Creating Waves of Awareness
Male Patient, 40 years old
Clinical depression (diagnosed through our mental health system)
Been to see a psychologist once, I didn’t like it, it was too structured, he was up and out at the end of the hour.I don’t want to use medication.I don’t want to change the person I am
I want to get back to the old person I was.I have known wasn’t myself for a couple of years
Down.Not wanting to get out of bed.Not wanting to answer the phone
One thing that happened was a relationship that broke up.This relationship was it for me.Ticked all the boxes.Lot younger than me, came out of the blue
The other thing is the pressure at work.It consumes you.I am trapped, we are in and have to do it.Don’t know how get out .The pressure
I am not myself.Empty.Unhappiness.Nothing excites me.Even going on holiday
Emptiness.Just going through the motions
Trigger for me coming to you – this is not right.Travel was my passion.I have lost that.I used to love it
I have trouble meeting people.I am lonely.So much to give and share, but I can’t seem to find that person, it is all too hard.It is something I want to do
It is easy for me to just have a lot of sex, it is not who I am
Describe that 'easy to have a lot of sex'
It gives me excitement.I am a very sexual person.It takes over, always on my mind.Doesn’t give me fulfilment.It is a release.I build up this thing all day.I feel more relaxed.Then I slip back into ‘what did I do that for’
Then it is back to the couch for the night.Then I am tired, had my sex – don’t answer the phone.Friends still try to contact me, I avoid contact more and more.It is all too hard
What is it like when you socialize?
All too much effort beforehand.Once I am there it is fine.I can still talk to people
How does it feel to you?
It feels the same to me.New friends I have tried to have, that is not there.They drift away, slip out of the picture.Making new friends is pretty hard.I am not on the scene anymore – don’t go to clubs – older.I don’t have that energy anymore.I don’t have it – I don’t feel good.I don’t have that life, that energy, that bounce.It doesn’t feel normal
What is it then if not normal?
There is a still bit there.I am not suicidal, I am not that type of person (Denial - he is suicidal)
I am empty, I am lost.I have nice things – nice car and house.I am not complete without that other person.That feels like it is missing.I have gone a long time on my own, my own world.How would I fit them in my crazy life – with work?. Maybe that was a fantasy. I was in a good place when I was with my last partner. There is very little contact with her now. My mind goes there every day. Lots of disappointment
Devastated, absolutely devastated. The full of extent my heartbreak I never let her know. I am disappointed with myself. I could have changed that if I had communicated it to her. I had never experienced this before – first time I have had this heartbreak. Real good connection. She was on my wavelength. We were happy for a long time. I had to let her go
And after her?
Lonely. Extremely lonely
I would cry every morning, howl in the shower so no-one could hear me. I would let it out, a real heart wrench
What has happened to me? (Patient begins to pose the questions, this is a good sign, the energy is flowing in the right direction, the patient is directing me I am not directing him)
My soul was lost. Real loss. We were going to travel, buy a house. It was almost like…she was my life partner, perfect sex life, very satisfied. I had everything, this was it. Didn’t even think about it. It was good for many reasons
Describe the loss?
Made me feel sick in the stomach. Devastating. Almost like a bad dream
I almost became a stalker – would look for her online
I still hurt. But I don’t have that contact from her. Rarely talk except for money she owes me. It is ok when we are in each other’s company. I still want to have sex. That doesn’t help me
I can directly link how I feel to this
So you are still feeling that loss?
Yes . Breakdown. Crying. Unresolved. Was everything. Never knew why we broke up. Left me feeling like sh*t. Don’t know why we spilt up. Felt like a bad person. Was there something wrong with me? We seemed perfectly happy
Glimmer of hope every now and again, is she coming back?
Describe how you can link it?
I was in another world. Old happy world. Since that loss, I haven’t been me. Everything has become too hard.Nothing else has happened. Pressure at work, helping brother get through his divorce
Describe ‘Not being me?’
I used to be happy. Couldn’t wait to start the day. Feels like I am going through the motions. Don’t feel the excitement. I know there is no magic potion (I always smile when this is said- acutally there could very well be one)
What is missing?
Happy. Underlying flatness. (HG hand moves in a line as if flat)
Everything is so boring. Coming back to my old partner again, she was fun loving, brings life to the table. She brought the best out in me. She would have people over, fun environment, social. Ever since that I have had nothing
Emptiness (HG again)
I have lost part of my life, where it was enjoyable and fun. On my own, nothing to do, don’t want to do anything
Ok, so this seems very simple - he has lost the love of his life, he is devastated, he is depressed and feels empty, no joy in life, no excitement, nothing feels good to him, he sits alone on his couch avoiding contact with people, he feels flat - I could have stopped right here and given him Phos-ac, Nat-mur, Aurum or other remedies for which these are known characteristics (there are probably more possibilities).
