2008 March

Staphysagria in Lost Childhood Case

by DR. Manish Panchal
Case

This was a very unusual case we treated in 1996, we had to use subtle hints in the case to arrive at the correct remedy and this remedy we don’t find indicated in a child as frequently as in an adult and hence it is a very interesting case. Interestingly, the case also teaches us why we don’t see this remedy indicated so often in children. We are not suggesting that it should not be prescribed for a child but we are just trying to emphasize that the picture of the remedy is such that you will see this picture more in adult. After reading the whole case things will become more clear.

Mother of a 4 year old child visited us for recurrent upper respiratory infection which required frequent antibiotics. In-spite of antibiotics by his family physician, as soon as one episode of infection would get better immediately he is again sick with another episode of coryza , cough and fever with loss of appetite and weakness. The mother was already taking Homoeopathic treatment from us and also she never wanted to resort to antibiotic so frequently , hence she brought the child for homoeopathic treatment.

The child was quiet in the clinic which is surprising because now-a-days children are very hyperactive , restless , they usually try to touch things on doctor’s desk , try to get attention by some gestures when mother is narrating the history , try to distract attention of others by demanding something or they would want to go out of the consulting room or else again want to come inside or they feel bored and want to be taken home or they will turn your clinic upside down by fidgeting with things. This child sat quietly without fidgeting or showing any interest or curiosity to touch things or asking inquisitive questions to doctor to know things nor was he distracting his mother. His elder brother who was also under our care was restless, he would try to talk in between when mother was giving his history, he would try to speak and get doctor’s attention. This was strange and we wanted to understand why he was so silent and not behaving like a child who is full of curiosity to know about things, talkativeness, energetic, hyperactive and demanding.

He is friendly with just few kids, not much social, not out-going or extrovert type and not a demanding child. He likes good looking friends. Emotionally he is more stable and strong than his elder brother e.g when kids are playing he will just stand and watch and does not feel disturbed if they don’t call him to play whereas the elder brother sulks and goes home crying that kids are not calling him to play. The elder brother would need to be pacified by the mother – “ don’t worry kids will call you to play next time, don’t cry. Look your younger brother was also not called for playing but he is strong and not crying like you”. It appeared as if our patient was acting more like a adult than as a child.

He is less fearful compared to his elder brother who was afraid of dark, dogs, ghosts stories and needed mother to go to another room in dark i.e he is not having normal childhood fears and appears more like a grown up adult without much fears.

He has a particular way of talking, walking, eating. The way he does this is very good and it gives a very good impression about him. He will walk only in a particular way or eat or talk in same way. He wants to do everything first e.g if the family reaches home after being out, he wants to ring the door bell first, wants to go inside the house first, wants to drink the milk first before his elder brother. Mother feels that since past one year his observation is very keen and sharp e.g he will notice slightest change of curtains or if anything however tiny is dropped on the floor he will be able to find it or notice it so we always call him to find things.

He is very attached to his father to such an extent that he never allows mother to do anything for him. Every morning he wants to be bathed by his father, breakfast to be fed by his father, dress him by his father and leave him to school by his father. These things are usually done by mother in our country so this attachment to his father is peculiar.

He is not a fussy eater. It is okay if he is given same breakfast daily for 3 or 4 days. He does not mind routine in eating whereas elder brother always wants new dishes for breakfast, he does not like same routine in eating. Elder brother always wants change either in the menu or way of preparing food. He does not sweat much. He does not like to have a bath especially head bath. His stomach is sensitive to milk. He does not like ice-cream because it’s too cold, water also he does not drink cold. He is too much fond of chocolate. He used to like banana, now likes cream biscuits.


Understanding the Case so far:
I was puzzled how to understand the child who was not behaving like a child. Here is a child who is quiet, not social, non demanding, friendly with only good looking kids, emotionally more strong and stable, walking/eating/talking in a particular manner, not fearful, does not mind if same dish is prepared every day for breakfast ( does not mind routine, does not demand a change like his elder brother), wanting to do everything first, keen sense of observation where he notices a slightest change, his profound attachment to his father. How to understand these seemingly dissociated symptom complex. There has to be a connecting thread which will join all those seemingly unrelated symptoms together to form a clear picture. His attachment to his father might prove that connecting thread because the mother during her own case-taking had given a glimpse of father’s personality which seems to resemble with the child. So if we understand the father we will be able to clearly understand the child.


