Homeopathy and Mental Health

People who have been following my blog for a while know that I have always tried to be as scientific and evidence based as possible. I have been critical of pseudo sciences like homeopathy. I have also accepted that faith healing may help with illnesses like depression or anxiety. Recently I was going through some research papers when I came across something that surprised me a lot. I saw a research that proved the effects of homeopathy on treatment of mental illnesses. I decided to look deeper. Here is what I found,

How Homeopathy ‘Works’

When I was young, I was fascinated by the idea of homeopathy. I always believed that since it is an alternative, natural treatment to illnesses, it is obviously the better one. Slowly I came to learn about the placebo effect. I learned about how the mind convinces itself to get better and how various charlatans misuse this effect to sell their products.

I started looking deeper into the concept of homeopathy and felt a bit embarrassed that I actually had believed it worked. The people who deal in homeopathy claim to have effects mostly off of a mixture of therapy and placebo to show some results. The study I went through was no different.

Homeopathy Copies Psychology

In the study I went through, there was a passage where the authors claim that the researches that disprove homeopathy are faulty. They said that in those studies, the application of homeopathic treatment wasn’t accurate. This led to faulty results. One might think that there aren’t many ways that you could get ‘making people eat sweet pills’ wrong but that is what they believe.

Homeopathy for the homeopaths is something that is holistic and tries to heal the person instead of the symptoms. This sounds drastically similar to the objectives of Rogerian therapy which focuses on the client instead of the diagnosis.

Homeopaths tell people to remove barriers in their life and know about the causes that lead to sustenance of these barriers. This is a principal of the CBT where in a person is asked to introspect and recognize the cognitive processes that serve as barriers to healing.

These were just a couple of occurrences I found in one read. A deep and more thorough read may lead to more hidden revelations being made about the ‘science’ of homeopathy

Personal Biases

Like any good article, I must mention the personal biases that I have about the topic as well. There is confirmation bias in my work as I kept a close eye on something that didn’t agree with my view of the world. I was looking for reasons to prove myself right and found them. Whether these reasons I found are valid enough is up to the personal interpretation of the reader.

Conclusion

I feel that I must make it clear that Ayurveda and homeopathy aren’t the same topics. Although they are taught simultaneously in India, it is not necessary that both of them are pseudo-sciences. There needs to be more research when it comes to Ayurveda. We need to look into the complex interactions of organic and inorganic molecules in nature. On the other hand, I can assure you that anyone who tries to sell you sweet pills is being dishonest. There are chances that you will feel better after taking the pills but it could be due to many psychological reasons before being because of highly diluted ‘toxins’.

References

Click to access the-effects-of-homeopathic-medicines-on-reducing-the-symptoms-of-anxiety-and-depression-randomized-2167-1206-3-167.pdf

 

33 Replies to “Homeopathy and Mental Health”

  1. I somehow don’t agree with the placebo effect . My two pence on the subject Arjun….With my depression came along IBS and many other digestive problems. I went to so many doctors and all kinds of diagnosis but no respite. My homeo doc has almost cured me of my devilish migraines and stomach related issues. My menopausal symptoms just disappeared after his medication. I know others who are doing the same. Believe me placebo effect can be temporary not long term.

      1. I used to suffer from migraines, acidity along with my depression. He cured me off all the ailments and the depression is an on-off thing he treats it as and when. There is something called rescue-remedy. It helps me a lot when I am not feeling good.

  2. There are a lot of studies that show that placebo effects work, but more studies need to be done of this matter because apparently scientist cannot grasp the whole concept of why it works and sometimes to some individuals it doesn’t.

    1. Indeed. There need to be more studies. The challenge is that this effect has the disciplines of psychology as well as physiology. One needs to have good knowledge on both to understand the relationship between the two.

  3. I don’t agree with the above observations .ofcourse allopathy is pure science,but ayurveda and homeopathy are also scientific, no doubt that with time they have lost their sheen but they are effective and I hope it will be proved in near future.

  4. Not sure if I agree with your Placebo effect concept. I’ve found homeopathy to be useful in ensuring that symptoms of something major is cured which ultimately leads to that something major being cured.

