A 40-year-old woman came to my office in June 2012 with the chief complaint of depression and PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).
Bold/Underlined Words → Animal Kingdom
Bold/Blue Words → Mollusk and Pearl Remedy
Mahnaz: How can I help you?
P: I have depression. I am currently going to therapist. When something upsets me, I have a hard time processing it and get stuck. Then feel depressed for not being able to handle the situation, which in turn affects my mental state and everything starts to fall apart. Last week I broke down. It’s hard to break down this and even harder to pull myself back together. I think my depression links to my weight gain and hair loss off over the past 15 years. It was under control for few years. But then, in 2007 or 2008 I started experiencing menstrual problems: I was on my period non-stop for a whole year. Sometimes it was just spotting or a very light flow, but it never stopped completely. Doctors suggested I do a progesterone treatment. I know weight gain, irregular menses and hair loss are all symptoms of PCOS.
Now I get my period once every 2 months and I gain up to 3lbs each time. It’s annoying because I can’t lose weight. It’s very frustrating. I’m going crazy because there is no consistency in period and my hair is so thin that I have to wear a wig at all times. I feel that my hair loss and weight gain are so strongly interconnected.
M: Tell me more about yourself.
P:I work with therapist to deal better with my parents. I have my independence and responsibilities for them. It’s really hard for me to be single when they want me to get married. It’s hard for me to see them be disappointed and not approve of my decisions.
M: Tell me about being single.
P: My lack of motivation frustrates me. I know I should do more. I let go of my personal life. I don’t want to do anything, I don’t have any energy; I’m barely functional. I feel no drive to make an effort to survive. For example, I broke my leg last summer and I tried to establish stability instead of enjoying my time off. I isolate myself and become depressed especially when my parents don’t approve of the person I’m dating. That gets me stuck and freaks me out. It triggers my emotional situation and makes me feel totally stuck. I want to unblock my emotions but something pulls me back. They don’t approve of me. If I get married I have to change my life and who I am that is not approval.
M: Tell me more about approval.
P: My emotional state is way off balance because my parents don’t approve of me. I’m not very traditional and I’m not able to tell them who I am. I think sometimes it’s better not to say anything because I don’t want to upset them.
M: Tell me more about approval.
P:I keep trying to get my parents’ approval, but not by doing what they want; They should be supportive of me and how I think. The things they want for me would make me miserable. But I also can’t deal with it when they don’t approve of me. I know they care about me a lot, but most of the time they don’t listen to what I want. For a long time I just did what they wanted but I’m stuck right now. The fact that I have to hide things from them bothers me. I don’t have the opportunity to tell them what I want because I’m not prepared to break ties with them. They’d misjudge me. I don’t like lying to people.
M: Tell me about your depression.
P: I internalize everything. Even when I was a kid I had the same depression. I just focused on the negatives. When I was a kid, my parents moved to Dubai and I found a group of online friends. I posted some issues I had and they were very supportive and positive. It was very different from what my parents see in me; they don’t see me as a successful person in life. It’s hard to break out and change that pattern. When I say I’m depressed I mean I sleep and don’t want to wake up in the morning. I don’t do anything and I don’t ever feel any joy over anything. I don’t feel warmth and happiness. I keep going back to my dark cold place. It’s not nice because you sit with people and do nothing. I don’t want to be with people. I don’t even think about the future. I just eat because I’m hungry. I have no hope, no expectations, and no dreams.
M: Tell me about feeling stuck.
P: Just functioning without being positive, jammed between 2 bricks, shoved in, squeezed, being pushed into a little space that doesn’t fit you but you stay there because if don’t, the elements that trapped you would fall apart.You can’t break free of it. The motto in my family is that we work together but have opposite talents and that makes us stronger. We make each other better and more effective. But I’m hesitant to work with them.
M: Tell me more about that dark cold place.
P:It’s a cold place, rainy. It’s cold and dark. I am sad about being with people because I feel that I make them unhappy. My interactions with people are not positive. I tend to be very passive and let others make decisions for me. I sit back a little rather than push. I tend to slide easily and go along with anything.
M: Tell me more about sitting back, sliding back.
