Clinical Cases

Polarity Analysis and Adult ADD Treatment

Written by Tim Shannon

Homeopath and polarity analysis (PA) expert Tim Shannon discusses his course on PA and shares a case of adult ADD to illustrate the method.

Starting in 2017, Heiner Frei’s Polarity Analysis approach to homeopathy has been my mainstay in everyday clinical practice with a wide variety of complaints. After finding it to be consistently more accurate than other approaches I’ve used, I committed to helping others learn it.

Since early 2020, I have been teaching a three month program which includes the “how to” mechanics as well as a live Polarity Analysis clinic.  This helps the practitioners in the class bridge from Frei’s excellent Polarity Analysis in Homeopathy text into the realities of actual practice.

The case presented in this article is about an adult male with severe lifelong ADD who was brought to our Polarity Analysis (PA) zoom clinic on October 14th 2021. The PA zoom clinic is set up so that practitioners/colleagues taking the course can bring a patient for supervision.

Usually, these are challenging cases where an adequate homeopathic medicine has proved to be elusive. In addition, many cases have proved intractable to conventional approaches.

The patient is scheduled to begin treatment live with the class observing the process. I demonstrate how to do the patient’s intake. Subsequently, I demonstrate the analysis and management of treatment over multiple zoom encounters.

All this is done via a HIPAA compliant Zoom platform. This way, colleagues get to see the mechanics of PA realtime – witnessing an initial intake and multiple follow-ups. We also offer additional supervision slots for colleagues to get input on other challenging cases.

Each three month class begins with my presenting multiple clinical paper cases from my practice. This is used as an educational device to demonstrate the mechanics and guidelines necessary for PA. The cases are presented showing first simpler cases and ending with more complex ones.

First case demonstrations are for simple acutes. Then I move on to showing simple single morbid chronic cases. Next step is multi-morbid chronic cases. Finally, I demonstrate how to use PA with ADD, brain fog and the like. Paper case review is designed as an onramp to get colleagues prepared for the live case supervision. For sure, the live zoom clinic is the heart of the training.

Paper cases alone often fall short if it’s the only method of instruction. The major advantages of live training are to illustrate the full scale of clinical reality; common mistakes, how to correct when a case has gone astray, realtime material medica differential, rapport building, etc.

It also demonstrates what a good result is and should be. This is important because many beginning homeopaths don’t have a solid sense of what happens following a good prescription. The upside of zoom is that colleagues are like a fly on the wall — they get to see the good prescriptions, the poor ones, and how to make corrections.

In a perfect world, there would be a live clinic that colleagues could view from a separate class room remotely. Thankfully, with the advent of zoom, we can mimic that process. In addition, this method of instruction allows colleagues all over the world to learn the method. Zoom is not perfect, but does afford a significant increase in access to PA training.

The case presented here was a typical clinic referral for supervision. Hopefully, this can serve to help the reader get a better sense of PA with adult ADD/ADHD patients. It also highlights a unique Rx that has become an old familiar friend — especially when it comes to ADD/ADHD and some autoimmune diseases.

October 14th 2021, 48-year-old adult male – initial intake and medical history:

To make his marriage work, he had to get therapy. The therapist told him 7 years ago he had ADD. He realized that diagnosis would explain a lot of challenges since childhood. However, he has not sought medication. He’s leery of meds as he responds poorly to pain meds. He would rather take the pain than bear the adverse response to pain meds.

He’s had multiple challenges in his life due to ADD issues.  He had significant challenges with school. He had good grades but could not remember anything he read, would have to read a million times. He would have trouble understanding projects and would break and throw his typewriter out of frustration.

His parents got divorced when he was 12 – he has a lot of trauma around that. He moved to a foreign country when very young which was traumatic for him.

He could not get anything done. He was constantly talking to himself and would question why all this was happening to him. Even now, he has to talk to himself, “I have to turn, I have to stop”. He is constantly questioning himself “should I say something to someone when I meet them.”

There is a lot of self doubt. He goes around in circles in his head, “merry-go-round in my head.” He likes to be alone a lot and works solo. He has worked a myriad of manual labor jobs over the years. He does things with his hands with a small group of people — that’s his comfort zone.

