Platina is a remedy which exemplifies the process of perversion of an conflict between normal functions which can occur in a particular type of individual. The Platina patient, on the one hand, is driven by a powerful, excessive sexual desire; on the other hand, she is strongly idealistic and romantic in her amorous relationships. The tension, and eventual conflict, between these two aspects of her nature, the repeated disappointments, inevitable for a person of such intensity and sensitivity, leads to the pathology which is the essence of this remedy.
As a general rule, Platina most readily affects a particular personality type. Physically, this person tends to be lean, of dark hair, eyes, and complexion. The face is usually round, with full sensual lips. It most readily affects women of a sensitive nature, at once sensual and idealistic. In children, the Platina type may display the traits of pride and integrity.
The Platina pathology shows itself on two levels, primarily the sexual and the mental. From a young age, the Platina woman feels a strong sexual desire, which can be distractingly intense. Throughout life, and beginning at a young age, there may be great hyperaesthesia of the genitals, leading to masturbation. (Origanum is another remedy which displays masturbation in young girls, but it tends to occur more in childhood between the ages of 3 an 7 years, rather than at puberty). The Platina woman is likely to become involved sexually at a young age, and emotionally she will throw herself wholeheartedly into a sexual relationship, with great romanticism and idealism. To compare it with other remedies, we find that Natrum mur, Sepia, Causticum and Calc. carb. develop sexual relationships generally later in life. On the other hand, sexuality occur at a quite young age in Nux vomica, Lachesis, Coffea cruda, Platina and Staphisagria. (The Staphysagria patient is too sensitive emotionally to face a sexual relationship, however, and therefore develops a highly active fantasy life, with early masturbation).
The Platina patient wants the relationship to be as fulfilling emotion. She desires it to be sexually; unfortunately, her desires are so extremely intense that it is virtually impossible for any man to satisfy them. She then becomes disappointed, and begins a process of going from one relationship to another trying to fulfill her desires, and experiencing repeated disappointments. In the Repertory, Platina is listed in italics under Ailments from Grief, but should probably be elevated to bold type, because the repeated griefs and disappointments in the love/sexual sphere lead to the fundamental Pathology of Platina. The Platina woman gives herself totally, and therefore experiences disappointments. As a consequence, on the mental plane, she ponders the issues of sexuality and love in the world, puzzling over the intensity of her needs. She is constantly seeking a way to balance her needs on both levels, but realistically, the world is unable to satisfy such excessive needs. She may then try to suppress the powerful sexual instinct into the mental plane, resulting in heightened idealistic, romanticized feelings. There occur a schism between the intense sexual desires and her highly idealistic beliefs. After many repeated emotional shocks and disappointments, there gradually evolves the process of PERVERSION of normal functions on these two levels.
On the mental/emotional level, one might expect such repeated griefs to lead to a bitter, vengeful, walled-off individual. In Platina, however, the particular perversion which occurs is a sense of exaggerated ego importance, of superiority, of haughtiness, of contempt for the world. The Platina patient feels she is more emotionally capable of love that she has given herself more completely than other people. She feels that she is a unique individual, misunderstood by others with lesser capacities for love, not made for this world.
To summaries the process thus far, the Platina patient is driven at the outset by an exaggerated sexual desire and sensitive idealism, cannot be satisfied in the real world, experiences disappointments, becomes tormented for a long time by unsuccessful suppression into idealism, and eventually develops an exaggerated ego-sense and haughtiness.
In taking the case, the questioner may not be struck immediately by the haughty quality of the Platina patient. It will usually be difficult to recognize; one must read between the lines; In such a sensitive person, the suppression of sensuality into the mental sphere may result in a high degree of intellectualisation, or even spirituality. She may express her disappointments in the world, that there is not enough love and consideration in society. She may refuse to have children because it would be cruel to bring them into such a world (Ignatia, Natrum mur. and Staphysagria may also display such attitudes). The inner haughtiness may show as a contempt for the world, she may refuse to participate in mundane conversations in company because of this attitude. At this stage of ego exaggeration, if recognized by the homoeopath, a dose of Platina will act quickly and easily, since the pathology has not yet advanced to a very extreme degree; treatment at later stages will also be successful, but may be longer and more arduous.
