By Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Aggression without Remorse
Ashanti (not her real name) was four years old when her mother consulted me. The family was concerned about her recently escalating aggression towards her family and especially her baby sister who was only ten months old. Of special concern was the fact that Ashanti did not seem to feel any remorse about hurting her sister.
"She will push sister down, try to squeeze her tightly, pull her hair out, pinches and pokes sister in the eye. She does something aggressive to her sister about 90% of the time to where we often cannot let sister on the floor when Ashanti is nearby. She will non-chalantly step on baby sister's hands or feet while walking by. I must watch the baby 100% of the time or Ashanti will do something physical to hurt her. She seems to have no remorse for hurting her at all.
"She head-butts, kicks and punches us when angry. She has a lot of energy and can go from zero to 100 for bed time. She has always been very independent and always needs to do things on her own. If she does not like something she will hate it and play refusal or else has a total meltdown. The frequency and intensity of her aggression and meltdowns has increased over the past year.
Extremes of Behaviour
"Ashanti has always been very intense with her behaviour, and very hyper. Her love, anger and sadness are all extremes.
"She did no smile or giggle until she was nine months old. She only shows anger but not sadness.
"She will urinate herself when she is angry, this started when I tried to go back to work a year ago, even though she was already potty-trained a couple of months before then
"Ashanti does qualify to be diagnosed with with ADHD and Disorder of Dysregulated Anger and Aggression of Early Childhood, or PTSD using the DC: 0-5.
A Traumatic Delivery
Ashanti's mother reported that the parents were not married yet at the time, which caused stress for her and that she had very bad headaches throughout the first trimester of her pregnancy and slightly into the second trimester.
The labour and delivery were very traumatic with the mother reporting that she had felt 'tortured'.
"I was starved and given only two crackers from midnight to 3:30 am. I was crying from hunger during the labour! The doctor scared me into having a C-section by saying that my daughter would be brain damaged if she was born vaginally.
"I was tied to an operating table for a C-section and faded in and out of consciousness. Then they moved into a recovery room where I was left unattended and freezing cold, shivering on the table, still tied up and separated from my baby.
"There was nurse in the room but she totally ignored me! I asked for a blanket and was told I could not have one! And the spinal anaesthesia was so strong that I could not walk at all for 24 hours afterwards! I felt totally traumatized by the experience and very angry! I ended up with post-partum PTSD."
Tantrums and Nightmares
"Ashanti was a good baby, she did not cry much. The first few months were really good. But she never smiled, I felt something was wrong. At 18 month she started to have meltdowns and still has them now at age 4. She will throw herself to the ground, flail and scream a few times a day. She witnessed her parent fighting around that time, we're not sure if that was a factor. But she never grew out of the tantrums.
"When her baby sister was born she was good with her for the first three months. But then she started to hug her too tight and kiss her too aggressively. She also started to get severe nightmares at full moon with yelling, grunting and screaming in her sleep. She'll yell things like: "Give me money! Stop that! I don't like you! This has gotten worse over the past year but she always struggled with sleeping. By 9 months she could not sleep or nap without being able to touch us."
"I also had bad nightmares as a child. My mother was a victim of child abuse, with a lot of violence and witnessing violence. She later became addicted to prescription medications. She also has no remorse, will not apologize. She'll just cover up everything."
Fears and Generals
"Ashanti is slow to warm up to new people and places. She very much dislikes unclean places. A family member is a hoarder and she hates going over to their place and will cling to me. I myself also dislike dirty homes and spaces."
Ashanti can't go to sleep without a light on, she will start yelling and refuse to go to sleep. She can't fall asleep without us. She tells the parents: 'I am brave at night".
She is not a picky eater and will eat everything.
She hates covers at night, sleeps mostly on her back, sometimes her left side. She still sucks her thumb and often sleeps with her mouth open.
On waking she is in a terrible mood: "She is slow to wake up and get angry if you're too cheery, then may or may not eat breakfast. Every other day she has a morning meltdown. She gets angry if she's hungry.
Objectives of the parents
The parents had the following objectives:
1) To control the frequency of the meltdowns
2) To be better able to use coping skills to calm down during meltdowns
3) Not to be physically aggressive
4) Not to urinate herself when angry
5) To learn to use gentle touch instead of rough
6) To be able to listen to multi-step directions
Assessment and Plan
Here we had a four-year-old girl with a high level of aggression to her family and especially her baby sister. She was violent to her sister at every opportunity and, most concerningly, showed no remorse. She also had frequent and intense tantrums since 18 months, as well as nightmares during the full moon.
What was very peculiar was that she did not smile or giggle until 9 months. On reviewing baby photos it was striking that she had a very hard look in her eyes from birth.
I was concerned about the traumatic delivery and the fact that the mother got an excessive amount of spinal anaesthesia as she was unable to walk for 24 hours after the delivery.
The hospital records indicated that the mother had received Fentanyl as well as Bupocaine in the epidural. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid. In homeopathy we have remedies made from Morphine and Opium and striking keynotes for these remedies are lack of remorse and lying.
Drug addicts are known for lacking remorse and empathy as the addiction takes over their lives.
The child's hard look from birth, her lack of smiling, her lack of remorse and the family history of prescription drug addiction led me to consider the remedy Morphinum, also known as Morphine sulphate in 30C. I also considered homeopathic Fentanyl and Vicodin as well as a remedy made from the epidural (Fentanyl plus Bupocaine) as back-up remedies.
Follow-up two weeks after Morphinum 30C
"Ashanti is showing more remorse and empathy! She is not trying to harm baby sister now. She is playing gently with friends. She now has a childhood look in her eyes and seems much happier. However, her intensity is still there. When she hugs it is still tight, when she loves, it is strong and intense."
Mom was advised to repeat the remedy if Ashanti relapsed.
Three months later
"I wanted to email to say thank you! Ashanti has become a different kid and an amazing big sister. It was a huge transformation after such small amount of time working with you. I cannot thank you enough!
My husband had no idea that I was treating Ashanti with homeopathy, and he would start bragging about her changes in behavior, and how much he has loved seeing who she has become. When I confessed, he was shocked and interested in homeopathy!"
Honestly, I was surprised myself, but my theory must have been dead-on as only a couple of doses of Morphinum created such a change in this little girl. What a blessing homeopathy is!
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH, January 30, 2022
Image credit: Southwest, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH is a professional homeopath with a special interest in children with developmental and behavioural concerns. Cases are all from her practice. Names have been changed to protect privacy. The cases were published with permission and are intended for education 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
Sooke, BC, Canada
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