In insanity cases, the same remedies seem to pop up over and over again. As a friend of ours recently noted on the Hpathy.com Discussion Forum when asking for help for a friend with uncontrollable rages, “The problem is, he looks like all these remedies!” We finally settled on Hyoscyamus because he spent hours in front of the mirror picking his face. (Hyoscyamus is known for “picking”.)
I know, I know; shouldn’t we be prescribing on something more substantial? What about violence, shrieking, cursing, destruction of property? Well, that’s what our friend meant when she said he had all of those things–all the common symptoms of insanity; how to choose the right remedy? Answer: The peculiar symptom!
The following are 5 of our most often prescribed remedies in insanity with emphasis on what differentiates one from the other; in other words, their peculiar or characteristic symptoms:
High energy and intensity are striking in this remedy. VIOLENCE or fear of violence. Night is a good time to look for Stramonium symptoms because they are AFRAID OF THE DARK, they are worse at night and may need ALL THE LIGHTS ON; a hall light or night light may not be enough. NIGHT TERRORS–shrieking in sleep, tossing and turning, sitting up and not knowing anyone, terrified, doesn’t remember the event in the morning. What would cause this state in a person? High fever, stroke, Meningitis, a recent FRIGHT or a fright they’ve never gotten over, sunstroke, dog bites, head injury, rabies, alcoholism, etc.
Other Stramonium symptoms are:
Fear of tunnels.
Desire to escape.
Eyes staring wide; half open during sleep.
Face–expression of terror.
Believes he is possessed by the devil.
There is a peculiar absence of pain where pain would be normal.
RAVING MANIA, super-human strength, dilated pupils, red face, violent rages, manic-depression.
Biting, striking, strangling.
Fear of water–sight of running water, sound of water, GETTING THE HEAD WET in the shower or the pool, shining objects, reflecting objects, glittering objects, animals, dogs, mirrors, disease, ghosts, suffocation, claustrophobia, death, anything like death, such as the color black or cemetaries, etc.
FEAR OF BEING ALONE, BETTER WITH COMPANY, especially at night.
STAMMERING. Makes explosive efforts to get the first syllable out.
Hallucinations: sees animals coming at him, sees ghosts, talks to spirits, hears voices.
(All the insanity remedies seem to have religious affections– praying, talking to God, believing he is some great religious figure, etc., so, we can’t really use this feature to differentiate among these remedies.)
LACHESIS (the Bushmaster snake)
Intense people, egotistical, arrogant. This remedy is especially associated with an excessive use of alcohol.
LOCQUACIOUS, jumping from one subject to another. Patient TALKS a lot and talks LOUD! (But, in a sense, most of these remedies talk loud. Hyoscyamus talks loud, but, no one talks as much as Lachesis.)
Lachesis knows how to strike at the weak points of others and devastate them; sarcastic wit. Think of the sharp teeth of the snake and how they will suddenly STRIKE, taking the victim completely off guard.
JEALOUS and envious. Very POSSESSIVE. SUSPICIOUS that the partner is cheating. The Lachesis spouse will listen in on the wife’s phone conversations, go through her personal papers, have her followed, watch her carefully when she’s with other men, and finally will make an outrageous statement, “I know you’re seeing Howie Flurg!” The wife says, “I don’t even like Howie Flurg!” But eventually it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy; the wife will get fed up and leave, but she’ll have to call the police to get her husband the snake away from her!
Suspicious in general of everyone’s intentions, which can escalate into PARANOIA. Suspicious of you, the remedy, and probably will refuse to take the remedy, will suspect you of trying to POISON him. As Lachesis is a venom, look for them to have a big issue with poisoning.
Snake venom causes the victim to hemorrhage, so, think of BLEEDING problems in Lachesis patients, such as nose bleeds or history of nose bleeds. In fact, think of disturbances of the blood–the vascular system, the cardio-vascular system: HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, heart disease, hot flashes of menopause.
DISCHARGES AMELIORATE. That means that the headache will improve with a nasal discharge, or PMS will get better when the menstrual flow begins. Any discharge may make the person feel better; conversely, stopping normal discharges will aggravate a Lachesis person.
Think of THE COLOR PURPLE. Problems on the skin will have a bluish/purplish appearance–ulcers, boils, blisters, swellings, and the color of the sore throat will be purple.
