A person in his mid-thirties came to me for treatment of palpitation, anxiety and sleeplessness. He had been suffering from this since many months. He had already consulted allopathic specialists, undergone all the tests pertaining to heart & brain and no abnormalities were found. Presently, he is on anti-anxiety prescriptions.
Though he gets sleep after taking pills, after midnight he gets up with violent palpitation accompanied by lot of perspiration and great desire to drink chilled water. The palpitation stays for 10-15 minutes and then subsides on its own. During that time he avoids everybody, even his wife and mother. He tells them not to come near him. He does not like their advice or care during the palpitation. He just tells them to leave him alone.
He is a police person and now posted to records, where there is no active involvement and generally no police personnel wants to be posted in records as there is no activity or easy money involved in this posting.
Earlier he was in Anti-Corruption department, where there were ample chances to get easy money. But he got transferred to records on his own request. This surprised everybody as it was unusual, because generally people feel it as a punishment after getting a posting here.
Pt: “During day-time though I don’t feel OK, there is no particular problem. But evening onwards my problem starts. I start breathing faster, I have to inhale more air or I feel I will get breathless. I become a bit restless and start getting pain around heart region. Sometimes it extends to my left arm. I try to get myself occupied with some or other work, but it never goes off my mind and continues throughout. Then I take an anti-anxiety pill and try to relax.”
Dr: “Since when you are suffering from this problem?”
Wife: “This episode started three months back when we got him transferred to this branch. Earlier also he had similar problems and it was controlled with lot of medication.
That time, the psychiatrist advised for a change of job. So we requested his seniors to post him here. Initially, he was quite normal, enjoying his work and even happy at home. But after a few days, again the same problem started. He started staying aloof, stopped talking to all of us, started sitting and thinking continuously. At night he becomes very anxious and restless, sometimes he even shouts loudly, as though he is in severe pain. The pills help, but the next day he becomes very drowsy and does not do any activity.”
Dr: (To patient) “You tell me what happens during that period.”
Pt: “I try to keep myself happy at home, play with my little daughter after coming back from office, but it happens suddenly. I get violent palpitation. I feel as if my heart will cease beating and I breathe very fast, as if it needs more air. I can’t sit at one place and move around. I don’t feel like talking to anybody, as I feel they are unnecessarily misguiding me. I feel lot of uneasiness around my heart.”
Dr: “Why did you change your office?”
Pt: “The whole staff takes bribe from personnel who are already indicted in one or other corruption cases. Initially, when I was posted there, I took lot of interest in tracking down the cases and finding out the guilty. But my colleagues started mocking at me and told me that I may also be a victim afterwards. But I never paid heed to their views and worked as per my inner voice.
I got myself totally involved in my work, understanding the cases in detail, taking care that no stone should be left unturned to ensure that no innocent person should suffer. I knew the persons involved in the cases were my colleagues, who were senior to me and had good backing in political circles, but at the same time innocent people were also involved.
Those things never perturbed me and I was very much happy with my work and always felt I can handle much more workload than this. Rather this type of job rejuvenated me. I always pursued my job passionately.
But when I submitted my report, no action was taken. I pursued it, but my boss who used to encourage me during investigation, didn’t even take care to discuss the matter any further. He used to say that I should have thought of some other mode of investigation, which would have been more accurate in the situation.
One day, I insisted that some action should be taken over the matter, as it involved general public and the image of the department. To this, my boss became very upset and told, “If you want to pursue the investigation, you take full charge and don’t involve me. Now it is for you to handle your indicted colleagues, public and the media and pursue the case.”
My colleagues in the office started talking about me that I am trying to show that I am extra sincere. Unknowingly, they started giving me more work justifying that I am a sincere and dedicated worker and so I can do them easily. My work load increased many folds and the pressure to handle the public and media simultaneously exerted lot of pressure on my mind. I started mixing one work with the other.
The pressure was so much that I would always carry the work home, and there was no time left for my family. All the time, I started thinking about the plans and ideas to improve my work. The pressure on the mind was so much that I stopped getting sleep. Sometimes I used to get sleep during morning hours and then get up late. Those days, I used to reach office late.
Everybody used to indirectly say that how can such a sincere person come to office late? It used to pinch me and I used to think that these people can never acknowledge my sincerity. But sometimes when one or other colleague would say that I have done a good job regarding the investigation, I would feel very good.”
Wife: “He started bringing a lot of work at home and never relaxed after coming back from office. This affected his health, but he never paid heed to our suggestions and continued working. Day by day, he stopped becoming happy to the extent that every time you would look at him, he looked sorrowful.”
Pt: “What I should have done? Nobody understood me in the office or at home; not even my wife. Even she started saying, ‘If you can’t work so much, why are you overloading yourself?” At least she could have supported me.”
Wife: “He never took our suggestions in a positive way. During those times, he just closed himself up and avoided everybody who tried to help him, including me and his own parents.
Then we took him to a psychiatrist as he stopped talking to everybody and always stayed gloomy.
He recovered in six months but didn’t want to go to office. His boss was good and on our request he transferred him to a new office.”
Dr: “When did you start getting those symptoms of palpitation and sleeplessness again?”
Pt: “Initially, it was good but after a month during budget, my new boss told me to prepare statistics regarding crime graph in the city. I took lot of interest and started preparing it in a different way than the previous years. I put my heart and soul into it. My workload again increased and I started getting confused because of the exertion. My new boss pointed out silly mistakes and never saw the good work I had done. This pained me so much that I stopped going to the office.”
Wife: “He started getting violent palpitations at night anticipating about the next day in the office. He would walk around in the bedroom, sometimes complaining of chest pain and he would become very dull during those times. This time again, we consulted the psychiatrist who repeated the same prescription. Then we thought of consulting you.”
A dose of Aurum met 200 helped this person to come out of the crisis and now he goes to the same office with ease and participates in the family activities.
............ read complete article in January-February 2010 issue of AUDE SAPERE.