Clinical Cases

Multiple Fears and Despair in a Woman of 40

Written by Jen Marks

Homeopath Jenny Marks shares a case of a woman of 40 with multiple symptoms including fear of cancer, fear of disease, despair, confusion and back pain. Perceptive analysis leads to the simillimum.

This subject is a 40-year old female. She is dressed colorfully and in an alternative fashion. She has noticeably gauged her ears so they hang down quite a bit and her hair is very tightly curled and worn in small ponytails on either side of her head.

Case as given by Client:

I have a problem with time. It stresses me out. I’m never on time. I’m afraid to make appointments because I’ll be late. Rushing is stressful. I’m in a constant state of running late. (client verbalizes a low growl) The girls [her children] are stressed by that.

Every time I’m tired my spine hurts. I think I have a virus or bacteria in my spine. It aches.

When I’m tired my voice cracks. (client makes a low noise and swipes her hand like a claw)

I feel good when it’s sunny out. When there’s water in the air I retain water.

I have lots of discharge. I think I’ve got bleeding. I have to go again and again. Stools are dark brown. I’m constantly wiping after stool. It’s hard to get it off. I get discharge down there. I’ve had milky discharge and old blood coming out. Milky is more recent, blood is from before.

I’ve been having pains on the right rib. Stabbing pain. Uncomfortable pressure. I like to hold it.

I have a lot of fear. I’m afraid of pain and loneliness. I don’t want to be sick or an invalid. I don’t want to get cancer like my mom and grandparents.

I’m afraid of doctors. When I was young it was no big deal. Now I sweat with fear. There’s some sort of imbalance. I don’t like doctors or a big authority.

I sleep very lightly. I’m tired all the time. My muscles get tired, like if I climb up a hill it’s like I ran a marathon.

I can’t breathe some days (client begins panting). I used to have asthma. I have to consciously breathe. I just can’t get the breath. I can’t get it down to my lungs.  I have a tendency to, when I’m nervous, hold my breath.

When [my daughter] was in school it was so stressful getting her there and picking her up. I kept getting sick, and I was tired all the time. I had lesions on my chin. You can’t hide it. That’s how worn out I was.

When I was in my early twenties, I couldn’t hold down a job because I needed so much sleep. I would get so tired in the middle of the day I would cry. Not emotional; I was physically exhausted.

If I’m feeling low, I don’t feel grounded or centered. I can’t look people in the eye, I don’t feel comfortable around people. I have to hide away a bit to get myself back.

I think sometimes I like animals more than people. My cats drive me crazy though. I love them, but I have a crew of motley cats.

Me and my dad don’t have a good relationship. I could never please that man.

[My partner] is such a perfectionist. With him I come up short. He expects me to be healthy, keep a house, take care of children. I don’t move energy well. I will sit there until there is a catalyst to move. Usually a fight.

[My partner] never defends me. I’m tired of not being defended. I’ve been defending him all my life, but when is it his turn? I’m resentful of all the time he spends with [his female band mate]. Whenever he’s at practice and I call him, he’s mad. I’m resentful of all the creativity that goes into time with her. Because of who she is I want her gone. She can step all over me and he won’t see it for what it is. It sits with me and I don’t like her. (client bares her teeth and growls)

I become flighty. I’m not centered in my body. Sometimes I don’t feel safe to be in my body from when I was young. It’s a safety reaction. If I’m in an argument I can’t think anything. If someone says something, I’m in shock. In a little while I can come back. If someone’s coming at me with strong emotions then I exit. I become more scattered.

I’m a slave to the house and schooling. I don’t know how to play. I like to read. I feel better outside.

Some days I feel content and other days I feel sad, heavy. I can’t be positive. Heavy in the heart. The fear hits my kidneys and my sweat glands. I sweat a lot when I’m fearful. My kidneys get sore. I pee a lot and then I don’t for a while.

Last winter….. I love my neighbor… but I went over to do their horses, and I loved to do that. But I would look in the chicken coop and it was disgusting. I would give them water and food, which I didn’t mind; but I did mind that the chickens would be left in such a state. She said she would give me three of her horses, but she wouldn’t let me keep them at her house. She’s making it seem like I don’t want the horses, but she didn’t give me a chance. I do more than she does, but it’s like I’m kinda stupid. I don’t understand people. Why is that OK?

Sleep is very light. I don’t hit real sleep until morning, so it’s only a few hours. That’s why I sleep late. I hit that deep sleep and I don’t want to get out of it. It starts between 3:00 and 4:00AM.

I can’t take naps when I’m really tired. When I wake up, I feel like I have sand in my head. I feel icky. Although I need a nap, I’ll pay for it. It takes a few hours to get the sand out of my head.

When I was in my early twenties, it was the dark night of the soul on the summer solstice. Questioning my purpose, feeling the anguish of my life and my ancestors, and I dream more. Maybe I’m very perceptive. Not to that extent anymore, but powerful energies are around. Lasts two to four days. Really bad for one day, but then shifts toward better. Once in my twenties I was lying on the floor crying and wondering why I’m here. Now I’m more like a little sad.

It wears on me… all the people. There’s too many peoples’ energy in the city. I can’t stand bright fluorescent lights and loud electronics. I feel drained and TV and computer. I need to be in nature, but large bodies of water. That’s what my soul needs, communion with nature.

I say the Lord’s Prayer to block the chatter.

