Unraveling the layers of ADHD with Homeopathy

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

ADHD Study 2020: Case 2

Summary Sarah was 14 years old when she started homeopathic treatment under my care. She was diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive type, and had a history of depression, anxiety, self-harm, chronic ear infections, severe allergies, anemia, frequent headaches / migraines, and insomnia. Sarah's mother described her as very sensitive. She was shy, timid and submissive in the past. As she’s got older she has become more confident and outgoing, but she has two very different sides. Bubbly and expressive outside the home, sloth-like and disconnected at home. Sarah suffered terrible social anxiety at school, yet she loves to be around people. Sarah was taken out of school in 5th grade to be homeschooled after ongoing bullying. Public school was awful for her, she was a target. It was loud and she was sensitive to noise, it was busy, hectic and overwhelming. When she started treatment she was very argumentative, angry and rude at home. She was usually agreeable with homeschooling until her brother (also diagnosed ADHD) returned home then there is conflict and arguing. It is Sarah's wish to return to school at the beginning of the next school year. Sarah loses her attention within 30 seconds of starting a task. She cannot concentrate without music, with music she can sit for 45-60 mins. Sarah said ’If i’m sitting for a long period of time I feel a weird wave to get up and run, it causes this uncomfortable feeling inside'. Sarah is very forgetful. She gets anxious about school and tests. When she gets nervous she forgets things. Sarah has fear of failure with her school work. She gets very overwhelmed by tasks. According to her mother procrastination is the biggest issue, and disorganization. Her room is extremely messy and school work is disorganized. Sarah said she finds math a huge struggle, she says her mind just doesn’t want to concentrate on math.

Sarah is self-conscious. She has a fear of rejection, and thinks nobody likes her. She is worried about her weight, and wishes she was thin like other girls. There is lots of comparing herself to others. She is convinced she has an ugly face, and uses the word ugly a lot. When I spoke to Sarah about her depressive episodes she said it’s getting worse…’It is usually self-hatred for myself, I don’t love myself. I hate how I look. I wish I had a different personality. I wish I could be more confident. I don’t have the confidence that other people have. Even if it’s a game outside or activities in school, I won’t do it because I’m afraid I will make a fool out of myself. I want to be someone else. I’m self-conscious about my nose, my smile, I think I’m ugly. I suck my tummy in because I look pregnant. I’m abnormally big. I want a flat stomach. I have bigger thighs than I should’. Medical history

Ear infections were frequent between 6 months - 1 year old, treated with antibiotics. Sarah still gets outer ear infections frequently, multiple every year. She has used Ciprodex antibiotic drops for years. The infections can be very painful and spread down her neck to the mastoid bone. She has had 20+ courses of oral antibiotics over the years. Sarah had croup a couple of times, and received steroid treatment. Also topical corticosteroids for dry skin in infancy. As a toddler, age 2/3 she had lots of temper tantrums, used throw things and hit mother. Raging mad at home, and never content. At school she was scared and quiet. Sarah has suffered with severe allergies since Age 3/4. Taking Zyrtec once a day since then. Allergy symptoms include stuffy nose, she has to blow it frequently to get relief. Itchiness in the corner of her eyes. Inner ears itchy. Frequent sneezing. Nose running. Cedar season and high mold conditions are the worst times. Allergic to cats and horses. Sarah loves horses very much and wishes she could ride.

Migraines started around Age 5. Feels like a deep ache, or sharp throb. Sensation and location changes. Takes Ibuprofen frequently. Sometimes cries and screams it hurts so bad. Other times ‘I can’t see, or need to vomit’. Sometimes frontal, around the crown. Better for being in a dark room, and cold applications. She developed a fear of the dark around 5-7 years old. She would imagine people are in her room, and would scream. Sarah is still scared of the dark, and will not leave her room in the dark of night even to go to the toilet. She likes to draw, write music, sing and play ukulele at night, this means she often doesn’t go to sleep until 2 am. She’s been taking melatonin for 5 years to go to sleep. Melatonin used to help her go to sleep, but it isn't working as well anymore.

Age 9 she was very angry, and very sad. She hated herself and wanted to die, she would end up in a puddle of tears. Tendency to self-harm began in 4th - 6th grade, she would cut her arms. She was prescribed Zoloft from Age 9-14. She changed schools due to bullying age 10/11 but this change was too much for her. Warts on arm frozen off age 10.

