But Hahnemann also says in the same paragraph: “…or at least in the temperament of the subject of treatment.”
Hahnemann made it EXPRESSLY clear that we treat diseases, NOT the personality of a person except where altered by a disease.
Of psoric origin are almost all those diseases that I have above termed one-sided, which appear to be more difficult to cure in consequence of this one-sidedness, all their other morbid symptoms disappearing, as it were, before the single, great, prominent symptom. Of this character are what are termed mental diseases. They do not, however, constitute a class of disease the condition of the disposition and mind is always altered;1 and in all cases of disease we are called on to cure the state of the patient’s disposition is to be particularly noted, along with the totality of the symptoms, if we would trace an accurate picture of the disease, in order to be able therefrom to treat it homœopathically with success.
1 How often, for instance, do we not meet with a mild, soft disposition in patients who have for years been afflicted with the most painful diseases, so that the physician feels constrained to esteem and compassionate the sufferer! But if he subdue the disease and restore the patient to health – as is frequently done in homœopathic practice – he is often astonished and horrified at the frightful alteration in his disposition. He often witnesses the occurrence of ingratitude, cruelty, refined malice and propensities most disgraceful and degrading to humanity, which were precisely the qualities possessed by the patient before he grew ill.
Those who were patient when well often become obstinate, violent, hasty, or even intolerant and capricious, or impatient or disponding when ill; those formerly chaste and modest often frequently become lascivious and shameless. A clear-headed person not infrequently becomes obtuse of intellect, while one ordinarily weak-minded becomes more prudent and thoughtful; and a man slow to make up his mind sometimes acquires great presence of mind and quickness of resolve, etc.
We shall, therefore, never be able to cure conformably to nature – that is to say, homœopathically – if we do not, in every case of disease, even in such as are acute, observe, along with the other symptoms, those relating to the changes in the state of the mind and disposition, and if we do not select, for the patient’s relief, from among the medicines a disease-force which, in addition to the similarity of its other symptoms to those of the disease, is also capable of producing a similar state of the disposition and mind.1
1 Thus aconite will seldom or never effect a rapid or permanent cure in a patient of a quiet, calm, equable disposition; and just as little will nux vomica be serviceable where the disposition is mild and phlegmatic, pulsatilla where it is happy, gay and obstinate, or ignatia where it is imperturbable and disposed neither to be frightened nor vexed.