2009 April

Ferrum iodatum in stress

by Alistair Dempster
SOH Cases Conference 1997

First Consult:
July 10, 1996
50 yr. old woman who works in NHS management referred by her GP since she was finding life generally stressful and had recently developed chest tightness and a sensation of her throat being pulled upward. She became distressed during the night and used a hot water bottle to help the symptoms. Generally feels tense. Also has complaints of retro-sternal chest pains as a result of esophageal discomfort. This had been a long standing problem and has sought help from relaxation tapes, counselors etc.
Generally stressed and worried and easily disturbed. Coped well with situations. Slept well, but woke tired. Had lost her enthusiasm for other interests and also had not the mental energy for them.

PMH - Car sickness, Hay fever. Hormone Replacement Therapy finished 4 years ago.
OCP 1967 - 1972 with some adverse reactions
MMH - diabetes mature onset. CVA with partial paralysis
FMH - ECT after WW2 - for what is now termed Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
One brother - he lives at home.

P/c Tension. Jaw clenches. Gets tension in the back of the neck. Has poor sleep. Gets tension in the Right side of the throat which extends into the throat pit and chest. Tension between the shoulder blades, < pressure.
Always had a problem getting tense.
"It all started 3 months ago - I was bullied into a promotion". She had to take on another role on top of her existing one. But she did not want to go any further at her age - things got worse since then. She had suffered with this type of problem before, but not as bad as this.
Work involves responsibility in co-ordinating audit programs - bit of a one woman band. "Work takes 90% of my life with a lot of volume of work involved." Has to take work home.

She a perfectionist. Needs to get things just right. Doesn't like making mistakes. Does not like being criticized about her work. In fact she does get praised for her work, but this ends up with her having more responsibilities. Feels embarrassed by praise and plays it down. She finds it difficult to say "No". Does not like admitting to herself that she has done a good job. Has low self worth - because she is overweight. Doesn't like people to think of her as bouncy or glamorous – “it's false I don't like it”. Wants to be valued for her work not for how she looks.
(She is smartly and fashionably dressed, is well made up and comes across as open and friendly with an easy smile and ready laughter. She is overweight and rounded - no angular features anywhere).
She can feel that people are not looking any further than how she looks - they're not listening to HER.

Her husband had retired early and was enjoying himself. She felt resentful that she might end up working when she does not want to. She didn't expect to be working where she is today. She spent a lot of her life being unsure of herself. She would not speak unless 100% sure. Wanted to avoid contradiction, making a fool of herself, being ridiculed, or being put down.
She values her spare time, but now finds she has less of it now. She needs her spare time to enjoy herself.

She was brought up in a rigid, regimented culture by her domineering father. She was raised on fear. Her father had psychological illness from WW2. He used to punish her with a leather strap. She did rebel against his strictness. She hated the regimentation.
She remembers an episode of agoraphobia where she felt she was no longer restricted. Free of the domination; there were no imposed boundaries any more. She makes her own now. She had escaped from an insular existence.
She became a survivor and self reliant.

Her first marriage did not work out. She was pregnant before the marriage. Married 23 years before it ended.
She notices a pattern of trying to break free from restricting circumstances, but got into situations which prevented her. She then lived on her own for 4 years trying "to balance herself" - then went into career mode to provide for herself.
At this stage she met a man destined to be her second husband. She was able to provide for herself and didn't need anybody to support her, or to control her, or seek their approval. She had doubts about the 2nd marriage; letting go of her self reliance. She wants to be part of a couple, but work gets in the way. She feels the need to be careful. When she comes home from work she had to mentally go through the day again- then she feels less screwed up. She feels jealous of her husband because he is at home and because of the freedom he has.

Her energy and motivation is not good. She can be lethargic, even on holiday. She is not feeling anything anymore - can't be bothered. She is indifferent - finds it difficult to cry.
She needs confirmation that she is capable then has the confidence to continue.
She feels she has wasted a lot of time in her life because of anxieties, panics, phobias (heights, boats, sea -can't swim, coaches - not being able to go to the toilet when she wanted to), as if the control had been taken away from her.

What would she most like to have?
"The freedom and money to choose whether or not I want to work or spend the time with my husband or friends."

Temperature - Warm. Cold hands and feet.
Desires fresh air. < becoming warm.
Sleep; Bad at getting off to sleep. Waking 4-5.30 unable to get back to sleep. Tired in mornings. After felt better before bed than in the mornings.
Desires -Watercress +++
Aversion - Rich, cream, fish - nightmares
Agg... - Fat, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, shellfish- gets diarrhea, acid reflux, pain under Right ribs.

