A CASE OF PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA
When I was about 14 years old I had a type of existential crisis. I told my parents this whole western world we lived in was "totally useless." I begged them to send me to India or Tibet. There I would be taught to meditate, I would reach a higher state of consciousness, and then I would be free and find total happiness again. They said they wouldn't send me. I wept in despair and then said, "Well, I may as well stay here and make the best of it." What was the element within me that had such a yearning?
This is a case of a 45-year-old man who was treated successfully for paranoid schizophrenia. His main symptoms were delusions of persecution, paranoid ideas, delusions of grandeur, thought disorder, flaws of reasoning, and auditory hallucinations. The only treatment he received was two doses of homeopathically prepared Hydrogen.
The idea for this prescription came from the proving done by Jeremy Sherr, RS Hom. I am sincerely grateful for the very excellent work he has done. The text of the proving states:
In the beginning was hydrogen....It was the first element to be formed in the universe....Being the first, it is a link with "the time that was before" (a phrase from the Kalahari Bushman). It is the "first born element" being both positive and negative and possessing pattern, or structure. It is also the most abundant element in the universe. (The Proving of Hydrogen, Jeremy Sherr, The Society of Homeopaths, Artizan Road, Northampton NN1 4HU, England.)
Hydrogen is also the source of all things. Every other element is made of this basic unit. It is the unity of all things. It makes all things possible. It is the source. It is the beginning of energy and matter.
Was there an energy or consciousness that brought this first element into being, or is this energy the great creator itself? Can this element still have a memory of this event or of its creator, or how did it create itself? Does it know itself, know all the other elements it has been infused into, know all other molecules in the universe, know all living things, know human consciousness so it now can ponder itself and continue on its mission? Is it therefore the essence of "life" itself? Does it know what it wants from us and where it is going? It seems to be very creative, creating more and more complex forms of life. It has a big ego to take on such a task.
There are literally billions of hydrogen atoms in each person. What role does it play in the developmental process? Does it try to impress its "will" on us to return to the source of all things -- a higher state of being, back to divinity -- to complete its goal? What happens when this element becomes too powerful within us, what symptoms are created, and how does the balance become restored so that the healthy development of the person can once again continue?
This case is the story of a man's journey into the unknown. He describes it as "an important mission with global implications." He spent many hours, weeks, and months in meditation, reading esoteric literature and thinking about how to make positive and creative solutions in his life and the lives of others. Then there was a breakthrough. His mind made a connection with a supreme life force. Here he found eternal truths, revelations, and experienced excitement about the possibilities before him. Just as in The Allegory of the Cave by Plato, it is the most difficult of tasks to have a revelation, to see "another reality," and then to come back and try to explain it to people who see only the "shadows on the wall."
Along the path to complete his mission something went wrong. His perception became distorted, the information did not integrate into the real world, the ego became too inflated, and past unresolved conflicts came to the surface. Eventually, the state of higher consciousness became too much to handle. It is at this point that I had the opportunity to work with him and help him to find a way back.
I hope that I have given credit where it is due, minimized errors, and maintained respect and dignity for the patient who gave me permission to present his very personal story.
Initial Visit: August 27, 1993
Observation: My first impression is that this patient has an intensity about him. His eyes are staring at me in a super-concentrated manner. His movements are fast and precise. His nervous system is on the alert. He is very awake.
His first words to me are, "Steve, you are on level four."
Then he pauses as if some great revelation has just entered his mind. "I am on level six. I know we are going to be able to work together, Steve. I can't tell you everything right now because it is complicated and you will soon understand when you are ready."
[From this brief interaction I could already choose some rubrics:
- MIND, Haughty.
- MIND, Egotism.
- MIND, Theorizing.
- MIND, Abstract.]
"I am on a mission to put together a spiritual army. I met a spiritual guide, but it is more abstract than that. It is the source of all things, a oneness. The universe wants the oneness. Now I can sense the answers to questions. It is as if I know everything. I know 73 languages now. The universe is speaking through me, like a God but not religious. A type of mind with a purpose to achieve the best. I also believe that I have superhuman strength."
Then he asked me if I would let him hold my hand so that he could teach me homeopathy. I said, "Sure, go ahead." Then he took my hand lightly and proceeded to "transmit to me all the homeopathic knowledge" that he had made contact with. His eyes were turned upward and he blinked rapidly as he performed this procedure.
[I came up with some more rubrics:
- MIND, Delusions, absurd, ludicrous.
- MIND, Delusions, greatness of, as to.
- MIND, Delusions, enlarged.