According to her mother Zoloft allowed her to live a normal life for a while, and helped the family dynamic recover. Age 12 her depression, suicidal ideation and tendency to self-harm worsened, a higher dose of Zoloft didn’t help so at this stage she left school, and went into full-time therapy. She was admitted to hospital for one week, medicated with Abilify.

In pregnancy mother took thyroxine for Hashimoto’s, and antihistamines daily. She required antibiotics in the second trimester. And possibly the H1N1 vaccine. Labour meds included pethidine and epidural. Sarah received her full vax schedule.

Prescription Medorrhinum 10M. Polysteroid, Poly antibiotic and Polybowel plus. Thuja 200C. Carduus mar 6X.

Update, March 12 Mother reported that Sarah was very emotional, and said she cried 17 times during her period. ‘Yesterday, she was crying saying I hadn't done anything to help her with her weight, when in fact I have taken her to our integrative medicine doctor several times to look at labs, and yesterday had made her an appointment to see a dietitian next week. She was sobbing about the whole thing. I know it's normal for teens to have these mood swings, but she's upset that she's crying so much and doesn't understand why...She's desperate to lose weight and is crying for help’. ‘She is also still having daily headaches. I'm concerned about her headaches because she's needing ibuprofen every day. Also, tics are increasing. I am seeing them quite a bit now in her hands and face. I just saw her facial tics appear yesterday. I had not seen them since we did neurofeedback when she was twelve'.

I recommended to stop Thuja and take Pulsatilla 200C weekly instead. Pulsatilla was a good match for her headaches, chronic ear infections, emotional state, tearfullness, and sadness about her friends and rejection sensitivity. It also matched the changeable nature of her symptoms. I found it hard to get a clear picture of headache and other pains because it changed so much.

Follow-up 1

Allergies have definitely improved. 80% improvement in allergy symptoms. We’re going through a lot less tissue, she would usually blow her nose for a couple of hours in the morning. She’s not sneezing at night time, and much reduced in the afternoon. She still needs to take allergy pills. Pollen has been pretty bad so she's doing really well considering. Even with daily zyrtec she is usually still sneezing and itchy her eyes when there is high pollen. It’s been several weeks since she’s complained about earaches. Sarah said she has been tired, and is now needing 11 hours of sleep. ‘ I started to get headaches twice a day so I was taking Ibuprofen twice daily, pain was excruciating...I have been drinking electrolyte powder and that is really helping’. I started drinking every other day and since headaches have got a lot better. Facial tics are returning. Started before first consultation. She will blink extra hard, do a little grimace or hand/ arm jerk. Especially when she is holding a pencil. No improvement in forgetfulness or organization. ‘She cannot clean her room. It gets so bad. Dirty tissues on the floor. Laundry everywhere. I have to clean it, she doesn’t have the motivation for it’. Sarah always feels like she’s not good enough, worries about what others will think of her. Very caring and compassionate towards her friends. Lately she is more introverted. Not reaching out. Takes things personally, sensitive to rejection. She feels her anxiety is brought on from overthinking. Worries what will happen, a lot of what if’s?. Sarah said she gets stressed about making decisions. When she was little she remembered her stomach would hurt really bad from anxiety - like on a roller coaster. Now it’s in her chest. Social things escalate her anxiety, friend related stuff, and what’s going to happen in the future. She is fearful of thunder, how loud it is. Darkness frightens her because she imagines things out of the shadows in her room. If she watches something scary it affects her greatly. Prescription Poly vax course. Histamine course. Phosphorus 1M. Update, May 12th Email correspondence from mother - 'Sarah’s mental state has worsened. This was between her first and second prescription. There were about three weeks between the two as we waited for the remedies to come. I gave phosphorus the last week of April. After we got back from the lake, she had opened up to my husband about wanting to harm herself.

I'm super concerned about how this summer is going to go for her. Not having contact with friends for so long is really depressing to her. She's not texting them much and they're not texting. Unfortunately, that's the modern mode of communication these days. I don't even know if there will be a physical school to go to in the fall for socialization. Her theater is likely not going to happen. In my world, I can see that this is all temporary and that we'll survive. She can only see right now. And she HATES having her brother at home with her. I think that may be the worst thing for her as she has no patience for his antics and interruptions'. Advised to order Syphilinum and Serotonin course, updated prescription sent. Mid-way Appointment Sarah is mid-way through her second course. She took one dose of Syphilinum one week ago. Sarah has managed to go to sleep a couple times without melatonin. Her mother stated 'since we’ve been mostly home due to lockdown she has become super annoyed and infuriated. Her brother (also with ADHD) will not leave her alone unless she hits or kicks him. He’s just looking for her attention. By the time the evening comes she wants to hide or else she is hitting him. She is so frustrated sometimes she is in tears. She says she cannot be herself around her family. She wants her freedom'.

