October 2014

I'm still angry at my ex-wife: a case of Cinnabaris

by Deborah Collins

Forty-eight-year old man, accompanied by his wife.

Patient (P): “I’m stressed. I can hardly sleep for the last twenty years. It started with a depression after my divorce. I am always thinking about my past; family life, all the lies, the deceptions. I am the youngest of eleven children; it was a turbulent time. I was always a bit on the outside. I mostly had problems with my siblings, with my parents it was OK. The others went out and didn’t take me with them, so I was left alone at home. We lived in the countryside with no neighbours, no car. I was always timid, I always felt alone, on the outside of things. I was always left out if there were games at school, never chosen to be on the team. At the age of eight, I already had a stomach ulcer from stress.

“I always have a sore stomach. I can’t sleep because of it. I am always irritable, ready to explode. I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown. I feel like throwing everything, but I hold it all in. There’s a rage inside, it’s hard.”

Wife (W): “He keeps everything inside, he never says anything. I notice his changes first. He says he’s OK, but he’s not. He doesn’t want to do anything, go anywhere, he just gets closed off in himself and I can’t approach him. I know he’s afraid that I will leave, too.  I can’t bear it anymore (tears).”

P: “I always had to serve my brothers and sisters – they hit me, teased me, humiliated me. I was operated on a hernia at birth, also on an atrophied testicle. Now, I only have one testicle and my brothers tease me about that, too. I became sterile because of mumps and yet, I love children. We tried to have IVF but my sperm was not good. I am the only one in the family who does not have children. Again, I am different, not like the rest. We are made to have children, I miss them.

“I was bored at school. I would rather work than go to school. I wanted to show that I could work, be independent. I worked well until secondary school, was top of the class a primary school, but then at college a teacher scolded me.  He compared me to my brother, who had a bad reputation: ‘If you’re like your brother, don’t bother coming to school.’ Then, I was the last, at the bottom of the class.

“I never integrated in the village we live in now; there are lots of blockages, barriers. I don’t trust anyone. I feel inferior to others. I like helping people, but I don’t trust them. Only my mother keeps me alive. She completely accepts my wife. She is very kind.

 “I am solitary. I want to think by myself, ruminate alone in my corner, or in front of the TV. Before I have my coffee in the morning, nobody should talk to me – I am closed in myself.

 “My ex-wife cheated on me with several men. I ‘knew’ it, but didn’t want to know. It comes back in flashes. I had to be locked up for a month in hospital. I feel disgusted by her, yet I don’t hate her. I’m not a bad person. I used to shout at her, I hit her sometimes. I would go out to avoid doing worse.  She would drive me to despair. The police had to make sure I wouldn’t hurt her.

“It was a shock when she left me, I trusted her. She took everything, left me with nothing but huge debts. I am always thinking of her infidelity, how she left me like that, while I trusted her. I tried to commit suicide several times, ended up in the psychiatric hospital for one month. I took pills, tried hanging myself. My nephew found me, every time I was saved. Even if you don’t really want to commit suicide, you are pushed to do it. It wasn’t really me. You do things without knowing. There’s a whole week of my life that I know nothing about.

“I have lost confidence in everyone. I am afraid that my new wife will leave me too. We work together, but we never take time to do things together.”

W: “It is terrible what his wife did, leaving him with a debt like that. I came along six months later, he paid off all his debts. His whole family just left him alone, didn’t help him. He got out of debt by himself.”

Medical history:
Born with one kidney. The remaining kidney is twice its normal size.
Hernia  inguinal at birth, operated on. Testes atrophy, one testicle removed.
Mumps at sixteen, infertile. IVF attempts failed.
Ears OK. Tinnitus especially left side. Loss of hearing 30% on left side.
Tonsils enlarged. Throat: often tight, scraping throat all the time. “As though there is something around my throat.”
Chronic sinusitis, always swollen nose
Profuse salivation at night. Metallic taste in mouth sometimes. Teeth – many teeth removed, rotten. Parents did not have money for dentist.
Headaches. Feeling of grinding in neck on relaxation
No heart problems. Palpitations when angry
Trembles when angry, when holding onto something.
Profuse perspiration at night +++ very hot. Never cold, always in a T-shirt. Heat is always radiating from him.
Gastro-intestinal: stomach problems started in childhood: stomach ulcer at 8 years. “I am always bloated, even though I don’t eat much. It is as thought I have chronic gastritis.” Cysts in intestines. Flatulence. Intestines gurgling continuously. Stinking diarrhoea. Eructations.
Frequent urination at night, gets up 2-3 times.
Tendons are tense – carpal tunnel syndrome. Tendinitis in shoulders, had corticosteroid  injections in past. Attributes this to his hard physical work.
Food: Desire: everything but fish. Desire bread and butter, though it brings on diarrhoea. Desire cabbage, but brings on bloating. Does not drink alcohol.
Dreams: I dream of war: I can’t run, I can’t save myself. I’m blocked, paralysed. I feel as though my legs are paralysed, like after a fright, a shock – trembling. Nightmares +++ even as a child. Falling or a big block falling on top of me – often.
Sleep apnoe : “ I thought I would die. Could not talk, hardly breathe.” Pneumologist could not find anything. Snores loudly.
Fear: “I’m afraid of snakes attacking me+++.” “I don’t take any medicine, for fear of the side-effects.”