    1. I was trying to make people question their mindset but it is not as easy as a blog post. I will keep trying though.

  5. Hi Arjun,
    Was a pleasure reviewing your ebook and I like your writing. Although when it comes to homeopathy I will disagree with you slightly, as I don’t believe it is only faith medicine but that’s for a later discussion.
    I like the work that you are doing in the field of mental illness awareness. Keep going.
    #MyFriendAlexa #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

  6. I m sorry but i won’t agree that “those who sell sweet pills are dishonest” . I have seen strong evidense positive result of homeopathy treatment. A 4year old child with Vitiligo all over her body covering around 50% of total body area got it cleared around 90% within 3yrs of treatment. Allopathy only made spread more on more before assuming homeopathy treatment.

    1. It’s ok to disagree Tina, you dont need to be sorry. I think that more studies would help everyone. The thing is that people need to be open to changing their minds irrespective of what the study says. Given that the study is scientific and reliable.

  7. My dad was so much trusted Homeopathy and so now my mom …this is so great observation but yes other treatments also have their pros and cons all depends how it is getting effected one

    1. Indeed, we need to look into the conditions homeopathy ‘works’ in and the ones in which it does not to have a better understanding.

  8. Homeopathy , Ayurveda & Allopathy are altogether different from each other. Ayurveda is holistically practiced and had proven it’s efficacy since 100’s of years. Homeopathy gives relief only if the Doctor is good at psychiatry and the patient has full trust in his/ her Doctor. Allopathy is good for instant relief, though won’t cure the root cause always.

    1. I agree with you on Ayurveda and homeopathy. Allopathy can cure the root cause but it isnt always instantly which causes the scepticism against it.

  9. A very good insight! I have met some amazing homeopaths in my life and all of them have helped many people including me. Loved your blog..the overall feel.

  10. I don’t agree with the above observations at all. I come from a family of homoeopaths. My father was a very succesful homoeo doctor. My sister and brother work as homoeopathy doctors and my brother is a senior medical officer with the government of Delhi. I have not consumed any other medicine other than homoeo from birth. And trust me, I have gone through and survived so many ailments.

    If homoepathy was a psueodo science there won’t be 5 year graduate courses and further post graduate courses or government certified positions for homeopaths in a country like India. Also, I do hope you know that the founding fathers of homoepathy like Samuel Hanheman and Dr. Kent were allopathic physicians who were disillusioned by the allopathic way of treatment.
    Before writing about any topic it is better to reseacrh about it in depth. Half baked knowledge is always dangerous.

    As for the particular topic you have discussed, I can guide you to detailed research papers submitted by homoeo doctors where succesful cases on mental health have been discussed and presented in detail.
    I have myself seen many cured patients among my father’s patients.
    I have seen how a simple case of depression turns into full blown cases of mental disorders due to intake of so called anti-depression pills subscribed by psychiatrists.
    As far as I know Homoeopathy deals with the workings of the mind better than any other. In fact, they have detailed softwares and books to analyse the various likes and dislikes and mental patterns of any patient.
    As for the ‘toxins’ you call the sweet pills, every one of those allopathic drugs you pop into your mouth have a million toxins and side effects. It is even written on the bottle.
    Please do your research before posting about such topics.

      1. You could follow the story and the idiocy around Australian research into homeopathy. The first study actually said homeopathy worked but that somehow (?) was not the requested outcome. So they did the study again and unscientifically changed the standards of the research in order to make homeopathy look useless. Which they then later admitted.
        Google for ‘Release the first report” icm homeopathy and Australia.
        All in all: please do your research before posting about these topics.

  11. Many of my known people trust Homeopathy more than anything else. But I always doubted its efficacy. And have not opted it for my daughter as well. Apart from this, I can not really comment on whether it is a pseudo science or not. but this was really an interesting read.

    1. Thank you Neha. I’m glad you chose that for your daughter. We need to discourage such practices for our betterment.

  12. Wow. I didn’t know homeopathy can cure depression too. I have used homeopathy treatment in childhood. However, isnt homeopathy, as said by many, a slow treatment?

  13. I have never researched anything on the subject . But Homeopathy has cured my daughter many times and that too quickly and effectively , although it couldnt show positive results for my husband’s thyroid problem .

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