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1 The HOMEOPATHIC CASE TAKING ATHOS OTHONOS Homeopathic Medical Doctor CONTENTS 2 PREFACE -What’s a homeopathic doctor doing in a Karate fight? -Be aware! The hidden harmony is more important than the obvious one! -The right attitude for karate, Homeopathy or anything else! -“The Kingdom belongs to the child!” -What do you see? -Round one: a time to watch -Round two: a time to gather and evaluate information -Round three: a time for a knock out! -The “Three Rounds” of Homeopathic Training CHAPTER 1 DOCTOR’S PERSONALITY: A CRUCIAL FACTOR METHODS OF HOMEOPATHIC DIAGNOSIS 1.1Doctor’s personality: a crucial factor in Homeopathy 1.2 In homeopathic diagnosis the doctor is the “measurement device” that “measures” the patient’s idiosyncrasy 1.3 The importance of proper training for a homeopathic doctor 1.4 MID: Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis 1.5 Other methods of “homeopathic” diagnosis CHAPTER 2 NON VERBAL BEHAVIOR 2.1 Idiosyncratic and miasmatic information from setting the appointment with the doctor! 2.2 The first contact with the patient in the office’s living room 2.3 In the office 2.4 Idiosyncratic Characteristics concerning Speech 2.5 Idiosyncratic Characteristics concerning body-type and appearance CHAPTER 3 SYMPTOMS, DISEASES, EVENTS AND THEIR VALUE IN MIASMATIC IDIOSYNCRATIC DIAGNOSIS 3.1 Idiosyncratic Diagnosis with the help of Miasmas 3.2 Modalities of symptoms 3.3 The importance of the course of Illness 3.4 Idiosyncratic and Miasmatic Characteristics regarding present and past case history 3.5 Life Decisive Events 3.6 Grading of symptoms 3 CHAPTER 4 GENERAL PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS 4.1 Ask the right way if you want to get the right answer! 4.2 How do we ask for heat and cold? 4.3 Hot idiosyncrasies 4.4 Cold idiosyncrasies 4.5 Sweating, offensive secretions, greasiness 4.6 Desire or aversion to sweet and salt 4.7 Sour taste and fat 4.8 Milk, cold water and onion 4.9 Position of sleep, nightly salivation 4.10 Relation with the sea CHAPTER 5 IRRITABILITY, TIDINESS AND INTROVERSION 5.1 Irritability 5.2 How to identify an idiosyncrasy through questions 5.3 What’s irritability grade 3? 5.4 Psoric Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.5 Sycotic Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.6 Syphilitic Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.7 Hysteric Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.8 Egoistic Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.9 Irritability of Lycopodium and Sulphur 5.10 Genuine Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.11 How do we ask for tidiness? 5.12 How does an experienced homeopathic doctor ask? 5.13 Nux Vomica: the typical representative of tidiness; tidiness “per se” 5.14 Other tidy idiosyncrasies 5.15 Sulphur, the typical sloppy guy! 5.16 How do we ask about introversion/extroversion 5.17 Extrovert Idiosyncrasies 5.18 Natrum Muriaticum is the typical psoric, introvert person 5.19 Other introvert idiosyncrasies 5.20 Idiosyncrasies that may be introvert or extrovert at times CHAPTER 6 FEARS, SELF-CONFIDENCE, INTELLECTUALITY 6.1 How do we ask about fears? 6.2 Phosphor: the main neuro-vegetative idiosyncrasy 6.3 Fear about health: Arsenicum, Aconitum, and Calcarea Carbonica 6.4 Other important fears 4 6.5 How do we ask about fixed ideas and obsessions? 6.6 Argentum Nitricum: the main obsessive idiosyncrasy 6.7 Fear of insanity: differential diagnosis 6.8 How do we ask about self-confidence? 6.9 Platina: the typical representative of syphilitic vanity 6.10 Other vain idiosyncrasies 6.11 Idiosyncrasies with low self-confidence 6.12 How do we ask about intellectuality? CHAPTER 7 LIVE HOMEOPATHIC CASE TAKING WITH ANALYSIS 7.1 Present illnesses, Past and Hereditary History 7.2 How to introduce the patient to Homeopathy 7.3 What can Homeopathy do to your case? 7.4 Repertorising and Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis 7.5 Non-verbal information and noting down of possible idiosyncrasies 7.6 How do we ask about his general physical characteristics? 7.7 Evaluation and noting down of general physical characteristics 7.8 Case taking demands quick and “aggressive” tempo 7.9 How do we ask about general psychological characteristics? 7.10 Evaluation and noting down of general psychological characteristics 7.11 Excluding less possible idiosyncrasies 7.12 Differential diagnosis between Sulphur and Lycopodium 7.13 Homeopathic Prescribing 7.14 Instructions to the patient CHAPTER 8 LIVE HOMEOPATHIC CASE TAKING BY A TRAINEE AND ANALYSIS BY THE AUTHOR 8.1 Obsessive ideas and depression 8.2 It is important to reach a clear diagnosis of the disease 8.3 The necessity of informing the patient about the homeopathic aspect of his problems 8.4 Our questions should be clear and understandable 8.5 Clarifications, clarifications, clarifications! 8.6 Indirect information is crucial to our diagnosis 8.7 How do we ask about irritability? The importance of examples 8.8 Words talk to us only if we are able to listen 8.9 How to ask and the use of emphasis 8.10 Clarify, clarify, clarify… 8.11 Predominant idiosyncrasy and secondary ones 8.12 Ask right, investigate and draw conclusions 5 8.13 Differential Diagnosis: Exclusion of relative idiosyncrasies and confirmation of Simillimum EPILOGUE PREFACE 6 -What’s a homeopathic doctor doing in a Karate fight? -Be aware! The hidden harmony is more important than the obvious one! -The right attitude for karate, Homeopathy or anything else! -“The Kingdom belongs to the child!” -What do you see? -Round one: a time to watch -Round two: a time to gather and evaluate information -Round three: a time for a knock out! - The “Three Rounds” of Homeopathic Training Instead of preface I will lay down an imaginative dialogue among a homeopathic doctor and his student. What’s a homeopathic doctor doing in a Karate fight? -I had the impression that today you were going to introduce me to the technique of homeopathic case taking; instead, here we are in a Karate fight! How come? -My friend, the kind of Homeopathy that I teach, isn’t, by any means, an academic or out-of-date piece; it is born out of real life and taught at the “University of Life”; not only in my medical office but also anywhere out of it. -OK, I can put up with philosophical extensions of a medical matter but what the hell Homeopathy has to do with a karate fight? -My Homeopathy respects and follows Universal Laws, that is, laws that govern the entire Universe. -I get it; I agree with what you have said in previous lectures that Homeopathy is based on the same Universal Laws to which Physics and Mathematics are based but, here, now, at a Karate fight we seem to be far away… -When it comes to a united Universe there is no “here” and “there”, “far away” and “close”. All are born by the same Principle and are governed by the same Universal Laws. So, if you want to be a good homeopathic doctor or a good doctor of any kind, you first have to become a “good” man, that is, gain awareness about all things inside you or outside. -What do you mean by “outside”? 7 -I refer to all the illusions from which all patients and other “healthy” people suffer; and by “inside” I mean all the illusions that we, doctors, have and are so difficult to be seen; or do you think, even for a minute my friend, that ever since the time we have gotten our medical diploma we have automatically become healthy for life? -And what, can we possibly learn watching two poor human beings fighting like animals, like beasts? Be aware! The hidden harmony is more important than the obvious one! -From my point of view, beast is every creature, either man or animal, that hasn’t got awareness; anyone who is “asleep”, anyone reserved in his “own private world”. Let me remind you of Heraclitus saying: “For the awakened, the World is one and the same for all; those asleep, live each one, at his own private world”. See that karate master in the ring? I happen to know him and he is definitely an “awakened” human being, so I thought that he can teach you Homeopathy! In fact, today, right now, he will make a live exhibition to you of the technique of homeopathic case taking! -No kidding! Give me a break! -Be careful, please! Be aware, my friend! Heraclitus also said that “Hidden harmony is more important than the obvious one”. So, please, be aware or else you will end up like those fans there; they have come to eat pop corn, make jokes and show off to those “broads” they brought with them. The only thing they see, just because they can’t “see” since they are “asleep”, is “two poor human beings fighting like animals or beasts” as someone said earlier. The one to fight with the Karate master is a “semi- conscious” person or “semi-asleep”, just like you! -I don’t want to be rude, but isn’t that a vain thing to say? Do you imply that I am the “semi-asleep” guy and that you are the fully “awakened”? -My friend, you should know that in the presence of blind people, the one-eyed guy rules; in the presence of one-eyed guys, the two-eyed person rules and in the presence of two-eyed guys, the one who has activated his “third eye” rules, etc. So, regarding Homeopathy at the present moment, you are blind and I am the one-eyed person compared to you; but it may happen that, regarding for example computers, I may be totally blind compared to you. It also seems that we differ in another thing: I’ve got no problem to be called blind in something that I don’t know while you are annoyed. You should know that the best teacher is the one that was once the best student and in fact, tries to remain “a student” forever, that is, never stops being 8 ready to learn. Wasn’t the great Socrates that said: “I do know one thing: I know nothing!” You see it’s the best listener that becomes the best lecturer. So, for the present being, don’t just ask but try to listen also. -OK, I get it; I shut the fuck up! (laughing) The right attitude for karate, Homeopathy or anything else! -Good for you! So, tell me now, what do you see? -They greet each other. -Right! What did they do before that, before anything else? -How the hell should I know? I don’t understand what you want to say. -I mean what did the master do before entering the ring? -I don’t know! I suppose he was warming up by kicking and punching. -Didn’t you notice that he was praying? -Oh, yes, you are right; he was indeed, praying. -See, what I’ve told you? Most of the times we tend to see without really “seeing” because we are not aware; we are not fully conscious; and why do you think he was praying? -Isn’t it obvious? He was probably wishing to win the fight. -Stop looking for what is “obvious” to most people; you are now in a training process so look for what is beneath the “obvious”, search for reality, search for the truth! -I, don’t know why he was praying; Why? Do you know the reason? -For no reason! -Are you pulling my leg? -Certainly, not! Any prayer done for a certain reason is definitely not a prayer; it’s but an egoistic list of demands! -I now see your point; he probably praises God, that is his God, the God that he believes in. -God has no need for praises! But, instead, the praying person is in great need to be tuned with the Creator in whatever he does, so as to do less stupid things than usual. That reminds me of a theatrical writer. In a book of his, two persons meet and exchange two phrases: “Where are you going so hastily?” “I’m in a hurry! I’m in a hurry to make my next mistake!” (laughing) You see, praying tunes the person so as to stay focused on his purpose of existence. -Are you now teaching me Theology or Homeopathy? -I see no difference at all! -You say such things and then you complain that they accuse you of belonging to some heresy or that you mix Science and especially Homeopathy with Religion. 9 -From what I know, I don’t belong to any religion, any science or any Homeopathy. I don’t identify myself with any kind of ideology or religion or any movement of any kind. I simply like not to be blocked by the differences but to focus on the similarities of all things. Deep down all things are the same: Science, Religion, Medicine, Karate, Agriculture, Politics, Sex, Philosophy, Cooking… all are the same because they all obey to the same Universal Laws and are created by the same Creator, the one that we conventionally, call God. That’s the reason why I can’t help talking about Him! But, let’s now learn Homeopathy through karate! -God, help me! (laughing) Let’s do it! -So, the awakened master does not pray so as to win the game; he prays in order to be tuned with the Creator and Universal Laws during this fight, something which he does in all his actions. He doesn’t care about winning; instead he cares about fighting well. He knows, or to be more precise, he is aware that if he fights for the purpose of winning then he has already lost! But if he fights well then he has won, no matter the outcome. What does that has to do with Homeopathy? A master homeopathic doctor does not practice Homeopathy so as to gain money or in order to gain fame and become “the great healer” or to do good deeds so as to evolve psychologically. -I suppose you mean that he mustn’t practice Medicine aiming to something but then, doesn’t he need to have some motive! How on Earth, can you do anything at all without any motive? “The Kingdom belongs to the child!” -Have you ever seen a small child playing? How you ever been a child? They don’t play “so as to” or “in order to”. They just play for the fun of the game. They simply enjoy it! They are joy lovers! That’s why Jesus said: “in order to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven you have to become as innocent as a child”. Moreover, that’s why Heraclitus said: “Eternity (timeless Universe) is a little child (innocent) that plays chess (Cosmic Game); the kingdom belongs to the child!” I believe you came to me to teach you because you found something that you like in Homeopathy so just play with it with joy. That is the only way to play it right. That is the only way to help yourself and others. There aren’t any other right rules for this game except Universal Laws, as I have taught them to you, again and again until you were fed up! -You couldn’t have said it better! But, what about the patient? What’s a right attitude on his behalf? -The patient comes to you with the usual motive of any patient: he suffers and wants to be relieved! He was expelled from Paradise, that is, his 10 healthy state and simply wants to return back to Heaven. And don’t, even for a minute, think that I leave us, doctors, out of this. We are possible patients any time of our life! There’s no exception to this rule! So, the only thing that a doctor must do is to stay tuned with the Creator and Universal Laws so as to be a good healer. And the only thing that a patient must do at the beginning of his treatment is to choose the correct Therapeutic System and the right doctor and show trust. It is more than true, that if he wants to get well and stay well he must also change his life towards respecting Universal Laws. So, in the end, they should both, doctor and patient, do the same thing! Now, let’s examine the next step. -What next step? -Didn’t you say that after praying they greet each other? -And how does this fit to homeopathic treatment? -Greeting is a kind of contract. The doctor made first a tuning contract with the Creator by praying and now he does a respect contract with the patient in which, he promises to him to respect him, care about him and do no harm. The patient, on the other hand, has also made two contracts: one with the Creator or Nature that he will stop violating Universal Laws and another one with the doctor promising that he will follow his therapeutic instructions, hoping to get well. The same thing stands bold if we examine the relation of a teacher-student like the one we have right now. -Why did you say “hoping to get well”? -Deliberately! So as to remind to the doctor that he isn’t the Healer but, instead, Nature and God is. The doctor is but a mediator between Nature and the patient and his sole obligation is to be a good mediator. On the other hand, the patient must be reminded that the doctor is not God or Nature, although so many doctors and scientists like to play God! But, it’s time to focus on the fight! Open your eyes and ears and tell me: What do you see? What do you see? -I see the student jumping up and down, here and there and threatening his master with his feasts and feet; he is so energetic, so restless and so dynamic! -And what about the master? What does he do? -What can I tell you! I see not much of a move! In fact, he barely raises his hands and feet. The only thing he does is that he keeps turning towards his moving student and never loses him from his sight; his eyes are fixed to him! -You are seeing, good! Keep looking! What do you see? -For God sake! What is the matter with him? His student keeps punching him heavily but the only thing he does is to avoid punches by moving 11 back or at sides all the time. He hasn’t managed to hit back, not even once! What kind of a trained master is this? The student has really kicked his butt! -Keep looking! What do you see? -Keep looking, what? What a student! It’s totally his game! He is definitely, leading the game! He is gaining confidence and starts expressing himself for good; he is punching and kicking and gives quite a performance… -Don’t stop looking! What do you see now? -What! What the hell! The bell rang the end of round one and your master sucks! The student is the real master of the fight! Whoops! Off we go for round two. At last! I see that your master is starting to move! Wow! He surely has managed to hit the student with some very technical punches and kicks but it’s as if his hits have no strength. He hits a couple of punches and retreats although he could have insisted; smart hits but not enough! -You are seeing, good! Keep looking! What do you see? -There’s nothing to see now; end of round two, already! The student has definitely lost control but still the master seems not to go for it; he seems to me as if he is playing “the cat and mouse” game! I am so curious to see what he will do next round. Why don’t you say anything? Say something! -I will tell you all about it, later on; keep looking now; you are doing fine! Round three has begun. What do you see? -The master seems to go for it! Wow! He hits once, twice… three times and wow! It’s a knock out! A knock out in just three moves! Impressive! He let him take no breath and by only three hits he finished him as if knew all his weak points; where to hit and how! I bet you knew it all right from the beginning! You are so damn right that he is a real master! Round one: a time to watch -I see that you are excited by the game! And you know why? Because it was a good fight by a good and experienced karate teacher. And that is what a good homeopathic case taking looks like too! Round one is to let your patient express himself and his symptoms without interfering. You let him express his idiosyncrasy to the maximum. You make him feel comfortable and you encourage him to speak in his own style. Moreover, you may drive him a little to some fields of your interest but you never block him. Your task as doctor in round one is to look and note down his general image, the feeling he gives you and his general tendencies. You are simply tracing his miasmas and possible idiosyncrasies. 12 Round two: a time to gather and evaluate information -Now I get the picture! What about round two? -Round two, is the phase of asking, receiving answers and evaluating symptoms. Every tracing hit of the master corresponds to a question of the doctor and every defense of the student corresponds to an answer of the patient. During this round the master hits technically but not hard. He asks cleverly but generally so as not to guide his patient to any specific direction. The questions must be unbiased so as to have an idiosyncratic answer. During this phase we gather important specific information about his physical and psychological symptoms and we evaluate it but we don’t give the final knock-out punch until we are ready and certain. We mustn’t reach to the final diagnosis of his idiosyncrasy until we are ready to do so. Round three: a time for knock out! -It’s so interesting! What does round three stands for? -Round three is the phase of differential diagnosis. In the same way that the master has already decided from the end of round two about his opponent’s weak points, in the same way the doctor has already decided about the few possible idiosyncrasies that affect his patient. The last decisive three hits before the knock out correspond to the critical last questions of differential diagnosis so as to decide the one and only similar idiosyncrasy, the one and only similar homeopathic medicine that suits our patient. So, after three rounds, during which he has acted as an experienced master fighter, as an experienced doctor he has finally reached a correct diagnosis and is ready to help his patient. In the same way that you and the student, at the end, appreciated the efficacy of the master, in the same way the patient leaves the office sure that the doctor made a good job since he was precise, confident and knew all the time what to do. -What to say! I so much liked the analogy! -Be sure that you will find such analogies to all natural and biological phenomena because they are all created by the same Creator and function according to the same Universal Laws. Of course, you will be able to realize it, to become aware of it, only if you see with a clear eye and heart, note down with a clear mind and interpret with a clear conscience! Now let me talk to you about another analogy. The “Three Rounds” of Homeopathic Training -What analogy? 13 -The analogy of your training, of any training, that is, of any true teacher- student relationship! Round one is the phase where the teacher let’s his students express their selves so as to trace their needs and illusions. During round two he must be more active and try to empty the mind and heart of his student from all illusions and false emotions so as to make space for natural ideas and feelings. It’s the phase where “the future healer must be healed” so as to become a healthy, unbiased and efficient healer. -What you’ve said gives me the creeps! It reminds me of brain-washing! -Nobody likes to see or smell his dirty laundry! And nobody wants to wash his dirty linen in public! But if you want to wash others’ dirty clothes you need to have clean clothing yourself! Your fear about “brain- washing” has to do with certain idiosyncratic characteristics of yours. Anyway, the whole process of “the healing of the (future) healer” has to be carried out with full consciousness, unhurriedly and in free will. A true teacher is not a merchant or a businessman; he doesn’t sell; he doesn’t manipulate minds; he doesn’t interfere in others’ lives; he doesn’t exploit his students in any possible way; he never turns his students into fans. He does his task only if he is sincerely asked; he never violates others’ free will because this is against Universal Laws. He isn’t a supporter of the saying “the end justifies the means”. He knows that if your means are immoral then not only the results are immoral but also all those involved become immoral. There is a saying in Greece: “You just can’t touch shit and not get dirty!” Furthermore, in any true teacher-student relationship they both should feel free to end it, anytime. -Anyway, what’s the third round of such a relationship? -This round is not suit for all students! Not because the teacher refuses to go on but because not all students can achieve it. It’s not a matter of passing to the student’s brain new advanced information. It’s not a matter of Mind, a matter of Intellectual Psyche. It’s a matter of “heart” or to be more precise, it’s a matter of Conscience Psyche. The student must evolve psychologically, that is, he must become moral. His Intellectual Psyche must be inspired by his Conscience Psyche and furthermore, he must apply this morality to all fields of his everyday life. It’s no use declaring that you have moral principles. It’s crucial to apply it in reality. -And… to what round am I now as a student? -That’s, my friend, something that only you should answer? End of discussion! Have a nice night! Or to be more exact… have a nice new day, because day and light is more suitable to awakened people! 14 CHAPTER 1 DOCTOR’S PERSONALITY: A CRUCIAL FACTOR METHODS OF HOMEOPATHIC DIAGNOSIS 1.1 Doctor’s Personality: a crucial factor in Homeopathy 1.2 In homeopathic diagnosis the doctor is the “measurement device” that “measures” the patient’s idiosyncrasy 1.3 The importance of proper training for a homeopathic doctor 1.4 MID: Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis 1.5 Other methods of “homeopathic” diagnosis Today, our subject is Homeopathic Case Taking; we are going to talk about the art and science of Homeopathic Case Taking. It’s one of the most important subjects in Homeopathy because in our therapeutic system successful diagnosis means successful treatment and effective cure. In Allopathic Medicine the aim is to diagnose the disease and prescribe the medicine that corresponds to the disease, which is more or less the same for all patients. On the contrary, in Homeopathy the goal is to diagnose the idiosyncrasy of the patient and give each patient his idiosyncratic remedy, no matter what disease or diseases he suffers from. 1.1Doctor’s Personality: a crucial factor in Homeopathy When it comes to allopathic diagnosis doctor’s personality is not so important; I mean that, no matter what kind of person he is, if he is well trained he will more or less reach the correct diagnosis because things are more clear and standard. I mean that you have to do with standard physical symptoms, standard clinical findings and standard tests. Let me give you an example: if you have great thirst, excessive urination, craving for sweet and blood test 15 that reveals sugar 215 then it’s easy for any doctor or even medical student to conclude that his patient suffers from diabetes. That’s the reason why during allopathic education or at allopathic conferences case reports are presented in the following way: “What’s your diagnosis for a patient 40 years old that has these physical symptoms and these laboratory test results?” It’s more than certain that almost all doctors will reach the same diagnosis of disease. It doesn’t matter if the doctor is a “beast” regarding psychological evolution or if he is a “saint”; morality, attitude and spiritual level are of no importance regarding diagnosis. Nor does it matter if he is balanced or unbalanced, calm or irritable, honest or money-slave; things are more standard and clear. That, of course stands bold only for Pathology; even in Allopathic Medicine if we move to the Psychiatric field and especially to Psychoanalysis or any kind of Psychotherapy then the personality of the doctor is a crucial factor regarding diagnosis and of course, treatment. The reason is that you don’t only diagnose the psychic illness of the patient but you also evaluate his personality, his profile. 1.2 In homeopathic diagnosis the doctor is the “measurement device” that “measures” the patient’s idiosyncrasy In homeopathic diagnosis things are even more complex. We don’t only have to evaluate his psychological symptoms but we also have to evaluate his miasmas and idiosyncrasy, that is, his whole! In order to do such a thing successfully, the homeopathic doctor must be very balanced and unbiased so as to be a well “calibrated” scientific “measurement device”! Let me point out to you what I mean by an example: If I, the doctor, am an irritable person and an irritable patient comes to me I may evaluate him as a normal guy regarding anger; you see I can be biased; I may judge from myself. Another relevant example: I may have recently gone through hell due to a divorce; my “lovely” wife has broken my heart to pieces and I am so mad with her and with all women. Then, here comes to me a submissive woman that has recently got divorced; her husband was a jerk; he has troubled her so much and has made her life miserable. If I am not balanced and if I judge from myself then I tend to say: “What a bitch!” (laughing) So, instead of prescribing a psoric idiosyncrasy like Natrum Muriaticum or Pulsatilla I tend to prescribe a syphilitic one like Valerian or Lachesis. 16 So you see, it is critical in homeopathic diagnosis for the doctor to be objective and balanced as personality, at least at that certain time of diagnosis. He certainly has his idiosyncratic characteristics also; he is human after all; not a saint or an angel. He certainly has a lot in his mind and he may, at that time, experience several emotional problems of his own, but whenever he puts his medical blouse on and enters his office, he has to be able to leave all that aside and be balanced, objective and unbiased; that is, be a true scientist! 1.3 The importance of proper training for a homeopathic doctor There is also another critical precondition in order to reach a successful diagnosis of his patient’s idiosyncrasy: he must have a correct training; he must know what’s normal in a man not only regarding physical symptoms but also regarding behavior, emotions, thinking, intentions and morality. How on Earth, can he evaluate correctly his patient’s idiosyncrasy if he doesn’t know what’s normal in a man? Let me lay down an example: I, the doctor, may be a very “hot” and active, sexually, person. So, it’s a “normal” thing for me that a person should have desire for sex almost every day, seven times a week, 365 days a year! A patient comes to me and says that he has desire for sex only once a week; I may say: “desire for sex, zero!” (laughing) I must have a certain training during which it will become clear to me what is normal and what is abnormal regarding all physical and psychological symptoms; that is, heat, sleep, physical stamina, perspiration, odors of the body, desires and aversions regarding taste, irritability, expression of anger, introversion, tidiness, fears, self- confidence, sexuality, behavior in family, work, society, etc. Not only I must know what’s normal but I must also know how to evaluate the intensity of a symptom to three certain degrees: regular, intense and extreme. Furthermore, I must become very well acquainted with the characteristics of each idiosyncrasy regarding all these physical and psychological symptoms so as to decide the patient’s main idiosyncrasy at the present. All in all, a homeopathic doctor must have both, a proper training and achieve balance. I tell you, there were difficult times in my turbulent life during which I’ve been striving to sustain my efficacy as homeopathic doctor not by studying homeopathic books but by becoming a better person, a better man. If, I, the doctor, am the measuring device regarding idiosyncrasy, I 17 have to be well calibrated and objective or else, I will reach a false measurement. I will diagnose a false idiosyncrasy and thus I will prescribe an improper homeopathic medicine. Homeopathic doctor must also be unprejudiced regarding ideologies in general. On entering his office he must not be leftist or right-wing; Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or atheist; man or woman. He must not identify himself with any kind of ideology, so as to achieve objectiveness. Furthermore, he must be balanced as to his Etheric Energy. Drawing from my personal experience, if the doctor is very tired, sleepy or troubled with other personal matters, then it’s not easy to be relaxed and focused so as to get the right picture of his patient. 1.4 MID: Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis Along our theoretical training, whenever we refer to homeopathic diagnosis, we will always mean Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis as taught by me to you. What are the main characteristics of this specific method? The doctor is guided by the miasmas of his patient so as to examine his whole existence, giving more credit to psychological symptoms and general physical symptoms than to specific physical ones. That’s what Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis is, in one sentence! 1.5 Other methods of “homeopathic” diagnosis But there are many other methods of diagnosis. There’s one that must be called “Disease-Oriented Method”. As you’ve probably noticed I deliberately didn’t say homeopathic method; I simply said method because I don’t consider it a homeopathic one. What makes something homeopathic is the respect of homeopathic laws. If you play a game of football with a basket ball what game are you playing? It’s so obvious that you are playing football because the rules, the laws that you follow are those of football! Accordingly if you examine a patient using the disease-oriented allopathic laws, even if you claim that you try to diagnose his idiosyncrasy, you are doing Allopathy. Even if you administer homeopathic drugs, if you have already chosen them according to allopathic laws, then you are not employing Homeopathy; you are simply employing Allopathy! It’s so important to understand that what makes Homeopathy be Homeopathy are but the homeopathic laws you employ! 18 According to this disease-oriented method you focus on the disease and its physical symptoms. For example, a patient comes to you suffering from ulcerative colitis. You focus on the symptoms and modalities of this colitis and you end up prescribing Colocynthis; accordingly you have a pneumonia case and you give Arsenicum or you have an arthritis and you give Rhus Toxicodendron or you have an urethral infection and you give Cantharis. You don’t focus on the patient as a whole. His local symptoms remind you of a certain homeopathic medicine although his whole picture, his idiosyncrasy may correspond to another one. You have already violated the homeopathic laws of Simillimum, of Individualization and of the Whole! Somebody could say: “Theories! Words! Philosophies! So what? Haven’t I relieved the patient from his symptoms?” You may have, indeed! But, as you’ve said, you’ve only relieved him; and in fact you didn’t even relieve him! You’ve only relieved his urethra! And only temporarily! You haven’t cured the patient, the person as a whole. You have done nothing about his depression; you have done nothing about his chronic predisposition concerning the Urine Tract System and so he will keep having relapses and you will keep giving him Cantharis every time, again and again until it doesn’t work anymore! You see, you haven’t treated his Miasmas and his Idiosyncrasy! There’s also another kind of diagnosis, which of course, I couldn’t call homeopathic, also. It is based not on the disease but on a single symptom of a certain disease. I could call it “A single Symptom-Oriented Diagnosis”. Let me not waist our precious time commenting it; the same things stand bold or even bolder for this method as for the previous commented one. What interests me more to comment, is the method that claims to be idiosyncratic and homeopathic but ends up not to be, despite good intentions and much effort. It’s the well-known, “Repertorising Method”. I take up the case and note all physical and psychological symptoms of the patient. I then, focus on the main physical and psychological symptoms and refer to Repertories of great masters of Homeopathy like for example Kent. I may also refer to “key-notes”, that is, to symptoms that are very characteristic of a certain idiosyncrasy. I may also refer to Electronic Repertories or to “Computer Expert Systems”. In all these cases I take a symptom and examine its modalities; that is, its changes according to time, space, weather conditions, etc. Then I cross 19 check all my studies of symptoms and decide what idiosyncrasy appears more frequent and in an intense degree in all these studies. The one that seems to suit the majority of these certain symptoms, I consider as the Simillimum. But most of the times it may suit the majority of these chosen from me symptoms, but it may not suit the patient as a miasmatic and idiosyncratic totality. This is partly due to the incompleteness of our Repertories. For example, if you take Kent’s Repertory you will find very few entries regarding Medorhinum or other idiosyncrasies that Kent did not fully study and comprehend. And you may also find numerable entries regarding Belladonna, an idiosyncrasy very much studied by Kent. But, in fact, Medorhinum is a very frequent basic idiosyncrasy while Belladonna is a very rare basic idiosyncrasy. It may be used quite frequently in acute fevers but it’s a rare idiosyncrasy regarding chronic states. Furthermore, which is the more correct and complete Repertory among the dozens that exist? Is the problem solved if you put all Repertories together in a “Grand”, “Synthetic” Repertory? Don’t you also put together all the false entries that have gathered through the years? And how functional can be such a bulgy, extended book with thousands or millions of entries? Wouldn’t it be like studying the most complete Chinese Lexicon just to say “Hallo, how are you?” in Chinese? But the main reason that I am against Repertorising, Key-note prescribing and Computer Expert Systems is that you cannot put on record the miasmatic and idiosyncratic whole of an individual into any book or computer, no matter how extensive and thorough it may be, no matter what “master” or “masters” have written it! For example how can you make any entry of non-verbal information into it? How can you talk about his clothing, his manner of speech, not to mention his style and the feeling he radiates around him? How can you talk about the way he has handled his love disappointment or his family problems? How can a book distinguish among Primary Behaviors and Secondary ones? How can a book “smell” the miasmatic shades of behaviors, emotions and thinking? Only a Man can do that! Only an intelligent, balanced, well trained and unprejudiced doctor can do that! If you become a doctor practicing Repertorising Diagnosis, then you resemble a writer or a poet that tries in vain, to reproduce in words the image and the feelings caused by a Spring’s flower; or the charm of a horse riding in an open field among the grain; or the love that radiates 20 around two lovers in the sunset; or the spirituality that is reflected to the eyes of an honestly praying man. You just can’t do such a thing because you are simply lost among words and symptoms; you are “lost in the translation”. You see, the totality of a person’s symptoms does not make the person in the same way that the totality of the symptoms does not make the disease or even the Illness in general. Likewise, the totality of the materials of a house does not make the building itself or the totality of the cells of a plant or animal does not make the plant or animal as a whole. Not to mention that the character of a man is above the totality of his characteristics. You need a Man to trace the character. You need an intelligent creature to diagnose the Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Whole of the patient! You need, not just a Man, but a well trained, balanced and objective homeopathic doctor! Got it? And that’s what I am striving to do with you! And, of course, it can only be done, if you yourselves want it badly and try hard for it! 21 CHAPTER 2 NON VERBAL BEHAVIOR 2.1 Idiosyncratic and miasmatic information from setting the appointment with the doctor! 2.2 The first contact with the patient in the office’s living room 2.3 In the office 2.4 Idiosyncratic Characteristics concerning Speech 2.5 Idiosyncratic Characteristics concerning body-type and appearance I have already made a general introduction in order to speak about the general preconditions needed so as to reach a correct diagnosis of the patient’s idiosyncrasy. Now it’s time for more practical information; we are going to see how a doctor takes the case, step by step, the way I do it, according to MID, that is, according to Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis. Although psychological symptoms are more important, for practical reasons and for the convenience of the patient, we must first start from his disease and physical symptoms. You see, I am a clinical doctor and not an academic one; I take things as life does, that is, first things first! So, the first thing from which we can already, derive information, no matter how surprising it may sound, is the way the patient sets his appointment! 