Clinical Cases

Severe Anxiety, Social Phobia in a Woman of 39

Anxiety and Panic Attacks in a Girl of 11

Dr. Priyamvadha Subramanian shares a case of severe anxiety and social phobia in a woman of 39. Feeling alone and isolated, must stay in her comfort zone, feels unprotected outside, were feelings that led to the simillimum, a sea remedy.

Introduction:   

The sea is amazing as a realm since all life as we know it, began in the water. It’s mystic, mysterious and thoroughly interesting. It holds a world of wonder within its waves and depths, remedies known and many yet to be proven remedies.  We have so many interesting polychrest remedies that are derived from the marine realm from Spongia-tosta, Corallium rubrum, to the very useful Molluscs.

The Mollusc remedies from the Calcarea-carb to the crab remedies are very useful when we understand them thoroughly. It’s about extrapolating the known themes of Calcarea-carb vis-à-vis the anxiety about the future, the worries, the fears and understanding the finer differentiations and shades of how the other mollusc remedies are represented in the clinic.

During this Corona pandemic, one will naturally see a lot of Mollusc remedies coming up because of the present situation.  With the anxiety about the future and the unknown, these are perfect conditions to activate and aggravate our patients who need and benefit from Mollusc remedies.

Keywords:

Invertebrates, Panic attacks, Fears, various Phobias, fear of the future, fear of the unknown, ungrounded fears, Social Phobia, Hypochondriac.

Case:

(Abbreviations: D- Doctor, P-Patient O-Observation HG- Hand Gesture).

APRIL 8, 2020

I’m presenting a case here of a lady who has severe anxiety, social phobia, and other issues and how over time, the right remedy was found for her.

Back story:

She has been my patient for almost 10 years now and came to me initially bringing her husband to be treated. Subsequently, I have seen the children (2) and her parents and other people whom she has referred.

While her own remedy eluded me, she got better with a lot of (what I can now see in retrospective studies) complementary remedies to the one that really helped her. She had a tremendous fear of the outer world, fear of what will happen, fear that global warming was real, fear of the future, fear for the children’s future and of course, fear every time the children fell ill.

She also had small physical complaints like a mild leucorrhea, pre-menstrual symptoms and a very bad migraine that would come on whenever she washed her hair. She also had allergies/intolerance to wheat, Sulphur and cosmetics and was lactose intolerant.

Remedies had till now: Calcarea-carb, Silica, Natrum-mur, Natrum-carb, Sulphur, Hepar-sulph – all chosen for acutes, and all have helped for that acute, whereas the innate hypochondriasis and panic was never really resolved.

Given the Corona situation and her living abroad, in April this year, a lot of her symptoms worsened, because it appeared as if her husband would lose his job due to redundancies and job cuts.

So far, the husband was the provider and she was very happy to be home and talk of trying to get a job, but she really enjoyed just going out a little and taking care of the kids.

She was also studying to be a nutritional therapist, someone who researches about what foods to eat and focuses on detox therapy. When the husband’s situation became increasingly acute, her state worsened and her panic attacks were an everyday event. So, we decided to do a retake in April and she agreed.

We set up a video call.

Observation– She has her hands in front of her face while talking, I cannot see her eyes. Patient: I am working with this nutritional therapist right now, things have become tough, I feel a liver detox is called for, remove all the gunk from the system.

Then, I will do an intestine cleanse, my small joint pains are back again (She has periodic pain in the joints of the palm); perhaps it is because I ate a little sugar last week, after a long time. This is worse close to the cycles and usually the right hand there is pricking pain.

What has also not improved is anxiety. (Last remedy given Calcarea-carb 200) and there is just random anxiety, my mind plays out stuff, what will happen in the future. I feel low after lunch- post noon- and this anxiety hasn’t really shifted with diet changes. Lower stomach cramps up to two weeks before cycle- after a meal there is a cramp- its not there after the period. Also inter-menstrual spotting is back again.

D- What else is happening?

