A case of Depression and Recurrent Coryza treated with Lac Asinum
Edited by : Dr. Alifiya Dedanwala, ‘the other song’
A 64 yr old man consulted me in July 2017. He has suffered with coryza since childhood. He has been having feverish feeling every time he gets coryza. Till the age of 40 he had recurrent tonsillitis which is less often now.
There’s a serious look on his face with deep furrows on forehead.
Along with this he has various fears. He experiences heat in the body whenever he is afraid. He says he can never think of travelling by flight. He is worried, ‘What if the plane crashes?’ He couldn’t travel by train either, as there is great fear of an accident. If it is raining he is afraid that lightening might strike him. Whenever his son goes out, he is worried about his safety till he is back. He is constantly afraid of something bad happening. Overall he doesn’t feel safe.
He is worse during change of weather and especially if it is humid.
(The further conversation is in D= Doctor, P= Patient context in order to understand the actual words and language of the patient. The case is edited for better comprehension.)
P: I feel nervous, sad and that life has no meaning. What is the use of living? I am useless. (At this point he started using lots of hand gestures). I feel as if I am of no use. I cannot concentrate on anything. I feel I have gone into depression.”
D: Describe depression.
P: What is the meaning of life, what is the use, there is no need to continue.
D: Tell more about depression.
P: It is as if there is load (bojh- Hindi).
P: There is weight, like a burden.
Further he spoke about his childhood.
P: I had difficult times as a child. My father was a simple fellow with meagre income and ours was a big family. Since the age of 14, I started earning and ever since I am carrying this load. All through till now I feel burdened. As you see responsibility came very early to me. I never enjoyed my life. I never felt free.
D: What do you mean by free?
P: Free is living your life the way you want to.
D: What is not free?
P: If you live a life and feel bounded by responsibilities and carry a big load then you are not free. I never enjoyed my life the way others do.
D: What is enjoyment?
P: Not being burdened by responsibilities and being free to do whatever one feels like doing is enjoyment. This I never had in my life.
Whenever he spoke of burden, load and responsibilities he used hand gestures. Every time he will take both of his hands up and bring them down as if trying to show the kind of load and burden he was carrying.
D: What is the effect of load and burden on you?
P: Confined and restrained. I was destined to have this kind of life. I have been timid since childhood and as I told responsibilities came to me at a very young age. I felt suppressed since then. These responsibilities of the whole family were like a big weight. As I told you I started earning at the age of 14 and I still carry the feeling that I never lived for myself. So many times I thought I should enjoy my life, go out, travel and live like others. The burden of responsibilities held me back. I never wanted to have money through illegal means. If treated badly I will never react.
D: What was the feeling?
P: I felt angry but I kept it inside. I felt weak. How could I react to my superiors or colleagues?
D: How was his reaction to others?
P: Even at home I try to endure everything and not react.
He feels sleepless after waking especially after 1 or 2 AM. While sleeping he needs 2 to 3 pillows and he keeps his head high.
There were almost no dreams or if there were any he did not remember them. There’s nothing important about perspiration except that he gets some perspiration when tense.
His appetite is less and he takes simple diet as majority of people of Jain community do. Milk does not suit him. It causes indigestion.
When asked about stamina he says, I can walk for 5 kms without getting tired and also climb 4 to 5 floors at a stretch. This is quite strange for a person of his age and also for someone who is anxious and depressed.
By this time lots of things had become clear and the questions that followed were to confirm what looked so apparent.
When asked about animals, he said he has got great fear of snakes. He had seen a Cobra in a field and ran away from there. Then I enquired about his liking or dislike for animals. He said there is not much he can say about animals.
Then I asked him to tell about any one animal that comes to his mind. He went blank, took a long pause and said “DONKEY”. This was the most amazing thing that happened and what followed was still more exciting.
Then I asked him to describe donkey and he used exactly those words which he had used for himself. He says owner of donkey uses it for his own selfish reasons. The masters misuse it and they don’t even take care of it’s basic needs like providing food and shelter, just leave it unattended to fend on his own. It is made to carry a load throughout the life and then discarded altogether. One doesn’t even have to spend much on it’s maintenance.
D: Describe how a donkey would feel?
P: Donkey knows, “it is destined to slog and carry load all it’s life.” No option for it.
Analysis of the case:
Analysis depends on what kind of information we have and here we can clearly perceive patient is expressing at the level of source. The following expressions along with hand gestures are most important. These expressions are coming repeatedly with lots of energy.
As we can see he used hand gestures several times while describing the experience of being overburdened. Whenever he used words like LOAD, BURDEN, RESPONSIBILITY, WEIGHED DOWN, OVERBURDENED, CONFINED etc. he will take both of his hands up and bring them down. This is how the energy is liberating beautifully.
Due to high domestic responsibility, he felt depressed and burdened. He never felt free and never lived for himself.
