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Case Report
6 (
1
); 20-24
doi:
10.25259/JISH_38_2022

Case report – Using homoeopathy to enable the holistic healing of a young athlete with epilepsy

Department of Psychiatry, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute Palghar, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Corresponding author: Dr. Rajesh Ramkunwar Yadav, Department of Psychiatry, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute Palghar, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. docrajesh87h@gmail.com
Licence
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, transform, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: Yadav RR. Case report – Using homoeopathy to enable the holistic healing of a young athlete with epilepsy. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy 2023;6:20-4.

Abstract

Epilepsy is a chronic and non-communicable disease of the brain. It is characterised by recurrent seizures resulting in involuntary movements that can be generalised or localised in a single body part. Management through modern medicine takes care of the attacks, but may not help the patient. This case report demonstrates the handling of a young athlete with epilepsy stuck between his desire and his conscience. Identification of defence mechanisms, utilising them in patient management and the process of identifying the remedy are discussed. The case demonstrates the role of holistic management with homoeopathy in cases of seizure disorder.

Keywords

Defence mechanism
Sublimation
Seizures
Natrum silicata
Ancillary measures

INTRODUCTION

The word epilepsy is derived from the Greek words epi meaning on and lepos meaning to seize. In ancient times, it was considered to be an attempt by demons or gods to capture a person’s soul. Hippocrates and Sushrut discounted these myths, stating that epilepsy occurs because of electrical activities happening inside the brain. Epilepsy affects approximately 20–50 million individuals worldwide;[1] it affects not only the health but the quality of life of the patient and family.[2] Due to the peculiar nature of the condition, social restrictions are often placed, which often result in emotional and behavioural responses.[3] In mainstream medicine, managing the illness demands adherence to a systematic protocol. However, mainstream medicine often misses the concept of holistic care that aims to manage the patient with epilepsy rather than just the epilepsy.

Homoeopathic case taking allows the physician to study the patient with the illness and thereby correlate the quality and expressions with that of homoeopathic medicine to be prescribed in the management of epilepsy. Various remedies such as Nux Vom, Cicuta V and Cuprum Met have been proven to be effective in managing not only the acute exacerbation but also the chronic state of epilepsy.[4-6] The case report illustrates an individualised approach to understand the patient with epilepsy and offers a view of holistic management.

CASE REPORT

A 16-year-old male student (11th Commerce) was brought for consultation by his mother (an aanganwadi worker).

He had recurrent complaints of stiffness in his entire body and loss of consciousness. Before the onset of complaints, he feels sad and experiences a whirling sensation as if he is going into some other world. If he is eating during such episodes, the food falls from his hand. Complaints occur mostly when he is stressed and in the summer season.

The convulsions began at the age of 6 months as febrile convulsions that recurred till he was 2 years old. He had to be hospitalised in every episode, managed with antiepileptics. For the past 2 years, he has started getting tonic clonic convulsions, frothing from the mouth with unconsciousness. He mostly sleeps after an episode. For the past 2 years, he has been on sodium valproate and valproic acid 300 BD, clobazam 10 mg BD and oxcarbazepine 300 BD. However, the medications did not provide substantial relief and were causing significant drowsiness, which he and his mother wanted to get rid of.

Physical generals

  • Tall, stocky built. Shy to come to the clinic on his own

  • Perspiration – Palms++ soles++

  • Cravings – Chicken++ cold water++

  • Sleep – Deep since 2 years has to be pushed to wake up

  • Dreams – Becoming a big shot and roaming around in a big expensive car+

  • Travelling in a bus causes nausea ++ and abdominal pain+

  • Sun exposure causes headaches ++

  • P/H/O – Right-sided renal calculi, 2012. Relieved by allopathic medications.

On examination

General and Systemic examination – NAD.

EEG [Figures 1 and 2] two reports indicated evidence of epileptiform activity.

Figure 1:
First EEG report in 2013, S/o- Idiopathic Generalised Epilepsy.
Figure 2:
EEG report of 2015, S/o- Epileptiform Activity over left Frontal region with Secondary Generalisation.

Homoeopathic evaluation

The patient is from an average socioeconomic stratum. Both parents worked a lot to keep things together at home. The patient feels responsible and does household work or else the mother would be burdened on returning from her job. He gets irritated and remains angry if anyone comments on his work; he takes time to forget those comments. When angry, he skips food, stops talking with the person and often develops a headache.

Since an early age, he has been interested in running and desires to participate at the national and international level. He has won many inter-school level prizes and wants to pursue sports seriously. Moreover, running helps him get rid of his angry feelings. His mother, on the other hand, thinks that he is neglecting his studies. He wants a personal coach but she told him to first concentrate on his 12th and expected him to score a minimum of 50–60%. This made the patient angry and he broods. Since he has a lot of respect for his parents, he follows their advice.

Being emotional, he feels sad looking at the poor and the needy and tries to help them out. He is shy and anxious when going out in public, which may cause trembling. He gets perspiration and giddiness before and during examinations. At the same time, he is apprehensive of people’s comments or teasing. If he would not clear the examination, then what?

The patient used to get irritated with a teacher who used to often ask questions to his girlfriend. In anger, he would bunk classes and wanted to hit the teacher but was stopped by friends. After 10th, he found that his girlfriend had become rude to him and spent more time with others. This saddened him for many months and ultimately the relationship ended. Later, he was attracted to another girl but found his close friend had started dating her. That angered the patient, but again he was stopped by other friends from hitting this boy. He then got more involved in sports and running and won several prizes during that time. He felt better after that.

Homoeopathic Totality (Kent’s approach, Based on availability of qualified mental symptoms)

  • Sensitivity to being reprimanded

  • Physical exertion amelioration mental symptoms

  • Cannot tolerate contradictions

  • Fear of examinations

  • Shy to appear in public

  • Headache from anger

  • Perspiration on palms and soles

  • Desires cold drinks

  • Desires chicken

  • Extremely chilly.

Repertorial representations [Figure 3]

Figure 3:
Repertorisation sheet.

Materia medica differentiation

The core of the individual was understood in terms of an intellectually average person with high sensitivity. A conscientious and anxious person with low self-esteem needs to use sublimation as a defence mechanism to overcome the conflicting situations.

Natrum Mur and Lycopodium come close from the perspective of irritability but they tend to exhibit overt reactivity, which the patient does not readily show. He allows himself to be restrained by friends. Instead, the patient suppresses his anger and broods, which are relieved by physical exercise in the form of running. Carcinosin is known to be overly sensitive but is physically too weak for significant exertion,[7] unlike our patient.

Natrum Mur has ambivalence in relationships, especially in oneto-one relations which can be seen in our patient. The muriatic element has a corrosive nature, which is lacking in our patients. Rather, the patient has an attachment with a sense of responsibility towards his mother and discharges it wherein he chooses to accept the mother’s wishes by suppressing his own desires. The use of defence mechanisms such as channelisation (sublimation) and suppression is commonly observed in Silicea patients.[8]

Natrum sil covers all the dispositional qualities and physical generals[9] and most importantly, the PQRS symptom of the mind being ameliorated with physical exertion.

Final remedy: Natrum silicata 200, three doses.

Follow-up criteria

  1. Excessive sleep

  2. Anger/irritability

  3. Anxiety

  4. Seizure episodes

  5. Body heaviness.

Date 1 2 3 4 5 Comments Prescription
February 20, 2017 Case taking done Natrum sil 200, 3P HS
Placebo pills BD for 2 weeks
July 24, 2017 >2 >3 + - > Was much better. However, his anger reduced, which he found abnormal, and so he did not follow up Ct same for 2 weeks. Was oriented on the homoeopathic medicine and its deeper action, which convinced the patient and mother to continue treatment
August 07–September 18, 2017 >3 Once, but no reaction, no constant thinking. > - - Feels much better, as no excessive sleep and body ache Ct same for 8 week
Adv
Sodium valproate tablet (1-0-1/2)
Rest same
October 30–November 27, 2017 - Once after brother teased him at home. > - - Mother is very happy, as now he can control his anger and anxiety. More importantly, no seizures
No side effect of allopathic drug withdrawal
Ct same for 8 weeks
Adv
Sodium valproate tablet 1-0-0
February 19–April 09, 2018 - Very rare >2 - - Went to the village for a month, no complaints
Adv-EEG
CT for 8 weeks
Sodium valproate tablet 1-0-0
Oxcarbazepine tablet 1-0-0
June 04–July 23, 2018 - Occ. But not long lasting - - - According to mother- gets emotional at times, very helpful, doing good in academics too
EEG not done, advised to undergo one the next time
Ct same
Sodium valproate tablet 1-0-0
Oxcarbazepine tablet 1-0-0 alternate days
August 11–August 27, 2018 - - - - - EEG no epileptiform activity detected [Figure 4] Ct same
Sodium valproate tablet 1-0-0
Oxcarbazepine tablet 1-0-0 alternate days
Clobazam tablet 1-0-0
2019–2020 No seizure episodes Natrum sil 200, 3p Bed time
2020–2021 He did well in academics while gaining a gold medal at state level competition Homoeopathic Medicines repetition reduced to once in 2 months.
Figure 4:
Final EEG report in 2018, S/o- No Epileptiform Activity.

DISCUSSION

The patient presented with a mix of emotional difficulties originating not only from the environmental stresses but also the restrictions due to epilepsy. He was stuck in a dilemma of working on his own ambition or fulfilling parental wishes. This conflict also used to trigger his epilepsy. From the case, it is clear that as the illness progressed so did the imbalance in his mind and mental expressions. The detailed analysis allowed us to understand the defence mechanism used. This, along with the expressions, was used for remedial identification and to institute ancillary measures. Understanding of these helped to manage both: The patient and his epilepsy.

CONCLUSION

Homoeopathy as a holistic approach allows us to understand the patient in depth which in turn enables us to plan holistic management. It restores balance at all levels and brings the patient to health. The quality of life is enhanced thus enabling the person to realise his full potential.

Acknowledgments

I thank the Director, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Hospital, Palghar and Dr. Sunita Nikumbh, Prof and HOD, Department of Psychiatry for permission to publish this study.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

References

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