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Schizophrenia is a chronic mental condition that affects the thinking ability, feelings and behaviour of a person. People with schizophrenia experience the following symptoms:

  • Positive symptoms: These are behaviours usually not seen in healthy persons, e.g., unusual thoughts, disturbed body movements, hallucinations and delusions.
  • Negative symptoms: These are disruptions to normal behaviours and emotion, e.g., reduced speaking, difficulties in expressing emotion, reduced feeling of pleasure in activities of interest, and problems in initiating any activity and sustaining it.
  • Impaired cognition: Difficulty in paying attention and taking decisions, impaired memory and concentration levels.
  • Disorganisation symptoms: Difficulty in reasoning, irregular body movements, behaving strangely, confused thoughts and speech.

There is no cure for schizophrenia yet, conventional treatment aims at symptomatic management. Antipsychotic medications are a treatment option for people who are in the acute stage of schizophrenia. Supportive psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy help enhance the cognitive function, reduce stress levels and improve the social skills of schizophrenia patients.

Homeopathic treatment of schizophrenia also focusses on controlling the symptoms. 

Accurate homeopathic remedies, if given at a suitable time, help reduce hallucinations, speech problems, and indecisiveness and can also slow down the progression of psychotic flares. Additionally, homeopathic remedies improve attention span in schizophrenia patients. 

Some remedies that can be used for the treatment of schizophrenia are absinthium, anacardium orientale, belladonna, hyoscyamus niger, stramonium, nux moschata, nux vomica, pulsatilla pratensis, baryta carbonica and staphysagria.

  1. Homeopathic medicines for schizophrenia
  2. Dietary and lifestyle changes for a schizophrenia patient as per homeopathy
  3. How effective are homeopathic medicines and treatments for schizophrenia
  4. Side effects and risks of homeopathic medicine and treatments for schizophrenia
  5. Takeaway
  • Absinthium
    Common Name:
    Common wormwood
    Symptoms: Absinthium is an excellent remedy for delirium and hallucinations. It works best for people who experience sudden giddiness and nervous excitement. This remedy is also beneficial in the management of the following symptoms:
    • A tendency to fall after experiencing vertigo
    • Forgetting recent events
    • Dreadful visions
    • Memory loss
    • Kleptomania (an urge to steal without the need for any profit)
    • Feeling violent
    • Confusion
    • Irregular facial twitches
  • Anacardium Orientale 
    Common Name: Marking nut
    Symptoms: Anacardium Orientale is well suited to people who are irritable and depressed, have a diminished sense of vision and hearing, and impaired memory. These people achieve temporary relief from all discomfort after eating. This remedy helps manage absent-mindedness and impaired memory in schizophrenia patients. It also benefits other symptoms including:
    • Having fixed ideas about something
    • Hypochondriasis (a worry of having a serious medical condition which is undiagnosed)
    • Feeling easily offended with a tendency to use offensive language
    • Lack of confidence in self and others
    • Hearing voices of the dead or from far away
    • Lack of moral restrictions
    • Having the intention of doing harmful things
    • Feeling suspicious
    • An intense feeling of sadness without any obvious reason
    • Feeling anxious while walking
    • Thoughts of being possessed by two wills or two people

Symptoms become worse after using hot water. They become better on lying on the side and after eating.

  • Belladonna
    Common Name:
    Deadly nightshade
    Symptoms: Belladonna is best-suited to fearful and anxious people. It is useful in treating schizophrenia symptoms like delirium, restless sleep, and convulsions. Other symptoms that indicate a need for this remedy are:
    • Being engrossed by visions and images in his own world and being unaware of the realities around him
    • Hallucinating, seeing horrifying images of assaults and furies, hideous faces and monsters
    • Visual hallucinations of a mob of people coming to him
    • Hesitance to talk
    • Behaving in an unreasonable or unacceptable manner 
    • Crazed by fantastic illusions and particular imitations
    • Wanting to escape
    • Loss of responsiveness
    • A tendency to change the mind often

Symptoms worsen in the afternoon, while lying down, and in the presence of cool air. Symptoms become better on sitting in a semi-erect position.

