By Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Night Terrors in a Young Girl
In March of 2014 I saw a 7-year-old girl whom I will call Caitlin for night-terrors and great general restlessness and hyperactivity from birth.
The night terrors would start within 30 minutes of going to sleep, around 10-10:30 pm.
"It seems that she is awake, she is talking, reaching for things and very emotional, but not responding to us. This goes on for 15-20 minutes. To get her out of it we turn on cartoons on the TV, that helps. Afterwards she does not remember what happened."
The problem started a few months ago and happens about four days a week.
The parents described her as having a big personality, of being very emotional and dramatic. She would get reactions to food dyes, which increased the restlessness and made her so fidgety it was as if she lost control of her body.
Restless and Easily Frustrated from Birth
But even without any food dyes she was very squirmy.
"She can't sit still at dinnertime, she can never sit through a meal. She is always moving. She will fall off the chair from moving so much. We get upset because she just can't sit still at all."
"But in school she is doing well and can focus. But last week her teacher mentioned that she seemed loopy and overexcited."
"When she gets fidgety she also can't stop talking. It's non-stop. We can see it coming, it's like a wave of restlessness."
"She is also very determined to do certain things. If she makes up her mind no one can stop her. She wanted to do up her own zipper when she was only three. Dad wanted to help her so she took off her jacket, hung it back up, took it back down, put it back on and did it herself."
"And she is sensitive to everything, from birth. She was always very easily frustrated. The first few years of her life were very challenging."
Caitlin also had perfectionistic tendencies and would get upset if she didn't do certain things just right, such as colouring outside the lines. She is outgoing and not afraid to express herself.
I asked if she had any dreams:
"Yes, I have a re-occurring dream of a black screen with a green line running through it. It`s like a nightmare."
This was peculiar. I asked her to draw it. A square with a line running about half-way down the page right through it horizontally. I thought about this for a few minutes, then the idea came that this was like a flatline image on a vital signs monitor.
Caitlin had problems from the time she was born so I suspected that something might have happened either during the pregnancy or perhaps to the parents before they conceived her to contribute to her state.
The pregnancy was uneventful, but something terrible happened in the father's life when he was a child.
"When I was six my sister died of cancer, she was only three. I have vivid memories of the day we knew she was going to pass, we were all present."
I felt chills down my spine. Could this be a clue? Could it have been that her father may have passed on an image of a flat-line epigenetically? We now know that traumas ancestors experience can be passed on through epigenetic memory , but something so precise? Who knows. I've read that elephants pass on memories of places with certain food sources, almost like maps. In any case, perhaps that is possible.
Her father remembered other details: "I also remember the day we were hiking with our parents and she started limping. That was the first sign of the cancer. I was five years old."
"I had very had hallucinating dreams when I was about 8-10 years old."
Certainly his own hallucinating dreams could have been linked to such emotional trauma.
An Unhappy Baby
"Caitlin was born with a scoul and not a happy baby. It was hard to make her smile. It took 1.5 - 2 years to really make her laugh. She was crying a lot, just not a happy baby. Dad had to sleep on the couch for the first 3-4 months because she was up crying throughout the night."
"The first few years were horrible!"
The parents described her having episodes of freaking out when her mother went out and of having temper tantrums as 8 months old where she would hit her head against the wall in frustration.
Assessment and Plan
This is the case of a young girl with great restlessness and irritability from birth who has more recently developed night terrors. Her father had a history of hallucinating dreams as a child and lost his sister at the age of six. In my opinion something must have impacted this child either during pregnancy and delivery or prior to that through imprints passed on from her parents.
I thought this was a case for the homeopathic remedy Stramonium, which is often used for ailments from fright or being exposed to anything violent. It is a fairly common remedy for night-terrors in children and I have used it often with good results. It can also be indicated if a child has a lot of separation anxiety, fears losing their friends or loved objects and has a fear of the dark and/or of bad things happening to them.
Plan: Stramonium 200CH one dose.
Follow-up June 2015 - No More Night Terrors with Stramonium
After the Stramonium 200CH there were no more night terrors until the last few days. I gave another dose in the office and sent some home with the parents.
In August the parents emailed to let me know that she had done well again until a few days ago and they repeated the remedy.
Follow-up December 2016 - Insomnia and Worries
I didn't see the family again until 1.5years later in December of 2015. Caitlin was complaining that she could not fall asleep and felt as if something bad was going to happen, especially if it is dark.
"I worry a lot. I feel as if I'm missing something. I need to know where everything is. I get up and recheck to make sure my things are in the right place. I don't like losing things. I get upset even if someone else loses something. My brother lost his hat and I felt upset and cried."
"I feel the worst thing will happen, like we'll never find his hat again, it will be gone forever. We did find his hat later though."
"I worried that someone had stolen it. I worry that something I love and might never get again will get lost. Then I feel very sad and I'll be freaking out, looking for it everywhere. I get really anxious and will look for it like crazy. It's a horrible, sad feeling."
