Modeling Constitutional Polarities
The Concept of Radical Disjunct
A useful approach for identifying and modeling key contributions or paradoxes within constitutional remedy states
Reminiscent of the ego defense mechanism described by Sigmund Freud as a reaction formation, a radical disjunct occurs when provision of the normal fulfillment of a need not only fails to quench the need but makes it worse. Consider the situation of a woman who fears being anywhere close to dirt. She then becomes so vigilant concerning cleanliness that in her drive to eradicate filth she finds herself constantly near it. Here, fear of contacting dirt creates more contact with dirt. This self-reinforcing feedback loop then builds on and perpetuates itself. As opposed to the reaction formation, which describes behavior, the radical disjunct’s capacity to encompass physical symptomatology sustains an imbalance or a chronic illness. Sense-dimensional analysis generally illuminates the radical disjuncts operate in chronic illness.
Identification of the radical disjunct is central to deconstructing complex and often paradoxical descriptions of homeopathic remedies. For example, the radical disjunct of the homeopathic remedy Nux vomica lies in its indication for a situation in which a person is constantly at war with the world in order “to obtain a little peace.” Physically, a patient in need of Nux vomica shows, on the one hand, excessive energy, and on the other, exhaustion; they ought logically to cancel one another out, but fail to do so. A radical disjunct can be created iatrogenically, as when a medication for depression generates increased risk for suicide, or a medication to treat softening of the bones and susceptibility to fracture causes the bones to become brittle.
Underlying each radical disjunct is failure at some level to adequately resolve an issue. The failure ultimately implicates one of the core issues related to the five sense dimensions described in my book, Interpreting Chronic Illness.
Sidestepping these issues with inadequate resolutions sets up patterns of dysfunction that ultimately are expressed in chronic illnesses. Because remedy-state patterns are complex and a broad perspective is needed to understand them, the intent of this book is not primarily clinical. Rather, it introduces an innovative conceptual tool—sense-dimensional analysis—as a means to conjoin prominent though culturally diverse medical systems. Although health caregivers are encouraged to view their patients’ illnesses through the lens of the sense dimensions, they are advised not to exceed the limits of their professional training in treating any psycho-social disturbances they may expose. They are particularly urged not to prescribe homeopathic remedies for chronic illnesses without first undergoing a thorough course of homeopathic training.
Copyright Jerry M. Kantor