2.1 Idiosyncratic and miasmatic information from setting the appointment with the doctor! Life is so exciting! Watch how some idiosyncrasies set their appointment so as to be able to identify them! 22 A Phosphor patient says: “Doctor, please, save me!” He is so sycotic in expression and so anxious to set an appointment in order to be relieved from his fears! He may sometimes tell you: “Please, can I come now!” He may have called just to set an appointment but he usually starts telling you his symptoms and even as far as to details. He may as well, tell you: “I’ve heard so much about you! That you are such a good doctor!” He is sincere, he is not faking and he is not manipulating you by flattering like a syphilitic Lachesis does because he is psoric as to intellectual content although strongly sycotic as to expression. He may say: “I beg you doctor, save me!” and he will want you to console him, to sympathize with him, to say a good word and to give him hope. He would like you to tell him: “Don’t worry; everything’s going to be ok!” That’s the best thing you can’t do to him at the time until you examine him. You can also tell him: “I’ve seen a lot of such cases like yours”. Then he will anxiously ask you: “Have you had good results? Does that mean that I may also get well?” He seeks consolation desperately; he needs it; it makes him feel much better; he asks for it; it’s a sunray of hope in the midst of his darkness of fears about his health! As I already told you, he is psoric morally and intellectually and not a syphilitic hypocrite. Thus, he is honest and sincere although highly sycotic regarding his expression. He is like a small, innocent, honest kid that directly says what comes to his mind and right away expresses what he clearly feels in his heart at the moment without hesitation. He wants the doctor to listen to him, understand his “terrible” state, console him and help him. If the doctor is a typical, professional Nux Vomica guy that does not sympathize with him and the only thing he says is: “Let us not go into details Mr. Brown; I will thoroughly examine you on Friday at 18.00, sharp!”, then he starts getting disappointed. He will think: “What kind of a man is this? How inhuman of him! He asked me nothing, he showed no interest and no feelings at all!” But if the doctor asked him about his problem and told him a few assuring words then he would be so pleased and hopeful. If you also tell him to bring with him all the lab tests that he has done, then he is sure that you show interest and care. After all he has spent so much time and money in doing examinations after examinations in an anxious effort to find out what, on earth, he suffers from. 23 On the other hand, an Arsenicum patient is also worried about his health, even more than Phosphor but on the contrary, he is a cold, typical, egoistic, syphilitic and mistrustful person. He lacks the warm feelings and sycotic expression of Phosphor, the innocence of a child and the open- hearted personality of Phosphor. Instead, he is mistrustful, cold and typical: “I want to set an appointment with you… I have some problems that I want to discuss with you and see if you can help me… we will talk about it when I come. What is your fee, doctor? I do hope we’ll have enough time to discuss my problem”. A Nux Vomica patient is also typical like Arsenicum but not so cold and egoistic and not so frightened about her condition. She won’t say much but she may ask you about procedures because she is so fastidious and well organized in every detail: “What time should I be there? How long it will take? I do hope you won’t delay me!” She may also ask about the exact address, how to come there, what bus or subway to take and at what stop to get off, the floor where the office is and even if she has to climb a stair because she has that troubling knee pain. She may also ask about the fee and if her insurance company covers the cost of the examination and the cost of drugs. “Should I bring my folder of examination tests with me?” “Yes, of course” “Thank you, I will certainly do. I have it all classified by dates and exams. Do you need any other specific tests before I come to you?” Indeed, she comes to the office with a complete, thorough dossier full of well classified information, sometimes even with copies for you to keep into your file. Do I need to remind you what we’ve already said about Repertorising? How can you record this information into a Repertory or into a Computer Expert System? Someone may say that he can search for the rubric “fastidious” at a Repertory and see what idiosyncrasies are there in bold letters, but if you don’t learn how to end up to this rubric then no book on earth, will help you. If you don’t learn how to interpret verbal and especially non verbal behavior and draw specific and correct information then you’ve lost the essence of the patient. You are lost into the heartless, intellectual “ocean” of symptoms called Repertory. You may, of course, ask him among others: “Are you fastidious?” “Yes, I am” “No, I am not”. So what? That’s not the point! You can already have a good picture about this characteristic from his non verbal behavior. Moreover his non verbal information is more true, accurate and unspoiled compared to his verbal one because it’s not filtered. It’s a raw material that says very much about his primary behavior. If you have learned how 24 to interpret correctly and objectively non verbal behavior then you are quite close to truth because non verbal expressions don’t lie while verbal expressions of the patient may indeed lie, especially if he is influenced by a syphilitic idiosyncrasy. That’s why we start our case taking from the very time he sets his appointment and how he does it. You will find no such information in any Repertory of any kind. But that’s the kind of information you will definitely find in my Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Materia Medica. Let’s go on. How does a sycotic Medorhinum subject express his idiosyncrasy on setting an appointment? Usually he is not the one to make the call. His wife or mother will, although he may also call you: “When shall I come? Can I come now so as to get things cleared right away and go get my medicines? Is there a drug store also near there?” “I am sorry but I haven’t got the time now to examine you” “Just squeeze me in doctor, I am close to your office now and it will suit me” “I am sorry, it’s your first time and I will need a lot of time to examine you thoroughly…” “I don’t have much to say, I will tell you my illness and you will give me the drugs…” (laughing) If you are one of those repertorising doctors who don’t know how to communicate with a certain idiosyncrasy on the phone and furthermore need two hours to take the case asking aimlessly hundreds of non critical questions you may say: “For God sake, Mr. Brown, I will definitely need at least two hours to take your case because I am going to ask you about your personality, your ideas, your past life… babble …babble …”. Then, it’s more that certain that you’ve lost him! He will say to himself: “Two whole hours of examination! Is he nuts?” and then he will tell you: “What’s there to say, for God sake, doctor? They told me that I have infection of my prostate or something like that. Can you cure that? If you can, then let me come and give me the drugs”. That’s Medorhinum! Simple and plain; end of story! Don’t be loquacious with him; don’t try to explain him scientifically; just cut to the chase! He doesn’t care so much about the money or the procedure or statistics. Just give him the drugs. If he isn’t cured and indeed quite promptly you’ll probably never see him again! He will simply go to another doctor! Most of the times, even if he has a severe health problem, he neglects his health; he won’t easily go to any doctor. Not that he is afraid of doctors, needles and drugs; he is so fearless but at the same time so bored of 25 treatments and examinations. Most of the times he doesn’t go to the doctor; they drag him to the doctor’s office or force him if he is a child. His syphilitic Lachesis wife may also resort to tricks or craftiness so as to take him to the doctor: she may set two appointments for both of them although she has told him he will only accompany her to the doctor. Then at the last minute, after her examination was finished, she “innocently” says: “Why don’t you also tell the doctor your problem John?” and without waiting for him to answer she turns to the doctor: “He has a serious problem with his cholesterol so please start asking him doctor”. It’s a “half nelson” state! A checkmate in two moves! But, he may resist! “Let go of me, doctor, I am all right. Don’t listen to my silly wife! Just give her some medicines because she is all the time busting my balls with her pains and dizziness and all that stuff. I am all right! I’ve got nothing!” He may also add: “But do it quickly because I don’t want to lose the game! My team is having a derby tonight!” He may also be in a hurry to go to the pub with his pals. When a Platina woman sets an appointment, most of the times a sense of great self confidence or even vanity is in the air; although she calls for the first time, she may want her appointment to be done whenever it suits her. She is almost demanding it since she, a “royalty”, has done you the favor to come so you ought to lay down the red carpet for her! You see, she is the “Queen” and you are the battler! How can you record this sensation in any Repertory or Computer Expert System? You could of course, create the rubric “feels royalty” but the critical thing is to be able to trace this feeling and most of all to be objective about it. You may carry with you in the jungle the best “hunter’s guide” but that doesn’t make you a hunter and that doesn’t put meat in the kettle! You have to become a real hunter yourself in order to be successful. You have to become a real homeopathic doctor, a true master of the art and science of Medicine in order to heal people. Lachesis is one of the most characteristic idiosyncrasies regarding setting an appointment with the doctor! Most of the times, she is extremely loquacious! Loquacious at degree 3! But you may, rarely find one that is typical and with only a few words to say; you see, they are both Lachesis, because as many times said, you may have one genotype and many phenotypes, that is, one primal behavior and many secondary ones. 26 She is such a roaring torrent! Most of all, she will jump from one subject to another; to an irrelevant one and then return back to the previous! She often says: “I’ve heard so much about you!” This is simply, flatter! “Mrs. Young talked to me about you and she told me to mention it”. This means that she wants you to take good care of her, that she wants a special care. “I will talk about you to all around me if you cure me!” This is expediency which is a syphilitic characteristic. “Will I become well? Have you had such cases in the past? I’ve been suffering for so long!” She will continue telling you the story of her whole life, since childhood! If you try to stop her she may change subject. She may, as well, change subject suddenly and for no reason at all! “How much will it cost me, doctor?” “Oh, I see! Sorry for asking, but you see I must know what money to bring with me” or “you see, doctor, I am only living on a small pension and I don’t know if I can afford you; will you do me a better price? I will definitely bring to you so many patients and you could spare the receipt and lower your fee!” or “Does my Insurance Company cover the cost of the treatment and medications?” Don’t you even think that, that’s all! She will go on talking and talking: “You see, I have been to a homeopathic doctor before, I will not tell you his name of course, but he has done so much damage to me… but of course, I’ve heard so many good things about you!” She may also say: “I’ve been to so many allopathic doctors and they nearly killed me; so much side effects! I hear that your medicines don’t have any side effects. Have they?” You see, all these are just part of a single telephone call just to set an appointment! All the above, that is, the streaming loquacity, hypocrisy, mistrustfulness, intentional flatter, jumping from one subject to another, her effort to make you take good care of her, grumbling about the cost of your fee, accusing other doctors, all the above put together or each one of it, are indeed, leading you towards Lachesis. But, as said, she may be typical like Nux Vomica: “Doctor, I’ve heard that Homeopathy has to do with heresies or eastern religions. Is there a possibility that you are part of such a thing? I want to know!” She will demand to know, because she is “such a God-fearing woman” and wants to have nothing to do with such “heretic” things! She may also pretend to be a poor, sensitive victim like for example a weeping Pulsatilla, but most of the times she will go to the extremes: “Please doctor, I beg you! Save me from my burdens! I’ve heard such 27 good things about you!” Weeping follows and you tell her: “Don’t worry Mrs. Brown! I will certainly take a good care of you”. More weeping and then she will say: “Thank you God, thank you! God bless you my child, God bless you!” Yet, she may also be that ambitious and vain businesswoman, resembling a Platina case, that has that vain air as described before, but still she will be very mistrustful. Lycopodium will call and most of the times, he will start talking and asking because he is such an intellectual idiosyncrasy! He may start telling you that he has read so much about Homeopathy and he will refer to books or the Web and will go on telling you that another homeopathic doctor has given him this and that with this and that results. He wants to say to you that he is a vegetarian, following a strict healthy diet and is also using these and that herbs, practicing yoga for many years etc. He may go on saying that he has many things to ask about Homeopathy and he will ask about side effects, how the homeopathic medicines act and so on. You see, he is mistrustful and very intellectual at the same time; he wants you to try to convince him about Homeopathy and he wants to see if you are a good and well informed scientist. In addition he wants to know if you can handle his case, if you are an expert on his case. He is such a Net fan! He will surf the Net and search for his case and what can Homeopathy or other Therapeutic Systems do about him. Phosphor also may surf the Net but not so much as to learn about his case. He is not as intellectual as Lycopodium; he is so suffering from his fears about his health and desperately seeks for salvation, for cure! Moreover he is not mistrustful; in fact he is so gullible and goodhearted! 2.2 The first contact with the patient in the office living room That’s enough for the setting of the appointment. Now let’s proceed to how a patient pushes the bell button of your office! (laughing) The sycotic patient will do a “beeeeep”! (more laughing) The psoric one will do a very short and shy “beep”! The syphilitic type may do a “beep, beep, beeeep, beep!” Often, as soon as you let the patient come into your living room you will instantly discover if his behavior is psoric, sycotic or syphilitic. The sycotic will say: “Hey doctor! How are you? Are you by any chance relatives with Terry Othonos, the one who has the pub around the corner? We are so pals with him!” The psoric will be shy, reserved and typical: “I am so sorry that I was late!” 28 It’s going to be a psoric, sincere and shy apology and not a syphilitic one like the following: “Thank God, doctor! We’ve finally managed to come! There was so much traffic! On the top of it, it is so difficult to find a parking near your office! What’s the matter with this area?” You see, not only he is late, but he is even grumbling as if you are on fault for something! Sometimes, not only he is late but on top he says to you: “Are you going to delay me? I have so much to do!” He may also say: “How on earth, doctor, did you choose this area! So much traffic and such a difficulty finding a parking!” or “I was so troubled to find a cab and I paid so much to come to you!” As if you are on fault for that or as if you have to pay him the extra money he gave to the cab! You see, it’s the typical “aggressive defense” tactic: I am on fault but still, I am aggressive so as to force you put yourself in a defensive position and make you apologize; it’s a typical syphilitic tactic! You see how we reach a miasmatic diagnosis! Often, syphilitic idiosyncrasies and especially Lachesis, try to extract information out of you: “Are you married doctor? Any kids? Too bad! Kids are a blessing!” or “Wow, you already have two kids! You seem so young! When did you do that? I mean how old are you?” or “The lady that introduced me to you said that you are a doctor for many years… but still you seem so young; how old are you?” or “So, you are a homeopath! Does that mean that you are a doctor?” Whenever a patient tries to extract information or whenever he is indiscrete asking personal questions, as a rule, you have to do with a syphilitic subject. But, always be careful because even a psoric, sincere patient, like a Phosphor guy, being also sycotic and spontaneous regarding expression, may ask you a personal question; but it’s always an unintentional act; a sincere act. Nux Vomica will be very punctual at her appointment. She may even come a little earlier than scheduled so as to be certain that she will be punctual. She will want you to be punctual also. She demands punctuality from you. You told her 18.00 and she wants to be 18.00 sharp in your office! She may even make a comment if you are, even a little late, nevertheless, she will always be polite but still strict and demanding. Lycopodium, most of the times will come even earlier so as not to find himself, in the very awkward position to apologize for his delay. But he will be annoyed if you delay him. Sometimes, he may not be annoyed; he may start reading all the brochures and books you have in the living room 29 about Homeopathy so as to be informed and ask you questions when he finally enters your office. He rarely makes criticism for your delay because he is coward or if he does it will be a polite remark. Platina is most likely to be offended if you delay her. She is going to think: “Who the hell he thinks he is, to delay me! Doctor Christian Barnard! I’ve got important things to do also!” Usually, she will express her annoyance by straight aggressive remarks. If you are very late, she may even go off and never come back after a vain remark about you! Lachesis, on the other hand, may adopt many different secondary behaviors: “Don’t bother doctor! Please, do your job! I don’t mind waiting as long as it takes”. She says that implying “as long as you take a good care of me, of course!” Or she may say: “What’s the matter doctor! When are you going to examine me? Why did you schedule your appointments so jammed? How on earth, will you find time to do a good examination if you don’t have time?” Let’s see, now, how several different kids will behave in the living room or in the office. Phosphor, Medorhinum and Cina are restless kids. But there’s a great difference among them. Cina is the mean, stubborn kid. His mum or dad will go after him so as to behave, but with no result, even if punished. Cina is so stubborn! His mum will tell him “Don’t touch that!” He will look at her and at the same time his hand will touch the forbidden object! Phosphor kid is restless but not spoiled and certainly not mean; he is such a good kid! Medorhinum is restless and not obedient. He is the tough guy; the independent. Cina is the mean, totally stubborn kid. Lachesis little girls want to be the center of attention; they act as little grownups, talk like that and want to show off with their behavior. Platina little girls are so self confident and even vain; they are the little “princesses” but not the sensitive ones, in fact, they are the vain ones. Pulsatilla little girls are the sensitive ones who like to be dressed up like the psoric sensitive princesses of fairy tales. You will be able to trace psoric persons from their psoric behavior; they sit quietly in the living room, not talking to others and patiently waiting for their turn. You will also trace those loquacious Lachesis “madams” or “gossips” because they keep asking others: “Is this your first time? Is he a good doctor? What’s your problem? Have you seen results?” Lachesis will want to know everything about the doctor and other persons. 30 If she is an old patient of the doctor she will grab the chance to say good things about him to other patients in the living room. She will talk loud and clear and even wait for the doctor to come in the living room to say good comments about him so as to flatter the doctor. Lachesis, if pleased, will spread a good rumor about you to anyone else: to her neighbors, co- workers, relatives, even to strangers. Many times she even accompanies other persons that are introduced by her to the doctor after she has almost force them to set an appointment. The important question for the homeopathic doctor is always not the fact but the intention that lies beneath: “Why does she do that?” That’s the most important question! Is she doing it out of true gratitude like a psoric Phosphor or Pulsatilla? No! She is doing it out of expediency and that’s why she is so keen to show it to you: “I’ve introduced you so many people!”, “Did Mrs. Miller come to you? I, am the one, that introduced her to you! I found her at the grocers and I told her: “You should go there, immediately! He is going to cure you, undoubtedly! I was a wreck and he saved me!” She does this for several reasons: she may ask for a discount or to give her medicines for a larger period of time or just to take a very good care of her. How can you be sure that this is indeed a syphilitic behavior? There are two important criteria: she is extreme as to her behavior and above all, intentional! The final confirmation is that if this woman is displeased, she may make a ridicule of you in public! She is going to keep accusing you until she enters her grave. Again, you encounter her extreme and intentional behavior and her meanness. You may find a Lycopodium patient flirting in your living room but still it’s a shy, psoric, gentle and cultured flirting. Medorhinum, on the other hand, will flirt in a straight, prompt and sometimes vulgar way. They may both flirt with the doctor, especially if she/he is a beautiful woman or a handsome man. Valerian young women tend to flirt the handsome doctor in a cultured and styled manner while Tarentula Hispanica has a more sycotic and straight manner of flirting, since she is so hot and active sexually. From our point of view, as doctors, they can do whatever they like. We must stick to our job, which is to collect data and reach a correct homeopathic diagnosis. They do their job and we do ours! (laughing) 2.3 In the office 31 Now it’s time for the patient to enter our office. The way the patient sits is many times indicative of his miasmas and idiosyncrasy. A Medorhinum or sycotic Sulphur will sit hastily and loudly and will have his feet and hands spread open wide; they are comfortable and cool guys. Phosphor, due to his urge to be understood and helped, may move the chair closer to the doctor’s desk. Lachesis also does this, in an attempt for familiarity. We have already described in previous lectures how a Lachesis is dressed: extreme and kitsch! For example, she will wear a see-through blouse even if she pretends to be a God-fearing woman or she will wear a mini-skirt even if she has very fat thighs. She may also wear tights even if she is very fat. Often, she wears a very low-necked dress or blouse so as to show off her enormous breasts for which she is proud of and thinks that make her look sexy. An elder lady may wear a bright yellow dress full of enormous daisies or leopard or snake kitsch shoes. She will employ extreme accessories, extreme make up, heavy golden accessories for example a large golden cross worn out of the blouse so as to show off that she is such a God-fearing woman. To sum up, she has an extreme, intentional look and a kitsch or vulgar look! You will not find these in any Repertory, Materia Medica or Computer Expert System but these non verbal data are essential for my Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis because they are valuable clinical information derived from everyday life! How’s a Platina look? She usually dresses expensively. She spends most of her money for her look. She dresses like a top model or like a chic high class lady. In fact, she is the best client of clothing shops and beauty shops. But, to be fair, she is not kitsch like Lachesis. In fact, most of the times she has the quite opposite style: she is classy and with a good, expensive taste not only regarding clothing but also regarding make up. Just think of a classy lady wearing that elegant, expensive, branded suit, expensive but elegant jewels, a modern or classic hairdressing, a Prada bag, high heels and above all a blaze expression! Nevertheless, at times you may also see a low class Platina, being an unbalanced “fruitcake”, a freak whose look resembles pretty much a kitsch or vulgar Lachesis: weird hairdressing, odd hair color, rhinestones, lame clothing, leopard or snake high heels, etc. Nux Vomica’s look matches her idiosyncrasy: strict, typical, classic, conservative, neat and clean. That doesn’t mean that she will not wear 32 jeans, but it will not be extreme ones because she is so keen of proper and respectable behavior and thus her outfits are in accordance to her general tendencies. Natrum Muriaticum is also in favor of proper and respectable outfits but not as strictly as Nux Vomica. Can you imagine how Sulphur’s outfits will be? Unimaginable! (laughing) He is slovenly, slipshod, dirty and has no good taste; you may see him wearing a checked shirt with one side of the shirt in his pants and the other out; a dirty and not ironed jacket; pants, blouse and jacket that don’t match at all; may come to the office with flip flops; dirty, dusty flip flops; (more laughing) If he is a young teenager he may wear those American pants, those very wide and large pants and have greasy, unwashed and not combed hair. That’s why James Tyler Kent used to call Sulphur “dirty, ragged philosopher”. A low class Medorhinum guy will have a large, heavy golden bracelet, the shirt unbuttoned down to the sternum so as to show off his manly, hairy, muscular chest and his large golden necklace! Like Sulphur, he has such a bad taste regarding outfits, but since he wants to be a womanizer he will take a very good care of his appearance. He may buy expensive clothes, tight jeans so as to show off his manly genitals (laughing) and blouses with no sleeves so as to show his muscular arms. He will also have a large manly, expensive wrist watch and well combed modern hair, not to mention cow boy boots, military boots or sportive boots and outfits. But if due to age or for some other reason he is off the womanizer play, he may become as sloppy as sycotic Sulphur. Lycopodium is relatively conservative as to his outfits and hasn’t got any other special characteristics except from his well cared beard that consists of a small moustache that continues straight down covering only the area of the chin; you see, it’s a cultured beard like his owner! You may also find him carrying a leather handbag or classy briefcase like the ones that executives or professors tend to have as matching accessory. Valeriana usually takes very much care about her appearance because she is so anxious about her body and outfits. Nevertheless, she is never satisfied about her body. She keeps saying to herself that her belly is large or that her hair are a mess or that she has gained a few extra kilos, although she may be beautiful and thin. You see, she is insecure as to her appearance in the same way she is insecure in general! But what’s characteristic about her is that although she isn’t pleased with herself, she doesn’t easily reveal this to others. When it comes to others she tries to 33 seem so confident of herself and of her appearance although she may have changed her clothes a dozen times before going out on a date. What’s characteristic about her is that she is one person on the inside and another on the outside. She is very insecure but she keeps adopting that self-confident style. She may not be educated or cultured but she keeps showing off as a cultured individual. She is conservative but she adopts the style of the rebellion. She is ambitious but she may pretend that she doesn’t care about career or money. She is such a self-seeker wanting to have a rich life without doing anything and on the other hand she pretends to be nonconformist and unconventional. So, she usually dresses seemingly unconventional and sportive but nevertheless expensively and branded with some touch of luxury. She may wear branded modern jeans and a sportive blouse which she has chosen after going around a dozen shops. Furthermore, she will have that touch of luxury like an expensive, good taste watch or a silver, light foot chain. She usually chooses silver or platinum instead of gold because she considers it more unconventional. She doesn’t want to be considered rich but she wants to be considered modern and classy. If she adopts the look of a “rebellion” nonconformist teenager then she may have pierced her ears with more than one holes, each one having an earring; she also likes piercing her nose, eyebrows or navel. She is fond of unconventional tattoos especially at her neck or back wearing low- waist jeans so as to show it off seemingly discretely. She wants to look unconventional contrary to a “Barbie” Platina, but still she takes so much care about her appearance although this is not clear to people and not easily revealed by her. 2.4 Idiosyncratic Characteristics concerning Speech We have already referred to the extreme loquacity of Lachesis. It’s a sycotic, hypocritical and intentional loquacity. Argentum Nitricum is also quite often loquacious but it’s an almost obsessive loquacity matching his obsessive personality. He has so many, quick, anxious and obsessive thoughts running here and there in his mind that, in the end, are expressed as obsessive loquacity. Lycopodium’s speech is the typical cultured speech: complex, unusual and sophisticated terms or phrases. Today, in my office, a Lycopodium patient used the word “entelechy” which is a philosophical term, rarely used in common conversation. Apart from philosophical or political terms he may also use scientific or medical terms. You see, he wants to show 34 that he has read a lot and he is cultured. He may also speak formally using plural number. He can also use many other formal expressions like “much obliged”, “how considerate of you”, “would it be possible that”, “do I cause a nuisance if”, “my greetings to”, “could I ask something”, etc. Phosphor, being sycotic as to expression is more plain, direct and specific regarding his speech. Lycopodium, on the contrary, is so indirect, so not cutting to the chase. He doesn’t do it on purpose, in a syphilitic way, trying to manipulate you or use you. He simply has a sophisticated thinking. He is extremely intellectual and accordingly his speech is also sophisticated and complex. If you also add his cowardice then you end up having an indirect speech. Quite often you ask him something and instead of giving you a straight answer he starts saying “it depends…” or “do you mean…?” or he may say: “please, define what do you mean by the word “X” you used” Sulphur has a very slovenly speech resembling his slipshod personality. Medorhinum has a shallow speech regarding content resembling his shallow intellect and morality. He is fan of the saying “plain and simple” so many times he will tell you “cut to the chase, will you!”, “spit it out!”, “why don’t you tell me what you really want?” or “be straight, will you!” Platina has a vain, snobbish, arrogant, pretentious, conceited or strict speech but not as strict as Nux Vomica. Nux Vomica has a very specific, accurate and strict speech. It’s a “dry”, rational speech with little emotion and much intellect. She may speak a lot because she wants to be specific about her symptoms and wants to give a thorough report. Psoric, introvert idiosyncrasies tend not to talk much and give short answers. Gelsemium, being very timid and shy, may blush or stammer on answering questions, especially personal ones. Natrum Muriaticum may give short, “neutral” or general answers trying not to reveal too much about her personals. For example she may say: “normal, normal”, “like everybody else”, “not particularly”, “on the average”, “not really”, etc. But if she is inspired by her doctor’s personality, then she may start talking more about it. If the doctor asks her straightly about personal things like sex or affairs then she may become embarrassed or blush because she says to herself: “How can he ask me such things? What do I say now?” You see, she is very introvert and wants to sustain a certain socially acceptable image. Lycopodium 35 also often tries to keep a social image to others but if he likes the doctor he may talk free even about his personals. Hyoscyamus has that suspicious, psychotic look and is very reserved. If you ask him about things that he may consider strange, then he may get angry and try to stop you by saying: “What’s that got to do with my illness?” Cannabis Indica looks as if “stoned”. Her look is blurred and stoned because her mind is blurred due to the quick train of thoughts that run through her mind. Coffea Cruda, Valerian, Platina and Iodine are persons that often have a prompt, quick and nervous speech. If the doctor is slow to ask or to understand then they are so annoyed, even angry. They say to themselves: “What’s the matter with him? Is this slow-minded guy going to understand my problem and solve it? I don’t think so!” You’ve definitely, lost them! Arsenicum is mistrustful and very egoistic; he simply knows everything! He may ask you how many years you are practicing Medicine, what are your qualifications and if you have the ability to help him. Can you guarantee that you will cure him? At times, if you are a young doctor, he may even be slightly insulting. Anacardium also, that is, the malicious type of this idiosyncrasy, may be insulting and a true “wise-guy”. Tuberculinum also may be insulting and very miserable especially if it’s a low class person. I remember when I was at my early years of practicing when a Tuberculinum low class worker came to me for the second time and although he was better he said to me: “Why, doctor, what’s the case here? Must I pay you every time I come? What if I don’t get well in the end? Will you give me my money back?” (laughing) Hysteric idiosyncrasies like Lilium Tigrinum, Cimicifuga, Cyclamen, Asafoetida and especially Moschus are miserable and complaining all the time that they don’t feel any difference although they may get better. They don’t only complain to their doctor; complaining, is indeed, their way of trying always to do things their way! Other syphilitic idiosyncrasies that are always complaining are Syphillinum, Tuberculinum and often Lachesis. Psorinum and Lycopodium are often miserable and complaining but in a psoric way. 2.5 Idiosyncratic Characteristics concerning body type and face Now let’s see what idiosyncratic information we can acquire from body type and shape of face. You must always, of course, bear in mind that this 36 concerns people that are influenced by that certain idiosyncrasy for years, that is, it must be a basic idiosyncrasy for them and not a temporary or circumstantial one. For example, if a person is not psoric but circumstantially, due to a love disappointment develops an Ignatia idiosyncrasy that doesn’t mean that he will also develop an Ignatia body type in a few weeks or months. Natrum Muriaticum, Sepia and secondarily Ignatia, often have this “pear- shaped” body: narrow trunk, wide pelvis and upper thighs, narrow legs. When these women lose weight it mostly concerns all other parts except from their pelvis and upper thighs. On the other hand, when they gain weight, it always has to do first with their pelvis and upper thighs. Lachesis has that well-known from our academic education “cortisone face”, that is, swollen face, cheeks, eyes, lips, swollen neck and breasts, large chest and trunk while feet and hands are relatively thin. Psoric Sulphur is usually tall, slim, “yin” and stooped with dry skin while sycotic Sulphur is exactly the opposite: fat, flabby and with greasy skin. Platina women insist on being very slim, even slimmer than normal, although they still have a tremendous anxiety not to get fat. They may be very slender but despite that, they consider themselves as fat. Those poor slim anorexic top models are usually Platina subjects! These anorexic girls usually experience a yo-yo state: they either eat nothing or eat greedily and then cause vomiting so as not to gain weight. It’s a terrible state! No animal could do that! Only humans can be free enough by nature so as to become so foolish! Pulsatilla girls are those cute romantically dressed plump girls with rosy chubby cheeks and charming braids. They are little “Snow Whites”, cute “Little Red Riding Hoods” or sensitive princesses of fairy tales. But don’t even for a minute think that they are vain and arrogant. On the contrary, they are psoric, sensitive and romantic although very coquettish! Even adult Pulsatilla women have such a shade both in expression and in character but not so intensely. Nux Vomica is “dry” both in mind and body: very tense and very upright. She has so much muscular tension especially at the areas of neck and back. Sepia is so tired and so squeezed out of vital energy; so depressed and desperate! She is the woman who has been “dehydrated” of any energy by her vigorous husband or children. You look at her and you say: “Oh my God! What a depressed, sucked out, troubled woman!” 37 Medorhinum and other “yang” idiosyncrasies have these extreme yang physical characteristics: a large “square” chin, a large head with a wide, bull-like neck, large lips and mouth opening and wide nose. If he is short he will have a wide, heavy, strong skeleton and he is going to be very muscular. If he is tall he is going to be huge, gigantic. A yin skeleton is exactly the opposite: long and thin, light, hectic with narrow wrist, long narrow palm and long slim fingers. A yang person has wide palm with fat and short but strong fingers. See how many idiosyncratic characteristics can one notice from external appearance and even more from his general non verbal behavior? There were there before you’ve learned to notice it and evaluate it and will be there to help you now that you’ve learned Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis. Isn’t it great? I think it is! It’s even greater if you consider that this is unbiased, scientific information! Many Sulphur subjects go bald even from their thirties or forties because they have very greasy hair. Lachesis women tend to go bald earlier than other women so it’s not rare to see such women trying always to be well combed so as to hide their problem. Argentum Nitricum and Lycopodium may also have greasy skin and hair but not as much as Sulphur. Psorinum and Graphites may have dry, cracking, sensitive skin and seborrhoeic dermatitis around the nose, eyebrows and forehead, that is, dry cracking red skin with slight exfoliation. Natrum Muriaticum and Sepia have a very dry, thin, sensitive skin and that’s the reason why they tend to have early formation of wrinkles while sycotic Sulphur with greasy skin must become very old to develop wrinkles. Sulphur, Psorinum and Graphites have many skin problems and itching and Thuja also, in less degree. Thuja may develop persistent acne at puberty while Valerian has persistent acne some years after puberty or at her thirties, the one we call “acne rosaceous”. The skin of the facial area of a Valerian woman is very much affected by smoking. Sulphur also may develop acne not only during puberty but also for many years later; he also has an easily irritated skin especially in the facial area so many men suffer from skin irritation after close-shaving. A Sulphur subject may also have itching after a hot bath. Lachesis tends to develop redness 38 of the skin at the upper chest and lower neck area when under stress but it comes and goes very easily. Silica’s nails break easily; they are brittle. She has softness of the connective tissue, soft bones, soft hair, soft skin and soft nails. Her lips crack very easily and not only due to cold weather. Her toe nails tend to turn inwards and injure her toes. Calcarea Carbonica also has brittle nails and teeth. Phosphor usually has sensitive bleeding uvula and inflamed purulent teeth so he tends to have a lot of fillings at an early age. Sycotic Sulphur subjects have very offensive secretions: sweat, breath, stool, urine and gases. Sometimes you will not notice such a thing because being aware of their problem they tend to have a bath every day and use deodorant systematically. Graphites, Psorinum and Arsenicum may also have very offensive secretions. Sycotic Sulphur sweats exceptionally, even in winter! Valerian tends to sweat at the palms only when stressed. Medorhinum and Phosphor kids tend to sweat a lot due to their restlessness but it’s not an offensive perspiration. Lachesis has that characteristic look: it’s as if she is looking at you over her long-sight glasses but not that she looks vainly at you as Platina. She simply never loses you from her eyes. Her look is fixed at you in the same way that a snake’s look is fixed at her pray; and you are of course the pray of a domineering Lachesis who is carefully examining you, being very mistrustful. -I’ve observed that Lycopodium subjects tend not to look at you straight in the eyes. Do you agree? -Yes, indeed you are right, especially if we have to do with a very psoric and coward Lycopodium. But this is especially the case with Gelsemium because he is very psoric and timid, very shy, even blushing at the presence of others. Natrum Muriaticum often has a degree of shyness or embarrassment at first contact with others. If we could have a declining hierarchic line of shy idiosyncrasies it would be: Gelsemium, Thuja, psoric Lycopodium and psoric Sulphur. Pulsatilla at times may appear shy and charming at first contact but only at first because then she is very sycotic concerning expression. 39 CHAPTER 3 SYMPTOMS, DISEASES, EVENTS AND THEIR VALUE IN MIASMATIC IDIOSYNCRATIC DIAGNOSIS 3.1 Idiosyncratic Diagnosis with the help of Miasmas 3.2 Modalities of symptoms 3.3 The importance of the course of Illness 3.4 Idiosyncratic and Miasmatic Characteristics regarding present disease and past case history 3.5 Life Decisive Events 3.6 Grading of symptoms Today’s lecture is also about Homoeopathic Case Taking. It belongs to a series of three lectures during which I will lay down to you the method I developed and have been applying the last 25 years: Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis. In our previous lecture we talked about what attitude should a homeopathic doctor built gradually so as to become an objective, unbiased, sensitive, scientific “measurement device” of the patient’s idiosyncrasy. Then we described what miasmatic and idiosyncratic information can be obtained through his non verbal behavior: how he sets his appointment, his behavior in the living room of our office, his manner of speech, his external appearance and look and his behavior inside our office. I always stress to you that I am not an academic doctor learning from books. Instead, I am a clinical doctor learning from everyday life. Thus, my Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis is clinically oriented; it takes things as they are in everyday life. That’s why I lay things down to you as 40 they happen during the course of a homeopathic examination. So it’s time now to see what miasmatic and idiosyncratic information can be obtained from the patient’s present disease and symptoms, from the events that have changed his life and from his past history. You see, regarding homeopathic doctor and my method of diagnosis, nothing is accidental and nothing is without value in tracing the patient’s idiosyncrasy. 3.1 Idiosyncratic Diagnosis with the help of Miasmas I’ve often told you in the past that Universal Laws are the basis of Homeopathy and of any true Science. That’s the reason why our first lecture was about Universal Laws. That’s not just a theoretical declaration without any practical use in diagnosis or treatment or in every aspect of my Homeopathy. It’s not also accidental that I call my method of homeopathic diagnosis as Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis. First things, first, according to the universal law of Hierarchy. Miasmas are hierarchically more primal and more important than idiosyncrasies thus any diagnostic method should be based on it. How do we employ the Theory of Miasmas in tracing the idiosyncrasy of the patient? We’ve already seen that regarding his non verbal behavior. Let’s examine that also regarding symptoms, diseases and important events in the life of our patient. I must first remind you that all of us are affected by all three miasmas, but at a certain time of our life there is always one that prevails and the other two follow either close to the first of far away. The prevailing miasma defines the patient’s idiosyncrasy and the kind of illnesses he will have the tendency to develop but often if the second miasma is very strong and close to the prevailing one, then it also plays a very important role. How can we apply the knowledge of Miasmas to symptoms and diseases in order to help us diagnose his idiosyncrasy? Let me give you an example. Let’s take the symptom “constipation”. What’s psoric constipation like? He has almost lost any desire to go to the toilette due to hypo-function of the intestines, decrease of secretions and decrease of motion. Accordingly he will have rare desire to go to the toilette, dry, hard stool and considerable difficulty in defecation. What’s a sycotic constipation like? He will have hyper-function of the intestines with increased secretions and mobility but due to spasms he will tend to have urgent desire for defecation with strong pain but without 41 result; then, suddenly he will have a noisy defecation with much content and probably much gases and mucous. A syphilitic constipation is a mixed and strange one; alternation of constipation with diarrhea, spasms and pain, mucous and blood, damaged mucous, septic conditions, etc. So you see, any single symptom can be characterized as being of more psoric, sycotic or syphilitic nature but this of course may just be a local condition. If we are to judge about the patient’s general miasmatic condition we should always judge from the totality of his physical and psychological symptoms and characteristics. The same stands bold not only for symptoms but also for diseases. Furthermore, not only diseases can be miasmatically judged but their course as well, can be characterized as more psoric, sycotic or syphilitic. A psoric course has gradual development, mild symptoms, gradual recovery, chronic insisting course and mild relapses. A sycotic course has sudden onset, quick deterioration, intense symptoms, quick recovery, and frequent, sudden and intense relapses. A syphilitic course has no rhythm, non typical and strange symptoms. It causes great damage to organs and tissues ending to deformation and a functional mess. Things are not always clear in life, at least as clear as our mind tends to think. Life does not follow human rules and human understanding; life follows Universal Laws and is at the same time simple and complex. Life is the ocean while human understanding is but a drop of the ocean. So you see, you just can’t enclose the ocean in any human skull or in any human Intellectual Psyche! So, many times there will be no clear miasmatic identification of a symptom or a disease; at times, even if you examine the whole of the patient, there will be no clear miasmatic identification of a patient. It may be that he has all three miasmas equally strong or it may be that you haven’t managed to have a clear picture of him! There are also cases where a certain idiosyncrasy has two miasmatic types. For example there are two versions of Sulphur, the psoric and the sycotic one. There are also idiosyncrasies that are defined strongly by two miasmas. For example Phosphor is strongly psoric regarding his morality and ideas but also strongly sycotic regarding his expression and his physical level. When it comes to clinical practice we should always take in consideration both Universal Laws and individuality that exists in everyday life, in everyday reality. This is in accordance with the Universal Law of Unity and Diversity and the Homeopathic Law of Individualization. 