But I didn't. One of the most important lessons I have learned from the Sensation Method is not to jump to conclusions, not to stop half-way in to a case and assume I understand it, not to allow my knowledge of specific remedies to prevent me from hearing the peculiar truth. I have not yet found what is strange, all of this sounds very human. This is a Sensation concept - to identify what is the substance (remedy) and what is the person.
Describe emptiness to me?
Lying in bed, feeling dark, there is nothing inside
What am I doing here?
Everything is depleted
All your resources
There is nothing
There is no light
Light has been turned out
Light has been flicked off
(So his feeling of emptiness, is actually a feeling of being Alone in the Dark - see how easily things can change when you pursue them)
Feeling of it, in the body?
Everything has been sucked out. Slouching. Too hard to hold yourself up. Have some stature otherwise, proud, nothing out there
Describe sucked out, hollow?
People needing things from me, like at work. Main person at work. Constantly on the phone. Lot taken from me all the time. Giving out. That leaves me exhausted
When you were on holidays how did you feel, did you recapture some of that excitement you used to feel?
No, I was totally on my own
I should have been enjoying the sights. It didn’t mean anything to me
Wallowing in self pity. Trying to make sense of why I felt that way. Probably felt worse on holiday, I was alone
Just describe Empty?
(HG hands going outwards)
All your resources gone. Depleted
I feel like I am in my own world
I have been put in this box. I have to come out. I get back in after doing what I have to do
there. No-one can get to you. I am in control. In my box I am safe. Me only
Out of the box there is everything else going on. I am worrying, chasing my tail. Worry why I feel this way. Doors close. No-one can get to me
All these pressures and demands out of the box. Time demands
Do you want to know the feeling it creates in me? (So many times the patient will tell you where to go with the questioning or will alert you to something very important, it is amazing)
Eats me up
What next, I will jump. Always worried. When will this end? I can’t keep doing this for the rest of my life. Almost intolerant of it. Nervous. I don’t have the energy. Pressure – people harassing me. Clients take all my energy. Put a wall up
Describe being at home?
Safe. No-one can get to me
No-one can get me angry or upset. Uncontactable. No-one can make me feel bad
I am not scared of being outside
(Denial = he is scared)
I am not frightened to go out of my front door (Denial = he is frightened)
I am a lot happier in my house, on my own, feel safer
Ok so now something quite strange is showing itself. Here is a man who started talking about disappointed love, but is now describing being alone, frightened, in the dark, and needing to be safe. This is not Ph-ac, or Ignatia, or Nat-mur or any other disappointed love remedy I might consider. So I pursue this further...
Opposite of safety?
That is crazy I know (Patient himself has identified something very important here. Even he can see what he is saying doesn't make sense, so we are very close to the central disturbance, to the irrational part of the case - the remedy)
Out of control, cannot control. Could get hurt by it
Crocodiles in a creek
They would get attacked
Lose a leg
Experience of being attacked?
Horrendous. Painful. Could die
Got to get out of here
Pain and suffering is the worst thing, helpless
Can’t get away
Caught by this thing, pulling you down
No-one there to help me
I am alone
So here is the peculiar state, the part of the case that makes no sense - he is alone, in a dangerous place, where he could be attacked by a wild animal and violently hurt or killed. I change tack here, I need to confirm that these words appear elsewhere in the case. If I am not looking at the right part of the case, or not perceiving it correctly, he will go off and talk about other things.
Things that you do to make you excited?
Going back to nature, I feel grounded, brings me back … Sex. Surf
Feeling about being depressed?
Something wrong with me. Lost not enjoying anything. Almost like a mood. This place I am in
Feeling in that place?
Boring. Straight line. Nothing to look up to. No excitement. I am not into anything. Boring
I cannot believe I am saying it. It is just not me. I am not into it. Beautiful outside. Stuck in this mood
Something has happened to me, put me here. I am hard done by. Not after sympathy (Denial = he is after sympathy)
Something has happened
I am trapped
I don’t know what to do
Most helpless situation a person could be in?
Being starved. No resources. No food. Nothing that humans need to survive
Someone in Africa, with nothing around them – poverty
Like in the desert
– a poor black person with nothing
No food, hot sun, no water
On their own
They drifted off on their own, from their culture and village
They are on their own, lost, helpless, don’t know where to turn, where to go
Danger of starvation, dying
Horrible. Horrid. On your own
Out of control
Cannot help themselves
Losing their mind
Don’t know what to do
So this is his experience of disappointed love - to be alone in the wilderness and to be in danger, where you could die, and it is frightening. A wild animal could attack you, kill you, eat you.
