A Case of ‘Blackouts’


I thought it would be nice to share with you a little case I saw recently, to explain the process I go through to find a remedy that matches the client’s symptoms.

First I have to take the case

I listen to what my client tells me, I observe and ask questions and note down important details.

Paula is a girl in her late teens, who asked me to help her with what she called ‘Black outs’. She is a tall slim and usually healthy person, active and very friendly and open. Since a few days she is experiencing ‘Black outs’. They have increased from 10 to 30+ times a day as time goes on. They are brief episodes that come on seemingly randomly, even when she is relaxed and sitting quietly, but more frequently at the end of the day.

When she is very busy or focused (like at work) she doesn’t have them. She notices them particularly when she closes her eyes or when she is getting up from sitting or lying down. But while lying in bed at night she doesn’t experience them at all. She says when the black outs happen, she loses focus, her brain feels fuzzy and she struggles to take in anything around her, but her vision is ok. She experiences severe dizziness and is worried she’ll fall.

Apart from the Blackouts she says she is also feeling more tired and not very energetic. This means she ‘can’t be bothered to do anything’. On waking in the morning she does not feel rested. Her appetite is down and she feels full easily especially with the evening meals and she is also more thirsty then usual.

Now from this account I have to find some symptoms I can work with.

‘Black Outs’ as such is not going to help me very much. I need to pick symptoms that are going to tell me what these black outs mean to Paula and what is peculiar about them. It is also important to look at other changes that are happening for Paula with these Blackouts. Things that are different from how she would normally feel or behave.

These Symptoms I need to ‘translate’ into “Rubrics”.

Rubrics are a language format describing symptoms in an organized way. They usually describe the location, the symptom and then any modalities or peculiarities about that symptom. These Rubrics are listed in a ‘book of Symptoms’ or “Repertory”. So you can find any rubrics listed for symptoms in a particular area or body system together.

These are the rubrics I created and used

  • vertigo; lying; amel.
  • vertigo; closing eyes; agg.
  • vertigo; rising; on; sitting, from
  • vertigo; sitting; agg.
  • sleep; unrefreshing
  • stomach; appetite; easy satiety
  • stomach; appetite; diminished; thirst, with
  • mind; undertakes; lacks will power to undertake anything

The next step is to feed these Rubrics/ Symptoms into the Repertory Program I use on my computer (hooray for modern technology).

Repertorization for Paula’s case

  • amel =ameliorates or makes better
  • number = indicates the amount of remedies in the list that have these symptoms
  • agg = aggravates or makes worse

Doing this will determine which remedy scores highest with the symptoms described or rubics listed. In this case the remedy Phosphorus came up with the highest score.

But to be sure about this choice (it is a computer program only after all!) I will need to read up in detail on some of the higher scoring remedies in my Materia Medica book which is like an encyclopedia of Remedies. Describing the picture of each remedy giving detailed information on each remedy’s use in Physical/ Mental and Emotional issues. In fact these are like toxicology reports and tell us what would happen if we are to take this remedy in the crude form it is derived of. And in Homeopathy we use the diluted substance as a remedy to treat ‘Like with like’.

I decided that Phosphorus was indeed a great match for Paula.

Then I make my choice and prescribe the remedy.

This involves choosing potency and dose but that’s a topic for another post.

At the Follow up

Paula took the remedy twice that same day I saw her; once in the afternoon and once after dinner. Already by bed time she felt she was improving. She felt less exhausted and had fewer Blackouts that were also less severe then before the remedy was taken, but still the odd one. She had a great sleep and when she woke felt more rested. Over the next day she took a further 3 doses and the Blackouts disappeared altogether. Her appetite has also returned. P hasn’t had any Black Outs for some days now.

This was a lovely and very speedy result. That is often what we can expect in simple more acute situations like these.

Chronic situations are much more complex and generate a lot of information and detail to work with and take into consideration. As during chronic consultation focus will not only be the present situation and symptoms but also individual and Family health history.

This is a time consuming process for a Homeopath who may spend hours to days on analyzing a case depending on its complexity. As chronic situations are often long standing problems, the result may be expected to take more time and be more gradual.

In this account I have focused on describing the Homeopathic process. There are other factors that apply too with case management and advice given. In this situation I advised Paula to visit her doctor if she continues to experience problems as in that case the cause of the blackouts will need to be determined and diagnosed to ascertain that there are no serious underlying issues.

Posted in Case, Homeopathy, Method
Tags: , , , , ,

Please feel free to share your thoughts here!

Esther Ritmeester DipHom, R.Hom.Int

Esther's Homeopathy Clinic

Esther Ritmeester DipHom, R.Hom.Int