As one traces the different stages of Baryta carbonica, one sees the theme of immaturity repeated in many forms. Immaturity is of course proportional to the chronological age of the patient; i.e. , at age five the child acts as if he were two or three, at age thirty he acts as if twelve, or sixteen etc. etc.
Kent writes “You will have patients to treat, where this slow development manifests itself in girls 18 to 25 years of age, who do things they did when they were children, and say things as they said them when they were children…They have not come to womanhood. They are late in taking on the activities and uses of the woman. They lack the prudence of the woman..They have not become circumspect and say things just as a boy or just as a little girl would say them. That is the dwarfishness of the mind.”
Sometimes you will see cases where the patient herself will tell you most emphatically that she does not want to grow up, that she wants to remain as a child, or even a baby in the protection of the mother’s lap. The world with its complications and society’s complex demands scares these patients to death; they do not want to go out there and fight. They really feel like children in the midst of grown-ups and do not know how to protect or defend themselves.
A tremendous anxiety neurosis may develop out of this state, especially if the person is pushed by his family or society to go out and act. This can be accompanied by inability to retain food, or to swallow solid food, by tremendous inexplicable fear, constant weeping and the desire to be protected and stay at home. They have no desire to go to the cinema or to social events. Any kind of enjoyment or amusement is unthinkable in their condition. They cannot bring themselves to laugh; the problem takes on a serious dimension in their mind, they can think of nothing else. You may wonder how they can exaggerate a small problem to such proportions. The more their mind dwells on the problem, the bigger it becomes. They will sit in the house in a corner and brood and bite their nails. If they leave the house and go out into the open they immediately develop anxiety. The anxiety may also occur at night in bed, they become restless and want to uncover. The anxiety can revolve around business, domestic affairs, relatives and friends and is usually sudden in its appearance. It is a negative attitude towards life, denying the natural evolution that is normal for human beings, all without any serious reason.
It is noteworthy that in the life of such persons there is usually no adequate stress to account for their pathology. Everything seems to be going smoothly and unobstructedly and the patient herself will confirm it. Yet this tremendous anxiety will arise. If you investigate the case properly, you will find that the reason for this anxiety is not a prominent single grievous event in their life, but rather a continuous feeling of inadequacy that pervades their existence, and that all of a sudden, with minimal stress, erupts into an annoying pathology.
The nature of our remedies is such that different kinds of stresses produce different symptomatology, while each remedy can be said to be sensitive to a particular kind of stress. The general idea prevalent in allopathic medicine that all stress gives out anxiety is not only grossly oversimplified but also untrue.
For instance, Aconitum is very sensitive to a sudden fright that is momentarily life-endangering, while Natrum muriaticum will show no reaction to such a shock, but will on the other hand be extremely sensitive to the stress of a love disappointment, particularly in case of a possibility that he may be ridiculed. Baryta carbonica or Aconitum will not be affected at all by such types of stress. A financial ruin or stress will affect Aurum, Psorinum or Bryonia deeply while Ignatia or Natrum Muriaticum will remain unaffected. A stressful situation in an Arsenicum patient will produce anxiety about health, fear of having cancer and tremendous fear of death. The same stress will make a Hyoscyamus patient cut off his emotions and feel dead emotionally. These are but a few examples to illustrate my point.
The type of stress and the kind of effect it has upon an organism become therefore extremely important in the differential diagnosis of a case.
Thus, I have never so far seen a Baryta carbonica case develop pathology because of a love disappointment. I do not mean that such a thing could never occur, but it is rare, and it is probable that in such a situation another remedy and not Baryta carbonica is indicated.
You will see cases of Baryta carbonica where, with extreme application, the patient has become an architect, lawyer, doctor, psychologist etc, but who lacks the inclination or the courage, once the studies are completed, to go out and work or open an office. The inner inclination of this patient will be: “let me remain in the house protected by my own people, without demands, without responsibilities”. They themselves are bothered by such thoughts but cannot help it. The general idea that Baryta carbonica hinders one from becoming a scientist due to the fact that the memory and critical faculties are minimised is totally wrong. Actually most of the cases of Baryta carbonica which I have treated successfully were either scientists in their younger years or seniles in old age.
Of course only in cases where the patient has the means to afford to do so will such behaviour manifest itself; in cases where the person really needs to go out and work in order to survive you will see a different attitude, although the inner pressure will still be tremendous and the main idea under such pressure will be the same. These cases will prefer positions of little or no responsibility. They will remain unoticed in their professional group, though every one will like them because they very seldom object to or quarrel with their superiors or others.
The fear of responsibility
Another aspect of this remedy, associated with the fear of responsibility, is the fact that these patients do not want to have a child. The idea that a woman should have the responsibility of a child is totally intolerable to her; she herself feels like a baby and does not want other babies in the family. There is such a fear of pregnancy that the Baryta-carbonica woman fears she may become pregnant even through erotic play, without any actual contact. It is an irrational thought for an educated woman, yet for all that she will have the fear.