This paper was written by Antonie Peppler, the developer of Creative Homeopathy, and gives an excellent overview of the deeper causes and the best homeopathic remedies for treating weakness and loss of memory. From her holistic standpoint, every symptom has a psychological origin—an inner conflict, which is dormant on an unconscious level but desires to come to awareness. Therefore, the spiritual conflict shows on the surface of the physical plain—it somatizes, or it shows in the form of neurological deterioration, which is indicated by weakening or even loss of memory.
A Homeopathic approach
to counter Loss of Memory
More and more patients complain of weakness and loss of memory. The over-stimulation of our age is often the reason given. If this were the case, we would all have to go back to the “old times” when everything was slow and predictable. This is tantamount to saying that every advancement places excessive demand on mankind. Too bad, really! In my practice, I then try to acquaint my patients with a somewhat different point of view. I give the above reasons no credibility whatsoever.
In researching this topic, I have collected all of the rubrics on weakness and loss of memory from all of the repertories that are available to me: Kent, Boericke, Bönninghausen, Dorcsi, and the Synthetic Repertory from Bartel. Altogether I found 130 rubrics for the weakness of memory and 102 for loss of memory. The computer repertorization yielded a matrix in which the entire range of homeopathic remedies was shown in its relationship to the list of symptoms.
Weakness of the ability to remember
In common speech, there is seldom a distinction made between the weakness of the ability to remember certain things and loss of memory, although each is very different from the perspective of depth psychology. This can be seen from the homeopathic remedies appearing on the respective repertorizations.
It is interesting that Natrium muriaticum is the remedy that appears most frequently in the collected symptoms for the weakness of memory. This signifies that the patient experiences the things he knows and values as pleasant and inevitable, so he would like to hold onto them as long as possible. The reasons why habit and certainty are important to him and why he must strive to conserve them (Natrium muriaticum) will be seen in the following remedies, Nux moschata, and Cannabis indica.
Nux moschata for weakness of memory
Nux moschata, Nutmeg, is indicated for people who have experienced bodily harm and try to suppress it. In order to get to the crux of the matter, the “inner seed,” so to speak, you must first break through the hard outer shell, just like with the nutmeg nut. The patient will defend himself in the same manner. He is just as hardened when it comes to working on his hurts as we see symbolized in the hard shell of the nutmeg nut.
With a little imagination, nutmeg can be recognized as the hardened heart, the heart of stone, or the hardened testicle. Someone who suppresses their suffering is certainly so inhibited that a goodly portion of warm-heartedness and the joy of life (heart of stone) will be lacking. It can be shown that the effects of this suppression extend to a significant restriction of a person’s creative impulses. He will hardly be able to act spontaneously and live out his ideas and his individuality (hardened testicles).
The fear of violence or the fear of a repetition of a violent act hardens a person and makes him very inflexible. This is a natural law that all things that still have to be overcome “stick around” until we are ready to confront them. When this finally happens, we release something out of a value judgment that previously appeared to be permanently conditioned. The energy that had been bound by the value judgment is now free to use again.
In this sense, weakness of memory means that the patient is blocking his memory out of fear of confronting the remembrance of the past situation. On the other side, it is an almost never-ending effort to suppress the impulse for confrontation continually. He will surely be happy as long as he can find the strength to overpower his disposition.
Nux moschata is a beneficial remedy for the weakness of memory. The therapist must, however, note that the patient’s old suppressed hurts, which will undoubtedly show themselves as supposed “initial aggravations,” will need to be treated immediately (not first after four weeks). If this is done, then the courage will return to use the memory rationally again, remembering things or letting things come up for review and processing.
Homeopathic Cannabis indica treatment
Cannabis indica, Indian Hemp, causes fits of laughter in someone who smokes the substance. People get into a funny mood; they giggle and joke around. They move into a different perspective on things with the feeling of being “above it all” and a go-easy attitude. The personality becomes essential and, at the same time, unimportant as one senses a natural self-confidence. One experiences a feeling of belonging as a part of the greater whole. However, as is customary with drugs, the positive experience is followed by a collapse.
