2009 November

Baryta phosphorica

by Marguerite Pelt MD
born in 1996.

In December 2006 a then ten year old girl consulted me complaining of tiredness and fears. She was afraid of the dark (1) and wanted to hear music in bed or have the lights on. But what really bothered her was that she was afraid she would be kidnapped, when she was lying alone in her bed before falling asleep. She was also afraid of dying and afraid grandfather would die.
How could these thoughts of horror have entered her poor mind?
How was it possible that she could be imagining these terrible things?
So I inquired in the best tradition of ‘tell me more?’…

Her fears were very concrete of spiders. But she was also thinking: ‘if I had not been born when I was born, but later….’
This thought had been prompted since her bosom friend had forsaken her for another, ‘the new girl in town’: ‘Yes, some kids at school like me and others don’t, and say I am stupid...and that is not true.’
This whole conversation unfolded in a gentle and simple way, with some timidity but quite some clearness and openness.

What struck me most in this spontaneous anamnesis was the sentence: ‘if I had not been born when I was born, but later’. So I inquired more about this unexpected way of thinking in a ten year old. At this time in the consultation mother felt compelled to add some (vital) information. Iris was her third child in a row of four. But in reality – when one counted her miscarriage – Iris was the fourth in a row of five. Before getting pregnant from Iris, mother had a miscarriage after three months of pregnancy. Quite rapidly afterward – after two months or so – she was pregnant again of Iris…but you could say that this was weird, because now Iris was in the womb whereas the lost child should or could still have been in utero if everything had gone well. And ‘yes’ nodded Iris ‘I was in her place’.

Cough: dry and suffocating
Speech: nasal

Desire: French fries, mussels, wraps
Thirst: normal (I asked for that)
Skin: ecchymosis

Pregnancy of mother and parturition
Six months of nausea end weariness. Mother had to lye down a lot and lost weight. The house where they were living was being renovated, the bathroom started leaking and mother even moved out to live with her parents for some time.
The parturition was without problems. But Iris was restless and was easily startled after birth.

Preceding consultations
1997 consultation because of asthmatic respiration, frequent waking at night, paleness and dark under the eyes.
Aversion vegetables (3)
Oranges agg. the soreness of the nates
Sensitive noise
Magnesium muriaticum was prescribed
2000 consultation because mother could not ‘reach’ her daughter. Again frequent waking at night and crying inconsolably when waking.
Late learning to talk, and talks unintelligibly at the age of nearly four.
Does not make contact easily with others. Afraid in the dark. Afraid of ghosts.
Knows what she wants and wants a lot. Not easily corrected.
Forsaken feeling easily
Aversion vegetables and pork
Stramonium was prescribed.

There are many ways to approach this case

a) Repertorisation
You can make a repertorisation of relevant rubrics

But witch remedy should we chose? The big polychrests are not really applicable in this case. Would you choose for Sulphur or Lycopodium? No. Natrium muriaticum seems possible, with the mother loosing her preceding child. But Iris is not closed and has no wall around her. In a way Iris is more a Phosphor type, but this remedy does not fit the whole case. The small remedy repertorisation with Carboneum sulph., Paull. and Manc. in the top of listed remedies does not appeal to me either.

b) History of the patient
The time in utero was traumatic: shortly before her conception, the mother’s womb had been inhabited by a sibling that had no promise of life. During the pregnancy of Iris, the house in which the family lived had to be renovated and mother even left the safety of the home because water was leaking. I see an analogy between the womb that needed to be renovated and the tears wept by the mother for the loss of her child and the (needing to be renovated) house the family lived in and the leaking bathroom. But what remedy do you give in such a case? A seashell or other sea-remedy would be an idea because of the need for protection and the DD with Natrium muriaticum.
But I wonder if the core of the case of our patient is really the need for protection. Iris is wondering what would have happened if she had been born later…

c) Systemic analysis
Bert Hellinger, the founder of the family constellation work or ‘systemic work’ spoke the following during one of his lectures
How Love Works
“As a rule, the following persons belong to a family system:
-all children, including deceased and still born
-the parents and their siblings
-the grandparents
-occasionally one or another of the great grandparents, including even more distant relatives who suffered a particularly difficult or unjust fate;
-non-relatives belong to the system as well when, through their death or misfortune, someone else in the family benefited, for example, previous partners of the parents and grandparents.

The fundamental dynamic in family systems that all members have an equal right to belong does not tolerate injury. Whenever someone in a family system is excluded, a need arises in the system for compensation. This compensatory dynamic leads to the excluded or disdained member being represented by a younger family member who is unaware of and helpless against the identification.
Younger family members can be released from such entanglements when the fundamental order is re-established, when the excluded members are taken into the family again and given due respect.