Prescription = Stram 200 1 drop 2 succussions diluted ¼ cup of water 1 teaspoon, one dose only
First follow-up : one month later
I took the remedy on the day that I left here a
First reaction I felt for a few days was calmness, really relaxed. Nothing was a problem. I wasn’t worried, I wasn’t tense, just deal with it, it was all good. Just sitting on a fence. I just felt better, in myself
I felt calm, not overjoyed. Almost like I was on tranquilizers. That lasted a few days
Then it wasn’t like I crashed or anything
In fact, since I last saw you I have been quite good. It has just continued. I felt different
It didn’t crash, just that tranquilized feeling went away
But I still felt better
I haven’t had a bad day since seeing you
I feel normal in the morning
I haven’t even thought about how I was feeling.
I don’t feel bad at all when I wake up. Just normal. I just get up and do what I have to do
I have been out on a few dates with someone. Just out of the blue. Someone interested in me, that is cool
What about all the sex?
I haven’t really done it. I was looking forward to having a date with someone. It was almost a daily event to have sex, but not now. I am not driven like I was
I haven’t felt the need to go out having sex with someone else. It is not here in the front of my mind anymore
Now that I think about it, what has happened is that I am not wanting to be self destructive. I am not wanting to go have sex with a total stranger now. I just feel more comfortable in the everyday things now
Work is not such a challenge now, I am just taking things as they come. I am not freaked out about everything. Just taking it as it comes
I really want to take the remedy again
Tell me about your sleep?
It was better for those few days as well
But then it came back, the problem sleep
I always used to sleep quite well, sleep for 7 hours. But for a few years it has been really light, don’t get a full sleep. I don’t get a deep sleep, as if I am waiting for the alarm to go on. I may wake 3-4 times a night to urinate. I thought the crankiness and depression in the morning was because I was tired from not sleeping properly. But I don’t feel like that on waking now, I am just tired
Are you dreaming?
Yes, quite bizarre, but I have trouble remembering them now
Usually things that have happened to me in the past , things that could happen or might have happened in the past – I might be doing housework but in a house that is not mine (200 potency)
Often dreamed of my dead grandmother, she died five years ago, took me a long time to get over that – there is often a sadness or a loss in the dream, loss and hurt
Is the sleep the same? Is it every night?
Yes every night
Some nights it is not bad as others - always not deep. But some nights it is worse, I wake more. For 3 nights after the remedy I slept without waking. I didn’t wake for any reason not even to urinate. Even in terms of the sleep it is the least of my worries. I feel better in myself, I feel generally better. I felt as a being, I had all these problems
Now I am a lot more relaxed and calm in myself. I don’t feel that anymore
I feel I will be able to have better relationships now
Prescription = repeat remedy exactly as before
Interview date: One month later
I did my second round of the remedy. Totally lost the plot for a couple of days. I got really low for a few days. I felt weird. Depressed again, didn’t feel good. Didn’t last long just a couple of days
After that I bounced back. Back to my natural high now, I spent those few days moody.
I am not depressed at all now
I am totally good now – I might be broke but I am happy. This girl in my life is still there, that is good, it is remarkable. Still not looking for sex with other people
Sleep is better than it was – but still not 100%
Not writing my dreams down, I only remember one
I am in England sitting in a house with a movie theatre with this girl I am seeing. I ordered food, the barmaid threw it at me. This girl had her breasts out next to me, I had no desire because of it and left with my girl
Feel I am in a light sleep, I might be dreaming a lot. I am relaxed on going to bed, way more than I used to be. I can switch off now. I am still getting up to urinate 2-3 times a day - sometimes hardly any urine .
I also have a trouble maintaining an erections sometimes - but this isn’t very often anymore
What do you want to do around the remedy?
I don’t want to take it. That is different to last time. I feel good, I don’t need it right now (I let patients make this choice and find that they can be better at deciding this than I might be).
Prescription = wait and see, repeat the remedy if any of the emotional or mental symptoms come back.The symptoms he still had (light sleep, urge to urinate at night) resolved themselves without any further intervention on my part. Patient didn't need anymore repeats and continued to remain well for several years after his last visit. He referred his brother to me as a patient for what he thought was a similar issue (of course it was only superficially similar) and it was interesting to compare the family influences there - which is a discussion for another day.
I am very excited to read this case, to know more about sensation method
Really it is genuine cure.
Dear David - I'm so thankful that you keep sharing these sensation cases and take us from the beginning, through your inner talk and thinking as the consultation progresses. The follow up information gives us a chance to understand how to manage the case and learn the interaction between client and homeopath.