Her mother said 'I am very concerned about Sarah. She is not handling lockdown well. She got in a lot of trouble this week for continuing to be physically aggressive with her brother. She has a lot of chores to do to earn certain privileges back. She chose to do absolutely none of them yesterday. Today, she refused to come out of her room to do school work or chores. I reminded her that she could text her friends and do other things once she had completed her assigned chores. She said she'd rather die. I told her two friends had texted her. She said she doesn't have any friends and said to tell them she's dead'.

‘It's still undecided what Sarah is going to do for school next year. I don't think she can be successful how she is right now. She loses her school work, doesn't want to do it, is extremely slow to complete it. She could get it done in 2 hours but procrastinates. Sarah is depressed with low energy levels. Memory is poor, she can’t find her belongings. Always asking where is...?”. We are taking vacations every 2 weeks, just so she can have a short burst of happiness while we're gone. School usually starts here in mid-August. We need to see some improvement soon!'.

Week before period she got 5 spots, cystic pimples on her cheek. 1-2 day severe period pain. Allergies doing pretty well. I think she hasn’t needed her allergy pill every day. Prescription Lac canium 200C weekly.

Follow-up 2

Three days ago she had her second dose of Lac Canium 200C. She’s no longer hitting her brother. She’s got a lot more self-control. She doesn’t seem as angry. She’s choosing to stay away from him.

Sarah hasn’t talked about her weight much for the past few weeks. She still feels like she’s overweight even though she has lost 11lbs. Much flatter stomach but it still bothers her. Tics are much better. Haven’t seen her do arm tic for a long time. Ears were doing good, until she got water in them at the beach. Dandruff is better. Hasn’t had any hayfever for the past couple of days. I only heard her sneeze once yesterday. Went to a friend’s house where there was a cat and had an allergy attack. Still no improvement with attention and focus. She is still procrastinating, and disorganized. Room is still a disaster. Father is giving her a hard time for leaving stuff out, she’s not getting a break from him. Very sensitive to rejection again. Over the last few days she’s talking about her friends not talking to her. Energy is slouching. Her chores weighing on her. Even though her cluttered room gives her anxiety she cannot clean it. Refuses to clean her room, and never puts anything away. Her sleep is still terrible. Went to sleep at 2am one night, and woke at 6:30am in the morning. The following day she had to take a nap, and sleep for 12 hours the following night. Sarah is very active in her sleep. She will talk to you when she’s still asleep. Locks her door at night because she’s afraid someone will come in. She’s always been afraid of someone coming into her room or the house. Ever since she was bullied in 5th grade. She becomes more energetic when the sun goes down. Around 9 pm she likes to do her creative work, making music, and writing. Prescription

Anti-histamine, Poly Ig and Mixed allergens course. Lac Canium 200C weekly. Mag phos 200C as necessary for period pain. Update, June 29th

After 4 doses of Lac Canium - 'Sarah is happier and more relaxed, and headaches are less frequent. Her moods are much better, but she has hit her brother several times recently, and is still putting him down every chance she gets. She stays in her room a lot, but isn't depressed. We don't have long midnight crying sessions anymore! She's still not sleeping well. She has had some headaches, but they're definitely much fewer!' [Long wait for remedies, only started Antihistamine course in August]. Follow-up 3