Mother’s observation about the father
He is not very social, does not unnecessarily want to mix or need company. He does not starve for company or friends, does not want to go and build friendship. Emotionally strong, other than his parents not bother much about others, not sensitive even for his brother and sister, if they ask for help then he would help. Speaks very less, only minimum what is required. Very strong person, not dependent on any person emotionally. In work he is very sincere, too much into routine e.g every day he has been following the same routine for many years now, getting up in the morning at same time, giving bath and dressing up his child, dropping him to school at particular time, reaching office every day at a particular time, after office going to play badminton at 6p.m, taking a bath at 8p.m, having dinner and going to bed. Very disciplined, always on time for office, if the lunch time is at 1p.m he will not open his lunch-box even 5 minutes before 1p.m. If office closes at 5p.m he will stop his work at exactly 5p.m, not a minute before or after. On his own he will not do anything for anyone, even me (wife ). I have to tell him what I need, what are my emotional needs. On his own he will never realize. I feel is he a man or something mechanical, a machine? Once it was raining heavily, school had closed because of rains, he went to school and picked up my elder son but not our neighbour’s son who was studying in the same school. He said neighbour never told him to pick up their son so he never did it. I felt under such a circumstance he should have picked up both our son and neighbour’s son. While going to office in a car, we see some of my colleague walking to reach the office but he will never offer them a lift. He usually offers lift to few choosy people who own a car. I feel they (husband and his family) think themselves little above others. You will never find him very happy or very sad / depressed or disturbed. He is like a machine, not a man with emotions or feelings.

We can now clearly see the resemblance between the father and the child but I still never knew the remedy though now our understanding about the case is more clear than before. I decided to talk to the father so that the remedy can unfold itself spontaneously explaining every aspect of the case.


History by the father:
My father, a doctor, wanted me to be a doctor. We have a entrance exam in our state for admission in medical college. My elder brother and sister could not clear the entrance exam. So my father thought I would also not be able to clear the exam. I was good in mathematics and had much inclination for it so I joined engineering. I passed my industrial engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) . In school & college I was very good in studies, always standing first. It was a mediocre school / college so I was always a topper. But among the best in IIT, I was average i.e say among best 20, I was 7th or 8th. (IIT is a premier institute where only the best students are given admission after clearing a highly competitive examination at All – India level ).

You are very disciplined?
My work demands discipline. There are certain norms of the society, certain guidelines which we should follow for maintaining good relationship e.g respect the elders, similarly younger should respect their elder. I feel hurt, angry when this does not happen. I try to make them understand once/twice.

What are you sensitive about?
(wife feel he is not sensitive, so the need to probe this issue by asking a opposite question )

Deviation from set routine makes me tense. My elder son’s school time is 8 a.m and my office time is 8.15 a.m, somehow some delay occurs and my son reaches school late by 5-10 min., teacher commented that he is always late. I feel guilty.

When do feel stressful?
I respect my parents a lot . They visit our house in Bombay once in a year but my wife does not like it. My wife has misunderstanding with my mother. So during that time there is stress for me trying to keep a balance between my wife and my parents. There is a turmoil I undergo within to keep the balance and not allowing things to go out of hand. Emotionally I feel angry within and at times I shout at her. I do not get angry or shout too much to the extent that things go out of hand. It’s a controlled anger.

Has your anger gone out of control anytime?
Once or twice. I raise my voice / shout, I will blame my wife. Most often it is controlled.

What is the effect physically on your body when angry?
My whole body trembles.

How do you react to insults and humiliation?
I try to avoid such situation. Once my boss called me to his cabin but made me wait outside for some time, I felt very insulted and humiliated.

He cannot tolerate chillies. Non-veg , somehow I don’t relish it. While narrating about himself no expression / emotion on his face. His own family-members are also not expressive emotionally.


