A Case of ADHD Linked to Emotional Trauma
I first met Andrea, a pretty, blonde 13-year-old girl on March 31, 2012. She had been diagnosed with ADHD about 1.5 years ago and was taking Concerta, which had helped her, however, she preferred not be on medication.
Her symptoms included feeling fidgety, hyper and agitated, going off topic in conversations or talking for too long about a subject, especially if she was excited about it. She could have difficulty holding eye contact and tended to forget people's names.
Dwelling on Things
She also complained about dwelling on things, such as someone getting mad at her. She would play it over and over in her mind. She felt that it was hard for her to let things go and she would keep insisting that she was right in an argument.
"I like to keep going, " go, go, go, always on to the next thing. And when I get anxious I tap my fingers a lot which is really annoying to people around me."
Fear of Loss and Abandonment
"I get really attached to people and am afraid to lose them," she said. "I get sad because I think they'll leave and I'll never see them again. My friends tell me that I am too clingy, but I am just afraid to lose them."
Her worst fear is being left by her friends.
"If my friends ditched me I would feel all alone, with nobody to talk to, like a toy that had been dropped." Her friends have gotten mad at her for being too clingy. Sometimes she does not speak her mind for fear of being left behind.
Feeling Left Behind
Asked more about what it feels like to be left behind she said: "I got lost in stores with my Dad before. I'd wander off and he'd suddenly be gone, that really scared me." She felt that her Dad was not keeping a close eye on her.
A few years ago her grandmother died and her mother was very affected by it and due to her grief not as emotionally present for some time. Andrea felt abandoned and also developed a strong fear of death, not for herself but more about other people dying and leaving her.
Family historyThe pregnancy was emotional due to relationship difficulties between her parents. They subsequently split up when she was a baby. Both had another child with a new partner a few years later.
Now Andrea splits her time between both homes, but she feels kind of left out in both homes, she feels as if she does not completely belong in either home although she knows that she is loved.
She feels different in school as well, she dresses differently, does not like to dress like the others. She has also been bullied and teased in school. She enjoys theatre and feels that it is "an escape from her life".
"I never felt like I belonged, as if I'm not completely part of this or that group, always missing a piece."
Fear of the Dark and the Supernatural
She does not like being alone, she feels that "something is there". She is terrified of the dark and used to have nightmares when younger. She used to be afraid of clay animation TV shows.
In grade five she read a book about a car that was cursed and every person who rode in it would crash. She is afraid of riding in the front seat of the car or flying in an airplane. She used to be afraid of being possessed after watching certain shows on the supernatural. Terrified that she might not be able to control herself and hurt someone else.
She watched a show about bugs and afterwards had nightmares about bugs crawling all over her. She has always had many fears.
Case Analysis - A Case of Stramonium
This young girl's main issue is a feeling of being abandoned, left all alone, and then for something terrible to happen to her, so her reaction is to cling and hold on out of fear. She has fears of being alone, of the dark and of being possessed. She is also afraid that she might not be able to control herself and hurt others.
She has experienced several instances of loss and abandonment in her life. These, partially subconscious, fears may be creating this ongoing state of inner agitation which is interfering with her academic and personal life.
This is a classic case of Stramonium. Stramonium is a commonly used remedy for children who feel alone and are terrified of something bad happening to them.
Causes for this state can include traumatic events such as in intense fright or loss or sometimes neurological trauma such as a head injury, a vaccination or a high fever.
I gave a single dose of Stramonium 1 M on April 7/12
Improved Concentration and Organization
Follow-up November 14, 2012. Apparently the remedy had worked rather well for the past six months. Andrea's concentration had improved together with her organization and agitation.
Symptoms were slowly relapsing over the last two weeks. Andrea had been very happy with the remedy, even feeling closer to her family and less clingy.
Plan: I gave another dose of Stramonium, a 200CH potency this time.
Continued and Long-Lasting Success
Follow-up August 28, 2013: All had been well until quite recently when her symptoms started to relapse again. I repeated Stramonium 1 MK.
This was a great result from a constitutional remedy in the treatment of ADD. This young lady's system was in a constant state of stress due to the deep-seated feeling of being abandoned and being in danger, likely caused by the parental conflict she experienced.
The remedy effectively relieved this state and therefor her ADD and anxiety. She may need another dose here and there over the years.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, Naturopathic Doctor, Victoria, BC
Questions: Feel free to email or call me 250-590-5828. You can also book a free consultation online through to link below:
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH is a naturopathic doctor with a special interest in developmental and behavioural disorders. Cases are all from her practice, names have been changed, they were published with permission and are intended for education only.
Dr. Anke Zimmermann, ND, FCAH, Naturopathic Physician
West Sooke, BC, Canada
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