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Case Study

From Gloom to Bloom
Dr Parinaz humranwala

Let me not know that all is lost.
Though lost it be - leave me not tied
To this despair, this corpse - like bride

This epigram reminded me of a case of depression, That I treated years ago. Her life story is as follows.
Ms J K, aged 19 yrs from a village in Maharashtra was engaged to a boy from Mumbai staying in Parel. Only once in her life she had been to Mumbai - a place with glitter, fame, planes and cine stars. And now she was destined to spend her life in this alive city. Her dreams and aspirations soared high and looked forward to this exciting life. Her parents thanked their lucky stars that she had been selected by a Mumbai boy.Within a month of the marriage, problems began to surface. To begin with, the dominating mother - in - law would make her slog all day long, and her sister - in-law kept finding fault in everything she did. She had no permission from them to move of the house alone, even to shop for vegetables. The husband being out at work did not know about the situation, as she was scared to complain. In fact the Mother-in-law would be ready with volley of complaints about her as soon as the son arrived and, in turn to keep his mother happy he would insult her in their presence. How she had dreamt of going to watch movies, of communicating with the society and it was the same being denied to her. The narrow minded and strict mother -in-law strongly disliked her gazing out of the window and if she did it for few minutes, they would step behind her craning their necks to see whom she was watching. The situation grew grimmer as she could not conceive in the early years of marriage. Though her parents visited her once a year, she could not communicate her true feelings, as mother-in-law was always around, talking to them sweetly thereby misguiding her parents. There was no question of confrontation as she would be kicked out and this would be humiliating to her parents and herself. Keeping her mouth shut, suppressing her anger and pent up wrath she continued to exist in the Parel Chawl. It was a situation of forced submission with inability to redress the injustice being done to her. 

A few years, later her sister-in-law got married and she conceived too, but the submissiveness and suppression of her feeling travelled deeper and in 1987 she was declared by the psychiatrist as a case of Depression. 

She had turned forgetful and would refuse to work at home. She would think of childish events and suddenly laugh. In the morning when her husband left her work she would whisper into his ears "I want to say something to you in the evening'' but by evening she would herself not recollect what she wanted to tell him. Sudden bouts of loud weeping during the day and on being probed about the reason she said " I get thoughts that I am being raped by people". She fears she will never get well. She has fixed ideas in her mind which are difficult to eradicate. Gets palpitation with thoughts. Suicidal inclination and often aversion to sex. Her husband changed his ways but explained that he was caught in a cleft stick situation and did not know whom to please. 

Associated Complaints : In addition she had burning sensation on back, hands and abdomen ever since she began allopathic medicines.
PH/o - Malaria, Cough, Cystitis after marriage
FH/o - Father TB, Mother - Mental trouble
Thirst, Stool, Urine normal
Habits - tobacco, Misri
Menstrual Functions: Normal, O/H: 1 FTND
Sleep decreased; Dreams - cannot recollect
Thermal - prefers winter, bath hot. Covers- seasonal
Medication - Parkin Plus 1BD and Sunpraizn IBD prescribed by the psychiatrist which she has been continuing since a few months.
-ECT given 12 times to date.

Discussion : On hearing her, my focus shifted to Coulter's words " The patient requiring this remedy has subdued her anger and stifled her humiliating not out of pride or nobility but from necessity. In a position of dependence, forced submission, or inferior status, unable to fight back or redress an injustice she is restrained by common sense and an instinct for survival." 

Her thought of being raped - signifies the extent of humiliation. The rubrics delusion after humiliation (verbal by in- laws0 and ailments from humiliation was considered. The lady had not experienced rape but this thought conveyed her wounded honour within herself. 

Clubbing together the following rubrics, my prescription was Staphysagria.
- Silent grief with submissiveness
- Ailments from suppressed grief
- Wounded honour
- Indignation
- Reserved
- Pities herself
- Sadness with suicidal disposition
- Weeping causeless
- Weeping and laughing on every occasion
- Aversion to work
- Yielding disposition
- Craving tobacco
- Sleep decreased 

Kent considers Supression as one of the leitmotifs of Staphysagria's picture " Suitable in cases where complaints come up from pent up wrath, suppressed anger , suppressed feelings".
Hahnemann explains " She is very much prostrated in mind, has no desire to talk, is not disposed to think, and indifferent to outward things as if dead in mind....(with) indisposition for serious work ". 






Staph 200 (3)
(SL one week)


> Thoughts less now, sleep> forgot to mention in the first consultation that she was suspicious of being poisoned by her husband. No such thoughts this week.

SL- 1 week


> Advised to taper dosage of Allopathic medication Suprain 1 OD and Parkin plus 1 OD

SL- 1 week


> Grinds teeth from anger, Psychiatrist now put her on Tensaril 50 HS- stopping her previous medication

SL- 1 week


> Thoughts less. Untidy with her clothes and whilst working in the kitchen

SL- 1 week


> Grinding teeth with anger stopped. Works better. Husband tries to joke to make her laugh but she does Not laugh. Advised to taper Tensoril 50 HS to Tensoril 25 HS



> No Grinding, Sleeps >, Works well. No smile on her lips

SL 1 month


> Tensoril 25 mgm advised to discontinue

SL- 1 month


Sleeps well. No weeping smells since 3 months. Stopped Allopathic medication completely since 2 months

SL- 2 months


Sleep- disturbed, dreamt of husband going away.Wept and finally smiled

Staphysagria 200(3)
SL 1-month


> No trouble. Sleeps well; cheerful, talks normally. Laughs and is appreciative of getting well.

SL 3 Months


Came with her son, for his complaints. On enquiring About her she said that she was well and is all praise
for Homoeopathy.