A 26 year-old housewife consulted me on 20/6/97 at Mumbai.
She was dressed in simple clothes and was accompanied by her husband.
Her main complaint was itching especially in the armpits and all over her body for 18 months , which had increased more in the last 6 months. Sometimes, she gets intolerable itching. She also complained of sinusitis for the last 3-4 yrs. She used to get recurrent colds, associated with severe headache and sneezing bouts. Pain was more on the right supraorbital area. Whenever she had a cold, a headache would be there. Headaches are worse with cold drinks and occasionally she would have a mild feverish feeling any time during the day.
After narrating these complaints patient was very quiet and didn’t want to talk any more. Her husband told most of her history.
The patient had 3 pregnancies. The first was a baby boy in 1992, born with megalomyelocele. Delivery was by L.S.C.S. at 7 months, but the baby passed away. This had a very bad impact on the patient. Second pregnancy was in’ 94 and on sonography it was found to be a twin pregnancy, but with I.U.G.R. along with suspicion of Down’s syndrome and so the pregnancy was terminated. In 95′ patient conceived for the third time but she wanted to abort it, so M.T.P was opted for at second month of conception.
Her husband said that she was afraid something would happen again to the baby and some problem might arise, so she did not want the pregnancy. She is undergoing severe depression but most of her feelings remain within her only. In certain situations she has no control of herself and the situation. She thinks something and does something. Her husband never contradicts her. She does whatever she wants to do, after listening to her husband’s suggestions.
She was negative about her childhood. She has a stepmother. Her father married a second time as the step-mother couldn’t conceive. The patient is the eldest of 11 siblings & the youngest is 4 yrs. old now. Her stepmother is dominating and she didn’t allow patient’s mother to undergo a tubectomy. Her own mother had to suffer because the step mother was dictating terms. All this left an impression on patient’s mind.
Giving more details about her, her husband said “She is ambitious, wants to do something big. She wants to do some work in an agriculture field, especially rural based programs, but I cannot afford to give her that financial support. I have given her freedom, I don’t stop her. I don’t want to suppress her emotions. Whatever she has undergone in her childhood is still in her mind. She is very observant and grasps things fast but she lacks education.”
“We got married against our wishes. There is an 11 year age difference between us. It was an arranged marriage. There is a lot of conflict and a total mismatch of identities. Our wavelengths don’t match. She wanted to marry somebody in agricultural business-farming. She is not happy with me. She was 18 yrs. old at time of our marriage & I was not the one she wanted to marry. I have never forced my views on her. She does what she wants. We don’t share a mental relationship. When she doesn’t like a particular thing, she reacts harshly and sharply. She gets angry suddenly, nobody can stop her. She can be very abrupt at times. She hadn’t come to terms about marriage, until 4 yrs. into our marriage. When we lost our first child, she blamed me for it. At time of second pregnancy on detection of I.G.U.R she didn’t want to continue pregnancy, as she felt if the child would be born abnormal then what? At the third time she said that, she was physically and mentally unable to sustain pregnancy, so abortion was done. Her cycles have been irregular for the last 2 yrs. She doesn’t want me to be intimate with her. She says she does not want to conceive, she doesn’t want a child.”
“We don’t share a healthy relationship as a husband & wife. There is no mental involvement. For a long time she didn’t accept our marriage. After such a history we don’t want to take risks. It is O.K if we don’t have children. She is totally depressed. She doesn’t want to speak with anyone. I don’t want her mental condition to go from bad to worse. I cannot get her out of this depressive state and it is progressing day by day.
At this point of time, I requested her husband to sit outside and spoke to her alone. After explaining as to why we require such a long history,the patient gave some more information but had to be repeatedly questioned.
She said that the situation at home during her childhood was very different. “We were 11 children. My mother had to tolerate a lot from my father’s first wife. We couldn’t express any of our feelings, she would shout at us. I used to get very angry but couldn’t say anything. As I grew up, I was very keen to study, to go to college so that I could work and earn money. She said, “a girl needn’t study”. I really got angry that she could say this to me. My mother would never have said no, who was the woman to dictate terms to me? I used to feel bad each time my mother conceived. I would get angry, “why so many children? Already, aren’t there enough? How are you going to bring them up”? Sometimes I use to feel , ‘why I was born in this house. I could not have a happy childhood like other children. Is it my fault that, I was born in this house?'”
“I felt if we were only 2-3 brothers and sisters, we would have been happy and better off. We would have studied and wouldn’t have stayed in a village. We would be living in the city instead. I use to get angry, why is all this is happening? When my father used to shout, I would feel like answering back, but then I would think he is an elder to me.”
“As I grew up suffering in my family situation, I wouldn’t even think of marriage. I never wanted to marry, but I had to marry, against my wishes. I felt like committing suicide at that time. I didn’t want to get married to my husband. There is a 11 yrs. gap between us. I used to get angry after marriage. I wouldn’t speak but all my anger would come out suddenly on something else. I used to feel like throwing things in anger.”
“I really didn’t want to give birth to children as I felt how will I raise them? My childhood was a bad experience. If I had my way I could have got my mother operated on (for tubal ligation). I had a lot of anger for my elder mother (my father’s first wife), but couldn’t express it. It was always a question in my mind, “what is a child”? Why was my father was not speaking up for my own mother. In anger I use to get irritated with myself also. My mother says that, whenever I used to get angry I wouldn’t express it.”