Rx Ferrum Iodatum one OD 3/7 stop if response. Phone.

First follow up:
Aug. 14, 1996
Took remedy mid-day. Mid evening was wound up and rigid. Tense. Clenching fists. Day after got weepy and depressed. Then later was very energetic. Went to work and felt that the clock had been slowed down. Experienced some nervous diarrhea - usually when anticipating something. (Something she used to get a lot of and was always debilitating.) Has been feeling well since. "I am feeling again". Feels she is at a stage where she is not as hard and rigid as before.
Uneasy about food - digestive system feeling unsettled, but feels better overall. Has gone off watercress, has not touched it. Has more energy. Not felt depressed, feels more positive. Chest and throat problems gone. No tightness in neck. Able to relax more. The clock has slowed down - not having to deal with EVERYONE. Sorting out her priorities. " I have to steel myself to the process of change"
Rx - wait.

Second follow up Oct. 9, 1996
Been generally okay. Thinks might be slipping a bit but has taken steps to sort out work problems. Felt better for doing so. Energy levels sunk a bit at work, fine at home. Work is dragging her down. getting off to sleep getting worse again. Has lost weight. Keeps thinking of things from the past -breakdown of first marriage, mother's death a couple of years ago. Had a long talk with her father!! Actually stood up to him and told him what she thought of him and what he had done to her - for the first time in her life. Getting lots of painful memories about a relationship that "never worked out". This relationship was similar to that between her father and herself -a cat and mouse game of being controlled. Her reaction at the time was to end the affair and throw herself into her work. Feels a victim of her own success. "why do I keep punishing myself?"
Rx .................... One dose stat prn - ring (= a single dose as required) if feels need to take remedy

Third follow up Nov. 8, 1996
Didn't need the remedy. Since last "talk" with me felt much better. More confidence then ever had before because she now believes in herself. Her confidence had been driven out of her all through her life, she had a fear of getting things wrong, had to get things right first time (there was no second chance with her father) she had been programmed as a child to expect punishment if she did not do as she was told.
Needed to get things right to avoid punishment - whatever form that took. The need for praise fostered over conscientious approach to work etc. She would do more than the requirements of her remit to elicit praise. The presentation was important. It had to look good or right in a creative way.
Physically still doing well. No return of chest or throat sxs. Energy good, sleeping well, more in focus as regards work. More balanced about work and leisure time allocation. Enjoying life more. "Has got things into perspective" Review 6 weeks.
Rx ..................... wait

Fourth follow up Dec. 20, 1996
"I'm so laid back I can't believe it"
Only thing bothering her is an irritable bowel (??) << fat, strong green vegetables - gets trapped wind << rich cakes, fruit.
Always had episodes of irritable bowel << periods of stress. It's the first thing to go when feels under pressure. (This is very interesting since she has never mentioned it before)
Onset at 4 yrs - diarrhea from excitement, then later before exams. It can take her by surprise - "like a spasm". Sudden urging to stool >> afterward. Have had this before but not for some time now. Normally bowel movements once daily.
During the week of taking the remedy had a memory about getting excited about a trip to the park.
Losing bit more weight - not unhappy about this. Feels better about herself. Hates the word glamour - she's changed, more comfortable about the way she is. She used to get dressed up to go shopping!! Now getting away from this "Up front" image. Used to be a bit of a competition between a friend and herself about clothes. Feels more confident about the way she wants to be rather than how others think she should be.

Fifth follow up Feb. 7, 1997
Feeling fine, continuing to feel better. it feels like there are layers coming off. Managing life and work better. Not getting stressed by work - it's about the way I manage things. More assertive in relation to work.
Feeling positive, well motivated.
Looking back on phases of life and has developed an understanding of how events determined the person she has become - her upbringing, severe rigidity of father, raised on fear.
Has been able to get father to talk about his own childhood- where he had to work hard, do well etc.
She has even been researching her family history.
Eating things not normally eats -eg spicy. Interestingly eating watercress again, but as a choice this time as oppossed to a craving, and for the nutritional value.

Using themes of Ferrum: Solid , hard worker, dutiful, under pressure, forcing herself, beatings, suppression of her feelings, Anxiety of Conscience.

and Iodatum: seeking freedom, food issues (craving Water cress -high iodine and iron content) and weight gain, right of existence - felt she had lost who she was, restless in body and mind - needs to be busy/occupied.
(from Jan Scholten's book Homeopathy and Minerals (Stichting Alonnisoss 1993)

Alistair Dempster

Categories: Remedies
Keywords: ferrum iodatum, stress


Write a comment

  • Required fields are marked with *.