Today’s obituary

Sounds like Norman Mailer was simply violently drunk when he stabbed his wife, Adele Morales at a party in the New York City apartment way back in 1960.

Nevertheless, being committed for psychiatric observation earned him several labels: paranoid, delusional, homicidal, and suicidal.

“Some guests recalled that the point of no return came when she told her husband that he was not as good as Dostoyevsky.

Mailer stabbed her in the stomach and back with a penknife, puncturing her cardiac sac.

Mrs. Mailer initially told doctors that she had fallen on broken glass. Later, in the intensive care unit of University Hospital, she told the police that her husband had stabbed her.

Mailer was charged with felonious assault and committed to Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric observation.

“In my opinion Norman Mailer is having an acute paranoid breakdown with delusional thinking and is both homicidal and suicidal,” Dr. Conrad Rosenberg, the doctor who first treated Mrs. Mailer, wrote in a medical report to the judge.”


Exploring homeopathy

A couple of years into Chris’s crisis, that is to say about nine years ago,  I consulted a homeopath, not really knowing anything at all about what homeopaths do, but desperately wanting an alternative to the prescription drug regime that we were told was absolutely necessary to manage Chris’s ‘illness.” Unfortunately, it was too soon in my learning process to introduce an approach that was radically outside the medical understanding of psychosis. I opted for a different energy medicine approach as an add-on to a conventional medical approach.

Recently, I came across Amy Lansky’s book, Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy, and the light went on in me. Fast forward to October and Chris and I now become clients of a classically trained homeopath. I learned from Impossible Cure the importance of finding a homeopath who would provide remedies in single doses, not blends, hence the need to find a classically trained one. The homeopath treats the person, not the symptom and is therefore part psychiatrist, part shaman, part investigative detective in the quest to know the personality.

I was amazed at what the homeopath saw in Chris after his initial one and a half hour appointment. She sent him home with a prescription for ‘phosophorus.’ She gave him phosphorus because he IS phosphorus, and a homeopath treats ‘like’ with ‘like.” I rummaged around the Internet and found an arcane homeopathic reference to ‘the phosphorus personality.’ The phosphorus personality is ethereal, floating, highly sensitive to their environment, hates to be alone, anxious, a pleaser (therefore liked by many people), a conflict avoider and the list continues. Strikingly red lips at birth is another give-away, but how could this small detail about Chris as a newborn coincide with his personality traits, one wonders?

Last Sunday I went to a presentation given by Natalie Tobert, a medical anthropologist and author of the book, Spiritual Psychiatries: Mental Health Practices in India and UK. I learned something quite interesting about Indian psychiatrists, not all of them, mind you. Some of them practice mainly in the Western tradition. The Indian psychiatrists who she interviewed for her book use conventional drug therapy for their patients, but homeopathic treatment is also a mainstay of their practice. These psychiatrists also rely on astrologers, numerologists, and spiritualists.

I discovered from reading this book that the herb rauwolfia serpentina is suggested for the treatment of schizophrenia. According to Wiki, this herb apparently enjoyed a brief period of popularity in the West from 1954 to 1957 for the treatment of schizophrenia, and Mahatma Gandhi supposedly used it as a tranquilizer. Who knew?