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Case Study

My Unworthy Self
Dr Chetan Shukla

A young boy consulted me for recurrent problems of Sinusitis since the past 1-1/2years. He said that the trouble started since he passed his SSC exam. Apart from this, he did not have any other complaints. He was due to appear for his HSC exams after about 6 months. Adding further he said " I remain depressed a lot because of my studies. Ever since I joined college there is a lot of pressure on me as my father constantly keeps on pressuring me and does not even allow me to go out with my friends or watch television. My father wanted me to go for accounts and I am not good at accounts. I feel very inferior as my other friends are much better in studies than me. Whenever a topic is discussed between us I always find myself wanting in every respect. That time I feel very bad. " 

Q. Bad means?
 " Means, feels very low and dull. I feel so low, that I want that the earth should open up and swallow me so that nobody can know my weakness. Even in my group nobody asks my opinion on anything, specially when studies are discussed, I don't speak as I do not know anything about accounts. Even if I try to speak, just cannot express myself. Even when discussing other matters I just cannot speak. Dr, my confidence is so poor that I feel I will not pass in my exams. Even when speaking to girls I am not confident. If someone does not talk to me, I feel that there is a problem with me. I am black or not properly attired according to the fashion. I am very particular about my clothes. I never wear shabby or dirty clothes ". 

Q. Why?
 It looks bad. 

Q. Bad means?
 Does not look good, looks dirty. If you are wearing good, clean clothes people, specially girls, appreciate them and I feel good that somebody is talking to me in a nice manner and not putting me down. 

Q. At what other times you feel like this?
 I feel very good when someone notices me. 

Q. Means?
 Well, I like to be known so that people can identify me with a particular thing that this and this person has done this. So that the people take notice of you. But most of the time I feel low as I keep on comparing myself with others. I feel that everybody is ahead of me and I am nothing compared to them. Throughout my life I have had an inferiority complex, that I am not good enough and I am worthless. 

Q. Can you tell me something about your childhood?
 Ever since childhood I have been like this. I was not good in studies as I have very week memory and throughout my childhood I have always been reminded that somebody else is better than me on that account, I could not perform well and as a result the whole cycle would start again. As a child I never got what I wanted; it was as if nobody cared for me. 

Q. What are the dreams you see?
 I see about some adventure and saving somebody.
- I am going somewhere and I am alone.
- I see my friends and me are having fun.
- I see a small kid is crossing the road when he is in the middle of the road, I see a bus is speeding about to hit him. I jump and save the child. 

Q. What do you feel?
 Feels very nice that somebody likes me and praises me for my heroics.
- One of my friend called me up for a casual talk and I felt very nice that somebody does think about me.
- I see myself going out with my friends and see some of my friends sitting with a pretty girl. She calls out for us and I do not look back as I feel she must be calling my friend but to my great joy she had called out for me. And I was happy that atleast somebody likes me. - I see shades of colour in my dreams of blue and black. 

Q. Means
 I see any colour in the dark shade and then in the lighter shade but most of the times it is either black or white or light and dark shades of blue usually dark ones.Q. What do you like to eat?
 Like spicy food, milk, eggs, banana, cabbage. I like pepper very much and sprinkle on everything I eat. 

Q. Which weather do you like?
 I like the spring when its not even summer or winter i.e. the transition from winter to summer. 

The striking feature of the interview was the feeling of depression which was so intense that even in his dreams he usually saw black or blue colours, Both these colours are connected with the feeling of depression which he was experiencing throughout his life. Along with this feeling, he also feels inferior to his friends and contrary to this he saw himself performing heroic deeds in his dreams so that people take notice of him. This is commonly found in practice where an opposite feeling is portrayed in the dreams instead of the one the patient is undergoing which also holds true as it depicts the opposite polarity of the same feeling. 

If we look up the rubrics for this case we come across:
a) Del: he is looked down by others
b) Del: dirty he is
c) Del: despised he is
d) Del: diminished he is
e) Anxiety from doubts about success
f) Confidence, want of self.
g) Fear, failure of
h) Craving for pepper

He was given Lac can in 1M potency and within a week his sinuses totally cleared up and his moods started improving. Over a period of 3 months he started doing well in studies and no longer feels pressurised to study. After his final exams he left for USA for further studies. He had planned to go to USA 2 years ago but could not go because of his lack of confidence.