It’s Really Got a Hold on Me: Two Curious Cases of Kali Bromatum
Tara Peyman, ND
Case Study 1
38-year-old Man With Schizoaffective Disorder
Jacob had been responding well to homeopathic Hyoscyamus for about 1 year. Prior to treatment at my office, he had several psychotic and manic episodes with jealousy, hypersexuality, and paranoia. After responding to Hyoscyamus 6C to CM, he stopped responding and fell into a delusional, depressive state.
I retook the case. Right away I noticed a change in speech patterns. He couldn’t come up with the words to describe what he was experiencing. The conversation was littered with long “um” and “uh” interjections. He told me that his mind felt totally blank. It is not unusual in depression to have difficulty focusing. However, the severity of this mental blankness was so strong, and it was such a big change from his previous mental state, that I knew the right remedy had to cover that symptom.
When I asked about his mood, he reported, “I feel like life is just passing me by. I’m not suicidal. I am not having hallucinations. It’s been a long time since my last psychotic break, and yet I still feel controlled by this illness. I don’t feel like I can get out from under it. It’s got me. I feel like I cannot move forward. I forget that I accomplished anything in the past. I am having a hard time remembering that I was doing better and feeling good over the past year. I am afraid to do anything. I feel scared to be alone. I feel needy and desperate. I feel better if I am with someone. I notice that the depression almost goes totally away if I am distracted and out with a friend.”
So far, I knew that his mind felt blank, he was afraid to be alone, and he was better with mental occupation. I did not yet fully understand the feeling of being controlled by his illness, so I asked for more explanation. He told me, “I went online and looked up mind control. It was very informative about how sleep deprivation can be the first sign of being under mind control. I feel like I am being controlled by something else. I don’t know what it is, but it’s really got a hold on me.”
This was a unique symptom, for sure. He believed he was under a powerful influence. Not everyone with depression has this mental experience. I knew that the remedy selection was now reduced to just a few medicines that can treat this symptom and the other mental characteristics that he had expressed so far. Now I needed to narrow it down to the one best fit.
I found that he was not sleeping due to restlessness in his hands and feet. He also was experiencing some mild vertigo with the mental confusion. On standing and starting to walk, he felt like the floor beneath him had given way, and he feared he would fall if he stepped forward. This vertigo required him to just stand still or sit back down.
With these additional symptoms, I was totally clear on what remedy would help to correct his depressive state: Kali bromatum. This homeopathic medicine covers the fearful sadness with the delusion of being under a powerful influence, mental blankness, restlessness in the extremities, fear when alone, and amelioration from distraction, as well as the peculiar vertigo with a feeling of the floor giving way on trying to walk.
I prescribed Kali bromatum 6C, 2 pills once daily, and followed up in 1 month. He reported: “I feel much better. My mood is better. I feel more optimistic. I am not under that external control anymore. Before, I was in a tunnel and just going through the motions. My clarity is back. I am going to the gym every day for 20 minutes. I feel a hundred times better than last month, and the only thing that has changed is the remedy, so I know that’s what’s helping me.”
Jacob will need long-term care to maintain his improved stability, but with the help of homeopathic Kali bromatum, he is out of that delusional depressed state that had such a strong grip on him.
Case Study 2
25-year-old Woman with OCD
Nora presented to my office last year, seeking help for severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). She could not remember a time when she didn’t have obsessive thoughts and ritualistic compulsions. She told me, “It’s all about good and bad forces. If I think of something bad, I need to do rituals to get rid of the bad luck. I think of something unlucky, like the number 13, and then I need to clear that bad luck, or else I will be affected by it. I have to do these rituals all day. I have to say certain numbers to counteract the bad luck of the bad numbers I think about. I have to say certain phrases about being lucky. It takes up my whole day pretty much. It’s sometimes worse than other times, but it’s never gone.”
So far, these symptoms are not very characteristic. Many people with OCD have this type of concern that unlucky things will happen, and have similar rituals to alleviate the anxiety. I didn’t have enough information to prescribe yet.
I asked her more about some physical symptoms and other aspects of the anxiety, to help guide me to a homeopathic remedy. I found that she is restless at night in bed. She feels restless in her feet and her hands and feels that she needs to move them. When the OCD is worse, she is more afraid of ghosts. She is better with mental distraction, and she is generally more sensitive to warm rooms.
I was considering Zincum metallicum, Kali bromatum, Stramonium, and a few other remedies. I still needed more information to be sure about a remedy for her. With more questioning, I learned that she had a very specific mental experience with the OCD, and this set her case apart from others with a similar general presentation.
She said, “It’s not just a thought of bad luck. It feels almost like bad luck is an evil force that controls me. That force is directing me in all of my actions, and I have to submit to it because I have no choice. I don’t have control over anything; it has control over me, and the only thing I can do is to do the rituals. I know this doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what I am dealing with.”
Once again, here was that symptom of being under a powerful external influence, or being under superhuman control. Several remedies cover this symptom, including Stramonium, which also covers the fear of ghosts and restlessness. I prescribed Stramonium 6C. This remedy helped by about 50% with the first potency. I thought it was a pretty good response, but it was nothing compared with what was to come once I actually gave the right remedy. After she stopped improving on Stramonium 6C, we went up to the 30C, without significant results.
I retook the case. The symptoms were the same. In examining the remedies that cover the main complaint of OCD, I was led to Kali bromatum. This remedy also covers her fear of ghosts, amelioration from mental occupation, and restlessness of the extremities.
I switched to Kali bromatum 200C, 2 pills daily. For the first time in her life, the obsessions and compulsions stopped completely for 3 months. Then the OCD started to return slightly, so we went up in potency to the 1M, which helped put her back into remission for 5 months. We decided to increase the potency again because she started to feel more anxious, even though the OCD was still gone. Within a week on Kali bromatum 10M, she was back in remission.
She chose to take the remedy only as needed, because she preferred the idea of not taking something every day, and she noticed that she still felt fine without taking it daily. At her next follow up, she was symptom-free, and hadn’t taken a dose in about 3 weeks. At her most recent follow-up, she had not taken a dose of Kali bromatum for almost 3 months, and was still in total remission. This was a great homeopathic reaction, and a nice example of the symptom of being controlled by a powerful influence.
Tara Peyman, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor in the state of Arizona. Dr Peyman’s primary passion is the homeopathic and integrative treatment of bipolar disorder and mental illness. Her treatment program for mood disorders is tailored to each individual. Although she is familiar with psychiatric medications, Dr Peyman focuses on addressing the underlying causes of illness, and empowers the patient to effectively treat those deeper concerns using homeopathy and natural medicine. She was trained by some of the best classical homeopathic physicians in the country and internationally, and applies these highly effective methods in treating people suffering with depression, mania, anxiety, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, OCD, PTSD, and many other conditions. She received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from SCNM in Tempe, Arizona. When not practicing medicine, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and camping with her husband and their dog Lily.