Clinical Cases

A Case of Opium

black opium
Written by Sandra Smit

A case of headaches and numbness in a 15 year old boy.

05/08/2013 First Consultation:

A boy age 15 comes to see me for numbness and blue-black discoloration of his hands and feet worse when cold. He prefers to walk around barefoot, even when going to school. He has a very fast metabolism, going to the toilet 3-4 times a day and passing normal stools.

He also suffers from headaches which start in his neck and extend towards the forehead. It’s a concentrated pressure sensation in a spot at the top right of his forehead – like a thumb pressing inwards. The headache is better sitting down and relaxing, not moving. He gets the headache around midday everyday and it’s worse at school and when he‘s tired. Sitting at his desk also causes tension in his neck which leads to a headache.

He gets another type of headache which is excruciating and comes on from physical exertion, like jumping onto his hands in a handstand. His neck and shoulder muscles are generally very tense and a mere touch can bring on a headache.

Despite increased energy (a “high”) at night, he is a very good sleeper with such vivid dreams that he sometimes gets confused between his dreamworld and reality. He dreams of distorted mutilated faces, of people at school, or talking rabbits.

He daydreams “timelines” – imagines removing a person and his or her impact on life, the future and social circles. Or scheming ahead in time, predicting the future…  He loves people, observing them, playing psychological games with them, playing tricks on them or acting out a role to shock them. “I love to be around people, feed off their enjoyment – I entertain and cook for them. My mind needs people to channel activities. When I’m upset with someone I will withhold giving them my energy.“

He gets abrupt and intense mood swings and severe depression, brought on randomly. “It can happen when an opinion of mine is denied or opposed. I experience it as a blow which can throw me into a depression. I use reason to reaffirm my original belief in order to feel better.“

I am naturally calm but when I have a problem I imagine all the negative outcomes which can freak me out and bring on panic with hot and cold flushes and a racing heart.” Heart rate ranges from 45 per minute when calm to 100 when anxious. Impending dates and deadlines make him anxious. When anxious he clicks his knuckles, also when deep in thought or concentrating or when being observed. “I have a habit of drumming my fingers or picking or scratching. If I’m allowed to keep busy while learning I have 100% memory and ability to gather information.”


“I had a very traumatic childhood.” He had lots of operations as a baby – he had intussusception with severe colic and crying from pain. “When only a few months old I pushed my intestines out through my anus and my mother had to rush me to hospital. This happened more than once.” At age 6 his father insisted he go on holiday with him. He developed severe abdominal pain before the flight but his father thought he was being a hypochondriac. It was only when he started vomiting blood on the plane, that he got taken to hospital. “My baby teeth had to be removed surgically – they had very strong and deep roots. I remember my teeth being cut out, scraped out and in the process my jaw was dislocated.”

“I got stung by a jellyfish which wrapped it’s tentacles around my body – the only thing that helped the pain was to bend over fire and burn myself even more.”

“I got bullied at primary school. I was the only white kid in my class and subject to a lot of racism, beatings and slandering. I once got angry at a bully and picked him up by the throat. When I realized my power, I put him down and decided that there is nothing that anyone could do to me, so I just took the beatings.”

“I had so much pain as a child that now I don’t feel anything anymore. I have to punch myself really hard in order to feel something. I love fire and can even pick up burning logs with my bare hands. I was recently attacked by a group of four gangster men while walking down the street. I saw them coming and knew they were going to beat me up so I just resigned myself to that. They beat and kicked me and tried to strangle me with a cord. All the time I felt nothing. I just lay there and worried about how angry my mother would be about it all.”

Before the divorce, my parents had a very volatile relationship. My mom used to throw things in anger. I started shutting myself off emotionally like a sociopath and couldn’t care less about anything or anyone. From there on the depression started.

“I have hyper-flexible joints and am extremely supple. Can bend and twist anyway” – he proceeds to demonstrate. “I have no gag reflex and love to stick knives down my throat just to see people’s reactions!” “My hearing is very acute for voices far off in the distance. My sense of smell is so acute that I can smell the dog in heat in the neighborhood.”

Prescription: Opium 200c, one dose daily for three days consecutively.

10/09/2013 Follow-up

The colour in his hands and feet returned to normal, “no more purple or blue even when I’m cold.”  “When I first took the remedy I woke up in the night crying myself awake. Then started laughing and laughing until I fell asleep again.”  “My mood improved dramatically but slowly got worse again in the last week. We have had a lot of pressure at school. I have more energy and better motivation. My headaches gradually improved to the point of not having any, but then suddenly got worse again. I even had to leave school. There was pressure at the back of my neck on the right side – a throbbing deep pain which increased gradually up to a point when it suddenly shot up intensely into my right forehead.” Worse after strenuous exercise. Very sensitive to light. A feeling of pressure into brain and a lot of tension in the right side of his body. The pain comes from the right side of his neck.

Prescription: Opium 1M once a month.

03/10/2013 Follow up

No more headaches. Depression better, more motivation. Skin (acne) got really bad after the remedy but that has since improved as well.

About the author

Sandra Smit

Sandra Smit graduated in Homeopathy in 1998 after having completed a bachelors degree in psychology and philosophy in 1992. She practiced for two years in Ireland as a homeopath and then studied Craniosacral therapy which she combines in her classical homeopathic practice in Cape Town, South Africa. She has a special interest in dealing with anxiety and depression from a mindfulness based cognitive therapy perspective, combining homeopathy with counseling, CST and dance therapy.


  • This a fine case in which unycist homeopathy determines the solution. Moreover Opium is not properly a remedy for headache but healed the patient with using the totality of patient’s symptoms.


Leave a Comment

Donate to Keep the World's No.1 Homeopathy Resource Alive!