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Case Study

Seized By Fear
Chetna Shukla.
` Stram.

Editor: This case was held over from Epilepsy issue as it reached us late

A 13 year old boy came in February 1996 along with his sister who narrated the following complaints.-.

"He has severe occipital headaches, since 2 years. During an attack he holds his head very tightly. He taken some analgesic which relieves him (?) and he goes to sleep. Since few months, he wakes up at night suddenly and makes funny gestures with his hands, strikes his feet on the bed, opens his eyes, looks up and down, turns his face sideways, mumbles something. When asked what is happening to you? he answers something incoherently. This lasts for 5/6 minutes Then, I, console him, talk to him saying, dont worry nothing is going to happen to you. I keep rubbing his back and he gradually goes to sleep in knee chest position. The next morning, he has no conscious recollection of the same.".

Various blood investigations were done which were normal. The C T Scan (suspecting the headaches to be secondary to a SOL and the behaviour? petit mal seizures.) was also normal. Surprisingly an EEG was not done.

The sister also acted out the behaviour of the boy during such an attack. Meanwhile, the boy sitting besides his sister was very restless in the chair, moving his hands and feet awkwardly but not noisily, having no eye contact with me and looking at the sister affirmatively while she was describing him as-.

"He is very fearful, he is always behaving as if someone is coming to do something to him. He is afraid of the dark, the sharks, the ghosts, of BIG things, huge things, or big landscapes of the huge sky, of everything. He is also afraid of tiny things, the ants. He feels the ants soul will get transferred to him and he will be killed. He is afraid of lightning. He just cant stay alone. He says he dreams of a huge room, with a tiny stone and the stone becoming bigger and bigger, He is afraid of skulls and dreams that bulbs are skull.". "Yesterday night he woke up and saw my face and was telling me, my face is all wrinkled and he can see my skull inside.".

"He always roams around with batteries; all his pocket money is spent in buying batteries. He says what will happen if the light goes off suddenly. He can never see a horror movie. The impact of such a movie will stay in his mind for more than 2-3 months.".

He loves Geography, knows the area, the square kms of each country." Turning towards the brother she asked him to tell us the area of Russia and he promptly said-"I crore 70 Lakhs 75 thousand square kilometers, it is very huge. Doctor imagine if life is given to the country, it will grow and kill me. If there is a strong wind, the sky is so huge I will get sucked into the sky.".

The patient spoke with great fear, with minimum eye contact, wringing his hands, moving about in the chair and throwing his head sideways and forwards. The entire body movement was uncoordinated.

The childs father, also under my treatment, is a very dominating person, the sister accompanying him also appeared to be aggressive and dominating. The father during his interview, has mentioned that he is always correcting this boy and imposing upon him a lot of activities like karate, painting, gymnastics, reading encyclopedia etc which he does, but reluctantly.

The headaches were as frequent as 2 to 3 times a week with a sensation of a nail being driven into the occiput with a hammer.

The boy also sleep walks. He often has fearful dreams and one repeated dream of room lit with yellow light.


Although the behaviour of the boy as described seemed to be very similar to petit mal seizures, and I also advised for an EEG, yet, on second thoughts I asked them to wait for a while, I felt that this behaviour was secondary to the fact that he was more "seized with fear" and not suffering from seizures". He was asked to discontinue all allopathic medications (only pain killers).

Fortunately he was not administered any anti convulsants. I reassured the sister, a medical student, that he is not suffering from Seizures and asked her to give Homoeopathy a months time to prove its efficacy.

The fears of this boy were all a product of his own imagination. The boy was fantasizing situations which were fearful. There was a strong evidence of domination by the father and the elder sister, the produce of which was fear in his psyche. But despite such strong fears, he never was clinging to his sister with whom he was sharing the room, instead, he would sleep in the knee-chest position. The remedy Stramonium was therefore a weak contestant in comparison to Lac-lapine (rabbits milk) in the 30th potency.

First Follow-up (7/3/96):

The patient was less restless, looked a bit confident. The sister reported of having no seizure like symptoms in the whole month. No headaches. He would fear sleeping alone earlier but now does not mind sleeping conversation smoothly.

Second Follow -up (18/4/96):

No fear episodes, very confident, No nervousness. He feels he is all right and does not need medicine.

Third Follow-up (4/5/96):

No headaches. He has started expressing his likes and dislikes. The sister remarked that before he would do everything which was told to him. Now he conveys to us positively what he likes and what he does not.

He is only on Sac-lac since the first dose. Having treated 5 other cases, with Lac-lapine, the differentiating point from Stramonium, in all the cases, was a strong history of domination or having felt dominated by a person. In 2 cases, the child was compared to a rabbit saying. "She curls up and moves about fearfully like a rabbit. She loves rabbit and is fearful like a rabbit." In an adult, a mother of 3 children treated with Lac-lapine, there was a marked fear of "fierce" animals and a domination by husband who was very cruel and "ferocious" in his behaviour.

The purpose of giving this case has the following basis:

  1. 78 Organon of medicine: "the chronic diseases which when left to themselves and unchecked by the employment of those remedies that are specific for them, always go on increasing and growing worse, not withstanding the best mental and corporeal regimen, and torment the patient to the end of his life with ever aggravated sufferings". . .
  2. "Function precedes organ", "Functional changes precede organic changes"- This fundamental and universal law of nature and of Homoeopathy also supports.

Combining the two points, it wouldnt be wrong on my part to believe that the boy now presenting with the chronic disease on the functional level, the disease limiting itself to the functional level and the symptoms only mimicking that of Petit mal epilepsy, if left to itself, unchecked by the employment of the specific indicated remedy, would go on increasing and grow worse, reaching the organic level, presenting probably as a frank case of Petit mal Epilepsy, and torment the boy to the end of his Life!.

Many Practitioners and students of Homoeopathy may consider this understanding as too far-fetched!.

But will it be wise and human and truly Homoeopathic, to wait till the frank picture of the pathology develops to prove to our reason-seeking allopathic minds?.

We as Homoeopaths must have treated and will be treating many such epilepsies, many such nasal polyps, many such asthmas, mania melancholia, paralysis etc in their embryonic stage and cause their legal MTPs for the benefit of mankind!.