This case was first presented in Jayesh Shah’s book “Into the Periodic Table, the Second Series”, published by Schroder Burmeister Verlag ISBN-3-980626-0-1. Article summarised by Deborah Collins.
For the sake of brevity, I have summarised the case. It is, however, highly recommended to read the case in its entirety, as well as the other cases in the book for they are masterly examples of case-receiving, as well as beautiful pictures of remedies one might not easily think of prescribing.
The patient is a 64 year old man, who begins by telling about his continuous problems with his 95 year old mother. Throughout his life he has unsuccessfully tried to prove himself to her; he never felt noticed by her unless he was hospitalised or in great pain but even then he remains in a secondary position to his sister, who was a nurse. He married a woman who was very much like his mother, had a series of mediocre jobs, and a small apartment; just enough to keep himself happy. He also became involved in different religions, changing from one to the other. Still he could not find the support he needed and he now says: “I am a little lost. No one seems to need what I have to offer.” He jumps from topic to topic during the case-taking, just as he has jumped around in his life, never finding a sense of stability.
He comes across as being innocent and naive; he communicates in an open and simple manner and seems to love the attention of the audience, to the extent of turning his back to Jayesh, who commented “I felt left out!” These days he has a very simple job, just helping school children to cross the street safely, and he loves the attention he gets from the children and the joy he gets from a hug. Jayesh notes a kind of euphoria as he talks about butterflies, the sun rising and setting, flowers, the beauty of nature; “there must be something so painful in his life that he needs this euphoria in order to survive.”
Indeed, he talks about being completely undesired as a child: “I was a very ugly child, with huge ears and very thick glasses. I was very skinny, not the type you would want to take home and say ‘Oh, we keep this one.’ I did not get any support from my family, as I grew up I started to develop an ego of myself” (implying that he had no ego at all.)
Nothing that he did seemed to make any impression on his family or draw their support and admiration, quite the contrary. None of his family showed up when he won prizes at school or even attended his graduation. His birthday was forgotten, whereas his sister’s was celebrated in style. He ended up singing “Happy Birthday to you” alone in his room, totally forsaken. He tells about being locked out of the house by his sister during the winter after he had gone out in the cold to knock icicles off the gutters. He banged at the door for hours, while his sister stuck her tongue out at him through the window, until the mother finally asked what the racket was about. “I was only tended to if I was hurt but after that no one cared. Really, there was no importance given to my existence.” His mother and grandmother played a game with him, asking him again and again “Whose little boy are you?” When he answered “I am yours” they would laugh, “Are you sure? Who told you that?” And finally he did not answer anymore, just saying “I am mine!” There was no acknowledgement of his existence, of his being on this planet.
He adopted a son who was born prematurely and was apparently just as unappealing looking as he was: “The ugliest baby I have even seen! No one wanted to pick him. He is very proud of his son: “He has become somebody, everything I ever wanted to be.” He was devastated when his son was turned against him by his first wife and refused to acknowledge him, even on the street.
He describes his mother as having two personalities, one loving and caring, another one that would not let any man near her. She had been abused by her brothers and she kept her distance from her husband, with whom she barely spoke. She would go out into the desert nearby at night and talk to herself. The patient tried his whole life to catch her attention, making and bringing her little things, but she never seemed to care.
He had no place in the family – even his inheritance was taken away from him, by forging his name on the family’s documents. There was never any kind of acknowledgement of his son, whereas his sister’s children were praised. He finally feels happy now that he is accepted into the large family of his present wife.
He had a horrific accident as a schoolboy, being run over by a truck and totally smashed up; so badly that his mother did not recognise him at all and she turned to go. Since then he has had convulsions and has been on many medications. His worst complaint was the tremendous terror that came with the attacks, a kind of existential terror.
His issue seems to be of being somebody versus being nobody, a first hint of a mineral remedy issue; “how much am I worth?” The issue of putting a certain value to your own self is very common to mineral remedies. Here the issues are very basic, at the level of acknowledgement of one’s existence.
Jayesh: “This man identifies with people who have nothing: a little girl whose mother does not come home, a man lying on the street with only a sleeping bag. His main feeling is of not being noticed, of having very little identity. He is very child-like and his issues are very simple. He is terribly alone, with no support, no parents, no identity.”
Jayesh looked up in ReferenceWorks: ‘estranged/neglected’ in the same sentence as ‘family’: 46 remedies. Then, he looked for remedies which had terms of ‘spaced out’, ‘beautiful’, ‘naive’ or ‘childish’, and then the feeling of being ‘not noticed’. In the Hydrogen proving we can find the symptom: ‘I feel that nobody notices me.’
Hydrogen needs the most basic forms of support, much more basic than, for instance, Calcarea or Magnesium. The lack of identity is like Anhalonium but here the issue is not one of sensitivity and reactivity but of support, being given some sense of worth. We see a naive sort of boasting in order to inflate his sense of worth. In the Hydrogen proving there is “boasting” as well as “delusion, dirty, ugly, separated from the world.” In Hydrogen, one is abandoned and forsaken but in a naïve way, as in the state even before one’s birth. “Delusion he is despised; Delusion he is detached; Fear of poverty; Anxiety about money; Insecurity and self-doubt.” The existence of one’s spirit is not acknowledged by one’s mother.
Prescription: Hydrogen LM 1
Six months later, his convulsions have reduced drastically.
After one year, he was 80% better and his need for other medication was much reduced. The reaction was very fast, his convulsions reduced immediately. He is much happier, more grounded, and his terrifying dreams have gone.
An interesting aspect of this case is that we do not hear until late in the case-taking of the medical complaint for which the patient has come. Had we known about it, we might have felt tempted to give remedies concerning convulsions due to accidents, rather than simply following that which he was bringing across.
He reported and followed up for over 4
years and was completely free from convulsions!
The anticonvulsive therapy was discontinued. The physician treating him later put him on LM potencies of Hydrogen.
It was very encouraging to see a resistant case of convulsive tendency, after such a huge accident in the childhood, get completely cured at the age of 65!
Keywords: convulsions, existential terror, forsakeness, abandonment, worthlessness