42 3.2 Modalities of symptoms Useful to our idiosyncratic diagnosis are also the modalities of any symptom, that is, how a certain symptom is affected by time, space, motion, weather conditions, physical activity, sleep, stress, etc. For example it’s not so important for our idiosyncratic diagnosis if he has cough but it’s very important and characteristic if his cough gets better or worse at day or night, by heat or cold, by lying down, by physical exertion, by sleep, etc. I will not go into details because we will thoroughly examine this subject when we will talk about Repertorising in Acute Diseases. But I never stop emphasizing again and again, that in Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis we are mainly based on miasmas, psychological characteristics and general physical characteristics. Only secondarily we get information from specific physical symptoms and modalities. Personally, I employ repertorising only when facing acute diseases. Even then, I take in consideration the person’s usual idiosyncrasy and miasmas. 3.3 The importance of the course of Illness After we have taken our case regarding present disease, it’s very important to ask and note down his past history, that is, the course of Illness in general. We note down every disease and most important when it appeared and under what conditions. When I say “when it appeared” I don’t mean when it was diagnosed but when first symptoms started. Why is that important? Let me give you an example: a kid shows to my office suffering from asthma. I ask about his past history and the parents tell me that he had eczema when baby which was treated by tons of cortisone ointment. Then, after a dose of oral cortisone “it vanished for good”. “Suddenly” and “without any reason” after some months or years the child developed allergic asthma. This is a very usual thing to happen and regarding the allopathic doctor the child had two “different” accidental “incidents” for which he has been treated separately. Dermatologist treated “the skin illness” while pneumologist treated “the lungs’ illness”. But for us, homeopaths these two seemingly “separated” diseases are parts of the one and only course of Illness which was suppressed by strong allopathic drugs. The real causes are the miasmatic and idiosyncratic inheritance of the child, his allergic predisposition and his way of life. Furthermore, eczema was suppressed by cortisone and the Illness moved into a deeper and more severe level, i.e. respiratory system 43 and asthma. Let me illustrate with another example: a sycotic person tells us that during his “wild” youth he had that unrestrained sexual life. Due to this, he developed several times gonorrhea which he has treated with antibiotics again and again. Then, “all of a sudden”, some years ago he developed recurrent infections of his prostate or recurrent arthritis of major joints. That’s another clear case of illness suppression in a sycotic person. Another psoric woman says that after her marriage she started having a declining state of health. She was fine and strong and now she is so tired, pale and anemic. On top of that, she has recurrent vaginitis, urine infections, fibromyoma of the uterus and irregular menses. For an allopathic doctor, these things just “happen”. For a homeopathic doctor nothing is accidental; all things obey to Universal Laws. She is definitely the “victim” of the secondary action of sycotic miasma of her husband. We have already talked about such cases in past lectures so I am not going to say more about it. Such things affect the Course of Illness or the State of Health of a person and if you are well acquainted with Universal Laws you are able to trace it. Why trace it? Because such things affect his course of life and in turn his present miasmatic and idiosyncratic state, so they are very useful in homeopathic diagnosis. Accordingly, the past history of his parents is also useful to complete the picture of a patient. Not only as physical “heredity” but also as miasmatic and idiosyncratic heredity. But, I don’t want you to dive in deep ocean waters for the present, so we will talk about it later on. 3.4 Idiosyncratic and Miasmatic Characteristics regarding present disease and past case history It’s time to be more specific. His present disease is very important to us as source of obtaining idiosyncratic and miasmatic information. You see, certain diseases are much more frequent, even characteristic of certain specific idiosyncrasies or miasmas. But we should never make the “allopathic” mistake to say: “he has this disease, so he is this specific idiosyncrasy” because several idiosyncrasies may have the tendency for the same disease. We must use his present disease only strictly as guiding points towards certain idiosyncrasies or miasmas. So our first question is always: “What brings you to me?” 44 Lycopodium often comes to the doctor for his “early ejaculation” and secondarily for “loose erection”. Medorhinum and Phosphor come for inability for erection or loose erection although they have increased desire for sex. Sepia and secondarily Natrum Muriaticum may suffer from loss of any sexual desire or even aversion sex but they rarely come to the doctor for this reason. Gonorrhea, recurrent prostate infections, warts and herpes of genitals are easily found in sycotic idiosyncrasies and especially Medorhinum. Sycotic idiosyncrasies also tend to suffer from sycotic hypertrophic diseases like nodules of the thyroid gland, fibromyomas, warts, fig-warts, prostate hypertrophy, hypertrophic tonsils etc. Other sycotic diseases are recurrent vaginitis, recurrent cystitis or urine infections. Recurrent colds especially in children are often found in Medorhinum or Phosphor kids but never take that as granted. You should never say “recurrent colds in a kid give Medorhinum or Phosphor”; that’s simply Key-Note Prescribing and not Homeopathic Prescribing. You should always examine if a certain symptom, no matter how characteristic or “key-note” it is, fits the whole idiosyncrasy of the patient not to say his whole miasmatic, idiosyncratic whole. Allergies, especially in kids, like allergic rhinitis, hay-fever, chronic nose obstruction, allergic conjunctivitis, hypertrophic tonsils, adenoids and allergic asthma often point to sycotic idiosyncrasies like Medorhinum or Phosphor. Idiosyncrasies that suffer from chronic severe headaches are mainly Sulphur, Nux Vomica, Valerian and Natrum Muriaticum. Sulphur has headaches from his early youth and they tend to be caused or deteriorate when heated, tired or stressed. Valerian has those nervous headaches when angry or when she goes to fussy places with noise and traffic jam like the city center. Natrum Muriaticum has nervous headaches because she is very easily offended and at the same time avoids expressing it; she keeps all tension inside and this is transformed into muscular tension of the neck and subsequent nervous headache or neuralgia of the face. Nux Vomica has headaches due to muscular tension of the neck especially when overloaded by too much work because she is so organized and tidy. Cimicifuga feels depressed as if a grey cloud is over her while her head feels extremely heavy, as if made of lead. She has that bruised feeling, as if being bitten, that starts from her back and neck and goes to her occiput, top of head, forehead and even eyeballs. Several 45 psoric idiosyncrasies like Calcarea Carbonica, Silica, Natrum Muriaticum, Sepia and Psorinum have that psoric type of constipation, that is, relaxed intestines and late dry stool. Most of the psychotic patients are Hyoscyamus subjects. Kent said that we could empty psychiatric clinics with only a few idiosyncratic homeopathic medicines like Hyoscyamus, Stramonium or Belladonna. This is true, if only of course we applied Homeopathy in an early stage and before chemical drugs have totally deranged these poor patients. Even then, in chronic suppressed cases, homeopathic treatment works wonderfully. Most of the times, you will note that the pre-psychotic idiosyncrasy resembled that of psoric Sulphur or other submissive idiosyncrasies. Often their mother was a very suppressive Lachesis and their father was also a suppressive Nux Vomica. Some other times, it happens that their Lachesis mother has neutralized their indifferent Medorhinum or sycotic father or their psoric submissive father and has excluded him from the raising of “her” children. Isn’t that a meaningful and astonishing observation? We have already analyzed such things in other lectures so I will not say more about it. When the patient complains of neuro-vegetative disorders, phobic or anxiety neurosis or “panic attacks” as we usually call it today, then we first think of Phosphor, then of Argentum Nitricum and secondarily of Arsenicum. Not so frequently, we may see that also in Lycopodium, Sulphur, Platina or Valerian. Often a typical Medorhinum subject, if very much stressed, may end up in a Phosphor case suffering from panic attacks. Whenever we come across hysteric symptoms, or to be more correct, whenever we come across hysteric patients, we should first think of hysteric idiosyncrasies like Lilium Tigrinum, Asafoetida, Moschus, Cimicifuga, Cyclamen and Cactus. Asafoetida has that “lump” in her throat that rises from the stomach with burning and dryness in the throat that forces her to keep swallowing in order to get rid of it. She usually chocks easily when eating or drinking. She also has hysteric hic-cough and hysteric retching. Cactus also has a hysteric lump in the throat but she feels it as if a hand is strangling her. Hysteric temporary blindness and hysteric temporary deafness with intense irritability and capriciousness remind us of Moschus. 46 Natrum Muriaticum has a nervous lump in her throat and oppression chest whenever she is upset because she is easily annoyed but still keeps all emotions inside. Lachesis may also complain about oppression chest but in addition she has that hypocritical sighing so as to manipulate her husband or children to do things her way. It’s not a nervous or hysteric symptom; it’s a hypocritical syphilitic one. You see how important is to differentiate symptoms according to the general miasmatic and idiosyncratic picture of the person? That’s true Homeopathy, while Repertorising of symptoms is just a plunge in the ocean, especially when done without any laws and correct technique. Whenever we have patients that present severe teeth problems we think of Silica, Calcarea Carbonica and Phosphor among, of course, other idiosyncrasies. Frequent mouth ulcers may lead first to Borax and then to Mercury. Salivation coming out of the mouth to the pillow almost every night may lead to Mercury primarily and Medorhinum secondarily. Lachesis may wake up at night from a chocking sensation in the throat feeling that she can’t breathe; she gets up and gasps for air. Nux Vomica often suffers from muscular tension at the neck are, at times producing tension headache. Cimicifuga feels a hysteric muscular tension that may be located at the back and may be extended up to the head and eyeballs and even to the heart, causing much pain; it’s a bruised feeling, as if she was beaten. In persistent hyperthyroidism think also of Iodine but never as your first choice; only if other frequent and polychrest idiosyncrasies don’t match the case and furthermore only if the whole image of the patient matches this certain idiosyncrasy. Always remember that we prescribe for the miasmatic, idiosyncratic whole, for the patient as a whole and not for the disease or for symptoms. Whenever we have a past history of tuberculosis you should also think of Tuberculinum primarily and Silica secondarily. Relapsing colds in sycotic children frequently indicate Medorhinum and Phosphor. Lycopodium primarily and Phosphor and Nux Vomica secondarily have a sensitive stomach. Sensitive intestines remind us of Sulphur, Argentum Nitricum, Nux Vomica and Lachesis. Lycopodium often has complaints from esophagus due to his gastritis; he also suffers quite often from inguinal hernia, fungal infections of the inguinal area, phimosis, early ejaculation and recurrent balanitis. Chronic anemia may be often found in sycotic women or Medorhinum women. I’ve often found Medorhinum 47 men with stigma of thalassemia. I think I’ve already said enough about this subject; any other questions about it? -Is cancer a sycotic illness? -No! You will see cancer in persons of all three miasmas. 3.5 Life Decisive Events Now let’s go on to something else: there comes a patient to me and says: “The last three years I’ve been suffering from terrible migraines; since two and a half years I have colitis; the last three and a half years I am not feeling well”. It’s a profound thing to ask: “Did anything happen about three to four years ago, before all these things start? Was there any major change in your life? Did you face any great misfortune or long stressful periods?” For example a phobic patient reveals to you that all his fears began after he had a terrible fright incident: he was nearly killed by a car. After that incident “something broke inside him” and since then he is afraid of all things. We should think of Aconitum. But, please, be careful! Never give Aconitum to anyone that developed fears after a fright. That’s not correct Homeopathy. That’s Key-Note Prescribing! He may have remained in the influence of his past idiosyncrasy or he may have been Medorhinum and now has developed a Phosphor state. Anything is possible! We should always individualize! We should be open to all possibilities! A young woman experiences a major love disappointment; after that everything is different; her whole life has changed! It’s a starting point of a new state. Shouldn’t it be very important to us, homeopathic doctors, also? Of course, it should! But you should never say: “Did you recently experience a love disappointment?” “Yes, I did, lots of times!” “Oh, I see, I will prescribe Ignatia for you”. For God sake! This is not Homeopathy! This is stupidity! She may have experienced a troubling end in her relation but that doesn’t mean necessarily, that she was hurt so much that her life and idiosyncrasy has changed! Indeed, she may have not been hurt at all! She may also have been the one that caused love disappointment to others! If a sycotic woman told such a thing to me and in such a light manner then I may have concluded, taking always in consideration her whole miasmatic and idiosyncratic image that she is simply a superficial Medorhinum and her answer to my question means “I’ve fucked a bunch of guys!” regarding Never confuse an event with its possible consequences over a certain 48 individual. Events are neutral, as to nature; they are not good or bad, happy or sad, etc. It’s the individual that interprets a certain event according to his miasmatic and idiosyncratic background; that’s why we call him “an individual”, because he interprets events in an individualized way! And that’s why we, as homeopathic doctors, have to individualize our diagnosis! That’s why I have busted your balls –excuse me for the expression, but I have to emphasize- in previous lectures saying again and again that we should follow Universal Laws and that we should always have unity of theory and practice. No diagnosis of any sort is correct unless it follows Universal and Homeopathic Laws; and that’s a fact whether you realize it or not, whether you believe it or not! It’s true that psoric persons often develop a state of Ignatia after a severe and true psoric love disappointment. It’s also true that if this state lasts long they may develop a Natrum Muriaticum idiosyncrasy or even a Sepia idiosyncrasy if things are very bad and chronic. But never say: “acute love disappointment, give Ignatia; chronic love disappointment, give Natrum Muriaticum; if she also has aversion to sex then give Sepia”. That’s not Homeopathy because the remedy you give may not be “homeo”, that is, similar to the whole image and state of the individual. If for example, the individual who has experienced the end of an affair has been a Platina she may not have been affected at all! She could have said in a snobbish way: “How can he be so stupid not to appreciate the “goddess” he had by his side!” However, she could be very hurt but still might become an even vainer Platina or develop a Mancinella or a Phosphor or Arsenicum or a dozen other idiosyncrasies. He may also have been a Medorhinum guy that would say: “Big deal! One down, ten to come! Let’s hit the road for new chicks!” (laughing) Apart from events and present idiosyncrasy, something else is very important and decisive in a person’s life: his will and goals. If it’s decisive for his life then it’s also decisive for the idiosyncrasy that he may develop as a result of a traumatic event. For example, if a young pretty syphilitic lady is spoiled by her parents who give emphasis on her beauty then she may develop Platina idiosyncrasy. If, in some other occasion, she is spoiled by her parents who satisfy every little whim of hers, then she may develop a hysteric idiosyncrasy like, for instance, Moschus or Lilium Tigrinum or Asafoetida. If a psoric boy is raised by psoric parents to be “a good boy” then he may become a typical Lycopodium adult because at a certain time of his life he will realize that he is coward but also very intellectual so in order to 49 survive and succeed he will have one goal in his life: to become an educated, refined man. If you are syphilitic and you want to manipulate others you may end up developing a Lachesis idiosyncrasy. If you are sycotic and your goal is to “fuck as many women as possible” then you may develop Medorhinum, and so on. So, possible decisive events such as love disappointments, change in religious or moral ideas, death of a beloved person, severe financial loss, change of profession, etc, should be seriously taken in consideration. I am being precise when I choose the phrase “taken in consideration”. You see, we have to considerate if this event has really changed his life and even more to what direction it has changed it! What matters isn’t if an event is considered important by the society but if it’s considered important by the individual! That’s what I mean when I say “individualize”. 3.6 Grading of symptoms If we want to be in accordance with the Law of Hierarchy, not only should we evaluate symptoms if they are important and decisive regarding his whole picture but we should also proceed to the important task of grading them. There are three grades for any physical or psychological symptom. Grade three is the highest; highest both regarding intensity and frequency. If I have a severe migraine once a year, no matter how severe it is, it’s not a grade 3 migraine. If I get angry once a year, no matter how angry I get that is not “irritability, grade 3”. I have to be very angry all the time! Grade 2 is the next to the highest state downwards; it’s not as intense and frequent as grade 3 but nevertheless, it’s still characteristic enough of the person. It concerns symptoms that are quite often and are quite intense but not in an extreme degree. It may also concern symptoms that are intense but happen not so often or symptoms that are often but not so intense. Grade 1 is the lowest degree in intensity and frequency, but still a bit characteristic of the individual; it’s not yet a normal, neutral state; the symptom is still characteristic of the person but at a low degree. It’s obvious that decisive to our idiosyncratic diagnosis are primarily the grade 3 symptoms and secondarily the grade 2 symptoms. In Repertories and especially in Kent’s Repertory, grade 3 symptoms are marked by bold letters, grade 2 by italics and grade 1 by normal letters. 50 CHAPTER 4 GENERAL PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS 4.1 Ask the right way if you want to get the right answer! 4.2 How do we ask for heat and cold? 4.3 Hot idiosyncrasies 4.4 Cold idiosyncrasies 4.5 Sweating, offensive secretions, greasiness 4.6 Desire or aversion to sweet and salt 4.7 Sour taste and fat 4.8 Milk, cold water and onion 4.9 Position of sleep, nightly salivation 4.10 Relation to the sea 4.1 Ask the right way if you want to get the right answer! It’s time to deal with general physical characteristics. Although psychological characteristics are more important than physical ones, when you examine a patient for the first time, for intimacy reasons, you have to deal first with more “neutral” subjects. Before even asking such “neutral” questions like his physical characteristics, still, we should first explain to our patient that we are interested in giving him the medicine that is similar to his idiosyncrasy/type/character and not similar to his disease and that’s the reason why it’s necessary to ask him questions about his physical and psychological characteristics so as to decide about his idiosyncrasy. We start asking about how he is affected by heat and cold. Be careful about the way you ask! We never ask him: “You are hot, aren’t you?” If we do so we push him to say: “Yes, I am” although he may not be. This is of course, the case especially with psoric, submissive persons. Moreover, if we ask the same question to a slightly hot submissive person he will probably agree as if we were hot grade 2 or 3. If, of course, we have in 51 front of us an arrogant syphilitic person he will probably say: “How on earth, did you reach to such an arbitrary conclusion! I am definitely cold”. Congratulations! You have just lost your patient’s trust! (laughing) You see, it’s of most importance to ask in a “neutral” manner. Our questions are scientific means of getting information sp they should be clear and specific leaving no space for misunderstandings. Furthermore, they should never guide the patient towards a specific direction. We shouldn’t put words into his mouth. The rule is: “ask the right way if you want to get the right answer”. When I say “right” answer I don’t mean right according to my beliefs or will or according to any theory of mine. When I say right I mean the closest to his reality, to his condition; the closest to truth. Moreover, we should always never take for granted what the patient says. We have to cross check his answer, evaluate and grade it correctly. Let me give you an example: We ask: “Do you like sweet taste or not?” “Oh, yes! I do like sweets a lot!” Just because he said so and even if he said it enthusiastically, that doesn’t mean that it’s true. I have to cross check it and grade it. Is it a desire for sweet really and if it is, is it grade 3, 2 or 1? So, I go on asking: “How often do you eat sweets? Do you want it every day? Do you even prefer sweets instead of food?” Only if he answers definitely “yes” to all the above questions, then and only then, he is definitely a “desire sweets 3” person. But, even then, I have to cross check another thing: Is his telling me about his desire or about what he does in reality independently of his desire? You see, he may be a person that follows a healthy diet and he is strict with himself, so although he is crazy about sweets he doesn’t eat them at all. So if I ask him if he likes sweets and he thinks that I am asking him if he eats them, he will say “No!” Or if he likes it a lot and eats it a lot but he is afraid that I will scold him for his unhealthy habits then he will say “No!” But, we are not interested mainly if he eats it because we are not allopathic doctors aiming for the disease, i.e. diabetes; we are aiming for his idiosyncrasy. Correct evaluation of a characteristic is very important and that’s why many times bad evaluation leads to wrong prescription. Let me explain to you what I mean: There’s a great difference if you owe 10 euro or 10.000 euro to the bank! The first version doesn’t affect my financial state and life but the second one does affect it a lot! Accordingly a characteristic grade 1 is very different from a characteristic 3 especially when it comes to psychological characteristics. The more important the characteristic 52 regarding diagnosis, the more important it’s grading! 4.2 How do we ask for heat and cold? Let’s go back to heat and cold. The initial question must always be a general one so as to let the patient express himself without any guiding of any kind: “Are you hot or cold?” I wait for his answer and if he didn’t understand what I’ve told him I keep asking: “Does heat bother you more or cold?” After his answer we go on with some more clarifying questions so as to evaluate and grade his answer concerning heat and cold: “Do you want much clothing during winter? Do you need more clothes than other people do? During summer, does heat annoy you a lot? Do you feel uncomfortable in a hot room? Do you want to open the window and have cool air? Are your feet, cold in winter? Must you wear socks or have your feet warmed up before going to sleep? Do you often have cold and at the same time sweaty feet, although not under stress? Do you also have cold and at the same time sweaty hands, although not under stress?” If he is hot some useful clarifying questions in order to grade heat, are: “Does it happen that even in winter, you want light clothing or no jacket at all, even if it’s cold? Does summer heat make you suffer? Do you often want to walk bear foot or be almost naked and not stand any clothing? Even in winter, do you enjoy having your feet out of the blankets although the room may be cold? Do you like uncovering yourself because you feel hot most of the times, even if the room is cold? Does it happen that you keep changing position for your feet because they get warm and you want them to be in a cooler place under the sheet?” All these questions are asked, of course, only when needed, so as to clarify things. If things are very clear from the beginning then we shouldn’t lose time and tire the patient with unnecessary questions. If needed, then they should be done gradually from the generals to specific ones. Finally, we note down the chosen symptom with its grading and its specific characteristics. For example: hot3, feet out of blankets2, <hot room3 (< stands for deterioration). Another example: cold2 cold and sweaty feet3. 4.3 Hot idiosyncrasies Now it’s time to relate our findings about heat and cold with certain idiosyncrasies that have these specific characteristics. That’s the art of homeopathic history: to trace and evaluate correctly all symptoms and at the same time relate it with possible idiosyncrasies. 53 Very hot idiosyncrasies, grade 3, are Sulphur, Argentum Nitricum, Pulsatilla, Chamomilla, Apis and Iodine. However, always bear in mind that you may also find these idiosyncrasies as grade 2 or even, more rarely, as grade1, so you should never be absolute about anything in Homeopathy. And let me propose to you to adopt the same attitude in all aspects of your personal life! Grade 2 hot idiosyncrasies are Natrum Muriaticum, Platina, Lilium Tigrinum, Asafoetida, Lachesis and Lycopodium. I always try to list idiosyncrasies concerning any symptom hierarchically according to intensity and frequency but be aware that you shouldn’t be absolute about such things; they are merely my clinical observations. Now let’s examine some specific characteristics of each hot idiosyncrasy although you will find these also described in details, in my Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Materia Medica. Sulphur is very hot, grade 3 or two at least. This is, of course, the case with sycotic Sulphur while psoric Sulphur has hot extremities but his trunk may be sensitive to cold. At times psoric Sulphur may be hot 1 or even cold 1 but, on the other hand, typical sycotic Sulphur is so hot! He just can’t stand any kind of heat. Even in winter, he may be dressed in summer clothing. He refuses to use any jacket and his feet are so hot and burning that he must have it out of the blankets even in a cold room. He also tends to uncover his whole body. Whenever you examine a patient and he reminds you of Sulphur but he is very cold instead, then you should think of Graphites and Psorinum. Graphites is very miserable and critical, wants to pick up food all the time due to an annoyance in the stomach area and when he tries to concentrate in order to read something then he has that incredible body restlessness. Psorinum, on the other hand, is so pessimistic, disappointed of life, finds no joy even to his family, wants no company and is very worried about the course of his financial statement although things may not be that bad. Argentum Nitricum and Lycopodium often resemble Sulphur because they are hot and sweating, often with offensive odor and apart from these physical characteristics they are very intellectual like Sulphur. But Argentum Nitricum has those characteristic fixed ideas and obsessive personality as described, while Lycopodium is coward and intellectual as described, also. Keep always in mind that you shouldn’t differentiate according to specific or local characteristics but according to the whole psychosomatic and furthermore miasmatic picture of the patient. Argentum Nitricum and Pulsatilla feel very uncomfortable in a hot room and they love cool and fresh air; they may tend to open the window to get 54 a relief. Pulsatilla is better with cool air not only regarding her physical symptoms but also regarding her psychological ones. So, you may find her in mid- winter to have the heat on, wear warm clothing but at the same time having the windows slightly open so as to let fresh, cool air come in and cool her face. Even during sleep she covers herself well but may leave the window slightly open just to have some fresh, cool air enter the room. Sulphur may also do this but he remains uncovered or has his feet out of the blankets. Pulsatilla can’t have her face inside the blankets no matter how cold the room is. She needs fresh cool air. Lachesis also, may feel very uncomfortable if forced to have her mouth covered by anything because she feels a chocking sensation, as if she can’t breathe. Lachesis is also, most of the times, hot enough. Don’t confuse heat with flashes of heat. I mean those flashes that many women have at menopause. A woman may be cold in general but at the same time may have at times those terrible hot flashes either to the area of the face or to the whole body. Still, as a matter of fact, many women that have flashes during menopause are indeed Lachesis subjects. If a person has flashes of heat, that doesn’t mean that he is hot3 in general; if these flashes of heat are due to menopause, fever, stress, hysteria or if he has very hot feet due to phlebitis this does not make the person, necessarily, a hot3 person. Accordingly, you shouldn’t prescribe Sulphur for any person that likes to have his feet out of the blankets in winter. That’s not Homeopathy; that is, simply, stupid Key Note Prescribing! What really interests us are the idiosyncratic characteristics of a person at stage A or B, that is, in a rather normal state and not something that is a result of an illness, i.e. a symptom of an illness at stage C or D. Bear in mind that a characteristic, a typical physical or psychological feature of a person is always more important regarding idiosyncratic diagnosis than a symptom. In Kent’s Repertory there is a classification of the most typical hot and cold idiosyncrasies listed as grade 2 and 3. You can refer there any time, but at present I only point out to you the most characteristic and frequent hot or cold idiosyncrasies and what makes them differ from other such hot or cold idiosyncrasies. 55 4.4 Cold idiosyncrasies Let’s move on, now, to cold idiosyncrasies: Cold grade3 idiosyncrasies or at times grade2 are: Arsenicum, Nux Vomica, Psorinum, Calcarea Carbonica, Moschus, Sepia, Silica, Causticum, Graphites and Nitric Acid. There are, of course, many other cold idiosyncrasies but they are less basic and less frequent. If I pointed out, as a usual academic doctor would, all such idiosyncrasies you would be lost in an ocean of details. If this was the case, I could be considered academically correct but such a thing wouldn’t be functional and useful to you. Arsenicum is very cold. Furthermore, he is terribly afraid of diseases and especially death, consequently, even in a mild weather, you will see him wearing hat and heavy clothing or avoid going out for the fear of pneumonia. Whenever he has a fear crisis he feels even colder, almost freezing. There are times during which he feels as if freezing water is poured down his spine; this is very important guiding symptom of Arsenicum. Another very distinguishing mark is that especially in fever or when he is very anxious, he feels as if his head is in the oven and the rest of his body is in the fridge; that is, he feels his head hot or flashed while the rest of his body is very cold. Calcarea Carbonica is generally cold because she is very yin, very psoric. She lacks vital heat and energy, thus she is easily tired. Moreover, she is always afraid and worried about little every day things. She wants much clothing and her hands and feet are very cold. A distinguishing mark of hers is that often her feet are cold and at the same time, moist. Cannabis Indica is also cold in general and has cold feet and hands but her hands are cold and at the same time sweaty. Valeriana, a syphilitic idiosyncrasy, is cold but not very cold. She also has sweating palms but only when she is anxious or stressed and whenever she becomes sleepy at night she may also feel cold. Silica, a psoric idiosyncrasy, is like a cold mild Pulsatilla regarding her psychology. She also has cold extremities but her distinguishing mark is that her head is extremely sensitive to cold. If she gets out of the house after a bath without having her head well dried, then she will definitely catch a cold or have a headache. Silica sweats a lot mainly on the upper part of her body. Pulsatilla is generally hot in chronic conditions but in acute conditions she is cold. There are some idiosyncrasies that are at the same time, sensitive to both heat and cold. For example, Mercury in chronic conditions is sensitive to 56 air drafts and cold while in acute conditions is sensitive to heat. Natrum Carbonicum and Silica are both sensitive to the extreme changes of both heat and cold, while both are cold3 or 2, in general. We have already referred in details to the relation of each single idiosyncrasy to heat and cold during our lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica. My present aim is to stress on the most characteristic cases. You see, it’s of no use to refer to all idiosyncrasies since you will not be able to remember them, so we will stick to the most characteristic ones for functional reasons. We are not only interest in a patient’s general condition as to heat or cold. We are also interested if certain parts of his body are more cold or hot than the rest or if this condition is opposed to the general one. For example, Arsenicum is generally very cold but he has a hot head when in fever or stressed. A general symptom is, as a rule, more important than a local one but when you have a local symptom that is intense and opposite to the general one, then you have a characteristic symptom of high value. Nevertheless, never forget that you shouldn’t stick only to characteristic or “key-note” symptoms. Key Note Prescribing leads to failure. You should always prescribe on a miasmatic, idiosyncratic base! 4.5 Sweating, offensive secretions, greasiness Let’s examine sweating in relation to idiosyncrasies. Sulphur has sweating grade3. Lycopodium, Argentum Nitricum, Pulsatilla and Nux Vomica has sweating grade2. Medorhinum and Phosphor kids also sweat a lot due to their restlessness and excessive activity. As mentioned before, Calcarea Carbonica has sweating cold feet and Cannabis Indica sweating cold hands. Valeriana often has sweating palms when stressed. Silica sweats mostly on head and neck. Sulphur sweats to the maximum degree. Drops of sweat may drop to the ground from his face. He sweats especially in armpits, genital area, neck, face and hair. At night after sleep, there’s a stamp of sweat on the pillow. Sometimes he wakes up and turns the pillow upside down so as to find a dry spot to lay his head! During hot summers his clothes become wet minutes after wearing them. Whenever possible he goes around almost naked! On the other hand, Alumina rarely sweats even when doing physical exercise. How do we ask for sweating? We say: “Do you sweat a lot, normally or rarely?” Then, after the patient’s answer we go on to more clarifying questions: “Does that mean that you get soaked in sweat? Do you sweat 57 also a lot even in winter?” For those who don’t sweat much we ask: “Even when you exercise physically, at a gym for example, do you rarely sweat? As odor of his sweat is concerned, we ask: “Does your sweat, smell bad? I mean even hours after a bath does your sweat, smell bad? If you don’t use deodorant then some hours after a bath does your sweat, smell bad? That’s offensive sweat grade3! He has a bath and if he doesn’t use deodorant, some hours later his sweat smells bad! We should always be very careful when asking. You see, some Sulphur or other patients with offensive sweat tend to have a bath regularly and always use deodorants so as tο stave off offensiveness of their sweat. So whenever you ask them if their sweat smells bad they may say “no”, meaning that they don’t let such an incident happen! Arsenicum, Graphites, Psorinum and Thuja may also have offensive sweat. We are also interested if all the secretions of a person are offensive because the more general a characteristic is the more important to our idiosyncratic diagnosis. We ask: “Does your stool smell bad also?” Be careful! Sulphur is usually not annoyed by his offensive odors, but he is very sensitive regarding others? He has a sensitive nose but only when it comes to others! He is not faking! That’s how things are! We also ask: “Does your breath smell bad? Does your urine or gases usually smell bad?” We are also interested if his secretions are acrid and irritating his skin usually at the area of armpits, groins or thighs. Be sure that you don’t have to do with a very fat person with fat thighs whose skin is inflamed due to friction. Sulphur, Graphites and Psorinum may have acrid secretions. In fact, if Sulphur does not wash his greasy hair regularly, he has itching of the head even after the second or third day due to acrid sweat and sebaceous secretions. We also ask: “Are your hair greasy or dry? After how many days do they get greasy and need washing?” If his hair becomes greasy, even after one or two days after washing, then this is greasy hair grade3. Sulphur and Thuja have greasy hair grade 3. Thuja has another characteristic also: she keeps combing again and again and still, her hair is a mess because it’s full of knots! Sulphur has a great tendency for hair falling and gets bald even from his thirties or forties. Lachesis women tend to have more hair loss and at a younger age compared to other elderly women. Some psoric Sulphur subjects may have dry hair due to their yin-psoric tendency. Let me remind you that all things have something to say to us. 58 What’s important is to be able to evaluate things correctly and draw correct information. That is possible only if we get well acquainted with idiosyncrasies and with Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis. We should never stick to one or to a few symptoms, features and traits. We should always take in consideration the whole! 4.6 Desire or aversion to sweet and salt Let’s move on to desire or aversion to sweet and salt. We ask: “Do you like sweet tastes a lot?” Why do we emphasize on “a lot”? One might say that we guide our patient but it’s not so! If we ask people if they like sweets, most of them tend to say that they do. But, in this case, we are interested only in those who have a great desire for sweets. So, in order to exclude “normal” cases and trace only the extreme ones we emphasize on the phrase “a lot”. In fact, so as to be sure about it, we add: “Does that mean that you seek sweets? That you have a craving for sweets? Do you prefer sweets instead of food? Do you eat sweets every day?” We also add: “Not, if you avoid them due to obesity or for health reasons”. We add this because an old woman or man that is fat and has diabetes or is afraid of diabetes may answer “I don’t eat it”. That doesn’t mean that she/he doesn’t like it but instead it means that she/he doesn’t eat it because she/he is afraid. We are mostly interested not in what the patient does but primarily on what he likes. Pulsatilla has an extreme craving for sweets and sweet taste. She is crazy about sweets! She prefers sweets instead of food. Argentum Nitricum also has a craving for sweet, grade 3. In fact, Argentum Nitricum eats much quantity of sweets and especially sugar. Most of the times, Pulsatilla eats frequently sweets but not necessarily great quantity. Although Argentum Nitricum likes sweets so much, still he feels very bad after eating much. He also has a peculiar tendency to mix sweet and salty tastes. He may eat chocolate then salty chips and then chocolate again. Some Argentum Nitricum kids eat spoonfuls of sugar. For desire or aversion to salt we first ask: “Do you like salt or salty food or not?” Then we go on to clarify things: “Will you add salt to your food even before tasting it? Do you often eat salty food like chips, dry salty nuts, etc?” But, be careful! We should always try to avoid the “trap” of healthy nutrition or fear about health. We are interested if he doesn’t like it and not if he avoids it due to fear about his health or due to a healthy diet. 59 Natrum Muriaticum usually is very fond of salt. She has a craving for salt. She adds salt to her food even before tasting it and eats salty food all the time. Nevertheless, we may also, more rarely, find a Natrum Muriaticum subject that has aversion for salt grade 3 or 2. This is not awkward. In fact, it is a confirmation of this idiosyncrasy’s great relation to salt! Her desire or aversion about salt is only a matter of her phase, only a matter of her state of health. The main thing is that she has a strong relation with salt. If she has an aversion to salt then we ask: “If your food is just a little more salty then do you eat it or do you just can’t? Not if you avoid it due to health reasons but if you despise it”. That’s a grade 3 aversion for salt! Notice the following possibility: you ask a person and he tells you: “Yes of course, I like sweet… of course I like salt… certainly I like sour things and spicy food… etc”. It’s a “yes this” and “yes that” state. He is simply fond of strong tastes. He is the sycotic person who is fond of enjoying food and strong tastes. Most of the times, it’s a case of sycotic Medorhinum or sycotic Sulphur subjects. Nux Vomica is often very fond of spicy food. 4.7 Sour taste and fat Let’s move on. How do we ask about sour taste? We say: “Do you like sour things like lemon, vinegar, etc or not?” If he just likes to add lemon juice to his food that doesn’t mean anything special. We must proceed to more clarifying questions like: “How about sour fruit? Do you prefer sour orange juice from a sweet, ripe one? Do you like sour fruit like crab apples or wild plums?” If he answers “yes”, then this is indeed a true desire for sour tastes 3. And that is a great characteristic of Medorhinum. Medorhinum kids take a slice of lemon and enjoy eating it. But never say “he likes sour tastes 3 so give him Medorhinum!” That’s not Homeopathy! That’s silly Key-note prescribing! But you may also come up with a Medorhinum that has a strong aversion for sour tastes; this is often the case of women that have been affected by their husband’s intense sycotic miasma and have developed Medorhinum idiosyncrasy “secondarily”; they still need Medorhinum. Their unusual aversion for sour is a matter of state. Let me remind you that Natrum Muriaticum’s unusual aversion of salt is also a matter of state. How do we ask about desire for fat? We say: “Do you like fat, grease, 60 fatty meat or not?” According to his answer we go on asking more so as to grade his answer. We say: “Do you eat it a lot, if you free yourself from healthy diet? Are you crazy for fatty meat? Do you even like boiled fatty meat or boiled chicken’s skin?” If he answers “yes” to all the above, then this is a case of desire fat grade 3. But if he only likes roasted chicken’s skin or just the fat of a pork chop then this is just desire fat grade 2. Sulphur has desire fat 3 while desire fat 2 may have Medorhinum, Lycopodium and Argentum Nitricum subjects. 