As you can see, her symptoms fit the depression criteria exactly but her other symptoms were also observed and used to determine the appropriate remedies. After seeing the homeopath, she was eventually given Thuja and improved dramatically. By 1995 she was still improving and doing well, her sexual energy was much better, she gained weight, was more social, and even went on a one month bike ride in Europe. Her fissures in her anus closed up and she had normal bowel movements with no pain.
She was also able to eat many foods which she would have never been able to previously. She also mentions that she’s “grateful to be alive”19.
If this had been a case treated with conventional medicine, drugs would have been used to try and treat the fissures in her anus and another for the colitis. In addition to this, antidepressants would have been prescribed and would thus have been taking a number of drugs for very different conditions.
The side effects of the drugs would have probably made her Crohn’s disease worse and she would have probably relapsed. To get an idea of how homeopathy uses the language of psychology in a totally different way, the symptom picture of Thuja as described in the homeopathic literature is as follows.
Although most of the 3000 remedies comprising the materia medica of Hahnemann were known before his time, Thuja is one of Hahnemann’s discoveries. Thuja individuals sustain wounds early in life that penetrate deeply into their psyches because of their tremendous fragility and vulnerability.
J. T. Kent a renowned homeopath illuminates the psychic state of Thuja when he describes a woman with the fixed idea that she is very delicate, that she is made of glass and that she might break.
Thuja children have a predisposition to psychic fragility and their stability is further fractured by various forms of serious neglect and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. A common thread in the history of Thuja patients is the experience of rejection and unprovoked and undeserved punishment. As one patient said about his relationship with his mother, “I was not what she wanted, and she let me know it.”
Thuja individuals then produce a particular type of wall, whose purpose is to deflect criticism and rejection by obscuring the person’s true nature. Thuja individuals become reserved and suspicious, instead of expressing their emotions. They attempt to gain control and security by carefully assessing the emotional climate and showing little of themselves. They shelter themselves by becoming introverted, moody, and self-absorbed. Always guarded, Thuja individuals might also be overtly deceptive, manipulating other people and generating misinformation. Their goal is to protect themselves by refusing to allow other people to penetrate their veneer. They will go to great lengths to avoid being seen by others.
Many Thuja individuals are creative and dramatic. They seek to release their tightly guarded emotions through artistic expression. Though Thuja individuals can appear to be comfortable in social settings, most admit to feeling alienated – dwelling forever outside the warm circle of friends and intimates. They tend to appease themselves by indulging to excess in alcohol or drugs because of the lack of experience of fraternity. Gradually, their systems become eroded by self-reproach, guilt, and depression. Eventually, they can reach a state of intense apathy and a suicidal loathing of life.
The mask of Thuja is often well-composed. Thuja individuals can appear to be fully in control of their lives. They are often very fastidious in the construction of their persona. They can present as timid and shy, or they can create a facade of sensual excitement and intrigue. Overall, Thuja individuals will, during the homeopathic interview, reveal only what they want and nothing more. Many physical symptoms are associated with Thuja, including warts, growths, catarrhal discharges, left-sided headaches, and many conditions of the female and male genitalia.20
Homeopathy vs. Psychology
Although there are superficial similarities between psychology and homeopathy, their approach is fundamentally different. In order to prescribe a remedy or medicine when analysing a patient both in homeopathy and psychology or psychiatry, doctors must sit with a patient and try to figure out what is wrong in order to help them. This time consuming process may be therapeutic in itself. In other psychological problems such as anxiety, depression and various others, talking out the problem with a psychologist can help the patient a great deal. Homeopathy is similar in this way in that the actual case taking can last up to 90 minutes.
One girl that was sexually molested continually wet her bed and had severe cases of cystitis was treated by a homeopath. Her father didn’t believe that she was molested and as a result had become very hypersensitive. She had been given a remedy and was improving. Her mother also said that the daughter “talked a lot about [their] visit and the way [the homeopath] listened, and seemed relieved to share the sexual stuff with [him]”.21 “Psychotherapists notice that their clients who visit homeopaths get through their life dramas much more quickly than clients who do not”22. Talking helps a great deal to be able to deal with a problem better but naturally it is not the only thing that will cure the patient. It merely helps to discuss the problems in order to be able to start the curing process.
However, in determining the criteria which will decide the method of treatment, the two approaches are different. In modern medicine, drugs are prescribed for the disease that a patient has. It doesn’t take into consideration the patients past, or the patient as a unique individual. One example of a psychological disease where this happens is Attention Deficit Disorder. Ten patients with ADD may need ten different homeopathic medicines. Their individual differences are what lead the homeopath to choose a particular medicine to help them lead an adjusted, happier and more productive life.23
In the view of homeopathy, all these patients have very different symptoms and are given the individualized remedy, yet in modern medicine they are all given the same medicine. A simpler example of this is the flu; one person might have bones aching, the other may have a headache, and the third may have a high fever but they are all given the same allopathic medicine whereas in homeopathy, they might be given different medicines. The single remedy is selected to cover the whole picture of the person since it is the whole person who is sick, not just one part.
The homeopath sincerely seeks to understand the uniqueness of the patient. Homeopathic case-taking involves taking all aspects of the psychosomatic into consideration. Homeopathy is very different from psychology because it takes into consideration physical symptoms as well as the emotional symptoms of a patient.
“Homeopathy perceives that there is one soul [psyche] in one body and from this it naturally follows that there is only one core problem at any one time and therefore only one healing intervention, one remedy, is needed, to create a curative action”24. In the same way that provings define each remedy as the unique ensemble of signs and symptoms that it can produce in healthy people, homeopaths define illness as the totality of observable responses that is equally characteristic of the patient. As the true reflection of the inner state, the overall symptom-picture becomes the chief goal of the clinical examination of the patient, and of the search for the remedy that best matches it25. Every person has a remedy that suits them. When the symptoms are all put together, one remedy is chosen that fits the symptom picture very closely.
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