Sarah is doing really well overall. She’s chipper!. She’s going to school 3 days a week and is really liking it. She comes home with notes written down. No social anxiety. A little nervous going back to school the first day but it wasn’t debilitating. She was all smiles and talked about how much she loved it. Not talking about her weight like she used to, she doesn’t seem to worry about it as much. She’s following what the dietitian told her. She will allow herself some treats. I know it still bothers her but she’s not consumed by it. She lost 11 lbs late spring then it plateaued. She would like to loose another 5 lbs. No mention of self-harm or urge to self-harm for a long time. Not hearing self-hatred language in the same way.. Mood is really good. I found a note from back in June. A suicidal note saying 'i don’t want to live anymore'. 'I’d rather die than be here'. She seems so much better now. She still talks about needing her freedom. Always talking about moving away, I can’t wait to move out. When her mood is low she wants to escape. She still feels restricted and contained. Headaches have been 90% better when on Lac Canium. She’s had them a lot again over the last 10 days. She takes Ibuprofen as soon as she gets a headache. Her period was short this time and only painful on the first day. Sarah is doing better with procrastination. She’s doing really well at school. Accountability with her teacher is helping her to stay on track. Her focus and attention is better. When doing school work she has been able to sit and do it without music. She’s trying to do better with organization, and keeping her notes well. Her assignments are organized. She’s working on school time management. She does seem to hyper-focus on big assignments, and is not getting to some smaller assignments until 10 pm. Sarah seems to be over-analyzing her work. She gets all frantic ‘I’ve got to finish this’, ‘ I want it to be perfect’. She could work on an essay for 12/ 13 hours and only complete five paragraphs. She’s very good with writing. I’m seeing her perfectionist side more. I think because other people are viewing her work. We did math together last night. She gets angry with math. Memory for math and formulas is not good and causes her a lot of frustration. She’s still having issues with her room, she says she wants to have a clean room, and wants to start putting things away but is still leaving trails behind her, and stuff piled on her floor. Sarah is still having some some issues with friends. Not reaching out. She is better for not being isolated and seeing friends more regularly. She’s not going into her room to be alone like she used to. She wants to sit in the dining room to do her work. Last flare up of ears was in late May. She doesn’t complain about them as much. No facial tics. Arm jerkiness is very minimal. Allergies have improved overall but not much progress after last round. We went to visit parents where there were a lot of cats and a dog. She had to take medicine everyday. Went on a horse ride which bothered her a lot. She can sit on the horse for one hour but she suffers afterwards. Sarah is now going to bed at 11pm. She says it takes hours to get to sleep unless she takes melatonin. Back in June Sarah's mother received a message from Sarah's nurse practitioner. They said her red blood cell and white blood cell count are still abnormal and they want to send her to a hematologist. She saw a hematologist last summer when she was anemic. The Doctor couldn't understand why she was there since he mostly treats blood disorders and cancer patients. Her white blood cell count was the low end of normal in March. The red blood cells were mostly too high in March and now also. Her ferritin is higher even though I haven't given her iron, so I'm really glad about that! It's at 66. It was great to hear Sarah's ferritin is within normal range, but with high eosinphils and basophils, low WBC, high MCH, MCHC, and low RDW there seems to be an imbalance which could be helped with a course of Medullosseinum which can help restore the balance in the bone marrow. Prescription Medullosseinum course. Ferrum phosphoricum 200C weekly. Lac canium 1M fortnightly.

Discussion As you can see from Sarah's MYMOP scores there has been clinically significant improvements in the areas she was most struggling with. There was a 4 point improvement in emotional aspect of her weight issues, a 2.5 point improvement in her allergies, and a 4.5 point improvement in her depression. This is a good example of a case complicated by iatrogenic injury. The long history of anti-histamine use, antibiotics, ibuprofen and zoloft have caused suppression in the past, and disrupted Sarah's homeostasis. This is where the Human chemistry approach can really help to undo some of the damage. Sometimes this work is essential before we can clearly see the constitutional remedy that is needed. Fortunately for Sarah her mother decided to continue with treatment after the study. We still have a way to go. We are waiting to hear results from her blood test to see if her bloods are within normal range after finishing the course of Medullosseinum. Her insomnia has improved in that she is better able to switch off at night but we haven't fully resolved this issue. Her next course includes Pineal gland and some neurotransmitter courses to help address her insomnia. Sarah has done well on Lac Canium 1M until recently but some symptoms remain, and with a strong focus on feeling contained, wanting more freedom and wanting to move away I have decided to prescribe Falco-p with her next course. I am hopeful this remedy will help her focus, feeling of being trapped, allergies, headaches and sleep. I was expecting a bigger improvement in a few areas. This spurred me to go back through the timeline to see if I was missing anything. Before Sarah was born her mother had been on the contraceptive pill for 23 years. Her mother stopped receiving Depo Provera injection 3-6 months before conception. I think Sarah will benefit from a contraceptive pill course. Sarah's mother also had her amalgams removed without proper safety protocols before Sarah was conceived so mercury toxicity is another possibility. I would also like to clear Zoloft and Ibuprofen, and repeat Poly antibiotic/ Poly bowel course. This case is a good example of the many layers which need to be addressed in a complex, chronic case, and highlights the importance of giving the homeopathic process a sufficient amount of time to unfold. It can require some patience but as you can see in Sarah's case completing 2-3 courses, and waiting 4-6 months to see significant shifts was worth the wait (you can read Sarah's mothers reflection on her treatment process and outcomes below). I think this is true for any complex ADHD case. In my experience it is necessary to dedicate 6-12 months to the process to see lasting change. This small study was conducted by Eileen Conneely, a fully trained and qualified homeopath with a special interest in ADHD. If you would like more information about how homeopathy can help your child you can book a free 20 minute intro chat here.