Office work is not his thing. He tends to run hot, sweats a lot, feels like he has a heater on all the time, when people touch him, they say he is hot. He was good at sports and was a top wrestler. His friends are MMA fighters and high level jiu-jitsu athletes. He feels he disappears for a few moments on the mat. He is not comfortable with people. He prefers to talk about sports — not commonly discussing family or friends.

Over the last many years, he feels he is a little better. He starts his day with meditation. However, he is still full of anxiety which sometimes turns into panic, he will black out, his breathing gets messed up, feels like walls are caving in.

A few of his chief complaints (as furnished by the patient’s wife):

  • Anxiety and panic – he feeds it, it gets bigger
  • Attention – mind goes blank, “deer in headlights”, loses thoughts
  • Sometimes he feels he has answered people but he didn’t – he did so in his head.
  • Feels like he’s choking/drowning during anxiety (He’s had several near drowning experiences).

In Polarity Analysis, we use two questionnaires to help a patient reflect more accurately on the needed modalities. The patient filled out the “perceptual disorders” questionnaire which is used for ADD, ADHD, Autism, etc. Here’s the screenshot of the questionnaire he filled out in preparation for our meeting:

During my initial interview with the patient, there were some changes I made that were relevant for him. Here’s the completed PA repertory spread:

DDX: The grey shaded columns are ruled out by the PA software. Therefore, the shortlist of likely Rx’s calculated by the software are; Lycopodium, Magnetis polus arcticus, Senega Officinalis, Alumina & Antimonium crudum.

However, the best scoring of totality (here listed as “hits”) and PA score are Lyc, M-arct & Senega. I’ve seen this spread before and often have given Lyc first. In this circumstance however, the patient confirmed that he “talks to himself out loud.” I’ve seen this in both Lyc and M-arct – though more commonly in M-arct cases.

In addition, the patient when irritable was not particularly bossy – which is more common in my successful Lycopodium cases. In addition, the patient doesn’t boast about himself as is more typical of Lyc. In fact, this patient has the opposite, a very low opinion of himself and ongoing self doubt.

The DDX between Lyc, M-arct and Senga are often challenging as they have many overlaps. But for this case, I suspected M-arct was the best choice. Therefore, I recommended his practitioner help him get started on M-arct LM1 four drops every other day. I also worked with the patient to develop a “baseline” of symptoms to better follow the patient across visits:

Baseline:

1) Background Anxiety – daily

2) Intense anxiety – once/week

3) Feeling overheated – most days

First Follow-up (11/11/21 – ~ one month later):

How are you doing? Things are for sure better. I’m noticing many things I didn’t before. More? I could be in a situation, where I don’t have an answer for someone, but now can have an answer. The space in my head, doors are opening, where usually just shut. Also, a big thing, I can identify what I’m feeling. Before this Rx I was blank b/c I didn’t know what I was feeling – often would even be embarrassed.

Even with other situations where I’m anxious and now can recognize it. Also, in the past I’d be scared – which would stop me in my tracks. But now can actually act despite the fear. Before I’d be blank or confused. I’m also less confused – that’s a definite improvement too. I’m usually overwhelmed, but now can move forward.

Seems like before, there were many closed doors. I still have my hangups, but some big revelations. Like past situations from years ago are popping up – trippy. How soon after starting the Rx did you notice change? a week. Been on Rx? 3 weeks.

Another thing is I’m having better energy, can be a bit more amped. A lot of good things are for sure happening. Amped? Like my wheels are spinning – ready to do things. If telling someone to do something, maybe telling them twice instead of once.

Is this foreign, this intensity? I’ve been known to be this way in the past for sure. But this is a bit different because I’m stopping myself from going deeper into the pushiness. I’m realizing that I’m being sort of annoying, so now putting on the breaks.

My decision-making feels better. I’m more assertively going to do things where in the past would be more foggy and overwhelmed.

Baseline:
1) Anxiety – daily
That’s better.

2) Intense anxiety – once/week
I had one episode, and was able to handle it better. Usually with panic attacks, it comes with shortness of breath. However, I didn’t have any of that. It felt like I controlled it and got myself out of it. I can get serious panic attacks, where I can black out.