She has about a hundred stuffies, which she counts every night. If one is missing the whole family has to look for it.
Still Restless at Dinner
She is still very wiggely and jiggely at dinnertime to the point of being out of control. It is not getting better. She has trouble paying attention to parents sometimes.
"We have to say thing multiple times," her mother stated.
"Sitting still is so hard," Caitlin explained. "I feel like I have to move, I can't stay still. I have to move or I feel very frustrated. Waiting for something is very hard as well, like waiting for an appointment somewhere. I'm always twirling and moving and tripping over things, kicking the table."
"If she comes into our bed at night she will kick us, we'll get a knee in the gut or back, get smacked in the face with an arm," her mother added.
An Unhappy Baby
"She was a very unhappy baby. She used to bang her head against the wall in frustration even before she could walk."
The parents had told this story before. Again I was wondering if something happened during the pregnancy or delivery that had contributed to Caitlin's restlessness. So I asked her mother again about the pregnancy.
"I had several ultrasounds. A couple of standard ones and then a 3D Ultrasound. She was trying to get away so they could not tell the sex, so at seven months we did it again, another 3D Ultrasound at a private clinic. We had two sessions in one day, because again she got away and they could not tell the sex so we went back later in the day.
Ultrasounds and Hyperactivity?
So perhaps here was the culprit for the restlessness and unhappiness from birth. Caitlin had tried to get away from the Ultrasounds but not succeeded. Could this need to escape and/or any frustration around this on some level have imprinted itself? There is research linking prenatal ultrasounds to an increased risk of neurodevelopmental problems, including autism.
I knew there was a homeopathic remedy made from ultrasound. The remedy was made from water treated with ultrasound. Sounds strange of course, but I had used the remedy previously with good results.
Repeat Stramonium 200CH as she still showed strong indications for the remedy.
In a few days: Ultrasound 200CH, 2 pellets and wait.
Follow-up March 2017 - Restlessness much Improved with Homeopathic Ultrasound Remedy!
Cailtin had a few doses of Stramonium 200CH in the meantime which helped the sleep issues somewhat. She is also worrying less and gets less upset if she can`t find something.
"And the restlessness is much better! She has way more control over herself now. She can now sit at the dinner table! We used to have to remind her to sit still constantly, no we don't need to do that."
Repeat Stramonium in a 1M potency and also sent the family home with Ultrasound 1M to use as needed.
Follow-up September 2018 - 1.5 years later
Caitlin is not sleeping again. She gets really scared to go to sleep and at night.
"I feel no one is there to protect me. If something was to happen, for example if a bad person was to come in and attack me, my parents would be sleeping."
"She used to overheat at night, that got a lot better but she still likes to have a fan on all night. If she overheats she starts to panic. In general she wants someone close to her all the time. She does better if she can sleep next to our bed."
She is worse at times of changes, for example the beginning of the school year, like now. She worries about her personal possessions again, or things she forgot to do that day. Overall the checking is still less than it was before.
"She worries about adult things, like if we signed certain forms or not, especially before going to bed. She gets very upset if she expected something to happen and then did didn't come through. She also wants to know what's next all the time."
Fidgeting - 80% better with Homeopathic Ultrasound remedy
"She is still fidgety but since the ultrasound remedy she is about 80% better."
Plan: Stramonium 1M in the office and sent and Ultrasound 200CH home to be given in one week. We also discussed a vaccine clearing to be conducted in three months with Pentacel.
I contacted the family in November of 2018 and was told that Caitlin was doing very well and they no concerns at the moment.
Discussion - Ancestral Trauma and Adverse Events from Prenatal Ultrasounds
This was a very interesting case for several reasons:
1) It raised the possibility of actual traumatic memories being passed down to a future generation, perhaps via epigenetics or other yet unknown mechanisms.
2) It raised the possibility that prenatal ultrasounds may contribute to hyperactivity and restlessness in susceptible individuals.
3) It demonstrates that homeopathy may be useful to heal ancestral trauma.
4) It demonstrates that a homeopathic remedy made from ultrasound may be useful to help with adverse effects of prenatal ultrasounds. Given that the diagnosis of hyperactivity has greatly increased in the past 20 years and ultrasounds are a routine procedure it may be possible that they may be a contributing factor in children suffering with ADHD and should be something to consider and explore to help the individual reach their full potential.
I also want to mention that I have seen about three hundred children with autism by now, but only five of them were girls. Four of these had been exposed to more than 8 prenatal ultrasounds. I think it's possible that multiple ultrasounds in girls somehow contribute to an increased risk for autism.
1) Grandma's experiences leave a mark on your genes, Discovery magazine
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH, December 2019.
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Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH is a homeopath with a special interest in children with developmental and behavioural concerns. Cases are all from her practice. Names have been changed, they were published with permission and are intended for education in homeopathy only. They are not intended as medical advise or solicitation. Homeopathy treats the person, not the condition.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
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