We have probably all used stramonium, but now have gleaned more insight into the desires and different expressions and layers of the case. We can now understand how this "loss" and "break up" could trigger a deeper emotion of fright of being alone in the dark and feeling helpless. Now, we know this is stramonium. I did not realize the sleep patterns and sexual habits for someone requiring stramonium as a balancing remedy.
Thank you so much for the comments so far. I am really glad people are getting something out of these presentations and I have stirred up interest in examining our various ways of taking cases. I find this part of our 'art' particularly fascinating. I have also been very dedicated to the idea that whatever method we use must benefit and strengthen the relationship we have with the client so I am happy you can see that aspect of it Debby.
Kuram, I am happy to answer any questions you might have. Yes Dr Sehgal's method is very much like this, and Dr Sankaran obviously used his work as inspiration and a foundation for his own.
I also agree there was some apparent animal themes here, but that is often the case with this particular plant family (Solanaceae) so you need to be careful not to jump to conclusions (the real risk for anyone using this method). There are themes of violence, wild animals, dogs, snakes, terror etc which can definitely look 'animal-like' so to speak. The thing with kingdom is that it is not just determined by looking at various themes and symptoms, but be examining the basic problem the patient expresses. I found this one of the most difficult parts of the method to understand, and I think most people find they have the same problem. Often you have to step back after the case has been taken to look at the big picture to really be able to see it clearly. I believe I made more mistakes with Kingdom than almost anything else when I was learning how to do this (closely rivalling the problems I had understanding the concept of 'source language').
It is important to remember that just because a patient talks about animals, even if they go into great length about them and even identify with one specifically, this does not in any way weight the case towards a remedy from the animal kingdom. Many plants and mineral remedies will do the same. The individual themes can be found all across the various groups and kingdoms, but it is the 'totality' that will emphasize one in particular. So the basic problem for an animal would be 'something is dominating, controlling, attacking, killing me and I must either fight back and win, or I must submit to survive'. All of the patient's issues will tend to reflect or revolve around this basic problem. You can even see this in the physical state, where the patient will experience a conflict or struggle between themselves and a disease they might identify as almost like a separate entity. It is out of that fight against something other than 'self', that many of the other themes arise - jealousy, territory, aggression, violence and so on. Competition amongst animals is a very active process.
The plants on the other hand, will express their basic problem as a specific sensation or feeling, or set of closely related sensations and feelings, which they constantly must react to. They will usually also express the opposite sensations or feelings. If one imagines the difference between plants and animals in nature, animals can move, flee, fight, remove themselves from the environment or directly remove the threat to their survival. Plants cannot do this, but must instead stay where they are and adapt or die. Of course plants are not completely helpless when it comes to their environment, but they are even more reactive to it than animals. The theme of a plant tends to be 'I must react to this condition or I must not react to it', 'I am extremely sensitive to this situation or I am extremely insensitive to it'.
You will often find as you take a case, that every kingdom will seem to be indicated. This is because the whole picture has not yet been perceived, and there will be group themes and proving symptoms all mixed up in it. I find it useful to ask myself 'What do they keep coming back to, what do they seem to keep saying is the problem, how do they see the situation?'. It took me quite a bit of practice to get this right.
As for the hand gesture, and this is usually the the situation for many cases where I use gestures, it was mostly important in identifying an expression, symptom or issue that had a deeper significance to the case. One of the observations made by Dr. Sankaran and his colleagues was that the closer to the vital disturbance you get, the more likely you are to see movement or positional changes in the body. This allows us to quickly identify something that needs to be explored further, so it will direct your questioning. It should also connect up other important parts of the case because a similar gesture will appear as the patient talks about those seemingly unconnected issues or problems. So the same gesture, means they are all coming from the same basic source.
Sometimes the gesture is quite specific and will in fact describe their internal experience, often even more precisely than words will. I remember a Calc-carb case I saw where the patient talked alot about protecting themselves or defence (a common theme for many remedies taken on its own), but she constantly made this encircling movement with her arms around her body as if she was defining some kind of wall. Instead of asking her to explain protect or defence, I asked her to describe what she was doing, and then she clearly described a hard shield that protected a soft inner self. She didn't seem able to do that until we focused on the movements themselves.
Of course you have to be aware of patients whose habit is to gesture as they talk. Unless there are some very specific repeated patterns, or the gesturing changes signficantly as you get deeper into their case, gestures may not be of much use. But it is also important to remember that this 'energy' level can also be seen in the pace or volume of speech too so it might be how they speak that is of more use in such cases.