  • Hyoscyamus Niger
    Common Name: Henbane
    Symptoms: Henbane is best suited to immodest people who tend to talk and quarrel a lot, and often strip and uncover their genitals. It helps reduce muscular twitching and nervous agitation in schizophrenia patients. This remedy is also effective against the following symptoms:
    • A tendency to laugh at everything and feeling extremely amused
    • Lascivious mania (offensive, immoral and inappropriate sexual behaviour)
    • Feeling jealous
    • Muttering speech 
    • Thoughts of running away accompanied by delirium
    • Constantly grasping or picking at imaginary objects like linens and own clothes
    • A deep stupor (a lack of mental function and feeling unconsciousness and almost unresponsive)

Symptoms become worse at night, while lying down, after eating and during menstrual periods. The patient feels better on bending forward.

  • Stramonium
    Common Name:
    Thorn-apple
    Symptoms: Thorn-apple is prescribed for people who experience trouble using the muscles in their limbs and feel as if their limbs are separated from their body. This remedy helps treat schizophrenia by reducing violent thoughts and sudden emotional changes. It also helps reduce other symptoms like:
    • A desire to escape
    • Delusional thoughts about one's own identity
    • Beseeching and talking constantly
    • Having deep religious feelings and commitment
    • Singing, praying, laughing and swearing excessively
    • Experiencing spasms after seeing any glittery object or even at the sight of water
    • Feelings of being lewd
    • Hearing voices, having visions of ghosts and talking to spirits
    • Inability to bear darkness; always needing light and company

Symptoms aggravate while looking at shining or bright objects and after sleeping. The patient gets temporary relief in warm environment, when they have company, or spend time in bright light.

  • Nux Moschata
    Common Name:
    Nutmeg
    Symptoms: Nutmeg works well for people who tend to experience drowsiness, stumble while walking and often get fits of fainting. This remedy reduces confusion and impaired memory in schizophrenia patients. It also reduces other symptoms like:
    • Feeling like crying and laughing at the same time
    • Thoughts of having two heads
    • A tendency to change the mind often
    • Having puzzled feelings as if in a dream

Symptoms become worse when the patient eats cold food, lies on the painful side or is exposed to moist cold winds. All complaints become better in dry and warm weather.

  • Nux Vomica
    Common Name:
    Poison-nut
    Symptoms: Nux vomica is used as a primary medicine for many diseases. This remedy is best suited for people who follow a sedentary lifestyle due to over-studying or prolonged office hours but are otherwise active and really good at performing mental tasks. Nux vomica can help treat convulsions that occur in a conscious state in schizophrenia patients. It is also used to manage the following symptoms:
    • A feeling as if time is passing slowly
    • Not wanting to be touched
    • Feeling ugly and hateful
    • Sensitivity to light, noises and odours
    • Even the least sickness affects seriously
    • Sensitivity to impersonations
    • A tendency to find faults
    • Bad temper
    • Willingness to criticise others

Symptoms become worse after eating spicy foods, in the morning, consuming any stimulants and in cold and dry weather. They become better in the evening, in damp and wet weather, while taking rest and after taking a nap

  • Pulsatilla Pratensis
    Common Name:
    Wind Flower
    Symptoms: This remedy is best suited for females and for people who feel better in the open air even in chilly weather. This remedy is beneficial in reducing fears in schizophrenia patients. It also provides relief from other symptoms like:
    • A tendency to cry easily
    • Feeling nervous and indecisive
    • Fear of being alone in the dark due to a fear of ghosts
    • Feeling discouraged easily
    • Likes the feeling of sympathy
    • Feeling too emotional
    • Extreme feelings of pain and pleasure
    • Fear of the opposite sex

Symptoms become worse after eating fatty foods, lying on the left or the painless side, in the presence of heat, and in a warm room. They become better after moving, in the open air, after applying something cold and consuming cold drinks and food

  • Baryta Carbonica
    Common Name:
    Carbonate of baryta
    Symptoms: Carbonate of baryta is specifically recommended for old people and infants. It can help improve memory in schizophrenia patients. This remedy is also beneficial in reducing the following symptoms:
    • Feeling confused
    • Mental weakness
    • Feeling sad because of small things
    • Inability to take decisions
    • Losing self-confidence
    • Forgetfulness
    • The brain feels as if it is loose
    • Disinclined to meeting strangers

Symptoms become worse when the patient thinks about them. Lying down on the painful side also aggravates the symptoms. Symptoms improve on taking a walk in the open air.

