Toby, age 4 came to me suffering with a stutter and he’d recently started wetting the bed again after being dry at night for almost 2 years. His mum said there had been a lot of arguments at home and it was affecting him badly:
• He is really intense. Everything is at the top of the scale even when it starts. If his questions are not answered straight away he panics. He has no cunning, he’s not sly. He’s just full on.
• He is very possessive about things, about me. Everything belongs to him.
• He’s so quick to wind up, so aggressive, as a little one he always got the blame for things so now he blames himself.
• He never considers others. Whatever he wants, he wants it NOW. He can’t understand why he should wait.
• He needs rules kept, he loves routine. You must follow the rules. When he’s out of routine things bother him more and his reactions are more intense.
• When he’s excited his hands twist and turn.
• He’s very jumpy, frightened of everything: dogs, the monster in his bedroom, the dark, noises, his imagination makes him scared – it’s fear of the unknown. He wakes most nights and comes to us.
• Disciplining doesn’t work at all – it’s best just to distract him when his behaviour is bad. It’s like walking on egg shells – you never know what will set him off. He doesn’t like change; he needs to prepare for it.
Toby answered my questions very quickly, he was very well behaved, seemed very bright, playing quietly in my consultation room, lining the toys up carefully. I saw none of the behaviour his mum described except a bit of stuttering, not that I doubted her, and he never disputed anything she said. This always interests me because when I began practising homeopathy I was sometimes torn between prescribing for what I saw in a child or what I was told – here was another case where the child in front of me did not seem to match the description. However – trust the mother – somehow, the right information always seems to come out, so I prescribed Arsenicum 1M. This is a very good remedy for anxiety, not that his mum considers that he has anxiety, but she talked a lot about Toby’s fears and his desire to control his surroundings. Arsenicum also features bedwetting, stuttering and restlessness such as his hand twisting when he’s agitated.
Toby came back after two months. Both he and his mum were smiling which I took as a good sign, but it wasn’t all good. She relayed:
• The bedwetting has stopped completely I think.
• There’s no panic now at all, he’s still intense – but no longer scared, more angry.
• He’s no longer possessive.
• Everything is still an argument with him, he seems to contradict or argue just for the sake of it.
• He still like the rules to be kept, but his need for routine has dropped a lot.
• If I don’t pay attention to him he grab’s my face and pulls it round. If the wrong person answers his question, he says, ‘no I asked him’. There’s more anger than fear now, I think that’s why the stuttering has stopped – that must have been to do with the fear.
I asked Toby what made him angry. I got an interesting response!
• The sun shining in my face makes me angry
• I don’t like the dark, that makes me angry
He said this in the mildest possible way – it was still hard to imagine him as the angry boy being described. After chatting to him a bit more I too noticed that the stuttering seemed to be gone, so as his two main complaints had improved enormously and the fears gone, after much deliberation I decided not to give a different remedy, but to give a higher strength of the same remedy. I’d not considered Arsenicum to be such an ‘angry’ remedy before so I was interested to see how Toby improved.
A few months later I treated his mum, Toby is now almost 6 and I haven’t seen him again now because she tells me he’s doing so well. No more bedwetting, no more stuttering – and his fears and anger have melted away. “It’s as though they’ve never been,” she said. That’s a real cure, and one I was very pleased with.