Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Overly Upset At Christmas!


Scroll down to see the answer to this homeopathy Quiz!

To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – Overly Upset At Christmas!








Alright, who’s here first this time?

Hi Elaine!

Oh look, it’s Sarah Q from Jordan!

Happy new year!

Thanks!  Same to you!

Did I already wish you a happy new year?

Yes, 2 seconds ago!!!!

My memory is awful.

No kidding!

I am hoping this quiz might be the one.  I am thinking Ignatia.


Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!  Bingo!!!!!!

She is sensitive to smells, crying and feeling moody, both have Ign. in the 4th degree in the Complete (sorry, don’t have the energy to drag out my other pc).  I didn’t bother to look up the headache, that would just have practically every remedy in the world listed.  I am hoping I am right!!!

You are!  In fact, it was a perfect Ignatia case!

Thanks Elaine, hope you and Shana are warm, happy, and healthy and that things have warmed up in your corner of the world.

Uh…well…actually…our hot water heater just died.

Yay! YAY! HOORAY!  I can’t believe I finally got one right.  It was an easy one though, but still.  Need to throw myself a little party.

Let me show you all the Ignatia words in the case by putting them in red; see the case below:

Elaine, the Gelsemium helped a lot, thanks!

 Relaxed, and I’ve taken it a few times since Tuesday.

 Yesterday I had a major disappointment that I’ve really allowed to get to me: a highly reputable painting company painted our house exterior the week of the 11th and finished on Monday.  I was pleased with the professionalism of the painters and with their work, which I inspected when they finished.  Yesterday, though, I noticed that a lot of cracks have appeared in the paint and I’m overly upset about it!  I decided to wait until after Christmas to contact the supervisor and I’m very clear and confident about how I’m going to handle the situation, but last night I woke up in the middle of the night and started crying about it.  I’m not feeling like an adult.  I’m over-reacting.  I’m a mess.


Part of the problem might be that I had a bad exposure to cologne in the store yesterday afternoon—it smelled like insecticide and instantly gave me a nasty headache in the right brow and forehead.  It felt like someone driving a nail into my right eyebrow.  I also became super-sensitive to noise and very cold.  I went to Asa Hershoff’s book on musculo-skeletal healing and picked out Nux Vomica as the most likely remedy.  I took it a couple of times over the course of yesterday evening and felt much better (no headache, not as chilly feeling) by the time I went to bed.  I was very tired, though. [Nux v. and Ignatia both contain strychnine]


Right now I’m feeling really depressed and discouraged and as if I could cry at any moment.  I hate the holidays and this time of year; I always get depressed and mildly suicidal.  The rest of my family is back East, and even if I could go there, my brother and sister will be at their in-laws for Christmas.  The only people we ever see are my husband’s parents, and his mother is a nut job (understandable, I guess, because she was burned over 2/3 of her body when my husband was around 7) and he ends up yelling at her a lot.  The holidays are really disappointing.


Nux vomica doesn’t make you feel like crying, does it?  I’m not sure what would be beneficial now.








Sorry about the water heater.

Hopefully it will be fixed tomorrow.  Try washing dishes in cold water, it can’t be done!  Trust me!

That is awful timing mid-January!  Hope it gets fixed soon.  We don’t have one 😛   I have always boiled water in Jordan, for tea, baths, dishes etc.  I hate it honestly.

I was about to say!  Is there no hot and cold running water where you are?

I need to get to nagging hubby to buy us one (finally, after living here nearly 10 years).

Egads!  Ten years of boiling water to wash dishes, take a bath, etc.?  Too much!  I’m sorry!

Wishing things get easier, and warmer this year.

Not too warm, be careful what you wish for!

Say hi to Shana!

I will, thanks!




Is anybody else here today?  Hello!  You’re on the air at!

Hi Elaine.

Hi Neil.

Torn between 2 remedies this month: Pusatilla and Ignatia.

Pulsatilla for the tearful disposition and feelings of abandonment over Christmas and Ignatia for the tearfulness with hammer-like headache and sensitivity to perfume.

I will go for Pulsatilla as there seems to be a sudden lack of confidence and child-like feeling.

Hi Neil, I agree that you could easily get thrown off by Pulsatilla here, but your second pick was right–Ignatia.  It’s the aversion to odors and headache as if from a nail that confirm it.


