Behavioral problems in children
In my 30 years’ practice I encountered many children who suffer from anger and difficulties, some with severe behaviour problems, that were resolved through homeopathic treatment.
So – what is homeopathy? Basically, it’s a type of medicine in which self-healing power is stimulated. In homeopathy, there is never an “across the board” treatment. Remedies are tailored to the individual. They are chosen by symptom-pattern matching – matching the patient with the remedy. That is the crux of homeopathy and is often summed up by the phrase “like cures like”.
The self-healing power inherent in children is often greater than in older people. Everything is young, “bursting with energy”, including the power of recovery, which is why homeopathy has very good outcomes in children.
Ten angry or difficult children might need completely dissimilar remedies because they express their anger in individual ways and are completely different in aspects of body and mind.
For example, children differ in their food likes and dislikes, sleep in different positions, have particular types of dreams and have all kinds of physical symptoms such as bedwetting, eczema, indigestion, headaches, that are happening at the same time as their main problem. Even odd habits such as grinding teeth at night or having hot feet in bed can be useful clues pointing to the needed remedy.
I question and observe the child and parent for an hour or more while I gather a total picture of not only the behavioural difficulties but also any accompanying physical health problems, habits and traits.
There are all kinds of reasons for children’s behavioural issues that can include food sensitivities, family dynamics, hereditary factors, being pushed too hard, today’s fast pace of life, (overuse of cell phones, gaming etc), specific traumatic events, grief or shock.
When I treated Caleb*, a 17-month-old who hit, kicked and bit everyone, he was transformed by a homeopathic remedy within two weeks. His mother was beside herself. He smashed things, screamed his head off, pulled things off the shelves in shops. Interestingly, Caleb’s sensitivity to music and its ability to calm him down when he was out of control, gave me the clue that clinched the correct remedy. The key indicators for this particular remedy are hyperactivity, destructiveness, plus a sensitivity to music. When Caleb’s tempers and destructiveness stopped, his mother said “he is like a lamb now, compared to before”.
When several problems occur at one time, homeopathy searches for one remedy that most closely matches the individual’s total state.
A patient with both behavourial and physical ailments, four-year-old Coral* alternated between wimpy/weepy and naughty/aggressive behaviours. Malicious and nasty to other children and animals, Coral was plagued with multiple physical problems including ulcers on her tongue, sore throats, diarrhoea, chesty coughs through winter, recurring ear infections (30 since she was two-year-old), cold sores and enlarged glands.
I noted that she was a “hot” child who sweated on the head and drooled in her sleep: symptoms that were significant in finding the remedy.
After the first homeopathic dose, her problems started to clear. Her ears cleared first, and lastly, her behaviour improved. Over the next year, she needed four repetitions of her remedy whenever there was a return of one or another symptom.
She remained well after this, turning into a bright, inquisitive girl.
Scotty’s parents’ substance abuse had a direct effect on his behaviour, health and wellbeing.
As a ten-year-old, he wore a perpetual scowl, had mood swings with sudden violent outbursts of temper. He was touchy, easily irritated and lashed out over small things. He was jealous of others doing better than him. On several occasions, he was caught stealing and setting things on fire. Scotty* often had headaches, mouth ulcers, stomach aches and had trouble sleeping. His mother was alcoholic and took LSD throughout her pregnancy. His father took drugs also.
I saw the link between the parents’ use of drugs and Scotty’s oversensitised state. I chose a remedy accordingly (as is now well-known, substances cross the placental barrier and can cause growth and development problems).
Within a week of starting the remedy Scotty was a happier, smiling boy. His stomach pains stopped, his sleep pattern normalised and subsequently, the mouth ulcers disappeared. Three years on, he maintained this improvement with only two booster doses of the remedy when he showed signs of slipping back into his old behaviour. On both occasions, he could feel this happening and asked to go to see the “lady with the happy pills”.
*Names of patients have been changed to protect their identity.