Clinical Cases

Case of a Tearful Woman

Written by Rita Niehorster

A case that highlights the use of ‘wait and watch’.

I would like to present you with this case and show how the ‘watch and wait’ teaching from the Allen College of homoeopathy works so well. Ms I.K., a young woman in her early twenties presented to me feeling very low, depressed and very tearful. She left university 3 ½ years ago and was studying for her accountancy exams. She changed jobs to this company she is now working for 9 months ago but was quite unhappy there. It is a very small branch of a larger company and mainly all men in the office. She said she felt she had responsibilities beyond her capabilities. The person she took over from had lied about the work “which impacted on me”. She worked very long hours to keep on top of the work but didn’t feel acknowledged, and complained that nobody took the time to explain things to her.

She said “I was ill all weekend worrying”. “I care very much what others think about me” , then said ” I am incredibly clingy and very tearful and emotional.” She said she ‘was very driven at work but now has lost motivation and only wants to put in the bare minimum.

Background: parents separated when I.K. was 11 years old and she had counselling and was prescribed anti-depressants which she took until age 15. Her mother remarried, but the stepfather used to be abusive to the mother and eventually she left him and IK. The mother and another sibling moved out of the house. When I.K was 18years of age the mother moved back into the home with the sibling and left IK alone (she said she hated it and felt very lonely). IK went to university, where she had more counselling. As a child she spent as much time with her grandparents as she could and “loves them dearly “. She recently met up with her father, whom she had not seen or heard from for 15 years. He has alcohol and psychological problems and she says she holds no bitterness toward him.

Generals: food: she likes savoury, salt, sweet

She likes meat, loves pastry+++ and loves the taste of cheese+++ but it causes a heaviness in her stomach after eating it.++ Much prefers cold food++ and cold drinks++ although does not drink much.++

She likes to sometimes drink ordinary tea because it reminds her of the happy times spent with her grandmother and makes her feel better.

Bowels – no problem

Urinary – 5 urinary infections in past 3 years, treatment antibiotics. Had a scan but no conclusion/or diagnosis.

Menstrual history: menarche age 14 years h/o irregular periods. Now has a contraceptive implant and therefore no periods.

Sleep: problems going to sleep, work keeps going over in her mind, however sleeps better when with boyfriend. Says she is always better when she is with someone.

Physical energy 7/10, mental energy 3-4/10. (with 10 being the high score)

Rx Pulsatilla 200. To be given in water for 10 days.

6 weeks later:

IK reported “feeling a lot better in myself” “not so emotional”, “more matter of fact” and generally feels quite calm. Colleagues at work had noticed the change in her and they are now talking about employing someone else to help with the work load. The office has recently moved and now IK is having to travel on the tube and she said ” I feel quite anxious about travelling on the tube, feel claustrophobic and keep thinking about the bombings.”

Her sleep is still troubling her as work keeps her awake at night, and she is still working long hours.

Physical energy 7/10 mental energy 5/10.

Rx Avena Sativa tincture, 10 drops in water b.d s.o.s.

5 weeks later:

Sleeping much better, also waking better. “Had a couple of bad times at work but overall feeling better. Had a few disagreements with mum over stuff mum had dumped in IK’s room, which upset her”. She says she likes to sleep in a tidy room. Still feels not acknowledged, which she said she feels she needs. Has fear of failing at work. No anxiety now when travelling. Eating better and trying to drink more. Feels a lot calmer although still has occasional relapse.

Rx Boost (placebo) for 10 days in water.

5 weeks later:

Had a few headaches and a migraine. Travelling a lot this past month, for work and having to stay away from home, as visiting another office in another part of the country. Feels much better, more in control in personal life. Stronger in self and more independent. Saving money with the idea of buying her own place, Sleep good. Physical energy 8/10 mental energy 6/10

Rx Boost for 10 days in water.

Latest appt:

IK is still improving, ‘had a lovely christmas’ wasn’t looking forward to going back to work and she has decided that she needs to change her job and feels more confident and now to make the change but is not rushing into anything, and is continuing with her accountancy studies.

Physical energy 8-9/10 Mental energy 6-7/10.

Rx Boost (Placebo) for 10 day in water

I prescribed Pulsatilla on the following indications:

Ik stated that her moods were very changeable, she needs company, can be very clingy and tearful. Wants to be acknowledged, especially at work.

Generals: h/o irregular periods. Desires pastries, cheese (although it gives her a heavy feeling after eating) {<fats} Preference for cold foods and drinks, although drinks little.

There was some definite improvement with I.K on her first return appointment. Although she said she was having trouble with her sleep, this was due to the long hours she was working, and when she did get to bed, thoughts about work kept going over in her mind, keeping her awake. As she was doing well with the Pulsatilla I wanted to watch and wait, but felt Avena Sativa could help her sleep problems. On her next return her sleep was better and she was still doing well in herself. I decided to watch and wait again, advising I.K that she could use the Avena Sativa as s.o.s.

The Allen College of Homoeopathy emphasises to students not to have “itchy fingers” and spoil the case by repeating the chosen medicine, when there is any improvement in the patient. The boost is a placebo, given in exactly the same way as the medicine. This is given so the patient can feel confident that they are still being given something to help them, as it can be a difficult concept for some to think that just one dose of medicine can bring about such changes in the well being.

About the author

Rita Niehorster

Rita NiehorsterI originally qualified as a homoeopath in 1992, graduating from the Hahnemann College in London. In 2007 she enrolled in a 2 year, pat time post grad course at Allen College, Chelmsford. She was so inspired by the teaching of Dr. Subrata Banerjea that she signed up for the 4 year course. Rita is now coming toward end of her 3rd year and next year it will be a double celebration of completing her course at Allen college and the 20th year as a homoeopath.


  • simple way to win the race, nice case with clear picture of pulsatila,mam i just want to ask that why do you use avena sativa mother tincture.? Is it for sleeplessness,
    thank you.
    Dr jayawant Barhate.

  • I can understand the rationale for placebo prescribing. However the patient has a right to know what is in the medicine. What do you tell them?

    Would it not be better to educate patients about the importance of waiting?

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