Clinical Cases

Homeopathy In “Behavioural Disorders”: Jacob’s Case – 1st Installment


Homeopath Daniela Karsten shares a case of ADHD in a boy of eleven.

Jacob has been a patient of mine for 6 months, and his case clearly demonstrates the ability of homeopathic remedies to positively address conditions for which the conventional answer is a class of drugs, designed to “shut down” the individual, rather than allowing them to develop and thrive. You can share in Jacob’s journey over the next few issues, and witness the interaction of homeopathy and human kind at its best!

Jacob’s “reputation” preceded him. Descriptive labels such as, “Autism, ADHD, anger, aggression and abusive language” hung in the air when he was spoken of.  At that stage I had not met this 11 year old boy, and on meeting him for the first time, as the “objective observer”, I put the “labels” to one side and took this interesting case.

The presenting complaints were largely characterised as challenging, anti-social behaviours. The desired outcome, summed up by Mum, was more calmness and perspective.

More specifically, Jacob was a restless and often anxious boy, prone to impulsive verbal outbursts of “inappropriate” abusive language – often with the aim of shocking and attracting attention. He had a more unusual negative association with pre-school children, and admitted to an impulse to want to punch them. On hearing the words “baby”, “birth” or “child” he would respond instantaneously with the use of the retort “bugger”. There was a small selection of additional words that elicited the same reaction, many of which it seemed, I landed on during the first consultation! Although, I was not witness to the restlessness and “hyperactive” version of Jacob (in fact I was surprised at his calmness and level of engagement), I was very aware of two things: His insatiable thirst and a strong urge to be sucking on something (it was a pipe on this occasion and a dummy at night). On listening to his life story, on 3rd August 2016, it became clear why.

Jacob had been removed from his alcoholic mother and abusive father at the age of 15 months, at which point he had suffered the effects of severe neglect and malnourishment. He was generally “unresponsive”. He describes this period as his “bad” or “hard” life and it is young children that still symbolise this negative phase for him. At the age of two and a half he was taken into his current adoptive home, and on arrival had “very little speech” and “delayed development in most areas”.

At the age of 11 he still had the fine and gross motor skills of a 4 year old.  With the addition of violent tantrums, poor concentration levels, yet the ability to focus intently and for long periods on things that he is interested in (afterlife, global warming, the stone age, animal husbandry), he was diagnosed, by Great Ormond Street Hospital (2013) with Autism, ADHD and OCD. The prescription drug Concerta followed, after 3 years of which, the parents were advised to change to Atomoxetine (40mg) and Equasym (20mg), as a result of noted side effects, including depressive tendencies. It is a strong intention of theirs, and a reason they turned to homeopathy, to avoid the path to Ritalin.

In taking the case I noted a strong tubercular tendency (changeability, impulsion, restlessness, dissatisfaction, defiance, love of fresh air) and a convincing Calcarea identity (delayed development, anxiety, anticipation, stubbornness, love of routine, dislike of change, perspiration in parts at night, sweets, egg). In fact, my initial remedy thoughts gravitated towards Calcarea Phosphoricum, or the less well-known but wonderfully effective remedy for hot Calcarea types, Calcarea Iodum. I also looked at Tarentula and Stramonium. However, as the behavioural symptoms were uppermost, and with the specifically agreed goal in mind, I focussed on the “irresistible desire to swear and curse”, “tendency to use violent language” and “absence of moral restraint”.

In Anacardium, I was also able to cover the history of abusive family relationships and in Morrison’s words, “individuals living with unbelievable inner conflict, low self-esteem, internalized anger and emotional vulnerability. Anacardium is repertorised in bold, under the desire to curse and swear in children, in rage. Added to which childish, and impulsive behaviour, are in the repertory in bold and italics respectively. Further indicative symptoms such as wanting to feel full and spasmodic constriction of the anal sphincter were useful confirmatory indications. Jacob was prescribed Anacardium 1M in water for two periods of a week, with a week break in between.

At the first follow-up, six weeks later, Jacob’s mother reported a number of notable improvements, including more control and positive self-regulation of behaviour; less inappropriate cursing and swearing; reduced anxiety; improved gross motor skills and an improvement in physical symptoms such as aches and pains in the legs and “gassy tummy”. Jacob stated clearly that he “loved the water” as it made him feel “happier and less angry”. Over the following four months, during which the remedy was “boosted” (sac lac given weekly) the significant improvements have been ongoing. Jacob has continued to develop personal control over impulsive behaviour, and can be said to have adopted an ability to “get a perspective” and make considered choices about his behaviour. This has given him and his family the possibility of more “normalised” social engagement. It has even been noted that although he still prefers not to play with younger children, he is able to be in closer proximity without the desire to (claim to) want to harm them. Jacob is a lot calmer and less anxious. He sleeps in his own bed, copes well with Mum going away and seems perfectly “chilled” with a change of school – all of which prior to homeopathy, would have provided serious challenges for Jacob and his family alike.

Family friends have noticed the change in Jacob also. I have more recently noted that Jacob spends long periods of time without the need to be sucking or chewing on something, and I have been witness to his ability to catch and throw with one hand! At his last consultation during January 2017, Jacob freely stated, “I am happier in myself”: The ultimate accolade for the homeopathic process and the perfect platform for continued positive progress. To be continued in the next issue of Hpathy.

© Daniela Karsten., M.A., R.S. Hom., Dip. Hom. ACH, February 2017

About the author

Daniela Karsten

I discovered homeopathy while looking for a safe and drug-free approach to treatment for chronic eczema and common childhood illnesses, for myself and my family. It has long been my treatment of choice, and I have been using homeopathic remedies successfully for over 15 years. I graduated from a four year course of study and training at Allen College. Always looking to improve for the benefit of my patients, I undertake regular professional development. In 2013 I did post-graduate study and clinical practice in the slums of Calcutta, India. As a mother and former Montessori teacher, I have a strong interest in children's health. I have contributed to a professional nanny agency's newsletter and website, and write regular articles on family health issues for Salad Days Magazine. I am also proud to be a "selected practitioner" for Cambridge University Hospital Trust, which includes Addenbrooke's Hospital and the Rosie Maternity Unit.

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