Clinical Cases

Stubborn Constipation, Eczema & Attachment Issues In a Boy of Three

Homeopath Doan shares a case of chronic constipation and eczema in a boy of three. A spider remedy proved to be the simillimum.

This is a case of a 3 year old boy who was referred to me by a colleague who was not having success.  During the first interview, the boy made vague eye contact with me but no verbal contact. He was restless and did not respond if questions were directed at him.

There was a disconnected quality about him. He spent his time in the office y hiding toys around the room and hiding himself under my desk.  His mother had limited control over him.  He had some play dough ‘ice cream’ with him which he licked and later at one point he spent time licking the doornob of my office, which I found unusual and surprising.

When I asked him to do a drawing, his energy was intense and directed as he attacked the paper in aggressive scribbles with no form to the drawing. His energy had built so much during the interview, thata in the end his mother had to carry him out of my office.

June 22, 2015. Mother: He is very constipated recently. It has been up and down all his life. He went through a good period and it has been acting up the last 3 months. He has had bad constipation with stool passing every 4 days or so and he is pent up with discomfort.

He has had eczema since he was 3 months old. He has had good periods and bad periods, and homeopathy supports him keeping his skin and constipation at bay. There have also been pus things going on on his arms.

For a year last year, he was on a homeopathic remedy from another homeopath and had a good stretch. The skin cleared up, not as dry. His hair began to grow. There were so many remedies we tried, none helped until Mercury.

He has dry skin. It started off mild at the beginning. At 3 months old it didn’t seem itchy but when he started eating solids, his skin got worse. It became dry with dots, oozing pus, yellow/clear on his back arms. We had to bandage them so he wouldn’t scratch.

His sleep also changed. He was a good sleeper as a baby, then he started to have spasms where he would flail his arms around when going to sleep, or if waking and trying to go back to settle. His arms would flail even if semi-sleep. We would be up at night and hold him. If not he couldn’t sleep long. If I held him he could settle.

The remedy from the other homeopath helped (Mercurius), it calmed him down and he could sleep. He is a good sleeper now, not doing weird things with his arms. His skin issues seem to be coming back, slowly more and more dry. It was okay until March this year, slowly deteriorating since Feb/March.

His constipation was bad on the weekend, every 3 to 4 days and hard with  straining. He has hemorrhoids and blood. We are trying apricots/prunes to help.

Developmentally he is a normal boy. He has a bigger brother who he is always defending himself from. He bites his brother. His brother taunts him, he gets fed up and then goes for it. When provoked he will bite.

He bit a kid because he wanted his toy. He has an intense temper. Once angry and frustrated he can’t be convinced. We have to let him calm down. He is very sensitive and it is an unpredictable thing. Suddenly he is crying/sobbing, we have to tell him we didn’t mean it that way.

If separated he has a mini anxiety attack, wanting me or his dad to carry him. He won’t let me out of his sight. He has a noticeable fear of abandonment. He can be desperate to get to me, see me physically and be in contact with me. Once he is physically connected he will calm down. At daycare, he plays well with other kids, he is self sufficient, can spend hours by himself entertaining himself.

{I invite him to do a drawing, his eyes get big.}

Dr. Doan: He looks very excited. Is this how he responds to drawing?

Mother: Yes, this is his excitement. He responds this way to other things also. When he gets excited his voice intonation changes. He gets intense, excited and positive energy. He likes to hide and he hides a lot. He has tents in the house like little houses.

He enjoys so much me not being able to find him. He likes to be chased, so I would go and get him. He plays in a devilish way, he is triggering me. “I want mummy to chase me”. He gets excited like he is scaring you, his eyes get big. He runs around, makes play faces, play scaring.

Dr. Doan: Can you tell me what he likes as far as food and drinks?

Mother: He likes banana and yam, dislikes oranges, tomatoes citrus. He loves meat, he is a true carnivore he hardly eats his veggies, he loves corn, loves vanilla yoghurt, ice cream, nuts.

I asked the mother about her pregnancy in which she spoke about also having allergies and eczema and was diagnosed with diabetes during pregnancy and given insulin injections from 32 weeks onwards.  She had uncertainty and worry at the time, as her husband was the sole breadwinner and felt unable to provide for the kids and take care of them financially.

Assessment and qualities of the case

This is a restless high energy case. The boy is busy, hiding himself and his toys in my office behind books.  He hides under my desk and behind things.  He licked a play-doh ‘ice cream’ and licked the doornob of my office.

Teasing, taunting, biting: He teases and taunts his mother in hiding games.  His brother taunts him and bites when provoked.  He has an intense temper and once angry, can’t be convinced.

Attachment: He has a notable fear of abandonment, with anxiety attacks, not wanting to let his mother out of his sight and desperate to get to her physically and be in contact with her. He calms when physically connected with mom.  He makes limited eye contact with me and no verbal contact.

He picks the meat out of his food and only eats that.

Comments on earlier prescription:  The prescription of mercury seemed to help with aspects of the case such as the spasm and flailing with sleep.  It seemed to also help with the skin/eczema for a short time, however despite attempts with various potencies from the homeopath, this perhaps was the miasmatic remedy but not the true simillimum. I feel what I observed was the patient expressing at the level of energy in my office.