Is anybody else here?  Hello!!!  You’re on he air at!  Oh look, it’s Dr. Di Salvo from Italy!

Hello, Elaine, my answer is ignatia amara for:

M; Mind; DISAPPOINTMENTS, ailments from (32)

M; Mind; CRYING, weeping; easily (36)

M; Mind; DEPRESSION, sadness (457)

M; Mind; SUICIDAL, disposition (137)

M; Mind; ANGER, general (241)

M; Mind; SENSITIVE, mental, oversenitive, emotional; odors, to (66)

M; Mind; SENSITIVE, mental, oversenitive, emotional; noise, to (154)

H; Headaches; NAIL, pain, as if from a (59)

Thank You

Sebastiano Di Salvo, Italy


Yes!  You are right!  It is Ignatia!!!!!!  Thank you for giving me your list of rubrics.  Now, you know that Etiology is at the top of the hierarchy of symptoms, right?  We know the etiology in this case is “ailments from disappointment“.  If we go to that rubric and scroll down to the subrubric, “acute or recent” (a recent disappointment), there are only 2 remedies listed–just 2!!!  And 1 is bold/underlined and that remedy is– Ignatia!  The other, Gelsemium, is only in plain type.  All we have to do now is ask ourselves, “Is there any confirmation for Ignatia?”  Oh my goodness!  The headache as if from a nail, the aversion to odors, the crying easily is all the confirmation we need!  You don’t even need those other rubrics, especially the one with over 400 remedies in it, and then there was one with over 200 remedies in it–Mind: anger–I’m not even sure she was angry!  But at any rate, they’re not going to help you, they cover practically every remedy!!!!  You should go back and read “Repertory Round-Up, part 4”, the one about picking rubrics in a case and the hierarchy of symptoms:


Tidbits 50–Repertory Round-Up, Part-4


Thanks for voting!  Oh look, Wayne is here, all the way from Australia!


Hi Elaine,

I repertorised as follows:

Mind; Crying, weeping; night

No, no, I’m sorry, you’re getting off on the wrong foot.  She may have been crying at night but that wasn’t the issue.  The issue was “crying from disappointment”.

Anxiety, ailments from,

No, I think you’re missing the boat again.  It’s “ailments from disappointment”.

Worries, tendency, to, ailments from

I don’t hear her saying that she’s worried.

Depression, sadness, suicidal depression, with

Headaches: Nail , pain, as if from a ; forehead, as if, in

Nose: Smell, general; odors, general, imaginary and real; offensive

Results were Calc, phos, aur, and ign.

I would prescribe Ignatia, because of the symptom of the nail in the head.

Yes!  You’re right to take the “Headache, as if from a nail” as a guiding symptom; but, clearly, this is a case of “Ailments from Disappointment”; I mean, she says so, she says she’s soooo disappointed because she thought the painters she hired had done such a good job, and here it turns out that the job wasn’t done well at all!  And her disappointment is so overwhelming, she can’t stop crying!  So our first order of business is to look up “ailments from disappointment”, and there’s actually a subrubric, “acute or recent”; so, essentially, “ailments from acute disappointment”, and there are only 2 remedies–Ignatia and Gelsemium.  But, the headache as if a nail, and aversion to odors, easily confirm Ignatia; so, clearly, Ignatia is the winner.

I think you missed the etiology, but the case was so strong for Ignatia that you could arrive at it coming from any and all directions.  Be more careful in selecting rubrics.  You seemed to be reading things into the case that weren’t there based on how you might be feeling under the circumstances.


OK, we have a new person here with us today…. Welcome to the club, Shifa Shaikh!

Hi Elaine,

Am new to the quiz!

Woo-hoo!  Hi Shifa, and welcome!

I think its mostly natrum mur. because of such disappointment.

Also I think a little of aurum metallicum.

Well, the thing is, Nat-mur doesn’t cry.  In fact, I wrote a little materia medica piece about Nat-mur, click below:


The Homeopathic Interview: Why We Ask What We Ask


You were right to mention disappointment.  That’s what the remedy has to cover!  Here’s a hint.  Go to “Mind: disappointments, ailments from, acute or recent” (ailments from acute disappointment).  In Murphy’s Repertory, there are only 2 remedies listed for that, and one is bold/underlined!  It’s Ignatia!  Hope to see you again in next month’s quiz answer!