4.8 Milk, cold water and onion We are interested mostly in aversion for milk. How do we ask? “Do you like milk, I mean the taste of fresh milk, or not? Does it cause you distention or diarrhea or any other complaints?” We must not confuse these two things: desire/aversion for the taste of milk on the one hand and complaints that it may cause on the other hand. Someone may like milk but still it may cause complaints to him simply because he can’t digest it. Someone else may not like it and moreover develop complaints when drinking it. Aversion fresh milk 3 is when he tells you: “Since childhood I never wanted fresh milk; it tasted so disgusting; my mother used to chase me and forced me to drink it because it was “good for me”; I remember that I could only drink it if I added cocoa or chocolate to cover its lousy taste! When I grew up I stopped it immediately”. Be careful! Some elderly women, even if they despise it, they still drink it for fear of osteoporosis. Silica and Natrum Carbonicum primarily and Natrum Muriaticum secondarily, have an aversion for milk grade 3 or 2 and what’s more it spoils their stomach and intestines function; it may cause distention, diarrhea or pain to the stomach or belly. Lycopodium usually likes milk taste but often after his thirties or forties he just can’t digest it and feels distended; he may also feel distended from yoghurt. Cold water; how do we ask about it? We say: “Do you like cold water or not?” Then we go on to clarify: “Do you mean that you want it very cold, from the fridge? Even in winter?” If he says “yes” to the above questions, then this is desire cold water3. Phosphor characteristically has this thing. Medorhinum and sycotic Sulphur may have a desire for cold water 2. Phosphor subjects that live in highlands, even in winter they may turn on the tap and let it running until freezing outside water comes through; only freezing water quenches their thirst. Often mothers are after their Phosphor kids so as not to put ice cubes into their mouth; they so enjoy it! 61 They are crazy about licking it! But don’t confuse “I like ice-creams” with “I like cold things”. Ice-creams are as a rule sweet and the person may enjoy sweet taste and not cold. We also ask: “Do you like raw onions in a salad? Does it cause trouble to your stomach?” It’s important to see if he dislikes its taste or if he has an aversion for its smell afterwards or if it causes indigestion to him. Lycopodium usually likes its taste but he can’t digest it either raw of cooked if it’s in large quantities; it also causes gases to him. Thuja has an aversion both for raw onion and raw garlic. Lycopodium can’t digest shellfish like oysters, etc. 4.9 Position of sleep, nightly salivation Let’s examine now position of sleep. We ask: “How do you prefer to sleep? On the abdomen, on sides or on your back?” It is important that when we ask kids or foreigners that are not well acquainted with our language, to show what do we mean by abdomen, sides or back. Medorhinum primarily and sycotic idiosyncrasies secondarily, are very fond of sleeping on their abdomen. Medorhinum kids may even sleep on their elbows and knees with their head on the side. Very often Medorhinum adults sleep on their abdomen, head on the side and have the pillow or hand over their head. Some Medorhinum women, even during pregnancy prefer to sleep on their abdomen. Sulphur subjects often sleep on their back and many times prefer to have their feet spread and their hands behind their head. This is not an accidental position especially in summer. It’s the most cooling position since they are so hot and sweating! The more you spread your body members the more fanned you become! If the patient says that he sleeps on the sides then we ask: “Mostly right or left?” If he says left then we go on asking: “When you lie on your left side, on the side of the heart, do you sometimes feel as if you are pressing it or hearing it? Do you even sometimes avoid doing so, so as not to press your heart?” That’s a very strong characteristic of Phosphor. You see, he is so afraid about his health and especially about his heart that he tries to prevent any malfunction of it. Of course, Phosphor usually has this at stage B or C when he starts developing fears about his health so you may not find this at his stage A when he is quite well. But, sometimes, even in stage A he is so interested reading about health matters. So he may have read that it’s a good thing not to press your heart during sleep and he takes care not to do it. So you see, you may ask a 62 question about his position of sleep and in the end receive information about his fears! Life is wonderful and magic! Homeopathy is wonderful and magic! Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis is fascinating! We also ask: “Does it happen that you have some saliva coming out of your mouth to the pillow during sleep? How often does this happen? Once a week, two or three times a week or almost every night?” Mercury has this in grade 3, that is, almost every single night. But be careful! Not when a person is having a cold, not when a person has an obstruction to his nose and he is sleeping with his mouth widely open and lastly not when it is the case of a child with braces! It always has to be an idiosyncratic characteristic and not a temporary symptom due to an illness. We are not in search of his illness; we are indeed, in search of his idiosyncrasy! 4.10 Relation to the sea Another thing that we ask is: “Are you fond of sea or not?” Grade 3 regarding desire for sea, is when you have a child or an adult that does not want to come out of the sea; he is soaking all the time. Sea is the love of his life and his cure for any problems. The minute he is near the sea all his physical symptoms and even his psychology are much better. In order to define this we ask: “Just looking at the sea, does it calm you? Does it make you feel much better? Is it a “remedy” for you?” Medorhinum loves the sea 3 and secondarily Phosphor and sycotic Sulphur. If a person prefers the mountain instead of the sea you should check if you have to do with a Nux Vomica subject. We have just completed our discussion about general physical characteristics but let me tell you something before we go on. My aim isn’t to study Materia Medica and Repertory and memorize hundreds of characteristic symptoms. This would make you academic doctors but not successful clinical therapists. Nobody can remember this vast quantity of information no matter how bright he is. Then you would end up to be a “repertorising” doctor enslaved to Repertories and Computer Expert Systems. You would miss the point. You wouldn’t be practical. You would spend hours of searching in books and computers having a desperate and bored patient in front of you shooting him with hundreds of non-targeted questions. What then? You would be so confused in an ocean of non-evaluated symptoms that you would not prescribe correctly. You would simply loose the case! End of story! 63 But if you learn the Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis you will resemble a fine detective who is fast and effective and clearly cuts to the chase. Case Taking is a very active and fascinating procedure. You should adopt the attitude of a detective, an archeologist, a geologist, a psychoanalyst or of an eager hunter or fisherman if you want to have results! So, good night and have a nice hunting! (laughing) CHAPTER 5 PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS: IRRITABILITY, TIDINESS AND INTROVERSION 5.1 Irritability 5.2 How to identify an idiosyncrasy through questions 5.3 What’s irritability grade 3? 5.4 Psoric Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.5 Sycotic Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.6 Syphilitic Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.7 Hysteric Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.8 Egoistic Irritable Idiosyncrasies 64 5.9 Irritability of Lycopodium and Sulphur 5.10 Genuine Irritable Idiosyncrasies 5.11 How do we ask for tidiness? 5.12 How does an experienced homeopathic doctor ask? 5.13 Nux Vomica: the typical representative of tidiness; tidiness “per se” 5.14 Other tidy idiosyncrasies 5.15 Sulphur, the typical sloppy guy! 5.16 How do we ask about introversion/extroversion 5.17 Extrovert Idiosyncrasies 5.18 Natrum Muriaticum is the typical psoric, introvert person 5.19 Other introvert idiosyncrasies 5.20 Idiosyncrasies that may be introvert or extrovert at times Good Evening, I welcome you to our tonight’s lecture that has a very important subject. We are going to deal with the “heart” or “core” of Homeopathic Case Taking: the general psychological characteristics of a person; his psychological profile! 5.1 Irritability Let’s begin with how we ask about his state of irritability. We say: “How about irritability? Do you easily get angry? If you get angry, do you usually express your anger or do you keep it inside?” Then we go on to more clarifying questions like: “Do you express your anger mostly to your own people or to others? After you have expressed your anger do you easily become calm again? Do you resemble like a gale? That is, do you easily get angry, burst right away and in five minutes you say “pals again”? How do you express your anger? What do you usually do? Do you want to throw things or break things? Do you often do that? Do you want to strike your hand on the table or slam the door behind you? Do you want to slap others? How often do you do it? Are there times that you burst your anger on yourself? That is, do you pull your hair or hit your head with your hands or pull your clothes to tear them? What makes you angry? What situations and what behaviors of others make you angry or annoy you? Are you easily offended? When somebody offends you, will you answer back? How? By shouting, by arguments, by being ironic or by being 65 snob? If it’s a serious offense do you “delete” him from your life even if he apologizes? Do you want to pay back, even after long time has passed? Do you want to get even? Or does it happen that you don’t say much but then bitterness stays inside you forever?” These are the basic and clarifying questions regarding irritability. Anger and its expression is a very important matter for any person and it’s advisable to encourage him to talk about it, to express himself. 5.2 How to identify an idiosyncrasy through questions So, he has answered to all the above questions! So what? The main thing is to be able to be lead by his answers to certain possible idiosyncrasies. Every word, every phrase, every grimace, every change in his tone of voice, any kind of expression must be traced and interpreted so as to lead us to possible idiosyncrasies. This can be done only if we know how idiosyncrasies are expressed regarding this certain field of his psychology. That’s what we are going to do for every field of his psychology starting from irritability. The whole procedure resembles the chemical identification of an unknown substance. We take the substance and run several chemical tests. Accordingly we interrogate the person with several questions so as to see his profile. After each test of the substance we refer to the Chemistry books that describe the chemical properties of any substance. Accordingly, in Homeopathic Case Taking, we refer to Materia Medica to find a match. It has to be a scientific, accurate and careful examination so as to reach to a correct identification, be it a chemical substance or an idiosyncrasy. 5.3 What’s irritability grade 3? We will refer to irritable idiosyncrasies, that is, those idiosyncrasies that have plenty and intense characteristics regarding this field of their profile. Irritability grade 3 means that someone is easily aroused even by trifles, that he is frequently aroused and that he expresses his anger intensely; he just can’t control his anger. Many people and especially those of Mediterranean or Latin temperament are plethoric as to expression. You ask a Greek or an Italian guy about his anger and he says: “Yes, yes, of course I’ve got a lot of anger!” Don’t let his sycotic expression mislead you. It often happens that he is not an irritability grade 3, guy. In fact he is simply a plethoric grade 3, guy! You always have to filter any answer; to cross check it; to evaluate it correctly according to his whole image. A special help for this control is to ask 66 him: “Tell me some recent examples about it, so as to understand what you mean”. Another trap is when someone misunderstands our question. For example we ask him if he is easily angry and he thinks that we have asked him if he expresses his anger whenever angry. He may then say: “I am not irritable” and may mean that he doesn’t express his anger. We are interested both in his irascibility and in his possibilities of expression. For example Staphisagria is like a volcano ready to burst, full of anger but she rarely takes it out; she suppresses her anger a lot. There are so many irritable idiosyncrasies! It’s important that we examine them at groups. There are psoric irritable idiosyncrasies, sycotic, syphilitic, hysteric and egoistic not to mention those that are irritable at grade 3. Let’s have a look at them, one by one and see their characteristics regarding irritability. 5.4 Psoric Irritable Idiosyncrasies Let’s begin with Psoric Irritable Idiosyncrasies. Natrum Muriaticum is not irritable. It would be more correct to say that she’s a nervous woman. She is easily offended, does not show it, does not express it, is very upset, feels hurt and all this stress comes out in nervous symptoms: tension headaches, face neuralgia, oppression chest, lump throat, etc. It’s a very rare thing for her to burst to those that upset her. Usually she will find an excuse to go away. Nevertheless it’s not rare for her to burst to her little children when they make her angry. When does that happen? Whenever her children aren’t decent, kind, clean and “as they should be” according to her psoric, romantic ideology. She so hard tries to make decent people out of them but a kid is always a kid! If it’s a sycotic or syphilitic kid that refuses to follow any social rules or does immoral things, then she is so annoyed, so upset! Apart from shouting she may even slap them. And then she feels so guilty, so not a good mother… and then nervous symptoms manifest themselves! Sepia, is considered to be a more deep and chronic Natrum Muriaticum. She is so dragged out, so sucked out of her vital energy - usually from her vigorous and demanding husband or children - that when left alone she seems so peaceful, so absorbed in her world, in fact so depressed. But when even the least provoked, she has no energy resources to remain balanced and so she reacts disproportional to the stimuli that affected her. She becomes cutting, mordant, she wants to hurt the one that bothered her and then of course, as a genuine psoric person, she regrets and feels very 67 guilty. She is “fragile”. There is a label on her front: “Don’t touch or I will bite you because of my weakness”! Psorinum when asked will tell you that he is not irritable; it’s true. He doesn’t get angry easily and seldom bursts. He has a certain kind of very psoric stoicism suffering his deep depression without any complaining, very introvert, very desperate, very pessimist, wanting no company, wanting to be left alone in his psoric dark mood. Gelsemium is not easily angry also and seldom expresses his anger because of his psoric shyness, introversion and lack of self confidence. Staphisagria is full of anger. She resembles a ready-to-burst volcano. For very long she’s been keeping all her irritability unexpressed. Even if she rarely expresses some of her anger, it will be so little compared to what she has gathered inside her! She is all the time in an anger “red alert” stage and the only thing she does is to argue with herself by imaginative fighting: “He told me so, I should have answer back like this, then he would say this and I would answer back that and so on”. What she doesn’t do in reality, she does it inside her mind! She feels so suppressed, so resentful, so indignant, in such a hopeless dead end! 5.5 Sycotic Irritable Idiosyncrasies Let’s proceed to sycotic irritable idiosyncrasies. You can find Medorhinum, usually in two versions. The one version is when he is mild due to extreme indifference when it comes to usual everyday family or social matters. His loquacious, domineering Lachesis wife tells him: “What kind of a man and father are you, for God sake! Do something with our good-for- nothing son. He doesn’t study at all!” He will respond: “You fix it, woman! You are in charge of the children! I am so tired from work so I will not trouble myself with our fucking kids. I don’t give a dime if they ever read anything. Let them become plumbers like me. I will go to the pub to have a minutes rest and watch the football game in peace!” The other version is the irritable tough guy; the wide boy; the hard man. He is also indifferent in usual family and social matters but when it comes to things that have to do with his sycotic pride or when he faces the grumbling of his loquacious wife he is so pissed! That’s the right word for his irritability: pissed off! He is like a gale. He is easily aroused, he shouts, he curses, he strikes the table with his hand, he may throw things or kick the closet or may slum 68 the door behind him when leaving. But, nevertheless, he may come back in five minutes or in a couple hours and say to his wife: “Let’s forget it. Let’s leave it behind. Let get laid and have wild sex!” When other people “bust his balls” his motto is: “Give me a break, will you!” or “Get off my back!” or “Stop busting my balls!” or even “Fuck you!” Phosphor is also like a gale regarding his irritability but for other reasons than Medorhinum, in fact, for opposite reasons. He is not at all indifferent. He is a psoric altruist that cares too much about all others and expresses his irritability and resentment in a sycotic way. He is so angry not only when he himself experiences injustice but even when it happens to others, even strangers. He has such a keen sense of honor! He is also very conscientious and very dutiful, very compassionate and sensitive and indeed so gullible! That’s the reason why he is so angry when facing ungratefulness, irresponsibility, indifference or inconsistency. But he has such a big heart! He is so forgiving! When he realizes that he is wrong he sincerely apologizes and wants to make it up to you. 5.6 Syphilitic Irritable Idiosyncrasies Now it’s time for syphilitic irritable idiosyncrasies. You can find Lachesis in many versions, as a true syphilitic idiosyncrasy should be! In all cases you will come up with true syphilitic characteristics all of which constitute an extreme, egoistic, intentional, hypocritical and domineering behavior. A common version is the one that could be called as “peaceful, loving, God-fearing woman”. It’s but a hypocritical, secondary behavior of course! She pretends to be so calm, so loving and so spiritual! She never misses the chance to preach and show off her religious beliefs: “Lord says that we should always be calm and humble!” Another version is the more rare primary behavior version: She is openly mean, domineering, irritable and grumbling all the time. But usually she pretends to be something else from what she really is because she has such flexibility, such hypocritical ability! If she isn’t a modern woman, if she is a past generation traditional yielding woman having a domineering husband then she may tell you: “What can I do, doctor? Of course I get angry but I keep it all inside for the sake of our children”. That does not mean that she will not use other great “weapons” of hers: be sulky, grumble, be cutting! She may say nothing when her husband shouts at her but then she will be so sulky or cry for hours so as to make him feel bad. She may also employ her children or relatives or neighbors against her “violent” 69 husband acting as “the poor woman” who is the “victim” of her husband’s “cruelty” and “insensitiveness”. She is so good at it! She will grumble and grumble again and again, even talking to herself. Nagging is one of her great weapons. She will remember last year’s “cruel” behavior of her husband and even of all years that they are together and complaint and grumble and moan until she pisses him off. The minute he starts cursing she will say to him: “See, what I told you! See, how cruel you are!” She will also express her anger in another way: She will accuse him to others as “good-for-nothing”, “looser” or “cheating/unfaithful”. If she is primarily mean and domineering she will not hesitate to express her anger in vulgar cursing, saying names like “impotent” or “jerk” straight to his face. She may also hit him just like that and even in front of other people so as to humiliate him and “castrate” him “because he was beaten by a woman”. She so much enjoys making a ridicule of her enemies in public and in fact she is so good at it! The domineering, mean version of Anacardium is also very irritable. He will express his anger by cruel, ironic remarks that stub you right to the heart while he maintains that cold, ironic smile that shouts: “I am smarter than you! I’ve won! You are a pathetic looser!” He can be very envious, malice, spiteful, cruel and even sadistic! On the contrary, the yielding, fearful and full of guiltiness version of Anacardium is not irritable and does not express his anger. 5.7 Hysteric Irritable Idiosyncrasies Lilium Tigrinum is a hysteric irritable idiosyncrasy. She gets so angry whenever they address her just because they set her off her fragile balance. She may even hit someone when trying to talk to her: “Why don’t you leave me alone”, she will say. She is all the time unpleased and unsatisfied for no reason even if her life is going well or even very well! Moschus is the most irritable idiosyncrasy among hysteric ones. I remember a short, fat, ugly woman around thirty who was married to a much younger, tall, strong and very handsome man. She was so hysterical and irritable that had managed to handle him like a puppet! It made you wonder: “What on Earth, is the matter with him? How can he stand her?” Not only she was shouting at him but she also beat him and dare say it in front of me and him! Of course, she excused herself by saying: “I am so sensitive doctor! That’s why I am so irritable! I can’t help it, but don’t think that I don’t love my husband!” If you think that this is strange what 70 can you say about his words: “What can I do, doctor? She is so irascible and sensitive!” (laughing) Moschus has to do with capricious, hysteric, irritable, spoiled women that want all things to be done their way or else they develop hysteric physical symptoms or become very irritable or crying. She kept telling him: “Don’t do that! If you don’t do what I want I will get angry and you will hurt me!” So he kept doing whatever caprice she came up with! Moschus is that woman who has been spoiled by her parents since childhood and never learned what discipline means. She had all her whims satisfied and even as a grownup still demands all things her way in a childish, immature and hysteric manner. 5.8 Egoistic Irritable Idiosyncrasies Now, let us examine some egoistic irritable idiosyncrasies. Platina is a very characteristic one. There are many versions as to her expression. If she is very snob and feels very classy and royalty she will not get angry if you do something “stupid”. She will look at you with that snobbish, killer look and may not bother to address you. Nevertheless, her look is clearly shouting to you: “I ignore you! You are not worth of my time and attention!” But she may bother talk to you and tear you to pieces with just one arrogant phrase: “How dare you!” Platina, in another version may be irritable and irascible and expressive. She may shout and yell and use cruel, arrogant, depreciatory remarks: “How dare you! Who do you think you are?” If she is a cultivated, civilized, classy lady she will use the plural form and sophisticated language but still she will be very arrogant and at times ironic. If she is a low class sycotic woman she will be very straight, arrogant and insulting: “What’s the matter with you, you moron! Are you retarded? Go find a woman of your match!” If you insult a Platina she may “delete/erase” you permanently; for good! It’s a non reversible situation. Even if you apologize sincerely, still that’s the end of it! She may say a typical “good morning” at times but that’s all; things will never be as before! Most often, she will refuse to talk to you from that time on. She will not forgive you. Not that she will want revenge or to get on top of you as a Valerian would do. Platina will not bother pay back. Nor that she will have a bitter memory of you and of the incident like the psoric Natrum Muriaticum woman; she simply presses the “delete” button! 71 Now let me comment: How on Earth, can you reach a correct diagnosis by Repertory or Computer Expert Systems, especially regarding syphilitic idiosyncrasies that have so variable Secondary Behaviors, so many different versions? OK, I understand that you will open your Kent’s Repertory and find under the rubric “Anger/irascibility” Platina and Lachesis as grade 1, under the rubric “Irritability” Platina as grade 3 and Lachesis as grade 2 and finally under the relevant rubric “Quarrelsome”, Platina and Lachesis as grade 2. So, what! Did you get any specific information? Did you get any trace of what I’ve told you about the special characteristics of the irritability of Platina and Lachesis that I’ve illustrated to you, in details? Platina is referred as irritability grade 3 but if you examine a snobbish typical Platina she will tell you that she never gets angry! The hypocritical “calm God-fearing” version of Lachesis will tell you that she never gets angry while at the Repertory she is registered as irritable grade 2 and quarrelsome grade 2. If you don’t have in mind the miasmatic, idiosyncratic picture of any idiosyncrasy, especially regarding syphilitic ones, then you are lost and so is your patient! That’s why I insist on teaching you my Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis! Valerian, many times has that constant internal restlessness, a state very difficult to be seen by anyone. You see her and say: “what a sweet charming girl” but that’s only the cover! She seems to be that “cute little cat” but she may easily become “a wild cat” unveiling her nails at any time! She thinks a lot, worries a lot and she is mistrustful and insecure. She tends to misinterpret your intentions. If she thinks that you have offended her or that you have become insulting, ironic or depreciatory then she will get very angry and attack instantly. She is definitely not what she seems to be! She seems to be calm and she isn’t. She seems “cool” but she is very anxious. She seems modern but she is conservative. She seems confident but she is insecure. If you don’t harm her she is “a nice kitty”. If you harm her or if she thinks that you have such intentions then she becomes an angry leopard. What makes her angry? Injustice makes her angry, mostly injustice regarding her. She may even get angry when others face injustice but not because she has that psoric, altruistic care like Phosphor has. She is angry because you appear to be smart and strong and this makes her feel insecure. She thinks: “Who do you think you are, acting as smarter than 72 others (including me)?” She may also feel threatened as if she will be the next victim of injustice. Lies also make her angry although she has no problem - being a syphilitic idiosyncrasy - to lie, herself. But whenever you say lies to her she takes it that you have depreciated her, that you laugh at her, that you are on top of her; and that is something that she just can’t stand. She wants to get on top and she even wants to revenge, to pay back or just to restore things. Being deep down insecure and coward, she may not express her anger especially at her superiors at her job or at school if she is a student. But she will definitely express her anger to her loving and caring parents, to her brothers and sisters, to her yielding husband or boyfriend. All these that are close to her and love her, consider her a wild cat that can burst at any time with no warning. They just don’t know how to behave towards her. Her behavior just doesn’t make sense! She is so touchy to her close ones! But even to her superiors or strangers she will answer back mainly by ironic remarks. And she is so good at it! Although irony towards her is a “red rag” making her feel like a wild bull she is so often ironic to others whenever she feels threatened. See how insecure she is deep down? If you do something insulting to her she will want to revenge, to pay back no matter how much time may pass. She wants to get even and she may even want to revenge. The main thing is to feel that the other guy is not “on top of her”. Most of the times of course, she will not admit that she is revengeful because she thinks that this is something bad for her image. But there are times that she will say that she is and be proud of it. You see, syphilitic idiosyncrasies may adopt so many, different and even opposite behaviors! 5.9 Irritability of Lycopodium and Sulphur Lycopodium being coward - although usually he doesn’t admit it - gets angry whenever he things that he is depreciated. When you ask him “What makes you angry?” he will tell you: “When others depreciate me or underestimate me” or “when others are arrogant” or “rudeness annoys me”. But, if he is not on top of things, he will not express his anger. For example, if his wife is a yielding person, he will grumble and shout and criticize all the time. The same with his kids even though he will always express his anger in a psoric way: he grumbles and criticizes; he will preach. In society he will sustain the image of the “placid”, “gentle”, 73 “low profile” and “cultured” but with his own yielding people he will be the grumbling dominant person. When facing irritable guys, especially sycotic ones or syphilitic ones he tends to cover his cowardice towards others or even towards himself. He is coward about any physical fight because he is afraid of being beaten and injured; of being ridiculed to others; of being ashamed by a “manly” sycotic guy as being “a pussy”, especially in front of women. So he covers his cowardice by the image of the “civilized” man that has good manners or by the image of the “superior” human being and “gentle” person. For example, if a driver next to him does something wrong, Lycopodium may start cursing but mostly in a low voice so as not to be heard. But if the other guy is an angry sycotic Medorhinum that is easily pissed off and gets angry and comes threatening towards him then Lycopodium will instantly find a smart way to retreat. He will say: “OK, you are right… I honestly apologize for saying names to you… but you see, you did that dangerous maneuver and I thought we were going to crash”. On the contrary, if the other driver is a very young and yielding person, then he will start scolding, grumbling and preaching. When you ask him at the medical office what he will do in a case of street fight after a driving incident, in order to cover his yielding attitude he will often tell you: “There is no point in arguing in such situations, nowadays. Life’s become so cheap! It’s so easy for someone to draw a pistol or a knife and kill you just like that!” He may also tell you: “I am a civilized person doctor. I will not let myself behave like an animal”. At other times he will say: “I usually don’t argue doctor, because I am afraid that I will lose control and hurt him and then have troubles with the law”. You see, Lycopodium has a great fear about having trouble with the Authorities like police, judges, Tax offices, etc. Psoric Sulphur rarely expresses his anger. He is very introvert in general so most of the times he seems to be a very low profile and calm person. On the other hand, sycotic Sulphur expresses his irritability and resembles Medorhinum regarding this field of behavior. 5.10 Genuine Irritable Idiosyncrasies Now it’s time to describe those “genuine” irritable idiosyncrasies, that is, those idiosyncrasies that are characteristically irritable and irritability is the main field of their whole image. 74 Nux Vomica is so tight, so scheduled, so rigid and strict that when overloaded at work or family, she gets very irascible, irritable and expresses her anger straight away. She is usually very irritated from untidiness; all kinds of untidiness, that is, not only regarding material things but also regarding program and behavior. She is greatly annoyed by inconsistency, indifference, lack of obedience, indiscipline, all kinds of illegal actions, indecency, rudeness, bad manners, all kinds of irregularities, sloppiness, lack of gravity, lack of programming, etc. She just can’t overlook anything that is done not “as it should be” according to rules, tradition or schedule. She will not only notice it, but she will also make a remark about it and even demand that things should be done “as they should be”. Things should be fixed here and now! If you have an appointment with her and you are late, even five or ten minutes, she will be very annoyed. Most of the times, she will make a gentle but still strict remark. At times, if you delay long enough without giving her a fine excuse, she may even leave without any remark or make a strict remark and then leave. You see, she is so typical as to her appointments and obligations that she demands from others to be so also. If she is a housewife she will strictly demand things to be very tidy at home. She demands things to be left as they are. This demand does not refer only to her husband and children but even to visitors and guests. She demands the same things from her neighbors, colleagues and even other citizens. She will say: “I saw you throwing that piece of paper young man! Please pick it up and throw it in the dustbin, as you should have done in the first place!” When angry she may become very strict, very rigid and demanding, even seem cruel. Other examples: A technician Nux Vomica tries to screw or fix something. If he has trouble doing it, then he may throw the damn screw- driver away. A woman Nux Vomica tries to button her shirt but she finds some difficulty. Then she has the tendency to tear it if she is anxious or angry at the time. A man Nux Vomica comes home from work. He is already overloaded; he has so much in his mind; so many things that haven’t been done and so many things that must be done. He just can’t stand one more thing to care about so he is very irascible and touchy. If his wife is a typical yielding housewife of the old generation, she will try to have all things “as they 75 should be”, that is, proper food ready on time, hot water ready for his bath, his sleepers and his newspaper. As soon as the bell rings she will tell the kids: “Quickly, go to your rooms and stay there! Don’t make any noise because your father is very tired!” But, when a person Nux Vomica is not stressed she may appear very patient, even stoic; gentle, calm, typical but still strict and with much gravity. Stramonium, when not in psychotic state, may resemble hysteric and irritable Moschus. She wants things to be done her way and when this isn’t the case, then she bursts intensely and quite often uncontrollable. A woman Stramonium may strike her head with her hands or pull her hair or try to tear her clothes. Not that she really hurts herself! It’s rather a mixture of intense irritability with hysteria. A spoiled boy Stramonium if his mother scolds him or doesn’t buy him what he wants may bang his head on the wall or on the floor or bite his hands; but again, will not hurt himself. Such boys always ask for things to be bought or done for them and demand it. A teenager Stramonium - not a psychotic one - may kick the window or door glass into a thousand pieces; he may even get a little hurt! He is more uncontrollable than a boy but still he is not insane. He acts like that only to force others do things his own way. Psychotic Stramonium patients are really uncontrollable and in a mania state they need straitjacket not to harm themselves or others. They are more irritable and uncontrollable than a Hyoscyamus psychotic patient. We ask for Stramonium: “Does intense lighting at night make you angry? Does sunlight make you angry? During daytime do you want the curtains drawn so as to avoid light? Not if it tires your eyes, but if it makes you irritable”. A student Stramonium usually wants to draw the curtains and read in dim light; light makes him irritable. Ιt’s not a matter of vision, it’s a matter of irritability. Tuberculinum is at the same time very irritable and miserable. If he is a low class, uncultivated individual then he tends to be very boor, slob and even vulgar at times, regarding his manner of expression and especially when angry. Ηe will curse, grumble, shout and even throw things or break something. In order to trace Tuberculinum we ask: “Is there any family history of tuberculosis in your family? Did you have tuberculosis, yourself, in the past? How’s your relation with cats? How’s your relation with dogs? Do you love them? Do you detest them? Are you afraid of them? Do you 76 detest their fur and sometimes think that some of their hair may end up into your mouth? Does it come to you sometimes, to kick a cat or a dog?” Tuberculinum patients tend to have a family or personal history of tuberculosis. They detest dogs and especially cats. They are not afraid of them but they detest them. They detest their fur and may have that strange fear that perhaps hair from their fur may end up in their mouth. If a Tuberculinum person is uncultivated and slob he has no problem to kick a cat or a dog to drive it away. Don’t confuse this with obsession about bacteria and fear of illnesses from bacteria that Argentum Nitricum has and for that reason he doesn’t want any relation with animals, always washing his hands. Mercury is also irritable and miserable. Everything irritates him. When angry he may have those violent impulses: “to kill him!”, “to stab him!” But he doesn’t do it. To trace Mercury individuals we ask: “Does it happen that you have saliva coming out of your mouth on the pillow at night? How often? Do you have saliva once a week, twice a week or almost every single night?” Mercury has salivation almost every night. Cina is the typical extremely stubborn, headstrong, pigheaded child! He will shout loud: “Why didn’t you buy me an ice cream? Buy me an ice cream, buy me an ice cream, I want an ice cream…” Then will fell on the floor hitting it with hands and feet for long, crying and yelling. He may also stand up and hit the parents. He may do anything he knows that will make you angry just because you didn’t satisfy his demands. He may even do something in revenge later on only because he knows that will hurt you, for example break your favorite vase! You tell your little Cina boy: “George, don’t touch that vase!” He looks at you straight in the eyes, keeps looking at you and at the same time - as if he didn’t listen to you at all, as if he doesn’t give a fuck about you - he does touch the vase even if he knows that you will spank him! Almost nothing can stop him! It’s not a hysterical kid like Moschus, nor a violent and hysteric kid like Stramonium. It’s a pigheaded kid! Zincum is also an irritable idiosyncrasy. What’s more characteristic about him is his restlessness especially regarding his feet. He sits on a chair and his feet just can’t stay still; he keeps moving it rhythmically a little up a little down, left and right and so on. At night, in bed, his feet are very restless; not due to pain or numbness; it’s a pure restlessness. 77 Veratrum is very irritable, cold and expresses his anger. Iodine is very hot, restless and irascible. It resembles the clinical picture of hyperthyroidism: restlessness, trembling of hands, going up and down quickly, cannot sit still, quick motions, very hot, cannot stand heat, eats a lot but still loses weight due to increased metabolism and quite irritable and introvert. Nitric Acid is extremely tired both physically and psychologically. He gets up in the morning feeling even more tired than before going to bed. He is a complete wreck! He lacks vital energy completely. His body can’t function and his mind can’t function. He is very, very cold. Even the slightest talk, especially in the morning, creates turmoil in his mind: “Shut up! Leave me alone! Get the fucking hell out of my way!” He has a very strong desire to curse in a vulgar way; he yells and curses. He may throw things or break something. He just can’t stand the slightest annoyance when in this state. Coffea Cruda is at the same time irritable and very nervous. Her body and mind function at the highest “revolutions” per minute. If you can’t slow down your body and mind, how on Earth can you relax enough so as to sleep? So you keep awake as if night has not come, although you may be tired. Although night has come Cina is not sleepy at all; maybe tired, but not sleepy. Her mental functions and memory are at their highest; they are enhanced. She has many quick thoughts. She is very irritable and all senses are extremely sensitive, especially her hearing; she just can’t stand any noise; it makes her angry. Morning comes and although she hasn’t managed to sleep but a few hours, during daytime she may be tired but not sleepy. This is in fact, the picture of persons that have abused coffee; all their functions, senses and mind are enhanced, but they are in turmoil and can’t sleep. Apis is also very irritable; hot and nervous. Chamomilla is also hot and irritable; especially the kids. They really don’t know what they want. They want to be held in your arms and carried around but then they kick you and want to be let down. Yet, they are not pleased and want again to be held and carried. They ask for this or that and as soon as you give it to them they throw it away. It’s a dead end situation. Arsenicum is also irritable. His irritability is mixed with a large dose of misery and great egoism. It’s a syphilitic idiosyncrasy after all! He thinks that he knows almost everything. He has his personal opinion about anything which of course, is the only right one! He is very judging and critical. He wants all things to be done according to his opinion because 78 he knows best. He is the “do it as I tell you” guy who gets very irritable if things aren’t done his way. He is a true dictator! Hyoscyamus when in a pre-psychotic state is extremely irritable due to an almost insane suspicion. He is so certain that others around him, even strangers, comment him. He imagines that they are saying something bad about him. He is so sure of this thing that he considers it a fact! They look at him in a strange way, gossip and even laugh at him so he feels greatly endangered and threatened! If he is a man, he may think that they say something about his manhood; they may say that he is or looks gay. They may also say something about his wife next to him; he is so insanely jealous and he expresses it in an insane and extreme way. He is so certain about it! Any doubt about it makes him raging. He will yell out: “Are you saying that I am insane? Are you calling me crazy?” When in a psychotic state things are out of control. He thinks that all people, even his own ones, are conspiring against him. They try to poison him, kill him and harm him. He feels so threatened; feels like being hunted, all the time! They have spotted him and are after him. He can’t stay still, he can’t relax, he can’t find a moments rest! It’s a very torturing and unbearable situation. So, whenever he feels threatened he becomes violent but not as violent as other psychotic idiosyncrasies like Stramonium and Belladonna. Enough said about irritability of several basic idiosyncrasies. Never forget that we never reach diagnosis only from one field, even if it’s a psychological characteristic and even if it’s a very important one like irritability. We should always take in consideration the whole miasmatic, idiosyncratic picture of the person that stands in front of us. 5.11 How do we ask for tidiness? Now let’s examine tidiness of a person. We ask: “Do you like things to be tidy?” This is the first general question. We wait for his unguided answer and then go for clarifying questions so as to evaluate and grade this characteristic: “Do you want everything in its place, everything in order? Are you absolute about it? Even inside their drawers do you want things to be placed in absolute order? When you undress do you place your clothes always in order in the closet or you may leave them just like that?” 79 When it comes to men, asking them about tidiness at work is not always an important question. It may even be a misleading one, because they may be very tidy at work due to functional reasons or because they have to, but when it comes to their personal life habits, things may differ a lot. They may be very sloppy at home since their wife or the maid takes care of all things. A sloppy Sulphur worker may say that he is very tidy at work but when it comes to his personal life his wife will tell you that he is very sloppy. You see, a tidy person grade 3 is always tidy and in all fields tidy. When it comes to women and especially housewives we ask: “When guests and friends come to the house and they change the order of objects, are you annoyed? Does it happen that you have an urge to put things back in order again? Not if you do it, but if you have the tendency to do it; Are there times that you even avoid to invite guests so as not to have things out of order? Not because you are tired, but because you don’t want things to be misplaced. When guests leave the house and it’s late and you are tired and sleepy, do you want first to put all things in order and then go to sleep?” We go on asking: “Do you want to be punctual, in time, regarding your appointments? Are you punctual all the time? If somebody is late to your appointment, do you get angry? Do you make a remark? Will you say something? Even at work, to your clients? Do you want to have a firm program not only regarding work but even in your personal life? Do you schedule things all the time, that is, I will do this and that today, this and that tomorrow, etc? If they spoil your program do you get annoyed or angry? Even if others propose something pleasant to you? When bills have not been paid in time are you very annoyed? Do you want, as soon as a bill comes, to go and settle it straight away? Do you have a natural aversion for loans even if you are in need? Let’s suppose that you wait in a queue and somebody comes in front of you. Do you get angry? Will you say something? Let’s suppose that you walk in the street and somebody tosses garbage away? Does it annoy you? Do you get angry? Do you make a remark or just ignore it? Is it a fact that you always spot any misplacement, anything wrong in all fields and just can’t ignore it?” 5.12 How does an experienced homeopathic doctor ask? This is indeed a whole line of questions! That doesn’t mean of course, that we resemble an indifferent typical employee of a statistics company that has a list of questions in front of him and ticks “yes” or “no” after 80 each answer of his client. I refer to a typical employee indifferent of his clients grimaces, reactions, expressions and personality. On the contrary, our questions are never the same for all patients and never expressed in the same way ignoring his personality. It’s an active procedure and not a passive one. It’s a fight! It’s a hunt for intentions, thoughts, feelings, behaviors and reactions! The inexperienced fisherman uses improper bates or uses the same bate for all fishes; has no knowledge, no plan, no art and technique! On the contrary, the experienced fisherman uses the right bates, specially chosen and specially hooked for the right fish. For a homeopathic doctor bates correspond to questions. A right bate is the right question for the right man, precisely spoken and in the right manner. A good fisherman will take in consideration where to throw his hook and at what depth. A good homeopathic doctor will ask different questions in a different manner according to the age, sex, educational level and suspected idiosyncrasy of his patient. A good fisherman when bringing his hooked fish up will take care how to unhook it, if he will throw it back to the sea if it’s not for sale and even more how to cook it if he uses it for himself. A good homeopathic doctor will sort out his patient’s answers and interpret and evaluate it according to his patient’s age, sex, education, miasmas and suspected idiosyncrasy. That’s the reason why when you go by the seashore you see fishermen catching fish and fishermen that feed the fish! Accordingly, there are good and experienced homeopathic doctors that do their job well and have therapeutic results and those ignorant ones that from time to time hook one or two fish! From my experience, most patients tend, for image reasons, to exaggerate about their tidiness. They want to show us that they are tidy persons. Thus, we are more interested if a patient is tidy grade 3 and not if he is tidy grade 2 or 1. I will now describe to you the idiosyncrasies that are typically grade 3 regarding tidiness and then all others of grade 2. 