Dr. Jose Zachariah BHMS
CERCH, P.O., Road, Kottayam-1
My dear friends, respected teachers and colleagues,
On hearing about children remedy types, familiar images of quite a few drugs come to our mind.
Like fair, fat and flabby Calcarea, the sad and weepy Pulsatilla, irritable, cross, spiteful Chamomilla who wants to be carried, irritable kid who picks at and bores into the nose – Cina’. One who doesn’t want to be touched or even looked at – Antimonium Crudum. The child who get frightened on least downward motion-Borax etc. Borland’s children types describes about the images of a few more remedies. But it is said that any medicine in the Materia Medica can be given for any condition at any age. It simply means that almost half of the Materia Medica are yet to be developed in this context. But fortunately for us we have fairly developed children remedy images of a lot many medicines today through the inspiring works of contemporary Homeopaths amongst whom George Vithoulkas is the most trustworthy.
I will tell you a case.
This is a 7th Std. Student. He is from Madras. They live in a joint family with lot of cousins of almost his own age group, uncles, aunties and his grandparents. Up to his 3rd Std. he was an active, naughty child. He used to pick fights very easily, was quarrelsome and beat his cousins on minor provocation. Grand parents were strict and they will give punishment and even mild thrashings for his misdeeds. If he gets a punishment from his grand father, he retaliates immediately to the one who complained about him. He was just that.
While he was in his 3rd std, his father who was working in Gulf came back and took a job in Madras itself. He was a peculiar person. i.e., he had certain fixed beliefs. He was a disciplinarian. He felt that kids should be strictly disciplined for better behavior. Since our boy was very naughty, it so happened that not a single day passed without getting severe beating and abuses from his father. This man has beaten his child very badly for even minor incidents. Gradually the child became gloomy and sad. One who was active and playful developed a disinterest in playing and he started sitting alone in classroom as if buried in thoughts. When teacher calls his name, he gets startled and has no idea what is asked of him. Forgetfulness developed. Complaints came from the school that he is not doing his homework properly. He said that there is no one to take care of him. At home he wanted the company of his mother always. He started failing in exams, which was unlikely of him. On inquiry he said that he couldn’t follow Biology and Maths. He wanted to get good marks. He worked for it, but it seemed that studies were not going as it used to be. He could not comprehend very easily. He developed anxiety before exams. Quite a few times he developed fever before examinations. His parents decided to consult a psychiatrist. He gave lot of advices to the kid as well as to his parents. His father took more care of him afterwards and almost stopped beating him. It helped him to come out of sadness and depression. But still then, failure in studies and fear of exams remained. Disinterest in sports- no change.
He had coryza and sneezing for the last 4 years. Almost every morning there will be sneezing for at least half an hour. It gets aggravated from cold drinks, cold weather etc. He had asthma for 2 months, 2 years back and was relieved with allopathic medications. He is constipated from very childhood. It seems that he is holding the stool. He moves the bowels once in 3 or 4 days only.There is a lack of appetite inspite of the fact that, there is desire for sweets, +++, chocolate ++ and ice cubes + He likes meat ++.
He sleeps on his abdomen smoothly. Sleep is un refreshing. At home he listens to music most of the time and sometimes he dances to it. He was afraid of crowd and he fears being alone. Always wants the company of his mother and her comforting words.
Analysis of the Case
Now we need to decide on what are the major issues or the important symptoms in this case. Think about the chronology of development of complaints. Up to his 3rd std, he was a relatively healthy child inspite of occasional punishments from grandparents. But after his father came to live with him, things changed upside down. You can think about rubrics like ailments from rudeness, reproaches, ailments from mortification, punishment etc. But in general it is the suppression of emotions. I would like to call your attention on a few remedies where suppression of emotions is the major issue, which can lead to pathology.
This is the first and foremost medicine in suppression of emotions. They get suppressed quite easily. They allow themselves to take all humiliations without even a trace of protest. There is no resistance, no retaliation, no fighting back. Indignation from insults taken silently. Think about a child who is slandered and even slapped up on the face by a fellow student. Another student who is accused for no fault of his own getting beaten up by his teacher. Staphysagria are powerless to react back. It is not that they do not want to. In fact they cannot. Even if they do protest, it will only be a meek resistance, which results in a mockery of him. His face looks embarrassed. Words will not actually come out, he may even stammer from excitement.When he gets angry the whole frame of his body may tremble. He goes home, broods about the whole event in his mind and wonders why he was not able to respond at that time and even imagines about the actual wordings and course of action he should have taken at that time.
There is an interesting case reported by George Vithoulkas. It is about a kid who used to write with his left hand. One of his teachers had a fixed belief that everyone should use his right hand for writing. She forced him to do so and what actually followed was deterioration in his mental abilities. He started failing in exams. Eventually he went to the extent of developing mental retardation. Staphysagria cured this child.
Examples of situations which can bring about Staphysagria Pathology.
1. Child of divorced parents.
2. Child who stays in boarding school against his wish.
3. When the tendency to nail biting is suppressed.
4. Child who had been expelled from school.
5. When a mother is very angry with her daughter for bed-wetting. She tries to suppress it and may stay awake for the whole night.
Do not take it for granted that all the children who happened to be in the above said examples will develop Staphysagria Pathology. Common complaints in Staphysagria are tics (involuntary movement), headache, bed wetting etc.
Finally when the pathology progress, Staphysagria children throw things in anger. They are very mild, shy, reserved and sweet. It is quite unlikely of them to throw things. Sometimes in later stages of pathology it may happen, but in actual fact they don’t want to do it. In the middle of the act, suddenly they realize ” Hey- What I am doing ? I shouldn’t do that” and they actually want to miss the target while throwing. After the act they feel ashamed and sad that there is a great remorse.
