Barium muriaticum: a slow learner
Note: “D” “P” and “M” are used for Doctor, Patient and Mother respectively; important phrases have been highlighted using italics; the homoeopath’s conclusions are in brackets. Names of the patient and his friends have been changed
Age/Sex: nine year old boy
Diagnosis: low IQ (clinical diagnosis; IQ test not done) with slow learning
- Patient is a slow learner; slow at grasping concepts in
- He is unable to maintain eye contact
- He is very shy Introverted – he does not mix well with new people and does not start an interaction
- Confused: the child becomes confused when asked something
- The child has difficulty in following instructions
- Poor appetite
- Thermal: Hot patient (requires constant fan or air-conditioning)
- Thirst: Thirsty (feels thirsty throughout the day, drinks a moderate amount of water)
- Appetite: Decreased (can tolerate hunger)
- Craving: Sweets, chocolates
- Stool: Normal; No straining; occasional unsatisfactory stools
- Urine: Normal
- Perspiration: Moderate on the scalp, back, axilla region, offensive odour
- Sleep: Normal, Sleeps on his back, talks in sleep related to daily routine (what happened at school etc.)
- Dream: Unable to describe his dreams
- Clothing: Can tolerate tight clothes
- Sun: Occasional headaches; with weakness on exposure to sun
- Noise: Nothing significant
- Travelling: Nothing significant observed
- Physical Appearance: The child is lean and thin, with a long neck and sharp facial features. He has a tapering chin and long eyelashes, which indicate sensitivity. He is very shy and introverted and unable to maintain eye contact.
D: Hi Ian, how are you? (I put forward my hand for a handshake)
He does not respond to the handshake; he looks once in my eyes and then turns his face away; mother has to force him to tell his name to which he responds by saying “Ian”. Then mother probes him to tell his full name - to which he responds by saying “Ian. K…”. Later, when his mother slightly pushes his hand, he agrees and shakes my hand.
D: Which school do you go to? How many friends do you have?
P: Patient shyly turns his head to one side and then on his mother’s insistence reveals his school name and says that he has two friends.
D: What are their names?
P: He says in a low tone “Rahul and Vivek”.
D: What games do you like to play?
P: I don’t play much. I always sit in a corner and watch my friends playing.
D: Why don’t you play and why do you sit in a corner, Ian?
P: I am afraid while playing because I might get hurt if they hit me or push me.
D: What happens if you get hurt? What if they hit you, aren’t you brave enough to fight back?
P: I don’t like playing, I’m afraid I will fall or friends will push me; even if I play properly then they hit me.
D: Don’t you fight back?
P: No, I get afraid because I can’t talk or explain to them and I can’t fight back
His mother says he always gets a bashing; he cannot fight, he is afraid so he doesn’t play, he thinks he cannot play like the others. The child is timid and he has lot of fears.....he cannot retaliate (cowardice). He is anxious that if he plays, he will fall or his friends will fight with him (aversion to play), with lack of confidence. He weeps easily like a sensitive child.
D: (To his mother) how is he doing with his studies? Does he grasp what he is studying or reading?
M: He is not good at studies; he sits for hours but cannot concentrate. I make him read. He says he remembers what he memorised on immediate questioning, but he fails to recollect. He also gets tense before exams.
D: What is he more sensitive to? What makes him angry?
M: He is very sensitive when I scold him, he immediately feels bad. When his teacher is rude to him he does not talk to me or to her; sometimes he sits in a corner and weeps. When I console him, he does not like it. After some time, he comes and talks to me again.
(Patient is sensitive to rude behaviour, which makes him angry; he weeps in a corner and he does not like to be consoled.)
Prescription: Barium muriaticum 200, one dose, prescribed on 10th June 2010
Why Barium muriaticum:
Hot and thirsty
Sensitive, shy and reserved
Slow, weak at study and understanding
Hides in a corner
Does not mix with strangers
Thin patient with long neck
Confusion while following instructions
Muriaticum has sharp features and is very sensitive, specifically to the rudeness of others.
Carbons are slow and fat with a round face, sluggish and extroverted, therefore Barium carbonicum was ruled out.
Follow up Summary:
24/6/2010: His understanding started improving. He can follow what he is told, though he is still slow at work and does not make good eye contact. He had a cold and cough episode for three days after the medicine, and then his appetite and his sleep improved.
(Sac lac was given for one and a half months)
14/8/2011: He maintains eye contact, and his understanding and ability to follow instructions is better. He has become interactive; he talks more and has started playing. In this period, he develops a brief episode of cold and cough for three days with mild fever and that improves on its own.
(Sac lac was given for the next two months.)
9/10/2010: His shyness has completely reduced, and his interaction has improved. He interacts well and has become inquisitive; his mother says he understands things and expresses himself well. He started to score good marks at school. He had loose stools for 2 days.
(Sac lac was given for two more months)
15/1/2011: For the first time, the patient came and wished me “Happy New Year”, asking me “How are you?”.... His mother says he is doing well at his studies and his ability to interact has improved to a great extent; now, he demands to play with his friends and occasionally he fights with them if he is right into the game. On the whole, he is much better.
(Sac lac was given for two more months).
28/3/2011: He has no complaints, his height has increased and he has put on 2kg. There were a few episodes of recurrent cold and cough that improved on their own.
(Sac lac was given for next two months.)
27/6/2011: Patient is completely well. He has no more complaints, and he has grown even more in height. Some coughs and cold improved on their own.
(Sac lac was given for the next two months.)
27/9/2011- The patient is completely well and has no complaints. He is much better at understanding things and he follows instructions well. Colds and coughs improved on their own.
(Sac lac was repeated.)
The patient still follow ups with me and is improving steadily.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
A boy selling flowers on the banks of Ganges, Rishikesh; Eran Sandler
Keywords: Low IQ, slow learning, shy, poor concentation, aversion to be consoled, coward
Remedies: Barium muriaticum