Clinical Cases

A Case of a Sleepwalking Schoolgirl

sleep walking

A case of sleepwalking is analyzed according to the methods of Scholten and Sankaran.

January 2013

sleep walkingRosie is 10 years old when her mother brings her to see me. The reason for the visit was that Rosie sleepwalks. The latest incident occurred when the family was on their Christmas holiday. They were staying in an apartment by the beach. What concerned the parents most was that it happened at about 3.30am and Rosie left the apartment while she sleepwalked. The apartment door was self-locking, so Rosie couldn’t get back inside.

Rosie said: I woke up and realised I was outside the apartment. I knocked on the door and no-one woke up. I thought I’d have to stay there till morning. Mum and Dad didn’t wake up.

Homeopath: What was the worst thing about that?

Rosie: I thought I’d have to sleep out there all by myself. Are they ever gonna wake up? Will I have to stay out here all night? How long will I have to wait for them to come out?

Rosie was glad the lights in the corridor were on: If it had been dark, I would have been terrified. I have a night light on at home.

As she knocked on the door of the apartment, Rosie began to cry. Finally, someone from a neighbouring apartment heard her and called her parents. Rosie was let back into the apartment and went back to bed.

I asked Rosie: Tell me more about being in the dark on your own.

Rosie: I don’t know what’s there.

Homeopath: Using your imagination, what could be the worst thing about being in the dark?

Rosie: Monsters that would eat me. I would die and not get to do anything. I would miss my parents and my friends. I’d miss playing on the playground and playing tag.

Homeopath: You’d miss your parents?

Rosie: They’re really important. They help you and take care of you. Sometimes they are mean but they have to be mean so you learn things.

Rosie is in year 6 at school and her favourite subjects are math and reading. She will be going into an extension class of only 15 students this year.

Rosie: I’m nervous because the class is going to be hard. I think I won’t be able to do it. So I might have to ask someone for help. But it’s good that my friend Heather will be in the same class with me. Sometimes I am confused about what to do or scared that I don’t know what to do.

Homeopath: What don’t you like about school?

Rosie: Not being able to do things that other people think are easy. I would have to ask someone for help. Homework is frustrating and I sometimes have to ask Mum or Dad for help.

Homeopath: What do you like best about school?

Rosie: Having lots of friends to play with. And I like being outside.

Rosie’s mother says: Rosie has a fear of the unknown, especially when she thinks about this extension class. She worries a lot about not being able to do the work. The principal explained that the students won’t be expected to know everything but that didn’t make Rosie feel any better. I think she will like the class because she was quite bored last year.

Homeopath: Tell me about your teacher.

Rosie: She is very tough and scary but it’s good to have her as a teacher because she will push me and I’ll be able to do things. She will give me hard work and I won’t be bored like last year. I was bored because we did the same thing over and over again.

Friends are important to Rosie who said: I used to have a friend who was bossy and I felt I couldn’t say anything. It was really unfair. We all just went with what she wanted. I wanted to say something but didn’t. She kind of scared me. My friends are good because sometimes they do what I want to do.

Rosie can be nervous meeting new people but says: People will get me talking. When they say something, I’ll agree with them. Then I will make friends with them and have more friends.

I asked more about the sleepwalking. Her mother said it started when she was two years old and would happen about once a month. We couldn’t determine any causation. Lately she’s been sleepwalking every night. Sometimes she will be looking for something like a book. She sleep-talks, too, but her parents can’t understand what she is saying. Her Mum says it is like she is having an earnest conversation with someone else.

Since the incident on holiday, Rosie is scared she will do the same thing again. Consequently, she finds it difficult to get to sleep at night, since she worries she will sleepwalk. She sits in bed and reads until 9.30 or 10pm and finally goes to sleep after that.

Rosie: I’m scared I won’t wake up and will keep going. I could end up anywhere – on the road and I could get killed. Someone could take me and I wouldn’t know. Kids are taken and murdered. I might never be found.

Rosie doesn’t like it when her mother is away from home on holiday. She says: I like it when she’s home. She’s always been there. Mum understands me. She knows what I mean and what I talk about. I tell her lots of stuff.

