his ear. He was sobbing and they came in and sat down in my kitchen, and in the end, we had to give him a tea towel to mop up his copious flood of tears as he’d used up all the tissues. This crying storm lasted a good hour ‘… I did it because others were enjoying themselves and I felt alien…’ I gave him some Nux Vom 30c to take home with him.

Within a month of this incident, he changed his boyfriend, his hair colour and style, his style of dress, his job, his home his career and his outlook. He moved to the other side of London and took up a professional job. I still get postcards from him now and then, and he has never looked back and he thinks homeopathy is ‘… brilliant…’ He has never needed another remedy since that date.

However, I had learned a huge lesson from this Classical Reaction. Awesome power? Whoa! This is a great weapon in our arsenal… hang on a minute… This is rather war like language… I stepped back a few metres and began to consider my own language and reaction…. Firstly, to Organon aphorism 270 where Hahnemann talks of a ‘… spirit like medicinal power…’

I would like to pose some simple questions for us all regarding the unfoldment of the Vital Force under a true similimum… or after Covid infection and Long Covid reaction? How do we avoid such pent up emotional and mental energy being released so suddenly and so catastrophically? Are a client’s symptoms a really intelligent defensive posture taken up by the Vital Force to protect them? Can we judge this force and assess how the presenting symptoms are defending the client? Can we also agree that Covid 19 and Long Covid reaction can destroy a client’s original defensive symptom picture?

Another case?

A client who presented to me with chronic obstructive airways disease. She told me this started with the shock of discovering her murdered daughter four years previously. Her son in law had beheaded my client’s daughter in her kitchen. Aconite 200c one dose released her breathing and her whole symptom picture disappeared. Astonishing! Great? No! Her emotional wave surfaced three weeks later and she refused to face the rage and grief wanting to surface. She fell back into her original symptom picture and her chair lift to get her upstairs back into the same kitchen. Social Services would have done better if they’d rehoused her, but they didn’t. She refused to see me again and discharged herself from Homeopathic treatment.

Another case?

A client who suffered with a stomach ulcer, psoriasis and post-divorce angst. Sepia 30c split dose cleared her symptoms for ten months with steady amelioration throughout. Then an old infected cyst under her right armpit discharged great volumes of old, green pus with an acute fever, and her psoriasis covered her from had to foot. Phosphorus 200c one dose given as an acute resulted in an initial flare up of her psoriasis and then continued steady amelioration of her whole physical condition. However, she also suffered a release of deep childhood upsets, memories and emotional grief and trauma incurred during her early adult life, by which time, she had no physical symptoms left at all. Imagine my shock when she phoned me up and summoned me AT ONCE to tirade me with anger and fright about a memory of a totally suppressed horrific rape she had pushed so far out of consciousness that she really had ‘… totally forgotten it…’ It took her three days and nights to unwillingly recover this terrifying memory, getting her out of bed at night to sit downstairs in the darkness alone, sweating, shaking and crying as the whole sorry business reformed in her consciousness. She was not happy with me at all, but she was brave enough and understood the significance of dumping this ‘… stuff… ‘ this Central Delusion/Disturbance enough to continue with Homeopathic treatment. She has remained symptom free since this time, but completely changed as a person.

The Central Delusion/Disturbance in these three cases were extreme but extremely well hidden behind their presenting symptoms. Hahnemann tackled this problem with LM potencies in the 6th Edition of his Organon, though my experience of working with LM potencies revealed reduced but similarly extreme Classical Reactions at the end of treatment. At least it gives us time to discuss these issues with our clients during treatment, and proves the intelligence of our three legged stool and the assistance of a very good psychoanalyst/befriender to work with the client outside our consulting rooms, alongside our homeopathic treatment as we all work together assist our clients?

Covid 19 is not so subtle, and this can have serious implications during Long Covid recovery and resolution. Society is not cognizant of this problem, and our NHS, police and social security services are overwhelmed and working blind in current circumstances… if my surmises are correct? Our myth of amelioration without aggravation must be taken apart, I fear? Homeopathy or Covid 19… opens Pandora’s Box whether we like it or not.

To return to the young man given Syphillinum. He could have ended up in police cells if his friends hadn’t intervened. Our second case of the woman with chronic airways disease could have ended up on anti-depressive tablets for life if she hadn’t refused treatment and gone back to her original defensive symptom picture. Our third case was lucky and could understand the healing processes underlying her treatment.

I wish Hahnemann was here to assist us, but he is not. The least we can do is to become far more aware of the processes at work in our time.


[1] Elizabeth Adalian, Touching Base with TraumaReaching Across the Generations: A Three Dimensional Homeopathic Approach, (Writersworld, 2017));

[2] David Lister, 4 lectures on 6th, 16th, 23rd February and 3rd March 2017, and David’s five lectures on 18 July, 1 August, 15 August, 29 August and 12 September 2019.

[3] the hollow conical process of gray matter connecting the pituitary gland to the hypothalamus.


[5] Mangold SA, M Das J. Neuroanatomy, Reticular Formation. [Updated 2021 Jul 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: ‘… The reticular formation is a complex network of brainstem nuclei and neurons that serve as a major integration and relay center for many vital brain systems to coordinate functions necessary for survival…


About the author

Sue Young

Sue Young B.Sc., FSHoM - My name is Sue Young and my passion is homeopathic history and the history of Humanity. My studies were inspired by the sterling work begun by Dana Ullman in his very influential book The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy.
Before I began my website, I wrote The Lost Book of History, the first attempt by a homeopath to study the whole history of humanity as a whole from our very origins. This was followed by Three Lost Books of Healing.
I hold a BSc in Psychology and an FSHOM in Homeopathy, having been in homeopathic private practice for over 30 years, I have been writing homeopathic history constantly for nearly 50 years. In 2022, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Dr Manish Bhatia’s, I was honoured to be among those recognized with an Award for Excellence in Homeopathy for my contributions to
I’m intensely pleased and proud to surrender my body of work to the Hahnemann House Trust and the very capable and precious hands of my esteemed colleague and friend Mel Draper, who will confidently carry this wonderful work into our homeopathic future.

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