For example, when a child dies young in a family, the other children tend to feel guilty that they still are alive while their brother or sister is dead. It's as if they believe that they have an advantage because they are alive and that their sibling is disadvantaged because he or she is dead. They are tempted to compensate by unconsciously arranging to fail, by becoming ill, or in extreme cases, by wanting to die themselves, although they don't know why.
In situations like this, some children have been able to restore the order of love by telling their deceased sibling, "You are my brother (or sister). I respect you as my brother (sister). You have a place in my heart. I bow my head to you and to your fate, whatever that was, and I accept my fate however it comes." These sentences pay respect to the deceased sibling, and the living child can turn toward life without guilt.”

And not only does every person in a family have a right to belong, there is also a hierarchy in a family system. Here we quote Hellinger again
“There is also a hidden order which supports love among children, their order in the family hierarchy. The family hierarchy follows the flow to time, that is, those who were there first come before those who come later.”

The remedy
Coming back to the case it is important for Iris to acknowledge that there was a sibling before her, to restore the order of love by respecting the sibling and to bow her head for it’s fate. It is also good for Iris to realize that she is younger and the sibling is older: that is the hierarchy.

The systemic essence of this case in my opinion is ‘a feeling of being smaller than the sibling…and a feeling of guilt for taking her place’
Translated in homeopathic terminology this results in: smaller (Baryta) than the sibling (Phosphorica).
You could ponder on other aspects of Baryta phosphorica and the way it is applicable in this case.
The deceased sister (Phosphor) stayed smaller (Baryta) then Iris, and it is as if Iris wants to honour the place her deceased sister had in the family.
Kids at school (Phosphor) think Iris is stupid (Baryta) and forsake her (Baryta) for the new kid in town (Phosphor)

Baryta phosphorica
According to Jan Scholten (Minerals)
Baryta is for
Ridiculed, Small, Futile, Retarded, Hiding and Shyness.
Phosphorica for
Communication, Sympathetic, Friends, acquaintances, neighbours, Brothers, Homesickness, Language and learning, Curiosity and travel, Restlessness and fears.

Baryta is also indicated in the following symptoms that were expressed in the case:
Delusion forsaken, timidity
Talk slow learning, speech unintelligible (also in Phosphor)
Cough suffocative
Skin: ecchymose

Phosphor is also indicated in the following symptoms that were expressed in the case:
Openness, fear dark, fear death, fear spiders, fear ghosts, sensitive noise, weeping when waking
Aversion vegetables
Nasal speech, dry cough, respiration asthmatic children
Discoloration pale face and bluish around eyes; skin: ecchymose
Waking frequent
(Nausea pregnancy)

DD Praseodymium phosphoricum
In the DD you could think of Lanthanides that resemble Baryta very much. Lanthanides follow Baryta in the periodic system of elements. Especially Praseodymium phosphoricum (Stage 5) is an idea to keep in mind. It is indicated in:
“Duality. Strong desire for independence and strong doubt if they can be like that. Going back and forth between feeling dominated and retiring in irritation and going on way. They have to prepare for their work, but fear and avoid really doing it. Corkscrew; fear to confront things directly, so he goes pussyfoot around them. Losing power due to avoiding the real issues. They have a fear, because they don’t see the laws behind things, can’t predict what will happen. Irresolution, aversion taking decisions. Soft hesitating. The timid one of the twins. Searching. Trying on thing after another. Alternating. How can I reach my essence.
Concepts: Prepare. Propose. Alternate. Avoid. Postpone. Talent: looking at a difficult task from a different perspective.
Parkinsonism. Prism lenses. Eye muscles that turn the eyes. Cat's eyes. Liver. Trembling. Intoxicated. Hips”.

Follow up
After the remedy Baryta phosphorica 200 given once the physical complaints ameliorated. She fell asleep easily at night. What was even more particular is that the thoughts about her deceased sibling and thoughts about being born later disappeared. Mother was surprised when I mentioned it again some time later, because it was no more an issue. Iris still pondered on death and what happens after you die, but in a less disturbing fashion. Mother bought a booklet for Iris to write in when thoughts kept intruding her mind. In this booklet she was stimulated to write down two nice things next to every not so nice event, to stimulate positive thinking.
In June 2007 Iris had a relapse at the end of the school season when a child she knew from school suddenly died, but she recovered without needing a remedy. She has not consulted me since 2006 for emotional or physical problems and is coping well although she still is a child that ponders on the ins and outs of life.

Marguerite Pelt MD
Lelystad /NL

Categories: Remedies
Keywords: Baryta phosphorica


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Posts: 8
Reply #1 on : Tue November 03, 2009, 13:09:17
What a thoughtful case. The gentle perceptiveness of the case-taking shines through. It's nice to see Hellinger's work integrated into the analysis. I agree that his profound understanding of family systems complements what we do as homeopaths.

Doug Brown