Suicide, Guilt and Bismuthum
Suicide and Guilt
Suicidal disposition is a serious complaint in the homeopathic consultation. It’s coming from deep depression and often associated with guilt feelings. And suicide arouses the same feeling of guilt, responsibility and depression in the relatives and friends.
When we look in the rubric “suicidal disposition” (Zandvoort) we encounter 136 remedies and in third degree we find Aurum, Aurum muriaticum, Natrium sulphuricum and Psorinum. Unfortunately the remedies with the strongest tendency for suicide are not there: the Bismuthums. This aspect of Bismuthum was predicted in “homeopathy and the Elements” (Scholten) as hara-kiri. The prediction came from the fact that Bismuthum is in the Goldseries and in Stage 15. The Goldseries has as concepts: power, honor, and leader, king. The power of the king encompasses the power over life and death, the power to sentence people to death. As such it also encompasses the power to kill oneself: suicide. So it’s no wonder to see Aurum so strongly in the rubric “suicidal disposition” as Aurum also is a member of the Goldseries. But Bismuthum is much stronger for suicide. This comes from the fact that Bismuthum is in Stage 15, the Stage of loss. This leads to “loss of honor”, “loss of power”. Loss of power and honor are typical situations for suicide. In the old Japanese tradition the samurai had to commit suicide after he had lost his honor and power. In our culture we see suicide often as the consequence of having lost a fortune by jumping from a high building. Or we see it as the consequence of having lost (Stage 15) the power (Goldseries) to conquer the pain in severe diseases as cancer. Seen from another perspective the suicide is then the ultimate holding on to control, holding the power (Goldseries), instead of giving over (Stage 15).
Aurum is most frequently used in homeopathy for suicidal disposition. But Bismuthum is much stronger for it. Vithoulkas says that Aurum can provoke suicide in a suicidal patient as a beginning aggravation. This idea is in contrast with the idea that beginning aggravation are never deadly. The highest level in a patient should be healed first, which means that the level of decision-making should be healed first. A good remedy shouldn’t lead to suicide. Probably many of the Aurum prescriptions were Bismuthum cases.
The Bismuthum in the MM is Bismuthum subnitricum (and not Bismuthum metallicum as one would expect with such a name). Other Bismuthums were not described or proved. Bismuthum subnitricum is a relatively unknown remedy and has a small picture. Most symptoms are quite common. The typical keynote is “wants to hold the hand of the mother”. This keynote is an expression of the feeling of isolation of the Goldseries. The nitricum aspect gives the remedy a childish quality; hence the desire to hold the hand of the mother, just as a child wants protection and support. A new addition from Roberts is “dreams of falling”. This symptom is a general symptom for the Goldseries. This is expressed in the saying “He who rises high (Goldseries), can fall deep.”
Concepts of Goldseries:
King, leader, manager, director.
Responsible, serious, heavy, failure.
Power, dictatorial, kill, suicide, carnivore.
Honor, dignified, arrogance, haughty, high, fall.
Concepts of Stage 15
Loss, end, superfluous, away.
Surrender, handing over, sacrifice.
Refuse, obstinate, cross.
Loss of power
The situation is of losing the power as a leader, as a person in control. The king loses his power. He can hand over the power by free will such as in abdication. Or he can be forced to do it, he can be thrown out of position or even be killed. In the last situation it often comes as a surprise, it ‘s unforeseen, a raw experience. The king will be deserted by all the other people who were supporting him, so he even feels more isolated than he was already as a king.
When a leader has lost his power, he often doesn’t wait till the others will come to kill him or torture him. He holds on to his own honor and takes his own life. He doesn’t give away the power to kill; he won’t give his enemies that pleasure. Or he can have the feeling that the only honorable thing to do is to commit suicide. As the samurai who feels he cannot show himself anymore to the public. The samara decides on his own, in isolation, to make an end to his life. Typically the samurai stabs the sword into his abdomen and tears it to his heart, both regions strongly connected with the Goldseries.
Raw fish and meat
The first keynote for the Bismuthums is the desire or aversion to raw fish and meat. Desire for fish and meat is a general for the Goldseries. It’s and expression of being at the top. In the animal kingdom the animals and birds of prey are said to be the kings. The lion is the king of the animals, the eagle is the king’s or emperor’s eagle, lions and eagles are often found as symbols emblems of kings. And the animals of prey are carnivorous. It’s said that Idi Amin was a cannibalist. The Bismuthums have a special connection with raw fish and meat. The rawness is probably an aspect of Stage 15. Raw isn’t described as a concept of Stage 15 (Scholten), but belongs to it too. “Loss” is often unforeseen, it comes as a “raw” experience. The “being cross” gives Stage 15 also a raw quality.
Heat glowing in thigh
A second keynote is “heat, glowing in the thighs”. It’s not known in the MM, but a strong clinical experience.
Bismuthum has a strong connection with Japan. First, Japan is the only country where suicide has been formalized and ritualized, in hara-kiri. And the art of cooking is full of raw fish and meat. One of the highlights of the Japanese cuisine is the killing fish, that has to be prepared very precisely, the bowels and liver are so poisonous that the eater will die form them. Japan also has a high incidence of stomach cancer, a symptom of Bismuthum.
- Power is finished. Loss of power. Abdication.
- Loss of honor.
- Power is finishing you.
- Death, murder.
- Suicide, Hara-kiri.
- Responsible but nothing can be done.
- Sudden unforeseen.
- Alone, extremely alone, as in death or suicide.
- Desire company, holding hands.
- Desire for light; averse dark, winter
- Fear: heights, falling.
Desire or aversion: fish, meat, raw fish, raw meat, herring, mackerel.
Desire or aversion: alcohol.
Eyes, pains, vision less.
Stomach, gastritis, ulcers, cancer.
Vomiting, < least drink.
Testes problems, infertility.
Ovaries problems, infertility.
Heat and glowing in the thigh.
Bismuthums are frequently needed in patients were someone near has committed suicide. The suicide of a relative or friend leads to deep thought of guilt. They feel responsible (Goldseries), thinking about what they could have done to prevent it. The suicide is seen as an accusation of the person committing suicide: “the world is miserable and no one, including you, has made it a little bit more pleasant to such an extend that I can stay in this world”.
The feelings of guilt can also go one stage deeper. They start to feel not only that they didn’t prevent the suicide, but they even killed the relative. This can arise after having had a quarrel, of having hurt the relative some way. Or after they have had bad thoughts about that relative, especially wishing him dead. The wish is then seen as the cause. This aspect is especially strong in children with their magical thinking. The remedies in this situation are Bismuthums combined with Carbonseries: Bismuthum carbonicum, Bismuthum nitricum, Bismuthum oxidatum, Bismuthum fluoratum.
At the same time there’s nothing they can do about it anymore. A suicide cannot be corrected. It’s over: Stage 15. They have lost the power to do something for the suicidal relative. So they keep having thoughts of responsibility that they cannot substantiate. And this can lead to suicidal thoughts in themselves. The guilt feelings are so heavy, that they lead to deep depression. The circle is round again.
Jan Scholten - Utrecht NL
Keywords: suicide, guilt, Bismuthum, Bismuthum salts
This article was originally published in www.interhomeopathy.org
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