- MIND, Delusions, God, that he is in communication with.
- MIND, Delusions, great person, is.
- MIND, Delusions, knowledge, thought he possessed infinite.
- MIND, Delusions, superhuman, is.
Hydrogen is a new remedy, so it did not appear in any of the rubrics in my repertory. But if the symptoms I mentioned are repertorized you can get an idea of the remedies that can be compared with Hydrogen.
Using the Synthesis Repertory of RADAR, Sulphur appeared in first place, followed by these remedies: Platinum, Veratrum album, Lycopodium, Lachesis, Nux vomica, Silica, Stramonium, Cannabis indica, Arnica, Aurum, Mercurius, Paris quadrifolia, Hyoscyamus, Alumina, Opium, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Conium, Sabadilla, Palladium, Calcarea carbonica, Staphysagria, and others.
It is interesting how many of these remedies have aspects to them of "expansion." This is in contrast to remedies like Cyclamen, Natrum muriaticum, and those in the Baryta or Cuprum family that are all very contracted, cramping, and introverted. Out of these expansive remedies we need to find one that fits the other aspects of the case.]
Repeats words (2). "I have to repeat things three times to keep a balance. I call these "triples."
He used to be organized; wanted people on time (1). Was a perfectionist (2).
"I was a workaholic in the past, but now I don't have a regular job. I will sit for hours staring" (2).
He was artistic and creative in the past; did some acting (1).
He read a lot for a year. Was "swallowing" books on religious and philosophical subjects (2).
Will go into a trance if you don't talk to him (2).
Speaks in idioms for balance (2).
Has fixed ideas, such as "Dairy is not good" (2). Connects to ideas on the essence level of things (2).
Has extreme health beliefs (2).
Last year he was into dowsing with a pendulum (2), then didn't need it anymore (2). "The universe is fine-tuning me."
He has problems communicating with people (2). Swears, curses, uses gross, ugly, sexual words (2).
Low self-confidence (2).
He cried when his wife left him.
No conflict with sexual feelings.
Takes control of a group (1). Wants to lead (2). Dictatorial (2).
"We will have a team (2). I am knowing the answers."
Some paranoia. "Someone is trying to kill us." Won't let his girlfriend walk past the window because he is sure someone will shoot her (2). Tackles her if she walks past the window.
"Spirit is all" (2).
Talks of travel (3). Wants to travel to meet up with other people who will help in the mission (2).
"I want to let the spirit take over" (1).
Delusion: "My father went to jail for molesting kids" (2).
[This is a delusion. This did not happen. The rest of the family was in the room when I took his case. His girlfriend, his son, his parents, and his brothers were all there to help and support him. I don't know if he wanted them there. ]
Audience: Did he know they were there?
Olsen: I think so. His girlfriend was crying intermittently as we went through it.
Oneness of everything (2). "The universe wants the oneness" (2). "The universe is talking through me" (2).
Wants to achieve the best (2).
"It is all one" (2).
[As I am taking the case I feel as if he is floating away. I need to find something to bring him back to earth. What could have caused this? What is he unable to face in reality to have made the choice to leave his body in such an extreme way? Is he bored with reality, is it grief, is it the ego trying to take total control?]
He married when he was 19 years old. He has two children (1).
Divorced his first wife and then got married again. The second marriage lasted eight years.
Since his last divorce he has been on a spiritual quest (2). Science of Mind church. Owned a construction company and then sold it. Quit the church. "Then got more into my trip." Used to be athletic but not in the last two years (1).
Has never abused drugs or alcohol (2).
- Dry mouth and lips.
- Tight stomach.
- Eyes move rapidly when he thinks (2).
In the last two years he has been sleeping only one to two hours each night (2). Problems sleeping through the night (2).
Eats mostly vegetables and fruit (2). Also red meat, kiwi, and raisins.
Quite thirsty (3). Craves warm, room temperature, or hot drinks (3).
More sensitive to cold (1).
Olsen: What are your impressions?
Audience: Grandiosity, delusion.
Audience: Did he feel that there was something wrong, that he needed treatment?
Olsen: He did want to get better. In later follow-ups we will find out more about this. In the paranoid state, he would tell his girlfriend, "I feel sick. Take me to the hospital. I know I am sick. Something has gone terribly wrong with me. I need help. I believe in what I am doing but something has gone wrong."
Christopher Jayne: How long has he been in this state?
Olsen: He has been in this more severe paranoid state for three or four weeks, and that is when he really started to get worried. Before that, he wasn't worried.