Oh look, it’s the twins from Slovakia!

Mom, they’re not twins!

Shana, shouldn’t you be at a Bon Jovi concert?

Hello, Elaine and Shana,

Hello Miroslav and Jitka!

Here are our answers to the last quiz.

Miroslav writes:

I think it might be Ignatia.  It  is in the rubric: Mind, crying, the subrubric: irritated

and also in the subrubric – anger.

Yes, it is Ignatia.  But you got it right despite missing the big picture.  She’s not crying from anger, she’s crying from disappointment!  She starts by saying, “I’ve had a major disappointment”.  And she ends by saying, “The holidays are really disappointing.”  So there are 2 things here: Ailments from disappointment, and headaches from strong odors.  Both are covered by Ignatia.  Also, the rubric “Mind: crying” and subrubric “disappointments” only has 2 remedies and one of them is Ignatia, which was in italics, and the other was only in plain type.  So, you missed the idea that the case was all about disappointment with a concomitant sensitivity to strong odors.


I too think it’s Ignatia.  Already at the first reading of your case, I thought that anxiety, insomnia and depression are the leitmotiv of Ignatia.

Well, I’m not so sure about that…. This might be a good time to reference what Allen’s Keynotes says about the essence of Ignatia, and be sure and look for the following Ignatia key words:


Easily excited







In other words, no stability in the personality; patient is easily knocked off her center, easily provoked to anger, crying, arguments; easily upset by influences, whether they be odors or criticism or disappointments, etc. 

So, you can see how such a person might be disturbingly emotional and volatile—laughing one minute, crying the next; then angry, then depressed, then suicidal, and so forth.  It would be very hard being with such a person, never knowing what might set her off at any given time:

(For the uninitiated in homeopathy, the abbreviation “amel” is short for “ameliorated” which means “improved by” or “better for”.  The abbreviation “agg” means “aggravated” or “worse for”.)



St. Ignatius Bean, Loganiaceae.


Especially suited to nervous temperament; women of a sensitive, easily excited nature…but mild disposition, quick to perceive, rapid in execution. In striking contrast with the fair complexioned, yielding, lachrymose, but slow and indecisive, Pulsatilla.

 THE REMEDY OF GREAT CONTRADICTIONS: the roaring in ears amel [is better] by music; the piles amel when walking; sore throat amel when swallowing; empty feeling in stomach not amel by eating; cough agg the more he coughs; cough on standing still during a walk (Ast. fl.); spasmodic laughter from grief; sexual desire with impotency; Thirst During A Chill, no thirst in the fever; the color changes in the face when at rest.

 Mental conditions rapidly…change from joy to sorrow, from laughing to weeping (Coff., Croc., Nux. m.); MOODY.

 Persons Mentally And Physically Exhausted By LONG-CONCENTRATED GRIEF.

 Involuntary Sighing (Lach.); with a weak, empty feeling at pit of stomach; not amel by eating (Hydr., Sep.).

 Bad effects of anger, grief, or disappointed love (Calc-p., Hyos.); broods in solitude over imaginary trouble.

 Desire to be alone.

 Finely sensitive mood, delicate consciousness.

 Inconstant, impatient, irresolute, quarrelsome.

 Amiable in disposition if feeling well, but easily disturbed by very slight emotion; Easily Offended.

 The slightest fault finding or contradiction excites anger, and this makes him angry with himself.

 Children, when reprimanded, scolded, or sent to bed, get sick or have convulsions in sleep.

 Ill effects, from bad news; from vexation from reserved displeasure; from suppressed mental sufferings; of shame and mortification (Staph.).

 Headache, as if a nail was driven out through the side, relieved by lying on it (Coff., Nux., Thuja).

 CANNOT BEAR TOBACCO; smoking, or being in tobacco smoke, produces or aggravates headache.

 In talking or chewing, bites inside of cheek.

 Sweat on the face on a small spot only while eating.

 Oversensitiveness to pain (Coff., Cham.).


 Twitchings, jerkings, even spasms of single limbs or whole body, when falling asleep.

 Pain in small, circumscribed spots.

 Fever: red face during chill (Fer.); chill With Thirst During Chill Only; amel by external heat; heat Without Thirst, agg by covering ( amel by covering, Nux.).