The patient, for whom Cannabis indica is indicated as a homeopathic remedy, has little self-esteem. He has learned that his own feelings don’t count and are even “wrong.”
For example, a child senses the unspoken tension between the parents but when it asks about it, is told that “everything is alright.” The child is unconsciously confident that his own perceived feeling is correct but is talked out of it. The child begins to doubt itself and eventually distrusts its feelings altogether. In the future, those things that exist materially and which can be tested for their validity receive a higher value than their own feelings. Is this perhaps the start of typical materialistic conditioning?
People who mistrust their own feelings also have to keep a check on themselves continually. Everything generally accepted by those around him is mirrored in his feelings. If he has a different perception of something, then he is “wrong” and not the others. It could even happen that he is punished for expressing his own view. Manipulating his feelings then becomes a law giving him the feeling of being protected and being able to survive. This is reason enough to turn off his memory and his faculty of perception.
Combination of homeopathic remedies
The main themes of Cannabis indica, as well as Nux moschata, lead us to other homeopathic remedies for the follow-up treatment: Hyoscyamus niger (feels deceived), Staphisagria (feels humiliated), and Acidum phosphoricum (negative experiences lead to resignation).
Weakness of memory is a form of protection so that unpleasant feelings and the condition of not accepting oneself do not become conscious. A young person is still powerful enough to repress the natural impulse for repetition without consequence – an older person, however, exhibits apparent symptoms relating to the protective pattern.
It is therefore no real surprise that with increasing age, weakness of memory is a common occurrence in patients. People develop a selective memory for the things they find agreeable in their life. Anything else is not desired and is no longer eligible to be a topic of conversation.
Loss of Memory in Homeopathy
Whereas weakness of memory is a form of protection against the resurrection of painfully internalized traumas, loss of memory is an expression of an inner refusal. Loss of memory is an acceptable expression for uttering a non-acceptable “no” to someone else. Loss of memory is very common. It is tolerated and often smiled at. A clear no, however, expresses independence. Who can feel independent?
The repertorization for loss of memory is led by Lachesis muta
Lachesis muta, the Bushmaster Snake, carries the symbolic meaning of ambivalence. They shed their skins frequently; that is, they renew themselves. Apparently, however, a real change does not take place. The change and development into an individual personality – as is expressed through the upright stance – does not occur. Snakes swallow their surroundings (prey) whole. People who need Lachesis muta consume their entire surroundings and manipulate them to whatever degree is necessary to guarantee themselves protection, security, and acknowledgment.
This work is so comprehensive that there is no strength left over for the development of one’s own personality. The joy of living is probably lost due to the excessive need for control. This is symbolized in the strong menses, a leading symptom for Lachesis muta. These people do not have the courage to effect changes and so have to try to trick their way through with various evasive tactics. One variation thereof is the loss of memory.
Anacardium orientale for treating Loss of Memory
Another much more distinct and open expression of ambiguity can be found in Anacardium orientale. The person who needs Anacardium orientale is characterized by indecisiveness. She always wants what she does not have right now. She is uncertain whether she can follow her own innermost impulse or whether she must adopt the opinion of the majority.
With Anacardium orientale as with Lachesis muta, the desired protection through being cared for has a higher value than the realization of her own individuality.
“Protection is a burden, to be sure, but it must be ultimately retained!”
Rhus toxicodendron for individualization
In the homeopathic remedy Rhus toxicodendron we find a reawakening of the development in the direction of individuality. The Rhus toxicodendron–patient tends to feel closed in by protection and security and needs free space. Traditional patterns and gender roles are burdensome.
A giant step in personality development can be made by challenging typical behavior patterns. At times, however, “the baby is thrown out with the bath water,” for the aspect of independence is valued so highly that closeness to others becomes difficult. This can develop into an escape from other people.
The indifferent attitude towards others does not diminish such defense mechanisms, as loss of memory may even be needed to an increased degree in order to achieve the desired distance. He still cannot say what he really wants or clearly refuse what he doesn’t like.