Marcia Neiswander: His sleep is unusual. It is characteristic of psychotic behavior. What is the cause for all this?
Olsen: I was trying to find some kind of etiology, but I had a difficult time discovering one. The only etiology I could find was that he really was searching for spiritual enlightenment and truth for many years. It seems that he learned and developed and was creative in that endeavor, but something did go wrong.
Sheryl Kipnis: I am still confused about how long he has been in this state.
Olsen: Well, for at least two years he has been moving more and more into his own belief system, becoming more and more carried away with these ideas. The intensely paranoid ideas, I believe, have only been around for about a month. Some of the stranger ideas about what he knows, the delusions of grandeur and so on, have been much worse in the last month, to the point where he is uncomfortable with it.
Sheryl Kipnis: Was there pathology prior to the past month?
Olsen: No. He undoubtedly had a lot of ideas about things, but you would probably have described him as "eccentric" rather than psychotic or delusional.
Analysis: An Unwilling Traveler into the "Twilight Zone"
This patient made a definite impression on me. First of all, he had only a few physical symptoms. I felt that his consciousness had expanded to the outer limits of the universe and had found something there. It is an experience, perhaps, that many people are trying to achieve -- transcendence from the physical boundaries and into the mystical spiritual realms. In a sense we all want to "take off from this planet" and go back to our original "home" where there is a oneness of all things, before we differentiated into individual beings. To become an individual is often a grueling and painful process as we face loneliness, selfishness, and alienation from meaning. To find the way back requires the development of many qualities from within. Disease is there to keep us on this path.
In this case I believe the desire to develop the capacity to unite with the "source of all things" was premature and led to a certain type of imbalance, distortion, and breakdown. As one author puts it, "The road to enlightenment: is littered with the wrecks of souls that were not ready for the powerful forces that are generated from such action." (The Gateway to Liberation by Mary Gray.)
This patient is in a diseased state because he no longer has any choice over his thoughts and actions. His perceptions have taken control, and he has increasingly become the unwilling traveler into the "twilight zone." Also, many of his experiences can be classified as absurd claims, excitable fantasies, and paranoid delusions.
There is still a question as to what is real or true in his experience and what is fantasy, imagination, and delusion. I would consider the following as real: the realization that we are all connected, the conviction that we need to help each other and the planet if we are to survive and continue to develop, the intuition or inspiration that we can bring new ideas into positive action, and the experience of ecstasy that comes with a spiritual experience.
We are now in a position to add to the repertorization already in progress:
- MIND, Absorbed, buried in thought.
- MIND, Abstract.
- MIND, Anger, from contradiction.
- MIND, Audacity.
- MIND, Boaster.
- MIND, Clairvoyance.
- MIND, Confusion, identity, as to his.
- MIND, Contradiction, intolerant of.
- MIND, Cursing.
- MIND, Deeds, great sensation as if he could do.
- MIND, Delusions, conspiracies.
- MIND, Delusions, injury, is about to receive.
- MIND, Delusions, enemy, surrounded by.
- MIND, Delusions, pursued, thought he was.
- MIND, Delusions, voices, hears.
- MIND, Ecstasy.
- MIND, Excitement, excitable.
- MIND, Exhilaration.
- MIND, Expansive.
- MIND, Fanaticism.
- MIND, Fancies, exaltation of.
- MIND, Fearless.
- MIND, Foolish behavior.
- MIND, Impetuous.
- MIND, Impulse, peculiar.
- MIND, Indolence, aversion to work.
- MIND, Insanity.
- MIND, Introspection.
- MIND, Mania.
- MIND, Meditation.
- MIND, Optimistic.
- MIND, Passionate.
- MIND, Plans, making many.
- MIND, Prophesying.
- MIND, Religious affections.
- MIND, Schizophrenia.
- MIND, Schizophrenia, paranoid.
- MIND, Selflessness.
- MIND, Sits, wrapped in deep thoughts.
- MIND, Slander, disposition to.
- MIND, Speech, foolish.
- MIND, Strange things, impulse to do.
- MIND, Suspicious.
- MIND, Sympathetic.
- MIND, Travel, desire to.
- MIND, Theorizing.
- MIND, Thoughts, profound.
- MIND, Thoughts, rush.
- MIND, Withdrawal from reality.
- SLEEP, Waking often.
- STOMACH, Thirst for large quantities.
I used RADAR and the Vithoulkas Expert System to repertorize, which resulted in the following remedies: Sulphur, Stramonium, Lachesis, Hyoscyamus, Aurum, Veratrum album, Ignatia, Cannabis indica, Anhalonium, Opium, Nux vomica, and Belladonna.
