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Thinking in Repertorese

Do you ever think of a symptom, but it doesn’t show up in the repertory? Today’s repertories and software are often based on Kent’s Repertory, so it’s helpful to know how to translate some of the words. Below are suggestions for finding the proper rubrics.  Another problem is translating the patient’s statements into rubrics.  It can feel overwhelming at first, when faced with an onslaught of words and emotions. Don’t despair!  This is just a learned skill, and below are exercises for that as well. Good case taking!

1. Think of synonyms or older words which have the same meaning. For instance, if your patient isBossy”, try “Dictatorial”.  If he is “Critical”, consider “Censorious”, or   “Reproaches others”.

2. Ask yourself,What behaviors does that word represent?”   “Agoraphobia” is found in Kent under “Going out, aversion to”, “Fear – out of doors”, “Fear, crowd, in a”.

3. If the symptom describes unusual thoughts, look under “Delusions.”

A woman thinks everyone is watching her – Delusion: Looking at her, that everyone is.

4. If the symptom is a few words, try looking up each word.  “Fear that something terrible will happen,” is found in the Delusions section as:  “Happen, something terrible will”.  If a person lacks will power to undertake anything, this is found as “Undertakes – lacks will power to undertake anything.”

Here are some symptoms in ordinary language and then the words used in Kent’s repertory.

Ordinary language Repertory Language
IndecisiveIrresolute
AdventurousAudacity, Courageous, Rashness etc.
GuiltRemorse, Reproaches himself, Anger-mistakes-own, Anxiety, conscience of, Delirium- blames himself, delusion- crime as if he committed etc.
ApathyIndifference, Ennui, Amusement-averse, Heedless
RegretRemorse, Anguish, Anger-mistakes own, Anxiety -conscience,  Reproaches himself, etc.
GreedAvarice, Desires -more than she needs, Envy,  Selfishness
Bad temperedIrritability, Contrary, Unfriendly, Unfriendly-humor
DomineeringDictatorial, Reproaches others, Censorious
CondescendingHaughty, Contemptuous, Delusion- better than others.
BoredomEnnui, under Generals see- Lassitude)
Critical, Blames othersCensorious, Reproaches others, faultfinding, Conscientious about trifles, haughty.
ResentmentAnger with indignation, Brooding, Dwells on past events, etc.
DedicatedPertinacity (holding to an opinion), Defiant, Courageous etc
PessimisticDiscouraged, Delusions- everything will fail, succeed cannot.  Fears- undertaking anything, Helplessness- feeling of, Undertakes- lacks will power to undertake anything.
Easy goingTranquility, Mildness, Quiet disposition.
ArgumentativeQuarrelsome, Contradict- disposition to, Contrary, Fight – wants to, anger
CreativeConcentration – active, Ideas-abundant, Plans, Theorizing, Thoughts – profound
Critical of selfReproaches self, Anger- mistakes over his, Contemptuous, of self, Delirium-blames himself, Discontented- himself  with
Feels criticizedSensitive-over sensitive, Despair from smallest criticism, Admonition aggravates. Delusion: accused, thinks she is; insulted he is; looked down upon; imagines he is laughed at, etc
CompassionateSympathetic, Benevolence, Affectionate, Anxiety for others.
StealingKleptomania
IntrovertedCompany- averse to, Talk- indisposed to, Bashful, Reserved, Quiet disposition, Amelioration when alone, Secretive, Timidity.
ExtrovertedCompany- desire for , Cheerful in company, Alone while, aggravates, etc.
SpontaneousImpetuous, Impulsive, Quick to act.
