Clinical Cases Homeopathy Papers

Snapping Turtle

Written by David A. Johnson

An interesting case where the author highlights the themes that led to the selection of the remedy.


This 5 year old boy was seen June 29th, 2007, for concerns related to his behavior with his sisters.

Practitioner: What kinds of problems is he having?

Mother: He has problems with his anger. He gets very angry if he’s surprised by someone sneaking up on him or popping out. He doesn’t like his sisters coming into his room–if they come in, he’ll hit them on the way out, as though he’s protecting his “invisible domain”.

He won’t get pushed around, even by older kids. He dictates to the other boys in the neighborhood, even though he’s the youngest. All his friends do what he wants; they just go along and don’t question him. He holds his own–he’s fierce. He’s competitive and jealous. He’ll strike impulsively–“this is what I want”.

He won’t forget if he’s crossed–he gets revenge. “Paybacks” are not good. There’s always a payback, and when he’s mad, his two sisters will be scared of him. He’ll threaten them. One time he raised the scissors to scare his younger sister. Another time he was mad at me and waited until I was in the shower to flush the toilet. This caused the shower water to turn hot and burn. He never apologizes for things like this.

He’s shy in a crowd. He’ll want his sisters or us (parents) to speak for him. He has a huge fear of the dark. He’s particular about his clothes, and doesn’t like turtlenecks. He has sensitive skin. He has a persistent, deep dry cough, worse at night.  He’ll start sweating at 70F.

Practitioner to Patient: Are there any things you’d like help with?  (Observation: reserved)

Patient: My sister scares me a lot. She sneaks up on me. I don’t like my sisters coming into my room.

Practitioner: Are there any other things that scare you?

Patient: Monsters. And I don’t like skeletons or haunted houses.

Practitioner: What’s your favorite way to have fun?

Patient: I like being in the water when there are waves.

Practitioner: Are there any animals you like or don’t like?

Patient: I like reptiles, bugs, frogs, lizards, and fish. I like sharks. Turtles are my favorite.

Practitioner: How about snakes?

Patient: They’re okay.

Mother: He especially likes reptiles and turtles.

Analysis: The patient history includes themes of territoriality, competition, fears and revenge. Ironically, he’s very shy in public settings or with strangers. This suggests he avoids confrontation in unfamiliar settings, but when he’s in his own territory, he defends it. He doesn’t like turtlenecks–a symptom common to many animals, especially those in the wild. He likes to play in the water, and especially likes reptiles and turtles.

Plan: Ovum chelydra serpentina LM 2.

Follow-up after three months:

Mother: I’ve been giving him intermittent doses of the remedy. I don’t always remember. He’s much more comfortable speaking out for himself in public, or raising his hand to ask a question. He’s less angry–he calls the remedy his “anger medicine”, and will ask for it. He’s not as hot as he was before the remedy–he’s more tolerant of warmer temperatures. He’s been showing remorse–“I’m sorry I did that Mom”. He’s been more affectionate–he’ll sit in my lap and not pull away. He’s more tolerant of physical closeness. In the past, if I’d kiss him he’d complain ‘You smell like lotion–get away!’

Physically he’s been very healthy–he hasn’t been coughing at all.  He used to come up to our room at night, and he stopped doing that.

He’s not so particular about his clothes any more. He’ll get up and is very focussed. He gets himself ready for school without the big problems we encountered in the past.

Follow-up after 11 months:

Mother: He’s doing very well. I give him the remedy whenever he asks for it, which is usually when he’s been acting more angry. He responds within a day or two. He’s an awesome goaltender in soccer–so focused!

Analysis: He’s continued to benefit physically, mentally and emotionally, and his tendency to “protect his territory” has been channeled into a more socially acceptable activity. He was bumped up to the next higher LM to be dosed as needed.

This case was originally published in the American Homeopath

About the author

David A. Johnson

David Johnson, CCH, RSHom(NA) is a homeopath residing in the southern Wisconsin area of the US. He is the author of “Radiance, Resonance and Healing: The Homeopathic Periodic Table” (Emryss Publishing) which is based on his 20 years of experience of matching the theoretical schema of Series and Stages with the words of clients. His email is [email protected]


  • Interesting references/correlations to the remedy source. For how long can the LM doses continue for “…when he asks for it…”? He may continue asking for it out of habit…

  • Thanks for the note, Gunther. His mother is a homeopath, so she’s also keeping tabs on how things are going for her son, and won’t unnecessarily allow repetition when it’s not needed.

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