Although there are aspects of these remedies that fit this case, there is none that fits better than Hydrogen.
Plan: Order the remedy Hydrogen.
Durr Elmore: Using MacRepertory (with the latest edition of the Complete Repertory, which has additions for Hydrogen), with an emphasis on the small remedies, the analysis of the rubrics you chose for the case yields Anhalonium (peyote), Androctonos (scorpion), and Cannabis indica. The sixth remedy that comes through the analysis is Hydrogen.
Olsen: I'm sure that it will come through with the additions from the proving.
September 1, 1993
(Remedy not yet taken.)
He wants to go to Los Angeles today. No matter what I say he insists on going. He says he is going to meet a team of people, and they will make plans to do some great deeds. He has no idea who these people will be. (I am convinced he will go to Los Angeles, meet someone else in the same state of mind, and then end up in India-never to be heard from again.)
Assessment: Paranoid schizophrenia.
Plan: Hydrogen 200c, single dose.
September 15, 1993
Observation, His eyes are more restful. The movements are not so agitated.
He just got back from a trip to Los Angeles, New York, and Edmonton.
Overall, I feel better. My mind is calmer. I have come back.
I went through some erratic stuff a while ago. I know I dragged my family through this. It was necessary.
It didn't feel okay for me to be so way out and weird. It was a hallucination based on my emotions not working or on negative emotions.
I am more integrated now, back into my physical body (2).
I was doing things that were abnormal during the three-week period when things went haywire just before I came to see you.
I wanted to get close to the invisible and unite with it (2).
I had to deal with pollution, people being sick who I wanted to help, the state of human thinking (1).
On February 5,1993, I felt some bodily discomfort, which lasted until recently (1), such as sore muscles (2), twitching, various sensations running through my body (2).
Before I took the remedy I had communications in the back of my head. I heard voices (2). This has stopped now. One voice bothered me. It was a very critical voice that exposed my family or said things that were not true, sexual things (2). Now I feel these voices were there to assist me in a cleansing process. It made me accuse my father of sexual abuse. It was going on 24 hours a day (1).
I know now this was not true. I wanted to experience what sexuality was so I could help people that were sexually abused.
The voice is no longer negative (1).
It was very scary and unpleasant to be in that state.
His girlfriend says, "He is back to his normal, old self. Before he came to see you, he had a bad period of 3 1/2 weeks. I had decided to leave him and not see him anymore." Then four days later he started to leave his body and he said he loved her (2). The next day he had to be taken to the emergency room. It was as if he was in shock (2): dry mouth (1), chills (2), blank look (2).
"In the hospital, I (girlfriend) said to him, 'Look at me.' He said 'I hate you' and 'I am dying.' I prayed for him and took him out of the hospital because the doctors wanted to give drugs to him. Then we left together, looked in the telephone book, and found you -- the naturopath."
He was afraid that if he and his girlfriend became too involved he would feel trapped. "I want to be free." He wouldn't commit to her. But he also was afraid that he could not live without her. She wanted to end the casual relationship because he would not make a commitment. Then he flipped out (2).
Then he kept walking in a daze and having hallucinations (2). He said to his girlfriend: "Mary, talk to me. There are cops outside the door." He kept wanting to be taken to the hospital. "There are guns pointed at us." Wanted to go to the airport. This was out of character for him (2), according to the girlfriend. She then called his parents. "I moved him to my place. The next day we brought him (2) to see you. Now, we are friends again" (2).
He says, "I will look for my own place to live now. It is sad I can't give her what she wants." (More of a relationship; more intimacy.)
He is not as thirsty now (2). He was drinking two quarts a day.
He is tired from all the traveling, being away for 11 days (1).
He is taking some vitamins.
He eats only vegetables, chicken, and fruit (1).
He began to receive information from non-physical communications about a year ago. He took notes on it and read a lot (1).
Assessment: His ego is back under control (2). He is not expanding into the universe anymore. The remedy is correct.
Plan: 1. Wait.
2. Return in one month.
October 5, 1993
(Video excerpts were shown.)
He was in New York for a while. Wore the same clothes for a week.
Drives around in his car all day (2).
Is somewhat in denial (1).
He is obsessive about perfection (2).
Contradictions are unacceptable for him (1).
Says he can know things telepathically (2).
He is talking about traveling again, to California (2).
He presents an image of having lots of money (1).
Still feels he has special powers (1).
He wants to save the world (2). Big plans (2).