The teasing, biting and licking led me in the direction that this was an animal remedy. I did not arrive at the remedy through structured repertorization, although I got a sense of the family through the repertorization process.

Structured Repertorization, Radar full synthesis

Mi, biting in children:
Mi, desire to hide himself
Mi, teasing
Rectum, constipation, children in Generalities, food and drink des meat

The first 5 remedies in structured repertorization are Nux vomica, Opium, Causticum, Graph, Staph and Sulphur. Also found are Lachesis, Tarent And Belladonna.

I chose a limiting rubric/quality: Mind biting in children..

In Complete Dynamics there are six remedies: Bell (4), carc (1), kreos (1), op (1), scorp (1) tarent (1)

The repertorization drew me to the Arachnida group.

Family Araneidae includes Aranea diadema (aran), Aranea ixobola (aran-ix), Aranea scinecia.  These are evolved spiders.  They build a circular web which is a masterpiece of art and an efficient tool for trapping flying insects.

The web is reconstructed daily. Massimo comments on the struggle of feeling unrecognized and unappreciated, with a significant unconscious problem of identity – they don’t know who they really are.  Dominated by their parents, living up to the expectations of their family, prevents them from developing an identity of their own, and generates a desperate effort to be seen.

Lou Klein discusses Aranea diadema and Aranea-ix as similar themes where Aranea diadema is more chilly and sensitive to dampness with strong addictions, more to do with religion.

Lou Klein on Aran-ix:

witty, rudeness and teasing, intellectual manipulation
delusion or fear a family member will die.
In children can have teasing and rudeness, but fright resulting in manipulation
frantic panic about health and well being
anxious about health of a relative
demanding and perfectionistic
extremes of thoughts and behavior
sycotic, hidden compulsions, tormented, thoughts profuse and tormenting

Compare other spider remedies:

Tarent is more threatening and aggressive: aggressively tries to take revenge, punishing those who maltreat them.  Whereas Aranea self esteem is too low, they feel too encaged, inhibited and blocked to express this.

Atrax robusta/Sydney funnel-web spider: has themes more of entrapment, entrapping other people in their web/territory/invasion of space.

 Prescription: Based on my evaluation, I chose Aran-ix.1M potency.

Follow up: July 28, 2015.
Mother: Things are pretty good. The homeopathic remedy helped for the first 6-7 days, his skin cleared up. It got better and stayed better. The first 6 days of BM were better, then they became hard and he had difficulty passing again. We used prune juice again and it helped.

Now he is having BM every two days.

Developmentally there has been a shift. He was on his way to being toilet trained, and in the past two days he is just doing it on his own. Today he went by himself and it was a surprise.

His temperament is better, no major meltdowns. Now he insists that it is mom that takes him from the car. He has about 20% less meltdowns, and is more calm.

He hasn’t bitten since the last visit, tho he did bite Dad the other day on the ear. He isn’t doing it with his brother.

My observations and assessment:  The boy is still not responding directly to me however he makes better eye contact. There isn’t the edgy intensity of the last visit.  There is still restless playing with hiding things behind books in my bookcase.

He isn’t licking anything.  His drawing has more colour and is recognizable as loops and circles. I cannot feel or see any red lesions on the skin anymore.  There has been a significant developmental shift within a short time of taking the remedy in toilet training.

Repeat the remedy. Aran-ix 1m

Follow up: Sept 2, 2015

Mother: good. There has been a difference, his stool is less hard, there is less straining. He used to cry and bend over. He has regressed a bit in his toilet training. He is still hiding. He is going more frequently, per second day now. There is noticeably less straining with BM.

He was sick in August for 5 days with a high fever. He broke out in a rash, his face was flushed his skin broke out once he got over the fever and now it is softer and even better. It is less rough and less dry. You wouldn’t know he was sick, he was in a good mood. He was home for 4 days.

I am seeing normal bowels now, no straining or blood. Every 2-3 days.

He is doing alot of copying his brother, mimicing him.

The patient has had an acute illness between visits and was sick with fever at home for several days. After this there was a deep improvement in the skin, and other areas have improved such as his ability to connect and communicate with his brother.

My interpretation according to the teachings of contemporary homeopaths such as Lou Klein, a fever in a child can help developmentally, allowing the child to move forward/through or clear something foreign.

Repeat prescription: Aran-ix 1M

I learned alot from this case and followed it for about 3 years. Over time, his drawing became more colourful and identifiable.  The eczema cleared completely early in treatment, even with swimming classes in a chlorinated pool which impressed his mother.

The constipation resolved completely to normal early on in treatment.   The anxiety and attachment issues resolved.  He began to interact with me pleasantly in our meetings and he showed more ease with his interactions with his brother in playing, sharing and communicating.

About the author

Jennifer Doan

Dr. Jennifer Doan ND HOM RAc. has worked as a licensed Naturopathic physician and professional homeopath for the past 24 years in Vancouver BC. She works online and in person with adults and children experiencing life challenges, anxiety, depression or physical pain that has an emotional component. She is licensed with the Ontario College of Homeopaths, NASH and a member of the Canadian Society of Homeopaths, and follows the teachings of Dr. Rajan Sankaran, Michal Yakir and Jan Sholten. She draws on the mind-body approach of Integrative Body Psychotherapy to promote personal growth and mindfulness.

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