June 14th, 2009
Maria is a 65 year old married woman, short and slightly overweight, very attentive to the way she dresses. She is very loquacious and open to answering questions. Her OCD started when she was 8 years old, but got worst after her mother died 7 years ago.
When I asked her to tell me more about the OCD, she explained that she clearly recalled when it all started and why. She was 8 years old and her mother, who was a very beautiful woman and very attentive to her, used to apply a wide variety of creams and body lotions. Among those there was one which Maria found to be very disgusting, her mom’s depilatory cream. Maria reports that since the first time she saw her mother applying the depilatory cream on her lips, she felt a strong disgusting feeling in her stomach and chills along the extremities followed by the urge to wash her hands with sterilizing soap.
Since that day, every time she saw her mother applying the cream she would get that same disgusting feeling and run to the sink and wash her hands three times.
A few days after her mother died, 7 years ago, the OCD got worse: the thought of her mother is constant in Maria’s mind and every time she thinks about her mum she remembers her with that cream on her face; she has to immediately wash her hands three times, and this happens quite often during the day.
When I asked her why she feels the urge to wash her hands she replied that she feels “infected”. She then explained that she has always been very conscientious about being infected, about viruses and bacteria and contagious diseases. When her children were young and got sick she used to leave them with her husband and the babysitter until they would have been better and healthy again, because she didn’t want to get infected.
When I asked her how she feels about “getting infected”, she replied that getting infected to her means to get dirty. She feel dirty also every time she remembers her mum with that cream on her face and therefore she has the urge to wash her hands.
Her children are now grown up and she is a grandmother of five. Her sons live in different cities and visit her only two to three times per year. She says that she is happy about this and even if she loves her grand-children, she cannot stand to have them home for more than three hours, because they are filthy and dirty and carry dust and dirt. Every time she spends more than 3 hours playing with her grandchildren, she needs to take a shower and scratch all the dirt away from her skin.
When I asked her to talk to me about her social life, she reported that she has lots of friends and that she loves to entertain them in her own house mostly. She doesn’t like to go into other people’s houses because “you never know how clean they really are”. After her guests have left, she cannot go to bed until she has cleaned up the all place from the dirt her guests bought along.
She is very attached to her dog, Mimi, who has been with her for the past 10 years. Maria is worried because Mimi is now very old, but she is not worried about Mimi dying, because “death is just the beginning and heaven is the most clean and safe place in the world!” She explained that she’s always been very attracted by graveyards and holy places, because those are the only places where she feels at peace, relaxed and content.
Every day she walks to the nearest graveyards and spends a long time walking through them, looking at the grave stones, whilst walking her old dog. It gives her great peace.
Among recent symptoms, she reports a strange feeling in her mouth which had started 2 months ago; not really a pain, just a sensation of a worm in her teeth. The thought of it makes her feel even more disgusted and every time she has that feeling, she needs to brush her teeth three times.
She then reports that she has always suffered from constipation, but since the past 6 months, she has daily episodes of diarrhea without pain, which drives her out of bed at 5 am. Also, in the last three months she has been suffering from recurrent migraine, a deep, bursting and crushing head pain across the temples followed by an eruption like hard tubercles or nodules all over the scalp, which don’t itch and are painless. She says that she is extremely worried about those; she feels dirty because of them and she has to wash her hair frequently applying shampoo three times and rinsing with hot water to feel clean. Along with the migraines, she begun forgetting proper names of people and places and she is worried she is developing some form of dementia.
She says she feels desperate and with no hope, and that she is going to be insane because of her “strange behaviours”.
Given Maria’s history we know that:
- she suffers from OCD with a compulsive urge to wash her hands/brush her teeth 3 times, every time
- fear of being infected
- fear and disgust for dirt
- sensation of a worm in her teeth
- diarrhoea in the morning < 5am
- head pain, bursting, extending across the temples
- tubercles, eruption on scalp after head pain > washing hot water
The OCD and compulsive “washing”, fear of being infected and of dirt are very important.
Turning this case into rubrics is a mechanical and simple matter:
MIND, Washing, desire to wash hands, always washing her;
MIND, Delusion, contaminated;
MIND, Delusion, dirty, everything is;
MIND, memory, weakness of memory, proper names
TEETH, Worm, sensation of a;
RECTUM, Diarrhoea, midnight, after midnight, 5am;
HEAD, pain, bursting, temples, across;
HEAD, eruption, tubercles on scalp
Uppermost remedies after repertorisation are:
Sulph, Syph, Ars, Kali-i and Lycopodium
Among those only 3 have strong issues with dirt and getting infected: Sulph, Ars and Syphilinum
Differential remedy analysis:
Easy though this repertorisation is, differential remedy analysis between contesting remedies is, as always, the issue. The above mentioned remedies will be now shown as Elemental Cycle comparisons to help see individual energetic features.
MARIA’s ELEMENTAL CYCLE
Comparative Elemental Cycles of Sulphur, Syphilinum, and Arsenicum album
When comparing the Elemental Cycle maps, the best fit for Maria’s case is provided by Syphilinum.
Syphilinum LM1 was prescribed, 1 teaspoon dynamized daily for 4 weeks.
FOLLOW UP #1
August 2nd, 2009
After 6 weeks since the beginning of the treatment, Maria reports that her persistent thoughts about her mother are less intense as well as the feeling of disgust. She hasn’t had any more episodes of migraine and the eruption on the scalp had gradually disappeared.
Her memory has very much improved and the fear and feeling of becoming insane is gone.
Bowel movements are regular again and she has had one episode only of diarrhea, which drove her out of bed at 5am about 2 days after she started taking the remedy. About this episode she reports that for the first time she felt clean and depurated afterwards.
Though she has been able to enjoy playing with her grandchildren, she still has strong issues around dirt and getting infected . Her grandchild had a cold with runny nose and she asked her husband to watch him whilst she took a hot shower, because she was feeling dirty and infected.
Sometimes she still has the sensation of a worm in her teeth and every time she feels “dirty” or infected she needs to wash her hands in hot water 3 times.
According to her report I decided to prescribe Syphilinum LM2, 1 teaspoon dynamized daily for 4 weeks.
FOLLOW UP #2
September 14th, 2009
After 6 weeks since her first follow up Maria is back in my consultation room. She looks very relaxed and at peace: she says that all those feelings about getting infected are gone and she feels stupid for having had those thoughts. She is less worried about getting dirty or about dirt and reports that she spent a whole afternoon playing with her grandchildren in the garden, digging their hands in to the dust and the soil… and it was great fun!
She still feels she has to wash her hands, but only once (not 3 times as usual) and only when she really gets dirty.
About the sensation of a worm in her teeth, she reports an interesting episode. One evening during supper, while drinking a glass of red wine, she had a sensation of the worm moving between her teeth and then a fetid disgusting taste in her mouth. She had the instant urge to spit out and brush her teeth, and since then she hasn’t had the feeling of the worm anymore.
Considering her improvements, I felt a third prescription wasn’t necessary.
Maria came back to me three months later. She feels healthier and healthier every day, symptoms didn’t come back and she is still improving. I asked her to contact me back as soon as she would notice any of the symptoms coming back.