In a fantasy world (2). Big ego (2), but low self-worth (2). Pretends he has control (1), but inside he is a baby (1).
Goal: employment (1).
"I am receiving cosmic information every day (1). Universally directed (2). Ideas from the universe (2). I am growing from them to assist the planet, wellness, pollution." (2)
Wants to go to Los Angeles today (3).
Abundance of self-confidence. (2)
Assessment: Relapsing. I need to see him improve within 48 hours or refer him to a psychiatrist.
Plan: Hydrogen 200c, single dose.
November 10, 1993
In general, he feels better again.
No physical symptoms (1). Some tooth pains (1). More physically active; walking more (2).
Abstract mind (2).
He is learning about the process (1), the future (2), the work (2). Gaining insights (1).
Goal: trying to get insight into it. It has to do with addressing the negativity on the planet -- sickness, people becoming aware (2).
"I can't share it all with you. It is the invisible, non-physical aspects of the universe. This is what I am concerned with. This is becoming more clear to me. The plan is very intricate, long range. To bring peace and quiet to this planet. It will take a number of years working with various people to accomplish it."
He is not reading now. Used to do a lot of reading. Now he rides around in a car, soaking up information (1). "I receive various ideas (1) that I don't understand but things are getting more clear." (1)
He is staying with his girlfriend, who has teenage girls.
Good moods. Good social contact with friends and family (1). Visits people (1). Talks on the telephone. Visits with his son. Enjoys seeing people (2).
"I still believe I will do lots of traveling" (1). Still has the desire to travel (2).
"I was off balance" (1).
"There is an answer (2). It has been kept from people on this planet: (1). Something to do with oneness, synthesis" (2).
Struggles with the opposites of the universe (2) -- individualization versus synthesis and the meaning of wholeness (2).
Assessment: Doing better.
May 20, 1994
I talked with his girlfriend on the telephone.
He is a bit eccentric about his ideas, but basically he is doing okay.
He still does not have a job and isn't looking for one.
We both feel he is not totally better. But he is not paranoid, he is not traveling as much, and his moods are stable. He does not feel there is anything wrong with him and does not want another appointment at this time.
June 8, 1994
I telephoned him just before this conference. He doesn't feel a need for further treatment at this point.
"I am doing well, 100 percent better."
He has no paranoia. "I haven't had any symptoms that would require medication."
"My learning process continues. It will take a number of years. I still have insight, but I don't really want to explain it right now."
He enjoys visiting people and talking on the phone.
He is not reading now.
I spoke with his girlfriend. They still live together. She says he is fine.
He likes to travel and feels he will, but he doesn't have the desire to just take off anymore.
"I was off-balance before."
"I don't talk to anyone about my belief system anymore. Most days I feel relaxed and in a good mood."
(I asked him about religion.) "In any religion there is a spark of truth, but we aren't supposed to really get into it right now. We aren't supposed to become totally spiritual right now."
(I asked him about all the problems on the earth, all the conflict and war.) "There is a beingness that is in synchronicity. "Conflict is a necessary form of expression. It is a selfishness and a violence that people have to experience and that the people around the violence have to experience. The people around the violence are inspired more strongly for compassion. I am very optimistic about the world, and I understand why there has to be negativity and conflict."
Assessment: He is philosophical and matter-of-fact about his ideas, more modest.
Some Notes on Hydrogen
Hydrogen, like many other remedies, has a range to its therapeutic efficacy. So, although I have chosen the following symptoms from the proving to support this case, I do not want to present this information as a fixed essence of Hydrogen's "genius."
In Jeremy Sherr's proving of Hydrogen the following experiences were recorded. (The notation after each listing refers to the number of the prover, the potency taken, and the day on which the symptom was experienced. Thus, "16, 30c, 06" means the sixteenth prover, the thirtieth centesimal potency, on the sixth day. Where the day/time was irrelevant or unclear it was marked as "XX.")
