This 55 year oldwoman came to see me at the beginning of 2017 with long standing anxiety and low energy. She had been prescribed daily doses of fluoxetine (Prozac) six months earlier but it was not dealing with her reduced energy.
Her symptoms of anxiety were the common ones of a racing pulse, shallow breathing, difficult concentration and a “fuzzy “mind. She could not be specific about the symptoms and this may have been because of her medication.
She was an attractive well-dressed woman who worked part time in an organisation helping women returning to the workforce. She described her work as ‘tailor made “for her as she liked helping those less fortunate. But she was in the process of a difficult separation from her husband with fights over property and she was responsible for an aging mother who she helped look after two days a week.
She said she had tried everything in her power to save her marriage but it had failed. She had suffered from chronic muscular pains along her spine partially helped by a physical therapist. The muscles had become hard.”My body is tight but my muscles are my weak point.”Throughout her story the words weak, fragile,hard and strong are repeated .
Family history was of heart attack, hypertension, and mental illness and there was intergenerational trauma stemming from World War II in Europe. This had affected her mother who had not been able to nurture her four daughters and had spent most of her energy looking after herself.
Marie(not her real name) was the opposite of her mother, spending most of her time being “strong” for others. She also loved to run and bike and push her body to its limits.She felt tough and strong when she did this but since the Prozac she was barely running 3km from a previous 10km.She said, “It’s important for me to be physically strong. I don’t want to be a weak person and delicate person. I like to be elegant, dress-well and be independent. I don’t understand women who are delicate.”She recounted a story of a work colleague who could not lift a microwave because she was ”too fragile.”
In the past she had felt a “tight hard knot” in her stomach and she suffered from chronic indigestion with gluten and dairy intolerance.Sexual relations were without intimacy or connection.There was a past history of hysterectomy for endometriosis. “My uterus became harder and harder.”
She was usually chilly and worse in damp cold weather. Perspiration was on uncovered parts like hands and eyelids. Her main fears were of narrow spaces and hurting herself like “breaking my fragile bones.” She did not remember her dreams. Then she showed me her brown jagged warts on her palms and right big toe.This physical keynote clinched the remedy selection for me as Thuja.
This remedy from Arbor Vitae, the Conifer family has the sensation of being fragile, brittle, with a passive reaction of “weak”, and an active reaction of “hard”. Rajan Sankaran says:in compensation they become strong and protective of others who they perceive as brittle and fragile. As he says “The more delicate you feel, the more hard you can become.”The miasmassociated with this remedy is sycosis which seems to fit her family history.
She took two doses of Thuja 200c and then stopped as the warts started to become bigger with a burning sensation. For two months her energy improved and the warts faded to nothing. Then she contacted me again as anxiety was returning and her energy was again reducing.
This time her problems were not her parents or separation but her feelings of incompetence at work. She admitted that she appeared competent to her work mates but inside she felt incompetent and a fraud and inadequate.“I am good at coping outwardly but inside I am not doing a good enough job.”
She was projecting a good image but inside she felt self-contempt and she was having memory problems. Her thoughts were vanishing while she was speaking and she admitted to often having memory problems.
These are emotional themes that often come up for clients needing Thuja and now she that she was less in compensation, she was able to be honest about her work and life.Her dreams are now about her husband but the story was confused as sometimes he instigates the separation and sometimes she does.She is fundamentally worried about how she is perceived at work.“I am only just doing enough. What will people say about the Operations Manager when I leave the job.?”
As the mind rubrics of Thujacovered these problems we continuedwith Thuja 200c, two doses a fortnight apart, and again she started to feel good in herself.This lasted for three months and she cames for her third consult. She had finally decided to leave her job in a few weeks and on this dayshe was signing off on a new home for herself.
This was a good achievement but it had left her exhausted and this time she described her state as an “empty tank.” Her exhaustion and muscle weakness had returned. She said her attempt to make her job work was like her continual attempts to make her marriage work. The exhaustion had resulted in a viral illness and muscular weakness in her arms and back muscles.
She still had mental clarity and she had previously put a big effort into supporting others, which had eventually depleted her. I decided on giving her Muriaticum acidum 200c as an intercurrent. This was repeated twice but did not hold so 1M was given with effect.
She now was willing to try coming off Fluoxetine gradually under her doctor’s supervision and this she did at the beginning of 2018.She came back for a fourth consult a month after this with a return of her anxiety but this time it had a physical focus.Her anxiety had become localised in her abdomen. She told me: “It is like a physical experience just below my ribs and around my belly. It is like something is in there. Perhaps a little bit of air. It is not pain just discomfort. There is something in the way and I need to stretch out as there is too much in there as if something is pressing outwards.”
Rubric. Abdomen (Murphy)protrusion, umbilicus, hernia, as if would form here and there.Thuja
Abdomen, abdomen in, movements, foetus fist of :Thuja
She had moved into her home and brought a puppy. She was feeling guilty because she had financial independence while others were running around trying to make money.
Rubric, Mind, anxiety of conscience, also Guilt:Thuja
In Schroyens Synthesis there is the rubric, Mind, Delusions, glass she is made of which has Thuja .I was also reminded of her initial sensation experience of fragile and strong. Thuja 1M was given.
One month later she e-mailed saying she was feeling “really good” with no abdominal discomfort. That was not the end of the case as she came back three months later with a persistent cough and popping in her ears especially the left and < swallowing. There was no fever, and she was sleeping well and her energy was good.
The remedy Kali mur 30c did not help so I returned to Thuja after reading in Vermeulen’s Concordant that this remedy has “cracking in ears when swallowing < empty swallowing.” The 200c dose gave her an aggravation withshort term amelioration. I then tried a 30c potency and she slowly improved after three doses over three weeks, the intervals of improvement lengthening.