August 2015

I am a short-tempered, selfish loner: a case of Androctonus

by Rishi Vyas

This thirty-two-year-old man was first seen on 13th July, 2013. When I first scanned the case record form he had filled, it was very apparent that he hardly had any physical complaints. He had mainly come to me so that I could help him with his short temper.

P: I am very short tempered. I am also very selfish. I come across as a loner, I like to be alone… My anger is terrible, which I regret later on. My biggest fear is that I may do something terrible in anger

(Observation: restless legs). My sleep is not good. I get very restless. I get intensely angry even when driving on the road, real road rage. I get very impulsive when driving. Even when telling you about it, I am feeling angry.

scorpionD: Tell me more about this anger.

P: I am very punctual. I get very irritated if someone is late or if I get late. Then, I feel as if my blood is boiling, I become very aggressive and throw things. There is intense aggression in me then. I become angry if someone ditches me, if someone is not on time. I am used to having my own way, anything else makes me angry.

D: Tell me more about having your own way.

P: I want to do everything the way I want, otherwise I get very angry. I start screaming and become abusive. I feel like punching. I shout at the top of my voice. I often hit the cupboard very hard. I feel that I am right. I do not listen to people. I am selfish that way. I just want to do everything my way. I am very quick to act, almost impulsive, I react very fast.

D: Tell more about wanting everything your way.

P: When they tell me something, I feel that they are attacking me. I become defensive. There is lot of aggression in me, I start screaming. I feel very bad. If someone does not listen to me, I feel bad. No one should say ‘no’ to anything I suggest. I have a lot of ego. How can they say ‘no’?!! In my ego, I sometimes do things which are not right.

As a child, I was very aggressive too. I used to take the chair and hit it on the floor or I kicked the bucket hard in anger. I was not afraid to say ‘no’ to someone if I did not like something. Even today, I am very opinionated; I form quick opinions. It is like a double-edged sword, my anger and opinionated nature; I know it is wrong, but I cannot control it. It is just that I cannot control my mind. I do something and thirty seconds later I regret it. I know my actions have no justification.

D: Tell more about your nature.

P: I am very lazy. Sometimes, I care about things and sometimes I don’t. It is like I have a lot of ego and sometimes I don’t. I am both selfish and selfless. I am not close to people. One month I have a lot of friends and the next month I don’t know where they are. If someone is not respectful towards me, I feel bad quickly. We have a family business; I am a team player in that. I do not feel jealous of other people (Observation: loquacity).

I do not feel jealous, but if there is no recognition, I feel bad and I want to be alone and not talk to anyone. I will quarrel if anyone talks to me then. I just don’t want to be disturbed. I just sit quiet for a long time, maybe I am randomly thinking then or maybe I have no thoughts. This happens three or four times a week. My wife thinks that I am becoming antisocial, but I don’t feel I am…..

I am very sensitive in comparison with anyone. I am not very ambitious. I want a good night’s sleep. I feel that I should have a comfortable life. I have a tendency to snap easily at my wife. She is very ambitious. I do not sulk over things, just get things done in a jiffy. In the process, I can be very selfish. I can detach very fast, hardly have any attachment. I feel I am strongly connected to someone, but in a minute there is no contact. Maybe I do not care, maybe I do not have a good communication. I did say I was friendly and open earlier… Sorry! I have no hang ups later.

I have a dream of being recognized, that many people know me, respect me. I expect that people should speak up and tell me if they do not like me. I am not diplomatic….

I have now a fair idea of his main complaint, anger, and of his nature. So, I would like to see how he reacts in different situation. It is important for me to know how his original nature was, his nature as a child. This is where I will get a true uncompromised picture of his nature.

D: Tell me about your childhood.