I feel I have moved into a different state of consciousness and there aren't any guideposts or means of navigation -- a bit like being lost in space. 16, 30c, 06
Feeling like visiting another dimension and having to come back here and it's all the same as it was before. 16, 30c, 08
There is a very fine line at this time between enlightenment and insanity -- a split consciousness. The dark side is horrendous, but the positive side of the proving has been well worth it. The positive aspects are beautiful. It's a shame we need to come down. I guess the price of going to heaven is a trip to hell. 16, 30c, XX
I've experienced a lot more egotism in the last few weeks. I feel frustrated by the limitations of the ego. 16, 30c, XX
I feel so much love I don't know how to focus it. It's like being in another state of consciousness. No one can come near and it's frightening me. 16, 30c, 25
I felt the presence of a totally pure energy, like meeting God and feeling totally unworthy or like meeting a lover and feeling unworthy -- realizing all the mistakes of a lifetime. This pure energy was around for some time protecting me. I feel this unification cleared out lifetimes of symptomatology for me....I felt overflowing love for humanity and wanted to give everything away. My mind turned to Buddha. It was like seeing the complete picture instead of fragmented bits. (These primary effects lasted about 28 days, then changing to a paranoid state.) 16, 30c, 07
My whole time scale changed since taking the remedy. I've lost a lot of boundaries on time. Don't hurry, just do things in my own time. 08, 30c, 06
It seems as if all the days became one. 16, 30c, XX
I became silly and manic, rushing around. 24, 30c, 00
I feel distant and separated from things and they feel unreal. 16, 30c, 01
Fear that someone was trying to find out if I was home so that they could come and rape and murder me. 16, 30c, XX
Feel I can't trust anyone. Paranoia. 4, 30c, 100
While sitting in a restaurant, felt progressively more cut off from friends at the table. I began to feel detached and paranoid. I felt disliked bypeople. They seem to look at me menacingly....I felt very uncomfortable and wanted to get out. I put my head down and rushed out saying good-bye, feeling a sense of relief at getting away (all very unusual for me). Outside, I felt relief and my mind cleared and I walked home alone. 22, 12c, 04
I think that no one likes me. I felt betrayed and everything went haywire. 16, 30c, XX
A spark of a paranoid thought. Maybe I'm being poisoned. 10, 200c, 00
Felt cut off from people and suspicious. 22, 12c, XX
Greatly increased tendency to theorize and philosophize, especially concerning esoteric matters. 16, 12c, 05
I didn't have the opportunity to read these proving symptoms until long after my patient had received the Hydrogen. I believe these proving symptoms confirm that he was given the correct medicine.
In reading the literature on schizophrenia and paranoid schizophrenia I was amazed at how many of these symptoms were covered by the remedy Hydrogen. It is especially interesting that schizophrenia can produce so many bizarre religious ideas and that mental hospitals have to keep religious ideas away from the patients because it makes them much worse. They have already progressed too far in that direction. Perhaps this is not a rare remedy for that condition.
There is a well-known affliction of a type of religious mania that ordinary people get when they visit holy places like Jerusalem. Hydrogen may be one of the medicines to treat it.
It often takes an extreme case to prescribe Hydrogen for the first time. Once we know the pattern of an extreme case we will be able to recognize the same pattern in more ordinary circumstances. The pattern of symptoms we can look for is as follows:
- Strong sense of self-confidence.
- Sometimes egotistical.
- Episodes of extreme excitability about spiritual things.
- Bright smile with eyes wide open, saying: "I have found the answer. I have really found it."
- History of being very energetic.
- Paucity of physical symptoms.
- Theoretical, inspirational.
- Full of new ideas.
- Over-excitable, religious; "new age" extremism.
- Independent in thought but want to work with others.
- Sympathetic, working for a cause.
- Bored with the norm.
- Anger if contradicted.
- May feel alienated at times from other people, or alone in their quest, or sensitive to the fact that other people do not agree with them.
Most times we would incorrectly give Sulphur (egotism), Veratrum album (egotism, haughty, religious mania, bipolar moods), or Medorrhinum (egotism, expansive nature, excitability, delusions).
It is a tragedy that without homeopathy these people would end up in a mental hospital with various medications and very little chance of cure. This person did not have a support system in place to help him through his initiation process. Our society simply is not set up for these people. There needs to be a revolution in psychiatry so that these patients have the opportunity to choose homeopathic treatment. I am hopeful that one day we will see this become a reality.
Afia Menke: What did you feel when he was in the Hydrogen state. What kind of feelings came over you sitting in the room with him ? Did you believe him? Did you feel kind of "taken in"?
Olsen: I have, of course, seen patients with big egos -- people needing Sulphur, Veratrum album, Platina, and other such remedies; people who think they are superior and can do anything; people who put other people down -- where the egos seem greatly "expanded." However, I felt that this man's ego had gone beyond the earth! It's unfortunate that the first interview was not videotaped so that you could see that.
Audience: You felt as if you went there with him?
