WHAT S A MENTAL SYMPTOM? WHAT IS MENTAL DISORDER?

  Read before the I.H.A.,Bureau of Philosophy,June 1931.

JULIA M.GREEN, M.D.

 

In Homoeopathy we are taught to observe carefully even the slightest deviation from the normal in the mental spore and to give these deviations high rank in studying a case to find its remedy.

We are told that the moral temperament of the patient is to be disregarded because expressions of this are not symptoms. It is only the changes in illness which are to be used. How can we be sure were normal ends and abnormal begins”: Probably most of us do taken into account the temperament of the individual. Surely slow, dull people need different remedies from, quick, intellectual ones. Calm. optimistic patients are given medicines in. another class from the irritable, restless depending group. We ask, “Did you always feel this way?” How was it before you were sick?” “Is your ability to concentrate, to remember, affected?” “How long and under what circumstances?” “Did you used to be so irritable? ” Supposing the patient answers “”Always” to the last question. Are the queer thoughts symptoms them , to take a major place in the case.

The borderline between mental health and mental disease is difficult to estimate; it presents problems. For instance: Here is a miser who hoards not only money about all sorts of things, clothing, tools, bits of woods, tin. paper, nails and screws, bits if glass. these things occupy first importance in his life. They have grown up with him. Her is a man who has always been the victim of certain fears. Sometimes these can be conquered by Psycho-analysis, sometimes they cannot They seem always to have belonged to him. Her is the man who cannot mingle with other people without a hysterical complex which results in physical weakness, cold perspiration, even faintness and an irresistible impulse to run away.

Here is one who has no proper conception of relative values he exalts minute detail to the exclusion of large important aspects of any situation. Here is another who dictates to his fellow men from narrow experience and not much culture. He feels sure of his ground and is puzzled by opposition or lack of interest on the apart of his hearers.

Then there are the homosexual and other sexual idiosyncrasies which control the live of their victims. Here comes hero worship, tendency to defy humans, also the desolating tendency to control entirely the life and affections of another, as vamping kind of hold on a supposed friend.

We have many more forms of self-love to make this world unhappy. The man who hoards things, loves things, loves things more than people; a certain false pride in things holds him from development in to higher real, ms. The large minded, large hearted scientist flows with his study of rocks, earth, trees, plants, insects animals; but some turn away from their fellowmen and worship the lower strata of life in a different way but just as truly as did the savages of old.

Jealousy is only another name for numerous aspects of self love. There is the false pride which is personal vanity; also the social false pride which will not allow its victim to be seen doing social false pride which will not allow its victim to be seen doing many legitimate things which seem to him to belong to low social strata. These people often ignore moral obligations. There is the boastful person who magnifies his own accomplishments,, his own family, his city, state, country, politics, religion, etc.

Such are proud of their self-estimated virtues and ignorant of their real worth to the world. there is the “I am better than thou” spirit, the thing which is most devastating of all. There is to person engaged in any worthwhile pursuit who cares more for praise than he does for real accomplishment. There is the eternal prattler about his own petty affairs who considers his experiences peculiar and superlative.” Speaking of operations”, etc. Mother-love can be almost entirely self-centered and not lead to love of all children; the same holds in conjugal love which may take the form of ownership. In fact, it self live in its myriad forms, could be removed from the earth, the millennium might appear on the horizon.

Are all these human characteristics mental symptoms? Are all these people mentally disordered? If so, then nobody is mentally healthy. Where then shall we draw the line between normal and abnormal?.

In recent years attempts to accomplish mental health are very evident in study of hygiene, modern psychology, eugenics, environment, etc.

Homoeopathy is making a fine reputation for itself when mental disorders are pronounced enough to be easily recognized. Among close observers, both within and without the profession, it is making more of a reputation by altering the disposition of the patient, obliterating exaggeration, sweetening fiery temper, opening eyes to the rights of the other fellow, sharpening dull wits and dull memory, increasing brotherly love and altruistic remedy in these respects is not so easily seen, but this is Homoeopathic art at its best.

The art lies in ability to sense what is wrong, overdeveloped, or underdeveloped,and select the remedy which will restore buoyant mental health. this mental symptoms,what is mental disorder,and to bring back mental balance as well as the absence of physical symptoms. It is one of the things most needed in his much perturbed, self-crazed world.

Let us say then, that ones mental characteristics, when unduly emphasized or great;y exaggerated become symptoms and constitute mental disorder. this view may not be shared by most homoeopathic prescribers and I would like a frank discussion.

WASHINGTON,D.C.

DISCUSSION.

DR.G.STEVENS:This speaks of the normal temperament, but there are chronic mental symptoms as well as acute ones. They must be taken into consideration always in any general study of the patient, perhaps not so much in the very acute case, but in the acute case the mental symptoms,such as fear,irritability,and so on, will probably the exaggerated,and they would come definitely in the field of study.

We can see two kinds of mental symptoms. One may be a reflection from some physical condition,as for example, Chamomilla temper in a teething child. Or we found them closely related tot the disordered moral or spiritual state. Of that, the exaggerated forms of self life are special examples. We use the word “exaggerated forms of self love are special examples. We use the word “exaggerated:” advisedly, for a certain amount of self love is normal,and lack of it would be absolutely abnormal. But when it becomes egotistical and selfish, it is abnormal and shows itself in many ways.

