Boundless Desire for More and More and More – How Homeopathy Can Help

Homeopath Vatsala Sperling explores the limits of a homeopathic remedy in altering a self- destructive personality.

sperling feb image

INITIAL IMPRESSION AND OBSERVATIONS:

SDC, a thirty year old man, has come to my office on the insistence of his latest girlfriend. Since he has tried many different approaches he is open to trying homeopathy as well. As I come in to greet him in the reception area, I see a very tall and muscular young man sitting sprawled out on the chair and busy shaking his legs – non-stop. He is also busy nibbling a bar of chocolate. As we do a handshake, I notice that his hand is unusually hairy, and so is his head – a wild mop of jet black, very thick hair cascading down his shoulders in unmanageable waves. His facial hair is quite unkempt, and just as thick and dark.

FAMILY HISTORY: Rheumatism, alcoholism and addiction on both sides of the family. Parents divorced when he was ten, and just after the death of his only younger brother. There have been a few deaths from cancer.

PRESENTING COMPLAINT: Substance abuse

From his narrative, I gather the following themes. :

  1. ALCOHOL: THE BIG VICE

I can’t control drinking when I drink. I can’t resist this craving. Drink almost daily. Sometimes I stop for a while. Then I have to have just one drink, and then one more, one more, one more…. Drink till I run out, it is a downward spiral. I discovered it at a young age, liked it and soon became a bad alcoholic. Drink around major events: finishing school, losing a long-term girlfriend, making money, having lots of free time. It is a crazy combination, fun but crazy. Started thinking in 2003 that may be, I have a problem, I am not an ideal person and something is wrong with me after all. I was heavy into partying then. Girlfriend walked out on me. I fell in with a bunch of guys and did downers, uppers, speed, and anything else I could shoot, smoke, snuff, pop into mouth or drink. We made some great music while we were high. I had a good four-day a week job as a diver and got good pay. No responsibilities. No focus. Just drink, eat, f*** and be merry. I spent all my money on booze. Got arrested for DUI and spent 30 days in the ‘big house’. It felt very strange being locked in with hardcore criminals. I am not a criminal. I just want to have fun.”

  1. PARTY: THE BIG LOVE

Call me natural-born-hedonist if you will, but frankly, I like to have fun. What else is life for? Fun, friends, music, anything goes. I am overly into certain things and like to do things in excess. Never been one for moderation. I have a hard time containing myself. I have a hard time saying no to fun. If I like something I will go for it till I get sick of it or sick from it. Party, girls, booze, smoking pot, drugs, food, chocolates,driving, diving, rock climbing, deep sea fishing, snow-boarding, cross-country motor-biking, high speed driving…somehow, I always find friends who will come along for my party or who will call me to join their fun. Once I get into something, I find it strange that my breaks do not work…I keep going, have fun till I can’t stand on my feet anymore. There is no control, no regulation, no stopping.”

  1. A REAL JERK:

I can be a real jerk – so I have been told. Don’t remember being one, but who knows, it is all so strange. I get drunk, pass out, say coarse things to people, hurt them without even being aware, break relationships, don’t take responsibility, insult people and don’t remember. I am not walking around sober and being a jerk, but when I am drunk, something kicks in, I speak my mind, that comes off as offensive, harsh, rude. I have gotten into quite a few brawls by speaking my mind. I loosen up, my lips get loose and I have a big mouth. Loose, blurry boundaries, don’t watch my manners, language, attitude in social settings. Chaotic. No control. A jerk.”

  1. LOSS OF LIFE, LIVING LIFE:

Life is strange, very strange. I was spared but my only baby brother drowned and died when I was ten years old. Father became an alcoholic. Parents divorced. I was shuttled from one house to another. I broke rules everywhere. I played one parent against the other, smoked pot in a closet when I was eleven. My brother was my one true friend. His death is my one real loss. I don’t care about anything else. If all I have to do is to live with this loss, then I will live life the way I want – check out the limits of life, see how far I can go, and before my life is taken in a whim, I want to live it and get the most fun out of it – make up for all the fun my brother did not have. He died so young. I want to be free to do what I want or what I like. It was taken away from him. It was taken away from me. I was on probation for two years. Now I am free, I want to live, be happy. I don’t want to miss out on any experiences.”