Plans everythingCarefulness, Cautious, Fastidious.
EmotionalExcitement, Exhilaration, High spirited, Irritability When excited.
Hard workingIndustrious, Activity -desires, Busy, Occupation ameliorates,  Exertion ameliorates, Work -desires, Irritability- idle while.
Sense of justice or fairnessWeeping- sympathy for others, anxiety – others for, Sensitive- over sensitive- cruelties hearing of, Sensitive to moral impressions, discontented, Sympathetic.
InconsistentInconstancy, Undertakes many things, Persists in nothing, Mood-changeable, Capricious.
LazyIndolence,  Exertion- aggravation from mental, Fear-Work, Loathing work –  Time- fritters away his , Work- aversion to mental, Business-  averse to. (Under Generals see -Exertion- physical aggravates. )
StubbornObstinate, Contrary, Pertinacity, etc.
ObsessionalThoughts-persistent, same idea repeated,  See also Anxiety, Fears, etc.
OptimisticCheerful, Hopeful, etc.
PerfectionismAnger- mistakes-his own, Reproaches himself, Rest-cannot when things aren’t in place, Anxiety of conscience, Delusions: Right-does nothing, Thinks he has done wrong, deserves reproach, neglected his duty, etc.
LiesLies, Deceitful, Untruthful, Slander- disposition to.
PessimismDiscouraged, Helplessness, Lamenting, Undertakes- lacks will power to undertake anything,  Wrong-everything seems, Delusion: fail- everything will, succeed cannot-does everything  wrong,  Fears undertaking anything,
SloppyIndifference-personal appearance to
PremonitionClairvoyance,  Prophesying,  Death- presentiment of, Fear- that something will happen, Sleep: Dreams- clairvoyant, events not taken place, prophetic, visionary. Delusion: Happen-something terrible will.
Fear of ResponsibilityAnxiety- anything expected of him, Fears- undertaking anything, Timidity, Cowardice, etc
ResponsibleConscientious -about trifles, Industrious, Sensitive to moral impressions, etc.
Conflicted/AmbivalentAntagonism with herself, Thoughts- two trains of, Irresolution, Will- pulled in two directions, Undertakes things opposed, Confusion- identity.
TalkativeLoquacious, Talk- wants to, Gossiping, Reveals secrets, Speech- babbling, Delirium- changing subjects rapidly, Delirium loquacious.
VanityEgotism, Haughty, Affectation, Aloof,  Flattery- desires, Contemptuous, Deeds-feels  as if he could do great, etc.
Mentally foggyStupefaction, Dullness, Prostration of mind, Torpor, Unobserving, Concentration difficult, Thoughts- wandering, Memory- weakness.
MegalomaniaPower- love of, Egotism, Contradiction- intolerant of, etc.
HumiliationMortification, Embarrassed, Reproach- ailments from,  Chagrin, Indignation, Honour- effects of wounded.
FantasiesSee under “Delusions”
Excessive tidinessFastidious, Conscientious about trifles, Rest-cannot when things are not in place, Washing- always washing her hands, Delusions: Contaminates everything, feels dirty, (Under Generalities see “Uncleanliness aggravates”).
AbandonedForsaken, Estranged, (See also various Delusions: eg. Affection of friends-has lost, deserted feels, friendless he is, etc.
Tendency to drink alcoholDipsomania, (also under  Stomach: Desires -alcohol)
Delirium TremensMania a potu
RebelliousContrary, Defiant, Obstinate, Pertinacity
Head in the clouds –Absorbed- buried in thought, Abstraction, Theorizing, Absent minded, Thoughts-thoughtful, Fancies- absorbed in etc.
HypochondriacAnxiety -health- hypochondriacal, Despair-health of recovery,  Doubtful -recovery, Delusions : disease-has every, feels he has ruined, sickness-imagined.
DependentHelplessness, feeling of
Over talkativeLoquacious/  Talking- pleasure in his own