 Complaints return at precisely the same hour.

 Ignatia bears the same relation to the diseases of women that Nux does to sanguine, bilious men.

 There are many more Ignatia persons in North America than Nux vomica persons.–Hering.

 RELATIONS.– Incompatible: Coff., Nux., Tab.

 The bad effects of Ignatia are antidoted by Puls.

 AGGRAVATION.– agg from tobacco agg from coffee, agg from brandy, agg from contact, agg from motion, agg from strong odors, agg from mental emotions, agg form grief.

 AMELIORATION.– amel warmth, amel hard pressure ( Cinch.), amel swallowing, amel walking.



I also found Ignatia in rubrics of symptoms that were mentioned in the questionnaire.

Mind, depression, headache, during

She didn’t have depression during headache.  She got a headache from odors, which is a big keynote of Ignatia.  And headache as if from a nail, another Ignatia keynote.

Mind, depression insomnia with, sadness from

You’re getting too far afield here.  I’m not really sure we can say she has “insomnia” at all.  She woke up crying from disappointment.  The rubric “Crying, disappointments, from” would be more accurate.  “Depression, insomnia” isn’t even a rubric.

Mind, suicidal depression, thoughts on

You could conceivably use “Suicidal, thoughts of”.

Mind, crying involuntary

This is a good rubric that I didn’t think of, which accurately describes her.

Headaches, odors, strong from

Yes, very important rubric.  But you forgot “headache as if a nail…”, an Ignatia keynote.

We hope we haven´t forgotten anything important this time.

You did good; but you take too many liberties, you (and Miroslav) say things that often are not there, like “crying from anger” or “headache with depression”, or you diagnose her with “insomnia” because she woke up crying.  You have to be more discerning.  What can we say about this case?  We can say we found the etiology–Ailments from Disappointment.  We can say we found keynotes of a remedy–Headache from odors, headache as if a nail.  That’s all we need, and we’re done!

Thanks for voting as always!


Anymore brave souls here?  Oh my goodness!  It’s another new-comer!  Jane from Singapore, come on down!

Dear Elaine,

Good morning to you.

Hi Jane from Singapore!

I have been regularly reading your monthly Quiz.

Really????  Wow!

And have been  learning the salient features for a budding homeopath.  They are very interesting.

The hpathy quiz is a good place to learn homeopathy, that’s for sure!

I thank you and Shana sincerely for these articles.

You are so welcome!  Shana loves doing the quiz!  You know…her timely “announcements”?  (Face with eyes rolling.)

I wish to send my answer for this month’s quiz.

The remedy, i think, is IGNATIA.

You’re right!!!!!

See the following symptoms:

– causative factor – Ailment from disappointments

Yes, very good!

– grief.

– The emotional element is uppermost in this case.

Yes!  Unstable emotions!

– Mind, hysterical

Mind – mood changeable

– Mind – brooding

I don’t know.  It’s too broad and I’m not sure she is brooding, per se.  You were doing fine with ailments from disappointment and changeable mood.

– Mind – depressed, could cry at any moment

No, no; again, “depressed” is so general a term–it probably covers 80% of the population!  We don’t have to be so vague here when we’ve got so much great information!  Look at it this way, what tells you more about this person: “depressed”?  Or “changeable mood”?  Clearly, “changeable mood” is more descriptive!  There’s no value in going from “clarity” to “generalization”.  “Brooding” is another word that covers just about everyone.  In other words, look at it this way: if we’ve established that an item costs twenty dollars, nothing further is gained by stating that it also costs less than a hundred dollars.  Am I right?

Furthermore, “could cry at any moment” is correct, but “depression” isn’t the reason for it.  A lot of people are depressed but they don’t necessarily have a problem with crying; I mean, just think of the always-depressed Nat-mur who never cries at all; so “Mind: crying, involuntarily” would be a better rubric; but, actually, there is no rubric “Mind: depressed, cry at any moment, could”.

– Sleep, sleepless from grief

Here’s the thing with that, we really don’t know why she woke up.  For all we know, she woke up because she had to go to the bathroom.  All we know is, that when she did wake up, she started crying FROM DISAPPOINTMENT.  We know that’s true because she TOLD us so!  So we don’t have to go any further than that.  “Crying from Disappointment”–that’s the information we should be taking!  And there are only 2 remedies in that rubric and one of them is Ignatia!

