A young girl of 12 was brought by her mother. “Since the time her exams were announced, she has become very anxious, doctor.”, the mother stated. “She is a very sincere child. We do not have to tell her to study. She manages her studies on her own. She is obedient, doing very well at school. The teachers are all praises for her because she is helpful and does her work perfectly. In fact, she stresses over small things. If the teacher has told them to submit an assignment, she will take extra pains to do it well, even when it is not required. She is very sensitive if ever the teacher speaks harshly to her. She keeps biting her nails when anxious. Of late, she has become very irritable. I presume because she is stressed out.”
I asked the child what was bothering her. She replied, “Since the time the dates of the exam were announced, I am very anxious. I feel something rumbling in my stomach. When I sit to study, I am not able to concentrate. I feel the portion is so much, that scares me. I worry whether I shall be able to complete all of it? What if I am not able to complete it? I am very worried, what will happen. When I sit to study a particular subject, I feel I need to do math, that seems more important. Again, when I take up math, I feel the need to do some other subject. In such a state I am not able to finish anything. Then I get all the more anxious that I could not do much. With this stress I make silly mistakes. Then I worry what will the teachers say on seeing my answer sheets. What if I am not able to stand first this time?”
“What if you do not stand first?” I asked.
“I, myself will not like it, especially because I work very hard and give my best. From the time the schools have reopened, the assignments, projects, tests are going on and on. I am not getting time to sit and study. All I want now is that the exams get over soon, only then I shall be relieved.”
Rx: I very confidently gave her Carcinosin
The Rubrics :
Delusion Enlarged (the portion is so much )
Fear of failure (what if I am not able to do it )
Ambitious (I need to stand first in class )
Sensitive reprimands to
Anxiety, do something compelled to when
Delusion persecuted ( this is going on and on )
Handle things cannot, overwhelmed by stress.
Anxiety, felt in stomach.
Surprisingly, she did not get better. I was so sure it was Carcinosin, I could not get myself to think any other way. One day I called her and asked her to define exactly what her present state was. Maybe her constitutional remedy was Carcinosin , but this acute state was not being addressed. I retook her case only focusing on the problem at hand. I shall keep adding the rubrics/understanding in the conversation simultaneously.
D : What are the predominant thoughts that go on in your mind regarding the situation now ?
P : Doctor, as I told you I am very tensed. I only keep thinking , what will happen, what will happen! [ Ailments from anticipation]
D : But exams keep happening otherwise too, isn’t it ? What is different this time?
P : Yes. Earlier my mother used to take my studies. Meaning, she would tell me what I needed to do in a particular day. I did not have to worry. I would just finish that and be free. I do not mind studying, but I do not like to decide which subject to study first. It was better when my mom managed my studies. [Responsibility aversion to]
Since, the time I am in grade 7, studies have increased so much. The assignments , projects, tests, it goes on and on. I do not get time to sit and study. [Delusion persecuted.] I never had problems earlier, but now I wonder whether I shall be able to do all this. [Confidence, want of self, inadequate feels.] It is not possible at all to finish whatever work they give us in a day. [Delusion, work cannot be accomplished]. Sometimes, I get fed up and tell my mother that I want to change my school, but I guess everywhere it shall be the same scenario. [Escape desire to.] My mother tells me to relax, watch tv, go play out. But when I do watch tv, instead of feeling fresh, I feel I shouldn’t have wasted so much time. There is so much to study and I have lost the time. [Delusion, wrong he has done.]
D : What will happen if you are not able to do well or get good marks ?
P : (laughing slightly ) That is not possible. I have been getting very good marks in all subjects right from Grade 1. [Egotism.] That is why I am worried my marks should not drop. [Fear of falling.] Because, when I am tensed, I feel like finishing the paper soon and tend to make silly mistakes. [Mistakes, makes hurry from.] When I read the paper, I know the answer. But, when I start writing, I tend to forget. [Memory, weakness of, write what is about to.]
D : What do you experience in your body when you are very tensed ?
P : When I think , the exams are on the 19th, I suddenly get very tensed.
[Anxiety, time is set when; Anxiety, sudden, paroxysmal.]
I feel something in my stomach , some uneasiness, I feel nauseous and find it difficult to breathe. [Anxiety, stomach in; Anxiety, nausea with; Anxiety, respiration, difficult, anxious with]. I start biting my nails. [Biting, nails.]
I had forgotten to tell you, I had asthma in childhood which was better after I grew up.
D : Anything else that bothers you ?
