By Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH
Sleep and Behavioural Problems
Jonah, a nearly 5-year-old boy, was brought in because of sleep and behavioural problems on October 6, 2018.
"It takes him 2-3 hours to fall asleep at night. He is restless and irritable and thrashes around in bed. It's a battle every night and has been for the past 3 years", his mother reported.
"We go through the same routine every evening, bath, brushing teeth, stories, bed at 7:30 - 7:45, but he's still up by 9:30 - 10 pm, flipping around, blankets everywhere. Then he is so tired on waking the next day."
I ask him why he can't sleep and he tells me: "I'm afraid there are wolves outside, werewolves."
"Yes, he's been complaining about this for the last six months and wants the curtains drawn real tight every night because of that."
Meanwhile, he discovered a little wolf-puppet toy I have in my office.
"What is this?" He asks, not entirely comfortable. "It's a little wolf", I answer. He almost shudders. "I'm scared of it and of wolves. I'm also afraid of zombies, they eat brains," he adds. "And ghosts."
"And he's afraid of the dark, he needs a nightlight", his mother adds.
I notice that he speaks very well and is very agile and comment on it. His mother tells me that he loves to climb and breakdance.
Growling like a Dog
There are problems with his behaviour. His school is complaining that he will hide under tables and growl at people. Apparently this can happen several times a day. The teachers think he may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder because he is defiant and also has trouble focusing. At home the parents are using de-escalation techniques to help him cope but the school is not as proficient at this.
The parents can't take him to birthday parties or go out with him because he gets too excited and is hard to control.
At this point I asked his mother if Jonah had ever been bitten by a dog. Indeed, the answer was yes, he was bitten when he was two years old by a dog on a beach. The dog bit his hand because he wanted the food Jonah had. The bite broke the skin.
"How do you feel about dogs now?" I ask him. "They growl", he answers.
His mother tells me that he has been growling for about 1.5-2 years now. It was an issue at his preschool already.
"How do you feel when you growl?"
"Like there is a tornado inside me. My spirit is a hurricane!"
The pregnancy was uneventful but he was a planned C-section. Jonah was a calm and content baby. His mother sleep-trained him when he was 7-8 months old. It took a few nights but he was able to then go to sleep on his own when placed in his crib. He was a good traveller as well.
He stopped napping at 1.5 years old. I notice that he breathes in a loud way. He likes meat, especially hamburgers, hot dogs, red meat and meatballs as well as berries and candy.
Analysis and Plan
The dog who bit him may have recently been vaccinated with the rabies vaccine or the dog bite in and of itself may have affected the boy with the rabies miasm. Either is possible and the phenomenon is welll-known in homeopathy.
An animal bite, especially one who may have a history of rabies or rabies vaccination may imprint a rabies type of state which can include over-excitability, difficulties sleeping, aggression and various fears, especially of dogs or wolves. This child presented a perfect picture of the rabies state.
Plan: Lyssinum 200CH, 2 pellets.
Within a minute or two of giving him the remedy Jonah smiled at me very broadly and beautifully, as if all the lights had just gone on. We said our good byes and I felt a warm feeling of hope for this boy.
One Week Later
I saw Jonah's mother a week later by herself. There was good news: "His restlessness is much better! And oddly enough, he now wants to be a werewolf for Halloween, he told us that he is not afraid of werewolves anymore."
"And there have been no complaints from his teachers this week. He is still growling when he's angry, but overall he seems to be lighter and happier. Usually his brother and him fight quite a bit but he has been calmer this week, more relaxed."
I asked her to tell me more about her other concerns about Jonah:
"He has a tendency to be attracted to dark and evil things, is intrigued by bad guys. Socially he has diffculties, he pushes people and they don't react very well. Then he is an outcast and does not have any friends. He can disrupt what others are doing. He is sweet and loving and he feels comfortable but has a fascination with people getting hurt. We can't understand where this is coming from, we don't allow violent shows on TV or video games."
"He is very quick to anger, like a switch being flipped. He can get very, very angry, his eyes change. He says there is fire in his eyes. He becomes a different person."
My Little Puppy Dog
"Also, he does not like to be kissed or cuddled but will come up to me and sniff me, nuzzle me and lick me like a dog. And to love to play games of fetch, I can throw toys and he will retrieve them for hours. He likes it if I call him my puppy dog."
