Case as given April 2, 2008
This subject is a fourteen year old male who has dark hair and fair skin. He has been diagnosed with poor sensory integration, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Bipolar II. He is currently taking several different allopathic medications to control his symptoms. Help is being sought for related behavioral issues. His mother attended the appointment as well.
We moved 6 years ago (at 8 years old). Right after that, my head was slammed in a car door. I have had headaches ever since. They are throbbing, like grabbing your head and pressing on it, or in a constant pulse in the same places it got hurt.
(mom) About a year after the move, the intense anger began. During his first shocking temper tantrum he cut his favorite bed comforter roughly in half. He absolutely loses control of himself when he’s manic. He screams at the top of his lungs, throws things, goes into paranoia of people beating him up, and being injured. He will throw furniture when very angry. Before the [allopathic medicine,] it would take an hour to calm him down. Wrapped in a blanket, he would cry and kick and scream.
My thoughts are racing, no common sense. Voices in my head tell me to settle down and another tells me to do whatever I want. I hear the evil one more than the other one. It tells me to do dumb stuff. When I hurt myself today, the voice said; I almost had you that time. The other voice isn’t there most of the time anymore; it would have said to leave me alone.
My relationship with God is good. Sometimes I talk to him, sometimes he responds back and sometimes he doesn’t. The quiet voice is God. I pray to God to give me strength throughout the day. It works.
Sometimes I stare into the carpet and see horrible faces; they change. Anytime I stare, I see them. They move and change into different faces. They are trying to scare me. They are very odd looking. They look like demons, worse than monsters. When I close my eyes, faces will come, too. I am always active to keep the faces and voices away.
I think a book I read a couple years ago was maybe possessed. It was a Greek mythology book that printed out real spells; chanting. I think it had witchcraft in it and made the nightmares worse. The voices started right after that book.
I don’t like sleeping. My dreams got really bad two years ago. When I have a nightmare I try to wake up, but can’t. I’m paranoid in my nightmares. Someone’s trying to kill me. I had a gun, ran around with it, shot a bunch of people. The bad guy arrived and killed me. It actually hurts when I die in a dream. In dreams I become the character. I was a dinosaur, and then raptors ate me alive. Sometimes I wake up, but go back to sleep to either the same nightmare or a different one.
I have moles everywhere that itch like crazy. Armpit moles itch like crazy when I sweat.
I’m usually cold. Either really cold or really hot. When I’m really cold, I just deal with it.
(mom) He likes to wear a winter coat all the time, even inside.
I’m afraid of the dark, heights, the dentist, big people with scary weapons that can beat me up, roller coasters, spinning around. The hygienist was a demon in my dream and killed me.
My arms and legs fall asleep, just out of the blue. Sometimes they go numb and fall asleep. I can still move them. It happens anytime I sit in the same position for over 15 minutes.
Sometimes there’s a thud in my chest and I can’t breathe for a little bit. The voice says I’m having a heart attack. It thuds first and I can’t get a breath. It’s a squeezing pain. I t lasts a minute or so. It’s very scary when it happens. It’s new this week.
I’m usually pretty thirsty, but I go all day at school without water.
I don’t tell [my mom] when stuff happens so I don’t worry her.
My worst times are morning and night. My best time is between the end of school and nights. On the weekends, I get up early to be alone. I love peace, and quiet, and silence. When I’m upset, talking is very irritating. I don’t want to be touched. Music and silence help, so do the dog and bird.
This subject has very significant mental and emotional symptoms. He has very vivid dreams with the interesting aspect of being able to feel pain in them. He has voices that speak to him and tell him to behave in certain ways, and very strong religious convictions. He also has some unusual physical symptoms, for someone as young as he is.
Repertorization using The Complete Repertory:
- MIND; ANGER; violent; personal, from slight offense
- MIND; DELUSIONS; imaginations, devil, devils, present, are
- MIND; DELUSIONS; imaginations, devil, devils, speaking in one ear, angel in other, prompting to murder and acts of benevolence
- MIND; DREAMS; frightful
- MIND; DREAMS; death, of
- HEAD; PAIN; pulsating, throbbing
- EXTREMITIES; NUMBNESS; insensibility
Based on these rubrics, I considered Anacardium, Cannabis indica, and Phosphorus.
Cannabis indica has a great deal of symptoms in the mental sphere. They might imagine that devils and angels are present, and it can be a fearful remedy. They also can have frightful dreams. However, although this remedy contains aspects of violence, it isn’t usually to the degree that is present in this subject, nor does it have the conflict of wills (the angel on one shoulder and devil on the other), that I feel is central to this case. Physically, in this remedy there may be numbness and insensibility of the limbs, and a throbbing headache, both of which fit well with the symptoms of this case. Cannabis does not fit the mental symptoms well enough to be prescribed here.
Phosphorus also has imaginings of devils, frightful dreams and dreams of death. It also has the physical symptoms of pulsating, throbbing headache and numbness in the extremities. Violence is also an aspect of Phosphorus. It might be a good choice, but this remedy lacks the conflict of wills, as Cannabis does, therefore it is not the best remedy selection.
Anacardium is well known for its moral conflict. A desire to perform cruel acts, but also having a compulsion to do the right thing. This case shows the “angel on one shoulder and demon on the other” quite literally. This subject believes he is spoken to by demons and by God (whether he is, or he isn’t, is not for us to judge). This remedy has a disposition to take everything badly, and to fly into a rage during which he may have to be restrained. In his dreams, Anacardium is anxious. The dreams are disgusting or horrible. He dreams of death and danger. Physically speaking, Anacardium is short of breath, with oppression of the chest. There is much cramping in the limbs, along with numbness and weakness.
Anacardium 200C was given in a water potency, as needed.
Two days later, over the phone, mom reported he aggravated with anxiety and a racing heart. She continued to dose as needed.
Follow-up, November 6, 2008: (reported by his mother)
Much of the allopathic medicine has been reduced or eliminated by mom and physician. Violent dreams are gone. Acting out has decreased. Now he only throws things once every three weeks instead of every day. He gets angry every third day or so, but he is responsive now. Before, engaging him would incite greater fury. Voices were gone, but an increase in allopathic medication brought them back. Mom is considering eliminating them and will talk to the physician about this.
He is no longer as cold. He doesn’t overdress anymore. He mentions sometimes he is hot and then cold without any external temperature change. He does not see faces any longer. He seems calmer, less neurotic. The heart symptoms resolved over the summer. It happened once at school, and never again. He has grown at least 6 inches. He went from being undersized to catching up with the other boys over the summer. His most recent report card had all A’s and B’s; he is very proud of that. Last year he was scared in orchestra. He had to work hard to play. Now he is not afraid and no longer overwhelmed. The number of times he has been ill has decreased.
At this point, he was taking Anac 200C in water once per day.
We are seeing gradual changes that are likely to continue. The fact that he grew so much and caught up with his peers is an excellent sign that this remedy is working for him on a very deep level. The ability of the Anacardium to heal such significant mental and emotional symptoms is a testament to the deep curative power of homeopathy. He has done very well with the water doses, so if we find ourselves in a position where the 200C in water does not seem to be enough, I will likely consider an LM potency.