3) Feeling overheated – most days
I do still feel overheated here and there. When happening I’m handling it better.

Assessment & Plan: Good initial response. I recommend he be switched to LM3 QD till next follow-up.

Second Follow-up (2/3/22):

How are you doing? There’s additional benefit. I’m better. My focus is a lot better. My motivation is better – knocking out old to-do lists, following through on my tasks. I usually have a million things and usually can’t get any of it done, but am doing this stuff. I’m also articulating things better. Additionally, I can identify shortcomings better.

Or, if I get constructive feedback – I’m seeing what they are seeing now. In the past, I wasn’t seeing it. I’m having more self-insight. I’m more patient. I’d like to be more kind, softer. I do notice a bit of over intensity, so like to be softer. I can have a tendency to micro manage others – ticks my wife off. Would like to fix that. I can still jump the gun and insert myself before I know what’s going on.

Not been keeping up with meditation, skipping that routine. I can push hard when I believe something is right – push more than I should. If someone is telling me a problem, I’m quick to say “get over it.” I’m not sympathetic, want to be softer in my intensity. That’s the main thing I want to see improve. All the other improvements are unbelievable. How much better are you? I’m maybe 50 to 60% better now. I’m hoping this subtle improvement sticks.

Assessment & Plan:  Sounds like M-arct is doing continued good work. I recommended he have his potency increased to LM5 daily.

Third Follow-up (3/17/22):

The good news is still feeling good, getting work done, following through on projects. In the past when talking to someone – I’d want to finish the conversation quickly. Otherwise, I’d feel like I might be a burden. Now, I’m trying to prolong the conversation and things are popping up for me to say – pretty cool.

I did have one day during the first week of the Rx. I was in a business meeting, I got shut down, went blank – like the old times. Then worked through it and got better. One thing too, I’m still a bit intense. But better at calming myself down. In the past didn’t even notice it, but it does still happen at times.

School has been so difficult my whole life. But it’s crazy this business class I’m in now. I’m actually looking forward to it – exciting. It’s helping me visualize a business I want to start. Before I’d have been chicken to do anything like this.

Overall improvement? More like 70% better.

Baseline:
1) Anxiety – daily
It’s not daily now. But it comes up at times. It was routine before.

2) Intense anxiety – once/week
I don’t think I’ve had those – that I can remember.

3) Feeling overheated – most days
Not having that – can’t remember a time where I felt overheated.

Assessment & Plan:  Sounds like M-arct continues it’s good works. I recommended he have his potency increased to the next potency up.

Epilogue: That’s the last formal follow-up we had as a supervision demonstration in front of the class. The colleague who is managing the patient has kept us up to date. Apparently, the improvements are continuing to go well as of a June 2022 check-in with his practitioner.

Magnetis polus arcticus has become a wonderful Rx in my arsenal. Strangely, I never knew much about the Rx before I started using it in PA. I have now used it with good success in some more significant/severe ADD/ADHD cases – children and adults equally.

In Particular, M-arct shows up in ADD/ADHD kids and adults when the patient has marked irritability, is better from open air, better from movement and tends to be overheated. They often report a highly over active mind  – a sort of “run-away mind.” Sometimes this spills over such that they can’t stop talking out loud to themselves as a sort of pressure valve release. However, it’s worthy of note that this “habit” talking to oneself is also sometimes seen in lycopodium over achievers.

  • Tim Shannon teaches a 3-month Polarity Analysis training program. More information can be found at polarityanalysis.com
  • Heiner Frei MD‘s website for Polarity Analysis, including his research studies, is: http://www.heinerfrei.ch/

Tim Shannon

About the author

Tim Shannon

Tim Shannon completed his Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) at National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, OR in 2001. Tim studied extensively with Massimo Mangialavore for 5 years after completing his ND training. For the past 20 years, he has been practicing homeopathy in Oregon and Washington. He works with clients who have a wide variety of health complaints; cancer, ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, arthritis, headaches etc. After being introduced to Polarity Analysis 6 years ago, Tim began to use it more and more with patients. For the past 4-5 years, he has used PA exclusively. He currently lives and works in Olympia Washington and enjoys an active lifestyle in the pacific northwest." www.heartofwellness.org

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