  1. REGRETS:

I am so full of them. Strangely, I feel sorry for myself every day. I have squandered my life, thrown away the opportunities I was given. I have broken my parents’ hearts. I have let them down. I have let friends down. No one can count on me, depend on me. I do not keep my promise. I have abused my girlfriends. I have lost track of how many girlfriends I have had and how crudely I have behaved with them. I can’t say I have not been attracted to guys. I have been a jerk and neglected my friends when they needed me. I have lived on the fringe. I have left a trail of tears and heartaches behind me – by just being me, doing what I love, and not caring for anyone else. I am not a good person. That makes me feel sad. I spent my puberty crying for my dead brother, crying for my divorced parents, hiding my tears from every one, hiding myself from every one, and living dangerously – experimenting with “substance” that I got from stealing money from both my parents. It was so strange that no one noticed something was wrong with me. I was not a normal kid. I was different from everyone else I knew and no one noticed that. I feel sorry for that. I feel sorry for how I have lived my life. Sorry for how I have been treated. Sorry for how I treat others. I never fitted in and no one saw that.”

  1. DECEPTION:

No one saw I was different, is because I am good at deception. I will not let them know what I don’t want them to know. My brother died. I felt that event marked me as different. I felt like an outcaste – marked by death. For years, I did not talk to anyone about how I felt. I developed a persona to hidebehind. I found people in the world who will have fun. I could hide myself behind my fun. No one needs to know of my personal failures and sorrows. It led to low self-esteem, depression, insecurity, and the more I felt like that the more I went out partying…just pretending to be confident, outgoing, dashing, go-getter. Girls like that. I like girls. But, look closely and it is all a façade. It is not me. I am just cheating everybody, taking them for a big ride and they don’t know it, strange and foolish, idiots that they are.”

  1. DREAMS:

I see drinking dreams a lot and in my dreams I drink real, hard liquor – not root beer. I love sleeping. Love dreaming. Saw a dream that I can really jump very high- almost fly. It was fun. I see dreams of scuba diving, white water rafting, jumping off a cliff – endorphin kicks in. I get these highs also from eating lemons… yeah… feels so good. I dream of changing jobs. Work hard, play hard. Finish my duties, make tons of money, go out and have fun on the town, be free. Not be restricted in any way. Have the ability and power to do what I want to do.”

  1. FOOD AND DRINKS:

Like lemons, could get a high from drinking neat lemon juice. Eat sour fruits till my teeth become sour. I can eat countless bars of chocolates every day. Love sugar – I can snack on sugar. Make my eggs real spicy with hot chilli peppers and salsa. Everything has to have that extra zing – not bland. Food has to excite me. If it does not, why eat?”

  1. FEARS:

I will keep drinking and die an early death. Or, I will become a boring person.”

  1. PHYSICAL COMPLAINTS AND GENERALITIES:

Would love to live on the beach and scuba dive every-day, go deep sea fishing. Actually, I have lived by the sea and those were the best days of my life. A house on the beach is a babe-magnet. Mornings are not the best times for me. I feel low energy, stiffness in the whole body, wondering if I am going to become a rheumatic cripple like my grandfather. I get low back pain. I get hip pain. My mood picks up by evening and early part of night is my best time, I can keep awake into the wee hours of the morning, if I am having fun, sleep is not on my mind.”