Every time [my partner] doesn’t feel good, I feel guilty, like I passed something on from me. I gave him something.

My Assessment:

The gestures this client has made during the session are very important to consider when taking the case. They clue us in to a level that the client themselves may not be aware of or able to express in words. There are also some strong emotional components that need to be covered by the chosen remedy.

Repertorization using The Complete Repertory:

MIND, FEAR, cancer, of

MIND, FEAR, disease, of

MIND, FEAR, constant





BACK, PAIN, aching, spine

Based on these rubrics, I considered Calcarea carbonica, Kali carbonicum, and Lac caninum.

Calcarea carbonica is found in many of the chosen rubrics. Calcarea carb is known to be a fearful remedy, and since this client has fairly overwhelming fear, it might be a reasonable choice. It also has a feeling of despair, mental confusion, late waking, and a tenacious stool. We might also think of someone who found it difficult to get moving, as the client seems to. The sedentary oyster takes a long time to get anywhere!

Kali carbonicum also makes a decent showing in the rubrics. It appears in the same rubrics we find Calcarea carb.        Kali carb loves to follow the rules, and thinking of the physical appearance of this client, we don’t see someone who necessarily chooses to follow the rules. Having gauged ears and alternative clothing is a statement of the opposite.

Lac caninum is found in all of the chosen rubrics. It has a great deal of overriding fear, and one of cancer in particular. It also has the particular type of back pain the client experiences. More importantly this client is expressing something on a deeper level. She growls a few times throughout the interview, pants like at dog, and actually swipes her hand at one point as if it were a claw.

This is a fabulous illustration of Lac caninum. Reading over the case, I feel as though I am experiencing the world through the eyes of a dog. She wants desperately to be in nature and although she wants to be around people, she does not understand why they do what they do. I also enjoyed the comment she made about the motley cats.  Isn’t that just what a dog would think!

This client expresses a life that is sedentary, which we might think would not represent the dog, but if we think about the life of the dog, we notice that they simply sit and look around until they are prompted by outside forces to move. Maybe they see a squirrel and decide to give chase, or maybe the dog’s owner instructs them to do something. The client states “I will sit there until there is a catalyst to move”.

Lac caninum also feels dirty and not good enough. She expresses an inability to make the people in her life happy; specifically, her father and her partner. She also states that when her partner is not feeling well, she feels as though she “gave something to him”. Lac caninum 1M was given dry, one dose.

One week later, over the phone, client reports that she has been feeling quite anxious all week and even more exhausted than usual, but that these things are beginning to lessen and she feels quite good about that.

Follow up after eight months:

Client has continued with Lac caninum 30C as needed for symptoms after the initial 1M dose.

I have much less pain in my spine when I’m tired. If I’m really tired and exhausted it will happen, but not like before.

I had one experience of a period being really crampy like before, but otherwise they are good.

Lately stools have been very good and there’s no mucus, but I don’t always necessarily look anymore. I don’t want to see. The stools look healthy.

The stabbing pain in the right rib has gone away. I never have it anymore.

I’m still working on the fear. Some days I feel pretty strong and other days I’m back to being fearful. I was proud of myself the other day when I looked at my teeth and thought “if I lose them, I lose them”.

When I can’t handle the kids it’s because I’m not doing well. When the bloating is down and I’m sleeping well I do better. Part of me just says “It is what it is”. I’m being proactive as much as I can.

I’m sleeping well. I get up between 7:30 and 8:00 because I’m ready to get up. If I sleep too late, I know I need my remedy. I used to sleep until 12:00, or at least 9:00 or 10:00. That wouldn’t feel good now.

My feet and ankles used to swell and it was very painful. That is gone. My ankles swell once in a while, but not bad.

I think my endurance is better. Just walking around the yard, I was out of breath but I noticed I hadn’t had that in a while. I haul full wheelbarrows and keep moving. I’m not sluggish. My muscles don’t feel completely fatigued. This winter when I shoveled, I thought it was easy. It used to be so hard. My endurance is much better. The wheezing in my lungs is gone.

I do have better days with the kids, but with all the stress I’ve had lately I just have to walk away or I dissociate. But I’m aware of it and I try my best. Some days are good and other days I just don’t want anyone near me. I think that’s part of not having a mom who can help me out.

There was one boil I got over my gall bladder, but it disappeared. I don’t get open sores on my chin or anywhere anymore.

I don’t feel an instant urge to push the kids or dogs away. It’s more balanced.

I can’t take naps because it ruins my day.

The brown lines across the top of my toes are gone.

I’m aware of times when I’m feeling childish and I shift it or I don’t, but I’m aware.

My Assessment:

We have seen some significant changes in only eight months. The fact that she is able to step outside the situation and assess how she is feeling is a tremendous step toward balance. Obviously increased endurance is extremely encouraging, as are the physical changes such as the disappearance of wheezing and the lines over the toes.

The client was not comfortable repeating the 1M at this point, so we continued with the 30C with the understanding that we would move up in potency if and when we saw a clear need to do so.

About the author

Jen Marks

Jen Marks DHM has been a practicing homeopath for over a decade and is a graduate of the British Institute of Homeopathy. She began her practice in Michigan and since 2009 has been based in Saint Petersburg, Florida where she lives with her husband and six children. She has served on the board of the Florida Homeopathic Society. Find her at

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