Shalini (name changed) was a smart, well-dressed, 48-year-old woman of the world. She hailed from a wealthy family and was the mother of a grown-up son and daughter. Her daughter was studying overseas and her son had already settled in the US. Her husband was a businessman and they had not a care in the world.
All Shailni had to do was look after herself, a job she excelled at! She was a regular at the gym and was well turned out – I noted that her clothes were also tight-fitting and were very provocative.
Shalini said her husband was an excellent provider and the couple went out together a lot. To all intents and purposes, many women would be envious of Shalini’s life.
Presenting Complaints: Depression with mood swings, joint pains, allergic cough and hyperthyroidism. Short-tempered when things didn’t go her way and irritable.
Despite a detailed case taking, Shalini said she had no problems and I had little to go by. I therefore prescribed a simple remedy, one that would act like a pick-up. I would have to wait three months to get to the crux of Shalini’s problem.
Since I hadn’t yet found her Key Sensitivity and prescribed the right remedy, Shalini grew increasingly depressed. Oddly, she described her mood swings as “high tide and low tide”. She craved the sea, and sitting by the ocean always made her “feel better”.
Two months into the case, Shalini grew even more depressed. I tried to probe a little and asked her if there was anything she hadn’t told me. She finally revealed that she was in a relationship with a clerk who used to come to her house to assist with her husband, who often worked from home. The young man was ten years younger than Shalini and it was a purely physical relationship, no strings attached.
I thought her depression was linked to this liaison, because it turned out that the young man was engaged to be married and this had caused her upset.
I prescribed Natrum Mur, a ‘salt remedy’. Rubrics: Sadness, cries alone, problems in a one-to-one relationship, secretive.
It didn’t help.
Then one day, during the third month of our consultation, Shalini walked into my clinic quite agitated. She sat down and said, “I need space!” Before I could ask her what she meant, her cell phone began to ring, and she exclaimed again, “See, this is what I mean!” I was startled as Shalini had always been very composed. Then, it all came out in a rush.
Turned out her husband was insanely possessive and kept tabs on her all day. In fact, he was so controlling that he barely let her out of his sight. These are her words:
“I am emotionally charged. He sticks to me all the time. He keeps watching me all the time. I need breathing space.”
“He constantly keeps track of me. He keeps calling me, even when I go out to shop.”
“Nowadays, I cry a lot and I dream about the sea. My emotions are like high tide and low tide. I love to walk on the beach and feel the waves on my body. I am somehow connected with the sea.”
“My relationship with my husband is also like high tide and low tide. Sometimes, he is so loving and caring, but sometimes I feel caught up in his love. I want to get away from this.”
Peculiar disturbance: Husband was following her.
Delusion Spied on he is; tormented he is
Then it struck me – Aqua Marina (sea water)
Following were my Rubrics
- Grief, silent
- Feels tormented
- Sensitive, (oversensitive)
- Change, desire for
- Delusions: watched, she is being
- spied on he is
- tormented he is
- Thoughts: tormenting, sexual
- Offended easily
- Weeping alone when amel
- Dress indecently
- Eating Amel mental symptoms
- Air, seashore amel
- Air open amel
- Weeping, alone amel
- Anxiety, talking amel
Remedy: Aqua Marina 200 1 dose
Follow-Up: I had several follow-up sessions with Shalini. I also had the opportunity to observe her even longer as she also brought a relative to me for treatment. I thus observed her for over a year. After Shalini had taken Aqua Marina, she began to transform from a tense and depressed person who dressed provocatively to a woman who now looked like a mother of two grown children. She was calm; she was still well turned out, but her clothes were no longer provocative; and she no longer harboured an obsession for the sea.
The following comment from a friend of Shalini perhaps best sums up the effect of the Aqua Marina: “The tsunami has passed and you seem calmer now”.
Discussion: When the practitioner goes solely by the patient’s outward behavior, or if the homeopath (not the patient) decides what is important and what is not, it is easy to get misled. In this case, Shalini’s extramarital relationship seemed significant, but regardless of how central it seemed to her life at the time, it wasn’t disturbing her Vital Force. It is easy to get thrown by red herrings, or assess a patient on the basis of what are actually superficial characteristics.
Shalini was a colourful personality, expressive and talkative. But she was also secretive – which is why the most significant detail surfaced only three months into the case taking.
Thus, there were different sets of rubrics one could have arrived at, if one had taken only her behaviour into account. However, I preferred to wait, knowing I had not yet got to the core of Shalini’s disturbance or her Key Sensitivity.
It paid off.
Note: This is only a brief presentation of Shalini’s case. I have evolved a method whereby I use any one or more of eight possible entry points to any given case. In Shalini’s instance, ‘listening’ to her Mentals was more than enough to understand her Core Disturbance. Neither did her Physicals nor Generals bear any special markers.
Editor’s note: Please see Dr. Salunkhe’s article “The Essence of Being Human” in this issue.