CENTRAL THEME OF THIS CASE:

As SDC has put it brilliantly, this is a case of a natural-born-hedonist. With a family history of alcoholism and addiction, SDC has a miasmatic inclination towards doing things in excess. His early life experience of losing his only younger brother to a drowning accident and then enduring the separation and divorce of his parents shortly thereafter, propel him into a scenario where he begins to hide his tears, his true feelings from everyone by developing a persona and experimenting on the sly with “substances” purchased with stolen money. Soon he discovers that he likes these “substances” and that once he likes a “substance” he can’t bring himself to stop using it. Within the short span of his youth, the list of substances he has used and enjoyed include alcohol, uppers, downers, pot and anything else that he can sniff, shoot, pop into his mouth or drink. Once under the influence of a substance, he becomes a jerk and behaves like one. He has plenty of regrets for how he has lived his life so far, even though, for himself, this life has been anything but a non-stop party and a venue for fun. Even his dreams are of the type where he has fun, lives on the edge, and engages in adventure. He loves to eat the things that he likes and that are fun and exciting for him, like lemons, sour fruits, spicy eggs with salsa and peppers, chocolates, sugar by the handful. Presently, he wakes up with stiff body, painful back, low energy and with fear that he would become a rheumatic cripple like his grandfather. He likes to live by the ocean, get his scuba diving in, get his babes, but right now, what brings him to my office is his fear that he might die young if he keeps drinking, and his problem with “substance abuse” – to put it in his words.

Throughout this session, SDC has been shaking his legs non-stop. He has also been moving his gold ring – from one finger to the next, next, next, from one hand to the other hand, and he does it quite mindlessly. He does not look at me, but stares through the window into the blue sky outside. His expression is one of total boredom. He yawns very, very frequently and does not cover his mouth while doing so. He moves his hands repeatedly through his hair and caresses his beard and moustache. He has somehow managed to eat three full bars of chocolates, without even bothering to ask if it was ok to eat in my office. He has been biting his nails when not biting into the chocolate bar. He has used the word, “strange” quite frequently during this session.

The following pointers emerge that portray a complete picture of SDC.

  • Whatever he likes, he has to do in excess – food, drugs, alcohol, sex, adventure
  • Likes to party, loves girls (and boys), have fun, live a dangerous life
  • Substance dependence and overuse
  • Guilt and regrets
  • Hiding, persona, façade
  • Dreams of fun and adventure, adrenalin rush
  • Excessive yawning, leg-shaking, occasional nail-biting, playing mindlessly with his ring
  • Loves lemons, sour fruits and spicy foods
  • Loves to live by the sea where he feels his best
  • Low energy in the mornings, better in the evenings, low back pain, hip joint pain, stiffness

With these pointers in mind, I used Mac Rep software and 2008 Complete Repertory to look for rubrics that would cover the totality of this case.

  • 1. Mind; LOVE; PERVERSITY (16)

  • 2. Mind; REPROACHES; ONESELF (76)

  • 3. Mind; ALCOHOLISM, DIPSOMANIA (166)

  • 4. Mind; RUDENESS (68)

  • 5. Mind; BITING; NAILS (64)

  • 6. Mind; DREAMS; DRINKING (10)

  • 7. Extremities; HEAT; FEET; Night (18)

  • 8. Sleep; YAWNING; CONVULSIVE, spasmodic (46)

  • 9. Skin; HAIRY (18)

  • 10.Generalities; FOOD AND DRINKS; LEMONS; Desires (22)

I also considered the following rubrics:

Generalities; FOOD AND DRINKS; ALCOHOL, alcoholic drinks; Desires (200)

Mind; DELUSIONS, IMAGINATIONS; STRANGE; everything is (38)

Extremities; STIFFNESS; HIPS (55)

Mind; SELFISHNESS, EGOISM (61)

This graph is based on the first set of ten rubrics.

For final consideration I selected Medorrhinum, Natrum muriaticum and Sulphur.

