Case of a violent girl suffering from migraine and asthma
Dr. Rajan Sankaran
Editing Team: Armeen Jasavala & Dr. Alifiya Dedanwala
This is a case of an eighteen-year-old girl who consulted me on 23rd August 1996 with the following complaints:
- Sleepless from nightmares
- Dreams of scorpions biting her
- Dreams of snakes biting her and spiders
- Dreams of ghosts and spirits
- Dreams of violence, shooting, guns, wars, dead bodies
- Dreams of her death and of the death of her parents
- Dreams of a big yellow snake with a big hood covering the whole ceiling and coming towards her
- She also complained of migraines and asthma.
Every day she would go to sleep at 4 A.M to avoid such dreams. She described herself as someone who was fragile and needed to be handled with care. She was moody and angry from the slightest provocation. She dreamt that her grandmother’s house was haunted and woke up with a blinding headache. She’d be absorbed in thoughts all day, and had escaped many accidents as a result. She dreamt of going into an exam hall and forgetting everything at the last moment and as a result she failed. She dreamt that she was not getting her karate black belt, that she was doing everything wrong.
She gave up going for her computer class she had joined because she could not concentrate. She got nervous before exams, her hands trembled, she felt she could not do it. She crumbled under pressure and forgot everything at the moment of the exam.
She had tension headaches from worrying abut the future.
She had an urge to commit suicide. She had attempted it once and had to be hospitalized. She felt guilty that her parents were spending so much money on her and she could not do anything in return. She was on anti-depressants and sedatives. She was very embarrassed to go anywhere alone, and felt as though she will topple over. Her nails had turned blue from the cold. She had dark areas and puffiness under her eyes and acne on her face.
She got fits of violence: throwing things and hitting others. She tried to kill her father once, twisted her cousin’s arm and said, ` I WILL KILL YOU!’ Her eyes were starry and bloodshot and she was trying to control her temper. She said, ‘I COULD HAVE STRANGLED HIM!’, and started pounding the pillow.
She always felt helpless and would bang her head hard against the wall. She felt no one really understood her; they thought her behavior was deliberate.
She wanted to pursue advanced studies in music and would burst into tears listening to Vivaldi. She saw faces and heard voices. Music ameliorated her. She could not stand Karnatic music, it gave her a grating sensation.
She had a tingling sensation in the cervical spine as if something bad would happen and that often turned out true. She was irritated easily. She would suddenly develop hatred for happy people. She didn’t mingle with people her age; thought they wanted to be friends with her because they wanted to try out her computer. If she made friends she would tell them things and put her parents in a bad light. Felt she would be okay all alone on an island. She was possessive about her things.
She was mistrustful and thought people said things behind her back. She could not trust her parents; they may leave her. She got into bad company; had been warned about it and dropped her friends. People said she was intelligent, but she could not see any proof of it. She had an unreasonable hatred for her former principal and felt she had ruined her life by refusing to give her a second chance. She said that if she ever became successful she would ruin her somehow. She lost interest in studies after that. Now even if her principal came and begged her to study again she will not do it!
She wanted to be a criminal lawyer; this was in her blood. Music was in her blood too. She was interested in instruments rather than vocal and scored very well in music. She knew to play five musical instruments. She was afraid she may harm herself. At times, she hurt herself and did not feel the pain as she was absorbed in thoughts. She wanted to save a goat once and met with an accident but did not feel the pain; was numb and only felt the pain when at the doctor.
She was emotional and artistic. She felt cousins snubbed her intentionally which would make her hysterical with screaming. She experienced delirium with pneumonia as a child: was screaming, ‘You are not my parents! You have killed my parents !’ She knew everything that was happening. Her teeth were chattering so much she thought they would come out. But she was unable to control herself.
She told her parents that they have ruined her life and that she will kill them by strangulation because she knows all the pressure points. She was angry at God, felt he was taking revenge on her. Whenever she asked God for something it did not happen but when her mother asked Him for something it got answered. She feels she is not God’s favourite and had stopped going to the temple. People meet her in the temple and asked her about her studies and that embarrassed her.
Her mother said that when she was three years old she destroyed the sofa by piercing it with a needle. She would get complaints from school about her and the teachers would say that she was violent, not concentrating, talkative.
Once she had facial herpes on the right side and was in the danger of losing her eye. Her parents used to get her what she wanted and gave her a lot of love.
She would rebel if her mother took her to people’s houses. She can be extremely hateful or very loving and will be flamboyant, extroverted and kissing everyone.
She imagined seeing Vivaldi’s face often. She felt she was beside a lake with the conductor in her previous life. She was very conscious about her figure and appearance. She felt she was ugly, had no beauty or brains. Wants to be sent abroad as she feels her nature was suited to that lifestyle. She was tidy, averse to dirty toilets, crowds and second class train.
Before menses, she had acidity, nervousness, irritable, anxiety about pain, swelling and pain in the breasts.