“Even today there are times I don’t feel like staying at home. I don’t want to visit my in-laws. I feel I should only do what I feel like doing. All my feelings are suppressed. Internally I feel a sort of suffocation. I feel like crying but I cannot. My blood boils internally. I feel my anger may go out of control. Now my anger comes out on my husband. His view point differs from mine. He still might want a child, but I don’t want it at all.”
Also she said that she likes to remain alone more and didn’t like people around her.” I don’t like to speak much. I have not had a lot of friends since childhood.”
“Only sometimes I listen to music not always.” She said, “I don’t want to have children. I sometimes feel like committing suicide. I had my first child which I never wanted, but slowly my mind was accepting this and then the child expired. Now even my periods are irregular. I get them sometimes after 2 or 3 months, nothing sure about them. I am scared of heights.”
She likes spicy food +++ , sour things, and tea. She is ambithermal. Thirst is not much. She sometimes has burning during micturition, especaily if she drinks very little water and occasionally, itching at the urethra.
Her dreams are sometimes frightful but she does not remember them. She also dreams of death or that somebody is dead.
Here we see an emotionally sensitive yet a very suppressed lady. She was not talking much initially and had to be questioned repeatedly to gain more information about herself. She had undergone a lot of hardships as a child and was unable to express herself against the injustice occurring at home, especially with her mother and all her siblings by her stepmother. She was also not able to continue higher studies, as her stepmother was dominating. Then she was forced to marry against her will and the subsequent three pregnancies with anomalies, resulted in severe depression. Also the bad treatment she experienced during her childhood made her averse towards conceiving, as she felt extremely anxious about raising her children.
She has had a lot of suppressed anger since childhood, which was now expressed as repeated outbursts at her husband. She wouldn’t tolerate contradiction at all, was ambitious and wanted to live a better life. She preferred to live in a city rather than in a village. She felt averse to her husband as well, as she was married against her will. Time and again pent up emotions and insults would lead to intense anger, which she would find difficult to control and felt like throwing things.
She had lost her first child due to megalomyelocele, the second pregnancy was an Intrauterine Growth Retardation (IUGR) twin pregnancy, and the patient herself aborted her third pregnancy with the fear that the child would be abnormal. This eventually affected her hormonal system and her menstrual cycles were further and further delayed over the next 2 years.
Her main feeling in all of this was of insult and humiliation. The patient used a sentence in Marathi ( her mother tongue) saying “I really felt humiliated and insulted and yet I couldn’t express anything“.
Analyzing the case the following rubrics were considered.
1. Ailments from anger, vexation, suppressed, from.
2. Ailments from: disappointment, deception:
3. Ailments from: death of a child:
4. Ailments from: Mortification, humiliation, chagrin:
5. Ailments from: Rudeness of others:
6. Aversion: Persons to all.
7. Aversion: wife to his/ Sex to opposite.
8. Company aversion to, agg: Solitude, fond of:
9. Company aversion to, agg: Alone Amel when.
10. Contradiction: Intolerant of:
11. Delusions: Starve Family will
12. Fear: High Places:
13. Fear: self-control, losing:
14. Fear: Family to bring up his:
15. Marriage: Aversion to, Idea of marriage seems unendurable.
17. Suicidal disposition.
18. Anger: Tendency: throws things away
19. Anger: tendency: violent.
20. Harshness rough
21. Dreams: Frightful
22. Dreams: Death of
23. Food: Spices condiments, piquant, highly seasoned desires
24. Food: Sour acids Desires.
Treatment and follow-up:
The patient was administered one dose of Staphysagria 200C on 26/06/1997.
After one week:
The severity of headache had reduced. The itching in the armpits increased, her cold increased. She said, I am feeling slightly better and my appetite is slightly better. Plan: Placebo
After two weeks:
She got her menstrual period after six months and also the itching in armpits was slightly less. Plan: Placebo
Three months after starting treatment:
She had her menses in August but no menstruation in September.
She said with a smile, “Doctor can you set right my cycles, as I want to seriously think about a child now”.
Comment: We see a shift in the thinking of the patient. She is moving out of her depression. Previously she was averse to the idea of pregnancy, now there is positive change in her. Someone else does not impose it, and she herself wants to set right the menstrual pattern and conceive.
Five months after starting treatment:
She had a dream that a doctor is performing a Caesarian section, as she has a full term pregnancy. “I felt relaxed and left my past behind me. I am sure I want a child.”
Seven months after starting treatment:
She had regular cycles in October, November, and December. Her cold and headaches had reduced. Her sleep was good. She also started talking better with her husband, she did not have any outbursts of anger.
Eight months after starting treatment:
In January 1998, she did not get her menstrual period, so she was advised to do the pregnancy test. The pregnancy test was positive. She and her family were very happy about it. She was also advised to have regular antenatal checkups with a reputed gynecologist.
The patient was slightly anxious about the growth of fetus and possible abnormalities. The ultrasound and other tests were normal. She had an uneventful pregnancy and delivered a normal baby girl on 17/09/1998.
During the span of one-and-half year she received total five doses of Staphysagria 200. Today the child is six years old and is healthy, going to school and doing well.
Here we see how beautifully the patient responded to a well chosen (constitutional) homeopathic remedy. She improved step by step towards a recovery both emotionally and physically, and also had the fulfillment of a normal healthy baby, in spite of the hereditary trait of congenital anomaly existing in the family.
Dr. Nayana Khopade
Clinic: 1, Silver Plaza, Opp. Fatima Convent
Shivarkar Road, Fatimanagar, Pune 411013
Ph: 020- 26878112, 020 26991860
Clinic: Shirin Villa
7, Dattatray Road, Santacruz (West)
Mumbai 400 054