Testimonial by Sarah's mother Prior to discovering Homeopathy, my teen daughter struggled with so many debilitating physical and mental symptoms. Over the years, she kept developing more problems. I had been researching if she may possibly have a disease or disorder. I could not find answers as to why she had so many problems and struggled to help relieve her symptoms.

One of the biggest issues my daughter faced was severe mental health issues from a very young age. She had been in intensive therapy more times than I can count, taken natural supplements and prescription drugs. All of these things helped some, but it was still a big struggle. The prescription wasn't working anymore, and I had taken her off of it.

Other neurological issues she had were tics, migraine headaches, and ADHD, inattentive type. We had previously tried Neurofeedback. It definitely did help her concentration and tics, but the symptoms were returning.

Since starting puberty, she had been borderline anemic. It was so difficult to get her iron up to even low normal levels. Even with supplements, her iron would go up and then drop. I kept having to experiment with the right products to use. Once she even went to the Emergency Room with a heart issue related to her low iron.

At the age of 9, she was diagnosed with Chronic Pain. We were just told that people with depression just have this because of inflammation. Every day she would hurt in various parts of her body. I did not know how to help her. This chronic pain was in addition to daily migraines. She was also chronically lethargic. She would have short bursts of energy, but she laid around a lot.

She also had HORRIBLE allergies. Even after 5 years on sublingual allergy drops, she suffered and went through gobs of tissues every morning and night. That was even with over the counter allergy medicine.

During the Covid 19 shutdowns, her depression became severe. She expressed not wanting to live. She did not want to come out of her room. She had been on homeopathy for several months and we had not found the right remedy for her. I was desperate to help her and wanted to discontinue homeopathy so we could try other things. Eileen encouraged me to hang in there and that if I wanted to give extra supplements I could. Not long after that, it was like a flip switched.

Once she was on the right remedy, she cheered up, became more enthusiastic, wanting to spend time with a family member that she previously felt resentful towards and avoided. The dark cloud that followed her had lifted, and she was finding joy in little things even in the lock-down. She also was no longer afraid of the dark at night or afraid to leave her room when everyone was in bed at night. Things weren't perfect. She had and does have great difficulty tolerating her sibling, but other than that her outlook really improved.

Her headaches went from daily to about once a week or even every 2 weeks. She was taking ibuprofen for these daily and they really interfered with her quality of life so this was a huge improvement. I'm hoping these will continue to decrease.

Early on in Eileen's treatment, she gave my daughter a bowel remedy that helped her allergies within about 3 weeks time. They have continued to improve with more specific custom made allergy remedies. I'm not sure if they are going to completely go away, but they have drastically improved. She only takes OTC allergy medicine as needed now instead of daily. I buy a lot less tissues now! I believe the bowel remedy healed a leaky gut and her iron levels regulated for the first time in about 2 years! We were able to stop supplementing the iron.

I no longer hear a daily report of her aches and pains. She has much more energy and is no longer lethargic. She is enthusiastic to go to school and get her homework done. She still has some Executive Functioning problems with time management and planning, but she is getting much more school work done than previously.

Thanks to homeopathy and Eileen's treatment, we have been able to drop almost all supplements which is saving us a lot of money. She was taking about a dozen pills a day just to function. Thanks to homeopathy, I no longer am researching what disorder or disease or genetic issues my daughter has. She is happy, working hard in school, pain free except for an occasional headache (much improved), and energetic. Eileen was wonderful to work with. She is easy to talk to, very understanding, and responsive to any concerns or questions you may have. Thank you Eileen! My daughter's life is better because of your help!

Notes on ADHD study

Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider. First aid situations may require medical or hospital care. Do not use this article as a means to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think that your condition may be serious, before discontinuing any medication that has been prescribed for you, or before starting any new treatment.

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