A perfectionist child with ADD: a picture of Carcinosin – Healing with Homeopathy
Judyth and Ullman Reichenberg-Ullman, Robert
Charlie, a bright, loveable, carrot-topped seven-year-old with artistic talent, came for treatment of his ADD, food sensitivities, and perfectionism. Charlie daydreamed in school, and had trouble focusing and staying on task. On the school playground he tended to become giddy. His teachers said they had never seen another child like him in all their years of teaching. His verbal IQ tested at 122, despite feedback from the psychologist that he was barely paying attention. As a result, Charlie’s performance IQ tested at only 91.
If Charlie made a mistake he would say, “I’m a failure,” or “I didn’t do it.” Quite self-critical, he did not want to disappoint anyone, and felt his mistakes deeply disappointed his parents. When he received all outstanding grades but one, he was very upset.
Highly anxious, Charlie worried about a lot of things, especially about trying new things. His fears included burglars, water, bees and wasps, mosquito eaters and spiders, especially poisonous ones.
His mother described him as a very creative boy and a talented artist who loved to draw. Charlie tended to fixate on certain things, so he drew various themes at different times, like police cars, dinosaurs or wild cats. He created detailed three-dimensional images of dinosaurs and big cats, complete with teeth and claws. Charlie made up to 50 drawings a day and his aspiration was to be a famous artist. Even with his talent, though, he had refused to draw at school until he used a Magna-doodle, which allowed him to erase his mistakes easily.
Sensitive to artificial colors, flavors and salicylates, Charlie had benefited from following the Feingold diet. Offending foods caused him to become very hyperactive. He acted like a tiger then, growling and pounding his fist against his hand or head in frustration.
Charlie possessed very limited social skills, and found it difficult to recognize social cues. As a result, he only had one good friend, who also had ADD. Despite his lack of friends, Charlie was very affectionate and loved to hug people. In fact, he hugged so much it got him in trouble. He often crawled into his mother’s lap and told her sweetly, “I love you, Mom.” Hearing impaired, as a result of chronic ear infections when younger, Charlie’s speech was not impacted by his hearing loss, though he needed hearing aids in class.
According to his mother, Charlie seemed wise beyond his years. He sometimes seemed like a little encyclopedia. He often started a sentence with, “Did you know that …?”
However, Charlie was not very physical. Hesitant to try physical activities for the first time, he feared getting hurt. Charlie rode his scooter around the neighborhood, but he had never ridden a bicycle.
This child had one nervous habit: nail biting. His nails were bitten to the quick, and sometimes to the point of bleeding. Charlie occasionally wet the bed. Another interesting feature was his numerous moles and a cafe-au-lair birthmark on his chest.
When Charlie was interviewed on his own, he expressed how much he enjoyed drawing, reading and writing. He was fascinated by big wild cats and dinosaurs, as his mother had described. “I think of all the dinosaurs I can imagine. I hold them still in a pause way and sketch everything. It turns out to be the right thing. When I find a plastic dinosaur, I think of how it could fight. The Stegosaurus swings his tail at the Allosaurus, but the Allosaurus eats the Stegosaurus. The Allosaurus goes ‘R-a-a-a-h!'”
Charlie described how he created an alien out of animal parts from a T-Rex, a cheetah, an eagle and a stegosaurus. He explained that he was working on a movie called Jurassic Park–The Allosaurus Returns, in which the humans try to shoot the dinosaur, so he turns on them and eats all the humans. Not surprisingly, Charlie also had scary dreams of dinosaurs, “but there’s excitement in them!” he said. When asked if he would like to travel anywhere Charlie said, “Sure. I’d like to go to Six Flags and Jurassic Park!”
Charlie elaborated, saying, “Sometimes I draw evil things, like evil men and women, or I draw snakes as big as two men or lizards as small as ants. If I make a mistake, I feel kind of bad,” he said. “I don’t like it. Anger comes to my mind and I get upset or go g-r-r-r. If I get in trouble, I think, ‘Oh, no!’ I could get suspended from school if I got in a lot of trouble.”
About friends, Charlie shared, “I try to think about what they like, they think of what I like. Sometimes I kind of break up with my friend. Sometimes he doesn’t understand that I’ll be his friend even when I’m joking.”
Regarding his favorite foods, Charlie said he liked plenty of meat, like a tiger. “I have very strong, powerful back jaws. I chewed all the way through a bone.” His other food desires were for cake, vanilla ice cream and Oreo cookies.
There was also a strong history of cancer of various types on both sides of Charlie’s family, including cancers of the breast, lung, colon, stomach and throat.
Charlie was given Carcinosin 1M, one dose, and has received Carcinosin throughout his two years of treatment. Carcinosin is the nosode made from cancerous breast tissue. At the center of a Carcinosin case is what Sankaran calls the Cancer miasm. Carcinosin is the purest example of this miasm. Cancer miasm patients have a very strong need to perform exceedingly well, with the feeling that one’s survival depends on it. They have to go beyond their limits to restore order to the chaos for which the uncontrolled cell growth and reproductions of physical cancer is a metaphor.
Often with a history of strong parental expectations, the Carcinosin child is sensitive to any situation that might suggest he is less than perfect. This makes Carcinosin patients very fastidious and sensitive to reprimands. In Charlie’s case he was extremely sensitive to doing anything less than perfectly. The mere suggestion that he had made a mistake affected him deeply and made him feel as if he were a failure.
He was very upset if he did anything that might disappoint his parents or teacher, and would become anxious in situations that had the potential for mistakes, such as drawing in school prior to acquiring his Magna-doodle.
Another aspect of Carcinosin that Charlie demonstrated was his creativity and artistic talent. Carcinosin patients are often drawn to expression in the arts, including music, drama, dance and art. Charlie had a great imagination and expressed it very creatively through his extremely detailed animal drawings and his ideas for dinosaur movies.
Carcinosin patients tend to be quite sympathetic to others and are often affectionate, as was Charlie. He also liked to travel, another typical symptom of patients needing the medicine.
Children needing Carcinosin are often delicate looking, with pale skin and moles, and a bluish tinge to their sclera. They often have birthmarks, like the one on Charlie’s chest. Some Carcinosin patients have cafe-au-lait spots or latte colored skin. Charlie looked similar to some Phosphorus patients with his fair skin and red hair.
The medicine most often confused with Carcinosin is Phosphorus. Both medicines have a lot of sympathy, affectionate nature, anxiety and sensitivity, with fear of thunderstorms. Phosphorus, however, is a more tubercular medicine, while Carcinosin is clearly associated with the cancer miasm. Had Charlie had more interest in and success with friends, and fewer issues with perfectionism and self-criticism, Phosphorus might easily have been prescribed for him.
Two other medicines which could be considered in Charlie’s case are Arsenicum album, which is also fastidious and anxious, with a fear of the dark and burglars, and Silica, which has monomania, and also feels the need to do everything well, especially in schoolwork, in order to maintain a certain image.
After Carcinosin, Charlie’s mother reported that he stopped wetting the bed for the first 14 days, but that when he wet again he became very upset with himself. Then after ten more days he calmed down a lot. He became more able to deal with things. The child became even more loving and hugging, and not so angry. Charlie was maturing. He seemed more relaxed. His nail biting decreased, and he only bit his nails when extremely excited. He developed a transient red rash under his arms when he wore a new shirt, and a few bumps under his nose and one by his birthmark.
At his third visit, Charlie’s mother related her surprise that the holes in his eardrum left by myringotomy had repaired themselves, resulting in slightly better hearing. He was dealing better with disappointments and was able to reason more with things that were not going his way. He was no longer melting down from criticism. He brought several free hand drawings of dinosaurs and big cats which were well beyond his years in detail and artistic ability.
At the next visit, Charlie needed an increase in potency to 10M because his improvement was stalled and his focus was not improving. Charlie thought he was not paying attention enough or doing well enough in school, which upset him. “I get mad at myself for not being perfect,” he said sadly. He was dreaming of dinosaurs and golden treasure.
After the 10M dose, Charlie had some eruptions on his arm, his chin, on one leg, and a wart on the middle toe of his left foot. The eruptions went away, but the wart remained. He was focussing better and not as angry at himself. He was still thinking of dinosaurs and drawing a lot. He did an excellent job on his Science Fair project at a level that would have been impossible before treatment with Carcinosin. Now he could laugh about not being perfect. Charlie said, “I’m not getting angry if I make a mistake. I don’t think I have to get everything perfect anymore.”
Charlie has continued to progress for the last year on Carcinosin. His food sensitivities to additives, preservatives and salicylates have decreased significantly. His bedwetting and nail biting have disappeared.
He suffered one sudden relapse recently when he was accused of not turning in his homework. He felt worthless and lamented, “I might as well kill myself,” which caused some alarm at his school. On the day of the incident, he had this to say: “I hit rock bottom. I’m worthless. No one wants me. It’s the worst day of my life. But I shouldn’t kill myself, because there would be one less doctor in the world.” He thought the teachers and kids hated him. Charlie was given Carcinosin 50M and his emotional state turned around. He made no more suicidal statements and was doing better overall. He was actually doing very well at school, making very good grades and reading at a 7th grade level at the end of 4th grade.
At his most recent visit after that dose, Charlie said, “I do believe I’m calmer. I feel more relaxed and peaceful. I’m happier with where I am. I’m not bothered by anything now.”
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP and Robert Ullman, ND, DHANP
131-3rd Ave., North * Edmonds, Washington 98020 USA
Phone 425-774-5599 * Fax 425-670-0319
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are licensed naturopathic physicians board certified in homeopathy. They love to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking and could write a book about how often they have used their home medicine kit during their adventures. Maybe they will. Their books so far include, Homeopathic Self-Care: The Quick and Easy Guide for the Whole Family, Ritalin-Free Kids, Rage-Free Kids Prozac Free, Whole Woman Homeopathy, The Patient’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine, and Mystics, Masters, Saints and Sages-Stories of Enlightenment. They teach and lecture internationally and practice at The Northwest Center for Homeopathic Medicine in Edmonds, Washington and Langley, Washington. For their schedule, see their website below. They treat patients by phone as well as in person and can be reached by telephone at 425-774-5599 or by fax at 425-670-0319. Their website is www.healthyhomeopathy.com.
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