Visited by demons: a case of Mancinella
J. is a young man who I saw for the first time in 2003, when he was 26 years old. He had recurring complaints: pain and tension in his back, a loss of sensitivity in his left hand on waking, and especially a general feeling of malaise, which increased in the course of years with the responsibilities that he took on. But right from the beginning the tone is set:
J: “When I was about 17, I became depressed. I could not centre myself, I felt completely lost. I had periods where I thought I would become crazy. I sought refuge in religion, but I did not have my feet on the ground anymore. It still comes back, in cycles.
“I am always waging a battle of duality, between good and evil. Sometimes, I am completely taken over by my thoughts – they rule me. I am afraid that my thoughts will take on a life of their own.”
He is very afraid of illness and admits to being “hypochondriac”; he resorts to magical or ritual acts in order to find his way out.
He is a furniture maker by trade. He was married to a young woman, with whom he has a young child. The couple was quickly in a crisis, though, and his partner left him. He made a long journey through the desert, where he confronted his “demons”.
J: “That threw me into the past, the fear of being alone. It is a disaster – I am incapable of overcoming it. I always have something against people, and I have negative thoughts about those who are close to me. The presence of my partner calmed me down and clarified my ideas. For me, thinking is a creative act, and to create thoughts bring the possibility of manifesting them. I have always had a great difficulty in distinguishing between good and evil. For me, spirituality is a high mountain. I go very high; I avoid myself by being on the mountain.”
He starts a relationship with his ex-wife’s sister, who has two children and is on the point of divorce. He is tired, and says that he feels he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He does not invest in his work; everything is heavy. He goes into therapy.
Dream: “I dream of my ex-wife, of having lots of sex with her. She is dominant – often my mother interferes in this dream…” Interpretation: “I behave like a little boy.”
The years pass; J. is 32 years old.
J: “I am anxious from time to time. For several months, I have to repeat the same phrase all the time. For example, I am afraid of doing something to hurt Lola (the first child of his new partner) by my thoughts. I’m afraid of sending her negative energy when I hold her.
“I am afraid of being invaded by the invisible. I always need to protect myself in my head. I feel like I am being influenced.”
He starts his own business in interior design but has problems managing it. He is caught up in his internal conflicts.
GP: Tell me about your family?
J: “My parents divorced when I was about 12 years old. My father was a cabinet-maker. He was very violent; he attacked my mother and my brother. My mother and my grandmother thought he was crazy. He was committed to a psychiatric hospital. I have witnessed scenes of verbal violence and gestures. I took my mother’s side so much that I started to have thoughts of killing my father. After their separation, I slept with my mother – she took refuge in my bed. I still have a very fusional relationship with her – if she is alone, I call her up.
“My mother has always given me a very black image of my father. I think that she is a castrating woman; my father has probably been frustrated all his life. He used to call her “Saint Touch- me -not”.
“I have problems staying in the present; I don’t feel centred in my axis. I am very hypochondriacal, and I am afraid of death. I am afraid that I will not live long, or that I will have a serious illness, especially cancer.
“I have had my spinal column put back in place, and that has helped – I was becoming stooped. I cannot stand up straight. My head is full of mist and I can’t think properly. I don’t feel anchored, and that makes me anxious. I feel like my equilibrium vacillates a bit. It is not vertigo (he makes a movement back and forth with his head). When everything accumulates like that, I go down. I bring everything into question – my life, my relationship. It is not an idea of suicide, or of death. I am afraid of losing control of myself, of becoming crazy.”
The feeling of vacillation develops into a real vertigo, and he undergoes a series of otological and neurological tests, all of which prove normal.
“My brain is not in step with me; I feel like I am beside myself. I have just learned that I am going to have another child; I didn’t realise. The more time passes, the less prepared I feel. I don’t manage to have an opinion on the matter, I am completely unprepared.
“It goes in cycles. At times, I have obsessional thoughts, where I am feeling pulled between good and evil. I always have negative thoughts, and I am always fighting against them. I am always afraid of evil, of the devil. In my head, I only want light and goodness, but I have thoughts that are completely the opposite. It is a ceaseless interior battle. I should have thoughts of praises, thoughts of Archangel Gabriel, but suddenly the opposite happens: it goes from praising the Lord to the devil. I am afraid of losing control.”
GP: Tell me about your obsessional thoughts?
“I need to make sure that I don’t have times when I think of nothing, because that’s when the obsessional thoughts come. I cannot tell them to you, because to talk about them is to give them life. I feel like it drives me crazy.”
Dream: “I have big worms on my head.”
J: “Sometimes, I feel the need to say prayers, to read religious texts, but I am afraid to not address myself to the right person, and after that, for about I week, I feel like I am lost. For about 2-3 weeks, I feel like I am beside myself, not in my axis, as though I am out of my body.