The precious metal implants the stamp of greatness on the emotions of one who suffers from Aurum pathology. It is an inherent knowledge that they are the best and they don’t want to be the second. They set high targets and works hardly to achieve it. A failure in examinations or the realization that somebody else overtook them in the rank profile can completely overthrow an Aurum individual to the deepest despair one can imagine and they may even commit suicide from such a cause, which seems trivial to others. Even if they escape the act of suicide, they may harbor such thoughts and become more and more introverted and melancholic.
Aurum children are very serious. It is as if you cannot smile on looking at their face. Even if you smile, you should not expect to get an approval of your act. Whereas in actual fact Aurum children expect the appreciation and praise from others. Because, they think that they deserve it for they are the best. They are friendless and introverted. I had a patient who actually wondered why his classmates are wasting the most part of their free time for sitting together and laughing hilariously over the trivial jokes, which anybody may crack from time to time. Aurum child cannot perceive the joke and consequently is unable to enjoy it.
They are precocious. They are hard working and possess a big academic knowledge. Instead of talking meaningless things to his friends, he may engage in serious discussions with his teacher about the higher faculties of academics. You can be surprised at the knowledge of these children. The major causes of initiation of Aurum pathology are defeat, humiliation, grief and disappointed love. Aurum child feels rejected quite easily and they may develop a serious forsaken feeling afterwards. From each resentment, they become more and more hard inside and will develop hatred to the person who offends. They can be revengeful as well from hatred. They are highly irritable and gets angry quite easily.
The foremost pathology that develops in Aurum patients from emotional disturbances is suicidal tendency. But provided they are able to exert a better mental control over emotions, they may go into religiousness instead of suicidal tendencies. It is characterized by continuous praying and Aurum is one of the 3 medicines with top grades in Kent’s repertory under the rubric ‘praying’. They like devotional music, which may help to vent their emotional sufferings to a certain degree.
The primary nature of this medicine is introversion, which they develop as a protection against emotional vulnerability. They are highly sensitive and are easily affected by any form of rejection, ridicule, humiliation and grief. They try to avoid being hurt at all costs. That is why even though they like the enjoyment of company they will withdraw from it quite easily because the bitter experience had taught them to keep away from friends so that the situations where he can get hurt are reduced. But they can develop deep emotional contact with one or two friends. The idea is that they will avoid big gatherings or company but cherish the company of one friend or so.
Natrum muriaticum children are very serious and usually good at studies. At home there is no talking about the school. They are very soft and shy. It is difficult for them to speak in front of class. They don’t show affection. But they expect and love the affection of others. Whenever they get hurt or angry they will withdraw into their rooms only to brood over the incident and will weep when they are alone. Even in bigger grief they try not to weep in front of others. They like serious music and read serious books. The worst time for Natrum muriaticum is when going to bed.Then they worry about all the unpleasant things that had happened and they cry.
Natrum muriaticum are likely to develop physical complaints after emotional setbacks. They may come to you complaining of headache, herpes, gastritis, aphthae, etc. A horizontal line in upper and lower eyelid is characteristic of natrum mur. They are late in learning to talk and walk. Aggravation from sun, strong desire for salt and strong aversion to fat can be used as corroborating confirmatory symptoms. Differential diagnosis between Aurum and Natrum mur are some times difficult. They are introverted and closed. They are serious. They like soft music. They like to be alone. They easily become depressed and melancholic. Yet Nat. mur will develop physical complaints more easily after a grief whereas Aurum develops depression and suicidal thoughts from grief.
Sudden loss of memory is a black letter symptom of Anacardium in Allen’s keynotes. Couple this with fear of examination and you will get a superficial understanding of this medicine in examination funk. The idea behind Anacardium is a feeling of inadequacy or more or less incompetence along with a reluctance to admit his failure or lack of ability. Take the case of a student who was being scolded and punished by his teacher or parent for his lack of performance in studies. After such an incident he works to prove himself and may work hard for success. This hard work is to subjugate his lack of confidence. There is a strong will to succeed also. The stress provoked by this effort creates an extremely painful conflict resulting in great suffering. In this setting the conflict is whether to give up his studies or to prove his merit. There is a big irresolution from the conflict of the will. Eventually when he goes for the examination after extensive preparations, the very moment he enters the exam hall, a black out may happen with vanishing of everything from his memory.
Carcinosinum children are sensitive to reprimands. They get hurt quite easily. Ailments from rudeness and reproaches. They suppress their emotions bearing all hurt without protest like Staphysagria. The result of such suppression is the ” role model child” for all others. They get praise from parents and teachers for they are very obedient and are good at studies. They work hard to avoid being scolded. That is why they are very fastidious. They are very neat and proper. Everything must be perfect. Cannot rest when things are not in proper place. Books on table, shelf, bed sheets, clothes etc. are to be kept properly everyday. Incidentally I remember one of my roommates who was very particular in using white bed sheets only. They are conscientious individuals with great sense of duty. It is the only medicine listed under ailments from prolonged parental control. They are sympathetic, sensitive to sufferings of people and animals. They like music very much. They may even dance with music, like Tarentula. As the name indicates there is strong fear of cancer. Ailments from anticipation. It is one of the medicines listed under examination fear.
Prescription and Prognosis
Finally coming back to our case, he received Carcinosinum in occasional doses. The interesting fact about prognosis was that there was no improvement for his constipation for one whole year, whereas he improved in his emotional sphere quite well. His constipation got relieved after that period only.
Thank you very much for your patient ears. I am grateful if my effort has been instrumental in evoking a big inspiration to go deep into the true spirits of Homeopathy in any of you.