Think of how a snake can be completely controlled by being grabbed around the THROAT; therefore, Lachesis cannot bear TIGHT collars or tight clothes in general. I was fooled once by a Lachesis client. I missed the remedy because the client wore very tight clothes; but what I didn’t know was, she took them off the minute she got home, it was only for fashion! Find out what your patient wears when he can wear anything he wants. Similarly, the Lachesis person cannot tolerate any “tight” or “restricting” situation! For example, working under authority, having to adhere to a schedule, having to answer to someone, having to follow orders.
They may be angry, aggressive, sarcastic, hate-filled, vengeful.
SLEEP is not their friend! Sleep is a very bad time for Lachesis! They may have insomnia, or they may wake worse than they were before they went to sleep. Waking with a feeling of SUFFOCATION is a common complaint of Lachesis. Again, issues of the throat–a sensitive area for Lachesis.
LEFT-SIDED complaints, or complaints that start on the left and move to the right.
Lachesis people are hot and better from cool/cold open air and cold drinks.
Fear of heart attacks, suffocating, or SNAKES, or may really like snakes and think they’re interesting. They may have a fear that they’re being followed, delusion: someone is behind them.
Tendency to alcoholism–another poison.
Mania, aggression, loud speech. These are men who will suspect the girl friend or wife of cheating, have her followed, listen in on her phone conversations, and possibly end up killing her in a jealous rage!
They prefer not to sleep on their left side.
Aversion to touch or pressure.
Trouble with SWALLOWING, especially empty swallowing or water.
Issues with the tongue–may not be able to extend it outwards, may have a tremor, may catch on the teeth or lower lip.
Ailments that come on after jealousy, better from cold open air.
Cold hands and feet.
The greatest danger from Lachesis is when they’ve been drinking, at which time they may fly into a jealous, murderous rage.
Loquacious and suspicious and JEALOUS like Lachesis. The etiology for this state may be disappointed love. (Mrs. Hyoscyamus may end up calling the police too!)
Mania, rage, aggression, increased strength. Delusion he will be poisoned. Delusion he is pursued by the police. Delusion he sees ghosts and spirits.
Fear of poison, dogs, animals, WATER.
Ability or desire to kill. Mania and rage; desire to break things.
Attempts to escape.
Like Lachesis, may have trouble swallowing liquids.
What Hyoscyamus is well known for is: LEWDNESS, LOUD LAUGHTER, NUDITY, undressing in public, SHAMELESSNESS, CURSING, WILD TALKING, dancing, SILLY AND FOOLISH behavior, jesting, making strange gestures, restless fingers, “PICKING”–picking anything–imaginary things in the air, picking the bedspread, the clothing, and so on.
FEAR OF BEING ALONE, like Stramonium. DESIRES COMPANY.
Sleepless from mental agitation, nightmares.
Just as suspicious as Lachesis, fear of being poisoned.
Talks rapidly, changes subjects often, laughs immoderately, rolls on the ground, dances, gesticulates, and in general behaves wildly and shamelessly.
In the Repertory, “Mind: insanity, crazy person, behaves like a”–Hyoscyamus is the only “3” in this rubric (which means the only remedy highly indicated for this behavior).
The idea in this remedy is a DIVIDED self, or the idea of being separate; separate from the family or group, separate from society–doesn’t fit in; and in general, two selves divided. He might be described as a DEVIL by some and an ANGEL by others who aren’t aware of this other self. He might believe that he is possessed by the devil. He may say that he HEARS VOICES and the voices tell him what to do. He may sense the presence of “others” or another, where no one is there. The remedy itself in it’s physical form is a nut (no pun intended) that is very sweet on the inside and hard and caustic on the outside, which very aptly explains this remedy–hard, as in no feeling for the suffering of others or the suffering that he may cause. These are the people who can be very CRUEL TO ANIMALS.
The Anacardium person may be someone who was pressured by domineering parents to become something the parents could be proud of. Unable to achieve this, he has both ANGER and LOW SELF ESTEEM. His most often repeated phrase may be “I HATE…!” (“I hate my life, I hate school, I hate everyone…” and so on.)
There is a lot of CURSING, SHOUTING, acting in CRUEL and malicious ways, especially if he’s a child or adolescent who’s been beaten and ABUSED in childhood, which is frequently the etiology for this remedy. Some important characteristic symptoms of this remedy are:
INDECISION. Consistent with his divided self, he finds deciding between one thing and another next to impossible and exasperating.