5.13 Nux Vomica: the typical representative of tidiness; tidiness “per se” Nux Vomica is tidy “per se”. She is the typical representative of tidiness! It’s not something gained by education. It’s in her “genes”! It’s a miasmatic and idiosyncratic characteristic, a grade 3 characteristic. She is natural at it! This extreme tendency for tidiness, order and schedule this 81 fixation to have all things “as they should be” refers to everything. Not only material objects but also intentions, thoughts, feelings and behavior. She wants everything to be in extreme order; everything in its place; everything according to schedule and hierarchy. She won’t just hang her clothes in the closet. She will have them clean and ironed, sorted out and organized at groups and even labeled! She will not just place her underwear and blouses in the drawers; she will carefully fold them and organize them according to season, color, fabric, etc. She won’t have any problem admitting it: “Yes, I know, doctor, I confess that I am very tidy; I am very thorough, punctual and fastidious; I am a perfectionist! I just can’t help it! It’s in my nature! I’ve always been like that!” When guests or visitors come to her house she is annoyed by the least change. The ash-tray must remain where placed, the chairs not to be moved or after being moved to be placed again as before! Nothing must be changed and if needed to be, must be returned again to order as soon as possible. She notices any change done by her guests; she just can’t help it! She has the urge to put it back herself or even make a comment, but out of courtesy often she says nothing. If she finds the chance she will put it back in order in a discrete manner. If she doesn’t she will do it as soon as the guest leaves or the minute he goes to the toilette. In extreme cases of tidiness, Nux Vomica may not want guests only because she doesn’t want her order to be spoiled; not only the order of things but also the order of her schedule and usual activities! When guests leave, even if it’s late at night and she is tired and sleepy, even if she is not working next morning, nevertheless, she will put all things back at their previous place. She will not only place the dishes in the washing machine but she will also start the program. If she is very tired and leaves something behind undone, she goes to sleep but she is not pleased; she becomes restless. First thing in the morning she will wake up early so as to place all things as they should be. You see, leaving something out of order can only be a compromise for her! She is such a typical “Englishman” regarding her appointments! So punctual! If her husband or children are the ones causing delay when they go out for social meetings she will be so strict and grumbling towards them! She will spoil the case even if they are going out for recreation or for a relaxing excursion! If others delay to come at their fixed appointment she will get angry and make remarks. Even at business meetings when others delay she will make strict but gentle remarks. I had 82 a Nux Vomica patient that avoided seeing her close friend because she knew that she would come late as usual! She is so scheduled! So in favor of programming! Strict and absolute programming! She even, at times, notes down her program: I will do this today, that tomorrow, these next week, those next month or next year! If they spoil her program she is annoyed and even angry; she will re- schedule! She despises any kind of pending or unsettled matters. When bills come she will want to settle them the same day if possible. She has an aversion for loans; she doesn’t want to be in dept for anything; she will go as far as she can; never further away! Anything wrong or done the wrong way annoys her; she just can’t help noticing it and even remark strictly on it. If someone doesn’t respect the line in a certain Service she will be strict and rigid; she will preach about respect of the rules and regulations. But if it’s a case of an elderly man, a crippled or a pregnant woman, she is the first one to offer her turn. If she sees someone throwing garbage not in the dustbins she will scold him; if she has the chance then she may even force him, gently but strictly, to pick it up and throw it where he should have put it in the first place. 5.14 Other tidy idiosyncrasies Arsenicum is often very tidy, grade 3. This has to do with his tremendous egoism and his domineering disposition. Ηe is the person that “knows” all things, has the right opinion about everything and demands that things should be done his own «right» way in all fields: family, work, life, etc. He is so cold a person, so egoist and selfish that he creates negative emotions to his environment. Argentum Nitricum also, often appears to be tidy3 but it’s not tidiness “per se”; it’s something that has to do with his obsessive thoughts and obsessive behavior. Since his childhood his mother tells you that he got stuck in little things. For example he used to place his toys in a certain position and line or he wanted his mother to dress him with a certain ceremonial order: first his pants, then his blouse, then his socks, etc. If something was not as he was used to, then he couldn’t find peace unless it was back in “obsessive” order. Furthermore, he had several obsessive motions or nervous tics. Nevertheless, Argentum Nitricum doesn’t get angry if something is not in order like Nux Vomica; he gets upset and stressed. Platina may be tidy grade 2; it’s not a grade 3, tidiness “per se”. She wants to have the best and most expensive house and furniture and she 83 buys luxurious clothes and accessories. Her house must look like a palace and cares much about her look. At work she wants to be the first and organizes things a lot. All the above give the impression to others that she cares very much about order, although she is not fastidious. Lachesis may appear and even declare to be tidy grade 3 but usually it’s a grade 2 or less state. If she is that old traditional “good” housewife she is so proud to declare that she is the perfect housewife; so able, so clean, so tidy, so efficient. You see, it’s a matter of showing off! Furthermore, she is so energetic! She just can’t stand still all the time; she will clean and again clean the house, put things in order, grumble to her children and husband that they don’t care about her and do the house a mess. All the above give the impression to others that she is very fastidious although she isn’t so much as a Nux Vomica. You see, Nux Vomica is primarily tidy grade 3 while Lachesis is secondarily, that is, due to great energy and showing off. You may see Lachesis housewife exaggerate: she goes step by step behind her husband as soon as he enters the house grumbling that he should take off his shoes and wear his sleepers that she has brought to him because she has just waxed the floor. She forces him to change to clean clothes and wash his hands before eating. She is such a pain in the ass at times and on the top she always complains that they “don’t respect her” or that they “wear her out by making the house a mess”, etc. It’s all a matter of showing off that she cares so much about the whole family and a good excuse to dominate and manipulate her family over all matters. You see, it’s a syphilitic state. See how miasmas help us understand objectively the very depths of human behavior? Lycopodium may appear as tidy grade 2, especially at work because he wants to be typical so as not give anyone the right to make remarks about his job. You see, it’s a matter of cowardice and not a matter of tidiness “per se”. Phosphor may declare “perfectionist” because he is excessively earnest, dutiful and conscientious. He so much wants to be OK with his obligations even if he hasn’t got any superior around watching over him. So, he is not tidy per se. He is tidy due to his earnest tendency. He is a psoric idiosyncrasy regarding intentions and ideas and does his obligations with joy. Pulsatilla, if a traditional housewife, keeps the house clean and tidy. Tries to cook delicious food and tasteful cakes and decorates her house so as to 84 keep it beautiful and romantic. She does all these with joy and happiness. She so much wants to please her husband and children. She wants to offer love to them, to show her feelings. It’s a psoric and romantic and non egoistic state contrary to the manipulating, showing off, syphilitic state of a Lachesis housewife. She so much enjoys to have guests and to please them so as that all have a nice time! She is so pleased when she made others feel happy and joyful! She is so sentimental! 5.15 Sulphur, the typical sloppy guy! On the exact opposite side of Nux Vomica, regarding tidiness, we can place Sulphur, the typical sloppy guy. He is a natural one, he is sloppy per se. He is untidy, sloppy grade 3 or 2. He has that great ability to do all things a mess; pell-mell; higgledy-piggledy; in great disorder! But, still, for him all things are in order, his way of order and he can sort out things; he can find anything he wants. If he is a student and his mother dares to put his things in order then he shouts because he can’t find his things! If he is an adult worker you will find at his office dozens of papers and files piled out on his desk, chairs, etc. In Sulphur’s lady bag you may get lost! There are so many different things all piled together. If she will simply boil an egg in an orderly kitchen then she will spoil any order and make a mess in minutes! Not only he is sloppy, but many times he is also clumsy and slipshod; he hits his elbows and feet on chairs while going around in the house, he drops things, he is careless and when eating, he gets his clothes dirty and leaves crumbs all around his seat! At times he may have a rare tidiness crisis and may put all things in an order; but then, after five minutes all things will return back to his usual mess. Nevertheless, nowadays, at work, especially if his work is a demanding one, for example if he is in the army, a Sulphur subject will try to be neat or less sloppy but at home he will be sloppy. There are of course, times that he will appear to be even tidy grade 2 because he wants to be functional and not spoil time and effort. 5.16 How do we ask about introversion/extroversion? Enough said about tidiness/sloppiness. Let’s proceed to introversion and extroversion. How do we ask? “How about your personal problems, your deep felt matters? Do you want to talk about it or do you usually keep it inside?” This is the first general question and then we proceed to other clarifying ones: “To how many persons, that are close friends, will you speak about your personals? One, two or more? Who are these persons? 85 Will you tell everything or do you keep some only for you? Do you express it easily or do you need a push so as to start talking?” We also ask: “If somebody, not from the close ones, has heard about a personal misfortune of yours and starts consoling you, how do you face consolation from a person who is not a close one? Do you feel better? Do you just hear him or do you get annoyed or even angry? Do you try to change subject or stop him? When others feel sorry for you or show pity to you, how do you feel? Do you easily cry? Can this happen in front of others or do you insist on crying alone? In such a case do you usually find an excuse and go away so as to cry alone? Whenever you are upset or sad do you feel a lump in your throat or oppression chest or start sighing?” 5.17 Extrovert Idiosyncrasies Sycotic individuals are usually extrovert. Pulsatilla is psoric regarding intentions and ideas but is very sycotic and extrovert regarding expression and physical symptoms. She is extrovert grade 3. She will speak about her personal, deep felt matters even to strangers; even in a bus or at the park. She is so open, so social, so laughing and joyful. Give her a little intimacy and she will tell you about her entire life and personal problems, sincerely and openly. She does this because she seeks for compassion, consolation, support, sympathy, communication, feelings, human contact, warm feelings, someone to hold her hand! That’s it! That’s all there is to it! She doesn’t have any secondary goals. She doesn’t do it so as to manipulate others and do things her way as a syphilitic person would do. “What you see is what you get” because she is psoric regarding her intentions and sycotic regarding her expression. She is so weeping! So easy to burst into tears! She is honestly weeping, sensitive, romantic, not to say oversensitive and easily moved. She has that spontaneous crying even by little upset or even by little joy. A human contact, a good word from others, a slight consolation, all these make her sincerely cry. She is the typical “laughter mixed with tears” woman! Crying like a baby this minute and immediately laughing like a baby next minute; but honestly, sincerely and primarily and not like Lachesis that uses over-crying as a manipulating weapon. Phosphor is an idiosyncrasy close enough to Pulsatilla since he is also psoric regarding intentions and ideas but very sycotic regarding expression and physical symptoms. So, he is also very extrovert. He wants to share his problems, to take it out of him and be relieved. He 86 wants consolation and understanding. He wants consultation and solutions. He also wants human contact and is an extremely social guy. Phosphor is usually a man while Pulsatilla is usually a woman. Phosphor will attend a doctor or a psychologist very easy so as to share his problems and ask for advice. He will, of course prefer his close friends because friendship is a great thing and a great comfort for him. He is so open hearted, so warm hearted and such an open character. He is “a great heart” but still a great gullible heart and that is the reason why he is usually the great victim of syphilitic idiosyncrasies. 5.18 Natrum Muriaticum is the typical psoric, introvert person Natrum Muriaticum is the typical representative of psoric introversion. She is easily offended, easily hurt, easily upset and angry but she tries very hard not to show her hurt feelings, upset or anger. She tries to avoid even grimaces that would betray her internal condition. If she can’t remain calm she may find an excuse so as to go away. She has such a difficulty to talk about her personal problems and deep felt matters. If she will talk about it, it will be towards one or two the most, very close friends. It doesn’t matter if others around her are close relatives or her husband. She will confide to them only if they are very discrete and sincerely loving towards her. In fact, they must prove these qualities for years so as to be considered her inner circle. Even then, she needs a little gentle push so as to start talking. Even when going to the doctor or psychologist she requires a very discrete, gentle and serious attitude from the other part so as to open her heart and talk. Still, several sessions may be needed so as to really open her heart - if she will do it in the end. If her personals go around she will be extremely annoyed. When a beloved person dies or when she is encountering a family misfortune she will prefer to be alone and will avoid social contacts. What’s most annoying for her is for others to feel sorry or pity about her. Consolation makes her annoyed or angry although she doesn’t reveal it. Indiscretion makes her very angry and feeling awkward. But be careful, because egoistic syphilitic idiosyncrasies like Valerian and Platina also despise pity but due to syphilitic egoism, while Natrum Muriaticum feels psorically exposed. There are of course, certain special conditions during which a Natrum Muriaticum woman may feel better from consolation. It’s when she 87 speaks to a very, very close and appreciated person and only when he or she, are very discrete and gentle. Whenever upset she rarely expresses it, so this leads to nervous symptoms like tension headaches or neuralgias, oppression chest, lump throat or psoric sighing. When distressed or sad she easily cries but it’s a psoric crying. That is, she definitely wants to be alone so as to cry. If she feels like it in front of others, then she will definitely find a good excuse so as to go away, stay alone and weep. She will lock herself in the bathroom and weep as silently as possible, then sweep her face, put a makeup and go out again as if nothing had happened. If she can’t pull herself together, then she will say that she has that terrible headache and go away. 5.19 Other introvert idiosyncrasies Ignatia is also introvert but mostly at grade 2. When she is at a condition of love disappointment, then she will open her heart to others more than usual but still to a few ones. She is in great need to relieve her heart and even seek for consolation but from very few close ones or from a doctor who has the right attitude. The reason that she is more extrovert than Natrum Muriaticum is that she is a wreck and just can’t pull herself together. Sepia is also introvert grade 3 or 2. Sometimes even more introvert than Natrum Muriaticum because she is in a deeper, more severe state. She has been deeply hurt for a very long time and so she is in a state of sadness and even despair. She feels so dragged out of her energy, so dried up of emotions, so tired physically and psychologically! So why cry for help? No hope! She is so flat emotionally! Even her beloved children or husband or relatives make no difference to her. She is astonished, herself, to find out that she just can’t feel natural love about them. She knows, deep inside her that she loves them. Her mind tells her so but her heart feels nothing since she is so emptied out of feelings, so dried out emotionally. She has a great lack of energy. She is so hopeless and so unbalanced that whenever even slightly opposed by her own then she is raging and becomes biting. Being emotionally paralyzed this leads to aversion sex even if she has a good working relation with her companion. Natrum Carbonicum is usually introvert grade 2. She has that strange feeling of estrangement or alienation regarding other people, even her 88 own ones. She places herself on one side and others on the other side; she doesn’t feel as if she is together with others; she feels apart. Psorinum is very introvert, grade 3. Even more introvert than Natrum Muriaticum due to his chronic bad state, just like Sepia. He is so depressed, so pessimistic, so hopeless and so desperate. He is so turned in himself, so retired into himself, so withdrawn that he prefers to be alone. He doesn’t want any company, even close ones but he is not irascible as Sepia. He also, can’t feel any love about his beloved ones. He can’t find joy in anything. All look dark and grey! There is no light, no hope and no solution to his state and certainly no cure. He definitely has despair of recovery. All is vanity! All are going from bad to worse! All come to nothing! All go to rack and ruin! There’s no hope at all! His work is a failure; he will definitely be bankrupt! He will become poor. Gelsemium is introvert due to intense shyness and timidity. He easily gets nervous or gets the jitters. He has such a stage fright that he blushes and stammers. Even after he has met many times with a certain person he is still shy and blocked. He has lack of self confidence especially when it comes to meeting people but not so much lack of confidence as Thuja. Thuja feels that she is a big zero! That her mind is not helpful at all! That her I.Q is very low compared to others; no wonder she does everything wrong! She feels all these, even if life has proved to her that she is on the average regarding smartness and achievements. If she is a student she always says that she will get bad grades and each time she does better than she predicted. So, how can she be extrovert when she is worth nothing? How can she be extrovert if she feels like garbage! She believes that her body is ugly, her face is ugly and that her mind is below average. She is all the time guilty even about things that have nothing to do with her. “It’s my fault”, she says to herself all the time. This state is not easily perceptible by others. She lives in Hell and nobody knows about it! The most that one can trace about her condition is that she seems shy and introvert. If the doctor reveals to her that he understands her case she is astonished. At last someone understood her state! Then she will talk about it and even feel relieved. 5.20 Idiosyncrasies that may be introvert or extrovert at times Medorhinum, being strongly sycotic, is expected to be extrovert, that is, not to have any problem talking about his personals. But, often he doesn’t 89 seem to be extrovert. Not that he is introvert but he simply feels so strong and independent and he is so shallow intellectually, that he just doesn’t consider most problems as real problems. Regarding him, real problems are not to have money so as to enjoy his life or not to find chicks so as to enjoy sex. Anything that prevents him from enjoying life is indeed a problem for him! Lachesis, when adopting syphilitic secondary behaviors, may appear as extremely extrovert, grade 3. She may “confide” even to strangers about her “personals”. For example she can talk, even to the TV journalists about her “drunkard good-for-nothing husband” or about her boy that uses drugs and “has ruined their life” or about her “cheating husband”, etc. But, all these are done on purpose and in exaggeration! They are done hypocritically and not as a sincere confession, no matter how sincere she says she is! It’s simply a theatrical performance of hers; and a good one, indeed! But, primarily Lachesis is introvert enough and very careful of what she is saying to others about her personals. That’s something quite expected because she is very mistrustful and gossiping herself. Judging by herself, she thinks that other people also are mistrustful and gossiping and thus she shouldn’t say anything about her personal matters because other women will do a ridicule of her. Another secondary behavior of Lachesis is when she fakes being an oversensitive, weeping Pulsatilla who is a victim of her malicious and irritable good-for-nothing husband. She will cry her eyes out and keep sighing, moaning and grieving about her misfortune. But this is only a phenotype, a syphilitic, hypocritical phenotype and not her genotype, her primal behavior. You can easily detect her real idiosyncrasy if you take in consideration her excess behavior, her hypocrisy and her real intentions. Valerian may confide to her very close ones but she takes very good care how she is presenting her personal so as not to spoil her image: the image of the dynamic, unconventional, modern, smart woman. If this image is spoiled in the eyes of a certain person or company then she feels “naked” and stops hanging out with those people. Often, if someone tries to console her, being mistrustful she will take it wrong and may think that he feels pity of her and then she is very angry and reacting. Pity makes her very angry because she feels as if the other person gets on top of her and as if not being appreciated. 90 The psoric version of Sulphur is very introvert, even grade 3. Even more introvert than Natrum Muriaticum. It may also resemble a Psorinum but not in the state of depression. Several misfortunes happen and he keeps thinking of it, is puzzled by it, grieves over it but doesn’t talk about it at all. He considers these as “his own problems”, something that he, himself, must resolve. So what’s the point of talking to others about it? Nothing will change! His wife may tell you: “I keep pushing him but he never says anything about himself to me! What kind of a man is this?” He will usually respond: “What’s there to say, doctor! Even if I speak about it, will anything change? I see no point in talking about it. That’s my character, my type. I was born like that!” If others learn about his personal problems he is not annoyed or angry but he will not open up. Consolation may not make him angry if the other person does not insist but he considers talking about his problems a waste of time. Hyoscyamus appears to be very introvert due to his intense and almost insane or indeed insane mistrustfulness. He will not talk about his personals because he suspects that others are against him; that others will laugh at him; that others conspire against him; that others talk of him. He feels as if in danger, as if he is hunted by malicious other guys around him. So, he can’t even trust his own people. In fully psychotic state he is so sure that others hunt him down that he feels as if he is chased by all people. It’s a terrible state! 91 CHAPTER 6 FEARS, SELF-CONFIDENCE, INTELLECTUALITY 6.1 How do we ask about fears? 6.2 Phosphor: the main neuro-vegetative idiosyncrasy 6.3 Fear about health: Arsenicum, Aconitum and Calcarea Carbonica 6.4 Other important fears 6.5 How do we ask about fixed ideas and obsessions? 6.6 Argentum Nitricum: the main obsessive idiosyncrasy 6.7 Fear of insanity: differential diagnosis 6.8 How do we ask about self-confidence? 6.9 Platina: the typical representative of syphilitic vanity 6.10 Other vain idiosyncrasies 6.11 Idiosyncrasies with low self-confidence 6.12 How do we ask about intellectuality? 6.1 How do we ask about fears? Now let’s go to our patient’s fears. How do we ask about fears? First of all, we ask in a general way: “Do you have any fears?” It’s very important that our first question on a topic must be very general and never guiding. For example if I ask: “Do you have any phobias?” then this is a very different thing. Someone may have many fears but he will think that these fears haven’t progressed to the degree of becoming a phobia, that is, a severe case of neurosis. Then, after the patient’s first answer we proceed accordingly to several 92 other more specific and clarifying questions such as: “Tell me some of your fears. Are you afraid of height, for example to look down from your balcony? From what floor do you start being afraid? First, second or fifth floor? What is it that frightens you? Do you feel as if something is pulling you down? Are you afraid that you might slip or that the railings will yield? Do you sometimes think: “What if I have that crazy impulse to jump?” We keep asking: “Are you afraid of illnesses? Whenever you hear that someone has had a heart attack, a stroke, cancer, etc, are you worried? Not if you feel sorry for him, but if you are afraid that it may also happen to you or that you may already suffer from the same illness? Do you often go to the doctor or often go for medical tests? What illness are you afraid of, the most? Are you afraid more of a sudden illness like heart attack or a stroke or are you afraid more of something chronic like cancer for example? Are you afraid of death? Are you afraid mostly about your death or the death of your own? When you see a mole on your skin or find a nodule in your breast are you worried? Will you rush to the doctor or do you avoid it for fear that something severe may come up? Whenever you get sick and have symptoms are you afraid of death? Do you feel as if you are going to die, that very minute?” Let’s see some more questions: “Are you afraid that you may go crazy, that you may become insane? Do you sometimes think that you are very, very close to insanity? That just a click is enough to become insane? Are you afraid that you are doomed for the poor house although things are not so bad? Are you afraid of darkness? Do you need some light necessarily so as to go to sleep? Are you afraid being alone at night at home? Do you want to lock the door and shut all the windows? Whenever alone, do you want to have the radio or TV open because it makes you feel not alone? Still, do you want to have the volume low so as to be able to hear any possible sounds around you? Are you afraid of thieves or crooks? Are you afraid of ghosts, dead people, devil and such metaphysical stuff? How about thriller movies?” More questions: “When you are alone at home do you sometimes have the sensation that someone is looking at you, that you are being watched, that you have no privacy? As if two eyes are watching you? At work, do you have all the time, the feeling that others keep an eye on you to see if you are doing your work or not? If a close person is late are you very worried that something may happen to him? Even if he is only 10 or 15 93 minutes late? Are you very worried about your children? That they may have accidents or caught in trouble with bad companies? Are you after your children to eat or wear much clothing even now, that they have grown up?” As many times said, all these questions are done gradually from general to specifics and according to our patient’s initial answers. For example if a patient answers that he has no fears at all and we are convinced that he is telling the truth, then there is no reason why we should ask all these specific questions. If he says that he has fears, at first we let him talk without any guidance. You see, he will talk first about his great fears and then about secondary ones. We interfere only whenever we want explanations or whenever we suspect something. We have up to now examined how we ask about fears. It’s time to go on with the describing of the main phobic idiosyncrasies and their specific characteristics. Let me remind you that all fears of any idiosyncrasy are being analyzed in details in my Materia Medica, but it’s very useful to lay them down comparatively according to each specific fear. This will enable us to bring in mind certain idiosyncrasies each time the patient refers to a certain fear. 6.2 Phosphor: the main neuro-vegetative idiosyncrasy Phosphor, when in phase A, regarding balance, usually is not afraid about his health and will deny it if asked. But even then, he dwells with his health. For example, he runs medical tests regularly, he tries to eat healthy, he likes to read about health matters and he goes to the gym so as to stay healthy and fit. He may even avoid sleeping on his left side because he has heard that “we shouldn’t press our heart”. When he proceeds to phase B or C and becomes unbalanced, then he starts having slight/intense fears about his health accompanied by neuro- vegetative symptoms that mainly have to do with the cardiac area. He is very much afraid of something sudden for example a heart attack or a stroke. He is not afraid of death like Arsenicum or Aconitum. Nor that is he afraid of the consequences of a stroke or a heart attack. He is mostly afraid of the symptoms he has each time that are accompanied by that terrible anxious feeling. Every time he has that panic attack, those neuro-vegetative feelings and that fear about his health he literally rushes to doctors and diagnostic centers, especially to cardiologists. He does again and again cardiograms just in case he has missed the right moment of diagnosis. He even 94 proceeds to very complicated and specific tests. He changes doctors and medical centers all the time in search of signs of severe illness. Every time he has these symptoms he rushes to doctors and tests. Each time nothing is revealed and he is reassured for some hours or days. Then the next time symptoms come, he rushes again to doctors and tests. It’s a Sisyphean task! Although he applies much pressure to his doctor he is, nevertheless, quite likeable and pleasant. He is a nice guy! He is sincere and grateful so what’s there not to like! You see, he is psoric regarding intentions and ideas and sycotic regarding expression. He is like a nice little child even if he is a grownup! He begs for help and consolation, is easily relieved but also easily afraid again. He is like a desperate, frightened little nice child. 6.3 Fear about health: Arsenicum, Aconitum and Calcarea Carbonica Arsenicum has a grade 3 fear about his health; much more intense than Phosphor or Argentum Nitricum. In fact, his fear is not so about his symptoms or about his health condition. He is afraid of death, grade 3! He is “scared to death” about death! Many times, he doesn’t even like to talk about death or hear others talk about it. Being a very selfish and egoistic person he is so much afraid of losing his life, of losing his own existence! Although very scrounge and mean, when it comes to his very life, he will be willing to spend any amount of money for doctors and tests so as to be saved. Sometimes his wife may drag him towards your office and he may deny that he is afraid about his health or death but his wife is very definite: “Don’t listen to him doctor, he is scared to death about his health and about death!” Being very selfish he tries to give a low profile of his great fear. If his wife is a yielding one, she may say nothing to you but will nod to you implying that he is lying when he says he isn’t afraid. She may also call you before their appointment and reveal to you that he is so much afraid although he will deny it. You will often come across Arsenicum in elderly people that feel that their end is close enough. Then whenever symptoms arise they become so scared and even paralyzed from fear. They become totally obsessed with fear of death. Quite often during panic time they feel freezing all over their body except their head which seems normal or even very hot and flushed. At times they feel their back full of chills as if cold water was poured down their spine. Moreover, their stomach and belly is upset. 95 Whenever differentiating you always have to take in consideration the miasmatic synthesis of any idiosyncrasy. For example, both Phosphor and Arsenicum are very afraid about their health but Phosphor is likeable being psoric-sycotic while Arsenicum is repulsive being syphilitic and very egoistic. Aconitum may develop intense phobias after a severe case of fright. Something sudden, unexpected and violent may happen, for example a car crash and the person gets scared. From that point on, everything changes: he develops phobias of all sorts. He is so much afraid that he will die any minute now! At times, he even predicts his time of death! That’s why he looks so scared and upset and begs for salvation. Calcarea Carbonica, on the other hand, has those psoric fears: chronic, deep, silent and not overwhelming. She is afraid of the darkness. She wants some light in the bedroom in order to sleep tight. If she is a little girl she will not go to a dark room or place unaccompanied. Her mother must go first and lit the light. At night she is very scared of staying alone at home. She is afraid of thieves and bad guys but mainly she has those metaphysical fears about ghosts, dead people, devils, etc. That’s why she wants to lock all doors and windows when alone at home. She also wants the radio or TV on “for the sake of company” but in a low volume so as to be able to track any strange noise around. She is also afraid of death of her own and of the death of others, especially her close ones. If her kids or husband is late her mind always tends to think of accidents or bad things. She is so pessimist. But, note down that her fears about her people are psoric and sincere and not hypocritical and exaggerated as in syphilitic Lachesis who aims to manipulate and control her close ones. You see once more, how important miasmas are so as to fully understand any idiosyncrasy? She is also afraid of and despises cockroaches and mice. Phosphor and Arsenicum are both very much afraid of being alone at home. Phosphor is afraid that he might have again those awful neuro- vegetative symptoms and have no one near him to talk and console him. He is not so much afraid of death. Instead, he is afraid of his symptoms and of his fears. Arsenicum on the other hand, wants someone not to talk to but someone to serve him: someone to give him his medicines or a cup of tea if needed, someone to call the emergency ambulance if needed and take him to the hospital. You see how psoric is the one fear and how egoistic-syphilitic is the other! 96 We often see Arsenicum men when sick or think that they are sick, that don’t let their wives get out of the house. They want them there on guard, so as to call the ambulance if needed! They treat their wives or relatives as employed nurses: “Bring me this, do that, etc”. They are mean, grumbling, irritable, quarreling and miserable. They don’t even admit that they are scared to death although they act accordingly. Causticum is also very cold and afraid about his health but not as much as Arsenicum. Cactus is usually a hysteric woman with lots of hysteric and neuro- vegetative symptoms like dizziness, pains all over and a characteristic sensation at the throat area as if a hand is strangling her. Her fear is depicted at her face and speech: she may be crying out of fear. Her anxious inquiry is: “What’s the matter with me? What’s wrong with me? I must have something very severe judging from what I feel!” 6.4 Other important fears Hyoscyamus is so much afraid because he has that insane or almost insane idea that others want to harm him or want to poison him or conspire against him; that he is being chased; that he is been commented. Psorinum has that intense and unjustified fear that he will be bankrupt; that his job will become a failure; that nothing will go well. It’s an intense psoric fear matching his psoric character: he is very introvert, pessimistic, sad and desperate and finds no joy in life. Alumina feels that there is something wrong about her. She has that blurred mind, cannot concentrate and feels as if a robot. She says something and feels as if she is not the one who has said it. She sees something and feels as if she is not the one who has seen it. At times when she sees sharp or large knives she is afraid that she might have that crazy impulse to do something bad to herself or others. The blurred mind and these crazy impulses justify her that she may go crazy and do crazy things. When we have to do with neuro-vegetative symptoms we first think of Phosphor, then Argentum Nitricum, not so often Arsenicum and at times, but more rare, Lycopodium and Sulphur. 6.5 How do we ask about fixed ideas and obsessions? When it comes to fixed ideas and obsessions, we ask: “Does it happen that when leaving the house you suddenly think “What if I have left the door open or the cooker on, etc”? How often? Is it that you really forget 97 things or is it that you have that insisting thought about it? Will you, often, go back and check? Even when you are out on the street? Let’s say that you’ve gone back and have checked it. Even then do you sometimes find yourself of thinking something similar, for example I’ve checked the door but did I check the oven? While walking down the street do you sometimes find yourself counting cars, steps, numbers, etc? Or do you want not to step on the margins between the paving stones? When in a car next to the driver, do you have the impression that other cars are going to crash you and get anxious? Do you want to wash your hands very frequently? How often a day? Sometimes does it happen that after you have washed it, to have a doubt and wash it again? Do you often want to use surgical spirit to clean and sterilize your hands? Are you afraid of germs? Are you superstitious? For example see a black cat and think that something bad will happen? When about to go to an important appointment are you very stressed? Do you also have nervous diarrhea or nervous frequent urination? When you are there are you still anxious during the whole appointment? 6.6 Argentum Nitricum: the main obsessive idiosyncrasy Argentum Nitricum may be afraid, as said before, about his health but this fear is mostly a specific obsession at the area of “health”. His main characteristic is that he is obsessive and compulsive in general. Argentum Nitricum is the main obsessive idiosyncrasy in the same way that Phosphor is the main neuro-vegetative idiosyncrasy. He is also afraid of height or to be more precise he also has an obsession about height grade 2 or even 3. Whenever he goes near the railings of the balcony he is afraid to look down or get very close because he thinks: “What if I slip? What if the railings yield?” He feels as if a strong magnet is pulling him downwards. Several “ifs” invade his mind all the time: “What if I get dizzy and fall down? What if I suddenly have that crazy impulse to jump?” This is not of course, suicidal tendency! It’s an obsession. It’s a “what if” situation. Not only he isn’t suicidal but on the contrary he loves his life and is afraid of losing it. While walking in the streets he has that strange obsessive tendency to count numbers, steps, cars, etc. He just can’t stop it; he just can’t help it; he keeps doing it. When in a car next to the driver he keeps thinking that other cars will crash on them and is much stressed. As soon as he leaves his house he starts wondering: “Did I close and lock the door or 98 windows? Did I turn off the oven or the cooker?” He goes back and checks the door or cooker once or even many times again and again. He knows that he has done it but something inside his mind raises doubts again and again. He goes down the street of his house and then again doubts invade his mind: “I may have locked the door, but have I turned off the cooker?” If he returns back again then this is a grade 3 obsessive state. Very often, he has also a great phobia about germs. He wants to wash his hands very often and even twice or three times on the row. He may even wash it with surgical spirit for sterilization reasons. Chronic intense use of spirit may dry up his skin and cause cracks and wounds. He may also avoid touching doorknobs especially of toilet’s doorknobs. Often he is very superstitious. He says to himself: If this thing happens then things will not go well. If I wear this blouse, which is my lucky one, then I will do well at my exams or job. There are so many “what if” in his mind all the time and all concern unpleasant or bad incidents. His mind just can’t relax. He just can’t stop thinking! Whenever he is about to go to an important appointment he is so anxious, so stressed! He just can’t relax. He may have nervous frequent urination or nervous diarrhea but when he is finally there, then after some minutes his stress is relieved. Lycopodium also has stage fright but when he starts talking then not only things are alright but he is indeed a very good lecturer. Argentum Nitricum at times has that fixed idea that all his symptoms may exist because he is affected by the “evil eye”. It’s not an insane idea as in Hyoscyamus who thinks that some evil guys are trying to put a spell on him. It’s an obsessive idea. He says to himself: “How come I have all these symptoms? I just can’t explain it. Am I affected by an evil eye? Am I crazy?” 