MEDORRHINUM:

Bailey, “Medorrhinum is a fascinating and often missed constitutional type. The Medorrhinum individual has an enormous appetite for life, and for experiences of all kinds. He may be able to accept all manner of experience, both socially acceptable and otherwise, just to see what they are like. Medorrhinums are adventurers. Some explore the physical world…emotions…intellectual ideas…philosophies…scientific theories…imagination…mystical insights…As a child, Medorrhinum is likely to resent restriction and ignore his parent’s strictures when it suits him. Many young Medorrhinums have a long list of sexual partners. It is a very sexual type. Medorrhinum can plunge blindly into alcohol, sex and other stimulants…hedonistic tendency…given to excess…experiments with homosexuality…bisexuality…get on with all types of people…broad face reflecting strong intellect, full and sensuous lips, thick hair cascading in a mass of gentle curls.” Kent mentions, “Drawing pains in back and limbs, lame back, burning palms and soles, wants feet uncovered at night, obstinate nasal catarrh with loss of smell, shiny skin, craves stimulants – tobacco, sweets, green fruits, sour things, oranges, ale, salt, tobacco..” Vermeulen, “worse from heat, touch, closed room, better from lying on abdomen, leaning backward during evacuation, fresh air, uncovering, hard rubbing, sea side, dampness and sunset. Everything seems unreal. Shuns responsibility, can work hard but only for short time. No bounds, fears boredom, party animals, biting nails, feels as if joints are out of joint on getting up, shakes herself to get them into place when she gets up, desire lemons, chocolates” Morrison, “Loves the night, sleeps in knee chest position, constant clearing of throat.” Murphy, “Dreams of drinking, things seem strange, cruelty to animals…”

Comparing this picture with the portrait of SDC gathered from case taking reveals a striking similarity between the two, not only in the areas of indulgence in excess enjoyment of all kinds, but also in habits like nail biting.

NATRUM MURIATICUM:

Morrison mentions, “Deep grief and sorrow are hallmark of the character of Natrum muriaticum”. People needing this remedy are highly sensitive and refined and they take life’s blows too personally and deeply. To protect themselves, they create a wall around, become close and hard so that no one can get to them. These individuals are very responsible, sensitive to insults and criticisms, and can’t take rejection well. They are averse to consolation, though they bid for sympathy. They may appear kind because they are sympathetic to other’s pain. They can be quite controlled and perfectionist, fastidious, and try to control their environment. They can cry hysterically when their inhibitions are broken, or they can be quite sad but unable to weep. They hold grudges and they have a tendency to cry from sad music that they like to hear.

They have general aggravation from sun and in the midmorning (10 am). Their headaches have a description, “like hammers beating the head”. Throat, neck and face have emaciated appearance. There is aversion to sex (due to closed emotions, grief, disappointment), low sex drive, lower back pain better with firm support. There is general weariness and weakness, sulking and sighing. They have great vulnerability, and they desire solitude (Vermeulen). Kent, “Growing thin, eating salt in quantities, shiny, pale, waxy skin, emaciation (upper body, lower limbs and hips remain plump), nervous prostration and irritability, weeping and laughing. Bailey, “Disappointed love, addiction produces a temporary sense of wellbeing, majority of alcoholics are Natrum muriaticums, men resort to addictive behavior to ease the internal tension, and use alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, caffeine, marijuana and chocolates most commonly.”

SDC resembles Natrum muriaticum quite well, but the main difference is that he has not shown emotional vulnerability and closed emotions as a Natrum muriaticum would do. His exploration of the excitements and stimulants is with one purpose: must have as much fun as possible, it is not with the idea that he can hide himself and his grief behind the stimulants.

SULPHUR:

It seems to contain the likeness of all sicknesses of man” (Kent). The essence of Sulphur is about a great, wide but shallow intellectual interest coupled with a philosophical bent of mind and together these traits bestow a sense of superiority, egotistical arrogance and haughtiness in the individual – he becomes cynical, and condescending. Being ambitious, philosophical, an intellectual and detached, he may even harbor disgust for others. Morrison mentions a practical – idealist type Sulphur who focuses on social interaction, service, approval and appreciationseeking and this type is egotistical, generous, enthusiastic and charming, as well as anxious about his health and family, and can go into depression/ moroseness.

