May 2014

Separation anxiety: a case of Saccharum officinale

by Jana Kolenov√°

In January 2009, a mother visited me with her 4 ½  year old adoptive son. The diagnosis was separation anxiety disorder with psychosomatic decompensation, as well as constipation. He was treated by a clinical psychologist by the special method of psychotherapeutic games.

The boy was hyperactive, unable to focus on any one action and the mother had to be devoted to him all the time. She was already very exhausted.
He was excessively dependent on her, which was worse when he started kindergarten in September 2008. The situation was so bad that he had to leave the kindergarten and his mother had to enlist the help of a psychologist.
He did not want to leave his mother’s side; even when she went to the toilet she had to leave the door open for him to see her. If she needed to go somewhere, it was traumatic because he did not want to let her go anywhere without him; he cried and was very upset, which in turn upset his mother. If his mother was away, he was constantly asking "when will  mom come back?" and was unable to concentrate on any activity. He was just running nervously around the house.

In addition, he had constipation for more than two years. He has a stool every 3-4 days, which resembles small dry rabbit droppings. He refused to defecate other than in diapers, although he urinated into the potty for a year.

Personal history
His biological mother left him two days after the birth. He stayed at the neonatal department for two months, where he suffered from malnutrition and anemia. Then, they moved him into the infant department and from there, a foster family took him in at the age of eight months, where he received the first hug of his life.
He came into his current family as a 1 ½  year old. His new parents literally fell in love with him. His new mom carried him in a baby scarf, practiced infant massage, which he loved, to compensate for the absence of mother love after the birth. They slept in bed together because he could not sleep without his mother.
He sweated during sleep in spots on his hair and often wet his pillow. He hated to be covered at night. 1 ½  years ago, a new sibling was born into the family and the boy started to be very jealous.

He was a lively, fiery type, full of energy. He required constant attention and was forever asking questions, which soon exhausted everyone. When he started screaming, he needed a hug. He was  incessantly asking: "Mom, do you love me?"

Generals
He is warm-blooded
He likes meat very much. He refuses to eat vegetables, fruits, and sweet dishes
He is healthy and has never been sick, except for smallpox

Main symptoms of the case
Fear that he will be abandoned by the mother
Fear that he does not deserve mother's love
Desperate search for love, affection and attention
Great need for hugs, caresses
Not breast-fed
Extreme restlessness
Plays the clown to attract attention to himself
Jealousy
Profuse sweating, especially at night, sometimes only on the head (like Calcarea carbonica)
Aversion to sweet foods (the remedy has either extreme craving for sweets or does not like sweets)
Constipation

                                                                                                    clinging 

Prescription: Saccharum officinale 30C once a week

Follow ups

Four weeks later: one week after the first dose, he said for the first time that he wants to poop into the potty. The whole family was surprised.
However, the mother was scared because the day before the follow up visit, he had a nightmare for the first time in his life. He had always slept peacefully, but yesterday he began to shout in his sleep “Mom, do not leave me!”  It frightened her.

I evaluated it as a good process: the fear of being abandoned by his biological mother was coming to the surface and I believed the nightmares would fade away by themselves.

Prescription: continue with Saccharum 30C, once a week

Three months later: he passes stools in the potty without a problem. The constipation has subsided, only sometimes, there are still some little droppings in the stool. The nightmares lasted for 2-3 weeks, and are now gone for more than a month. He is not hyperactive anymore; if something attracts his interest, he can play by himself for two hours. He is very obedient. A few days ago, he could choose whether he would go shopping with his mother or stay to play with his grandmother at home. He chose the second option, which the family saw as a miracle.

He still wants to be the center of the attention and his mother feels that treatment is not progressing  any further.

Prescription: Saccharum 200C, one dose every two weeks

Nine months later: the boy has had normal stools for more than two months. He is happy, cheerful, and there is no problem with him anymore, but he still needs to be the center of the attention when they are outside the house. He is still a bit jealous of his sibling, but at a bearable level already.

Even his psychotherapist said the treatment may be discontinued because she sees him as cured. He plays completely normally now: he does not hurt plush toys and he is not as aggressive as he was at the beginning of the therapy. Now, he plays ‘family’ with his toys. According to  the psychotherapist, he has all the prerequisites to build functional relationships in the future and is able to properly receive and reciprocate love. She was very surprised by the speed of the therapeutic success. She said that she has never seen such excellent results during her twenty years of practice.

Prescription: dose of Saccharum 200C, only in case of aggravation

One and a half year later, at the initiative of the mother: she told me that she could not kiss or hug her husband in front of her son, otherwise he will start to scream terribly; she belongs only to him. When they were traveling by car to visit friends, she kissed her husband by chance,  then he began to scream and kick the father’s seat. He accused his father of doing a terrible thing.
 
Prescription: Saccharum 1M, one dose

A week later, I received an email from the mother that the child has changed dramatically. Yesterday, when the father came home from work, the boy asked him, "Daddy, have you kissed mom already? Don’t forget!"

Current status after 5 years (last check in January 2014)
Today, he is nine years old. He is a big schoolboy. No one even remembers that he once had constipation, since his stools are normal. His nightmares have never recurred. The family adopted another sibling to whom he is hardly jealous. All three children love each other very much. He is a happy, cheerful child  without any special problems, just common issues for children of his age. He is good at school: he is smart, creative, and now, he is starting to admire his dad, who is a great role model to him. When he grows up, he wants to be like dad, but he likes his mother very much too. He is the least problematic child of the whole family now.
About once a year, he needs to repeat the remedy. Now, it is Saccharum 10M.

Photo: Flickr
Clinging to papa; Julie Kertesz; CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Categories: Cases
Keywords: separation anxiety, constipation, hyperactivity, malnutrition, jealousy
Remedies: Saccharum officinale

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