P : You know doctor, I used to love school till I was in Primary class. We did whatever homework was given. There were no exams, just class tests. That too, we were given the question, answers in class. I would memorise them, my mother used to take my studies and I would get very good marks. I would get time to study, play. Since I was doing very well, my parents changed my school in the Secondary class. They moved me to a better one. I was in my old school since play school and was very used to it. I did not like the change. The new school was good, no doubt. But there were many rules. Not much freedom. There were fewer children in class, so the teachers were always aware what you are doing. I always felt what would the teacher say if I made a mistake. If I would play or watch Tv, I felt I am doing wrong, my teacher would know I have wasted time.
[Change aversion to;
Looked at, cannot bear to be;
Delusion, watched that she is being;
Delusion, pursued of being;
Delusion, crime committed he has;
Freedom, desire for. ]
Slowly, then I started fearing exams. [ Fear, exams of] And like I said last time, started developing panic attacks.
I gave her MEDORRHINUM 1 M.
1: A fortnight later, she was much relaxed.
Her follow up: “ I am quite relaxed now. I do not feel that pressure, tension any more. I am able to concentrate on my studies. Also, earlier I would keep jumping from one subject to another without finishing any. Now, I have made a time table and thankfully I am able to stick to that. Also, since I have finished the portion in most subjects, I feel confident.”
I gave her S.L.
2: A month after the first follow up, she came back. Her exams had been over.
She reported, “I was very relaxed during my exams. Usually, I make mistakes because I want to complete the paper on time. This time, I did not get confused seeing the questions. I picked the ones I knew well and attempted those first followed by the others. I realised this time, I can do a much better job when I am relaxed. I could complete the paper in time. Today, I had an ice cream and have a throat irritation and slight running nose.”
Again I gave her only S.L.
3: A month later her mother had visited. Her school had reopened after vacations. The mother reported she was doing well. Had adjusted well in her new class, was happier. she was not getting too anxious. She had now got into the habit of proper planning. On coming home, she would plan her studies and was studying regularly.”
After this, I stopped her medicines and she continues to do well, since the mother visits me for her treatment.
I would like to share another small case of a girl of 6 years. I was dumbstruck with the way she approached me and could not understand how to decipher the case till I found a lovely rubric that covered the entire case.
The mother brought the child saying that the little girl refused to go to school .
D : What happened, my dear? Why don’t you want to go to school ?
P : I will never go to school.
P’s Mother : Doctor, she is very restless. She keeps moving around in the class. One day the teacher told her to sit down, since then she refuses to go to school.
P : (shot back). She (the teacher) did not tell me, she shouted at me. Other children also go from one desk to the other, she never tells them. Then why did she shout at me?
P’s Mother: From the time this incident is happened, she continuously wants to discuss it. She calls up her father and asks him, when he shall come home. If he says, “In the evening”, she says “ It is morning now, you shall come home so late, in the evening. Come soon, I want to discuss the ‘school’ matter”.
As soon as her father comes home, she tells him, “ Why did you come so late, I was waiting for you since morning. Don’t you remember, we have to discuss the school matter!”
I was tempted to interrupt. “ Discuss means what exactly?”
P’ s Mother : Nothing. She just says she wants to discuss. She shall call me too and tell us to discuss. We are fed up. We shouldn’t be doing it, but my husband does not take her calls at times. All day she calls him and says, “Evening is so far away, when will we discuss”.
I was perplexed. I asked her, “ My dear, what do you want to discuss?”
P : Auntie, I just want my father and mother to discuss this “school matter”.
My father tells me, “I shall come in the evening and we shall discuss it.” But evening is so long away and when he comes he says, “We shall discuss it tomorrow because this is a long conversation and it is night now, we shall not be able to finish the discussion.” He tells this everyday. I have decided, till we have discussed this matter, I shall not go to school.
I did try exploring what she meant by “Discuss”? I had heard it a hundred times in ten minutes but she was just fixated at just this and would not budge. I had no clue how to approach the case. All night I kept pondering on that very word. It should open the case. There ought to be some rubric that could cover the state.
I looked up the dictionary meaning of “Discuss”. It means, “To talk about a topic with another person in detail”.
Looking up under Rubric “Talk”, I found something interesting.
Talks, nothing but one subject.
Eureka! This was the exact Rubric. In fact her parents were fed up since she wanted to talk about this very subject only. Also, she felt evening was a long time away. Hence, I took the rubric, “ Time passes too slowly, appears longer”. Also, though her father said, we can take it as her perception, the rubric:
“Postponing, everything to next day, business seems so prolonged or as if it could never be accomplished”.
