Graphites is a remedy of the mineral kingdom. It is prepared from black lead, an amorphous Carbon. There are two very striking features of Graphites which blend together. The first is an excitement from the smallest possible cause and the second is an amelioration from weeping.
The Graphites woman is excitable, and trifles can create turmoil in her. She becomes restless and anxious, irritable and despairing, very sentimental. She gets worked up about the smallest of things and this accounts for her fastidiousness.
She simply cannot stay calm. It is as if she has to be excited in order to survive. One situation that would demand such an easy excitability would be that of a woman whose family takes things easy. The house is a mess, nothing works, everyone’s work is undone or half-done, and her husband and children could not care less. They relax and enjoy themselves. And so the woman is disappointed, and has to be excitable and restless.
Graphites patients are timid and lack of self-confidence. They are cowardly, irresolute and are always doubting themselves. This creates in them an anxiety. They are dull and cannot concentrate. They become restless when they have to concentrate, to think, to apply their minds to work.
These people will sit hours at a conference, drawing and scribbling, unable to concentrate. If asked about the conference, they may be able to repeat the events verbatim, but there will be no precis, because the later involves thinking, comprehending and understanding.
They cannot plan, are absent-minded and easily confused. Graphites is one of the chief remedies for “Ailments from anticipation”. They are always uneasy and fretful with the feeling of some impending misfortune. And any small trouble or problem can drive them to despair.
This excitability from trifles is markedly ameliorated from weeping. Weeping is an expression and the Graphites patient is much better from expressing her emotions. This disposition to weep seems like Pulsatilla, but the whole mood of the two remedies is very different.
Graphites will be excited, anxious, apprehensive, sad, despairing and despondent; but the moment she expresses her emotions, she becomes calm and relaxed. She can hardly keep anything to herself: her doubts, fears, loves and hates; they have to be expressed or conveyed. It is like a tuning fork that vibrates from a slight jerk and rests only when this vibration is transmitted to something else.
The excitability from trifles which is markedly better from an expression of the emotions makes of Graphites a unique personality. An example of Graphites might be one of a housewife who has received a letter about someone’s ill health or who has had an altercation with the shopkeeper, while her husband was away.
She becomes worked up, frets, is excited and restless. She cannot sit and do her work, but anxiously awaits her husband’s return. And almost as soon as he opens the door, she pours out the whole story to him. She describes everything that happened, excitedly and with a lot of details, and calms down only when she is finished.
Graphites patients in the clinic also seem excited, and describe their complaints with attention to the minutest detail. For example, the patient will say to you: “Doctor, when I got up in the night, I found that there was a burning in my chest, burning like a fire, and then when I drank cold water, I felt better, so much better.”
- Despair over trifles.
- Restlessness while sitting at work.
- Anxiety about future.
- Concentration, difficult.
- Conscientious about trifles.
- Death, presentiment of.
- Dullness, sluggishness from mental exertion.
- Excitement, excitable.
- Weeping ameliorates symptoms.
- Weeping causeless.
- Despondency, she must weep (Allen’s Hand Book).
- Skin, cracks in winter.
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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies: