THE REMEDY: PHOSPHORUS
Please note: the “Complaints/Background” sections of both Phase One: Arsenicum Album and Phase Two: Ignatia Amara feature symptoms I experienced at the beginning of treatment. The symptoms I list on those pages can be attributed mainly to those remedy types. I jumped back and forth between remedies for various reasons I delineate on here.
Phase Three: Phosphorus and Phase Four: Sulphur include only those symptoms specific to each respective remedy. At this point in treatment, I only took one remedy at a time, resulting in the unraveling of each “layer”. Classical homeopathic prescribing will function in this way: heal fully with one remedy, and then move onto the next when a new constitutional picture becomes apparent.
DIFFUSION OF THE SENSES & LACK OF BOUNDARIES. Burning sensations remain, however relieved by cold (Arsenicum relieved by heat). Energy levels have increased, although the body is still excitable, from which exhaustion settles in. “Runny tummy” remains. Ravenous appetite with cravings for refreshing foods, cold foods, and chocolate. Carries weight in hips, buttocks, and face. Thirst for cold water; drinks large quantities at a time (Arsenicum drinks small sips frequently). Mild burning in the stomach with all-gone sensation. Hypoglycemia remains (healing with Phosphorus and Sulphur will really take care of this, along with the energy levels). Stools long, hard and narrow. Still bloated, but better. Still constipated, but better. Spaced-out feeling when overworked. Vision disturbed, as if eyes misted. Itching of the scalp. Vulnerable to sensory impressions of all kinds. Startles easily. Absorbs the energies of others. Lack of boundaries. Extremely empathetic. Anticipatory anxiety with premonitions. Feels as if she can tell the future; always thinks something bad is about to happen, and sometimes that others are going to reject her. Desires to feel loved and a part of her friend group; isolation and detachment had made this impossible. Loves connecting with people; can see through to their souls. Her feelings are hurt when they don’t reciprocate. Values everyone for who they are, and loves when people express themselves for who they are. Disingenuity disheartens and repels. Negativity also disheartens and repels, especially in those she trusts. Runs from the negativity of others, for it becomes her own. Anxiety arises out of sensory diffusion. Anxiety upon hearing unpleasant things, upon witnessing turmoil, and out of other people’s anxiety. Fear of outer space (envisions being “stretched”), of other people’s hearts when lying down with them, and for the safety of jaywalkers; lack of boundaries. Fears open spaces that are high up. Sometimes feels as if she’s losing herself in the minds of others. Fears rejection. Some fear for the future; still does not feel fully settled. Desires to feel grounded. Fear of oblivion (envisions dying, and then her mind being gone). Sometimes feels as if she’s a part of the car. Heart rate soft, but still startles upon falling asleep. Fear of heart remains, albeit less than before; just wishes it didn’t exist. Would simply leave the body if she could; envisions herself fighting the boundaries her body sets. Quality of sleep better, but wakes frequently. Night owl. Premonitions of nightmares*; forces herself to wake up when she knows they will happen. Dreams of being chased (symbolic of escapism). Lascivious dreams. Craves the human touch. Desire for sex. Cannot be tied down, nor controlled; hates being confined to a schedule or being forced to be anywhere. Late to everything. Lack of boundaries. Defiant when she wants to be. Pushes everything off; figures she’ll finish it before it’s due. Spends money on others; figures there’s more where that came from. Starts many articles and struggles to finish them. So many ideas and one-liners; not all come full-circle. Less motivated; restless like Arsenicum but wants to be around people and excitement. Chases the party. Can read people’s minds; knows exactly what they are feeling. Can’t say no to people (doesn’t like feeling “disconnected” from them). Gets drained from crowds, especially when the setting takes on a negative tone. Optimism has replaced pessimism of Arsenicum. Hard of hearing the human voice. “Word vomiter” (says everything that comes to mind). Wants to help people; takes it personally when they won’t let her. Family bore brunt of Arsenicum irritability (friends see Phosphorus’ best side). Fiery temperament brought on by cruelty and injustice.
Bolded words are especially applicable to the Phosphorus constitution.
Note: If it seems like my symptoms are still pretty hefty for being at “Phase Three”, you’re not wrong. A few things are going on here: I should have taken Phosphorus to begin with, because it was my main miasm remedy. Second, I was very disordered to begin with, and really struggling. I was not just going to be cured overnight (hence the duration of my treatment). Third, Phosphorus is the remedy of all remedies for me. Because it aimed to uproot my expressed “miasm”, I felt immensely better midway through it, better than I had felt with Arsenicum and Ignatia. I felt like a normal person, like Riley was back. By the time I reach Sulphur, my mental, emotional, and physical symptoms will be reduced significantly, as they already are.
Description of Remedy:
It should come as no surprise that like Arsenicum, Phosphorus is highly sensitive to external impressions. However, while Arsenicum types respond heavily to impurities in their surroundings (recall their loathing of dirty environments, processed foods, lowly behaviors and loud sounds that prevent them from focusing–all of which can be partially or wholly attributed to their perfectionism), Phosphorus persons react to energetic facets of their environment–the unspoken and unseen–on physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual planes. In homeopathy, Phosphorus is characterized by a diffusion of the senses.
The sensitivity associated with Arsenicum persons may foment selfish behavior unless their high morals, which they base on principle, cannot be swayed. Arsenicums so greatly fear the defenselessness that accompanies losing control that they often feel they must protect themselves and their families from the unforeseen future. Phosphorus’ sensitivity, on the other hand, both rouses and arises out of selflessness on a universal level. Phosphorus fears just as much, if not more, for the safety of other beings because nir ego is underdeveloped (which does not mean Phosphorus lacks a lower self). Phosphorus types also aren’t nearly as exacting about preventing what might–and probably won’t–eventuate, even though their anxiety brings on the fear that “something bad will happen”. If there’s one remedy type that abides by the principle “we are one”, it’s Phosphorus (note that a lack of boundaries is also associated with this constitution). Sensory diffusion, then, not only extends to animate objects, but to their sufferings as well.
Phosphorus persons are attune to the emotional undercurrents of any environment they inhabit, whether they realize it or not. Ignorance to their own sensitivity often leads to internalization, wherein the energies of others around them become their own. This phenomenon is often witnessed in young children (as well as those who are relatively disordered), who absorb outward sentiments in awe until some negativity inevitably permeates their inner realm of innocence–after which they will seek the warmth and protection of their parents, who must offer them solace if they are to flourish. Phosphorus does not do well with “tough love”, nor should members of this constitution (or any constitution, for that matter) have to experience it. They are kind, gentle, compassionate, and most importantly, impressionable, a quality that speaks not only to how affected Phosphorus is by others, but how affected others are by Phosphorus.
The open-book qualities associated with Phosphorus spread to and attract all different types of energies, and all different types of people, as this remedy type receives and gives affection easily, perhaps even to those that don’t normally take it; Phosphorus says, and often does, whatever comes to mind, which is usually guiltless and sometimes naive. This sincerity softens even the hardest, emotionally-suppressed people, for which the constitution has built a reputation as a charmer. Unlike Arsenicum, Phosphorus tends to accept and enjoy all different types of idiosyncrasies in others, easily glossing over their faults in favor of interpersonal harmony. Phosphorus types’ nativity is moreso a reflection of their tendency to see the world through rose-colored glasses than an inability to detect negativity in others (they feel their “vibe” after all)… They would much rather give people the benefit of the doubt than write them off, especially if Phosphorus thinks someone is suffering.
Phosphorus persons may get themselves into trouble with their openness, believing that their intuitions always guide them in the right direction, toward the life paths they are “meant” to take… Phosphorus’ optimism and vivid imagination, while appropriate and even admirable in moderate amounts–lending to the remedy type’s ability to see clearly the path that will allow them to grow–may lead nir instincts astray when coupled with escapism and lofty thinking, perhaps into Neverland (note that Peter Pan exemplifies the unhealthy, forever child subtype of the remedy (Bailey 267)). As ne sees what ne wants to see and not what is actually there, Phosphorus avoids the harsher realities of life without actually dealing with them; it is negativity that affects Phosphorus persons profoundly, a facet of earthly existence they always seem to be running from. On the flip side, Phosphorus types’ favorite idiom may be that “everything happens for a reason”, which can actually be an asset when they cope–it keeps them youthful and unperturbed by everyday nuisances. Even in adulthood, Phosphorus possesses an endearing, childlike essence, which may dominate all other essences (constitutions) that comprise the personality, especially in social settings, wherein Phosphorus thrives. This bubbly demeanor can be frustrating to those who, often in need of homeopathy themselves, are too hardened to appreciate Phosphorus’ “flighty sense of fun” (Bailey 256). Nevertheless, when Phosphorus is balanced, ne is charming, magnetic, and affable, bringing out the best in those attune to nir “wavelength”.
Phosphorus constitutions naturally fear for the safety of those around them–be it a family member, friend, or stranger. Like Sulphur, Phosphorus appreciates all walks of life, uninhibited by the boundaries that plague most, and will often go far out of nir way to help those in need. Witnessing the plights of others in action brings anxiety when chronically disordered, as do stories told by word of mouth. Phosphorus cannot prosper whilst everyone else suffers. I couldn’t handle watching the news or sad movies (not that I had the attention span to do anyway); any anecdotal accounts of others’ distress had me running for the hills, or to whomever I could seek solace from nearby! What Phosphorus gives in emotional support, Phosphorus wants, and not necessarily for sinister reasons–what makes others happy makes Phosphorus happy. These people don’t aim to manipulate, and wouldn’t know how to if they tried (save a bit of play-acting); they may, however, innocently coerce others with their effervescence. Lower Phosphorus persons will err more toward self-fulfillment, shoving any troublesome thoughts aside as they come… In any event, the Phosphorus lower self often doesn’t directly concern others, as the remedy type is typically devoid of malice; Phosphorus is a bit of a push-over, if only because ne hates upsetting those ne connects with, which is nearly everyone. The lower self, in this case, shows itself as a lack of personal boundaries. While Phosphorus persons will stick up for what they believe in (thus “blocking out” the opinions of loved ones), usually what they feel is right, they won’t do so without hearing all sides of the story first. Members of this constitution, unlike their Arsenicum friends, are apt to reproach the word “no”, whether they must tell it to someone else or someone else tells it to them!
The bubbly personalities characteristic of the type mustn’t be mistaken for daftness; they are some of the most intelligent people around, once again seeing avenues to growth others miss. They may lack rhetorical skills, unless other constitutions within the persona pacify this trait, because they prefer to communicate via the metaphysical, the spiritual, and with their charm. It seems as if Phosphorus just knows things without being able to convey them, which is why the type is often considered clairvoyant (especially in terms of clairempathy): they will know what you are feeling, and what you are suppressing, even as you become unaware of it. They may surmise the contents of a letter before they open it, or finish your sentences. They may develop a headache when a loved one does, merely by virtue of their extreme sensitivity. Phosphorus ranks high, and maybe even the highest of all constitutional types, in EQ (McCabe, “Let Like Cure Like” 214).
Phosphorus persons, of course, have a dark side, like all constitutions: because The Ego is underdeveloped, there is a tendency to see themselves through the eyes of others. Phosphorus types feed off of love and succumb to self-doubt when they feel they are not loved. A fear of rejection results, along with the aforementioned anticipatory anxiety, for which Phosphorus persons must learn to stand on their own two feet, and furthermore not to care what other people think. The unabridged sensitivity of severely-disordered Phosphorus persons may even lead them to alarmingly feel like they don’t know who they are–an exacerbation of their propensity to identify too strongly with their environment, in fact losing themselves in it.
(I speak mainly of relatively disordered Phosphorus persons below.)
- are hypersensitive on physical, mental, and emotional levels. Phosphorus types are attuned to their own feelings as well as to the feelings of others; to nature and the energies of their surroundings, be it person, place, or thing; to the weather (headaches or panic attacks, for example, come on with thunderstorms and remain until they pass); to the paranormal and other-wordly (many Phosphorus persons are clairvoyant); to chemicals and pollutants; to smell, sight, and touch (Phosphorus, perhaps more than any other type, loves a good back rub); and to the extremes of LOVE and NEGATIVITY. Phosphorus constitutions in a state of disorder are heavy escapists from the lowly sentiments of the world, and will search for the good in everything and everyone they encounter.
- love animals.
- treat the world as a stage.
- see through the bullshit to the real you.
- know what you’re feeling.
- love you for you.
- make you feel special.
- ensure no one is left out of a group endeavor.
- will feel unwanted if they are.
- fear rejection.
- cannot bear to give it.
- suffer from FOMO.
- have a very vivid imagination, both to their benefit and detriment (they often see what they want to see instead of the reality of a situation, especially when it tests their ability to cope. While Phosphorus has a very developed sense of intuition which is insightful indeed, ne can be led easily astray by fantasies when those fantasies prove more appealing than some matter at hand. The remedy Phosphorus will bring out Phosphorus’ discriminant mind because ne will feel more capable of dealing with pragmatic affairs; although, Phosphorus types may still be a little bit more “out there”–that is, “in the clouds”–than most others, even in a state of equilibrium).
- crave human interaction and attention–even the touch–dually sensitive to how others perceive them; thus, Phosphorus persons will grow from learning to do what they want to do, and not what others expect/need them to do, or appreciate them for doing. Many Phosphorus types cannot say no for fear of “breaking the connection”, or witnessing others in pain. (Note that Phosphorus types are not followers, but they are sensitive to what others think of them. So they may do what they want, but feel embarrassed if ridiculed.)
- that are rather healthy, however, will think that it is the other person’s problem when ne doesn’t reciprocate in interest and emotion when faced with, say, Phosphorus’ life story. Phosphorus types are liable to strike up a conversation with anyone they encounter; they reproach the limitations of secrets, preferring to air all of their laundry–whether dirty or not!–because they want to connect with nearly everyone they meet on the sincerest level (unless Phosphorus has gotten a bad “vibe”).
- fear ghosts, robbers, thunderstorms, and for the welfare of others. Phosphorus children will worry something terrible has happened to their parents if they don’t come home from work on time. They also will not like watching television shows or movies with even the slightest amount of suffering involved, the amount of suffering most will fail to pick up on. Adult Phosphorus persons that are rather disordered will become very anxious when faced with the inescapable struggles of other beings, whether real or “entertainment”-oriented (most Phosphorus types learn they can only handle a small amount of news or dramatic programming). Remember that Phosphorus constitutions are not only sympathetic, but have a rarely-matched ability to feel what others do.
- fear the body, especially the heart, in later stages of the disease process, for it confines members of this constitution to a perpetual state of suffering, fear, and ultimately negativity.
- cannot bear to feel confined, by the external (rules, regulations, jobs, school, people, lifestyle circumstances, etc.) or the internal, be it processes of the body or mind. Phosphorus will resist being controlled. While Arsenicums resist being controlled because Arsenicums will not let anyone manipulate them for the sake of it (ego), Phosphorus does not like to feel trapped.
- possess an underlying feeling that they want to escape when heavily disordered (contrasted with Arsenicums’ purist form of fear. While Phosphorus persons may be prompted to escape because they are fearful, they suffer more when stuck). For example, the thought that Phosphorus’ heart will always keep beating whilst Phosphorus is alive will instill innumerable dis-ease in the constitution when disordered, for that anxiety feels as if it will never go away–it is inescapable–until homeopathy heals the heart and restores Phosphorus’ perception of it.
- will want to escape the mind when heavy disorder prompts insurmountable anxiety, prompting fears of insanity.
- also fear heights, and open spaces that seem to have no end (diffusion of the senses; no ending=no escape). Phosphorus in illness lacks a sensation of grounding*.
- fear oblivion (I envisioned my “mind being gone” upon death).
- yearn to feel acknowledged. Much growth will come from learning to be enough for themselves.
- live in the present moment, and may neglect responsibilities and/or the fruition of material necessities if doing so takes away from the necessity in experience. Higher Phosphorus types easily forgo the tangibility of the physical world in favor of elevating spiritually; lower, imbalanced Phosphorus persons will neglect their duties, potentially to others, if it means having a good time. Still, even lower Phosphorus types will give emotional and financial assistance freely, trusting that there will always be “more where that came from”. Motives will vary (lower: want of love; higher: want to make others feel loved, solely).
- value all different walks of life, cultures, ages, races, and backgrounds. Phosphorus’ love, like Phosphorus’ self, knows no bounds.
- love the idea of love. In the extreme, lower Phosphorus persons will ignore all negative qualities in their partners and utterly idealize them, imposing unrealistic expectations on their relationships.
- will succumb to hypersexual tendencies in illness, due to which they may alternatively jump from person to person, from stimulant to stimulant, with an intense yearn for affection in mind without commitment and without limitation (yet they will still want their lover to be loving, and will be loving toward their partner, like they are in a relationship). Phosphorus types will no longer connect with everyone they meet on a sincere level; even as they see you for you–more than most people in a state of equilibrium–they will seek a means to fulfill their sexual appetite (Kent 711: “sexual mania”). Emotional suppression prevents them from truly unifying in heart and soul, for the right reasons, without fantasies, and without blockages. Still, Phosphorus will rarely come off like the quintessential “womanizer” or “maninizer”–doesn’t have the same ring to it–for ne is way too affectionate and way too involved in others’ emotional welfare to seem so “down and out”, in fact making nem more appealing.
- love themselves. Phosphorus’ self-love is pretty tell-tale–it tends to be cute and endearing like the rest of Phosphorus’ qualities. Even as Phosphorus types seek love from others, they do not do so because they reproach themselves like Natrum Muriaticum; they merely crave the warmth of others’ affection.
- are easily hurt by lack of compassion and/or warmth, and may manifest indifference in others that do not express themselves as openly and effervescently as Phosphorus. Remember: sensitive, childlike, innocent. These are the virtues of the Phosphorus constitution.
- may have a very Cancerian way of protecting themselves emotionally when they’ve been hurt: while still seeking love from the offender, they may retreat within, subduing (but generally not withholding entirely) their own love until they no longer feel the sting of rejection.
- are there for those in need.
- are there for those in need no one else will help.
- will see past some lower qualities in those others reprimand, so long as they feel some good.
- can be very gullible, if only because they wish to see the best in others.
- will delude themselves into thinking a person, place, or thing is it, the answer to all their problems, the world’s problems, negativity itself! Phosphorus not only runs from negativity, but the truth if that truth is negative.
- feel the weight of the world on their shoulders.
- live in la-la land to escape that weight.
- may “dip out”–either physically or in their heads–when the vibe of a room turns sour, which will make them appear “far-out”, or better yet, “spaced-out”, a common symptom Phosphorus types may experience.
- may be fastidious, like Arsenicum (“everyone needs to be healed, now!”), specifically in later stages of the disease process. Otherwise, Phosphorus is very “chill” and relaxed.
- take it personally when others deny their attempts to heal them.
- embarrass easily, developing insecurities around such failed attempts.
- do not wish to speak in analytics, basing much of their knowledge off of what they feel rather than cerebrate. You might have no idea what Phosphorus is talking about half the time.
- will think they know something simply because they have a gut feeling about it.
- have their heads in the clouds (“I’m going to be rich one day so I can help everyone! I don’t know how it’s gonna happen, but I know it will…”).
- attach meaning to everything (“I missed the train; I’m supposed to take the day off so I can finish my latest piece!”).
- burn out quickly from all the stimulus they seek and naps frequently to refresh themselves just as fast.
- bore easily with extended study.
- start much, finish little.
- are hard of hearing the human voice.
- suffer from restlessness; this energy is generally geared toward socializing rather than work, as with Arsenicum. However, Phosphorus will attend to personal endeavors, those that may constitute work, over responsibilities that derive from outside sources.
- love the occult, homeopathy, astrology, etc.
- fancy drugs and other stimulants to allow them to live outside their bodies a little more when in a state of harmony; interestingly, it seems, Phosphorus yearns to feel settled, and safe within their bodies, when ill.
*What Phosphorus types fear in the self, they will fear for in others. No one could talk about their hearts, their illnesses, their sufferings, etc. without taking my constant anxiety over the edge. Note, then, that Phosphorus has ANXIETY ARISING OUT OF OTHER PEOPLE’S ANXIETY.
In the most latent stage of the disease process, Phosphorus persons will seldom reflect their former light. Apathy will succeed their sympathy, and irritation will replace their yearn for company (much like Arsenicum). Phosphorus will still desire the sheer presence of others (fears of death will otherwise amplify), just not the stimulation they effect on Phosphorus’ overly-taxed senses. The desire to escape will, as it always has, dominate their mentality; although, Phosphorus types will no longer possess the capacity to do so, nor to obtain relief from their anxieties by default. All of these premises indicate the exhaustion of Phosphorus’ sympathy (and even escapism), as well as a contrivance self-protective mechanisms, for Phosphorus now must preserve what little sense of grounding ne has.
PHYSICALITY: Large eyes that sparkle, especially when Phosphorus is excited. Rounded eyebrows, delicate features, wide mouths, contagious smiles. Angular bone structure, typically triangle-shaped, that gives Phosphorus an almost ethereal quality (my jaw is square, presumably due to Arsenicum Album and Sulphur influences; if you look up Jackson Foster below, or even Julia Roberts, you will grasp the bone structure more characteristic of Phosphorus I am referring to). Long and lithe, even when short, although typically tall. Well-proportioned, lean and graceful; talks with the hands, as if to attract attention to their expressive faces. Long fingers with oval nails. Narrow chests; in illness may resemble a patient with tuberculosis. Some Phosphorus persons are pleasantly-plump, even jolly, which accentuates their good humor and tendency to enjoy life’s pleasures. Both types will have a flamboyant look with unique style. Women tend toward carrying weight in hips, buttocks, and face, whereas men will carry their weight in the face and stomach. Walks stooped.
Some Phosphorus types may have large teeth, with the top row bucking forward, and an almost impish quality, especially in the men.
A note about the eyes: I mentioned they “sparkle”. I have seen it in a few of my Phosphorus friends; their eyes almost dance. Quite often they look like they’re boring into your soul–or you’re boring into theirs!
EXAMPLES: Julia Roberts, Sarah from Sarahs_Day on YouTube (perfect example), Jackson Foster from Plantriotic on YouTube, and Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s Fixer Upper
*Dreams are highly indicative of the subconscious and thus unaddressed manifestations of a compromised vital force.
- Bailey, Philip M. Homeopathic Psychology: Personality Profiles of the Major Constitutional Remedies. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 1995. Print.
- Coulter, Catherine R. Portraits of Homoeopathic Medicines: Psychophysical Analyses of Selected Constitutional Types. Quality Medical Pub., 1997. Print.
- De Schepper, Luc. “The Hypersensitive Person: Hope and Understanding Through Homeopathy” DrLuc. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2017.
- Kent, J. T. Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica. Uttar Pradesh, India: B. Jain Publishers, 2016. Print.
- Lockie, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Homeopathy. London: D. Kindersley Pub., 2006. Print.
- Lockie, Andrew. Homeopathy: The Principles and Practice of Treatment. Dorling Kingdersly, 1995. Print.
- McCabe, Vinton. Let Like Cure Like. St Martins Press, 1997. Print.
- McCabe, Vinton. Practical Homeopathy. St Martins Press, 2000. Print.