She was definitely Precocious (too mature for a six year old. ) Sensitive to rudeness or rather, Ailments from rudeness. (The teacher spoke to her rudely).
Sensitive to reprimands, reproaches. Restlessness, children in. (She was reprimanded since she was restless.) Injustice, support cannot ( The teacher tells me only, not the others though they too keep moving about, which is wrong.)
I gave her MEDORRHINUM 1m one dose.
The mother reported it was magical. She stopped asking for discussions on the school topic and happily started going to school in two days. She was back to her usual self, as if nothing happened. This was a very satisfying case.
The third case is also an interesting one of a “Runaway groom”. A young man of 28 came with stomach complaints. He appeared rather confused, abrupt. I could sense something was bothering him. He asked me whether I had seen the movie “Zindagi na milegi dobara” ? (Popular Indian movie). I was amused and asked him “Why?”
He said, “ Doctor, my condition is like one of the characters in the movie. My parents forced me to visit a relative’s home where they had invited a girl (an alliance for me) and her family. My parents want me to settle but I am not very comfortable with the whole idea of marriage. They assured me that if I did not like the girl, I was free to refuse. I reluctantly went along, confident that I would find some fault with the girl and refuse.
There, the whole scene changed. My parents and the girl’s parents got along very well. Even the girl was very good. One could not find a fault in her. We talked for some time. She was perfect. No one asked me my decision directly. They all happily agreed to marriage and finalised the alliance. Seeing everyone so pleased, I could not gather the courage to refuse. Also, logically there is no reason to refuse, but still I am very disturbed. I am not happy. All this is happening so fast, I am unable to take it. From the time the date of the marriage is fixed, I have become all the more anxious. I feel the countdown has begun. Now, I am going to die. I just want to run away from this all, the caterers, photographers, arrangements, so much to be done, I can’t take it anymore. My fiancé senses that I am not very excited. She keeps asking me, but I can’t get myself to tell her what I feel. I fear I am going to run away the last minute, like the Runaway Bride, but here, it shall be the Groom.”
D: Why are you scared of marriage?
P : I have always lived a free life. I did have two affairs. But, when the girls really got serious and proposed marriage, I backed off. My married friends tell me marriage is a responsibility; gone are the bachelor days of freedom, you can’t do what you want to. I feel I am not doing the right thing by going ahead when in my heart I do not want to. At the same time I do not want to cause pain to both families. I don’t know what to do. I don’t think there are medicines to get rid of this predicament. But please give me something to calm down.
Carried, desire to be (please give me something to calm down ).
Responsibility, aversion to.
Escape desire to (Runaway groom )
Marriage, aversion to, idea of marriage seemed unendurable.
Handle things cannot anymore, overwhelmed by stress.
Hurry, haste, ailments from (things happened so fast).
Express oneself difficult.
Despair, recovery of (I don’t think there are medicines to get rid of this predicament.)
Delusion, wrong he has done.
Delusion, die time has come to
Anxiety, time is set when (ailments after the marriage date was fixed.)
I gave him a dose of MEDORRHINUM 1M.
I saw him a month later. He had started accepting the situation. He said, “I am calmer now. I realise what happens is for the best. Obviously, my parents have my best interests at heart. Also, I have interacted with the girl. She’s a nice girl. I am apprehensive, but I hope things will work out.”
A month later, he visited again.
“Am well. Some anxiety is still there. I think, it will remain till the wedding is over. There is so much to be done. The caterers, photographers, venue, clothes. So many preparations to be done. Sometimes, suddenly I do panic and feel whether I am doing the right thing, everything is going so fast, but then slowly I calm down.
To the delight to his family and fiance, he started getting involved with the arrangements. He was more at peace.
The final follow up shall be tomorrow (almost four months after he first visited me): I am going to attend his wedding tomorrow, but I am sure, he shall not run away.
Many patients do come to us where the stress they are facing or the “altered state”
is situational. For instance, when a perfectly normal person (who has no issues otherwise) encounters an injury, we look into the symptoms of the injury and select a remedy accordingly. We do not try to find the constitutional remedy. Similarly, a person who is otherwise normal encounters a situation he is not able to come to terms with, in such a case, his adaptation to the situation will give out the characteristic symptoms. We need to zero in on the exact nature of his response, behaviour during this time to get the characteristic symptoms and prescribe on the symptom totality.