6.7 Fear of insanity: differential diagnosis There are many idiosyncrasies that are afraid of insanity. We have already talked about Argentum Nitricum and his kind of fear of insanity, which is grade 2 or 1. Let’s see some more. Mancinella has fear of insanity grade 3. He feels and is almost certain that he is just a click away from insanity; from becoming crazy; from losing his mind. His mind is so overworking that he is certain that he is that close to become insane. Cannabis Indica is also afraid of insanity, usually grade 2. Why so? 99 Because she has that blurred, cloudy mind due to quick and continuous thinking. She has that fast train of thoughts, the one thought leading quickly to another and so on without any ending. She feels as if she is in a dream, as if intoxicated, as if she has drunk a glass of wine. She may also feel as if she is between sleep and awakened state or as if “stoned” by hashish. Argentum Nitricum is afraid of insanity due to his obsessive ideas while Cannabis Indica is afraid of insanity due to her blurred mind from those quick and never ending thoughts that are a result of over- function. Alumina is afraid that she may lose her mind due to two reasons: First she has that weird confusion in her mind. She says or sees something and feels as if she isn’t the one who has said it or seen it. She also has that weird sensation as if she is a robot or somebody else. The second reason is that she sees a large knife and may think that she could use it to kill herself or her own. Calcarea Carbonica is afraid that she may become crazy grade2 or 1 due to her many slow thoughts about little everyday things since she is so afraid of many things and has such a psoric stress. She is also afraid that others may realize that her behavior is odd and may be going towards insanity. Lachesis often declares: “I’ll go crazy! I will lose my mind with all these happening around me!” Be careful! This is not fear of insanity! This is just an excessive, hypocritical, intentional declaration to be heard by others so as to manipulate them! She hasn’t got any fear of insanity at all! In fact there’s no way that she will go crazy! She may drive others around her to insanity but not herself! (laughing) Pulsatilla may at times, have a mild fear of insanity due to her sensitive character and many sorrows that she may face. But, nevertheless, it’s a charming, I could say fear, as charming and likeable as her whole idiosyncrasy. 6.8 How do we ask about self-confidence? Now, let’s proceed to self-confidence. How do we ask about it? “Compared to the average, regarding I.Q., do you feel cleverer, less clever or like the others? Not regarding degrees or diplomas, but regarding brightness.” Then we go on asking more specific and clarifying questions: “Do you feel at times numbness to your lips or face? Have you ever felt, while 100 walking in the street, as if you are becoming taller than others or that others are shorter? Have you ever felt, while in between sleep and awaking, as if your body or hands or head were becoming larger? Are you afraid of old age? What is it that annoys you in old age? What about wrinkles and ugliness?” Some more questions about lack of confidence: “Do you sometimes feel as if you worth nothing at all, as if you are a big zero, as if you are trash? Do you have the tendency always to blame yourself for anything that happens around you although things aren’t so? Do you often feel that you are ugly, that your face or hands or feet are ugly?” 6.9 Platina: the typical representative of syphilitic vanity Platina thinks a lot of herself, grade 3. She thinks of herself as “the Queen” or “the King”. She may feel as the brightest or the most beautiful. Do you remember the fairy tale with the Queen who used to ask her mirror who is the prettiest woman on Earth? Well, that was a pure Platina case! But, if this is also mixed with maliciousness, then that’s a Lachesis case. Platina is not only extremely confident. Her confidence is radiated all over around her. She has that air of a Queen! In Greece there is a very appropriate expression: “She is beautiful and moreover, she knows it!” When asked about cleverness, she has no problem to declare that she does feel clever and even very clever. Rarely, so as not to be commented that she has a swollen head, she may say: “Well, many others tell me so!” or “I seem to have managed a lot of things in my life”. When asked what makes her angry she will often say: “Stupidity” or “Idiots”. She has that sense of greatness, of glamour or of royalty about herself and this is reflected even in physical sensations: At times, when walking down the street she feels as if she is taller or as if others are shorter than her. Or when in between sleep and awakened state, she feels as if her body, head or hands are enlarged. Don’t confuse this with the extra confidence that a woman feels when walking down the street well dressed and combed and especially when wearing high heels. Bear also in mind, that this is not an insane idea. It’s just a strange extreme bodily feeling, happening especially when Platina is a young girl or when she is adult but in a phase C or at times B and especially when she has a swollen head, that is, believing that she is the top of the tops! At times she also feels numbness to the area of lips or face. Since she appreciates beauty so much, then no wonder why she is so afraid of old age, ugliness and wrinkles. For the same reason she acts like 101 crazy about a few kilos added to her body. She will do anything and I really mean anything not to gain weight or lose a few extra kilos. Her whole life will become miserable from a few kilos or even from the feeling or wrong idea that she has gained weight. So often she feels so fat and miserable! The majority of anorexic young girls and top models are indeed, Platina cases. They go up to the point to cause vomiting any time they have eaten a bit more than usual so they often enter a vicious circle: they starve, then eat a lot, cause vomiting, then starve again, etc. 6.10 Other vain idiosyncrasies Palladium and Tarentula Hispanica also - but more rare - have that feeling of being taller or larger like Platina but their self-confidence is not as great as in Platina. Palladium has that strange state where on the one hand she thinks a lot of herself and on the other hand she seems to lack self-confidence since she is so keen of flattery and self-confirmation and self-reassurance especially from her own and more specifically from her companion. She wants her own people not just to love her but to deal or even dwell with her. She wants her close ones to show her that they love her all the time. She even asks for it, complaints about it and even demand it but in a playful or childish way. She knows that she exaggerates; she knows that her companion not only loves her but is indeed expressive but she keeps complaining about it and wants more. Other’s opinion about her, either negative or positive, means a lot to her. She may go to a party and then when going back home she starts thinking about the impression she has made to others, the comments that have been taken place, etc. She keeps thinking all those negative or flattering comments for days and they affect her life a lot. It’s a special kind of insecurity. On the contrary, Platina isn’t feeling any kind of insecurity, no matter what comments have been made. On the other hand, Tarentula Hispanica is a more playful and more sexual version of Platina and certainly a milder one concerning self-confidence. She feels very “hot” and sexy, very beautiful and is more sycotic and superficial regarding intellectuality. She has that great desire for sex and flirt and play with men. She also radiates it. No wonder why dancing is her great love and the love of her life. She is so good at it and enjoys it to the maximum. Her relation with dancing is literally an orgasmic one! Valerian is full of well hidden contradictions and inconsistencies. She also thinks a lot of herself but not so much like Platina. She thinks that 102 she is bright, that she has quick thinking and that she is very intuitional regarding others personality. But on the other hand, she likes to present herself as an anti-conformist that despises formalities and establishment. She likes to be considered beautiful and sexy but she sneers over those Platina Barbie girls. You see, she adopts the style of the anti-conformist, modern intellectual girl because she is so reactionary! She thinks a lot of herself but she doesn’t admit it; she cares a lot about her appearance but she doesn’t admit it; she thinks she is very bright but will not admit it so as not to be considered vain. She seems to be so dynamic and self-confident but in reality she is so insecure. She goes to a party and seems so cool and self-confident but in reality she is very insecure regarding what to wear, how to speak and what impression she will make to others. This is especially the case when she is at a party where there are very few or none that she knows. Platina, on the other hand, has no problem, even with strangers. Arsenicum also, being very egoistic and selfish, thinks a lot of himself. In fact, he only thinks of himself! He thinks he knows everything about anything! His opinion is the only right one! No wonder that he wants things to be done his own way. He is domineering and intervenes in all little matters that concern his job, family and area of dominance. He is miserable, critical, scrounge, stubborn and selfish. Lycopodium, although psoric, also thinks a lot of himself but mostly regarding his intellectuality, his culture and civilized manners, his morality, his gentleness, his knowledge of things, his sensitivity and his liberal ideas. He also thinks a lot of himself regarding his ability to think in a complex and radical way so as to create new, pioneering ideas. He cares so much about his image and especially about his image of the cultured and cultivated person. He wants to be recognized by all others, to have fame but he radiates it in a psoric way. Usually, it’s a male idiosyncrasy and he so much cares so show off - in a psoric way of course - towards women. His sophisticated image and fine manners are a way of flirting women but it’s a fine flirting, a psoric one, with much talking and ideas and much fear about getting the mitten! Sulphur, another intellectual idiosyncrasy, also thinks a lot of himself although he may not deserve it considering his abilities and achievements. Quite often, he is the “dirty, rugged philosopher”. He never reads systematically like Lycopodium. He learns superficially about a few philosophical, metaphysical or scientific strange matters and 103 then he thinks “he knows” and furthermore he is absolute about his ideas and opinions. He thinks he “knows”, he thinks that he is an “out of the box” thinker, a great philosopher, an original inventor and a pioneering scientist. But when it comes to reality, he is so unorganized and lazy to apply his ideas that he is rarely a successful man. Medorhinum thinks a lot of himself but not regarding his intellectuality. He thinks a lot of himself regarding his physical strength, his robust body, his handsome body and regarding his wide-boy image. He loves thinking that he is the tough guy, the hard man, the womanizer, the sex machine, the athletic guy and the guy that knows how to enjoy life! Lachesis thinks a lot of herself in the sense that she is that “very clever fox” that can manipulate all others and do things her own way. She finds it so easy to dominate in family and work! Life has convinced her that she can manipulate anyone because she is so flexible, so hypocritical, so insisting, so energetic and so clever. The syphilitic version of Anacardium thinks a lot of him and believes that he is the cleverest guy. He so much finds fun in self confirmation especially on the expense of others. He can be so cruel and insensitive, even malicious laughing at others “stupidity”! He is keen in playing practical jokes to others but these practical jokes are not fun at all to his victims because he can be very cruel, ironic, vain and even sadistic. Hyoscyamus, when in a psychotic state, may develop an insane sense of greatness. He may think that he is Napoleon the Great or a great scientist. 6.11 Idiosyncrasies with low self-confidence Thuja, regarding self-confidence, is the quite opposite of Platina. She feels that she is the lowest person on Earth; that she is a big zero; a failure; a stupid person; an ugly woman; trash! Although life may have proved to her that she does well in many fields still, she refuses to believe it. She always underestimates herself and she always feels guilty, as if all wrong things around her are due to her. She tends to blame herself for everything. Gelsemium also suffers from a great lack of self-confidence but accompanied with great timidity and stage fright. When talking to others, especially persons who he meets for the first time, he blushes and stutters. He feels such an embarrassment in front of others and especially in front of strangers. 104 The psoric version of Sulphur or psoric Lycopodium although think a lot of themselves regarding their intellectuality, nevertheless, seem to have lack of self confidence in front of others, especially new ones. It’s a psoric kind of cowardice. In the case of Lycopodium this has to do with his great concern about his public image. 6.12 How do we ask about intellectuality? Let’s proceed to intellectuality: How do we ask about it? “Do you like reading books? What kind of books? I mean what subjects? What kind of movies do you prefer? Do you like documentaries? What kind? Documentaries About Nature or about mysteries or about scientific discoveries? Do you like research? Do you like teaching? Do you like poetry or literature?” Lycopodium is the typical representative idiosyncrasy regarding intellectuality. He likes reading a lot. He likes to be informed and updated about culture, history, politics, psychology, religion and about social and scientific matters. He may enjoy a novel but he doesn’t just read to have a pleasant time. He reads so as to learn, so as to be cultivated and in order to build his intellectual image. Then he enjoys showing off his knowledge to others by talking, teaching or writing. But, nevertheless, it’s a psoric, mild and gentle showing off. Medorhinum is showing off his manly body while Lycopodium is showing off his cultivated spirit. Sulphur, as already said, is a shallower and more babbling version of Lycopodium regarding intellectuality. He is the dirty, shallow philosopher. He reads a lot about shallow things like mysteries or strange things. He has no serious knowledge or arguments about it but he is so certain that “he knows”. 105 CHAPTER 7 LIVE HOMEOPATHIC CASE TAKING WITH ANALYSIS 7.1 Present illnesses, Past and Hereditary History 7.2 How to introduce the patient to Homeopathy 7.3 What can Homeopathy do to your case? 7.4 Repertorising and Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis 7.5 Non-verbal information and noting down of possible idiosyncrasies 7.6 How do we ask about his general physical characteristics? 7.7 Evaluation and noting down of general physical characteristics 7.8 Case taking demands quick and “aggressive” tempo 7.9 How do we ask about general psychological characteristics? 7.10 Evaluation and noting down of general psychological characteristics 7.11 Excluding less possible idiosyncrasies 7.12 Differential diagnosis between Sulphur and Lycopodium 7.13 Homeopathic Prescribing 7.14 Instructions to the patient Good Evening to you all! Today, after many theoretical lectures it’s time to move on to an exhibition of live homeopathic case taking! Which one of you “will be on the dock and stand trial”? (laughing) Any volunteers? (laughing) -… 106 -Yes! Thank you John! You’ve won the lottery! Please, step to the dock facing me! (laughing) I’ll try to be gentle with you! (more laughing) 7.1 Present illnesses, Past and Hereditary History -How old are you? -Thirty one. -What do you do for a living? -I am a medical doctor. -Where, were you born? -In Greece. -What brings you to my office? -I suffer from oesophagitis. -When did the first symptoms start? -About ten years ago. I was then at my fifth year of studies and since then I have calm periods and relapses. -What are your main symptoms? -Heart-burning, sour eructation and stomach pain. To be frank, I have these symptoms mostly when I eat or drink a lot. -At the time that these symptoms started ten years ago, did anything important happen in your life? Did you have any serious misfortune or any intense stress? -I must say that the diagnosis was set a lot later than the beginning of my symptoms. Indeed, I had such symptoms since my puberty. -Any other health problems? -No, nothing worth mentioning. -Do you take any medicines for this problem at the present? -When I have severe symptoms I take anti-acids or inhibitors. -Did you have any severe disease in the past or done any surgery of any kind? -No. -Do your parents suffer from any severe health problem? -No. 7.2 How to introduce the patient to Homeopathy -So, let’s take a break regarding questions and let me tell you some things about your problem and what Homeopathy can do about it before I go on asking more. Any man is born with certain predispositions, certain weak points; we could say that this is his medical “dowry”. As long as a car is brand new and hasn’t faced dirt roads these predispositions are not expressed. When 107 years pass by and we face misfortunes and stress, then symptoms and diseases, concerning these very predispositions, come forward. There are two ways of dealing with our health problems: The common one is to take chemical drugs. But, as you’ve already possibly found out, common chemical drugs simply suppress symptoms temporarily. They do what we call in Medicine, suppression of symptoms. They don’t perform an etiological and radical treatment. That’s the real reason why, no matter how many years you take them they will never cure you. They will never drive away peptic predisposition which is the main cause of your disease. Moreover, after some time, you will also have to deal with all the side effects that chemical drugs cause on your organism. Whenever you enter a pharmacy you can see several drugs on the shelves: antipyretic for fever, anti-acids for heartburn, antibiotics for infections, antidepressant drugs for depression, etc. Moreover, whenever we don’t know what to prescribe we usually give cortisone to have a general suppression of the patient’s immune system or psychoactive drugs for the general suppression of his psychology. So, most of the chemical drugs don’t exactly cure but simply suppress symptoms or diseases. Our effort in Homeopathy isn’t just simply to suppress symptoms and diseases. Although homeopathic drugs don’t have any side effects, there’s no point in simply relieving symptoms for years and years, again and again. Our goal in Homeopathy is always to cure radically and permanently. Does that mean that we’ve got some sort of a “magic pill” that cures everything, a kind of “panacea”? No! Of course, not! But, nevertheless, judging from my experience, homeopathic treatment can cure many health problems radically, permanently and without any side effects of any kind. Our treatment will not only have effect on your peptic disease. It will affect beneficially the whole and by whole I mean both body and mind. That doesn’t mean of course, that the homeopathic drugs that I will prescribe for you are in any way psychoactive drugs suppressing your psychology and affecting your mental functions, for example your ability of driving or concentration. Nor does it mean that they can cause any kind of addiction or drug dependence. We prescribe for each patient his own specific medicine: the one that is similar or “homeo” to him. That’s why we call our treatment Homeo- pathy. The homeopathic drug is similar not to the disease but to the idiosyncrasy of the patient. It is similar to his temperament, similar to his 108 type both physically and psychologically, similar to John, in this certain case. That’s the reason why we may treat twenty patients with oesophagitis and may prescribe up to twenty different homeopathic medicines. Each one will be treated with the remedy similar to his idiosyncrasy. Furthermore, if a patient has, let’s say five different diseases, a skin disease, a peptic one, a hormonal one, a gynecological and a psychological one, we will not prescribe one medicine for each disease. Instead, we will only prescribe one similar homeopathic medicine for the whole, similar to his one and only idiosyncrasy at that time. This similar homeopathic medicine will mobilize all his physical and psychological defense mechanisms and the patient’s whole organism. His organism is, by Nature and God, wiser than us, doctors and will restore health and balance. You see, our organism knows best his “house” and will “clean” and put things in order without any side effects of any kind. Homeopathic medicines are mainly prepared from plants and minerals but that doesn’t mean that they are simply herbs or vitamins. In fact, they are drugs and are sold only in pharmacies although they are harmless. They are so safe that can even be administered to babies and pregnant women. They can also be administered to allergic patients and patients that suffer from severe renal or liver failure. Moreover, I must clarify that there is no problem if during our homeopathic treatment you take at the same time, any kind of chemical drugs. Chemical drugs act on the physical level while homeopathic drugs act on the energy-etheric level so there isn’t any possibility of counteraction. To put it in simple words, they don’t fight each other! In fact, if you have been on standard treatment with any kind of medication there would be no reason and it would be medically wrong to stop any of your drugs immediately. You would be taking both for some time and gradually, according to your progress we would decrease dosages until safe end of both allopathic and homeopathic treatments. 7.3 What can Homeopathy do to your case? But, it’s time to end theoretical information and see what’s important to you, that is, see what Homeopathy can do to your problem, i.e. oesophagitis. The mechanism of your disease is that peptic fluids rise from the stomach to esophagus due to loose gastro-esophageal valve. Esophagus is not made to stand such acid fluids and therefore is inflamed 109 and produces symptoms. But, this is of course the mechanism of your pathology and not the causes. We could consider as main causes the peptic predisposition you have and the anxiety from which you suffer at times that causes stomach malfunction. What can you expect from my treatment? A loose gastro-esophageal valve is an anatomic change that most of the times, is irreversible. There are, of course, certain cases where if this is treated at early stages it can come back to normal. But, what interests us more, is to act on the main causes of your problem, that is, to restore stomach function by reducing your peptic predisposition and by increasing your resistance to stress. So, if you also take some care about your food habits and eat more healthy you will be able to live a normal life without any symptoms or, at least, without any significant symptoms. Homeopathic treatment will also strengthen and balance you in general. If you also have some other physical symptoms, they too, will be cured. Furthermore, you will feel better and have much more resistance to stress. So you see, the homeopathic remedy that I am going to give you is not given only for oesophagitis. It will treat your idiosyncrasy as a whole. And that’s the reason why I will ask you many questions about your body and mind. I want to reach a diagnosis about your idiosyncrasy, that is, about your type, character, personality, call it as you like. 7.4 Repertorising and Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis It’s time to stop the procedure of this live case taking and do some comments. From what you have seen, up to now, I’ve asked about present diseases, past individual history and hereditary history. All these are parts of the allopathic history. As you have probably noticed, apart from asking about his main symptoms I didn’t let myself ask about the modalities of his symptoms. I did this on purpose, because my aim isn’t to do Repertorising. Let me remind you that Repertorising is a method of “homeopathic” diagnosis, during which we take each symptom and its modalities, either physical or mental and refer to several Repertories, that is, lexicons of symptoms, to see what idiosyncrasies have these certain symptoms and modalities. When it comes to my method of homeopathic diagnosis, i.e. Miasmatic Homeopathic Diagnosis, I almost never use Repertorising in chronic diseases and especially during the first case taking. I only use it in acute conditions and again with certain limitations. I rarely use it as a secondary aid when I have difficulties in differential diagnosis but then again only as a simple reminder. It’s the general miasmatic and 110 idiosyncratic picture of the patient that will define our final prescription, at least in my Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis. 7.5 Non-verbal information and noting down of possible idiosyncrasies As you might also have noticed, I asked when his symptoms started and if they were caused by certain physical or psychological conditions. You see, many times, this gives us hints about his idiosyncrasy but I will not go further regarding this, as we have already discussed it in details, in previous lectures. Although we haven’t proceeded to the main homeopathic case taking, we’ve already have a rough idea about whom we have standing in front of us. I am referring to non verbal information, as we have analyzed it in previous lectures. His body type, his manner of speech, the way his dresses and behaves, all these have been already talking to us in their own non verbal way. In my opinion, John radiates a Lycopodium odor and his peptic predisposition and symptoms agree with this specific idiosyncrasy. I note it down as a possible idiosyncrasy so as to bear it in mind. I will not go on at this phase of my case taking to ask about Lycopodium’s main characteristics because we are just at the phase of gathering information. It’s the phase during which, we have our eyes, ears, senses, heart and mind open without aiming to reach a final diagnosis of the idiosyncrasy of the patient. There are, of course, quite enough cases where the patient in front of us is a very clear and typical idiosyncrasy and shouts to us: “I am Lachesis, give me Lachesis!” In such cases, due to my experience, I may go on asking all other characteristics of Lachesis so as to confirm this certain idiosyncrasy and after differential diagnosis prescribe it. But I wouldn’t advise you to act accordingly unless after many years of successful homeopathic prescribing. Even then, it’s very important to go on and take a complete history of the patient, just in case you’ve failed to recognize that the patient is not Lachesis, but a relative idiosyncrasy. Even if the patient is indeed Lachesis, a complete history is essential so as to note down all other relative idiosyncrasies that affect this certain person and may be needed in due time as his treatment progresses. A complete history of the patient is also very helpful in differential diagnosis from other relative idiosyncrasies because in Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis the differential diagnosis is again based on the 111 whole miasmatic and idiosyncratic picture of the patient and not on isolated physical or mental symptoms. Now, let’s go back to John. His way of dressing is not so characteristic of any idiosyncrasy. It’s the average style and a little bit conservative. His manner of speech is more characteristic: it reveals a mild, low profile person, possibly a psoric person. What else can I see? I can see a greasy face and oily hair. If I add all non verbal information I start thinking of Sulphur apart from Lycopodium, not to mention that these two idiosyncrasies are indeed relative ones. Due to a certain degree of shyness I also note down Gelsemium although I think that a Gelsemium guy would not have volunteered to be the center of attention by taking his case history. But since it crossed my mind I note it down but not in a bold manner. It’s not time for differential diagnosis, after all; it’s time for data gathering. See how a homeopathic case taking isn’t just a “cold” one-way procedure of asking questions on the part of the doctor? We aren’t bored employees asking typical questions just to fill a list of answers. We are, in fact, eager detectives! We are Sherlock Holmes! We throw bates to catch fish. We are on guard. We are on an emergency: our ears, eyes, heart and mind are on red alert! We want to grab him by the neck and make him spit out his idiosyncrasy! (laughing) From the time we’ve started this case taking I kept asking myself: “What kind of person are you? What kind of miasmas do you carry with you? What role are you playing? Or, are you a case of “what you see is what you get”? So, I already noted down Lycopodium, Sulphur and Gelsemium. For a moment I sensed a lack of confidence so Thuja crossed my mind although seconds after that, this seemed most unlikely. But, still, I need to note it down, even not in bold letters. If it crossed my mind, then I should note it down and do differential diagnosis later on. I resemble a hunting dog, a hound, a sleuth and I am hurrying through the fields so anxious for pray! I smell the air and say to myself: “What the hell is this smell and where does it come from? Is it a partridge? Is it a hare? Is it a fox? Let’s have a closer look!” I have already started thinking about his main miasma. It seems to me a psoric person. I note it down. I write 1 for psoric miasma, 2 for sycotic 112 and 3 for syphilitic. If he is predominantly psoric and secondarily sycotic and only vaguely syphilitic then I write down the number 123. If he is mainly syphilitic, secondarily sycotic and vaguely psoric I note down the number 321. What have I noted down up to now? I have written “Male, 31 years old, doctor, born in Greece, oesophagitis 10 years, loose gastro-esophageal valve grade 1, anti-acids at times, mainly psoric, greasy hair, low profile, possible idiosyncrasies: Lycopodium, Sulphur primarily and secondarily Gelsemium and Thuja”. Now it’s time to move on to the main part of our history, that is, homeopathic history. I have to ask about his general physical characteristics and about his psychological characteristics. I start asking. 7.6 How do we ask about his general physical characteristics? -Are you hot or cold in general? Are you annoyed mostly from heat or cold? -I am hot in general and seek for cold. -During Winter do you dress normally or do you feel better with light clothing? -Not much. -When you are in a hot room do you feel uncomfortable or suffocated and want to open the window? -I feel comfortable with my clothing right now although I am dressed lighter than you around me. -During Winter, even if your bedroom is cold, are you more comfortable with light coverings? -Yes, most of the times I need lighter clothing and coverings than others. -During Winter, even if your bedroom is cold do you want to have your feet outside of the coverings? -Yes, I do, quite often. -As soon as your feet get hot, do you want to change position under the sheets so as to find a cooler place? -Yes. -Do you sweat normally, less than normal or a lot? -I sweat a lot. Of course, there are friends of mine that sweat more than I, but in general I sweat more than the average person around me. -Does your sweat, smell bad? -No, not bad. -But if you neglect, even a little, to have a bath or use deodorant, does your sweat then smell bad? -Yes, it does! 113 -At night, does your pillow get wet from the sweat of your neck and head? -Yes. -Does your stool or gases smell bad? -Yes. -Have you got many gases? -Yes. -Does your skin chafe easily, especially at the armpits or thighs, even if you slightly neglect to wash yourself? -Indeed, something like that happened in the past at my armpits. -But does that happen now? -No, it never happened again. -Do your white undershirts become yellowish at the armpits from the sweat during summer? -No. -Do you have salty white depositions on the hair of your armpits during summer due to sweat? -Yes. -Does your hair or face get greasy easily? How often do they need to be washed? -No. I wouldn’t say so; every second or third day. -Do you like sweet a lot? -Yes, I do. -Are you crazy about it? I mean do you long for it every day? Do you eat it only when you find it or do you seek for it? -At times I feel like it and seek for it. Yes, I would say that I seek for it. -How about salt and salty food? Do you like salt a lot? -I like salt but I don’t get crazy about it. -How about sour things, lemon or vinegar? -Yes, I like them. -Do you also like crab apples or bullace plums, a lot? -No. -Do you prefer oranges to be unripe and sour or ripe and sweet? -Sweet. -Do you like fat and fatty meat a lot? -I like it to be tasteful. -Will you choose a meat that has plenty of fat? -No, maybe because I was taught not to eat fat. -Do you like the skin of a boiled chicken? -Yes, I like it. 114 -I mean boiled, not roasted or fried… -Oh, I see! No, not if it’s boiled. -Do you like cold water? -Yes. -Even in winter do you prefer it from the fridge? -I don’t keep water in the fridge in winter. -Do you, however, want even in winter to open the tab and let it run for some time so as to allow cold water to come and drink it? -I usually drink mixed water, that is, fridge water mixed with tab water. -Do you like raw onions in a salad? -Yes. -Does it cause any trouble to your stomach? -Yes, but still, I like it. -Do you like the taste and smell of fresh milk? -Yes. -Does it cause any trouble to your stomach or intestines? -I guess, not. -Do you like spicy food a lot? Not if you avoid it because they cause trouble to your stomach, but if you enjoy it a lot? -I do like it but usually I avoid it. -Around 11 o’clock in the morning do you have a faint feeling due to hunger at your stomach area or a craving for food? -Yes. -Does this happen often? -Yes. -Do you usually eat hastily? -Yes. -Even when there’s plenty of time ahead? -No, just normally, as all other people. -If you eat late at night do you often have indigestion? -Yes. -Do you often, have distention or other ailments at your belly area? -Yes, but not much. -What is your favorite position in bed? Do you like sleeping on your abdomen, on your back or at the sides? -I’d say, rather on my back. -With your hands on the back of your head? -No, mostly I keep them on my stomach. -Do you also sleep on your abdomen? -No, not often. 115 -Do you have any saliva running from your mouth to the pillow at sleep? -It may have happened sometimes. -Did you have any warts in the past? I mean those small hard lumps that grow on the skin, especially on the hands. -No. -Did you suffer in the past from relapsing urine infections, gonorrhea, condyloma, herpes of genitals and diseases of this kind? -No, but I had kidney colic three times. -Do you often get up at night to urinate? -Yes, at times. -Do you prefer the mountain or the sea? -I don’t know what to say. -Did you have anemia in the past? -Yes, I have anemia now, my haematocrit is 39. -Do you carry the stigma of thalassemia? -No. 7.7 Evaluation and noting down of general physical characteristics It’s time to interrupt our live case taking for comments. What have I noted down up to now? He is hot 2 to 3, feet out of bed during winter which is a great characteristic of Sulphur, sweats 2 to 3, offensive odors2 and gases 2. A non verbal characteristic of his is that, at times, he seems as if he is slightly stuttering. I don’t know if it’s something temporary, perhaps due to stress or if it’s a permanent thing but I just bear it in my mind. You see, we don’t only note down whatever he says but also how he says it. We note down if he is stressed when we ask him a certain thing or if he is annoyed or angry, that is, how he responds to our questions. What else have I noted down? Salty depositions on the hair of the armpits, which is a Sulphur characteristic. Greasy hair2; desire sweet2 and not grade 3 because if it was so he would have been eating sweets every day or almost every day. He likes fatty food2?; I place a question mark after grade 2 because from his whole picture he seems to be a Sulphur case and I would expect him to like fatty food at a grade 3. However, I must take in consideration that he may like it 3 but due to tendency for healthy nutrition and most probably due to his stomach problems he may avoid it for years and thus appear to be desire fat2. Let’s go on: desires cold water2; if he was drinking cold water from the fridge even in winter that would be grade 3; raw onion makes him worse 116 which is a Lycopodium characteristic. Lycopodium usually likes onion but still, that makes him worse in the sense that it causes indigestion. He also has indigestion if he eats any food late at night which is also a Lycopodium characteristic; distention abdomen2. He sleeps on his back-a Sulphur characteristic. Sulphur, often places his hands next to his head on both sides or even over his head; we don’t see that in John; kidney colic three times; Lycopodium has predisposition for renal colic because he usually suffers from formation of sandy depositions in his kidneys. During summer, when urine is condensed he tends to have a renal colic; He wakes up at night to urinate without suffering from prostate hypertrophy. This is also a Lycopodium characteristic; it happens even in young subjects without any findings of prostate hypertrophy because the bladder, probably due to muscular tension, cannot tolerate much urine, so he tends to wake up around 4 to 6 o’clock in the morning and urinate. 7.8 Case taking demands quick and “aggressive” tempo Have you noticed the tempo with which I ask him? It’s a quick one, almost an “aggressive” one. I don’t take my time asking slowly or having great intervals of silence. It’s very important to have a quick and steady tempo during case taking. What matters, is to “grab” the patient from the neck so as not to give him time to do any secondary processing of his answers and thus remain spontaneous. You see, anything direct and spontaneous is closer to truth and reality. When we leave him time to think and filter his answers, then he may put forward not the truth but the public image he keeps about him. This is also true regarding his taste desires because he may say not the truth but what he does due to healthy nutrition or fear about his health. You may have also noticed that at times I ask him something, for example “Do you like this?” and if he hesitates to answer I may go to another question without even waiting for his answer! Why so? Because if he had this characteristic in grade 3 or even 2, then he wouldn’t hesitate and he would answer right away. In certain questions I am not interested if he has a desire or aversion 1 or 2 but if he has this characteristic at grade 3. If during my case taking I have already been guided towards certain idiosyncrasies, for example in this case towards Sulphur or Lycopodium, I have the right, even at this point of my case taking, to go on and ask not only general questions but also targeted ones towards these certain possible idiosyncrasies. As you must have noticed, since he strongly reminded me of Sulphur I insisted on clarifying his relation with fatty 117 food, a very strong characteristic of this idiosyncrasy. Now let’s go on by asking about his general psychological characteristics. 7.9 How do we ask about general psychological characteristics? -How about irritability? Do you easily get angry? -I do, at times. -Not if you easily express your anger but if you easily get angry independently of expression. -Yes, I easily get angry. -What makes you angry? What annoys you? Which behaviors? -Injustice; when others treat me wrong; when they take advantage of me. There are also some persons that I don’t like and they tend to give on my nerves. -What kind of persons? -Pretentious people, those that always show off… these kind of people make me angry. I may not express my anger but I am annoyed. -Do you express your anger most of the times or do you keep it inside? -I guess I don’t. -When it comes to strangers, do you express your anger? -No! I rarely, do. -What about when it comes to your own people? -Well, you see… you just can’t take it out like a small child does. You simply express your disagreement. -Suppose that you are driving your car and somebody starts cursing. Although he did a wrong maneuver, nevertheless, he is pissed off and ready to fight. Will you fight or will you suppress your anger? -No! I will certainly not fight, here in Athens! -Why so? -Because that’s a risky thing, nowadays! (laughing) -Whenever you express your anger, how you do it? -It’s been only a few times… I guess I speak with an intense tone of voice and maybe by striking… but most of the times I restrain myself. -Are you tidy or sloppy? -Rather sloppy. -Are you clumsy? I mean do you easily stumble or trip over? Do you easily hurt yourself? -This is a characteristic of tall people, so I consider myself as being in the average. No, that’s not me. -Do you easily get dirty while eating? -It happens quite often. 