P- I am waking up heavy headed. This used to happen a long time ago. I am again waking up at 3-4am, with scary thoughts.  See, my parents never thought I could ever get married, I was always very shy, but they wanted me to know how to support myself. Even then, the future was uncertain, my parents definitely thought I would be living with my sister and family I have always had this fear of managing my life myself; always feeling ill equipped to manage my life and whatever was needed for it.  I depend a lot on S (the husband) and have not yet learnt language fluently here.  If he can do things, I am perfectly fine to let him do it. But with this situation, he wants me to now go out and do things like grocery shopping alone or get a job.

D- Tell me about what it means to you?

P- I learnt to drive at 21, never got a car, just a lot of fear, me on my own, on the road, in the car, the thought terrifies me and I have no confidence

D- Talk about this, “On your own, in the car.”

P- Driving against the traffic, too many things to manage, too many things to see and keep track of, and changing the gears and looking in the three mirrors, its too much! And I still don’t have my driving license in this country! I went for one driving lesson and I just didn’t sleep that night, almost got PTSD after that!

D- Why? What happened? What is PTSD?

P- Actually, the instructor was losing patience with me. He was teaching me to position my hands like so and move, but I was losing track of what was outside, if I was looking inside and vice versa.And focusing on the road meant that I forgot the pedals and steering.

I can focus only on one thing at a time.

D- What happens when you have to focus on too many things?

P – Unaware of what is around, the distance, making sure to turn, accelerating when needed, slowing when needed, I found it really (3) overwhelming.

So many different things!

D-What could happen?

P- I could hit a car, bump a car, unable to focus, doesn’t know what the insurance will cover and whether the air bags work.

D- What will happen if the air bags don’t work? Is it a geared vehicle?

P- This is Germany! If I don’t follow the rules, someone is always angry and aggressive – aggression really scares me.

D- What is the experience when there is aggression?

P- I want to yell and scream, but cannot.   When afraid tend to go back, (Body Gesture- going back with the hands in front of the body) shrink back, unless there, shrink back and lose the voice.

D- Explain body gesture?

P- This is protection and defense, going in, going back, and receding to a place of safety, away from threat.

D- Describe more?

P- I feel some anxiety here, indicating solar plexus and throat area, some sensation, fear of being shouted, as if someone will attack – harm –I don’t feel like I will be hit or something (denial) I feel violated and my space and someone is entered. Someone has entered my space, like while driving the car, there will be a scrape and bump.

D- Describe?

P- A strong sense of anxiety.

It also comes up when we were talking about the fear of mandatory vaccine.

They might just come into our home and vaccinate the children against their will and the fact that a few people are controlling the planet.

D- What will happen when few people control the planet?

P- Our freedom as humans can be violated in some way, something cruel can be done. These days when I wake up its still dark and there is a physical feeling in solar plexus, small glimpse of (HG) heaviness what have we created – dark cloudy, constriction.

D- Lets circle back to what was happening with the BG?

P- I wasn’t really thinking – so caught up in what I was doing –body was tight and stiff – and I just went into myself, outside was too much, and I just BG- repeats the same body gesture, Thoughts – attack on life itself –

D- what is the feeling deep down inside when this BG happens?

P- I feel I cannot have my freedom, to choose the seeds, give GMO, no meat fish, it’s been two years since we got here and I am just so hesitant to even go out of the house alone, hesitant to explore the environment and not able to gather, to register information, I just tend to push it out and avoid and I am getting overwhelmed too many things – drop it and do something else

D- Speak about no freedom and cannot register or collect information from outside?

P- It feels so unsafe, so controlled now, someone else tells you what to do- wearing masks – pay a fine and face the consequences – so much policing and controlling I can’t breathe air without something filtering it and creating toxins

Nature – what we exhale is a waste ad I should not be breathing something that should be going out. I’m just so happy at home.

Physical symptoms:

I have extremely cold legs, really cold, have to wrap legs in fleece – shaking cold –

A lot of low BP since two weeks.

There is some slight swelling under the eye- is it food allergy? (really negligible swelling, but it is a big deal for her)

Aggravations: <greasy food <wheat <<sugar <chemicals in the food

I lost weight – not getting exercise –

Anxiety is the main symptom, just free-floating anxiety. No anchoring.

Dreams: 1- someone may break into the house and set it on fire.

2- the world is on fire and she can do nothing about it, feeling of extreme danger and threat from outside.