Olsen: No.I didn't go there with him. Perhaps I could just feel through him where he was. It was incredibly expansive with an absolute kind of arrogance, as if he had found something and he was going to dictate it to everyone else. He wouldn't accept anyone else's ideas. Now, after the remedy, he is not so arrogant. He is not trying to force his ideas on anyone anymore. He is not "out there" like he was.
Marcia Neiswander: Sometimes, when you are with somebody who is quite psychotic, some of the things they say to you can ring true. Sometimes they say a lot of spiritual-sounding yet bizarre things that may come across as exactly correct, even though the person is totally "out there" in many other ways.
As I watched him on the follow-up video, I felt that he is still not "connected." He is still somewhere else. It is as if he is lecturing you from another place, like there is a part of him that is still very disconnected and that is spiritually somewhere else. The two still have to come together.
Olsen: I think it is accurate to say that he did go somewhere, and he truly did experience something that the average person doesn't experience A part of him was healthy, I think, and I don't want to take that away from him. I feel that he is on a path and he is going to work it out. I don't feel that this is the end of the journey.
Richard Hiltner: Did he practice any formal meditation? And, secondly, where can you get the remedy Hydrogen?
Olsen: He did practice meditation. I don't know exactly what type. Both the Helios and Quinn pharmacies have the remedy now.
Richard Hiltner: Was the meditation done before, during, or after this psychotic episode?
Olsen: It was for one to two years beforehand.
Richard Hiltner: Did he have a guru?
Olsen: Not that I am aware of.
Nancy Herrick: There is a new classification for this kind of state. It is called "spiritual emergency," and you actually can fill out your insurance forms with this as a diagnosis. I think it is a better classification than paranoid schizophrenia.
Also, I thought it was interesting that many of the other remedies that came up for consideration were drug remedies. Yet he presented in a very "mineralized" kind of state, with his general appearance and even his striped shirt. He looked like a businessman.
Olsen: Yes, he looks very proper.
Helene Schwartzenberger: Many people who go on spiritual quests apparently go to mountainous areas. It is my understanding that it is not an uncommon phenomenon for spiritual crisis to happen in these settings in higher altitudes. I wonder if there is an excess of hydrogen in higher altitudes?
Eric Sommermann: There is somewhat more hydrogen in the higher atmosphere.
Sharon Ryals-Tamm: I know of four Hydrogen cases, one that I treated and then three others from colleagues. It is interesting that in each of those cases the patient had not used drugs or alcohol. They were very "clean." They were in this expanded state without any drugs. In one case the patient was a teenage boy whose father was sure his son must be using drugs because he was in such a hallucinogenic and psychotic state.
The person I treated had been a spiritual seeker all his life. He was the kind of person who didn't want his own name. He took a name from one of the many paths he had followed. The reason I treated him was not for the spiritual seeking, as such, but rather for his intense feeling of separation. This is what I saw in all four of these Hydrogen cases. It is not a minor sense of separation. It is an agony that is nearly incomprehensible to ordinary people. They don't feel like they belong to the human race or to the planet. The sense of being alone is massive. It is just beyond anything we can imagine, and the fear that comes from that is tremendous.
After taking one dose of the remedy my patient said nothing happened. However, he actually became very successful in the spiritual practice that he was involved in. He became a teacher and became a very gracious, humble person. Before the remedy, he knew it all but he was such an egomaniac that people couldn't stand to be around him. He also had no ability to just be with human beings in a natural way. He couldn't hold ordinary jobs After the remedy, he got a good job with a computer company and women started chasing him! He is still a very spiritual person, but he is successful in expressing his spirituality in a very generous way, in a way that actually contributes to other people.
What I saw in those four Hydrogen cases is that people don't actually give up a spiritual quest. Rather, they are able to integrate the spirituality into their lives. They can bring in the light that they are seeking in a way that makes a difference on the planet.
Marcia Neiswander: I'd like to make a short comment on schizophrenia. It is odd that this man developed his symptoms at that age. The normal onset of schizophrenia is in the early to mid 20s. As we learn more about Hydrogen, I wonder if we might discover that this remedy corresponds to psychotic problems that develop in the 40s as part of the psychotic element that occurs in the 40s with a spiritual midlife quest or crisis.
Durr Elmore: I had a very interesting Hydrogen case that is a little different from the one you just presented. This man was very sane and, in fact, I felt he was a very high spiritual person. He had had some experiences of enlightenment. This was a man with kind of a natural spirituality. There was no egotism. He wasn't connected with any particular movement or guru. As a child he had some ecstatic experiences. He said that when he was in his mid 30s he experienced a complete oneness with Buddhahood, with the universe. He was in this state of complete spiritual bliss for about three or four weeks, and then he gradually came down and had a difficult time integrating it into the world. He went into a kind of depression that lasted for about a year, at which point he was referred to me.