The plot thickens, we were on the right track with the remedy. Jonah was obviously in a dog state, slightly rabies-flavoured dog state to be more precise.
Jonah's mother told his Dad what happened in our visit and about my dog-bite analysis. Turned out that he had been bitten many times by dogs as a child and in fact, his grandfather's dog was put down for biting him so often.
Three Weeks after Treatment
I contacted Jonah's mother to see how he was doing and she wrote: "Though his fears at nighttime and growling still seem to have been greatly reduced, unfortuately, this past week was tough for Jonah behaviourally. At school he had many seemingly unprovoked violent and aggressive outbursts towards other children. At home, he was not aggressive but certainly seemed very tightly-wound and slightly manic. He was having difficulty focusing and following any type of direction." I had given his mother an extra dose of the remedy to take home in case of just such a need and instructed her to administer it to him.
Three months later
"Not much growling at all, only once last week. Before he did it every day to alternate days and it would stay like that. We would tell him to stop growling but he would not stop. He'd also refuse to talk and just growl."
"He stopped hiding under the tables at school, but that also has just come back a bit and the teachers are worried again."
"He's still pretending to be a puppy dog. Last night he wanted belly rubs. He just loves dogs. The only time I see him really give affection is when he is with a dog."
"He loves to run up to me like a dog, scampering and sneaking up on me."
"I forgot to tell you something: After the first dose of the remedy Jonah kissed me on the cheek a couple of times - he has not done that since he was a baby, only puppy dog licks and nuzzles. The kisses happened two days after the remedy. "
"I was reviewing old videos of him from when he was one-two years old and he was so calm! He was so calm as a baby."
"At home he likes to snuggle with a big soft fake fur blanket and his pyjamas are a cheetah costume. "
Assessment and Plan
It is obvious that the remedy worked very well for Jonah and he has been quite well for over two months. Now he is starting to relapse, which is expected. Children usually need several doses of the correct remedy over a period of months to years to completely recover. The mother shared some useful additional information about our little puppy dog boy, including that he only shows real affection with dogs and his father was also repeatedly bitten by a dog, which may have contributed to Jonah's state as well.
I gave a dose of Lyssinum 10M.
A week later his mother wrote:
"Since our last meeting Jonah seems to have settled down significantly. The 3-4 days immediately following the appointment were tough as he was very agitated, angry and aggressive (which you had explained might happen.) He did, however, calm down and has had big improvements again. He is even showing more emotion and vulnerability which is refreshing to see. Night times are still a bit of an ongoing battle but nothing too disruptive."
The comment on the increased emotionality and vulnerability is especially interesting, The way I see it, he is coming back into a more human state from a slightly rabid dog state.
Now it is time to sit back and wait for the remedy to continue it's work. It's possible that Jonah may need a few more doses of Lyssinum or maybe other remedies in the future.
Isn't it interesting that a behavioural and sleep problem can be linked to a dog bite? Not something a psychologist or medical doctor would pick up on, but a homeopath will easily make the connection between the child's state, the history of the bite and this particular remedy.
People who need Lyssinum, also known as Hydrophobinum, are often afraid of the dark, of dogs, even of water, have trouble falling asleep and are overly excitable. Aggression can also be a strong feature as can dreams of dogs, wolves and being attacked. This can even develop towards full psychosis.
Wolves are not normally aggressive to humans, but a rabies-infected wolf can be highly aggressive, a totally different creature, a shape-shifter. The bite of a werewolf can also turn other creatures into werewolves. The mythology around vampires is very similar.
Bottom line: Homeopathy can work wonders for children with behavioural disorders if the remedy can be clearly perceived. I have seen a number of similar cases over the years which helped me to recognize the remedy in this case so quickly. Lyssinum aka Hydrophobinum is only one of many remedies that can be helpful for children with rage, aggression and various behavioural disorders. There are many others. Treatment always needs to be individualized.
I invite you to read the other cases on my website and if you know of anyone who might benefit from homeopathy, please let them know about this. Why let a child suffer needlessly when there is simple, inexpensive (the remedy cost about $15 so far) and logical solution to the problem!
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH
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Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH is a naturopathic doctor with a special interest in developmental and behavioural disorders, vaccine injuries, homeopathy and CEASE Therapy.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Pediatrics
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