118 -What about your personal problems, your deep-felt matters? Do you want to talk about it, to share it or do you keep it inside? -I guess I keep it inside. -To how many people will you speak about your personals? -Only to a few ones. -One? Two? More? -It depends on what people take cognizance of the certain matter. During my army service there were five soldiers that were my friends but in my family I talk to my wife. -At the present, who are the persons that you will share your personals? -Only to my wife. -Will you talk to her about your personals by your own or do you need a little push? -I may not talk, even to her. -Whenever you get upset do you often feel oppression at your chest? -Yes, this is one of my stomach ailments. -A feeling of lump at your throat? -No. -Do you easily cry? -No. -If you feel like crying, do you really need to be alone or it doesn’t matter if it happens in front of others? -It doesn’t matter. -If somebody sees you sad, not one of the close ones, he learned that you are going through a personal thing and he starts consoling you, how do you face consolation? How do you feel? Do you like it, do you just listen to him or does it annoy you or makes you angry? -If it’s a sincere consolation then I am positive. -How about fears? -No. -Are you afraid of height? Are you afraid of looking down from high above, let’s say from a balcony? -No. -Whenever you come across or hear about heart attacks, strokes, cancer and several diseases, do you start thinking about it? Are you affected? Do you start thinking that it may happen to you also? -No. -Whenever you leave the house, do you have the persisting idea that you may have forgotten to lock the door or that you may have left the cooker on? 119 -No. -While walking in the street do you have the tendency to count steps, cars or numbers? -No, but I did it when I was a child. -Do you want to wash your hands, often? Are you afraid of germs? -No. -Are you superstitious? Do you say to yourself: I saw this thing so something bad may happen? -No. -Any other fears? -Perhaps a kind of agoraphobia. -What do you mean? -I don’t feel good whenever I go to the flea market. -Why don’t you feel well there? -It’s a strange place for me; too crowded. -How about a medical convention? -I am not going to have a great time. -Why so? What bothers you? -I don’t know. I guess it’s because it’s crowded. -Compared to the average, how do you feel regarding cleverness, regarding I.Q? Do you feel on the average, lower or higher? Not regarding diplomas, achievements or grades but regarding cleverness. -On the average. -Do you like reading books? -Yes. I read a book every month. -What kind of books? What subjects? -Literature, scientific and sophisticated ones. -Do you like learning new things when you read a book? -Yes. -What kind of movies do you enjoy seeing more? -I prefer sophisticated quality European movies. -What about documentaries about Nature and animals? -Yes, I like it, but I don’t see it often because I’ve got no time. -What about documentaries about scientific discoveries or mysteries of the Universe? -If it’s on the TV I will not change channel. -How about mystery movies, but not violent ones? -Yes, I like it a lot. -Science Fiction movies? -Yes. 120 7.10 Evaluation and noting down of general psychological characteristics It’s time to stop our case taking so as to evaluate and note down his general psychological characteristics. I noted down irritability 0 or 1. This leads to Lycopodium or psoric Sulphur. What makes him angry? He said: injustice, especially towards him, when others take advantage of him, pretentious people, people showing off, etc. All these are psoric causes. Why psoric? Because a syphilitic person who is used to taking advantage of others is not afraid that others may take advantage of him. He does think of the possibility and may also be mistrustful judging, from oneself but he is not afraid of it. He has such a self confidence on his ability to manipulate others. On the contrary, a psoric and yielding person is afraid that others will take advantage of him because this is the story of his life! That’s what usually happens to him. He is manipulated and double crossed all the time by syphilitic individuals. See how we can derive very important miasmatic and idiosyncratic information from a simple, seemingly “innocent” phrase or expression? Nothing is accidental to the experienced eye, mind and heart of a homeopathic doctor! For example a syphilitic Platina would say that she gets angry whenever others try to snob her or whenever others don’t appreciate her superiority, etc. On the contrary, John is usually annoyed from injustice because being psoric and yielding he is often harmed by others. He is afraid of non straight behavior because he, himself, is sincere. He also said that he gets angry from the showing off of others. Why, so? Possibly because he, himself is very interested in being appreciated by others. He feels that he is a worthy man, he wants others to recognize his qualities but being psoric he is not good at showing off. So whenever he sees that other sycotic or syphilitic guys that have no quality do well in the field of showing off, he gets angry. This, specific behavior is characteristic of psoric Lycopodium. But we don’t get important information only from his behavior. We also get great information from his manner of speaking and from the quality of his language; from the words and phrases he uses. For example he said “I express my disagreement”, “I speak with an intense tone of voice”, “this is characteristic of tall people”, “it depends on what people take cognizance on the certain matter”, “sophisticated quality European movies”. An average person doesn’t speak this way; this is a 121 sophisticated and cultured way of speaking; it’s a characteristic of Lycopodium. He also tells us - and I believe him - that he doesn’t express his anger 3. But why so? I say because he has that Lycopodium cowardice grade 2 or even 3! Why I call it cowardice and what kind of cowardice is this? He was so revealing! He said that he rarely expresses his anger towards strangers and that “this is a risky thing, nowadays, in Athens”. He also said that he always restrains himself even when he is right. I don’t take in consideration the thing that he said, that he may rarely hit someone; it doesn’t match his whole anger profile. That’s what he said but it’s important to draw conclusions not only from what he said but also from what I understood from what he said. That’s the true art of homeopathic case taking! Well, I understood that he has this Lycopodium cowardice! He is afraid of fights because he is afraid that he will be hurt and that he will be ridiculed to society walking around with a black, bruised eye! Goodbye cultured, civilized public image! (laughing) He also said that expressing his anger is a risky thing to do, nowadays, in Athens. Somebody could say that this is a reasonable argument. He could say: “He is so right!” But an experienced homeopathic doctor will never say such a thing! We don’t care about his well organized arguments or if his opinion seems right or wrong! We are not judges! We are not politicians! We aren’t priests! Our main concern is not what he says but what lies beneath it! Why does he adopt this opinion? What are his true intentions? Most Lycopodium subjects don’t admit that they are coward. They invent such excuses as the above to cover their cowardice regarding fights. They say that they are civilized persons, cultured persons, spiritual men that don’t want to have anything to do with “animal” behavior. They are very good at verbal fighting but are very afraid of physical fighting. Please, John, be careful to what I say about you right now. In fact I don’t say these things about you but I say it about the idiosyncrasy that affects you at the present! You shouldn’t take it personally! I am not blaming you for anything. I just say things as I believe they are! Discovering the truth about the patient is very important in Homeopathy. Moreover, discovering the truth about ourselves, as healers, is of outmost importance. If you don’t “know thyself” at least up to a certain point, then you will never know your patient! 122 I am not a politician or a guru! I don’t want fans! If I wanted fans I would never talk about your negative qualities. On the contrary, I would praise you of your good qualities. From the moment you have come to me to teach you Homeopathy you gave me the right to tell you the truth not only about others but also about yourselves. You see, idiosyncrasies don’t only affect others or the “patients”. They also affect us, the “doctors”. My method of homeopathic diagnosis, that is Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis, presupposes “the healing of the healer”. If you are not healed and balanced up to a certain point so as to become unprejudiced observers you will not be able to reach a correct diagnosis regarding your patient’s miasmatic and idiosyncratic personality. So, truth is a two-edged knife; it tells you your “good” things and your “bad” things also. Truth hurts most of the times because we are full of imbalances! I have to tell you, your weak points because as commercials say “you’ve asked for it” from the time you came to me. (laughing) I must say once again, that you as an individual are one thing and your idiosyncrasy is another thing. Your internal self is the real one and your external self or idiosyncrasy that affects you at the present is the fake one. I feel friendly about John but I don’t feel friendly about the idiosyncrasy that affects him at the present because any idiosyncrasy is an imbalance, is an illness and since I am a doctor I can’t be friends with illness. I don’t make relations with illness. I try to cure and vanish, illness! Up to now, John seems to have many Lycopodium and many Sulphur characteristics. He is sloppy2 like Sulphur but he is not clumsy like Sulphur. He easily gets dirty during eating which is also a Sulphur characteristic. He is introvert3 and this is very characteristic of Sulphur also. You see, Lycopodium isn’t so introvert and it may even be extrovert. It’s a special kind of psoric introversion, this sulphuric introversion; we could say that “he lives in his own psoric philosophical world”. Natrum Muriaticum is also very psoric and introvert but she doesn’t like others to know her personal matters because she wants to preserve her dignity and because she feels exposed and hurt. On the contrary Sulphur says to himself: “Why tell my personals… no use! Nobody can solve my problems. It’s my problems and I should be the one to solve them”. You see he doesn’t hide it from others and is not offended if others know about it. He has this psoric, stoical, philosophical attitude and that’s why we call Sulphur the dirty, rugged philosopher. He doesn’t care if others find about his personal matters; he isn’t offended 123 like Natrum Muriaticum and he doesn’t have an aversion for consolation. He, himself said so! He said that “if it’s a sincere one then I am positive”. When dealing with such psoric introversion we should also differentiate from Psorinum. Psorinum is very cold, very sad and pessimistic and does not want company; but it’s obvious that this is not John. What about a psoric Argentum Nitricum? John doesn’t have any obsessions although I asked him persistently about it. You must have noticed that he refers to the past when he says that he had the obsession of counting numbers, but not anymore. Perhaps he was affected by Argentum Nitricum when child but not now. He mentions agoraphobia but not an intense one. This matches with his psoric insecurity and shyness, as I take it. He really likes reading books. At his age, with a full time work, wife and kid, to be able to read a book a month in Greece, he should be graded 3 or at least 2 regarding reading books. You see, we must always take in consideration facts and conditions so as to evaluate a characteristic. What’s more important to us is that he is very fond of sophisticated books and sophisticated, quality European movies; that’s a Lycopodium characteristic. He is also fond of mystery movies and that’s rather a Sulphur characteristic than a Lycopodium one. 7.11 Excluding less possible idiosyncrasies Our next step is to exclude the less possible idiosyncrasies so as to proceed then to differential diagnosis among the most possible two or three ones. Judging from his whole personality I consider it most unlikely to be a Thuja case. Not only because he feels on the average regarding I.Q. as he has told us, but also because the feeling he gives me is that he feels cleverer than others although he didn’t say it out of psoric restrain. Do you agree with me John or not? -A psychiatrist does the same questions so as to verify the level of his patient… -You see… he is confirming my diagnosis about his psoric and intellectual personality by not answering my question in a straight way, by employing a psoric evasion and by beating around the bush… (laughing) The correct attitude regarding me, regarding any homeopathic doctor, isn’t to try to convince him without taking no for an answer. I am not a politician or a pseudo-guru and I don’t want to manipulate my patient or my students. From the minute he addressed me as a patient, I will try to help him by curing him and “that’s all folks”. My job ends there! If he is 124 convinced about Homeopathy or about my good intentions or opinions, that’s another thing! A totally different thing! It’s his problem and not mine! Let’s proceed. Let’s think of Natrum Muriaticum. He is hot and introvert as a Natrum Muriaticum but he isn’t easily offended at all. He isn’t annoyed by consolation and he isn’t as nervous and irritable as Natrum Muriaticum. We should also take in consideration that this idiosyncrasy is rare to men and often to women. In order to see if he is a Gelsemium case or to exclude this possibility I must make some clarifying and targeted questions. -When in a company with strangers are you shy or comfortable? Do you have stage fright? -I am reserved because I don’t know them. -When you get to know them, are you more expressive? -Yes. -When in a stranger’s company do you blush or stutter? -Rarely. -Do you easily get tired? -No. His answers and most of all his whole picture and feeling among with my experience lead me to reject Gelsemium. 7.12 Differential diagnosis between Sulphur and Lycopodium It’s time for the final differential diagnosis between Sulphur and Lycopodium, the two most possible idiosyncrasies. John, has plenty characteristics of both idiosyncrasies, so it’s going to be a tough one. On the part of Sulphur he is very hot and sweating, he takes his feet out of the blankets even in winter, he is very introvert, etc. On the part of Lycopodium he is sophisticated, coward, has gastric sensitivity, indigestion if he eats late at night… let me ask you something John: -You’ve said that you don’t eat quickly. Is this something natural for you or did you press yourself not to eat quickly due to your stomach problems? -I’ve always been like that. The reason that I ask this question is that a characteristic of Lycopodium but not of Sulphur is that he eats very hastily even when he has all the 125 time in front of him. Other sulphuric traits are intense introversion and sloppiness while Lycopodium on the other hand, isn’t so introvert. During differential diagnosis the most important questions are those that the one idiosyncrasy has at grade 3 or at least 2 while the other one has the opposite characteristic or at least is normal regarding this characteristic. There is no point in asking about characteristics that both idiosyncrasies have at the same grade. If John was a patient in my office and not a colleague among colleagues I would have asked him about his sexual attributes because there are distinct differences among Lycopodium and Sulphur in this field. However, I will ask questions about sexuality as I normally would but without expecting for answers. -How about sexual desire? Normal, high or low? Lycopodium compared to Sulphur has a higher degree of sexual desire and is, most of the times, obsessed with sex. We also ask: -What about having your sexual partner pleased? Lycopodium proudly says that this is a very important thing for him; in fact, many times he deliberately delays his own ejaculation so as to be sure that his partner comes first or at least, at the same time with him. Don’t you even for a minute, think that this is done out of genuine altruism or high spirit of companionship! He is simply horrified about his image regarding his masculine pride. Ironic comments in case of “failure” can tear him to pieces. In fact this is not a rare incident if he has to do either with sycotic Medorhinum women who expect to be well satisfied or with syphilitic women who would gladly take advantage of his “misfire” to manipulate him by “castrating” him. Sulphur on the other hand, especially a sycotic one, may have such a problem but not in such a tremendous degree. We also ask: -Do you happen to have early ejaculation? If his answer is “yes” then we ask since when and how often. Lycopodium is the main idiosyncrasy for such a characteristic. Quite often he has a past history of early ejaculation or even a present situation. For most men this may be a fleeting occasional incident but for Lycopodium it may be a “stigma” that he carries out through his life. It may have been blocking him for years and years not only in his sexual life but even in his relations with women. This is indeed present whenever he starts a new relation and his levels of anxiety are increased. We go on asking: 126 -Do you often have the tendency to stare at females, longing them, even if you do have an affair? I don’t mean if you go on proposing something but if you are very fond of looking. You see, Lycopodium has a great visual lust. He gets a kick out of watching women, staring at women and imagining horny scenes. Many “keyhole lovers”, many peeping Toms, especially the coward psoric ones, are indeed Lycopodium subjects. He is so thrilled gazing at women and even flirting but when the time comes for the final decisive move he keeps postponing and postponing all the time due to his terror about taking the mitten. In the end, a decisive and bold Medorhinum guy rushes in and steels the girl from his hands driving her straight away to the bedroom! Lycopodium didn’t take the mitten but he didn’t get the girl either! (laughing). Let me ask a few more things: -Are you indecisive? When it comes to make up your mind about something to hesitate and keep examining things from several aspects and delay reaching a decision? -Yes. -Do you easily apply for loans or do you find it hard to engage yourself to such financial steps? -Rarely. Lycopodium, being very coward about consequences of his actions and about spoiling his social image, is very much afraid of loans and risky financial steps. He goes as far as he can; not an inch further. At this point, I must stress that whenever I refer to traits or to attributes of any person or idiosyncrasy I don’t judge the person or feel negative towards him. I am a doctor, not a judge or a preacher! I simply describe things. We should always be aware that all characteristics of any person or idiosyncrasy are but negative traits, that is imbalances. Any balanced quality or virtue of a person is not a characteristic since it is not something that helps us reach a diagnosis of his idiosyncrasy. Idiosyncratic characteristics can only be those that make this certain individual differ from others. Now let me go on asking: -Do you often philosophize about things like Nature, Universe, Man or Society? Not if you necessarily discuss about such things but if you keep thinking about it. -I would say yes. I keep thinking about it. 127 Now, this is a characteristic that refers mostly to Sulphur than to Lycopodium. During our last questions our clues drive us at times to Sulphur and at times to Lycopodium. This is not a strange thing since these two idiosyncrasies are very relative ones. -Should we be guided by which idiosyncrasy is more to blame about my stomach symptoms? -I wouldn’t base my idiosyncratic diagnosis on that. -Why so? -You see, firstly because both of these idiosyncrasies have a gastric sensitivity, although Lycopodium is the leading one but secondly because according to the Law of Hierarchy, when it comes to idiosyncratic diagnosis what counts more are the psychological characteristics and not the physical ones. 7.13 Homeopathic Prescribing It’s time to reach a decision. I have made up my mind about John’s present dominant idiosyncrasy. He will be administered Sulphur 1M, that is, he will receive one capsule of Sulphur at the thousandth potentization, the first day of his treatment. Then, for the next thirty days, he will receive each morning one capsule of Kali Sulphuricum 12CH. He will be instructed to give us a telephone call in two weeks time so as to decide if at that time he will need a Lycopodium 1M capsule or not. Why so? Because my patient is very close to both of these relative idiosyncrasies and I may have prescribed wrongly Sulphur instead of the correct one-Lycopodium. So, in two weeks time I have the chance to reconsider my judgment taking in consideration his course. If he is doing well or excellent, that is, if he is better at a degree of 2 or 3, I will not change anything since practice has revealed to me that my prescription was correct. But if my patient is the same, both physically and psychologically, I have to reconsider my prescription. I have to decide if I must wait longer and reexamine the case. I also have to consider the possibility that his idiosyncrasy is not Sulphur or Lycopodium but a relative one like for instance, Psorinum or Graphites. In any case, I should reexamine my patient more thoroughly to decide what to do. You see, whenever we prescribe, we try to match the picture formed in our mind with the real picture of the patient standing in front of us. We are the ones to be in agreement with Nature and Reality and not vice versa! 128 7.14 Instructions to the patient As soon as I write down my prescription, I have to proceed to some instructions to my patient. I go on, talking to John as if I have to do with a real patient of mine for the sake of live presentation. Well, John, our medicines are in the form of capsules. In the morning of the first day of our treatment you will take the single capsule that is separately packed from the others. From then on, each morning, at least five minutes before any breakfast, you will take one capsule from the second pack. You will do accordingly for one month and then we will meet again so as to decide what to do next. Nevertheless, in about two week’s time, you will call me and I will ask you some things so as to decide if you are going to use another single capsule that you will buy from the pharmacy but won’t take it unless I tell you so. During treatment time and even if you are left without any capsules, you must avoid completely some things that may antidote our treatment, that is, any kind of coffee and anything that has caffeine in it like cola refreshments for example. When I say completely, I mean it; not a sip of these substances because they may prevent any therapeutic result or may cause a relapse to any progress you may have. But, still, feel free to drink cocoa or chocolate instead; you may also drink tea but not excessively; you can also drink decaffeinated coffee - any kind of it - but only once a day. There is a slight chance, that during the first day or days of our treatment, when you have taken the first capsule, that you may experience a severe headache or feel a little stupefied or sleepy. Don’t worry about it. It’s not a bad sign and certainly not a side effect, since these medicines have no side effects at all. On the contrary, such an incident is, indeed, a positive sign. It’s what we call “a therapeutic crisis”. It is a sign of mobilization of the organism’s therapeutic mechanisms. Most of the times it doesn’t happen but this don’t mean that we will not have a good therapeutic result. Usually we have improvement without the need for a therapeutic crisis. If the headache is a severe one you can always use pain killers to get a relief without any problem to our treatment. Well… “that’s all folks”! That’s all John for tonight! You will take your medicine and get well… don’t worry at all! (laughing). And if you don’t get well, well then, you have at least, contributed to the training of your colleagues and the progress of Medical Science… (laughing) 129 CHAPTER 8 LIVE HOMEOPATHIC CASE TAKING BY A TRAINEE AND ANALYSIS BY THE AUTHOR 8.1 Obsessive ideas and depression 8.2 It is important to reach a clear diagnosis of the disease 8.3 The necessity of informing the patient about the homeopathic aspect of his problems 8.4 Our questions should be clear and understandable 8.5 Clarifications, clarifications, clarifications! 8.6 Indirect information is crucial to our diagnosis 8.7 How do we ask about irritability? The importance of examples 8.8 Words talk to us only if we are able to listen 8.9 How to ask and the use of emphasis 8.10 Clarify, clarify, clarify… 8.11 Predominant idiosyncrasy and secondary ones 8.12 Ask right, investigate and draw conclusions 8.13 Differential Diagnosis: Exclusion of relative idiosyncrasies and confirmation of Simillimum Today we will proceed to something new. We have already heard recordings of case takings and have analyzed them. Then you’ve watched me taking the case, having one of you as a patient. Now it’s time one of you to be the doctor and another one the patient. This will give me the chance to make remarks about how you take a live case; about how you ask, what you ask and why you ask it. 130 A volunteer please? Yes, thank you Zoe, you will be the doctor. Any volunteer for the patient’s role? Yes, thank you Thomas, most considerate and of course risky of you! (laughing) Well, Zoe, go on! Fair field and no favor! 8.1 Obsessive ideas and depression -How old are you Thomas? -Thirty five. -Where were you born? -Here, in Athens. -What brings you to the doctor? Do you have anything in particular? -I come mostly preventively. I don’t have any physical symptoms for the present being or quite recently. Apart from some injuries my main problems usually belonged to the psychic area. Even now, what bothers me are certain thoughts and fears about my health. For example I am afraid of germs and this fear annoys me a lot. I really don’t want it, I don’t like it but still I do it. I am also afraid that the TV screen of my computer has a lot of radiation and it may cause cancer to me after a while… you see I once tried to take it apart and fix it. I must say, that all these symptoms, all these ideas were much more intense some weeks ago… it was then that I have dismantled the TV and now… now it doesn’t bother me so much but still it keeps coming into my head although I don’t want it. In the past, I did have some episodes of depression, but I don’t have any such problems now; I am free of symptoms at the moment. -When did these fears start? -Well, around… I had such fears bothering me approximately the last seven years. -Did anything happen seven years ago? Anything that bothered you, stressed you, pressed you or annoyed you? -Yes, indeed. At that time I had trouble with my studies. I had stopped my studies for some time and then I got back and I was attending a lecture on Psychiatry at the University and I got so anxious… almost to the point of panic attack. Then I stopped that course and never attended such kind of lectures but still, since then, these ideas became more and more obsessive, stronger and I had several obsessions. I kept checking if I had locked the door and then rechecking and several stuff like that. It never bothered me so much in the past. At that time for a couple of months I also felt very exhausted, I had no strength at all. Then, time after time, I felt a little better, I rejoined the course and completed it but, nevertheless these things keep coming again and again at times. 131 -I see. What about depression? At what period of your life did you have depression? -It started at the third year of my studies… not the third, it was the second year in fact, and it has begun before my obsessions. Depression was indeed my first psychological problem and it began in 1994 when I was at my second year of studies to be diagnosed later on in 1995. Since then it reappeared a number of times. -Were you on medication at times? -Yes, I was. -For how long? -For a few months. Every time I was on medication, it wasn’t more than a few months. Things got better every time and then they told me not to take drugs anymore. -You mean that you did so again and again? -Yes, it happened about…, well since1994 that it started, it happened seven times… six relapses, a first time and six relapses. -When was the last one? -The last one was last year the same season. Again I had a treatment… yes again I had a treatment with medicines. Yes, that’s what happened then. -Are you on medication now? -No, I am free of symptoms right now so I don’t take any drugs. Well, Zoe and Thomas, I think it’s the right time to stop the case taking and do some commenting. What we have already heard is but the present disease. We still have to ask about past case history and his hereditary record. Zoe you did well. Well done! You’ve asked well and in a general way and it were correct that you did not over-guide the patient and let him speak. However, we need some clarifications. We shouldn’t accept any terms used by the patient as a fact, even if he is a medical doctor. The term “depression”, is especially nowadays very frequently used and many times abused. -Do you mean that I should make clarifying questions on what he said? -Yes, indeed. -But I would have done so if you haven’t interrupted me! -Sorry! I thought that you would proceed directly to the specific homeopathic case taking and start with general physical symptoms… -No, no, I wasn’t going to… -Sorry, again… please go on… 132 -OK, I go on. Thomas, when you say “depression”, what do you mean? I mean what symptoms did you have? How did you feel then? -As days went by I watched myself getting down, I didn’t feel well, wasn’t in a mood for anything, a whole day would pass and I hadn’t even smiled, I got no pleasure at all. I didn’t deal with all that pleased me in the past and the only thing I was doing was to sit and study for my exams. I felt an uneasiness right here inside my chest, something heavy, something tightening me. I didn’t want to talk much, I kept having unpleasant thoughts and after a while I found myself sleeping a lot; not that I did sleep but rather sitting in bed all the time. That’s what was going on! Then came a moment that I couldn’t take it anymore because it was getting more and more worse and I felt so bad and then I had to go to the doctor. I was trying so hard to fight it, that is, to keep my usual life going despite these annoying symptoms but I in the end I just couldn’t. I even tried to ignore it, to pretend that it didn’t exist but it insisted being there all the time. -Were you also pessimistic about your life or did you simply felt sad? -I simply saw things in a… I didn’t like my life, I wasn’t pleased. Not that I thought that it wasn’t worth living but I fell into a mental trap where all seemed not to be going well and I felt bad all the time. -Were you pessimistic about everything? About you studies and… -Yes, yes! -All seemed black to you? -Yes, yes, of course, I was in a constant disappointment. I blamed myself for not making good choices, I wasn’t pleased with whatever I did, and nothing seemed worth doing, even things that I used to do like cycling and other sports. -Is there a hereditary tendency for depression in your family? -My mother once told me that she, herself, had depression after her divorce and that she had taken some drugs for a while. She didn’t reveal it to me until after years passed seeing me suffering from depression and it was done after I pressed her a lot. A first cousin of mine, also had depression… she was so down for some time! -Did you ever have suicidal tendency? -No, no, never! Nevertheless, there were times that I got so angry with myself that I wanted to hit me. I didn’t do it of course, but I wanted to take it out on me, but not to the point to want to commit suicide. -What do you mean “you got angry with yourself”? Did you hit yourself? -Not that I hit myself but there were times that I wanted to slap myself, as if it was my fault; once I tried to do it but in the end I didn’t. Not more than once or twice. 133 -As if it was you to blame for what you were feeling? -Yes, I wanted to hit someone and there was nobody there and moreover nobody really did something to me. Nobody really did something to me. -You mean that the prevailing feeling was that all seemed black? -Yes, yes, that’s it! Yes, indeed! I remember that I woke up… especially during my first episode, which was the most severe, the first was the most severe, and even before really waking up I felt in my sleep that sadness. I used to wake up at five o’clock in the morning and even before opening my eyes I felt that sadness, while I was asleep. I knew that I would be awake in a while and I would be in the same depression trap. It was a clear case of depression, officially diagnosed by a psychiatrist. -OK. I get it. I have nothing else to ask for the present. 8.2 It is important to reach a clear diagnosis of the disease -“I rest my case”, as lawyers usually say! (laughing) Well, we are interested in what happened to him and moreover we are interested in deciding whether what he has experienced was really what he said it was. It is a fact that he had depression; depression it was, indeed. But as a true doctor I would go a little further asking more to clarify things and be sure that on top of that he didn’t also have a psychotic incident. Up to now, concerning this certain case, I would consider such a thing as improbable, but still I should give it a shot, just to be certain. When asking a patient we usually avoid using medical terms. We don’t normally ask: “Have you had a psychotic incident in the past?” Nevertheless, we can reach to such a conclusion or exclude it by asking if he had experienced specific psychotic symptoms. It is not a good idea to judge by the drugs he had been given in the past because there are times that a patient has been on anti-psychotic treatment although he had no psychosis at all; doctors are often mistaken you know! So, we can ask: “Have you been hearing voices or seeing strange things in the past?” It’s not advisable to ask a patient: “Have you had delusions or illusions in the past?” Please Thomas, don’t answer this question. I am not asking you and I don’t want you to answer. It has already taken a lot of courage to volunteer as a patient and you have already talked gladly about personal matters, for which I am grateful. There is no need to answer. I just take the chance to generalize using your case as an example. Furthermore, in order to trace an insane psychotic mistrustfulness we can also ask: “Does it sometimes happen that you see two strangers chatting and you think that they are talking about you?” 134 Whenever we deal with past symptoms that happened a long time ago we shouldn’t go into great details. It is of course useful to clarify, if possible, three things: what kind of disease was he suffering from, what possible idiosyncrasy he had developed at that time and if a certain event was to blame about it. For example, in the case of Thomas, I would ask if something happened before his panic episode, something that could lead to such a condition. -You are right! Something did happen then! I was taken to court concerning a car accident and the guy was asking for a lot of money saying a bunch of lies. In fact, this thing has not yet come to an end. -In what way were you involved in that accident? -I drove through a red traffic light… but he was presenting things so inaccurately, so wrong and I was so upset reading all the lies his lawyer had written… I was so annoyed! -What was your main feeling then? -Well… it was anger. I was so angry because he presented things so changed but I was also afraid because he was asking for a lot of money. It was anger and fear at the same time. -I see, Thomas. Thank you. Let me tell you something, dear colleagues: if he had felt as if being hunted, this could have led him under the influence of Hyoscyamus. But I don’t think that he felt so. Am I right Thomas? -Yes you are! I didn’t feel anything like that, my approach was simply realistic. -I suspect that what he really felt was injustice and anger; it was a true phosphoric reaction and not a hyoscyamic one. It is always very important to understand what he has felt during any incident because this may lead us to possible idiosyncrasies. An allopathic general diagnosis of the kind of his symptoms is also important not only regarding defining his disease but also in driving us towards certain homeopathic idiosyncrasies. For example be the symptoms psychotic, depressive, hysteric, nervous or neuro-vegetative can lead to different idiosyncratic families. It is also possible that he still has that past idiosyncrasy influencing him at the moment. Another clue is that Thomas is expressive and gives direct answers promptly and willingly and such a behavior is far away from a syphilitic, introvert and insane behavior like that of a Hyoscyamus subject. He seems to be psoric regarding his morality and principles but at the same time sycotic regarding his expression. 135 It is wrong to deal greatly with his past diseases and his past idiosyncrasies. We need to be focused mainly on his present state and guide our patient to talk to us about his present. We are interested mostly in his present state of health and present idiosyncratic influences. It is also wrong to focus only on his latest idiosyncratic state if during the last days he is temporarily influenced by superficial idiosyncrasies due for example to a cold. For example he may be hot in general but due to a cold he is now very cold. He has already given us some valuable information about obsessive ideas concerning germs or TV radiation. We immediately think of Argentum Nitricum and secondarily Phosphor due to his concern about his health and also due to his sycotic and likeable character. We take these in consideration, note it down and go on. Please Zoe, continue asking. -Are you hot or cold in general? 8.3 The necessity of informing the patient about the homeopathic aspect of his problems -Excuse me, Zoe, for interrupting once more but if I was a patient and have already confessed to you my personal burdens I wouldn’t feel nice if you didn’t say anything to me about what I have told you and you started asking me strange questions about heat and cold. I would have liked you to tell me your opinion about my diseases and about what can Homeopathy do for me. -I thought that we could have skipped that… -No, no! You are supposed to act as if you have a real patient in front of you. This is a real live case taking. You have a patient facing you, who most of the times, doesn’t know what is the matter with him, what is his disease, what is Homeopathy and what can you do about him. How can you start asking him about heat and cold or about sweet and salty things? His mind demands information and his heart demands hope. What can you do about it? -What can I tell him? How shall I start? Well… Thomas, I will try to help you and solve your problem by giving you a certain homeopathic medicine. This medicine will be similar to you, similar to your traits. It will not be similar to your diseases. Thus, your organism will try, by himself, to find in him the power and the solutions to your problems. It will activate all your physical and psychological powers so as to solve your imbalance which is both physical and psychological. On the contrary, Allopathic Medicine 136 employs medicines that correspond to the disease and not to the patient. But the only thing that such a treatment manages is to just cover up the problem without offering a real solution to the problem… what’s the matter with me… I am tongue-tied (laughing) -Please go on, go on. -So I will ask you some general questions that refer both to your physical and psychological characteristics. I will start by asking you if you are hot or cold. -Wait a minute. Before we go on we have to say a few more things to the patient. See how different is to listen to an experienced doctor taking the case compared to taking it you, yourself? (laughing) The thing is that when a patient comes to the homeopathic doctor he is not so much interested in Homeopathy or in anything theoretical. The only thing that matters to him is his case, his problem, his pain. That’s the reason why our introduction to the patient, after hearing him, must consist of three parts. The first part is to answer to his anguish question: “What is wrong with me, doctor? What’s my problem?” He may have come already diagnosed regarding his diseases, already “labeled” but he demands to have your opinion also. So you have to say to him: “Thomas, my friend, I agree that you have suffered from depression”, if of course, that is also your diagnosis. If not, you have to give him your diagnosis and support it by evidence and arguments. That is what you should do, if of course, you want to be a true doctor. You are not a homeopath! You are a doctor! You are a doctor that practices Homeopathy. You are a homeopathic doctor! He is a patient and he came to you because you are a doctor and he hopes that you can cure him. He wants you to relieve him from his suffering. Most of the times, he doesn’t care if you are a homeopathic, allopathic or any kind of “pathic”! He seeks for cure! That is the important thing! That, however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t explain to him your view about what is wrong with him and how you can cure him. It is a good thing that you have explained to him that Allopathy simply covers up the mere symptoms without treating the whole but you need to speak in a simple and specific way, individualizing to his case. You can say for example: “As you have already seen, Thomas, you have been taking anti-depressing drugs for years and the result was temporary relief but no definite and final cure. This means that these drugs are not curative and that is the reason that you kept relapsing again and again. 137 On the contrary, regarding your case, in Homeopathy we can do this and that… You have to be specific, you have to speak to him not in general about Homeopathy but you have to explain to him what can Homeopathy do to his own individual case. You must go through all his present diseases and explain to him for each and every one, what he has, why allopathic treatment didn’t help him and what your homeopathic treatment can do to him. Above all, we ought to be honest and straightforward to him. We have to be realistic. If we have to do with an incurable disease we should tell him that the only thing that we can achieve is palliation of a certain degree. If further laboratory tests are needed we should order it. It’s important to express our thoughts and our way of thinking to our patients so as to help him change his medical thinking from mechanical and partial to holistic. To prescribe drugs is not the only therapeutic action of a doctor! It is essential and very therapeutic apart from putting his body into order, to put also his mind into order. Never forget that imbalance and illness begin their course from above downwards! And that is also the route of any true treatment! However, there are cases in which you suspect that there is something severe going on, for example a cancer. You shouldn’t panic your patient unless you have confirmed your suspicions. But then you must insist on further tests until your diagnosis is clear and certain. After you have completed your patient’s briefing about his state, you have in front of you an informed and usually relaxed patient. He now knows what he has and he has heard from you what he can expect. So it is the right time to ask whatever you like in order to help him. A final explanation for the questions to come is: “In Homeopathy we prescribe to the patient that certain medicine that suits not his disease but his idiosyncrasy, his type, his personality. So I will ask you some questions in order to define your idiosyncrasy”. Now it’s the right time for you Zoe to ask your questions. Go on please. 8.4 Our questions should be clear and understandable -Are you hot or cold? -Generally I think that I am hot, although inside my house I feel cold. The fact is that we never turn on the heat, so it is expected to feel cold. So in general, I am hot. Yes I am hot. I always take a shower with cold water. -You mean that you never turn on the heat during winter? 138 -Yes, never. I mean that my mother turns it on and then I go and turn it off. Only a few times I turn it on just for a while. However, I am not the extreme hot guy. When I go out and it’s cold, then after a while I start getting cold. But when I go to the gym I get hot. I feel alright when I sleep with light clothes and when I go out I see other people dressed up heavily while I wear normal clothes. -Generally, do you wear lighter clothing during winter? -Yes, that’s certain! I wear lighter clothes than others do during winter time. -Do you feel suffocating in a hot room? Do you want to open the window? -Yes, I do. If it’s a hot room I certainly feel bad and want the window open. Heat makes me feel bad… to your information, in this room at this temperature I feel ok. -Do you sweat easily? -No, no, not really. -When you perspire, does your sweat, smell bad? -No, no! -Let me interrupt you Zoe for a minute. You’ve asked: “Do you wear lighter clothes during winter?” If you ask in such a way then your patient might think that you have asked him “do you wear lighter clothes during winter than during summer?”… -I meant lighter than others… -It is very important to ask clearly. Go on. -In a cold bedroom, do you want to have your feet outside of the blankets? Does your feet become hot at night? -No. -Does your face and hair become greasy easily? How often do you wash it? -Eh, I do it…, well, on the third day they start becoming greasy… yes, on the third day. -Do you have gases and feel distended? -Well, nothing special… normal I would say. -Does your stool and gases smell bad? Please Zoe, allow me to interrupt you again. When you ask “Do you have gases and feel distended, you are asking for two things at the same time, so if he answers “yes” then what did you understand? That he has gases, distention or both of them? You have to be specific. Please, ask again. 