Dr Apoorva N Deshpande
Key words: Children, Problem Child, Murphy repertory
A child, truly said to be the spring of life, is known to be bestowed with abound energy, curiosity and innocence – which endear it to one and all. Uniqueness is the second name of childhood. Every child is different i n itself as each one is a variegated combination of the traits inherited from the parents.
Childhood is but a stage in human life that must organize itself to be fit for survival and growth – and thus, it is necessary to erase the m isnomer that disease has a predilection for childhood.
Each child though not diseased, they may develop certain traits/ temperaments that are not suitable for their growth and development . These traits are the behavior pattern s that the child assumes (most of the times as coping strategies). These behaviors, though not obviously indicative of illness, but are surely indications of inner disturbances. As Homoeopaths, it is this inner disturbance we aim at understanding and subsequently treating.
Amongst all the stages of life of man, childhood is the most appropriate stage in which the correct treatment of constitutional ailments makes the subsequent difference between a diseased and a healthy individual.
The scope of homoeopathy in pediatrics lies in understanding the child as an individual – a step ahead than merely considering the operational definition of the disease with which the child suffers. It is this consideration that makes Homoeopathy a superlative method of treatment in pediatric practice; and makes a homoeopath the most ‘sought after’ alternative in cases of a “problem child”
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a Problem Child is a child whose behavior causes difficulties to themselves and others.
Behaviour is the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, towards others i.e it is a response to a sti mulus. The behavior of a problem child is usually disruptive or antisocial. Disruptive behavior disorder in children can be further categorized as – Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OD), and the more serious form, Conduct Disorders (CD). In the management of these disorders, the approach to the child plays utmost important role. The accurate Homoeopathic medication along withpsychotherapeutic measures is the apt method of tackling these behavior issues in children.
Homoeopathy as a science stands true as the success of our Masters are well replicable due to the aid of our efficient tool – The Repertory .
The Homoeopathic Medical Repertory by Robin Murphy is a modern, clinical, alphabetical repertory – an easy to use reference guide to the vast HMM. This repertory stands valid to the basic ideas on which it is compiled:
1) To facilitate access to rubrics at all level s
2) To provide clearer images of anatomical, physiological and clinical groups of rubrics .
Based on the Kent’s and Knerr’s repertory, with additions from many recent sources of proving s , Mu rphy repertor y embraces the approach of classical to clinical and clinical to classical – thus making it valuable in large number of cases.
The special accustom to children cases comes through the Children chapter of this repertory which is based on compilation from the “Stages of life and constitutions” chapter of Knerr’s repertory.
When considering the case of a labeled problem child, the common behavioural problems encountered are (INFANCY – 0 to 2 years) – persistant weeping, crying, pica, breath holding, fear, thumbsucking
(PRE SCHOOL – 2 to 6 years) – nightmares, tantrums, hyperactivity, hyperemotional reactions, bed wetting, speech disturbances, habits
(SCHOOL AGE – 6 to 13 years) – school phobia, learning difficulties, anti – social behavior
(ADOLESCENCE – 13 and above) – Aggression, delinquency, sexual indulgences.
Analysing the above all symptomatology, Murphy repertory gives apt representation of these conditions through various rubrics like:
• Abusive children – Cham., Cina, Lyco., Plat., Tub
• Angry children – Cham., Cina , Calc – phos., Phos., Sanic., Staph., Stram., Tub.
• Cursing, swearing children – Anac. , Bell., Lyco., Stram., Tub., Verat – alb.
• Destructive behavior – Bell., Cina, Hyos., Nux – v., Staph., Stram., Tub ., Verat – alb.
• Disobedient children – Calc – phos., China., Cina, Tub.
• Hyperactive children – Ars.alb., Carc., Cham., Cina, Hyos ., Iod., Medo. , Stram. , Tarent., Tub. , Verat., Zinc.
• Fearful children – Acon. , Ars., Bar – carb ., Calc – carb., Carc. , Caust., Lyco. , Op., Phos. , Stram.
• Crying children – Bell., Borx., Cham. , Coff., Graph., Hyos., Ign., Kali – carb., Lyco., Puls., Rh eum ., Senega.
• Sensitive children – Acon., Antim – crud., Bell., Calc – phos., Carc. , Chamo. , Cina, Ign. , Kali – phos., Medo., Nat – mur. , Nux – vom., Phos. , Puls., Staph., Tub.
The vast rubric resource base of Murphy repertory helps in the formation of the characteristic totality, and thus reaching the similimum becomes a simpler task.
The aim behind considering problem children for treatment is that the issues they encounter ultimately hinder their development. Though the definition of the Problem Child mainly encompasses the behavioural aspect of the child, developmental hindrances are also encountered in children who have tendencies to fall ill repeatedly. A sick child definite ly shows emotional lability of some or the other form and a child who is always sick may be inappropriately labeled a problem child due to the sustained reaction pattern he adopts on account of his repeated sickness.
The basic aim of any medical intervention method is and should be to improve the quality of life of the patient – and Homoeopathy does just that. A good homoeopathic prescription does not merely relieve illness, but also stim ulates the child to mature and adapt. The Homoeopathic approach eventually helps us in acquiring better perspectives on children. Rational Homoeopathic treatment will
help children to develop into healthier adolescents, and a dolescents into healthier adults – thus helping create a healthier world.
- Dr. Santwani M. T.Common ailments of Children and their Homoeopathic Management
- Ullman D. Homoeopathic medicines for children and infants
- Gunvante S. M. Introduction to Homoeopathic Prescribing .
- Mohanty N. Textbook of Homoeopathic Repertory.
M.D. (Hom.) Homoeopathic Repertory
Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University Homoeopathic Medical College, Pune
M.S. (Psychotherapy & Counseling)