In remember a sermon I heard a good many years ago,by Bishop Weir, Bishop of New York, a Lenten sermon, in which he spoke of sin. He said,

“There a great many different kinds of sin, but only one sin; that is selfishness.: Undoubtedly selfishness is at the root of these wretched,nervous condition,as jealousy, anger, pride,anxiety. they react definitely on the physical condition. They are very important as symptoms,either chronic or acute.

DR.A.H.GRIMMER: I have enjoyed this magnificent paper. It attacks the very gist of our philosophy. Hahnemann stresses the mental state as being the most important for the selection of he curative remedy, and now modern research is just beginning to recognize the truth that Hahnemann discovered so long ago.

We need only cite some of the works that are being accomplished by the psychoanalysts and others along that same line. They are doing constructive work, there is no doubt about it. They are proving what Hahnemann so long ago gave us. Furthermore,the great physicists of the time are beginning to confirm these mighty Hahnemannian truths. Dr.Arthur,Compton, of the Chicago University,has come to the place where he has stated, after a great deal of research, that after all very evolutionary process in nature itself is undoubtedly by thought. Some superior thought or intelligence has influenced all evolutionary processes.

I think many of the mental states that are related to disease could be corrected in the child by the right kind of education. I think a great deal of selfishness could be broken down in this way. Much of the selfishness is brought on by so- called permission. that is all right if it is accompanied with wise guidance,not permitting that self-expression to go touch a state they have no regard for the rights of others. We see many little anarchists these days who have absolutely no conception of the other fellows rights or privileges. If we get the children and guide them in the fight way to bring out the good that is in them, to teach them that they are her perform duties and to help to others the doctrine of helpfulness will go a long way to overcome some of these disease tendencies.

The doctor mention the sex irregularities. Indeed in a very large proportion, our chronic sicknesses have to do with various perversions for sex,and sex function. the child can also be helped in that way before he is to old. He can be educated along sex lines and taught the beautiful side of sex. It should of its abuses. This would keep a great many from these pervasions.

If we will do these things, and then give our remedies to their clear-cut inductions,we can indeed almost revolutionize society.

DR.C.L.OLDS: I think we should differentiate between those mental conditions that are caused by a diseased vital force and those that a new caused buy something higher than that, that is, the soul. You can;t do anything with homoeopathic medicines in something tit is actually spiritual. Our drugs are not spiritual. They are spirit like. they do not read into the realm above the vital force. The treatment for those conditions that are of they soul is not medicinal.

DR.P.L.BENTHACK;Let us clearly understand if it is actually a moral or willful,single disorder before we use our Homoeopathic medicine. If we have a clean, noble person who in a shameful way uncovers himself or herself,we will know our Homoeopathic remedy is Useful had a patient whom I knew to be a good,clean, moral person, but when delirious we always uncovered herself. Right away it came to me that I should give her Hyoscyamus, and I did, and it stopped in trouble. But there are some others who are physically healthy but do these things on account of sinful ways.

If a man physically healthy but do these things on account of sinful ways. If a man physically healthy but do these things on account of single ways. If a man physically healthy but do these things on account of sinful ways. If a man physically healthy but do these things on account of sinful ways. If a man physically healthy but do these thing on account of sinful ways. If a man absolutely wants to embarrass society, out HOMOEOPATHIC medicine will not help.

DR.B.C.WOODBURY: I would like to call the attention of those who do not know of it to a book by Gallavardin on The Homoeopathic Treatment of Alcoholism. This book also contains the homoeopathic treatment of many of our physical and mental a delinquencies. It is a very remarkable and valuable book.

DR.C.M.BOGER: It seems to me you are mixing up a little bit. the soul isnt sick; it never is, not in the ordinary sense of the word-sickness. It is the physical body, through which the soul speaks that is sick,. the best pianist in the world cannot play a piano if the notes are all disarranged, and if your vital force is out of order, the soul cant speak through the vital forces in an orderly way. We want to get this matter clear in our minds. There is a regular graduation-will want to get this matter clear in our minds.

There is a regular gradation-will (including the soul,mind and vital force) and the boy. Keep that order in your mind and avoid all this confusion and void making a lot of mistakes. Now what the sick, body may do to he mind is a n entirely defiant question. What the sick body may do to the will is a different question also. But after all, it comes back to that fundamental fact the will which controls the whole situation considering it from that point of view.

CHAIRMAN DIXON: Thank you, Dr.Boger, we have all had our problems in telling what was a mental symptom.

DR.JULIA M.GREEN: In closing I only wish to say that we have treated patients and had the family come back and say that that patient seems to be all made over now, mentally, physically,and spiritually,which shows that our HOMOEOPATHIC remedies have a wonderful power.

I am very glad to hear Dr.Bogers discussion. That one sentence clears up the whole question.

The principle of potentization is intimately connected with the fundamental of our science, similia similibus curentur, but it is not superior to it: the potentized drug would be of little avail unless administered agreeably to the fundamental law, whereas the lowest potencies of the drug will frequently restore the patients health. . . We knows as yet too little of the inmost relation of our drugs to the vital laws which given the functions of he animal economy. too little of the inmost nature of temperament, idiosyncrasies, too little of the thousand influences which are all the time modifying he play of the vital forces, to be exclusive in our adherence to one potency in preference to another.

We are bound to believe in the principle of potentization, because we know that the breaking up of the material body homoeopathic practitioners into low and high dilutionists is is absurd; those who consent to be ranked among either class exclusively are not philosophical artists,and their opinions in matters refereeing to the healing art must necessarily be one-sided- HOMOEOPATHIC Examiner, 1847.

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