“Do I need an exorcist?” Penny asks, for she is indeed possessed.
It started a month before at a fundamentalist church service to which her new husband dragged her. During the offertory, when she saw the usher stare at her Penny felt Satan enter. Since that time, whenever she leaves their apartment she is terrified–of what, she knows not–and she awakens at night drenched with sweat and trembling from nightmares of the devil chasing her with homicidal intent. One night she screams and awakens her husband, who comforts her. However, on other nights she is too paralyzed from fear to move or whisper as she senses Satan’s presence in the room. But if someone is around she feels safer. Light also helps. Accordingly, she tolerates neither total darkness nor rooms painted in dark shades. At times she hears Satan laugh at her. Because of her fear she has been unable to waitress for two weeks. By now her husband, who did not bargain for this marital development, is losing patience and demanding she return to work.
Prior to her marriage three months before, Penny lived with her parents for several years following high school graduation. In those days she rarely ventured from the house except to work, preferring to help with chores and watch TV. A plump, friendly woman with a wide-eyed, naive demeanor, Penny tells me she loves her husband but has felt unprepared for the demands of marriage.
When she halts in mid-sentence and turns her head I ask what is happening, and she admits hearing whispers as we speak.
I prescribe a single dose of Stramonium, derived from the plant known colloquially as Jimson weed, which is known to produce paranoia and hallucinations in those foolish enough to ingest it.
In two weeks she is feeling much less frightened, is sleeping better and no longer hearing voices. She has returned to work. Though she still considers the possibility of possession and the eventual need for exorcism, her sense of urgency has abated.
In another four weeks she feels even more like her usual self, no longer feeling possessed, functioning well. She has by now dismissed the idea of exorcism, believing that her mind created the entire incident. Six weeks later she continues well.
Eventually Penny stops treatment because of her hectic schedule but contacts me two years later when her symptoms recur in a milder form. Again she responds well, wiith full return to her usual state, following a single dose of the remedy Stramonium.
Though by psychiatric standards Penny was psychotic (i.e. persistently unable to apprehend reality), possibly schizophrenic, she responded well to the correct medicine. I have seen a number of psychotic and, yes, schizophrenic patients recover with homeopathic treatment, for that is what I administered.
By the way, a charge that conventional medicine levels against homeopathy is that the medicines, termed remedies, are mere placebos, tantamount to sugar pills and effective only through wishful thinking. This case itself debunks that charge, for there has never been any evidence that placebos can resolve problems such as Penny suffered. In my next post, I will summarize the abundant evidence that successful homeopathic treatment is not a placebo.
But what exactly is homeopathy, and how does it differ from other natural forms of treatment? Developed by a German physician, Samuel Hahnemann, beginning about 200 years ago, it is a treatment of the whole person that utilizes tiny doses derived mostly from natural substances that stimulate people to heal themselves. The remedies, which work energetically and not chemically (and therefore have no chemical side effects) are selected according to Hahnemann’s Law of Similars. This law states that any substance that in a large enough or frequent enough dose causes certain symptoms can in a much smaller dose cure people of those same symptoms.
Homeopathy has helped many people with major psychiatric problems become well. In the nineteenth century, 8 of the state psychiatric hospitals in the U.S. were homeopathic in orientation. In a published study, the results of treatment at one of those hospitals (in Middletown, New York)
proved far superior–in higher rate of successful discharges and lower mortality rate, among other parameters–to those achieved at its counterpart, a neighboring conventional state hospital.
My next post will describe the homeopathic cure of an individual with bipolar disorder. And it will discuss the considerable evidence that, contrary to misinformation in mainstream media and elsewhere, homeopathy helps people get well.