Here are statements patients might make, and some appropriate rubrics:

“I’m a shoplifter” –       kleptomania

“I’m a workaholic “ –     industrious

“I lie in bed worrying about everything” –   Anxiety – evening in bed/ lying while

“I feel spacey and can’t focus “–   Absent minded, thoughts wander,  concentration difficult.

“I’m painfully shy” –       Timidity

“I get pissed when people disagree with me” – Anger- contradiction from

“I never felt the need to work. I like to sit around” – Indolence/ Sit-inclination to

“I felt like I was going to die” – Death- sensation of

“I never finish anything” –   Inconstancy

“I can never make up my mind” – Irresolute

“I hear every little sound” – Sensitive – noise to

“I hate wearing clothes. I’m a nudist”. – Naked- wants to be

I don’t want to answer questions” – Answers -refuses to

“I think I might have cancer, heart disease or arthritis” – Anxiety- health  about

“I feel I’m never going to get better” – Despair of recovery

“I sleep on the couch, the floor, or window sill- never the bed” – Bed – aversion to

“I have to work hard to concentrate” –  Concentration- difficult

“I can’t stand being around women” – Women- aversion to

“I will die at midnight” – Death- presentiment of- predicts time

“I can’t seem to stop my thoughts” – Thoughts- persistent

“I am Christ arisen” –  Delusion- Christ- thinks himself to be

“I got cramps after being embarrassed” – Mortification -ailments after

“I cry when people speak to me” -Weeping- spoken to when

“My thoughts are always in conflict” Will- contradiction of

“Everyone is more fortunate than me. I never got a break”– Unfortunate -feels

“I spit right in their faces”- Spits in faces of people

“I’m not taking any remedies” – Refuses to take medicine

“I gets sick worrying about things in advance – Anticipation- complaints from

“I want to try out for the team but I’m afraid I’m not good enough” – Confidence- want of self / discouraged, Delusion: – succeed- thinks he cannot

“I just can’t mingle at parties. I don’t know how to act.  I can’t even ask someone to dance”. Shy, Bashful, Timid, Reserved

I’ve lost my job. That was my life work. It was everything. I’ll never have a chance like that again. There’s nothing I can do”. Grief, Despair, Sadness, Helplessness, Inconsolable

“Why can’t they schedule these appointments better?  I’ve been waiting for over an hour.  I don’t want to spend all day here. Impatience

“I’ve got no character. I started drinking again. My family thinks I quit. I don’t want them to find out I failed”. (Remorse, Reproaches himself, Anxiety-conscience of.

Turning a Patient’s Words into Rubrics

Find rubrics to describe these statements.  (Answers at the end)

Abbreviations:  Pt= Patient,  Hom= Homeopath

#1

Pt: I’m sorry I’m late.

Hom: No problem, it’s only five minutes.

Pt: Well, you said three o’clock and I should have been here.  I do everything wrong .  My son just dropped out of school and I couldn’t stop him.. I wasn’t a good parent. I should have been more firm with him, given him more direction.  I never learned how to be a parent. I didn’t give him what he needed. I should have gone back to school, made something of myself, been a better role model for him. Now he has no one to look up to.

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#2

Hom: What brings you here?

Pt: What kind of a question is that? What do you think brings me here, I’m sick!

Hom: Would you like to tell me about it?

Pt: Of course!  (Describes various physical problems..then)  It’s difficult at work. I told them I couldn’t do heavy lifting. So what do they do?  They stick me at a desk filing papers all day!  I said, “I’m not going to shuffle papers.”  So then they had me answering phones. They can’t treat me like that. I can file a suit.

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#3

Pt: I have this back pain for the last 3 months.

Hom: Could you describe it?

Pt: Well, it’s like my cosmic energy is swirled around the wrong way. I  think I opposed the order of the universe and this is the reverberation manifested somatically.

Hom: What part of your back hurts?

Pt: I don’t know if it makes sense to limit ourselves to the body, since that’s just an extension or densification of our energy field. I mean, one part is all parts, is every part!

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#4

Pt: I think about those movie stars, you know, all the money they get. And what do they do? Nothing! Anybody can do that. I bet they all knew somebody. There’s a fellow at work, who just started. Makes twice what I do. Why didn’t they offer me that job?  I know everything he knows. He wears expensive suits, drives home is a big car, probably gets all the women.

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#5

Pt: Here are my medical records as you requested. “They are in chronological order and I’ve put tabs on the outside to make them easier to locate.

Hom: Thank you for going to all that trouble.

Pt: No trouble at all.  I like a sense of order.  I’m not comfortable with disorganization or clutter. Books should be returned to where you found them, as should silverware. I believe in being conscientious.  I told a friend I would return her pen on Thursday. It was pouring rain, but I walked a mile to her house to hand it to her!

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#6

Pt: I never sit in the house alone because I start getting nervous, thinking about dying. I feel like I’m all alone in the world.  As soon as people come over I cheer up.  I really like having company around.

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Answers 1-6

#1 Reproaches himself.  Anger-mistakes- own. Delusion -right-does nothing.

#2  Contrary, Contradict- disposition to, Quarrelsome, Defiant,  Irritability, Fight-wants to , Anger- when he has to answer.

#3 Abstraction, Theorizing, Fancies- absorbed in.

#4  Jealousy

#5 Fastidious, Conscientious about trifles, Rest, cannot , when things are not in place.

#6 Company – desire for, Cheerful in Company, Anxiety alone, Death-thinks of, Delusion- alone feels.

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Alan V. Schmukler is a homeopath and educator. He is the author of Homeopathy: An A to Z Home Handbook. You can visit his website at www.healgently.com. Questions and comments are welcome at [email protected]