P:Sitting back, sliding back, you climb up and slide back but keep trying. Now with my parents, I have to keep my distance because I have to hide things. I am not able to express myself well. I work hard to be positive but it is easy to slide to the negative side.
M: Tell me about your fears.
P: Heights, my self worth in the working world. I’m afraid of not being able to find a job. I don’t know how I would deal with that. I feel vulnerable and helpless. I like being alone and not having people around because I feel stuck.
M: Tell me about feeling vulnerable.
P:Unprepared, rushing into things without having the right framework and support. It’s the framework and the support opens advantages for you and helps you be aware in terms of trusting and interacting with people.
M: Tell me about being open.
P: Being open is good in some contexts. For example it’s good to be open to opportunities. But being open also means that you’re open to being attacked. Part of it is about being flexible. When you are open you absorb things that makes you stronger, but in some cases you have to close yourself to prevent an attack.But can’t stay closed forever. Eventually you have to open up and move on to be developed.
M: Tell me about being developed.
P:Maturing, being full, being in the stage. I have always stayed home, but lately I’ve realized that the outdoors is better. Being outside makes me feel free and helps my mood.
Rx Diagnosed= Pearl-i
Last follow-up on Jan11th 2013:
P: After the last dose I had a lot of vivid dreams. Emotionally, I feel more stable. My period is normal now. I have it every month almost on time. I get my period every 26-30 days. I have no bleeding in between and interestingly enough my hair looks full. My hair feels thicker and I don’t see it fall off as much anymore. All my physical pains are gone.
M: Tell me about your depression.
P: Well I stopped going to my therapist. I feel motivated and I plan to go on a trip to Jamaica next week. I think I am fine now.
In this case, the issue of “opening and closing” is very prominent. This is the central issue in mollusk remedies and a much-explored concept in Dr. Sankaran’s Mollusk book.
The Pearl-i remedy prescribed here was prepared and proved by Peter Tumminello in Australia. The pearl he used was obtained from a South Sea oyster.
Analysis: The patient leads us to the Animal Kingdom by exposing her problems with people and her fear of being attacked when open. The patient expresses a need to prevent attacks by being closed and generally feels vulnerable. Once we have established that the patient belongs in the Animal Kingdom, we can then narrow our search and find which Animal Remedy best represents her state.
The patient’s concern with being “opened and closed”, as well as her sensation of “being stuck” led me to the mollusk remedies. The following two passages helped me narrow my search in the mollusk remedies and determine the Pearl-i remedy as the best constitutional match for the patient:
Jammed between two bricks, shoved in, squeezed, being pushed into a little space that doesn’t fit you, but you stay there because if you don’t, the elements that trapped you would fall apart. You can’t break free of it.
Maturing, being full, being in the stage. I have always stayed home, but lately I’ve realized that the outdoors is better. Being outside makes me feel free and helps my mood.
These two passages are highly indicative of the source remedy, because here the patient is essentially outlining the process through which a pearl is formed.
Words considered indicative of the mollusk and bivalve sensations are:
Hide, pull back, vulnerability, withdraw, go inside, closed, formless, frameless, my space, my own world, disconnected from others, detached, isolated, secluded, inside vs. outside, closed vs. open, lose touch, lose contact, lose excitement, liveliness, confined, suffocate, soft, enclosed, withdraw, stuck, sticky, compressed, immobile, fix, attach, squeeze, compress, smash, break, shelter, crush, walling myself from the world outside, trapped, pressure, crush
Pearl-immersion (pearl-i) Sensation:
Black, force moving down, crushed, suffocated, closed in, trapped, squashed, pressure, downward, darkness, shut down, closed, not open, coming out, fragments, losing my solid form, disintegrated, solid, escape, break, stab, smash, protective, protective, covering up, safe, strong, secure, safe,
Negative words: blackness, boundaries, lack of, center, loos of, closed, crushed, crumbling, darkness, drowning, fragmented and disintegrated, isolated and alone, open, suffocated, closed in, pressed down, trapped, shut down,
Positive words: in protected bubble, Home, world is his, sanctuary, secure, self-contained, sensitive yet grounded, solidity, standing firm
Bivalves belong to sycotic miasm →avoidance, hiding, and secrecy