It is at this stage that the Platina patient may experience physical sensations or delusions which symbolize her internal conflict. Most characteristically, she feels as if parts of her body have enlarged in size, or that people and objects in the world have shrunk in size. Here is one vivid case example. A woman initially given Phosphorus, on a later visit finally revealed some peculiar symptoms; she would weaken at night feeling as if she were in strange place, surrounded by strange furniture; the furniture seemed to float away, and people appeared small to her. In her own words, it was as if she were on a high hill looking at people far below her. Other remedies also have similar distortion; Sabadilla has the delusion that body parts are distorted, and Cannabis indica frequently has the delusion that the surroundings are distorted. In Platina, the delusion that parts of the body are enlarged may manifest instead as a feeling like bandage constricting the part, or there may be numbness of a part, particularly numbness around the lips, the area of the face most symbolic of sensuality. Also there may be a fear that the face is distorted, (and indeed, Platina is one of the remedies that can cure Bell’s palsy).
Despite and haughtiness and contempt for the world which she experiences during the mental phase of her pathology, the Platina patient is at the same time driven by her powerful, earthy sexual desire. She is not really able to suppress it. So she will continue to be with men, but she may simultaneously maintain a feeling of contempt for them. Eventually, she may separate sex from romantic love, becoming interested in sex for the sake of sensation only. Nymphomania then becomes so intense that it cannot be satisfied, she will become increasingly involved in a variety of sexual perversions.
During the first stage of Platina pathology, the patient may alternate between the emotionally haughty state and intensely sexual state. While she is dominated more by her contemptuous, haughty behavior, she will continue to be puzzled and intellectually preoccupied by the intensity of the earthy side of her nature. She may brood over this for a while, until the sensuality takes over and dominates her behavior, resulting in nymphomania.
Alternations are common in Platina. As already mentioned, there may be an alternation between mental and sexual spheres. Mental symptoms and physical symptoms may also alternate; for example, the physical symptoms will disappear when the sensation of exaggerated size of a part of the body is present. As the delusion disappears, the physical symptoms return. Numbness of the face may alternate with fear of facial distortion.
In the second stage of development of Platina pathology, we see a given patient progressing in one of two directions of pathology. The direction of illness depends mostly upon the upbringing and background of the person. If she is in a culture in which her sensuality has been allowed free expression, her sexual nature will become more and more out of control. Perversions and nymphomania become increasingly manifest.
If she has actively controlled and repressed her desires, the previous mental defence represented by the inner contempt for the world becomes no longer successful. She may become snappish, sulky, sharp-tongued. There may be prolonged periods of brooding and depression. I, desperation over the world’s inability to satisfy her, she may even become suicidal, although she is unlikely to commit suicide. As the pathology progresses further, even depression no longer suffices, and she may experience a further perversion of her affection. She may feel a powerful desire to kill those closest to her, such as her husband and child (as is also found in Nux vomica, Mercury and eve Arsenicum). In particular, this desire in Platina is stimulated by the presence or sight of a knife. This is a controlled desire to kill; Platina will rarely act on it. Such a desire, if purely unconscious, may manifest as an irrational fear that a fatal accident will befall her husband; she believes day in and day out that her husband will be killed, and she stays awake late into the night awaiting his return home.
In the third stage of Platina pathology, a true insanity develops, depending on which direction the pathology has taken. On the one hand, the haughtiness becomes exaggerated into an insane delusion of grandeur. Whereas previously she has kept such feelings largely to herself, in the insane stage it becomes overt. She believes she is royalty that others are beneath her, that she is great and powerful and deserving of respect and deference. Unlike Veratrum album, who believes himself to be Jesus Christ or John the Baptist; an actual confusion of identity, and a sense of being given an important mission in life – the Platina delusion is an exaggerated sense of personal ego status.
The other form of Platina insanity manifests as an aggressive erotic mania. This is not merely the shamelessness or passive exposure of the genital which we see in Hyoscyamus. It is practically indistinguishable from the erotic mania of Tarentula – an active, aggressive state, in which she will approach even strangers with an overt sexual proposition. The above-described essence of Platina is particularly evident in the physical symptoms. As mentioned there is the feeling of exaggerated size of parts of the body or of the entire body. This is also represented symbolically in the characteristic Platina sensation as if a part is bound by a band age (characteristic in an even stronger degree in Anacardium). There may be numbness (particularly around the lips), coldness, and cramping of muscles. There is a great hyperaesthesia of the genitals, becoming most painful to the touch, even to the point of preventing coition or speculum examination by the physician. Such hyperaesthesia seems to be caused by excessive congestion of the genitals and pelvic organs. Platina has even cured a pregnant woman who developed voluptuous spasms of the uterus, with orgasms which occurred so frequently and intensely that the spasms threatened spontaneous abortion.
To summarize then, the essence of Platina is a schism and perversion of the mental and sexual spheres, in a proud, sensitive woman, who has suffered repeated emotional disappointments, leading progressively to delusions of grandeur, or aggressive erotic mania.