She dreams of snakes that are disgustingly green. She has a major fear of spiders. She does not like them because they are creepy, crawly. She likes to kill them if they are small. If they are big, she starts screaming. She says, “I don’t see dignity when I see
a spider. I am disgusted with them. My dreams haunt me”.
She also dreams of spiders crawling all over her, she gets a creepy feeling and shudders. She gets pleasure when killing them. She also hates cockroaches and worms, but likes them better than spiders. She narrated a story of a spider that once came dangling down from the ceiling, she got bitten and her hand turned blue. Since then, she hates them even more. She also dreamt of living with snakes.
When asked to talk about music she explained that if the music is bad she grits her teeth and gets a headache. She likes soothing music and plays the veena, violin, Mrudangam, keyboard, and guitar herself. She loves dancing, especially break-dancing but stopped it because her mother said she may get bone cancer. She worries constantly she will get cancer or a heart attack.
She also likes two colors very much: red and blue. She likes fluorescent colors when in a mad mood. She hates the color white.
She told me about her aunty in a very interesting way, “She talks as if I don’t know my mother. I open my mouth only if I am right. When she comes home, she sits for hours. Looking at her my blood pressure rises. I hate the way she dresses, looks, smells. She is a demoness. Whenever I am free she calls up. I get so angry with her. I wish she didn’t exist. If there were two people like her Earth would not have been able to bear it. I treat her like a spider. Her very existence is a thorn in my side. Disgusting.
She pretends. I want to strangle her. She is a worm inside. Undiluted poison. I don’t like this pretending. She gets some indication that I am free with my mother and she is there. I prefer to throw her out”.
Analysis of the Case:
From the above, we can clearly understand that the patient is violent, aggressive with strong desire to kill when things are not as desired. These features come up repeatedly in the case which bring us to the theme of Animal Kingdom in her case. We see a strong feeling of Victim v/s aggressor, conflict within and outside her.
Distinguishing animal qualities in her case include:
- Dreams snakes
- Dreams spiders, insects
- Desire to kill
- Antagonism with oneself
- Issue of appearance
- Suicidal instinct
- Revenge, Malicious
- Death by Strangling
- Dirty and Disgust
In order to understand what Animal remedy she needs, it is important to understand the her Survival strategy. In her case we see the following:
The above features correspond to that seen in case of Spiders. We know spiders are very restless, malicious, vindictive, trap and attack, sudden attack, love music and dancing, rhythm.
Also in her case we see a strong connection with music. Music aggravates and ameliorates her state of mind. She can efficiently play 5 different instruments.
Further, we see strong quality of rage, violence with desire to kill by strangulation. She was sensitive to her space being invaded.
She spoke so much on spiders. We see a strong connection to the source. She had urge to kill them. The was terrified of the big spiders; they haunted her; found them creepy. She defined her space and the spiders. Interestingly she spoke about osmosis in case of Politicians- they must be shot dead.
She also spoke about her aunt who for her was a demoness, undiluted poison, like a spider.
Key features in the case are-
- Kill, shoot
- Colors- fluorescent
- Dirty- washing hands
- Music and dancing
Proving by Jonathan Shore:
Recurrent dream after the death of aunt that she is sorting through the house after she died. In past go into her room to sort out and arrange her papers and affairs and find her in her bed watching me even though she was dead. Terrible feeling of invading her space.
Aunt was very weird; accused her of stealing her things; very paranoid, mean…accused her of doing something underhand. Watching her…eyes just follow her…so full of hatred I wished her dead…She would nearly die… have a resurrection just to spite me. She was venomous. She could destroy people.
She received Atrax robustus 1M, single dose. She was repeated on 15.07.00 and 19.08.00. On 5.09.00. Atrax robustus 1M OD (once daily) was given over 21 days.
Follow up dated 11.11.00
- She is better. 30- 40% better
- Migraines were not as frequent
- Tension was less
- Depression was less
- She was no longer irritated quickly and she could control anger better
- She did not have nightmares now
- No wheezing attacks
- Don’t get violent dreams
- Earlier she had dreams of accident, insects, spiders, snakes and people dying but now only peaceful dreams of islands
- No headache now
- More calm, don’t get unreasonably angry; can tolerate people better
- Outlook has changed
Follow up dated 27-01-04:
- The patient reports she is perfectly fine
- She is able to study
- She is now more success oriented and not failure oriented
- Temper tantrums have reduced, now does not throw things, only uses words
- Ranked as a gold medalist and is a positive about being a lawyer
- Confidence has improved
- No violent dreams
- Has become more thick skinned, does not give a damn what people say now
- Fear of spiders has 95% improved
Dr. Rajan Sankaran L.C.E.H, M.D.(HOM), F.S.(HOM) (UK)is internationally renowned as a clear thinker and is best known for his path breaking concepts, especially his understanding of disease as a delusion, his use of mind symptoms and dreams, his classification of remedy states into kingdoms and his additions to the existing miasms. His recent work on the plant kingdom and the seven levels is fast gaining in popularity and promises to revolutionize Homoeopathy.