Automutilation _A case of
Cerium oxydatum case
A woman of 20 years of age has a negative self-image. It has gradually become worse over the past 5 years. She started to be angry with herself, later began to beat herself, beating her arms against the wall and for the last year or so she has been cutting her arms. She feels out of contact with herself and the pain brings her into contact again. Sometimes she can do it to attract the attention of others, for instance her mother.
In psychotherapy it was diagnosed as borderline, personality disorder and avoiding personality disorder.
It probably came from a period when she was sexually abused by a neighbor from the age of 10 till 14. She felt guilty that she didn't resist. But every time after it happened she forgot about it, didn't want to think about it. She was ashamed about it and didn't tell anybody. She had the idea that she had invited it, that it was her fault. It was not violent.
As a child she had asthma with an allergy to house dust and smoke. It was on and off, sometimes staying for a day or two, once even for a week. It was worse in the evening, around 9 p.m. and worse from lying down.
She's a quiet and timid type. She is angry with herself when she has done or said the wrong things. This is worse when she has been alone for a long time and better from diversion. She often feels worthless, especially when she feels watched by others. It’s worse when she has the feeling that she has no talents, especially no talent for making contact with people.
She can withdraw into herself easily, feeling unreal. It comes by itself, but she can also invoke it. It’s a kind of desire to be elsewhere, especially when others are angry. Once she fainted, as if not being here anymore. It was when she was alone at home for a few days and felt that no one cared for her. It felt good being indifferent for a while, not feeling her pain. She feels the emotional pain sometimes in her chest, as a kind of cramp, as if it’s too big. The pain is worse when she feels alone. It can be so severe that she loathes life and feels despairing.
She has difficulty making contact. She fears that others think that she is bad and not cheerful. She fears that she may hurt others or that she cannot give them what they want if they come too close.
She wants to be in control of herself and feels uneasy when she isn't. She has a fear of being dominated, being made weak and dependent. She’s often very tense.
She's studying psychology and wants to specialize in neuropsychology.
Her mother was depressed. She felt powerless about it and thus withdrew from her mother.
Dream: being violent; beating others; she smashed someone’s head with a stone.
Color preference: 9DE (brown), 15DE (dark blue).
Weather: easily warm.
Perspiration: << heat.
Time: < 9 p.m. till 11 p.m..
Desire: vegetables, fruit.
Aversion: chicken (3), milk (2), fish.
The auto-mutilation can be seen as doing something to yourself, which is Lanthanides. It’s like an auto-immune disease, but then in an acting-out form. Her timidity indicates an early Stage. The feeling of being out of contact is typical of Cerium.
The mutilation is done to the body, so that indicates Carbon series. The sexual abuse can indicate Fluorine or Oxygen. The fact that she’s using the auto-mutilation for attracting attention is more for Oxygen.
Together this makes Cerium oxydatum.
Lanthanides: wants to be in control of herself, fear of being dominated, being made weak and dependent, and studies psychology.
Stage 4: didn't resist, timid.
Cerium: out of contact with herself, unreal.
Oxygen: abused, worthless, no one cared for her, fears that she may hurt others.
DD Dysprosium: dreams of fighting; But Dysprosium is confident.
DD Fluorine: is more independent, takes what he wants, instead of getting it seduction, by being pitiful as Oxygen does.
Dysprosium fluoratum MK and Praseodymium fluoratum MK helped for a while, but the problems returned and repetitions didn't help anymore.
After Natrum bromatum MK she talked less about her guilt feelings but the auto mutilation was the same.
After Cerium oxydatum MK she started doing better. The auto-mutilation subsided. She managed not to think of it most of the time. The thinking about it reduced by 75%. Her depression reduced a great deal and she felt more cheerful. She met her first boyfriend and felt happy with him. She could enjoy sexuality, although it was painful at the beginning. She had all kinds of physical complaints on and off: mononucleosis, then cystitis, anemia, headache, coryza for 3 weeks, abdominal pains with diarrhea, swelling of her upper eyelids. In about a year her quality of life rose from 40 to 75 and the complaints were reduced by 70%.
Natrum bromatum had been given before. The indications were that she felt guilty and was silent about the problem of sexual abuse to herself for many years. After the remedy the guilt was not a topic anymore. But the basic problem of depression and auto-mutilation hadn't changed. In my opinion this prescription was good too, but for a minor problem, so I would give it a width score of 1 or 2.
Keywords: automutilation, Cerium, Oxydatum, lanthanide
This article was originally published in www.interhomeopathy.org