We can see a mammal theme, “I want to fulfil my responsibilities towards family even if their behaviour is not good towards me.”
Lac theme, which we see;
- Belonging to a group or a herd and paying price for that.
- Need to belong to the group.
- Self v/s the group.
Along with non characteristic physical complaints patient has great amount of fears for example fear of accident, and what will happen to his son if he is late. Moreover there is a feeling that he is of no use and with this there’s nervousness and no interest in work. He feels depressed.
When we study the case carefully few remedies like Aurum met, Staphysagria, Calcarea carb and Lycopodium come up for different reasons but none can be confirmed as it is evident.
Here is a case which is expressing at the level of source. His experience is UNIQUE and INDIVIDUALISTIC.
The most amazing part of the case was the similarity between his description of donkey and his own experience.
*Let us look at some features of this Animal:
Ass is Mammal (also known as Donkey) which belongs to the family Equidae and is known as Equus Asinus. The other members of the family are Horses, Zebras and Mules. The domestic Ass is derived from the African wild Ass.
They carry loads, pull carts, carry riders and hence are known as “beasts of burden”. Though they are not as fast as horses, they are long-lived, very agile and cheaper to maintain comparatively.
Donkeys are willing to please and DO WHATEVER YOU ASK THEM TO DO as long as you make them understand that they have nothing to fear.
Essential highlights :
Donkeys are more surefooted than horses, which make them better on rough mountain terrains.
Known as “BEASTS OF BURDEN” as they carry LOADS, RIDERS AND PULL CARTS.
They are grazing animals like all equines and need good pasture.
They are herds animals and can become deeply depressed if left alone or when solitary.
They have a highly-developed sense of SELF-PRESERVATION, which is misinterpreted as STUBBORNNESS.
Once they trust you, they are willing and companionable partners in work and pleasure.
BURDEN/ BURDENED/ OVERBURDENED/ WEIGHED DOWN/ LOAD/ LOADED/ LOADS/ LADEN/ SADDLED/ CONFINED/ CONFINE/ FENCED/ BOUNDED/ BOUND
RESTRICT/ RESTRICTS / RESTRICTED/ RESTRICTION/ RESTRICTING/ CONSTRAIN/ CONSTRAINED/ RESTRAIN/ RESTRAINED/ FREE/ FREEDOM/ GET OUT
KICK/ KICKS/ KICKED/ KICKING
RESILIENCE/ ENDURE/ ENDURANCE
TIRELESS/ TIRELESSLY/ STAMINA/ STRENGTH/ JAILED/ IMPRISONED/ LIMITED/ CURBED/ RELEASED
You can arrive to the kingdom ANIMALIA with issues related to SURVIVAL, COMPETITION, VICTIM/ AGGRESSOR etc.
Need of belonging to a group and paying the price for that, strong maternal instinct etc lead to Class MAMMALIA.
Patient was expressing directly at source level with lots of Hand gestures repeatedly with lots of energy in it.
Theme of Mammal and great amount of burden, load, weighed down, bounded, restricted and good amount of physical stamina too (he says I can walk for 5 kms without getting tired and also climb 4 to 5 floors at a stretch) was very clear throughout the case.
Mammals have aggravation from milk also.
Staphysagria: Mild, gentle, suppressed anger.
Lycopodium: Coward, cannot raise voice in front of superiors.
Calcarea Carb: Fear of accidents and fear of lightning. Issues with security.
Aurum Metallicum: Great sense of responsibility, depression, don’t want to live anymore.
“Sensation method is a reality and it helps prescribe an unknown or a lesser known remedy with precision and confidence.”
Lac Asinum 200 in aqua daily one dose for one week.
Follow up after 1 month:
Patient says he is feeling better and is feeling light and relaxed. His appetite has improved. Depression and fears are still the same. He had severe coryza and sore throat after the remedy for which he was advised to avoid any medicine. No medicine was given.
Follow up after 2months:
He is feeling less depressed. He says there is a desire to live. He is less anxious and fearful. No coryza.
Prescription: Lac Asinum 200 in aqua for three days.
Follow up after 4 months:
He feels happy and cheerful. He looks definitely better but continues to feel mild depression off and on.
Prescription Rx, Lac Asinum 1M in aqua.
Follow up after 6 months:
There is a big change. He says he is enjoying his life. Though I continue to feel responsible for my family and my relatives, I don’t feel the burden (BOJH). Another change which he reported was he has started expressing his displeasure. Family members say “ AAP PEHLE TOH AISE NAHI THHE” (You were not like this earlier). It’s a long time he did not get any coryza. No issues with sleep, appetite and bowel function.
No medicine given.
Follow up after one year: He does not feel depressed and responsibility is no more a burden for him. His fears are less. He feels more free.
Dr. Faiz Taji (BHMS)
Dr. Faiz Taji is a young, enthusiastic, sensitive and dedicated Homeopath. Always a learner at heart, seeking newer horizons and heights.