Abstract: This is a remarkable case of a young man with a severe social phobia, treated with a hitherto unknown remedy, with beautiful results. One can see the themes of Beryllium and Nitricum emerging, as well as the young man himself coming out of an anxious, reclusive life into a joyful and enthusiastic one.
The case involves a 21 year old male student, who comes for treatment due to depression, which he describes as a social phobia. He has been diagnosed as schizophrenic in the past by a psychiatrist, which he tremendously resents. He lives more in a virtual world than in the world of living people, to which he cannot relate. He is thin, of average height, and he suffers from severe acne on his face, which has been treated unsuccessfully with antibiotics. “The acne destroyed my self-esteem.”
The central theme of Beryllium nitricum is summed up as follows: “It is difficult for me to manage my life, therefore I cannot forgive anyone who, in my opinion, disturbs this process.”
“My biggest complaint is that I cannot adapt to social relationships. I am ashamed of myself for not having a social life; I have a social phobia. I am despondent, stuck within myself, closed; I have no enthusiasm for life. I have no confidence and I am very concerned about other people’s opinions of me. I do not grow up and I do not participate in life. I am stuck at home, broken and insecure, and it is difficult for me to leave. At home, I feel some comfort but whenever I leave I am uncomfortable. I am trying to adapt to the environment where I have always lived. It is reflected in my dreams – I had a nightmare involving my relatives, where I acted like an autistic boy. I am unable to carry out daily activities; I buy bread as though I am doing it for the first time. As a child, I was shy; at school I was introverted but on the playground I was extroverted. I was afraid of many things: birds, the dark, and of being alone. My mother put me in day-care, it was unbearable. I do not know what my ability is and I feel a sense of powerlessness. I try to feel good in order to achieve something in life, my lack of goal affects my sense of self esteem, I cannot initiate anything. I would like to live with people who are more open to dialogue but having to be sociable is torture. I don’t talk to others about my life. I hate being looked at or touched but I am always looking at things. I want to wear dark glasses in the classroom because I suspect that people can see that there is something wrong with me if they look in my eyes. It feels like people are analysing me, saying things about me, so I can’t stand to look at someone’s face unless he/she knows nothing about me. I am only a grain of sand but someone is observing. If you hold onto your pain you cannot look at faces. I have panic attacks, a sense of anguish, when people observe me or question me about my life; after all, everyone has their own life history and genetics, something that favours a few and makes others sick. I get hives when I do physical exercise or when I am euphoric, afflicted and anxious. Sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night with palpitations, gasping for air as if I were drowning.
My father finds my behaviour absurd and acts as if I were a psychotic escaping from reality. He tells me “put your feet on the ground!” I wanted to impress him, for instance at football, which he loves to watch, but he didn’t come when I got my first goal. I was never praised by him, he preferred to beat me. My brother disrupts my space. He meddles in my life and ruins my friendships, creating a hellish climate. In fact, no one has ever respected my space. I resent my father because he did not know how to raise me and I resent my brother because of his malicious comments. I am saddened because my mother is a victim, she does not have the minimum of understanding to help me, and she just suffocates me. I know am wrong in being so affected by discord, when forgiveness should prevail, but I do not manage to delete the thoughts of my obscure and anguished past. The hatred is poisoning my soul. I feel an unjustifiable hatred for many relatives and people close to me, especially my father; I cannot forgive him. I want to sue the psychiatrist who diagnosed me wrongly. If someone hurts me deeply, it is hard for me to forgive, except if they know nothing about me. I cannot take a joke, I take everything personally. I am very intolerant of contradictions and I will impose my will in whatever way necessary, and run over others. I am very egoistic because of my imbalance. The past always leaves me overwhelmed, I must stop being neurotic or I will go crazy.
I am ashamed to show my feelings because people will think that I am gay. I hate it when people compare romanticism with homosexuality. I am very attached to dogs, I play with them when I am not feeling good about life. They are faithful, they do not hurt you. I am very attracted to blond girls and I have a strong libido, but my anxiety prevents me from making real contact. I live in cyberspace, I only watch videos and look at photos, and I masturbate. I comfort myself with coffee and by stroking my hair, smoothing my head with my fingers. I used to put a towel on my hair to cool my head. I always wear my shirt inside out. Let’s see whether my body helps to enter the rhythm, in the groove.”
Various remedies were given, starting with Hydrastis canadensis, then Stramonium. Due to the vengeful attitude, I considered a nitricum: first, Calcium Nitricum, then Baryta Nitricum, Cobaltum Nitricum, and finally Beryllium Nitricum 200C. It became clear that some symptoms belonged to the nitricums, as we know them from Nitric Acid and Nitrogenium, and others from Beryllium, with its reluctance to enter life. Both Beryllium and Nitrogenium belong to the second row of the periodic table, in which, according to Jan Scholten, one is finding one’s way in the physical world. Beryllium, element number four, represents a childlike stage, barely peeking out of one’s safe environment and learning to adapt to an outer world. Nitrogen, element seven, is further along, and is learning to find enjoyment, especially in the physical aspects of life, and can be vengeful if this is hindered in some way. This remedy was given hesitantly, as there is no proving of it and no information to rely on, but this was the one that lead to a major breakthrough.
