Calcium Silicate, CaSi2O5.
The essential features
Calcarea Silicata is recommended for cases that resemble Calcarea carbonica or Silica, but where these remedies fail to act. It is a very deep-acting remedy and exerts a profound influence upon the skin, mucous membranes, joints and glands.
I have found Calcarea silicata to be indicated in cases of severe acne, severe constipation, arthritic conditions, gout and anxiety neurosis. According to Kent it has also cured cases of epithelioma and lupus, and is reputed to stimulate the absorption of corneal exudate. Atrophy in children may indicate this remedy. Children who need it are typically malnourished, emaciated, chilly, tubercular and sweat profusely.
The type of pathology seen in this remedy includes ulcers and abscesses with raised edges that discharge thick, greenish-yellow pus, catarrhal disorders with greenish-yellow expectoration, recurrent bronchitis and chronic sinusitis. An important symptom is ailments from suppressed perspiration. Though these people tend to perspire profusely, perspiration ceases with exposure to a slight draft or cold air. This suppression aggravates symptoms in general and can even cause the patient to become lame.
The most striking features of the remedy are deep exhaustion and weakness experienced throughout the day. The patient is completely lacks energy; any exertion aggravates the symptoms and fatigue. It is no wonder, then, that there is a marked aversion to exertion of any kind, especially physical exertion. The depletion and lassitude compel him to lie down frequently; lying down ameliorates the general state, the weakness and many other symptoms (Manganum). After lying down for a while, the patient feels fine, but as soon as he starts to walk about all the fatigue returns, such that he must lie down again. Calcarea silicata is a tubercular remedy like Mang. and Stannum; the exhaustion, however, is less than in Stann. cases.
The general picture of the Calcarea silicata constitutional type is someone who is frail, timid, cowardly and easily frightened, completely lacking in self-confidence, and who has many fears and anxieties. His mind is constantly distracted by trivial thoughts and worries. He has fears about family matters, anxiety about their health or about financial problems. The only part of the body that seems to be relatively hard are the nails, and they, in fact, are not really strong; they tend to be brittle and to break easily or to grow very slowly (compare Silica).
Calcarea silicata’s anxiety about health combines the anxieties of Calcarea carbonica and Silica, with its own peculiar symptom of fears that come on mostly in bed at night. The patient may, for example, lie awake all night worrying that he has an incurable disease or that he has a brain tumour which can never be cured. During the night, even while asleep, the whole organism seems to be extremely sensitive to anxieties, fears, fright and sadness. Calcarea silicata individuals shriek, weep and start in their sleep. They have a lot of nightmares, frightful, horrible dreams, dreams of death, disease, murder, etc.
Upon waking up in the morning, they are frequently anxious and somewhat frightened without even knowing why. When awake, they conjure up fears and worry, and sit and weep for hours. They often find it impossible to keep from bursting into sobs.
Calcarea silicata has two interesting modalities: The fear and anxiety are worse at night in bed, while the lack of mental energy is worse in the daytime and better in the evening hours. In the daytime the patient experiences inertia and may even dread or fear work and any kind of exertion. His mind is sluggish. In the evening the energy level rises, the dullness of mind is relieved, and he can more readily think and concentrate. His mind is crowded with ideas in the evening and at night, similar to Sepia, Medorrhinum and Aurum.
Exertion of any kind triggers many symptoms. Mental exertion frequently brings on symptoms or aggravates them, and yet there is, at the same time, a marked amelioration from being occupied. Calcarea silicata can experience imaginary fears and vexations after mental exertion.
Sadness is a strong mental feature of Calcarea silicata. In some cases the patient feels sad and depressed most of the time, especially during the day, without apparent cause or knowing why. The mental depression can become so intense that the patient even becomes suicidal and has the impulse to jump when he finds himself in front of the window or in a high place. These symptoms, along with the modalities ‘better in the evening’ and ‘better with occupation’, are characteristic of Aurum as well and are the reason Aur. is often prescribed instead of Calcarea silicata.
Calcarea silicata patients feel a deep sense of dissatisfaction. Nothing pleases them. They desire the unobtainable, like Tuberculinum. They try to find pleasure through new things but soon tire of them and become critical. The vexation and irritability they experience is often a result of mental exertion; this exertion can also make them angry. (Margery Blackie remarks that these patients are often too weak to get really angry, but if they do, they can get angry ‘over nothing’.) Coitus and other sexual activity may also trigger irritability and aggravate the mental symptoms.
In general, these people do not like communication, do not like to converse with others and prefer to be alone with their dullness. Kent reports of one patient: ‘She sits for a long time in one place, looks into space and does not answer when spoken to.’ They do not want to be bothered, do not want to answer questions, shun consolation and all these things irritate them. In their state of worry and exhaustion, they just want to lie down. They are oversensitive to reproach, even to a mild rebuke from a friend. Remedies that may be confused with this one are Sepia and Natrum muriaticum.
Calcarea silicata’s intellect is totally disorganised and may even reach a state of Alzheimer’s disease. In the initial stages their memory is very weak, and their mind deficient of ideas in the daytime. They are absent-minded, have difficulty concentrating, especially conducting a conversation, and tend to make mistakes in speech and to misuse words.
Then, when the prostration of mind reaches a more advanced stage, it is characterised by a total inability to concentrate on what is being listened to or read. The mind is confused, especially upon waking in the morning, and when the individual attempts to think. Such a patient may be so forgetful that he cannot recall the sentence just spoken.
Eventually the mind breaks down and a state of delirium and psychosis sets in. The patient begins to talk with imaginary people who have long been dead. He sees them, hears their voices, and answers them. An example of this is a woman who thought that her husband long dead was in the next room, and she grieved because she was not allowed to go to him; she wanted to get evening meal for him and imagined that he would starve if she couldn’t reach him. She called her living son by the name of one long dead. Calcarea silicata may also have other delusions and horrible visions; for example, she sees dead people and corpses, dogs at night, disagreeable persons when she is half-awake. She mutters foolish things, experiences restless delirium and wanders all night in her room without sleep.