P: I had a lot of issues with my grandfather, I did not like him. He was always controlling my father when I was young. He was drunk all the time. I used to scream at him. I hated him and always wondered why my father could not stand up against him. I felt like taking a stand for my father but could not bear thinking what others would say. When my dad came home from the office, he would tell me of the humiliation he faced. When I heard all that, I felt very bad. I was very angry, I felt like screaming, abusing, just going away and I felt intense anxiety in my stomach. I used to be very upset by how my grandfather used to control my father so much, always putting my father down. Watching this, I was so angry that I wanted to kill my grandfather. Maybe he did not like the fact that my father was going to pass him on the ladder of success. My father had been to Harvard and he was the first in the family to do so, so my grandfather did not like it. I wanted my father to move away from him.

My grandfather was a very negative person; he kept on complaining that he was always alone. I did not like it, I wanted to have fun, so I moved away from home. When I had to come back home, I did not like it. I was very angry. It did not feel like home anymore. I felt like locking myself in the room and not talking to anyone. I felt everyone there was a hypocrite and that everyone was like an animal. We were like entertainment for servants. I missed the peace of mind.

I do not like politics, so I keep people at a distance. I make good friends, but sometimes I would just close up and snap at a person, so there is no lasting attachment.

D: Tell me about your interest and hobbies.

P: I like sports, I’m almost fanatic about National Football League. I also like golf and cricket. I played a lot of soccer and basketball during college but never pursued it further. The experience in playing is totally different all together. I like competitiveness. I want to win when I play, I am not like that at work. I am not very ambitious. In school too, I used to just get cut off marks. Even at work, I do not like being at work constantly. People suggest different things, do this, do that, then I get very angry and feel like shouting a lot. I do not feel like working a lot.  For example, if a client is expected to visit at 10 am, I feel there is no use reaching the office by 9 am.

He loves non-vegetarian food (he belongs to a strictly vegetarian family) and likes red meat, steak, hamburgers, alcohol++, berries and fruits. He is totally averse to sweets. He cannot bear hot weather and needs an air-conditioner on all the time. He is afraid of stray dogs. He does not like planning things.

Analysis

The patient’s main complaint is his anti-social behaviour and his intense anger. He gets angry easily and in anger he becomes impulsive. He feels his blood boiling and then gets abusive, hitting and punching. He has no control over his anger and easily indulges in road rage. He immediately regrets his outburst of anger, but has not control over it in the moment.

The patient is very impatient by nature, cannot wait and unpunctuality makes him angry. If he gets close to people, he immediately cuts off, a sudden detachment, and then he has no feeling for them; they do not matter to him anymore, and he reacts as if he no longer knows them. He cuts off from his wife and acts very cold towards her in anger. Thus, if we are to see only his anger and try to understand it as a totality, we get:

rep 1 vyas

Complete Repertory, copyright @Roger van Zandvoort, from MacRepertory 8.2.01, Professional

Then, if we are to look at the other side to his nature, there is a state where he does not want to meet anyone and just wants to be by himself. He goes into a room and does not want to talk to anyone; he likes to be quiet and alone by himself, not interacting with anyone. This might come from a deep sense of isolation from the world. He likes to be in his own space. When we repertorise these symptoms, we get:

vyas 2

Complete Repertory, copyright @Roger van Zandvoort, from MacRepertory 8.2.01, Professional

If we are to see his childhood, we see here a subtle hint of the animal kingdom – me versus you, a projection in his sensitivity towards his grandfather. He describes his grandfather as the one who was always pulling his father back and who never allowed him to go ahead in life. The patient hated his grandfather for taking control of his father’s life and not allowing him to do things independently. He would get very angry at his controlling behaviour. Since then, he has become very aggressive. The patient desperately wanted his father to move away from his grandfather’s influence and away from his home. He persistently felt that his grandfather controlled both his and his father’s lives. There is so much hatred that he still does not want to go to his old home and does not feel connected to it.