“I woke up feeling lighter, my libido had improved. Small resentments remain toward my father because he did not know how to raise me and toward my brother for his malicious comments, but nothing that disturbs our relationship. I feel better each day. Little by little I am taking back my autonomy. I am less anxious and I feel an extra vigour in the morning when I run. I have started to leave the house in a disarmed, relaxed spirit. Hives have appeared which itch when I begin to exercise or when I feel a strong emotion, such as fright, surprise anger or disaffection.”
One month later:
“I am calmer, less anxious, interacting more with my family. This medicine has really had a favourable effect, different from all the others that I took. I am not imprisoned in the house; I am running daily and cycling. I am in full recovery, thankful that this door which has opened in my life. Before that I was depleted, reaching my limit.”
Two months later, after another dose of Beryllium nitricum 200C:
“I woke up with an enviable disposition! In the past, I took out all my frustration on the house staff. Now I am lighter, less anxious, and less tense. I must exercise my spiritual side. I want to improve my cognitive side, to study about sports, particularly football, or orthopaedic medicine. I have moved away from the cybernetic world. I want to forget my troubled past and think about a promising future. I am aware of a wonderful evolution on the physical side. The somatic symptoms do not scare me anymore; the chills and the tachycardia when leaving the house have disappeared. The emotional side still unbalances me, paralyses me a little in spite of my efforts. I want to socialise. I am regaining confidence, without neurosis and paranoia, more centred in the objectives that I want to reach. I feel only a little discomfort when I am in a new situation but this seems normal for someone who has spent so much time without a real social life. I have an athletic body again. The hives have disappeared.”
Three months later, after a dose a Beryllium nitricum C1000:
“Beryllium Nitricum C1000 directly reached my soul. I am still having some relapses but I am smarter and more secure. When adverse reactions occur in my behaviour, I am not so rebellious; I face them with a certain tranquillity and a good mood. My relationship with my father is improving over time and I am exercising patience with my closer relatives.”
Five months later:
“These days, I understand that my wicked comments were clear evidence of my emotional imbalance, so they created envy and grudges. I am releasing myself from the cobweb that my mind has made in the past, and I can see that in my environment. I was visited by two childhood friends: in the past I would have stayed locked in my room, rebellious, but today I was there with them, even though it was kind of strange. I can see that this medicine is the way out for me. Due to my isolation, I was imprisoned in feelings of infancy but now I must get on with my life and let things happen naturally. I will conquer new spaces, study, pursue my career, and structure my personal life. My physical condition is spectacular; my body is athletic and ready for football. The relationship with my brother is milder and I can already forgive him his frivolous judgements and comments. Homeopathy has given me hope. Sometimes, I have the behaviour of a child who jumps, cries out and dances, and for me that is a good sign!”
Seven months later:
“Beryllium nitricum has pushed me to a self-reflection and revived my life plans. Sometimes, a continuous flow of positive emotions, of optimism and faith in life appears. As soon as I absorb a globule of the medicine, I feel a considerable change in my mood that makes me remember my wonderful childhood (!).
My generosity is emerging, this makes me remember the good moments of life. I am smiling again; my appearance no longer transmits as much sadness as before. I walk the streets of the neighbourhood with astonishment, as if I am trying to adapt to the environment where I have always lived. I joke with my family these days and I am more open with them. I can have quarrels with my father or brother and only be angry for a few minutes, with no resentment. I have begun a harmonising process with my family, now I am conscious that my father, my brother, and my mother are my best friends. I hope soon to be able to live normally in the social environment. I dream differently about women, too – I feel the possibility of establishing an authentic steady emotional life. My difficulty in looking into people’s eyes has improved considerably.”
Eight months later:
“I have put aside my pride and I am going to make peace with my parents. I still have some acne but it heals faster and does not bother me. I think that it is possible for me to let go of a girl I was attached to platonically and to become involved with another one. I am not so anxious about leaving my house and being among people – it seems that I had created my universe away from everything. I now feel confident about putting my ideals into practice. Sometimes, a positive flow appears and I become very lively and I dance in front of the mirror, making random movements. This is the real me and I am sure that it is a positive effect of Beryllium nitricum.”
Dr Carlos Lima Melo lives and works in Goiania, near Brasilia. He trained in 1974 at the Brazilian Hahnemannien Institute in Rio de Janeiro. More articles are available in Portuguese at http://www.cesaho.com.br/biblioteca_virtual/livro.aspx?l=2He
Keywords: social phobia, vengefulness, anxiety
Remedies: Beryllium nitricum