Children’s health part 2: anger and violence

By August 15, 2012Notes from Alexis

This is the second in a series about children’s mental and emotional health issues. This month I will explore anger and violence. When children feel and express anger and hostility it is a difficult situation for parents. This can be a very isolating and confusing experience, and not at all what parents sign up for or are trained to cope with. In my experience with children who have rage or anger issues, the parents who are struggling just as deeply as the children to cope with the family dynamic.

In my practice, I have seen many cases of children who are not able to cope with their extreme anger. In one case of a little boy, age 8, was suffering from extreme outbursts of temper. The boy would get violent with the parents and sibling, and use hateful language designed to shock and hurt the parents. The boy’s mother would have to regularly pull the car over to the side of the road and get out because her son was assaulting her, both physically and verbally. In addition to regularly kicking and striking his mom and brother, he used abusive and violent language. Although he could be charming and sweet, when he had these episodes, his mother described it “as if he was possessed”. This boy had trouble making friends in school, and blamed everyone else when problems occurred on the playground or at playdates, often ending in someone getting hurt. In summary, this little boy was not in control of his emotions, and he was suffering just as badly as his family. With the correct homeopathic remedy, over the course of a few months, the rage and violence disappeared entirely, and this little boy started rebuilding his friendships at school and finding new ways to cope with his frustration. In the end, the thing that was most important was that he was able to forge a new and loving bond with his parents and sibling.

Homeopathy seeks to bring about a balance from the deepest part of a person’s being. It can act very quickly and deeply to bring about changes holistically that can change a person’s mood and behavior, to the benefit of everyone, especially the child who is suffering. Homeopathy can help anger and violent behavior by addressing the deeper underlying issue that gives rise to the anger and bring about balance in the mental and emotional health of your child. Here are some pictures of common remedies used in these cases. As always, this is a snapshot, and you should not attempt to treat your own child in these cases. Please contact a qualified homeopath.

You may remember this remedy from last month. Stramonium is a remedy with equal parts fear and violence. The child that needs this remedy usually has a combination of fears and aggression. There can be tremendous outbursts of temper, rage or fear. The outbursts are impulsive, rather than malicious. It is like a discharge of energy that is too great to be contained. Parents sometimes say, “It is like they are possessed.” Fears are frequently dogs, the dark and water. Stramonium can heal very deeply disturbed states, ones that may seem very extreme. Nightmares and night terrors are a hallmark of this remedy. Oftentimes I see Stramonium children who have no physical problems at all, the entire disturbance is focused entirely on the nervous system and in the mental sphere.

Hyoscyamus is a remedy in the same plant family as Stramonium. The level of rage and violence can be similar to other remedies in this family, but Hyoscyamus has a different flavor; silliness. Hyoscyamus children tend to be very silly, and call attention to themselves with goofy, foolish behavior. They want to be the center of attention because the core feeling of this remedy is jealousy, and they want to make sure everyone is paying attention to them. Additionally, this remedy has a strong tendency toward sexual precocity and exhibitionism. This combination of silly, exhibitionistic behavior is quite dramatic, and the Hyoscyamus child can be quite theatrical, in addition to their outbursts of anger.

This remedy is very commonly given in children with anger and aggression. The child who needs Tuberculinum can be malicious with their violent actions, breaking something valuable on purpose, or watching with a smile as they hurt you or something you care about. These children can be abusive and destructive; it seems like they want to pick a fight. They may swear and use foul language, or talk casually about very violent things. In addition, these children tend to be very restless, hyperactive and dissatisfied, longing for change. They are loud, demanding and capricious. Physically, these children tend to have recurring respiratory infections, ear infections and allergies.

This is a remedy for over-stimulation of the nervous system. There is tremendous restlessness and industriousness. The child is hyperactive, and often loves music and dancing. Tarentula is also destructive, with violence and rages similar to Stramonium. Another key aspect of this remedy is cunning and deceit. They tend to be manipulative and sly in order to get what they want, rather than openly demanding.