The patient loves playing sports and likes to win. He is very competitive by nature. He loves to travel and is very sensitive to heat and has intense desire for meat. On repertorizing all the characteristic symptoms, we get:

vyas 3

Complete Repertory, copyright @Roger van Zandvoort, from MacRepertory 8.2.01, Professional

When we just take the simple symptoms we see Androctonus (Scorpion) as the first remedy. In Jeremy Sherr’s proving, two of the main aspects were anger and indifference. He says: “There is a chilling sense of detachment and indifference among those needing Scorpion. They seem indifferent to either pain or pleasure, to their surroundings and to the welfare and opinion of others. This can feel like dreaminess or being drugged.” If we are to look at some other rubrics of the case, we see Scorpion coming up prominently.

vyas 4

Complete Repertory, copyright @Roger van Zandvoort, from MacRepertory 8.2.01, Professional

We have two more provings of Scorpion: one is Scorpio europaeus, (European Scorpion), the proving of which is listed in Allen’s Encyclopedia. We have a recent proving of the same remedy done by Hans Eberle and Friedrich Ritzer, which adds to more understanding of the remedy. In the Scorpion proving done by Eberle and Ritzer, we also see hatred / anger towards family.

Androctonus belongs to the Animal kingdom and to the same class as spiders: Arachnida. This class is known for its impulsiveness, quick anger, malice, and rage.

Jeremy Sherr’s Androctonus proving 

Mind:

Felt depressed and destructive, did not care if things were broken. (1)

Averse to his normal work, wanted to quit and avoid work. (1)

Felt detached, very interested in little things. (5)

Felt disconnected from the human race, as if everyone were another species. Directionless. (7)

Totally detached - not from self but from surroundings. (10)

Cancelled an appointment without any remorse. Thought "maybe I shall feel guilt later." (7)

Very changeable moods, one moment extremely friendly, nice and amiable, then irritable. (1)

Felt constrained and had a gloomy approach to everything, averse company, desire to be alone. I feel people will not want to talk or be with me. (28)

Absolutely terrified of dog on street, for no apparent reason, with numbness and tingling through every part of his body, followed by a sick feeling in the stomach.

Terrible uncontrollable temper. (7)

Can't avoid shouting at people she was intolerant of, could not hide her feelings. More impatient with others and herself. (7)

Assertive, impatient, aggressive. Felt resentful and abused. Had no control over her temper. Bellowed and lashed out at everyone. In the evening, furious for no apparent reason. Wanted to kill her husband and children, banged doors and threw things.

Desire to break things. (7)

Short tempered in afternoon, easily excited to anger, worse from being interrupted. (12)

Became excited to anger and confrontation. She was not aware of hurting others' feelings and did not seem to care.

Interesting – issue with grandfather: she dreamt that she had murdered her grandfather by poking a knitting needle through his eyes while he slept. Though she felt no remorse, she wanted to be punished but no-one would accept her guilt.

Prescription: Androctonus amurreuxi hebraeus 1M, one dose

Follow-ups

When the patient visited me two months later, he felt very calm. He said that he was very patient and took a lot of time before reacting. He hardly got angry now, and he lost his temper only when someone really irritated him. His overall health was good, but he took a long time to fall asleep. He gets dreams which are work related. His work pattern had improved, as his concentration levels were better and he was not so irritated. He went to a holiday for three weeks where he was peaceful and experienced no anger at all! His anger while driving also has greatly decreased.

What is more, his life had changed for the better. His relationship with his wife was much better. In his words: “I am closer to her and am becoming more connected. I feel as if we are becoming one. The agitation in our relationship has gone away and we are very happy. I am listening more and do react angrily as much.”

The patient continued consulting me for the next seven months and every time I administered placebo due to continual improvement and no new signs or symptoms. In one of the follow-ups, his wife said that he was a changed man, a much calmer person. After a few months, we agreed that he did not need treatment anymore and I instructed him to stop the treatment.

Photo: Shutterstock
Buthus scorpion; Mauro Rodrigues   

Categories: Cases
Keywords: intense anger, violence, emotional detachment, abusive
Remedies: Androctonus

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