This paper, presented during our last seminar in Sepia 2002, was very much appreciated by participants. We promised to publish it in our next series. This paper is just a small sample of extracting the mental state of a patient from little information about their attitude towards their problem.
How to understand the psyche of a patient from his/her common expression?.
Suppose a patient comes to us for the first time and tells us that it is his/her first visit to any doctor for the problem. We ask why he did not take any treatment. There could be various reasons for a patient not visiting a doctor earlier. Some patients say:
1) Before this problem I never had any problem in my life. (WELL, feels very, ill, before falling) (Bryonia, Helonias, N. V., Phosphorus, Psorinum, Sepia) Normally sometimes I used to get headache, fever etc. as sickness. I never considered them as a problem. I used to consider them a normal routine problem of life. I never took any medicine for that. (DELUSIONS, well, he is)
(For this patient, headache, fever, cough etc. is not a problem but in his opinion such ailments are part of a normal routine trouble for which he had never felt the need to visit a doctor.)
2) I have been suffering from this problem for a long time. It used to heal by itself within 2 – 3 days. (INDIFFERENCE, complain, does not). This time it did not happen like this. Today is the 6th day and it is still persisting. It has caused some apprehension (ALERT) in me that if it won’t stop it might take more days and with this my problem could increase further (FEAR, extravagance, of).
3) I had been thinking of coming to you for a long time. But somehow, I could not make it due to some unavoidable circumstances like guest visits, exams of kids, or illness of a family member. I do not have time for myself. Today, I was a bit free so I thought it a better opportunity to come to you. I would not have come to you if there had been some work at home. It is important for me to take care of my family members and to regard my elders.
CARES, others, about REVERENCE for those around him
4) I was able to manage without any medicine. I never felt the need therefore. (CONTENT)
5) When I mentioned about my sickness to my family members nobody took it seriously. Instead they told me that it was only psychological. It seemed no real problem to them and they expected me to ignore it. Then I kept quiet and did not mention it again.
MILDNESS, YIELDING disposition
6) A couple of times I called at your clinic and also visited but you were not there. I came to know that you were out of town. Meanwhile the problem subsided and I forgot about it. Today when I felt the pain again it reminded me of you.
UNCONSCIOUSNESS, interrupted by screaming
7) I don’t take any medicine easily; also I am not very fond of visiting a doctor. Usually I try to manage my problem by myself. I take natural treatment like I take herbal tea if I get a cold or apply some herbal ointment if I get headache. It is only when I feel that it is not possible for me to manage without the medicine then only I go for the homoeopathic medicine.
DELUSIONS, help, calling for SHRIEKING, aid, for
8) I never get scared of any problem whether it is related to my body, my profession, my family or home. For the last 3 months I have been feeling some problem but I ignored it. (INDIFFERENCE, complain, does not) A couple of days back I got some medical investigation done for it. They diagnosed a problem in my stomach for which there is no allopathic medicine except surgery. Since I have come to know that my problem’s only solution is surgery, I am thinking on how to avoid surgery. I don’t want to have surgery for it. AFFECTATION (Why is it affectation? In the beginning he says, I ignored it. He wanted to show how bold he is but as soon as he comes to know that his problem needs surgery, his boldness vanishes. So he is pretending a false image. I wish it would be cured with medicine, no matter how much time and money I have to spend. I am capable to buy even the costliest medicine. I beg and pray you to please take me out of this problem.
PRAYING, DELIRIUM, crying help, for
9) I must tell you the truth, (TRUTH, tell the plain) I did not take my problem seriously in the beginning. I kept on ignoring it considering it as a minor problem. (INDIFFERENCE, complain does not) One day I read an article in a health magazine about problems related to throat problems, in which they have mentioned that if somebody has such and such symptoms, chances are that he or she could have an impending serious condition of health. (FEAR, betrayed, of being) Thereafter I have become cautious and now I am taking it seriously. (CAUTIOUS)
10) I had been thinking of doing something for my problem but I could not understand as what to do, and whom to approach for it.
GROPING, as if in the dark
11) I had been thinking of taking treatment for it but was not able to decide which treatment shall I take, allopathy or homoeopathy. I don’t mind taking any one of them. For me I am more concerned about relief.
THOUGHTS, two trains of thoughts, CONFUSION
12) It was in my mind to consult a Doctor for my treatment but I did not want my parents to know about it. I was worried about them. I did not want to put them to undue anxiety and worry for me.
ANXIETY, others for
13) I have been suffering from this ailment and easily bearing it for a long time. (PERSEVERANCE) I was able to do my work with an ease. (DELUSIONS, wealth, imagination of) But for a month now I am noticing some weakness with it which is affecting my ability to work efficiently. I am worried that if it prolongs for some time more it can affect my business.
BUSINESS, talks of
14) After getting repeated attacks at frequent intervals I have now realized that it is the same old problem, which used to trouble me during my childhood. (DULLNESS, understands the question only after repetition).
15) In our house nobody believes in allopathic treatment. For ages we have believed in natural healing. Everybody in my house is aware of its harmful effect on the whole body even if you take it for simple headache. I am full of such fears. (PREJUDICE, traditional, FEAR, poisoned of being)
16) I need medicine for weakness. I had fever during the last two days. For that I myself took Paracetamol tablet. (EGOTISM) Now I don’t have fever but I am feeling too weak. For that I don’t know what to do. I thought it is better to consult a doctor. Perhaps I need some tonic or vitamin. (SHRIEKING, aid for)
17) I am always so busy in my work that I cannot give more attention and time to my problem. (BUSINESS, talks of) I don’t remember if I ever took leave from my work for my problem. This is the first time that due to my fear of any serious problem I liked to remain in bed. (BED, remain in, desires for) The thing, which is bothering me is, What is my problem, Is it something serious? (FEAR, betrayed of being)
18) I did not bother to take any medicine. (FRIVOLOUS). I am taking rest at home. (REST, desires for). I have taken leave from office. I thought that with the help of taking rest I would be better in a couple of days. It did not happen like this and I have to attend my office very urgently. I can’t take any more leave. Please give me such a strong medicine which can give me quick relief so that I will be able to attend my office.
CARRIED, desires to be fast
19) Because you were not in the town so I waited for you to come. (RELIGIOUS, affection) I have faith only in you, your medicine suits me very well. (SUPERSTITIOUS)
20) For 2 years I have left all treatment. In the beginning I had taken a lot of treatment. I tried almost all the good doctors. Ultimately I left all the treatment. Even today I have no hope of having any relief. I don’t want to take any medicine. It is because of my husband’s persuasion that I agreed to come. What is the use of taking treatment? (DISCONCERTED)
21) Last year I have left all the treatment to give a break in between. (REST, desires for) I got bored of taking treatments. I thought some relief might come without any medicine but nothing happened. Therefore I thought of making another try through your medicine. (PLAY, passion for gambling) May be you can cure me. Please look into my problem carefully and get me rid of it. (CARRIED, desires to be).