Author: Julie Geraghtyn
Structure was not stable: a case of Rose quartz
by Julie Geraghty
A thirty-year-old woman with depression, first seen in 2011. She is beautiful, delicate looking.
Presenting complaint: depression
Medical history of physical symptoms: hip pain, symphysis pubis displacement, tendency to bronchitis
Gemstone words in italics in the case
Depression in pregnancy
Patient (P): “My second child is a year old. I have been depressed since the beginning of pregnancy. Instantly my mood changed, I felt very low.
I had bronchitis in the first six weeks of pregnancy, it lasted a long time. Then, I had symphysis pubis displacement from four months, with back and hip pain. I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t walk beyond the end of the road. The right side of my hip joint was not stable (G: gesture). I felt as if it could slip out, it was not rooted into place (G: fist into cupped palm), there was grinding pain if I walked or stood.”
Structure was not helpful
P: “I was referred for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the depression, but the way it was structured (G) was not at all helpful. I saw a hypnotherapist. I didn’t recognise it as depression then. I’d looked forward to the baby being born, to my husband having time off.”
P: “The labour was intense, I hadn’t known what was coming. The cord was very short, they had to cut it (G) before he could be delivered as it was around his neck. During my first delivery, I went inside myself, I didn’t make much noise. I spent a lot of time in the birthing pool, sitting. This time, I made a roaring noise. Afterwards, I felt shaken.
I had mastitis which required antibiotics, the baby got bronchiolitis. I tried to carry on instead of slowing right down. I felt the need to try to find a new routine as a family. He fed from the minute he was born. He wants to be with me constantly. I feel disappointed in myself. My first child, my daughter, is three. In her pregnancy, I felt I was on a long holiday, I was so happy to be with her. I feel I was a good parent. Now, I feel really disappointed with myself, I’m not as connected to either of them. I’m impatient, angry and frustrated.”
Julie Geraghty (JG): What do you mean disappointed with yourself?
P: “I wanted to do a good job, I wanted them to be happy and healthy. My daughter was a healthy child, but since my son was born, both have had constant colds and my daughter is more clingy. I see that as me not doing it right.”
JG: Where does that pattern go back to?
P: “I had depression in my teens. My father is an alcoholic. We had a tough experience growing up with him. I was put on antidepressants, which made me hallucinate. They tried five different ones before they found one that suited me. I have two younger siblings. Once they were born, my father was always angry with me. I felt it was always my fault. I spent a lot of time away in my room to avoid confrontation.
“I had whooping cough when I was twelve. My siblings got it from me; my sister had it badly and was ill for eighteen months and developed chronic fatigue. My father felt he was to blame as he had stopped us having the whooping cough vaccine. At fifteen, I took an overdose, I felt it was my fault that my sister had been unwell because we had argued.”
Decision to withdraw
P: “My siblings and my parents were a family, I was outside (G). My father didn’t want to have children when they had me. I felt I was to blame that he was not happy. My parents had horrible arguments if I talked to my mother about how I was feeling. She took my father’s side, so I stopped talking to her about how I felt. If I stayed out of the way, they would be happy downstairs together. I made a definite decision to withdraw (G). My father clearly favoured my sister ever since we were little. I could dress myself and walk to school. My mother didn’t know what I was doing with my time. I felt they would be better off without me.”
Relationship started to build
P: “My sister got pregnant at sixteen, my father felt he was to blame. My parents separated and father lived with his mother. I tried to support my sister. My relationship with my father started to build, he felt quite connected to my work. I have quite a good relationship with him now, I have been fulfilling a role which is helpful to him. Outside the home, he was funny and interesting, the opposite of how he was with us. He was very withdrawn, he never laughed or joked.
“My daughter always preferred her dad ever since when she was very little; when I was pregnant, she’d scream in the night that she didn’t want me. I felt hurt by that. We wanted her to have siblings but as soon as I was pregnant, I felt guilty that I was taking something away from her.
“I was given Carcinosinum, I felt fine for a week, then I slipped back and I felt desperate. Staphysagria helped instantly the first time, but didn’t help the second time.”
Sleep: “I have periods of insomnia when I am low.”
Fears: “Someone breaking into the house at night and attacking me.”
Dreams: “My children or my husband being hurt; being at the funeral, I feel traumatised.”
Food: “I craved potatoes and pork in my pregnancies. I prefer savoury, spicy, salty food.”
Prescription: Cyclamen 200C
I chose Cyclamen as the strongest feature of the case was her anxiety of conscience about not being a good mother, combined with depression since pregnancy.
After two months: “The initial dose was a shock to the system, I felt hyperactive. Taking it once a fortnight, I gradually felt better. I have felt calmer this week, accepting of how things are, less aggravated and annoyed. Physically, I’ve felt a lot better, my children had a cough but I didn’t catch it. My periods are fine.”
After three months: I am feeling better generally but I have insomnia before my period. The remedy does not help my sleep at all. If I don’t sleep, I get very depressed. The remedy makes me slightly manic; I can talk too fast, too much. I feel a bit hyperactive inside.”
I want to go inwards and hide
P: “It makes me feel like I want to hide, I want to go inwards when I’m not feeling at my best. If people see me they will see I’m not coping, that I am not good enough. My father was always very angry with me, not with my siblings. I had a strong feeling it was my fault if something went wrong; something about me was causing problems.”
P: “I went to University and studied art. My university friends don’t have children yet. I think it’s very worthwhile to be looking after my two small children, but sometimes I feel that what I have to say is boring. My confidence was knocked at the end of studying when my grandfather died. I was shocked how deep the grief I felt was. I got a merit but I was aiming much higher. I was planning to get an art studio with a friend but she pulled out. It knocked my confidence.”
