“If the whole feature of this remedy can be expressed in one word, it is sensitiveness. We find this illustrated in both the mental and physical side of the patient. The patient is like some sort of a volatile, highly combustible oil that ignites on the least spark.”
N.M. Choudhuri, ‘A Study on Materia Medica’
There is certain group of remedies accepted as ‘remedies for women’, as there are the so called ‘acute remedies’, ‘children remedies’ etc. Though this demarcation is to some extent conditional, the ‘women’ remedies are more often prescribed to female patients than to male ones. This is due to the physical pathology from one side, and to the particular psycho-emotional pattern of the remedies from the other side. One typical female remedy is Platinum metallicum. In this article the readers’s attention will be drawn up to the particular mental picture of this remedy, and to the pronounced depression it is able to cure.
Mental & Emotional Pattern
Platinum was first proved by Hahnemann and included into his book on chronic diseases. This is important remedy in treatment of females, and not only for diseases of the sexual apparatus but also for emotional affections and depressed spirits. Key feature of Platinum is the alternation of physical disorders with mental & emotional affections. All physical symptoms disappear and mental ones appear; and the opposite is true. The mere mental states also alternate. The patient is extremely sensitive to external stimuli. She is very irritable and may have impulse to hurt people she’d ones had been affectionate to. This state alternates with joy, then with sadness.
We see a woman with expressive dignity, very proud, walking with highly raised head, never looking away. She has the delusion that she is better, smarter, spiritual, high minded. In some patients it is not a delusion. However, this idea is quite fixed in their mind and makes all others to seem insignificant. This attitude is also transferred on physical level and leads to a strange ocular disproportion: in her eyes the objects and the people look smaller than their actual size, and she feels bigger, larger than she actually is. But very rarely a woman who needs Platinum will say it exactly that way during her interview.
When she is depressed, she wonders why this is happening to her; with the underlying meaning that she is better than her surroundings and therefore does not deserve the way she feels. Many things and people in her environment irritate her and she feels bound, she wishes that those should not be there; as if someone has put them in her life without her participation and approval. And it’s no wonder that she is behaving arrogantly, haughty, contemptuously, distanced, and is falling into deeply depressed states for long periods.
The feeling of being bond on a physical level is manifested by the sensation of a band around affected part. There is also a lot of constriction and a sensation of numbness in certain spots – and when something is bound, there naturally appears constriction and numbness as a result. So we see how the feeling of being bound on the emotional level corresponds to the type of the physical complaints. All pains increase gradually to the maximum point, and then again gradually decrease.
Many thoughts which seem out of all logic to her family torment this woman. She feels as if she does not belong in her own family; that she is left all alone, by herself. Her behavior is morose, reserved, cold, distant, discontented. In company she is not talking, not answering when spoken to. Often she weeps, involuntarily, silently. Very slight cause disturbs her, even a friendly conversation.
During this period of depression these patients suffer much anxiety, with trembling of all the limbs, apprehension about the heart, flushes of heat over the whole body.
And again, we see the contradictory and alternating states of mind. On one hand she is sad, depressed, anxious and weepy. On the other hand she is discontented, quarrelsome, peevish, and her anger is easily excited; the slight vexation keeps her in bad mood for a very long time.
Another problem she has is her memory. She is very forgetful and often is losing her thoughts. She doesn’t remember well known streets and loses her way. When she travels and gets back home, she feels that everything seems entirely changed.
She is indifferent, disgusted from everything; has no desire for and undertakes nothing.
Platinum is important female remedy. Not every woman needs it as a chronic remedy but often it is indicated for treatment of suppressed monthly period, excessive menstrual flow, excessive and painful irritation of sexual organs, tendency to masturbation, painful menstrual period with pressing and drawing downward pains, too early and too profuse flow with dark and heavily clotted blood. Neuralgic pains which increase and decrease gradually but which reach up to a point when they become unbearable and the patients shriek for help.
We should mark out a peculiar symptom of Platinum in female patients. They have a tendency to constipation, especially when traveling; with very soft and sticky stools, impossible to be expelled by the bowels. When the excessive menstruation, constipation and depression meet in one patient, we should think about Platinum.
*Bibliography: T.F. Allen, Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica.