CASE STUDY FOR POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION CASE 1
MC: POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
• Urinary track infection
• Extremely tired
Pierre: Please explain to me what is happening.
“I used to be in good shape, now I am at 180 degrees from where I was. I used to eat very well now I don’t eat, one meal a day at best. I also have a urinary track infection (UTI) that doesn’t go away and on top of that my son has reflux. But the biggest problem I have is that I am scared of taking care of my son. If I am left alone, I get anxieties. The depression has so badly escalated in the last two weeks that I didn’t get out of bed for one week. I cried all the time. I have a nanny to help so I am not alone but when she goes I get extremely nervous. I can’t understand his needs. I care for my son at night, he is well trained and sleeps all night, but if I need to feed him, I end up with insomnia and by the morning I am wiped out. Because I have a nanny I try to rest during the day and get some sleep, but if they make a little noise I start thinking and I can’t sleep. If I can take a long nap, then I can’t sleep at night. I don’t have any motivation, I haven’t gone to the gym at all, I just want to crawl in bed and go to sleep. I am absolutely not able to function as I want to. I want to leave my house, go to the park and be able to take care of myself, but I can’t; I don’t have any motivation to take care of my son. I haven’t gotten a haircut since December (7 months). I have no interest in sex; I keep asking myself, “Do I have to do this or that right now?” I just want the days to pass, I yearn for 6:30 PM for his bath time, he laughs a bit, then he takes the bottle and goes down for the night. We were always doing things and going somewhere before he was born, now I feel like I am in prison. I am too tired to do or go anywhere; we are not going to restaurants or theatre, we are not doing anything. Right now, everything is planned around naptime. I feel like I am suffocating, it’s like being in a prison. I love my son, he is everything to me, but it is very difficult for me. Based on communication, I can’t wait until he speaks so we can do things together. Right now I am bored. To me I wonder how can this be fun?”
Please describe the feeling of being like in prison?
“We have a small apartment; if he sees the light, he doesn’t want to sleep. It’s a struggle for the naps, so we keep it dark. I don’t do well without light, it makes me feel very limited. It’s horrible; it’s like somebody taking my life away. I am confined to the couch and a book. It’s depressing to watch everyone outside, especially all the mothers pushing their infants’ strollers. It’s a feeling of hopelessness that I have. I basically lost everything I used to love to do. The bike, sporting equipment, everything is in storage. I have no reason to get up in the morning, I have no reason to look or feel good, I have nobody to show it to. I completely lost my freedom. Suddenly you know that for the next two years it’s gone, there is no more of you. It’s not about you anymore.”
Describe the feeling of having no freedom?
“It is as if I were in prison, I am confined, it drives me crazy. You can’t go anywhere and you don’t know when you can go. You are not seeing your future, there is nothing to live for but you actually do. You want to get up and run, and you never want to come back. Now I blow up at everybody, I don’t want to talk to anybody, I just want to be left alone. I am in a box that I want to break out from. I tell my husband that I have to leave. These four walls will never move; that’s where I will be. At the same time if there is a door, I can’t go through it. Having a child does not let me walk through it. I am 100 percent trapped. It is “no” to everything I know, have and used to do. It’s like someone dictating your life. My husband comes home, and he does things for me, then I feel guilty because I am there all the time. I feel totally restricted, especially when I am home.”
FOLLOW UP: (One month later)
Pierre: We briefly spoke on the phone a couple of weeks ago because of the UTI (urinary tract infection). How are you now?
“I am feeling much better overall. The baby is very happy and so am I. I was three days without a babysitter or nanny and I did not have any problem. I am eating well, I have totally regained my appetite. If he fusses it’s ok because I don’t feel panicked. After 2 weeks the depression and the crying completely stopped. The feeling of being in prison and suffocating is completely better. I have had a lot of fun with my son. I am not bored with him anymore, I put him in the carriage and we just go to the park. I did have a UTI but it cleared up very quickly without taking any antibiotics.”
NEXT FOLLOW UP: (One month later)
Pierre: How are you?
“Well, I don’t have much to say really, I am feel great. I am having a lot of fun with my son. I do everything and anything with him. I am totally fine. I did have a cold and I did exactly what you told me to do which was to repeat the remedy, that’s what I did and it totally helped. I have not had any UTIs. It’s all great.”
Repeat if needed.
8 MONTHS LATER:
Pierre: What brings you back?
“I have had some allergies with swollen eyes and sneezing 24 hours after going to Florida. I’ve had allergies since I was 17. The eyes are really itchy. I took medication, which did not help, it seems like nothing works. My eyelids are very sensitive. The skin around the eyes is totally dry, flaky and red. It’s kind of brushing my eyelids with a toothbrush.”
Repeat the remedy.
FOLLOW UP: (quick phone call)
Pierre: How have your allergies been since you took the remedy:
“My allergies improved greatly after I took the remedy. Since I am in Florida I don’t know if it will be better when I get back to New York but for now I am OK.”
Continue and take as needed.
Acne is particularly severe on his upper back with pimples covering the whole area.
I have to admit that up to a few years ago skin conditions were always a challenge for me. For some reason I just was not getting good results. I even turned people with skin problems down. I don’t know why it was so because as you can see cases are always taken the same way. I just kept a small trickle of people and then my results started to change, something cleared in my head and now I have the same results as with any other cases. I still like autoimmune cases more; perhaps it is their complexity that appeals to me. I once heard Isaac Bergman say that a simple piece of music can be harder to play than a difficult one. This is very much the way it was for me with these cases.
I present this case as an eye opener for some people to understand a depressive state. Many people will wonder at first, “Why can’t this woman function? She does not seem to have any material needs. What is she complaining about? Can’t you get a hold of yourself?” But that’s precisely the point. It is not possible. Too often the emotional level is brushed under the carpet, totally disregarded and that is very sad.
It also reminds me of Gaya’s case of insomnia (see case). She was at her wits end to get some sleep but some of her friends would say, “Oh, take a warm bath, you’ll see. It works for me.” It seems so easy; but if only it could be that simple. These are very true conditions and people are suffering.
During these cases there is often a time when everything seems perfectly rational. Here one can say, “Well, she had a baby a couple of months ago, she feels tired that is normal and she will get used to the change of lifestyle of changing diapers instead of going to the theater.” This is what I meant in my earlier comment. People can say that, of course, but that is an unaware statement. The depression is making her feel like there is nothing positive going on. She wants to get out of the house, she wants to enjoy her baby but she can’t. Homeopathically, we must dig deeper to understand.
This reminds me of a story. Years ago, I was invited to a presentation by a famous alternative-practice MD at the 92nd Street YMCA. During the Q & A portion of his talk a frail lady got up to ask a question about depression, in effect, “What can one do to get rid of it?” Given that the MD was a psychiatrist, I thought we were in for good answer. His answer was “Well, you should get up early and go for a jog to kick up some endorphins in your body.” As soon as he said that I could see this poor lady melt on the inside. I knew that to her just getting out of bed is an effort.” He went on to explain that she also should take St John’s wort. Again, one could see in her facial expression that she had been taking this herb. This mechanical approach may help at times but it is not an individualized solution especially in deeper, depression cases.
She feels “confined”. Part of the feeling may be justified because of the small apartment. At the same time, of course, the door is open but she feels she can’t go through it. This is the clincher. There is no doubt she has depression. And, the sensation of confinement is the meeting point of PEM,
During the first month she had a urinary tract infection (UTI). She called me about it, I recommended to go see a doctor and to wait and see for a couple of days. I also asked her to buy some unsweetened cranberry juice to help it along. The UTI cleared up within the allotted time frame of 2 days. There was not much to be concerned about because she already was feeling sensibly better so we knew the remedy was accurate and that the UTI was just a “clearing up” of the area.
Her central feeling of being like in a prison has been replaced with a healthy feeling of pleasure and joy with her child.
Although she is well, I recommended continuing the remedy to cement the improvements a little more and make sure there is no relapse.
Some of these cases show rather quick improvement. I do want to caution against too much optimism. Homeopathy is great but in this case she came after being depressed for a couple of months. The condition itself had not had a chance to go very deep into the constitution.
She has allergies and she takes medication. It never fails to amaze me that even after such wonderful results people still go to what they are used to; in this case medication, but it did not help so she came back.
There are several cases in the this book where I give the same remedy for a totally different ailment. Mollie’s case is one of them (see case). The best remedy, which we call the simillimum, should “work” for any ailment in one person. In this case, the alleviation of her allergies with the same remedy I used for her depression is a good example of that