Prescription: Rhodium bromatum 200C
I prescribed Rhodium, in the Silver series, stage 9, as she did not do as well as expected in her final exams because of the bereavement, then she suffered sudden loss of confidence when her friend pulled out, both suggesting stage 9 of the Silver series. I gave a bromatum salt because of the strong feelings of guilt.”
Follow-up after three months: “The remedy was helpful, instantly I felt much better. I felt very strong in myself. My sleep was better but now, it’s not as good. I have been feeling very tired, which makes me irritable. I feel terrible when I get impatient with my daughter, very frustrated with myself.
“I wanted to get back into my art, but I get an overwhelming worry that the tiredness will make work impossible. My son has started playgroup, it makes him very tired; when he gets home he won’t join in. He hits my daughter, he is resistant. When he cries, I feel really sad. I’m trying to make a calm environment and create a space for it to come out. When they fight, I panic, my head freezes, I can’t think straight, my brain freezes. I find it so hard, I fear that they will be unhappy people, they won’t get on, they won’t be friends; I have failed. There is so much guilt about not doing a good enough job for them.”
Prescription: Magnesium bromatum 200C fortnightly
Magnesium for ailments from quarrels between her children, and because her sleep was worse.
Follow-up after two months
Feeling more even
P: “I am very good, I feel different since the last remedy, I have fewer fluctuations. It is more even, even when I am doing mundane things, I feel content. Insomnia keeps coming back, before and during my period, for five days. I don’t find it easy to hear the children arguing.”
Prescription: we continue Magnesium bromatum 200C fortnightly as required, although I am concerned about the insomnia.
Follow-up after three months: “I do feel better, but I have bouts of insomnia. When I take the remedy, I don’t sleep for two days, so I didn’t want to take it, then I get panicky about what to do. For eight days in a row, I didn’t sleep properly, having dreams about something not nice happening to someone I know.”
P: “My sister is an angry person, she gets very angry with her children; we worry about patterns repeating. I have always felt very protective of her, but I had to let go of that, not get so drawn in. She has a difficult life, I feel overwhelmed, I should be able to do more, make it right, balance out what goes on. There is guilt that I couldn’t stop bad things from happening to her but I don’t feel guilt about my children arguing any more.
Prescription: Magnesium bromatum 200C monthly
Follow-up after three months
P: “I need some kind of sedative, I’m not sleeping. I had an aversion to taking the remedy, I think I need something different. I was so cross with my children, I am so ashamed. I am trying so hard to deal with it compassionately. I feel so disappointed when I get cross. When my daughter is angry with herself, I feel she’s angry with me, it reminds me of my father being angry with me, it makes me feel panicky, out of control, that whatever I am providing is not enough. I want to help her to learn ways to deal with her anger. She has a blockage to listening.”
Positive effect on the world
P: “As a child, I was so unhappy, I felt like running away. There is this great separation between me and my family, yet I can’t escape the anger being directed at me. I have done so much to live positively, to be a positive effect in the world. It’s like it’s all a waste. I want to create something happy, where everyone is included. The children are so loved. I knew my father didn’t want me. I want my children to love each other, to be friends. I love my siblings, but we are not close, there is constant drama with my sister. We all have to pull together. My father shuts you down, you can’t talk openly to him. My sister cuts us out.”
By this stage, I had become interested in the Gemstone remedies and realised she needed one. I noticed she was wearing a Rose quartz pendant.
P: “It is for love and for opening the heart chakra, I love the colour.”
Rose quartz as a Gemstone remedy has the central theme of her case: feeling an overwhelming sense of responsibility for family dynamics. They feel a great deal of guilt.
Peter Tumminello in his book “Rose quartz, Garden of the Heart” says the remedy is indicated for the feeling of being a martyr for love, becoming over-responsible for the family and loved ones. It is a remedy particularly for women, who are over-sensitised to the needs of those in the family and feel it is their duty to offer selfless service. They become enmeshed in family dynamics, immersed in responsibilities for holding the family together. They can hold the role of peacemaker, attempting to counter-balance the anger of the father and the grief of the mother (DD Magnesium remedies, Jan Scholten). They are unable to maintain their own boundaries; in the end have to retreat behind a protective barrier, but then they are trapped in a very lonely place. To shut out the painful situation, they shut down, and find themselves in the dark, longing for the light.
Prescription: Rose quartz Immersion 200C monthly before her period
In retrospect, I see that she had all the features of a Gemstone remedy from the beginning, of mineral with the dimension of a personal journey of inner development. The sensation of the Gemstone remedies is to hide away, detach from complex difficult family dynamics. To open up and express their feelings makes them feel vulnerable and exposed.
After two months: “Rose quartz helped. I took it on my mother’s birthday, ten days later, I had a really big breakthrough with my father: I emailed him and explained I felt that my children have a right to have a relationship with him. I got an instant reply, he said he was so sorry, what could he do to make it better? He phoned me and we had a very positive conversation, which left me feeling glad I had emailed. But I have a responsibility to keep on top of the ongoing difficulties with him, which is daunting. He made such an effort with us all at Christmas, it was really positive. My sleep is much better. I am less anxious with the children. It feels very loving and centered at home.”
After three months: “I love taking the remedy, I have found it very supportive. I am feeling much better. I am sleeping very well, no insomnia and no premenstrual tension. I feel much more balanced.”
When I asked her about her anxiety and feelings of guilt when her children were arguing, she said she didn't even think about it any more!
After six months: all the improvements are maintained. She is feeling easier in her relationship with her father and sister, less influenced by their moods and behaviour. She is enjoying harmony in her family life.
Keywords: structure, guilt, responsibility, separation, shut out, connected, stable, balanced
Remedies: Cyclamen, Magnesium bromatum, Rhodium bromatum, Rose quartz.