Lean, lank, hungry, dyspeptic with stoop shoulders, leading a sedentary life confined in their room in study, in meditation, in philosophical inquiry, and who takes no exercise” is a description from Kent. Herring calls Sulphur a “ragged philosopher”. Scattered, lazy, disorganized, shabby, dirty-looking, and critical” (Morrison) – this is another end of the Sulphur spectrum.

Sulphur is warm and worse from heat, standing, bathing, and has that unmistakable hunger at 11 am and a diarrhea that drives him out of bed at 5 am. Standing is the worst position for Sulphur (Clarke).

I held this image of Sulphur against the portrait of SDC that has emerged from casetaking. SDC’s rudeness, self-serving behavior, relentless pursuit of what pleases him and his shabby, ungroomed look makes him resemble Sulphur, but there the similarities end. He does not show the haughtiness of Sulphur even when he is rude to people…when he is drunk. His rudeness, saying crude, coarse things comes from a breakdown of personal boundaries, and not from any particular idea that he is superior to others.

PRESCRIPTION AND POTENCY:

Based on my differential analysis, I selected Medorrhinum for SDC. When I reviewed his case, I found that six symptoms were from the mental-emotional range, but none of them represented any delusions. The physical symptoms like feet getting hot at night, yawning, hairy skin and desire for lemons – none of these appeared to represent any localized disease condition. So, SDC, the individual, though seeking help for his addictive temperament (a mental – emotional illness) could use a high potency. I recall reading Sankaran’s writing,

The selection of the potency depends on the intensity, clarity and spontaneity of the symptoms expressed – especially of the peculiar symptoms, which reflect the individuality of the person. Consider the following: A patient comes and says, “I don’t know why but I often feel that I am poor, that I look like a beggar and am wearing tattered clothes.” Here we have an intense, clear and spontaneous expression. In such a case, I would almost invariably give a high potency (perhaps 10M); all other considerations, such as pathology, etc., would be secondary.

SDC’s expressions are spontaneous. He has not hesitated in describing himself, his lifestyle, habits, inclinations, and even in exhibiting gestures like shaking his legs, biting his nails, caressing his beard and hair, staring out through the window, and playing with his ring; he is quite uninhibited. He appears to be of strong constitution and not suffering from any acutes at the moment. On these grounds I select Medorrhinum 10M for him and give him one dose.

FIRST FOLLOW UP, APRIL 10, 2009:

SDC has come for this appointment in a clean set of clothes. “I have been doing all right. I have not drunk even beer in these past weeks. Don’t feel like it.” For the rest of the session, he talked about how he loves the stimulation his job as a civil engineer provides him, “I love the road crew I work with. They are a wild bunch of macho guys. Girls are in shortage, but I get my share, no problem, ever…” and so on. He made a little eye with me and said, “My legs don’t hurt as much. My girlfriend insists that I do yoga with her. May be that is helping. Perhaps it is. I have tried other exercises but my hips never felt good. With yoga they do feel better. I am sleeping better too, more than six hours every night. Earlier, I just used to be awake and drinking till 1 AM and could not fall asleep.”

ASSESSMENT AND PRESCRIPTION:

On the very first prescription of Medorrhinum 10M, SDC has said that he has not drunk any alcohol for nearly six weeks. He has not felt like drinking. His limbs and hip joints feel better but he attributes the progress to yoga. He is sleeping better and longer.

SDC’s presenting picture included these symptoms:

  • Whatever he likes, he has to do in excess – food, drugs, alcohol, sex, adventure
  • Likes to party, loves girls (and boys), have fun, live a dangerous life
  • Substance dependence and overuse
  • Guilt and regrets
  • Hiding, persona, façade
  • Dreams of fun and adventure, adrenalin rush
  • Excessive yawning, occasional nail-biting, playing with his ring, shaking his legs
  • Loves lemons and sour fruits, spicy foods
  • Loves to live by the sea where he feels his best
  • Low energy in the mornings, better in the evenings, low back pain, hip joint pain, stiffness

These improvements have been reported:

Lack of desire for drinking,

Reduction in hip and limb pain

Better and longer sleep.