139 -Do you often have gases? -Normal, but I don’t have any distention. -Do you like sweets? -Well, yes. -You mean that you go and buy sweets, you seek for it every day or simply if it happens? -Yes, unfortunately, I have to go and buy every day. -So you eat sweet and chocolates… what kind of sweets do you eat? -Mostly chocolates though I like candies also and such stuff. -If you eat a lot of sweets then do they cause indigestion to you? -I usually try not to eat much but even if I eat a lot I don’t have any particular problem. Excuse me for interrupting you again. Be aware that when you ask “Do you like sweets?” and “Do you eat sweets a lot?” you are asking two different things. I may like sweets a lot but because I worry about my diabetes I don’t eat them at all. We are interested in both, although the desire is much more useful than the action. It is useful when you ask about desires especially for things that are considered unhealthy like sweets, salt and fatty food, to add “I am interested especially if you desire it and not if you avoid it for medical or other reasons”. It is also important that you cross-check what he says to you. For example it is a usual thing to hear your patient say enthusiastically “Yes, yes, I love sweets!” but when you ask him if he eats it a lot to say “well, from time to time” although he is not afraid about his health or about his weight. You have to forgive me Zoe for interrupting you. I know that I keep violating your pace of asking but it is important to interfere whenever needed. That doesn’t mean that you did something wrong and I corrected you. It means that I have something to tell you. Please, go on. -Do you like fatty food? Do you have a desire for it? -Well… -I mean when you eat meat, do you prefer a fatty part? -No, not much. -How about spicy things? -Yes, I do like spicy things. -How about pepper? -Yes, yes, I do. -If you eat spicy food late at night do you have stomach ailments? -No, no it doesn’t cause any trouble to me. -If it’s late at night and you eat rich food do you have indigestion? -Yes, if I eat rich food I may have some trouble to get to sleep. 140 -Excuse me Zoe. Let me ask Thomas something. Does it happen often? -No, not often. -So what he said about indigestion from rich food isn’t something characteristic for him. He doesn’t have the indigestion that Lycopodium has if he eats rich food late at night. You have to evaluate what your patient says. Frequency and intensity are very important. A symptom is characteristic only when it is both frequent and intense. Go on Zoe. -Do you like onions? -Yes. -Does it cause you any stomach trouble when you eat it? -No, no. -Do you like milk? -I like milk, I like it. -Do you like its taste also? -Yes, of course! -Do you feel distended when you drink it? -No, no. Please, take five! Cut! When you ask “Do you like milk?” and “Do you like its taste?” you are asking the same thing and that is the reason why he told you “Yes, of course!” You see, the only way to like something you eat is because of its taste! (laughing) Nevertheless, I understand that Zoe feels under interrogation, as if being “grilled”, so it is a normal thing to do things the wrong way. But, “to err is human…” and useful also, because we can learn many things from our mistakes. So, keep up the good work, Zoe and don’t let us intimidate you… (laughing) 8.5 Clarifications, clarifications, clarifications! -Do you like drinking cold water? -I like cold water but I don’t drink it because it causes pain to my teeth. -Would you prefer cold water if your teeth didn’t bother you? -It also causes a pain in my throat so I avoid drinking it although I like it. -Let me interfere again Zoe. If you didn’t have any problem with your throat or whatsoever, would you enjoy drinking cold water? -Yes, I would. -Even in mid winter? -Yes, certainly. -Every single day? -Yes. -From the fridge or from the tab? 141 -No, not from the fridge; from the tab. Have you noticed what am I doing to him? I am driving him hard; I am forcing him into the corner! I don’t let him breathe! Not that I don’t like him or that I am aggressive. I push him hard so as to have a clear answer. I am an interrogator and I want “the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God”! (laughing) What are the results of my hard questioning? If he liked cold drinks at grade 3 then he would have answered: “I don’t care! I like it from the fridge no matter what! I don’t care if it’s snowing outside and freezing inside!” So I try to take out the problem with his throat so as to investigate his true desire. If his answer was “I like it from the fridge even in winter” then it would have been a desire for cold water grade 3 but now it is a grade 2 desire. Go on Zoe. -Do you like sour things? -Oranges for example… I don’t like it. If a fruit is very sour I don’t want it. -Do you have a desire for salt? -Not much, not much… to be honest I avoid it. I never use salt even in salads. I prefer eating things without spoiling their natural taste. When I eat salty food as a guest invited to other homes it bothers me. I say “it’s very salty”. I don’t like salt! -When you sleep… -Cut! Cut, Zoe! Don’t go asking something new unless we have clear information from his answers. You see, I have a question here troubling me: “Does he avoid salt due to healthy diet or does he despise its taste?” A key-phrase he said will help you clear things out. He said: “I prefer eating things without spoiling their natural taste”. So I have a good reason to suspect that he is a great fan of healthy nutrition and that’s the reason why he avoids salt even if he likes it. What have you to say about it Thomas? -If I added salt it would only be a little. When a bit more is added I don’t want it. -Don’t you like it or do you avoid it for healthy-diet reasons? -Well, the food gets more tasty if you add it… but I never use much. 8.6 Indirect information is crucial to our diagnosis -Enough! I rest my case! (laughing) Well, it’s so easy to laugh but not so easy to draw conclusions! What is your conclusion from what he said? What piece of information did you gain? My conclusion has nothing to do 142 with salt. OK, he may like salt grade 1 or 2 but that’s not important to my diagnosis. What’s of great importance is that he deals a lot with his health! That’s a characteristic of his idiosyncrasy. He so much cares or is so much afraid about his health that he even adjusts his taste according to his brain decisions! See how important is to draw information even in an indirect way! You must learn to read through the lines! In the same way that non verbal information is very important, in the same way indirect information is very crucial to our diagnosis of his idiosyncrasy. We started hunting partridges but we ended up with a juicy fat hare! (laughing) Go on, Zoe. -Whenever you go to bed, how do you like sleeping? On the back, on the belly or on the sides? -I always lie on my back. I never ever sleep on my belly except rarely when I am extremely tired but even then, after a while, I turn to the sides. -When on your back do you like putting your hands over or in the back of your neck? -No, no. -If you sleep on your left side do you feel that you press your heart? -No, but in a lecture at the university they told us that since the stomach is situated on the right side, when you lie on your left you make things hard for you… and furthermore I have recently observed that if I lie on my left side after eating something then my stomach makes some noises which means that I am giving it a hard time and then I immediately turn to my right side. -Dear colleagues, what do you make out of what he has just said? -We confirm that he deals a lot with his health! (laughing) -That’s right! Very well said! We have just confirmed that he deals with his health a lot, not to say that he may even be afraid of diseases. You see how we can draw indirect information, even irrelevant to what we have asked? See how we can skin a fling? See how we can get blood out of a stone? But, before that he said another thing that left me with questions. He emphatically said that “I never, ever sleep on my belly”. Doesn’t this create a great “why?” to your mind? Be careful! Every time your patient becomes emphatic or enthusiastic or annoyed or angry, in general whenever your patient shows a strong feeling of any kind, you should always clarify things. Juicy information is waiting there for you to reveal it. -So, why, my friend Thomas, you never, ever sleep on your abdomen? -It’s because I feel that I press my chest and I can’t breathe in the first place and secondly, my head is turned on the sides in a weird way. 143 -As you can easily see, he again confirms to us that he deals with his health a lot. (laughing) He keeps splitting hairs regarding his health. Please, Thomas, try not to be affected by what we say about you! Don’t bother with us! Keep answering unaffected by our comments and when asked say the first thing that comes into your mind. Be a solid rock! (laughing) Zoe, go on! -When you sleep at night, do you have saliva coming out of your mouth on the pillow? -No, that is a very rare thing to happen. -Did you have warts in the past? -I did have and still have now… I didn’t mention it before because I didn’t think that it mattered but the truth is that I have three or four on my hands. -Did you do something with it? -In the past I had it cauterized but they kept growing so I stopped any effort to cure it. -Did you have any urine infections in the past? -Wait a minute Zoe. How do you know that he has warts? Just because he told you so? That doesn’t mean anything. Did you see it? Have you confirmed it? He may have a skin problem of any kind and he may think that it’s warts… -But he is a doctor! -So what! I’ve heard so many false statements from colleagues that it’s a rule for me always to confirm what patients say, even if they are doctors. If you don’t confirm what a patient tells you, you will have false information and this may affect your diagnosis. Please, Thomas, show us your hands… yes, it is definitely warts. -How are warts listed in the Repertory of Kent? -You will find it under the word “warts”. -How about eczema? -Under the word “eczema” or under the more general rubric “eruptions”. The rule is that only a few diseases are listed as such in Kent’s Repertory. But you can search for the symptoms of any disease because Repertory is a list of symptoms and not a list of diseases and this is in accordance with the homeopathic law that tells us that our diagnosis aims not at the disease but at the patient as a whole. Go on, Zoe. -Did you have any urine infections in the past? -No, never. 144 -Before we go on asking about the psychological characteristics of Thomas, can you tell me, what idiosyncrasies crossed your mind about him, up to now? -Argentum Nitricum, Phosphor, Psorinum… -When you have to do with such a hot person it’s a bit improbable to be a Psorinum case. -Right. -I would definitely think also of Sulphur and Lycopodium so I write it down and question about it later. -I also suggest Gelsemium. -Why so? -Because he blushes at times when he talks and because he seems shy. -I don’t think that a shy Gelsemium would volunteer to be examined publically and furthermore speak about his personals in such a comfort, but, nevertheless, let’s keep it in mind. -(Thomas) Well, the thing is that I already know you for some time, otherwise, I would be reserved. -Well, that’s a fact but despite it, if you were a Gelsemium case it would still be very strange to be so extrovert and comfortable. Go, on Zoe. 8.7 How do we ask about irritability? The importance of examples -Do you easily get angry? -Yes, I must say I do. -What makes you angry, what behaviors annoy you? -Cut, Zoe! Before you ask what makes him angry you have to decide if he is indeed really easily angry and at what grade. Continue. -When you say that you get angry, what do you mean Thomas? -I get angry when something goes wrong and I can’t fix it or when I program something and I don’t manage to bring it to an end or do it well and then I get angry. I certainly try to restrain myself. At other times, I get angry when I face problems. -When you get angry do you express your anger? -Well… not so easily. -Wait a minute. You, still, haven’t cleared out if he is easily angry and at what grade. We don’t just ask questions during homeopathic case taking. We ask in order to draw certain information. Let me ask him. -Do you often get angry? -Thank God I don’t get angry often… I would prefer even when I get angry not to… 145 -I don’t care if you express your anger, if you burst but I am interested in a specific fact: if you often feel anger inside your heart no matter if you express it or not. -Thank God, this does not happen often, no, not often. -Now it’s time for conclusions. Have you noticed that he said “Thank God I don’t get angry often”? This is very important information. Usually, it is a psoric person that would say such a thing in such a manner and really mean it. Furthermore, as a rule, a psoric person would get angry with himself if he didn’t do things well. A sycotic person wouldn’t care so much and wouldn’t criticize himself so easy. On the other hand, a syphilitic person would say such things only to pretend, only in an exaggerated manner so as to manipulate others by projecting a good false image. And judging by his whole appearance and behavior, Thomas isn’t such a case. He is, in fact a very psoric person because he truly believes in moral principles which he tries hard to apply in everyday life. Moreover he is strict with himself and easily feels guilty and that is the reason why he often says “Thank God” and “unfortunately”. So, there is a great possibility, that he is a true psoric person. So, our conclusion is that he gets angry grade 1 or 2, the more. I will ask him one more question because I want more reasons for which he gets angry, reasons that have to do with other people. So, I say to him: -What behaviors of other people annoy you or irritate you? -As a rule I am annoyed when somebody tries to tease me, underestimate me, make fun of me… just like yesterday when I was skiing and some guys were ironic and told me “Why don’t you have a seat and watch how skiing is done!” At first I didn’t realize their intentions and after a while, when I did, I got angry but they were already gone. I am angry especially when others do to me what I would never dream of doing to them. -Any other behaviors that annoy you? -When others try to suppress you and force you to do things their own way and then you feel that you are not free… basically that’s the things that annoy me. -Can you give me an example? A recent example? -My parents make me angry although I try hard not to. My mother tells me that I should follow a certain medical specialty or that I should go to study in England where my brother is and keeps saying “When there’s a will, there’s a way” and that I don’t have the guts to do it and I say “I want to rule my life” and not to do things her way. Or other times they tell me to go and buy expensive clothes so as to attract women but I like to wear ordinary clothes and I say “don’t push me”. I also get angry when 146 somebody who has a strong personality wants things to be done his way and forces me to the sidelines. -Does injustice bothers you? -Yes, certainly. No matter how I try to reason and find excuses for the one that hurts others it doesn’t stop bothering me. -(Zoe) But that has nothing to do with injustice… -It certainly, is! I keep saying to me “his spiritual level doesn’t permit him to realize that we shouldn’t harm others” and that Socrates said “I prefer to be harmed instead of harming others” but I can’t help being annoyed when harmed. -When somebody else is being harmed, a stranger, does this annoy you? Does it make you angry? -Yes, certainly! This can even make me behave like a very bad person. -Will you interfere? -Of course, I will! -Even if the odds are against you? -Yes, yes I will certainly… well, I will do my best. -Does that mean that you will hit him if necessary? -I will do my best, I just can’t help it. -Has such a thing happened in the past? -No, I didn’t hit anyone but at times I reacted badly. I mean there was a time that I was working in a summer camp and a child was underestimated by the chief leader - you see he shouted terribly to the kid because he was talking during prayer time – and I told the chief leader in a polite manner “how come” and he said “It was my duty…” because he believed that this was the right thing to do… but it wasn’t. -(Zoe) What wasn’t right? -Shouting like that to the kid. 8.8 Words talk to us only if we are able to listen It’s time to do some comments. I know that we are giving a hard time to Thomas because we keep interrupting and commenting him while he is in the mood to speak about himself and even about his personal matters. But, despite that, he keeps talking about him enthusiastically and sincerely and that is, indeed, a great characteristic of his idiosyncrasy! I urge you to be observant, to be conscious, to be aware! Words talk to us only if we are able to listen! He used words and phrases like “tease me”, “underestimate me”, “make fun of me”, “suppress me”, “force me”, “my mother keeps saying to me” and “forces me to the sidelines”. All the above, certainly don’t reveal a sycotic person. If he was sycotic he would either say “fuck you all” or he “wouldn’t give a shit about it” and would 147 do all things his own way having no problem with himself and paying no attention to others opinion about him. Such expressions like the ones Thomas used could also be used by syphilitic persons that tend hypocritically to adopt the role of the “victim” in order to manipulate others and dominate over them. But what we have here, is a person that has one and only one problem: that others try to dominate on him and he keeps desperately defending himself and not with much success as it seems. In fact, this is the story of his life! That’s why he has such anger inside him when others, especially weak ones like children, are being hurt. That’s the reason why he developed relapsing depression: because he is soft, good natured and sentimental; because he sticks to moral principles, because he is honest and because he is psoric, after all. That’s the mere reason why he is screwed by others! (laughing) He reacts, he tries to rebel but due to his psoric nature he gives in and suppresses himself and then reacts again and then gives in and so on. The story of his life! The story of his relapsing depression! There is nothing accidental in the course of our lives. Only someone with lack of awareness can resort explanations like “accidentally” or “by chance” or “it just happened”. But, don’t even for a minute think that he is the psoric guy that does not react and is very introvert and keeps shrinking gathering bitterness inside like a Psorinum or a Natrum Muriaticum. He reacts intensely but syphilitic dominant persons can manipulate him due to his good nature and moral character. He is psoric regarding principles and ideas but sycotic regarding expression. What idiosyncrasy does such a combination remind you of? -Phosphor? -Right! Phosphor, it is! A Lycopodium guy would be annoyed by the injustice done to the kid but he wouldn’t easily react as Thomas did. His mind would react and not his heart as in Phosphor. Phosphor tends to take things personally and react sentimentally while Lycopodium tends to think, to argue intellectually and not so much to feel. Haven’t you noticed that Thomas, even on remembering that old incident, gets angry right now, his heart is ticking and his emotions are on turbulence! Lycopodium reacts logically, by the mind, intellectually. He says to himself “this isn’t right!” and may argue in a civilized way only if the odds are on his side because he is a coward especially when it comes to getting into a fight that may involve punching and hitting and any kind 148 of physical violence. Phosphor, on the other hand, guided by his overwhelming emotions, may even hit others in order to protect weak ones, even strangers. We have also heard Thomas philosophizing, quoting from Socrates etc but that is not a characteristic only of Sulphur and Lycopodium. It could also be a trait of Phosphor. That doesn’t mean that Thomas is a genuine Phosphor. He certainly has elements of Phosphor, Lycopodium, Sulphur, Argentum Nitricum and other idiosyncrasies. A genuine phosphoric element of his is that childish innocence although he is 33 years old! He is enthusiastic, straightforward, sincere, spontaneous and passionate. He has that expression on his face of a child who protests sincerely and passionately because “a bad guy” has grabbed the favorite toy from the hands of another child next to him! Even now, at this mature age he still can’t accept the injustice and insensitivity that exists around him: a true psoric, romantic guy but with sycotic overwhelming expression! His favorite expression is “that wasn’t right!” and if his motives are true then this is definitely a psoric expression. It could have been, of course, a syphilitic expression if the person that said it was hypocritical and manipulating, playing a theatrical role: the role of the “warrior of justice” and the role of the “defender of morality”. But, my clinical experience makes me say with a great certainty that this is not the case of Thomas. Thomas is spontaneous and sincere. But at this point someone could say: “How can we discriminate between a psoric and a syphilitic expression?” The key is the motive lying behind the act! If the motives are moral and the action is spontaneous, true, sincere and involves no egoistic personal interest then it is psoric. If the motives are egoistic and the action is hypocritical, manipulating and fake then it’s syphilitic. Whenever we come across a person that is easily angered, has a lot of anger inside him but never expresses it, then we must think of Staphisagria. Thomas isn’t such a case because he expresses his anger most of the times. Please Zoe, go on and ask him if he expresses his anger. -He has already said that he expresses his anger so why should I ask him? -I want you to ask him because I want you to practice on how we ask the patient about certain things. In past lectures when I was the one who did the case taking we focused on the answers of the patient. During this 149 lecture, where you as trained doctors, carry the case taking, we also focus on the way you ask things. A right way to ask is “Do you express your anger or do you keep it inside?” This is an important question and it matters a lot how we ask because if we are not clear he may think that we ask him if he discusses with others the incidents that made him angry. You see, discussing about an incident that made me angry and expressing my anger at the time of the arousal, are two different things. Go on and ask Zoe if he expresses his anger and do it in the right way. -So, I ask you Thomas, do you express your anger or do you keep it inside? -Yes, of course, yes, certainly! -How do you do it? -Usually I shout. I mean I shout and I answer back, let’s say in an intense way… whenever I can of course… whenever conditions allow it. -(Zoe) Ok, we’ve asked that also. Nevertheless, he has already told us a while ago that when engaged in a situation he will react. -Yes, he reacts, that is true but not very much. -Does Staphisagria express her anger? -Not at all or at least only rarely! And even then she will express only a small amount of her tremendous quantity of anger. That’s the reason why she is all the time up to the neck from anger, boiling and ready to burst but without eruption. Now, pay attention to what happens inside Thomas. He shouts but only when situations allow it. What kind of situations? He doesn’t restrain himself due to cowardice like Lycopodium. It’s his morality that restrains him. That’s the burden of any psoric person. He realizes all that is wrong around him, he reacts inside or even takes it out but keeps restraining himself because he has adopted the philosophy and morality of the “good boy”, the “kind boy” etc. Go on, Zoe. -Shall we go on asking questions to verify Phosphor? -No! Not yet! We haven’t finished all questions that refer to diagnosis, then how can we go on to differential diagnosis and specific questions about specific idiosyncrasies? Ask about order. 8.9 How to ask and the use of emphasis -Are you tidy or untidy in general? 150 -Well, not much tidy… from time to time I try to put things in order but I am not much of an orderly guy… most of the times things keep piling up until the time comes to straighten it out. That’s what happens. -When you walk do you often stumble or when you eat do you easily get yourself dirty? -No, no. -Do you like talking about your problems? -Yes, yes I like that, I like talking about it. -With how many people? -Wait a minute, Zoe! You’ve asked “do you like talking about your problems?” The emphasis is on the words “like” and “problems”. But if I ask “Do you want to talk about your personal problems or do you keep it inside?” then the emphasis is on the words “want”, “personal” and “keep it”. “Want” is more proper because it is more neutral than “like” and less guiding for the patient. “Personal” is more defining and targeted and that is the reason why it’s more proper. I added “keep it inside” as the other side of “talk about” again in an attempt to have a more neutral and not guiding question. Neutral and not guiding general questions result in spontaneous and true answers. So let me ask Thomas again Zoe with emphasis on the important words. -Do you want to talk about your personal problems or do you want to keep it inside? -Yes, I want to talk about my problems but I try to be cautious because at times I have spoken to certain people who were completely unsuitable and… -At times or often? -Well, now it doesn’t happen very often but in the past it did a number of times. -Well folks, my conclusion is that not only he talks about his personal problems but that he talks a lot! In fact he is dying to talk about it! (laughing) But, because he got into great troubles in the past due to this habit of his, now he tries hard not to yield to this tendency. (laughing) -Unfortunately you are so damn right! That’s what I do! That’s me! (laughing) -So, he is extrovert grade 3 or at least 2. Let me ask you: To how many people do you talk about your personal problems? -I talk to my brother, father, two friends that I no longer see often and with a female friend… -He has already referred to 5 people! 151 -And it is likely that he would have wanted to talk to even more if he could… -That’s right! So, to sum up, he is extrovert grade 3. Go on Zoe. -If you want to cry, if you feel like crying at a certain moment, you may do it in front of others or do you want to do it alone? Well… I’d rather ask you first if you cry easily. -I would say that I don’t cry easily but, yes… I may be moved even to tears but to cry often… I wouldn’t say that. -Cut again! Please, notice what I am going to tell you. Whenever we ask a man if he cries easily he will not answer the same way as a woman will do. A man will not confess easily that he weeps but he will easily accept that “his eyes filled with tears” or “clouded over” but that is also weeping, in the sense of the male version. That’s why Thomas said that he “doesn’t cry easily” but instead “he is moved even to tears”. Phosphor and Lycopodium have this characteristic and also sycotic Sulphur may have it not to mention Pulsatilla that has it at grade3. I must, of course add, that Pulsatilla is most of the times a female idiosyncrasy and rarely a male one. Go on, Zoe. -Have you got any fears, any phobias? -Wait a minute, Zoe! He has already told you many things about his past fears at the beginning of our case taking. You just can’t ask him again as if he said nothing. You could simply tell him: “Let’s go back to the fears you’ve mentioned…” so as to reignite that subject. Whenever we discuss his present disease at the beginning of our case, even if that has to do with his general psychological characteristics, like for example fears, it is advisable not to fully clarify it until the patient becomes more comfortable with us and the procedure and then later on fully examine it as we should. So I ask him now: -You mentioned some fears you had in the past. What fears do you have now, not then, now, the last few months? -Well, my main fears have to do with my health. As a matter of fact in the past I was also afraid of insanity but not anymore. Now I am afraid that something will happen and will ruin my life. -OK, continue Zoe. -Whenever you hear that someone you know had a stroke or a heart attack or a severe disease does this affect you? -Yes, unfortunately, yes it does! Especially when I hear about cancer, especially that. 152 -Does this mean that you may… -That I may have it too? That it may happen to me also and that at any moment it can happen to me also? Yes! And I think about what he has done in the past so as to get ill and if I have done it also… it sticks into my mind and I’d rather never have heard it. That’s what happens. -(Zoe) Would you like me now to ask something else to see if he is Phosphor or shall I ask in general? -I think that he has already spoken very clearly about his fears regarding his health. That is, he has a great fear about his health and he is greatly influenced when he hears about other’s health problems in the sense that he is at the same time worried about him and sympathizes with the misfortunes of others. He is at the same time fearful about his health and compassionate to others. So go on, Zoe. 8.10 Clarify, clarify, clarify… -Any fears about germs? Does it happen sometimes that you wash your hands and then feel like washing it again and again? -Yes, yes, that happens all the time! -How often? -Well, it happens when… well, in general I am very tidy. I wash my hands every time I come home and necessarily before I eat… there is no way I won’t wash them before eating. -Does it often happen to wash it again and again for a second or third time? -Well, not so often, maybe once in a while… but I am very cautious. -I have to interfere and ask a few questions so as to clarify things and evaluate this fear. I can’t be satisfied to let my patient evaluate his symptoms by saying “a lot”, “often” etc. These are general expressions and have a different meaning for each patient. Someone may wash his hands five times a day and consider this as “too much” and someone else may wash his hands thirty times a day and may consider it inadequate. So I will ask: -“Usually, how often do you wash your hands in a single day? Five times, ten, twenty, forty or more? -Well, let’s say from five to ten times a day. -See what I told you? He is so enthusiastic and plethoric when he talks that someone could think that he washes his hands at least thirty times a day but the fact is that he only washes it five to ten times a day, that is, at a rather normal rate. It’s possible that in the past his fears about germs 153 were much stronger and it is probable that at the present he answers in an exaggerated manner due to past memories. So you must always clarify and crosscheck whatever your patient says. Go on, Zoe. -Did it ever happen when leaving home, job or car to have the feeling that you may have left the door open? -Yes, yes of course, that’s it… that was one of my obsessions in the past and then it was very strong. -Does it happen now also? -Well, not now because I have found a way to solve this problem… I do all procedures in a prefixed way and I say to myself “now I am locking the door”. But then I may think that the key was left on the door although I know that I have put it in my pocket. I always check if I have left the key on the door although I know I took it. -After going away from the door do you still have the… -No, I don’t. -Let me interrupt again. Zoe asked “Did it ever happen…” while the correct way to ask was “Does it often happens…” which implies something that is happening now and something that happens often, which of course becomes a characteristic symptom and not an ordinary one. 8.11 Predominant idiosyncrasy and secondary ones My conclusion from his last answers is that he was grade 3 regarding obsessions in the past while now he is grade 2. This is very important because he must have been a typical Argentum Nitricum in the past while now the predominant idiosyncrasy, the Simillimum, is Phosphor. The changing of an important characteristic symptom at a certain time is critical at times and may signify a change in the predominant idiosyncrasy. Whenever such a thing happens how do I note it down? I write down “obsessive3-2,” which means that he was grade 3 in the past and now is grade 2. -But, does Phosphor have such intense obsessive ideas? -No, this is not characteristic of the idiosyncrasy Phosphor but it is a characteristic of the individual called Thomas at the present time. Don’t ever confuse the individual, the man, with the idiosyncrasies that affect him at times. Moreover, a certain person during his life is affected by several, mostly relative, idiosyncrasies. At a certain moment only one is the predominant, the Simillimum, but at the same time there are a few more secondary ones that are underneath the prevailing and may pop up and become predominant according to conditions of his life. These 154 secondary idiosyncrasies often produce certain symptoms at the present that are not part of the predominant idiosyncrasy. In Thomas case, for example his Simillimum for the present is clearly Phosphor but he has Argentum Nitricum as a secondary idiosyncrasy that lies underneath Phosphor and produces certain obsessive ideas but not as prevailing symptoms. -Should we ask about how he was during his childhood? I mean how he was idiosyncratically. Don’t we need that? -Not regarding present prescription but it’s useful to know his past idiosyncratic history because this often gives us a clue about his idiosyncratic future. Nevertheless, at present, now, we have a clear picture of Phosphor. Go on, Zoe. 8.12 Ask right, investigate and draw conclusions -Whenever you walk on a street does it happen to want to count steps, numbers, cars etc? -Well, at times I want not to step on the margins of the paving stones and other times while walking I feel as if there is a certain rhythm inside me and I say to myself “stop thinking about it, walk free without counting” -So you do count? -It’s as if I walk by a certain rhythm, as if I follow a metronome and I try to say to myself “stop it, I don’t want you to have this rhythm in your head”. -While walking do you have the feeling that something is behind you or besides you? -No, no. -Are you afraid of heights? -No, to be frank, no. -Any other fears? -Stop! Cut! Have you reached to a conclusion about fear of height Zoe? -But, he said that he doesn’t have any fear… and moreover he knows Homeopathy… -No, he doesn’t! At this moment, you are the doctor and he is the patient! And your job is to ask right, investigate, evaluate and draw conclusions. You have to be more specific as to your questions. For example you ask a patient about fear of heights and he remembers some years ago when he went on an excursion and passed a bridge that was over a steep cliff and he was scared… so now he tells you “yes, I am afraid of heights a lot”. Should you accept his answer just like that? You will be wrong. The correct way to ask about fear of heights is: “Are you afraid of heights, for example when you look down from a balcony?” And if he says “yes”, then you ask him: 155 -“From what floor up do you start being afraid? From the first, second, third or fifth?” -I don’t have any such problem. -Have you got any other fears at the present? -Well, no, I haven’t got any other fears for the present. That’s all there is to. -Zoe, go on asking about his self-confidence. -Compared to average person of the same age regarding cleverness, do you feel on the average, below or above? -Regarding cleverness I don’t think that I am inferior because whenever I talk with other people it never happens not to understand what they say or to be late in understanding. On the contrary I realize what the others say right from the beginning. I believe that maybe I think a lot more than most others do and I sit down and analyze things… well I don’t know if that means that I am more clever. I think I am a normal guy. -Do you like reading books? -Yes, I like it a lot. -What kind of subjects do you read? Litterature… -Stop Zoe. You shouldn’t ask “What kind of subjects do you read?” Instead, you should ask “What do you like to read?” Can you understand the difference? If we ask him in the first way then if he is an engineer he will probably say that he reads technical stuff because of his job although he may not like it. If we ask him in the second way what interests us is what he really likes to read although he may not have the time to do it. Our aim is “what he likes” because this always reveals idiosyncratic characteristics. So, we always emphasize on “like”. Let me remind you that we did the same thing when we were asking about his likes and dislikes concerning tastes. Our emphasis wasn’t on what he eats, probably for medical reasons, but on what he likes to eat. Go on Thomas and answer to Zoe. -I like subjects like Psychology, Literature and anything that has to do with esoteric inquiry. Conventional Science does not interest me anymore. -Does that mean that you like reading books from which you will gain knowledge? -Yes, I want that, I want it. I want it because after reading it I try to analyze it and think over it. -What about movies and TV? -Yes, I do watch movies. -What kind of movies do you like watching? 156 -Well, I like social movies because they deal with people that face hard problems like for example a recent movie called “Life Imprisonment” which dealt with the profile of a rapist but I also enjoy cartoons at times. It may seem strange but I like watching how a cartoon is made and I like watching cartoons if they are good ones. -How about documentaries about Nature? -No, I don’t watch documentaries about Nature. -How about documentaries about Universe or science fiction? -Yes I like science fiction. -Let me comment a little. Whenever we ask about books or movies we are mainly drawing characteristic information about two idiosyncrasies. If he is a Sulphur guy, a superficial philosopher, then he likes mysteries, strange things and deals with it superficially. If he is a Lycopodium individual he likes reading in order to learn, to improve himself and to show off to others creating a “cultured” public image. Phosphor usually reads books because he wants to solve his problems and because he is interested in social matters, especially with whatever has to do with injustice, etc. Go on, Zoe. -So you like cartoons also? -Yes, he likes cartoons also because he, himself remains a child inside and enjoys it… (laughing). Sorry for interrupting you Zoe, I couldn’t help it… please, go on. -I forgot to ask him if he prefers the sea or the mountain. Do you prefer the sea or the mountain? -I like it both. 8.13 Differential Diagnosis: Exclusion of relative idiosyncrasies and confirmation of Simillimum -Now it’s time for differential diagnosis. When on the process of differential diagnosis, the first and easiest thing to do is to exclude the less possible idiosyncrasies, for example in our case Gelsemium. How do you ask about it? Let me show you: -If you are in a party with a crowd, will you feel comfortable or will you have stage fright? -Well in the past I did have stage fright and I had a hard time but now only at the beginning… then I get over it and I talk and I seek for interesting people and have a nice time. 157 -You see, he wasn’t a Gelsemium guy in the past… he was a Lycopodium guy. (laughing) Well let me ask him so as to exclude Lycopodium as present idiosyncrasy. Around 11 o’clock in the morning, does it happen to have a strong desire for food? -I don’t think so unless… -Do you usually eat quickly, hastily, even if you have enough time? - (Zoe) But, but… you didn’t leave him any time to answer to you… -I know it… but the way he started answering already revealed me that he has nothing important to say, so I go on or else we will not finish our case taking in another five hours… so I ask again: “Do you usually eat quickly, hastily?” -No, no. -Do you have the tendency to eat hastily? I am not asking you if you control it for reasons of better digestion… -If I eat hastily then I will have digestion problems. -Is your original tendency to eat hastily no matter if due to digestive problems you control it? Yes or not? -No. To be frank, in the past I used to eat more quickly but I have read that we should eat slowly and then I started to like eating slowly and since then I just can’t eat quickly. - (Zoe) He isn’t a Lycopodium patient not only regarding the above answers but also in many other aspects… -Right! So we exclude Lycopodium, we exclude also Sulphur by asking the appropriate questions and lets proceed to differential diagnosis among the two most probable idiosyncrasies, that is Argentum Nitricum and Phosphor. What we do is to ask again questions about the main characteristics of these two idiosyncrasies so as to clear the picture. If we still have a dilemma, then a helpful technique is to let the patient choose among the basic critical characteristics of the idiosyncrasies involved in differential diagnosis. Regarding our case I ask him: -What’s stronger the last couple months: Your obsessions or your worry about your health? -I would definitely say my worry about my health. -See, how clear it was for him? I am also convinced that he is right so we will prescribe Phosphor for him. The patient is usually closer to himself that the doctor. He feels himself while the doctor suspects things about a different person. So the patient’s opinion must be taken seriously in consideration, provided that I ask correctly, that I have a good communication with my patient and that the patient has a good conduct 158 with himself. So, finally, at last, Thomas will swallow a pill of Phosphor and will get well! (laughing) I must add that in the past he was a typical Argentum Nitricum case, especially at the time he had that panic attack when attending psychiatric lectures… -I felt such strong things at that time… -You have faced hard conditions and Argentum Nitricum was the result… -Is depression an Argentum Nitricum state? -Only if it has the Argentum Nitricum characteristics. Depression is a disease. Any idiosyncrasy can suit a case of depression, some more frequently and some less frequently. Depression isn’t an idiosyncratic characteristic! It’s a general state and can have the characteristics of this or that idiosyncrasy or this or that miasma. How would you describe a sycotic depression for instance? -He would be shouting, dancing… -Yes, it would certainly involve overacting. Let me remind you of old classic Greek movies where the wide boy was dumped by the heartless broad and goes to the club late at night already drunk and orders a special request to the band and dances the “Zorba the Greek” dance… (laughing). On the contrary, when it comes to psoric depression, the poor psoric heart-broken guy wants to be alone doing nothing else but thinking about his dark life. Lastly, the syphilitic heart-broken person may go and stub that “bitch” that dared “betray” him or will work out a wicked revenge. (laughing) To conclude, this is the way a case taking is being done by a homeopathic doctor applying the Miasmatic Idiosyncratic Diagnosis. You definitely need to have a very good knowledge of idiosyncrasies and a very good training in the technique of interrogation. It’s useful to have a general diagram of the questions to be asked inside your mind but we always individualize. We never ask in a mechanic way but we always interact with our patient. We keep asking for clarifications in order to evaluate correctly whatever our patient says. We often receive irrelevant answers from which we can draw important information if we “read between the lines”, that is, if we can perceive the intentions of the patient, that are hidden behind words, phrases, motions, appearance, etc. Let me remind you once again, the crucial importance of non-verbal information. Our questions should always be clear and understandable. They should be purposeful but at the same time shouldn’t guide the patient towards a pre- chosen direction so as not to receive a biased answer. Whenever the patient becomes enthusiastic it’s because we’ve used the right “bate”- 159 question and then we encourage him to talk extensively and express himself. Let me remind you that I kept asking him “what behaviors make you angry” because I realized from his enthusiasm that this was something important for him. Our discussion on that field did not result to a certain rubric from the Repertory but it gave us important information about his miasmas. It revealed to us that he is psoric regarding his morality and principles and sycotic regarding his expression and that, alone, guided us towards his Simillimum, towards Phosphor. So, that’s all folks! I am obliged to Thomas for volunteering to be the “patient” for tonight, although I am sure that he really enjoyed it! And that, my friends, is the final and most decisive confirmation that our prescription was indeed, the right one! (laughing) 160 EPILOGUE If you are not a doctor and reading this book new horizons met your thought, If you are an allopathic doctor and this book raised philosophical and medical issues to you, and finally, If you are a homeopathic doctor and this book added something to your knowledge, then, it was worth writing it! Nevertheless, I did enjoy writing it too and it has become, indeed, a joyful part of my life and me!
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