“He betrayed my trust and invaded my sacred space. Destroyed my sanctity. I feel angry and helpless at the same time!”
These were the words that confirmed the remedy for Stephanie. I was treating her boyfriend for peptic ulcers and Stephanie always expressed the desire to seek Homeopathic treatments to get off her anxiety medications and sleep disorder. However, the circumstances of starting my treatments were rather ominous.
Stephanie (name changed) was visiting her hometown in a neighboring province on a work related trip and arranged to catch up with some old friends. Among them, was her ex. She wanted to mend things with him as she felt guilty breaking up with her high school sweetheart and resolve any misgivings so she can be at peace, and move on in life. Little did she expect that she would be assaulted that unfortunate night by someone whom she once loved and trusted.
She was all alone and did not know how to break this horrific news to her boyfriend. She called her closest friend (who also happened to be in my care few years ago) who convinced her to report the incident to the local authorities and contact me if there were any remedies that could support her and help her recover from this trauma.
Staphysagria is a very important remedy for emotional, sexual and even physical abuse. Stephanie admitted to me that what was more disturbing than the actual act was her thinking that she was responsible for this to happen and she “had it coming”, that she was justifying the horrific actions of her perpetrator and she deserved this mistreatment for the heartache she had caused him years ago.
I asked her if she could move to another safe location with a friend/ relative as soon as she can and make sure someone was with her at all times. I had to ensure she was on a suicide-watch and in an environment where she would not feel vulnerable. She still sounded unsure of reporting to the authorities and felt a deep sense of shame and more guilt. These are feelings very common in survivors of sexual assault and subsequent PTSD. She also admitted to be physically shaking and kept biting herself and not wanting to get out of the shower. She kept repeating the phrase how she felt intense anger and helplessness that her sacred space was invaded.
She was able to procure Staphysagria 200C from a local Naturopath and was advised to repeat the doses as deemed necessary and ease off once she felt her emotional anguish relieve.
It took her two doses, 30 minutes apart to gather the courage she needed and bring her perpetrator to justice. She no longer felt afraid or ashamed to face him in the courts and narrate her harrowing experience to the officials. That night, she slept like a baby. The next day, she said she felt Cleansed of all negativity and found the necessary Courage deep within her to overcome this situation.
This is what the correct Homeopathic remedy does. It merely stimulates, sets the cogs in your body’s immune system and biochemistry to effect a change, where the potential for it was always there.
Homeopathic remedies relate not only to physical symptoms but also to the emotional nature of the person. Staphysagria, as mentioned previously is a wonderful remedy for severe emotional or physical abuse. It is characterized by anger, humiliation, sexual disturbances, history of rape or sexual abuse, deep guilt, shame, sadness without any cause, extreme sensitivity to what others say about the person and painful, disturbed sexual intercourse. When a patient uses a homeopathic dilution of this plant (according to their specific prescription) their hurtful symptoms can be gradually reduced. This is where the Principle of Homeopathy is seen in action- “Similia similibus curantur”.
Delphinium staphysagria (Stavesacre, Larkspur)
Studies conducted at Indian Government backed Central Council for Research in Homeopathy have published numerous papers on how nano-pharmacological doses of Homeopathic medicines influence the PNEI axis (Psycho-neuro-endocrinal axis) when the remedy introduced is prescribed on the basis of individualization. Every trauma victim may not experience the same extent of benefits from Staphysagria, but most will. Stephanie had the foundations of a Staphysagria constitution since birth. Her father divorced her mother when she was still pregnant with Stephanie. The maternal sense of injustice and anger was undoubtedly transmitted to the fetus and other physical symptoms manifested by Stephanie also confirmed this remedy.
Stephanie required higher potencies of Staphysagria which also helped her with her PTSD and older symptoms of anxiety and sleep disorders and migraines. The famous French Homeopath Didier Grandgeorge beautifully describes the development and evolution of a Staphysagria constitution as such:
“They have been skinned alive: these individuals are in a permanent state of suffering and hold in all the grievances brought upon them by the perverse events and circumstances of life. In fact, the key to this remedy resides in what Freud called sadomasochism. Staphysagria takes pleasure in pain, continually reliving the anger and frustration inside. These individuals unconsciously get themselves into situations where injustices rain down upon them.”
A 2006 McGill University review on sexual assault related PTSD in it’s abstract had the following to say, and sadly after all these years, the statistics have not changed much, neither have the support systems.
“The prevalence of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in assault survivors is drastically higher than the national prevalence of the disorder, which is a strong indication that the current therapies for sexual-assault-related PTSD are in need of improvement. Increasing knowledge and understanding of the pathologies associated with rape trauma in biological, psychological and sociological domains will help to develop more effective treatments for survivors. A dysregulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis is observed in survivors of sexual assault and this may be a fundamental cause of the structural and functional abnormalities contributing to PTSD symptoms. Pharmacotherapies are available to treat PTSD; however, they are often inadequate or unwanted by the survivor. Psychological health is compromised following interpersonal trauma and many psychological therapies are available, but with varying efficacy. A person’s cognitions have a dramatic effect on the onset, severity, and progress of PTSD following sexual assault. Sociological impacts of assault influence the development of PTSD through victim-blaming attitudes and the perpetuation of rape myths. Perceived positive regard and early social support is shown to be important to successful recovery.”
I have, over the years of practicing my art and science of Homeopathy, seen way too many transformations at cellular and emotional levels than I can count. What patients have hailed as miracles are for me, nothing but analyzing each case as it comes, with inductive logic and unlocking the potentials of human healing by means of natural and potent substances used to prepare Homeopathic remedies.
The transformation of Stephanie from a guilt-ridden ticking time bomb of suppressed anger and mortification to someone who redeemed her sacred space by finding courage to seek justice was just another example of that- treating one unique human being at a time, with compassion, empathy and respect.
“Honor in Life and Honor in Death is the only choice for a man of nobility”
From Sophocles’ tragedy ‘Ajax’
Dr. Aziz Merchant, BHMS, MDHOM