This is a very deep-seated case, with many physical problems right from birth: born with one kidney, atrophied testicle, umbilical hernia. Stomach ulcer at eight years. His suicide attempts point to the syphilitic miasm, and the physical modalities point to Mercurius, although one could also consider a snake remedy. Considering his problematic relationship with his siblings, one might think of Mercurius phosphoricum, yet it is his relationship with his ex-wife that prevents him from sleeping, even twenty years later. He is given Cinnabaris, well-known for its effects on chronic sinusitis as well as other Mercurius symptoms. Also known as red mercury, Cinnabaris is a sulphate of mercury. Jan Scholten describes its theme in relationship to the partner: “Anger concerning the partner, I could kill anyone who touches my wife.”

Prescription: Cinnabaris 200C, one dose


After a few days, he phoned quite concerned about his mental state. “I have stopped thinking, my mind is empty. What is happening to me? I am usually thinking all the time.” I reassured him that there was nothing to worry about.  
Six weeks later: I see a happy couple emerging from their car, beaming, holding hands and smiling, almost dancing in the parking lot.

What has changed?
P: “Everything! The first thing to go was the nightmares, the whole bad history. It was as though I was still living in the past, all the deceptions of my ex. Then, I was able to sleep better without those nightmares. Before, it would take hours to fall asleep. I would get up, watch TV. I was always tired. I sleep well now, I just go to bed too late – midnight and have to get up at 6:00 – but I sleep the whole night; a good sleep. I’m not so agitated inside anymore. I used to be angry inside.”

P: “From time to time. I used to be bathed in sweat all night, had to change the pillow all the time. Especially my head. No more saliva, from the first day. Still hot, though less bothersome than before.

P: “It’s fine. At first, it was swollen as soon as I ate, now it’s fine. It changed a week after the remedy. Suddenly, it relaxed, as though it had an elastic around it that let go. No more eructations. Less diarrhoea, but still a bit from time to time. It used to be liquid all the time. Now, it’s solid, and just once per day. I do not feel my intestines anymore.”

P: “They were running and running. I used to go to the doctor to get something for them, but now they do not run at all. It was running down my throat, now it’s OK.

Less noise in my ears, sometimes I forget it. I used to have it permanently.

P: “Still enlarged, but not painful.  No more metal taste. First week, I had a strange taste in my mouth, now it’s OK.”

P: “No more headaches – had them twice this last month, but it’s OK now.

Wrists are still blocked. Tremor is gone.

P:“Everything is working well. I don’t take things as seriously as before. I used to think that people were teasing me all the time, I used to take it personally. My wife is very direct, I thought she was hurting me. I used to think that she would leave me anyway, now we are happy together. I feel like doing things together with her (wife is beaming). I used to be thinking all the time, thinking about the situation with my ex – it was exhausting. Now, it is over.”

Continuation: I see him from time to time, when he brings family members to the practice. He continues to remain well and happy. The carpal tunnel syndrome did not improve with Cinnabaris, but was later resolved with Rhus tox, as it originated from overuse at his work. He has required two additional doses of Cinnabaris in the space of two years.

Photos: Shutterstock
Scared and lonely little blond boy; Lesley Rigg
Happy couple smiling; wavebreakmedia

Categories: Cases
Keywords: depression, insomnia, anger at ex-wife, nightmares, profuse perspiration, tinnitus, chronic sinusitis, digestive problems
Remedies: Cinnabaris


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Peter Tumminello
Posts: 4
Cinnabaris case
Reply #2 on : Wed October 08, 2014, 03:38:39
Hi Deborah
Thanks for this wonderful case - I enjoyed reading it and learning from it - such an insight into Cinnabaris, the elements and all.
Posts: 4
Reply #1 on : Tue October 07, 2014, 09:37:06
Thank you for sharing this case, it was quite amazing, that he kept that anger for so long, (Mag.Mur) was probably given and not worked, I think that you have done a wonderful job of this, and of course the syhylitic Miasm (only one kidney etc)