The remedy is working. No need to re-prescribe or change the dosage.

SECOND FOLLOW UP, MAY 18, 2009:

SDC has had a hair-cut. His hair is still wild-looking and bountiful, but at least it is in its right place and not falling over his forehead, and shoulders. He says, “I am well. No drinking bouts. A couple of my drinking buddies had come by asking me to join them. I did go with them because I did not want to be rude. But the bar scene just did not seem inviting. I detested the smell of alcohol. It seemed strange to me that all these people were sitting there nursing their drinks…it seemed strange that not too long ago, I would have joined them happily, but now, just don’t feel like it. I remember the 30 days I spent in the ‘big house’. I remember the two years I was on probation, with the local law office sitting on my tail, watching every move I made and having me come to his office twice daily to sign a register. I had lost all my freedom. I don’t want that life again. I will not drink.”

ASSESSMENT AND PRESCRIPTION:

Since the first dose of Medorrhinum 10M, on February 10, almost 12 weeks have gone by without a relapse. Even when in a bar, SDC has refrained from drinking. He attributes this abstinence to his recollections of days spent in the ‘big house’ and during his two years of probation. No relapse of drinking routine. No complaints of any physical symptoms like pain in limbs and hip joints. These improvements show that the remedy is working.

No need to repeat the dose or change potency.

THIRD FOLLOWUP JUNE 25, 2009:

I am doing all right.” SDC says, “But I had an event. I broke up with my girlfriend. She expects a monogamous relationship. I will not promise anybody that. No one is worth it. I have to have my fun…it gets boring after a while. I have to have variety, excitement, change. In the past, a similar break-up would drive me into the open doors of the bars. I would drink there. I would get home and drink again. Now, she left and a day later, instead of drowning myself in alcohol, I was looking through my face-book friends and selecting whom I could hit up for a date. Only thing is, now that she is gone, I am not interested in yoga anymore.”

ASSESSMENT AND PRESCRIPTION:

SDC had no sadness attached with this break up. He was already onto exploring new territory and finding another girlfriend. He was not drawn to alcohol as he would have been in the past, in a similar situation. On being asked about his limb and hip joint pain, he said that he had not had any. These areas have registered improvement – no desire for drinking, and no legs / hip joint pain (even after stopping yoga!!). He continues to look for newer sexual partner because he gets bored and he needs variety. This aspect has not changed.

Remedy is continuing to work. No need for repeating a dose or changing potency.

FOURTH FOLLOW UP, JULY 31, 2009:

SDC reports, “I am getting along well with family, or what is left of it. Fourth of July was a test…everyone, but everyone, was drinking. Liquor was flowing like water. Every other stuff was all around…I had to excuse myself and get back home. I did not even want to go for the fireworks. There would be more drinking. Girls will be crawling all over me. I don’t mind that. But have to give the new relationship some time. See where it will lead. At home, we ate popcorn and watched a movie. She does not drink…so that is a good influence on me. My Fourth of July memories are not all good – mostly I have no memory of them because I have been so drunk and high that I had to be dragged to my bed.”

ASSESSMENT AND PRESCRIPTION:

SDC has survived another challenge – the alcohol availability during Fourth of July. In the past he would be dead drunk on this occasion. Instead of taking his pick of the girls crawling over him, he wants to give some time to his new relationship and see where it leads.

This is a major change for SDC from how he was before the dose of Medorrhinum 10M given to him on February 10. It is four months since the first dose. He has no craving for alcohol or other stimulants that are freely available and that he indulged in heavily in the past. This improvement shows that the remedy is continuing to work. No need to repeat the dose or change potency.