Analysis:

This patient has been with me for ten years and I knew that most of the remedies that I was prescribing were more complementary to the actual remedy required. It was only in this meeting, in this present Corona times that she also really ‘opened up’.

Some of the themes noted:

She really feels alone and isolated always, but never extends herself outside her comfort zone in order to find work or make friends.

She doesn’t like to be observed and doesn’t like to be looked at.

She feels very vulnerable and open when that happens and then just withdraws –Body Gesture, shrinking in.

Her home is her safe place and even at home, she prefers to rest in bed, inside the blankets or wrapped in a fleece.

She feels really unprotected when she is outside in the world and learning to drive and being out there – away from her comfort zone- where anyone can be aggressive and scrape or bump the car – which she cannot manage to drive – is an extremely stressful situation for her.

So far her husband was managing everything and this time when her husband’s job (and her security, future, resources, money) might be at stake that we can see she is forced to get a job, which she is really resisting, because leaving the home is extremely stressful for her.

Outside is stressful and inside is safe and protected- Mollusc

We can see the strong animal themes – when the driving lesson is going on and the instructor is a little aggressive and she is completely out of her comfort zone and shrinking inside.

She feels completely ungrounded in her anxiety.

She is detached from her family and not really close to her neighbors or doesn’t have friends.

Small symptoms cause the draining or sinking sensation – fear of the future or fear of forced vaccinations.

Her senses are really hypersensitive and she is allergic to the smallest of changes in her environment.

This understanding brought me to Mollusc and the clear indication towards that Mollusc that ventures out a little and then returns when there is the slightest danger in the picture. I quickly checked Mollusc remedies and confirmed.

The Body Gesture was for me the direct language of the source.

APRIL 15, 2020 – Remedy: Cyprea eglantina 1M

Cyprea eglantina, the ‘Dog-Rose Cowry’ or ‘Eglantine Cowry’, is a species of sea snail, a cowry, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Cypraeidae, the cowrie.)

Prescribed dosage: 2 doses to be taken 8 hrs apart and then weekly once, because the situation is active and the Covid positive numbers in her town were increasing.

Follow-up:

First follow up after 1M Cyprea was 2 weeks later.  There is much amelioration of anxiety, but she’s not yet going out. Small symptoms have not come this week.

Follow up a month later:

One or two dreams of anxiety, little pre menstrual spotting and mild cough and cold was there. Protocol- repeat 2 doses of 1M Cyprea 8hrs apart and report in 2 weeks

Follow up two weeks later:

Has been a better this month. May take the driving test, if health permits.

Not many allergic symptoms. Sleep occasionally disturbed, mild bad dreams

Protocol- we repeat 1M Cyprea and give her weekly once, because she has to start venturing out and overcoming her social phobia.

As of Dec, 2020 she is 50-60% better

Note- This patient is still following up with me every three weeks and her Mental state is improving slowly.

Cyprea eglantina or Cowrie snail is a marine snail from Phylum Mollusca, Class Gastropoda and Family Cypraeidae. It is one of two snails that are remedies in the homeopathic repertoire, the other snail being the Land Snail Helix aspersa. We can clearly see themes of Calcarea – in the anxiety about the future, anxiety about money matters, safety and security, ungrounded anxieties and fear of diseases.

We can see the Mollusc themes in the panic attacks, social phobia, fear of aggression, fear of scrapes and bumps and something coming into the space.

The is the clear outside and inside theme and desire to be home. The Gastropod themes can be seen in the needing a cover on her, retreating into her safe zone, retreating into herself, and being cold.

Also, the aversion to being observed and the being detached from others points to the muriaticum element, which is the influence of the environment, i.e. – seawater, since these are marine snails.  Helix aspersa will not show this particular Muriaticum element so strongly. (Gandhi).

About the author

Priyamvadha Subramanian

Priyamvadha Subramanian

Dr. Priyamvadha Subramanian (B.H.M.S, PG- F.H.P.C) is a homeopath based in Mumbai. She is the Founder of Vitalia H, which is an online Mental Wellness Clinic and Resource Centre. We are focused on patient wellness and conducting weekly webinars on various clinical topics.

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