And the type of headache she had is a confirmation for IGNATIA –

– Head – pain – sensation of a nail being driven into ……

Yes, absolutely!  So even if all you do is cross “crying from disappointment” with “headache as if from a nail”, you’ve just confirmed Ignatia!  You’re done!

Hence I submit my answer – the remedy is IGNATIA.

Will wait eagerly for your article as always- its such a powerful learning tool.  I arrived at this remedy by following your guidelines – ‘ MISSING COW’, “major roads” etc.  These are very interesting, and easy to remember and follow.

Did you read “Repertory Round-Up Part – 4”?  About how to pick rubrics in a case?  Very important, I hope everyone will read it!


Tidbits 50–Repertory Round-Up, Part-4

Awaiting your article to learn from my mistakes.

Thanks and regards

Jane, Singapore.



Hey, we’ve got still another new-comer to the hpathy quiz!  Dr. Sudha Nambisan, come on down!

Hello Elaine

regarding the below case I Think Phosphoros 30 or 200 would help.


  1. Company desire for, alone aggravates

Wait a minute, I thought she didn’t want company!  Hold on, let me read it again.  OK, we actually don’t know if she desires company or not.  She regrets that her family goes elsewhere during the holidays and she gets stuck with her in-laws who are crazy!  It’s just all part of why the holidays are so “disappointing” to her.  Again, I think the only reliable rubrics that you mentioned are “ailments from disappointment” and “headache from strong odors”.

2.ailments from disappointment

3.headache from strong odors.

also ignatia as second choice as it covers weeping from emotions

But more specifically, “weeping/crying from disappointment“.  We know she’s disappointed because she keeps saying so!  Disappointment is a particular KIND of “emotion”.  It’s more specific, more descriptive.

You know, if you want me to pick up a friend of yours at the airport, and I say, “What does he look like?” and you say, “He’s tall with red hair, but he’ll also be wearing jeans and a jacket and carrying a suitcase,” that last part doesn’t add any substance to the first thing you said–“tall and red hair”.

In other words, if I know that your friend is tall and has red hair, do you think I’m going to be looking for anything other than that when I get to the airport?  Am I going to be looking to see who’s carrying a suitcase?  Noooooo!!!!!  So, if you’ve got something specific or descriptive to hang your hat on, don’t settle for something less descriptive, like “emotions”.  As it turns out, “crying from disappointment” has only 2 remedies in it!  And one is Ignatia!  The case is pretty much closed right there.  You went for “emotions”, even though you knew, and correctly identified, that this was a case of “ailments from disappointment”!

So, yeah, it’s Ignatia.


Dr. Sudha

Thanks for voting!  Hey look everybody, Vamsi’s in the house!


Subject: Overly Upset Christmas – Jan 2018


Hi Elaine,

I am back with a bang to your quiz’es. 


Nice interesting quiz for this month. 

Okay coming over to Hillary Clinton.

Ahem!  That’s Hillary E. Clinton!

Very natural for nowadays ladies. Being oversensitive and depressed. 

Hillary is  

1. Depressed, Discouraged

But most importantly, “disappointed”–as she said.  Look up crying from disappointment and what do you see?

2. Feels like crying 
3. Severe Grief 
4. Oversensitive. 
5. Worse from Noise and Light.

6. Headache driving a nail into her right brow. ( most imp symptom. )

Yes, very important.

All these call for IGNATIA, for a very hysteric woman. 

Please let me know your valuable input.

You’re right, it is Ignatia!  See you again in February!

Wow ! i nailed the quiz from the “nailing symptom “.

SmileThanks Elaine?



You know, we had a lot of right answers today; but, we’ve got a long way to go in terms of rubric selection, am I right?  But let’s keep trying!  And now to acknowledge our winners!

Congratulations go to:  Krista, Sarah Q, Jane, Miroslav and Jitka, Dr. Di Salvo, Vamsi and Wayne.

Bye everybody, see you next time!


Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website:

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

About the author

Shana Lewis

Shana Lewis

Shana spices up the Hpathy Quiz with her timely announcements and reviews on the latest in pop culture. Her vast knowledge of music before her time has inspired the nickname: "Shanapedia"!

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