I didn't feel a lot of pathology there, but I had heard Jeremy Sherr lecture on Hydrogen -- about the up and the down of the remedy. This man was up with the oneness with God and then down into the quagmire of the world, not knowing what to do. So, I gave him one dose of Hydrogen 200c and the result was just beautiful. He integrated so well into the world. Before, he was meditating for hours a day and not able to function in the world. After, he took a job, became enthusiastic about it, and got married within six weeks! He has done very well since then. He still is spiritual, but it is very balanced. This is a remedy we have to consider for spiritual seekers, especially people who have been "high."
Barbara Dively: The end result after Hydrogen sounds something like the end result after near-death experiences, where there is a union with the oneness and they have a whole different view of religion and life, but yet it is positive. They come back and do not preach their message, yet they retain a different vision. Any comments on that?
Olsen: I think that is right. I think something very positive did happen to my patient, although there were difficulties. Some people probably take this path and are able to go more slowly, maybe have someone there to help them through it, and they do fine. They come back very humble people and integrate the experience into their lives. It has a very positive effect. I think it is only when there is a lot of conflict, when the ego gets too big or some such side effect, that we would have to give this remedy to help them through that crossroads.
Don Beans: I would like to say thanks for opening up my mind one more time, just as Roger Morrison and Nancy Herrick did in their seminar, "Metaphysics and Madness." They brought the question up several time: Where is the line between a metaphysical experience and insanity? I think that is something that we really need to pay attention to. I see in your presentation of this case that your feeling is not so much of madness but of a metaphysical experience. You have been really helpful in helping me to understand this.
Nancy Herrick: I would like to make the point that all people who are in this state are not Hydrogen and, specifically, that there is another very similar state expressed by the remedy Anhalonium.
Olsen: Have you had any experience with that remedy?
Nancy Herrick: Well, we have been discussing the differences here in the back of the room. The consensus seems to be that Anhalonium has more a sense of great love with a lot of visions and colors -- much more of a sensual feeling and a merging with their surroundings. As I said before, I was struck by how matter-of-fact he appeared on the video.
Lawrence Vannekirk: I'd like to comment on what Barbara just said. If you look at Aphorism 215 in the Organon, Hahnemann talks of mental disease being the result of a suppressed corporeal disease. And, in 216, he goes on to say, "The cases are not rare in which so-called corporeal diseases that threaten to be fatal...become transformed into insanity, into a kind of melancholia or into mania...whereupon the corporeal symptoms lose all their danger and these latter symptoms improve almost to perfect health." So, I am wondering if there isn't actually a relationship, as you say, to a near-death experience?
Anne Schadde: When I was in India I saw a case of Anhalonium that was very interesting. It had the element of merging with the universe. The woman described how she sat at the seashore and had the feeling that she and the seashore were one. When she went to the ancient places where the old people lived 500,000 years ago she had the feeling as if the ancient time was still there. She was within the ancient time, and yet she still also lived in this century. She had become very sick one year before. She said, "I was lying in the bed, thinking that even when I die there is nothing wrong with me. I can never ate in my life. Nobody ever dies."
This is a bit different from my understanding of Hydrogen, which is more disconnected from the world. Hydrogen is "outside," and the world is here. Anhalonium is perhaps more down to earth, and they have the feeling of merging together with everything, merging with the universe.
Audience: Anne, what were they trying to cure in the Anhalonium case?
Anne Schadde: She was very sick. She had pneumonia.
Barbara Newlon: Paul Herscu talked about an Anhalonium case that he cured. The woman presented with colitis symptomatology, very physical symptoms. She described an experience that occurred while sitting on a rock near water. It might have been the ocean. She felt a oneness, as if she could just merge with the water with no concern for her own survival. She then just slipped into the water. She would have drowned except that a man came by, saw her, and pulled her out of the water. She was, however, a person who had done a lot of drugs and this was a way of life for her.
Olsen: We haven't made the remedy from phencyclidine (PCP) yet, but the people who use it do very unusual things and their belief system is incredibly distorted. They do things like run up to the top of their apartment building and just fly out onto the concrete. They must have some incredible belief about who they are and what they can do. I heard of a man who jumped from his apartment building, fell on a hedge, got up, ran back up to the top of the building, jumped again, and hit the concrete. We need to do a proving of that for people who have delusions of being able to fly.
International Foundation For Homeopathy.
By Steven Olsen