FIFTH FOLLOW UP, AUGUST 30, 2009:

SDC looks a bit drawn. He says, “Kind of, getting bored here. Not much to do, nowhere to go. Summer is getting over soon. It will be cold. Winters are hard on me. Remember getting drunk and being unable to drive at night, getting kicked out of friend’s house because I was being ajerk, and I had to walk on icy roads, through freezing rains, to get home at 3 AM. This is not a place for a single, rootless guy. I don’t know how far I can stay sober. I feel like having some drinks after work…it is matter of when the desire will get strong enough, when the drinking buddy of the past will knock at the door and take me out…my girlfriend had to move out because she found a job in another town. She hates driving long distance. I don’t want to follow her around… I am back to square one…looking for someone on face-book.”

ASSESSMENT AND PRESCRIPTION:

Though SDC looks drawn, he is playing with his ring again and biting his nails from time to time; these activities are not as frequent as before. He looks at me more often instead of wearing an expression of sheer boredom, yawning and looking out through the window. His leg-shaking is much less. He has not mentioned about any pain in his legs and hip joints.

The remedy is working still because he has not been drawn to alcohol yet. His other expressions – nail biting, yawning, playing with the ring, shaking his legs – are considerably reduced. But he has begun saying, “it is matter of when the desire will get strong enough, when the drinking buddy of the past will knock at the door and take me out” …This statement says to me that in his mind the desire is raising its head again…since he is not known to apply self-restraint and will power against his desire to drink, I wonder if he needs a dose of his remedy again…in the hopes that it will mitigate his desire for indulging in excess. Somehow it will make him say “no”.

I decide to repeat a dose of Medorrhinum 10M in the hope that it will help him say no to his temptations. If it is not required, it will not do him any harm. If it is the right decision, he will benefit from staying sober and saying no to his temptations. I love the magic of the minimum dose.

SIXTH FOLLOW UP, January 15, 2010:

SDC looks reasonably happy. He says, “I am resigning from this job. In the winters, there is no fun in the road crew job. All road constructions happen in summer. That is when there is action. I can’t be sitting around, waiting for the snow to melt. I was just waiting to get past X Mas and New Year. Now, I am headed to the West. A girl friend I found on the face-book has a house on the beach…I will go stay with her for a while and see how it goes. I am signing up for a job with a deep sea fishing company in Los Angeles. It is fun…a lot of fun…I can be out at the sea for a stretch of over five days, will not see land at all. That is the life I want. The babe-caching chances are good too. It is LA…all those hot Latinas…”

He goes dreamy on me.

ASSESSMENT AND PRESCRIPTION:

Well, SDC is on his way to LA. When he first came to me in February 10, 2009, based on his symptoms, and my observations of him, I had picked out these pointers:

  • Whatever he likes, he has to do in excess – food, drugs, alcohol, sex, adventure
  • Likes to party, loves girls (and boys), have fun, live a dangerous life
  • Substance dependence and overuse
  • Guilt and regrets
  • Hiding, persona, façade
  • Dreams of fun and adventure, adrenalin rush
  • Excessive yawning, leg-shaking, occasional nail-biting, playing with his ring
  • Loves lemons and sour fruits, spicy foods
  • Loves to live by the sea where he feels his best
  • Low energy in the mornings, better in the evenings, low back pain, hip joint pain, stiffness

On the very first prescription of 10M Medorrhinum (February 10, 2009), he stayed sober for over seven months. During his follow up on August 30, 2009, he showed a slight leaning toward alcohol again, though he had not consumed any, but he was awaiting the arrival of his drinking buddy and concerned that when that happened, all his abstinence would go down the drain. Though his other symptoms like yawning, playing with his ring, biting his nails, were much reduced and he had not complained about his limbs and hip joint pains, I had repeated the dose of Medorrrhinum 10M on the ground that his desire was raising its head. I did not want to wait for him to drink again and then give a repeat dose.