Understanding the Case:
There is a similarity between the child and his father. Father provided more characteristics which helps us to recognize the remedy. The connecting thread which connects the whole case is the control seen in their behaviour i.e child is controlled non-expressive, not curious, not hyperactive, does not express/ cry when kids do not include him in playing, has control over his fears, emotionally more stable and strong ( more in control of his emotion), his eating habit also tells the same story i.e more controlled eating habit where he does not mind the routine. He likes good looking friends same way as his father likes to give lift to only those colleague who own a car, also the father try to sound modest that amongst mediocre student he always stood first whereas amongst best in I.I.T he was 7th or 8th. This shows his egotism. Also he is sensitive to insults and humiliation when his boss keeps him waiting. The father is conscientious in his work, he will never eat his lunch before exact lunch time and never stop his work before the closing time. The father never expressed his anger when his father never allowed him for medical entrance because his sibling could not pass the entrance. There is aversion to meat in father.

The most interesting aspect is that, father experiences maximum stress when his parents visit him. He feels he have to maintain control/ balance between his wife and parents and he fears he will lose his control under such circumstance. He gets angry and shouts at his wife but quickly regains his control, he says it is always a controlled anger. In adults there are circumstances where a need would arise to maintain a control but in a small child there was no such need. The child had inherited the state from his father who in turn from his parents who are also non-expressive and controlled in their emotion.


R u b r i c s:
1.  Fear of losing self control.
2.  Egotism.
3.  Ailment from insults; mortification, humiliation; suppressed anger.
4.  Conscientious.
5.  Aversion to meat.


Remedy (our patient): Staphysagria 1m , single dose and Placebo for a week.


Response (after 1 week :
He is mixing more, talking more with others now. He started demanding things what he wants. He tells about his school and teacher to the mother which he would not express before, even after asking him. Slight cough since evening today. He does not like a head bath. Wait and Placebo for a week.


After 2 weeks:
The cold and cough recovered without antibiotics, this is the first time his infection recovered without a need for antibiotics so the parents are happy. He goes to play with other kids now, previously he would just stand and watch them playing and would not come home crying like his elder brother if not included in playing. He has started mixing with other kids now. His attachment to his father is less. Now he does not cry during a head bath. The mother now complains about his appetite because now he has started expressing his desires / his choice in eating. Previously he would eat whatever was given to him and it was convenient for his working mother. Wait and Placebo for 2 weeks.


After 9 months:
He has improved to a great extent, never fell sick with respiratory infection so we never brought him to your clinic. He has build up resistance against his illness, change of weather. His attachment to his father is less, he allows me (mother) to bath & dress him for school. Now mixing easily with everyone. He has become mischievous. He is not taking enough quantity of food which other kids of his age do ( mother is v. anxious person ). Staphysgaria 1m and Placebo for 2 weeks.


After 1 year of treatment :
He visited my clinic. He was talkative now, curious to know things from the doctor, restless, touching things on doctor’s desk and asking why they are there. Wanted to touch and use the stethoscope himself and also wanted to examine the doctor with the stethoscope. He was thrilled like a child who have discovered a new toy and was curious to know about it and eager to play with it. When his mother is talking with the doctor about his progress, he wants to talk himself with the doctor. He goes out of the clinic room and talks with the receptionist. He has become more mischievous , plays pranks. Attachment / dependence on the father is v.less now, allows mother to do things for him. Appetite is okay. He expresses his choice in eating. He is playful with neighbouring kids and easily mixes with everyone, even kids which are not good looking.

No respiratory infection with cold, cough, fever and weakness. No need for antibiotic at all. Thus a controlled child behaving like an adult thereby losing his childhood was again restored to his normal childhood as well as his respiratory infection with the help of Staphysgaria. The father need the same remedy but he never chose to come for his treatment which would have helped him to live a less controlled life like a machine. We with Homeopathy would have made him more human than the present existence like a mechanical person /machine.


DR. MANISH PANCHAL - INDIA
gentlecure07@gmail.com

Categories: Remedies
Keywords: childhood
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staphysagria and lost child hood
Reply #1 on : Thu May 26, 2011, 12:46:39
Wonderful story

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