“I feel like the devil is in me, as though I am possessed. I am afraid that all my evil thoughts will manifest themselves. These obsessional thoughts can be insults to God – after that, I feel like I am going to be punished.”
Prescription: Mancinella 15 CH
Two months later: “I didn’t notice anything, no change. I am extremely tired, mentally and physically. Every day, I greet the day with joy; especially in the morning because my thoughts are gone when I wake up. After that, it all starts again. The ideas circle around, taking on enormous importance, and I have to fight against them. I am starting to have tics – I have to rub my face to fight against these ideas.
“The obsessional idea is: I don’t want the devil. It is as though I am afraid of going to that side. If I want to have a positive thought, a thought of the light, it is exactly the opposite that comes, becoming obsessional to the point of covering up the positive thoughts.”
Prescription: Mancinella 30CH
Three months later: “I am still subject to obsessional thoughts. I have to push away the devil, all the time. I am obliged to do ceremonies, rituals.
“Our daughter was born at the beginning of April, and I dreamed that it was my mother who was giving birth, not my wife. I am afraid of the power of my thoughts.
“I don’t really have pleasure in the sexual act; it is more in my imagination and my fantasies.
“All those thoughts started during my adolescence, with the separation of my parents. My guilty feelings, too, when I masturbated. I had to ask God’s pardon.
“When I see a police car, I say to myself ‘it is for me’. If I am not sure of myself when I am driving, I think I might have run over someone, so I go back to check that there is no one lying on the road.”
At this point, I am perplexed since I am sure that I have given him the right remedy. Something is escaping me – I give him Kalium bromatum 15 CH, then 30CH. He comes back four months later, saying that the vertigo he had some time ago has come back. He is more and more anxious:
J: “It makes me think of death, it disturbs me a lot. I feel like I could die. I always have those obsessional thoughts, but I manage. I think that it has to do with my mother: she does not need to say anything, it is just her tone. I know that she is waiting for me when I call her on Sunday. Every Sunday, I feel obliged to do that, to go and see her. I don’t feel like a man in front of her. She has a part that is castrating – she transmits her fears.”
The symptoms are:
- Delusion, possessed
- Delusion, two trains of thought at the same time
- Delusion, under a powerful influence
Prescription: Salix fragilis
Two months later, I see him in an emergency situation: he has severe vertigo. An ear, nose and throat specialist told him “I know what you don’t have, but I don’t know what it is that you do have!” This magic formula brings about a crisis of panic on top of his vertigo. A dose of Conium puts an end to the vertigo, but not to the anxiety.
J: “I had a dream: I went in an elevator, looking for people at the airport. I got stuck in the elevator, and that woke me up – I was suffocating. The next day, I went out to do some shopping, and I felt more and more oppressed. I did not go to the shop, but went straight to the emergency department, and came out with a prescription of Laroxyl.”
He starts to tell me about his obsessions again, his fight with the devil, the fear that his thoughts will materialise, the fear of losing control and to fall onto the other side.
“I think that I have a great guilt in me. I think that that has to do with my sexuality, or perhaps with the relationship between my parents. Has something happened to my mother? These obsessional thoughts started when my parents separated. I have the image of my father being a sexually frustrated man. I always defended my mother; it was a fusional relationship with her. During puberty, I even slept in the same bed with her. I wanted to kill my father.”
He has recapitulated his history in a nutshell. I reread his notes, and reflect on them, then give him Mancinella MK, one dose.
We see each other again two months later, and I marvel at the seeing the theory of homeopathy and the law of Hering in practice.
J: “It was like an electroshock. The symptoms of oppression disappeared for 3-4 days, then reappeared, involving all the organs: in my chest, then in my lower belly. Then, it went down even lower, as though someone was scraping his fingers in my kidneys. Then. I had burning in my urinary tract, in my urethra, and then in my testicles. Then, it went down to my thighs, then my calves, as though the circulation was being cut off. I had the feeling of having icy cold hands and feet, tingling, and alternation between hot and cold.
“Now I feel fine – not at all tired. I feel that my obsessions are starting to leave. I’d say, I’m about 80% better. I feel much more anchored in myself, much more centred. I have hardly any more vertigo. I was very afraid of losing control and doing something bad around me, but that feeling has gone.”
GP: Any dreams?
J: “I dream much more but they are more concrete, realistic dreams. I dream a lot about the family. I have much less sexual desire. My partner is more in seduction mode with me.”
This case has a follow-up of a year, during which time J. has not been visited by his old “demons”.
Keywords: fear of being possessed, hypochondria, obsessional thoughts, invaded by the invisible, vertigo, fear of insanity, castrating mother