The second dose of Medorrhinum 10m was given on August 30, 2009. It is three months since the dose. He has not reported any craving. This shows that the remedy is working.

However this SDC and his case of substance abuse have kept me humble. I have become aware that homeopathy can’t change a mouse into a lion, a lion in to a bird, and a bird into a snake. But it can help a lion be a better lion, a bird be a better bird and so on…

SDC has shown great improvement in his presenting complaints – his substance abuse has gone, and so have his pains in limbs and hip joints. He has improved with regards to his behavior …reduction in nail-biting, leg-shaking, playing with his ring… but he has essentially remained the same thrill-seeking individual who lives on the edge, who can’t settle into a relationship because he gets bored and he has to have variety… These traits may never change, or maybe a further dosing with super high potency may bring about a profound change in his spiritual inner being as well. But that is just hope.

The reality is, SDC has not even once given any credit to homeopathy…that it has to do anything with his soberness or his lack of pain. According to him, soberness was due to his drinking buddies not showing up, or due to his recollection of the days in the big house – where he did not want to go again. The absence of hip joint pain, stiffness and limb pain is, per SDC, because of yoga. He is ready to move on to greener pastures…live the high life that he wants to live — by the sea, where he feels at his best.

To the deities of the high seas, I entrust SDC’S wellbeing and hope that whenever he needs help, somehow, in its kindness, The Universe will provide for him, keep him safe from harm and “substance”, and keep him happy and healthy on the high waves.

Homeopathy can do a lot. It has done a lot for him as shown in the progress he has reported and for this I am profoundly grateful to the remedy. The well-meaning Universe can do a lot more and continue the healing process that has been gently started by the homeopathic remedy, and carry it out to its satisfactory completion. To that end I offer my prayers for SDC and send him off with my best wishes for his future.

About the author

Vatsala Sperling

Vatsala Sperling

Dr. Vatsala Sperling MS, PhD, PDHom, CCH, RSHom(NA), was the Chief of Clinical Microbiology services at a children’s hospital in Chennai, India, where she conducted research with the World Health Organization and published extensively. On moving to the USA to start a family, Vatsala pursued an education in homeopathy at Misha Norland’s School of Homeopathy. An author of nine books (www.InnerTraditions.com) and many essays and articles on homeopathy, health and spirituality, Vatsala continues to study with several teachers. She practices classical homeopathy in Vermont, currently volunteers on the case review committee of the CHC and has served on the board of directors of NASH. Vatsala can be reached via her website, www.rochesterhomeopathy.com.

10 Comments

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    A beautiful Medorrhinum case – you have really shown us the patient.

    This would be great to use at colleges when studying Medorrhinum.

    Lots of good learning here – not least how to act gracefully from our best part in the face of non-acknowledgement.

    Thank you 🙂

  • Dear Dr. Sperling,
    I really enjoyed reading this case. I am a Family Constellation facilitator and can’t help but wonder if his “entanglement with an ancestor” was the root cause of the reason he didn’t fully heal. I often recommend my clients use homeopathy to support and enhance healing once the entanglement has been offered a resolution. In my own experience, remedies work better when constellations have been done for a stubborn healing problem and outcomes from constellations are more readily present when remedies have been used beforehand. I have often observed the link between miasms and “devotional aspects to ancestors” and use this concept in my medical constellations to evoke greater healing. It is cases like this one that make me appreciate what I believe is the perfect combination: Family Constellation therapy and homeopathy. For me, it is a match made in heaven.
    Sincerely,
    Annie
    San Diego, CA

    • Hi Annie,
      Thanks for your well-considered comment on my case. As you must have experienced yourself, homeopathy is a very comprehensive system of healing. Use of medical constellations for arriving at an indicated remedy, as you have pointed out, could be a way to help clients. In fact, Ayurveda, the ancient healing science from India, is known to use the messages contained in birth-charts and heavenly constellations for predicting an outcome for patients struggling with serious ailments.

      Thank you for taking time to comment on my case.
      vatsala

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