Author: Hili Zilbershtein
Why can't I let it go: a case of Salix fragilis
by Hili Zilbershtein
A case of a 35 year old lady, who first came to my clinic to treat her depression and anxieties. At that time, she was on psychiatric medication that did not do her any good and caused side effects.
The depression began after she had a motorcycle accident, five years ago. I prescribed Aconite, and she improved very much: "My depression is gone." Accordingly, her psychiatrist decreased her pills by half.
A few years later, she asked me to treat her hair: she complained that her hair is weak and falls out. She also complains of confusion, irritability, and restlessness. I prescribed Lac leoninum, on which she did very well, but after 6 months, she came back and asked me to treat her increased appetite and her weight gain. Despite the fact that she does sports and exercises regularly, she cannot lose weight, it is "as if my body wants to keep it," she says.
Patient (P): "The way I perceive food has changed: there is so much of everything, and I want to eat everything all the time. I want to lose weight but I don’t want to think about it or deal with it – as if it will happen by itself. It's just like the way I deal with my emotions. I push them away, and don’t talk about them, hoping they will pass. I am very rational; I act from the mind, not from the heart and I can't express my emotions. I find it very hard to speak of my emotions, to speak from the heart."
"I eat much more than I need, and I think of food all the time, even if I just finished eating, even if I am not hungry. I associate that with the accident. After the accident, I used to stay at home a lot and just go out for lunch. Food was a way of escaping my problems and from being home alone. I love chocolate the most; I can eat it all day long. Food is a way of compensation!
“The accident is on my mind all the time. It changed me and I want to go back to the way things were before; I want the accident to be deleted from my mind.
“I am very orderly and love cleanliness. I can't study when the house is dirty and in a mess. I need harmony.”
HZ: Tell me about this dirt?
P: “Dirt is a negative emotion or thought. A dirty environment intrudes upon me and I then need to wash it away. Like the accident… it needs to be cleaned, purged, and so on. Not much is left of that, but it is a burden on me, heavy, and I want to be light. Maybe the body stays "big" on purpose? In order to feel more robust and resilient – not fragile.
I want to let it go, I feel frustrated and guilty. I ask myself ‘why can't I let it go?’ It's like a huge heavy sack I carry. It is like a prison one put oneself in, but the door is wide open and still you don’t go out. It is a basket I carry because I am afraid of letting go. It's part of me. I am afraid to leave it all behind and start over. Afraid to let go.
Main themes and rubrics:
Sensation of heaviness
Wants a change in her life (fear of letting go of the past)
Mind-emotions predominated by the intellect
Mind – change, desire for
Mind- dwells, past disagreeable occurrences (still dwells on the accident)
Mind – disease, belongs to her – her disease does not (she feels as if the accident is not really related to her, wants things to be solved by themselves)
Mind – order – desire for
Mind – impulsive
Gen- food – chocolate – desire.
Prescription : Salix fragilis 200c, one dose
The remedy comes up in the repertorization and, according to the "Table of Plants – Wondrous Order", it describes a situation when one has reached the end: one wants a change in life, but cannot bring it about, causing a feeling of entrapment, of being stuck. One is stuck at the end of a situation (the last row) but cannot perform the required change. There is a lot of heavy sensation, and difficulty in letting go of a past event.
The last row also implies drying up: here, the emotion is drying up and she is dominated by her intellect. The food issue and chocolate desire also situate her to the 4th column – the nurturing column. Even the way she describes her improvement implies the nurturing column: "I can’t 'digest' negative things that happen in life."
After 2 months: she is better. Less thinking about food, her appetite is normal again. She only eats when hungry and she has lost weight.
Seven months later: her thoughts of the accident decreased and stopped. She halted the pending law suit process with the insurance concerning the accident, and moved on with her life.
She accepts life: "I can 'digest' negative things that happen in life, like death." She is more open and manages to express her feelings. She can release her anger, has less negative thoughts. Feels steady and strong and whole. "I feel that I am standing on solid ground, and I am able to cope with what will come."
Keywords: heaviness, desire chocolate, entrapment, desire for change, emotional dryness, fragility
Remedies: Salix fragilis.