Rosie’s pregnancy went well although her mother suffered from pre-eclampsia. She was born three weeks early by Caesarean and her birth weight was 5lb 3oz. She was breast fed for 4 weeks. She stood at 10 months, walked at 14 months and talked at 9 months.

Rosie’s teeth crumble when they come through and she has had to have crowns. She gets occasional nosebleeds. A couple of times a month, Rosie suffers from growing pains, worse in the knees. She gets occasional headaches and stomach aches during the school term.

Rosie is always hungry. She loves sweet, spicy, fatty foods; bacon and ice-cream.Her fears include death, being injured, being alone, cancer, darkness, robbers, sudden noises, sharks, thunder. Her mother says she is active, imaginative, artistic, restless, kind, adventurous, friendly and creative. Her hobbies include collecting things like shells, stickers and ornaments. She plays tennis and loves playing tag, Wii ( a game) and jumping on the trampoline. She prefers action, adventure and comedy TV shows.

 

Prescription: One dose of Calc Phos 1M in the clinic.

 

Analysis:

Rosie presents as a mineral patient with desire for structure and routine in her life. She doesn’t feel complete in herself and needs others to help her to completeness. Other issues are to do with relationships and performance. She is also tidy.

What is Rosie’s pattern at the deepest level? Rosie does not have the capacity to feel safe or protected on her own. She relies on her parents for this (they help and take care of you). This is indicative of the Iron Row of the Periodic Table where there is an issue of security and protection. Her fears are all to do with being harmed or being in danger which is common to this row. She also has issues over the standard of school work and her ability to do it, another feature of this row.

The element needed from the Ferrum Row would be Calcarea. Rajan Sankaran says of Calcarea that they have a need for stability, safety, security and protection. Calcareas need support in difficult situations which we also see in Rosie’s need for help with homework and schoolwork and how she likes her Mum being home. But there is more to Rosie than simply lack of security. She also exhibits characteristics of the Silica row which has issues about the development of the identity and subsequent problems to do with relationships and communication.

To feel safe (the Ferrum issue), Rosie likes to be supported by friends and family. She says she would miss family and friends most if she died. This indicates a Phosphorous salt, according to Jan Scholten. Phosphorus people love communicating with others. However, they want to feel heard and have their opinions valued. This didn’t happen with Rosie’s former friend (I used to have a friend who was bossy and I felt I couldn’t say anything) and is probably the reason why they no longer play together. Studying and learning are also very important for a Phosphorus and they often are concerned about being able to study and learn well.

When we combine the cation and the anion, we get Calcarea Phosphorica.

Scholten writes of Calc Phos, that they fear others will think they are stupid and can’t keep up. To make up for this they will over-compensate to achieve. This situation can lead to headaches and stomach aches. Calc Phos people are easily bored and like to be active, preferring the outdoors. Rosie’s pattern could be: I am not capable of protecting myself in dangerous situations or completing my work adequately; so I turn to family and friends for help.

Rosie was given a 1M potency in accordance with Sankaran’s levels of experience. She is at the level of delusion which is seen in her fears of death and injury and the delusion that she is not scholarly despite the fact she is in the top class in her school.

 

Follow-up (one month later):

She is no longer sleepwalking every night and is finding it easier to get to sleep. She sleepwalked three times in a fortnight. Her growing pains got worse for a while.

Five months later, Rosie began to sleepwalk again. She was worried about school.

Prescription: One dose of Calc Phos 1M.

 

Follow-up (one year later):

The family had just returned from a holiday at the same apartments as last year and Rosie didn’t sleepwalk once. She is now going to sleep easily and has had no more growing pains. She handled herself well in the extension class over the past year and didn’t seem to have any difficulties with the work.

About the author

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas (RCHom) is the senior homeopath at several homeopathic clinics in Auckland. She has been involved in homeopathic education for 12 years. She especially enjoys teaching case-taking philosophy and uses live case-taking in her teaching. Kathy is currently working with a college in New Zealand to create a high quality homeopathic diploma course.

3 Comments

  • Nice case Kathy, well cured.
    Rosie’s crumbling teeth indicates the lack of Calcium and her nose bleeding indicates Phosphorous. So a combination of both Calc Phos suits it appropriately. As also stated by Kent, a best remedy for growing children and their ailments.

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