POOR MEMORY. These are people who have to read the same paragraph over and over again before any of it sinks in.
May avoid the company of others because of feeling “different”.
EATING AMELIORATES ALL COMPLAINTS. Whether it’s fever or headache or a fit of rage, eating will calm this person down and make him feel better.
There may be a propensity to say the opposite of what he intended, or write the opposite of what he meant, or do the opposite of what he meant to do…again, the theme of opposing forces struggling to hold sway.
Nux Vomica is Latin for “poison nut”. The key words for this remedy are: OVER-SENSITIVE, OVER-ACHIEVING and NEED FOR STIMULATION. When you think about it, everything that’s wrong with Nux Vomica springs from here. Let’s start with over-achieving.
This is not your remedy for timidity and low self-esteem! Nux Vomica sees what he wants, has a goal, and goes after it; nothing can stop Nux Vomica! These people are focused! Just try and stop them–you can’t! These are football players who plow their way into the end zone, they don’t care if they get hurt or who’s in their way! They want power, they want their way, and they’re never wrong–according to them. They don’t shrink from confrontation, in fact they welcome it–just itching for a fight! In fact, they may “start something” if the scene they’re occupying is too bland! This is because of their need for STIMULATION (which may explain their desire for SPICY FOOD–in fact, their lives are anything but bland!) They crave stimulation, challenges. Their idea of relaxing is to TAKE ON MORE WORK! (“OCCUPATION AMELIORATES”)
But this constant need for stimulation can be problematic. The Nux Vomica “family man” simply can’t be content in a tranquil, peaceful home. Such bland surroundings would irritate him immensely. So Mr. Nux Vomica finds fault with everything and everyone in his home: Dinner wasn’t served on time! Someone’s sitting in his chair! And if Mr. Nux Vomica has a drinking problem (and he probably does) look out! They have a fiery temper–so angry they could kill! EXPLOSIONS! OUTBURSTS! This is the house where the wife and the kids are walking on egg shells because they don’t know what’s going to set Dad off next! And after he’s got everyone in the house crying and yelling, he’ll have the nerve to say, “Shh! I need to be quiet!” (OVERSENSITIVITY, easily irritated) And the family is like, Hey! We would like you to be quiet too!!!!
Because of all of Mr. Nux Vomica’s bad habits–his overwork, lack of sleep, use of drugs and coffee and alcohol (STIMULANTS), his nerves are frayed! He can’t tolerate interruptions, he can’t tolerate noise; in fact, in order to work, he must have COMPLETE QUIET! And by that I mean, the television can’t be on anywhere in the house! To go to sleep, again, Mr. Nux Vomica needs COMPLETE QUIET! Odors also bother him. In fact, any DISHARMONY in the environment at all is intolerable. He says, “My house is a constant irritation to me!”
Everything he does is done perfectly and systematically with attention to detail and efficiency, and don’t you try to help because you won’t know how! He can’t delegate authority because everyone is so incompetent! He won’t even let the family order in a restaurant. If the wife orders fish, he’ll say, “You don’t want the fish. The fish isn’t good here. Let me handle this. Waiter, my wife will have the prime rib.”
With all the drugs and coffee and alcohol, it should come as no surprise that Mr. Nux Vomica’s digestive system is too toxic to function. It doesn’t eliminate. He tends to be constipated, he has heartburn, does a lot of burping, has a lot of bloating.
Morning is a very bad time for him. He may wake feeling very toxic and he’s not going to really feel good until the evening. I’m trying to think of famous Nux vomicas….
Here are some confirmatory symptoms for Nux Vomica:
CHILLY and worse least draft of air.
Desires rich, fatty food, red meat, cigarettes, alcohol, coffee, spicy.
CHARACTER CHANGES FROM USE OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL, and we don’t necessarily mean illegal drugs; Rx drugs are a problem for Nux Vomica too.
twitching and trembling. Spasms.
INSOMNIA, waking at 3 AM.
SYMPATHETIC, because of their sensitivity can empathize with the pain of others. Can’t tolerate cruelty to animals. Can’t bear to see suffering.
Kindness with spells of angry outbursts
Loves to take charge
Tenesmus–wants to but can’t: Wants to urinate but can’t, nauseous but can’t vomit
Reverse parastalsis–stool seems to be moving the wrong way!
I wish you a family full of Calcarea carbonicas!