  • Staphysagria
    Common Name:
    Stavesacre
    Symptoms: Staphysagria is best suited for people who are irritable and sensitive. These people frequently experience skin problems and problems related to the gut and urinary system. Symptoms that indicate a need for this remedy are:
    • Oversensitive about other's opinions
    • Prefers being alone
    • Doing things in an impulsive manner
    • Crying for many things
    • Having violent outbursts of passion

Symptoms become worse after losing body fluids, getting angry, with excess sexual activity, on consuming tobacco and feeling sad. They become better at night, after eating breakfast and in the presence of warmth.

Since schizophrenia is a chronic condition, coping with it is a life-long process. Master Hahnemann (the founder of homeopathy) has recommended the following lifestyle and dietary guidelines for better management of chronic conditions:

Do’s: 

  • Maintain personal hygiene.
  • Lead an active lifestyle.
  • Wear linen and cotton garments in warm weather.

Don’ts: 

  • Do not consume coffee, beer prepared from herbal ingredients, herbal teas and odorous waters.
  • Do not consume excess salt and sugar.
  • Do not live in damp and marshy places.
  • Do not consume dishes that contain medicinal herbs.

Homeopathic medicine has a holistic approach to treating psychiatric conditions. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopathic practitioners take into consideration, the characteristics of the body as well as the mind of the patient. 

An open-label, prospective, and non-comparative observational study conducted in 2016 indicated that individualsied homoepathic remedies have a positive role in the management of schizophrenia. The study included 171 patients aged between 20 and 60 years of age who presented with schizophrenia symptoms. The medications (as per Materia Medica) were administered in low potency and included natrum muriaticum, lycopodium clavatum, pulsatilla nigricans, phosphorus and sulphur. In the follow up after a year, all patients were found to be in better health. Remedies like belladonna, lycopodium clavatum, arsenicum album, stramonium, hyoscyamus niger, nux vomica and phosphorus were found to be effective in patients who often experienced a relapse of schizophrenia.

The study concluded that the results were encouraging, especially since none of the patients reported a side effect or drug resistance to the medications

In a case study, a 20-year-old boy who was showing schizophrenic behaviour after an accident, was given homeopathic remedies including belladonna, absinthium, stramonium and hyoscyamus niger for a month. Absinthium was continued once a month for the next 3 months. The patient achieved complete recovery from his symptoms after 2 years. The study concluded that it was absinthium that had proven to be effective in the patient, while the other homeopathic remedies had no effect on him.

Homeopathic remedies for schizophrenia do not produce any side effects when taken as per the prescription of a qualified homeopathic doctor.

Schizophrenia is a mental condition in which a person experiences hallucinations, delusions, and cognitive issues. Homeopathic treatment of schizophrenia focuses on symptomatic management. When taken under the guidance of a qualified doctor, these remedies are not only effective in the management of schizophrenia symptoms but also they prevent the relapse of the condition. Never take a remedy without consulting your doctor.

References

  1. National Institute of Mental Health [Internet] Bethesda, MD; Schizophrenia. National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  2. American Psychiatric Association. What Is Schizophrenia?. Washington, DC; [Internet]
  3. National Center for Homeopathy [Internet] Mount Laurel, New Jersey, U.S Homeopathic Management of Schizophrenia
  4. Oscar E. Boericke. Repertory. Médi-T; [lnternet]
  5. Praveen Oberai, S Gopinadhan, Anita Sharma, Chaturbhuja Nayak, Kalpana Gautam. Homoeopathic management of Schizophrenia: A prospective, non-comparative, open-label observational study. Year : 2016 Volume : 10 Issue : 2 Page : 108-118

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