Definition of obstinate
Obstinate can be defined as ‘stubbornly refusing to change one’s opinion or action.
Taking this into consideration the following eight remedies that are bold type within the Kent’s repertory rubric, Mind, Obstinate are analysed against such prominence within the rubric above. Bold Type remedies – Alum, Anac, Arg n, Bell, Calc, Cham, Nux V, Tarent
The picture of Calcarea Carbonica is one of retardation. ‘Retardation is broadly defined as ‘the extent to which something is held back or delayed’ and it is here we find the calc carb picture.
Inherently, calc carb patients can have the inability to exert effort and will complete tasks in what appears to be their own time and pace. Most commonly related to completing a task, once they have assimilated the components and feeling confident in carrying them out. They can be considered as self-willed with a deep concentration on the task in hand without awareness of what is occurring around them resulting in possible over working and taking on more and more projects/ responsibilities thus resulting in them becoming overwhelmed and unable to take more on board. They can be solid individuals and enjoy the security of their self created foundation, very much like the oyster clinging to the rock for survival. Calc Carb patients can have many fears exacerbated by having to undertake new experiences. Such fears and needs for security add to the perceived obstinacy within the person’s presentation. A sense of duty and responsibility can be strong and should this be challenged regarding alternative decisions, paths or ideas, they can become stubborn and focussed on their current direction if they consider that again the foundation they have created is in danger of being weakened.
The patient requiring anacardium as a remedy is one of dichotomy. Known to have the delusion of angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, it is clear to see why the patient may become obstinate in aspects of their life. Caught between the two worlds of moral right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate the remedy picture shows the patient having fixed ideas that can obtrude, such as ‘is two people’ or ‘seems in dream’. The inner conflict that persists can cause many delusions within the person and should they start to take these on board resulting in a sense of not living up to their own expectations they can become one of two people. The first being an angelic childlike character who lacks self confidence, absent minded with a paralysis of thinking or secondly, an over confident and contempt for others. These polarities can also appear together. The weakness of memory aspect of this remedy is key to the obstinate rubric.Kentdescribes this as ‘one moment sees a thing and understands it and another moment he does not understand it. Taking this into consideration, it is possible to understand that the person could be appear obstinate at the time of change, suggestion or decision; however, is really living within the two worlds as described.
Chamomilla is known as having a key thread of ‘turmoil in temper.’ It is considered to be a remedy that has a key symptom of being inconsolable. A teething child is a good example here with regard to the turmoil they care currently experiencing. They want something such as a toy then through it away once given it. They can be extremely sensitive as both child and adult patients with extreme restlessness, both physically and mind centred. A key aspect of the remedy and excellent description byTylerof a thread of the remedy is the alternative name as ‘cannot bear it’, with everything being intolerable for example, cannot bear themselves, cannot bear other people or cannot bear pain. It is this level of intolerance that it is clear how they can be considered as obstinate. They can become aversive to talking and do not like to be spoken to when in this mind state and their obstinacy with not answering, or sudden temper appearing can follow.
Argentum Nitricum is a remedy with a constant agitation being present, never having enough time to complete what they have to or feel they have to complete due to their perpetual sense of being driven. The effe cts of such have been described by Gibson as an ‘atmosphere of turbulence, tiring and exasperating to his entourage.’ If any pressure is placed upon the patient requiring arg nit their agitation becomes increased with irrational fears becoming apparent such as failing in the task, missing a train, fear of crowds and a time or place obsession can result. Sankaran, describes arg nit patients as those with a main theme as ‘performance in sudden danger or crisis.’ This crisis that can be created by their own desire to complete as much as possible in the space of time they perceive is available is a key link to the obstinacy rubric in which it can be found. Stemming from a deep routed sense of fault which they are trying to cover up and by responding and maintaining control in the ‘urgent’ situation by doing things in a certain way, fixed ideas and fixed actions the patient feels they can survive.
Alumina can be considered to be opposite to Arg Nit in so far as the patient may perceive time passing too slowly, complaining of feelings of being hurried, thus feeling incapable of decision making or completing a task.
Similarly to anacardium, however, different in its presentation, the arg nit patient can have a sense of duality for example stating that they are being spoken to by someone else. This can also have an impact on the perception of obstinacy as they feel in the middle of their own thoughts against their perceived voice being heard. They can experience a complete lack of enthusiasm for effort be it physical or mental which can portray as a ‘cant be bothered’ behaviour. Sankaran, describes Alumina as a patient with control as a big theme as a result of their identity being suppressed over past periods of time. As a result they can appear rigid and hard to remain within the identity they believe in and the rubric obstinacy can relate to resisting the wishes of others as a result of such internal identity challenges.
Nux vomica can be described as a fastidious, passionate yet irritable person who must remove any obstacles they come across that appears to cause them a problem with an anger that when manifests can become malicious without inhibiting what they are saying. They can be tense, over anxious but at the same time over sensitive to touch, pain and noise for example. They can appear obstinate by being over fussy with regard to order and accuracy and can have a tendency to become pedantic over such details. They can be impatient of others but will preserver with themselves on tasks that require detail to complete. Know to be an over worker, they can become obsessed by their work, resulting in a ‘burn out’ as a result. Here it is clear that obstinacy relates direct to this remedy as their obstinate behaviour in relation to work, tasks that require dedication and accuracy remain their focus and they may not be persuaded otherwise by others, but rather than seeing this challenge as an obstacle that must be removed. Dr Lindsay ofParaguaydescribed this challenge as ‘the most trivial incident, a word in jest, misunderstood, may lead to murder.’ If is here the obstinacy can be seen with regard to any attempt to negotiate, change of opinion or indeed actions being futile when in the nux vomica mind state.
Morrison describes Tarentula Hispanica, a spider remedy as over stimulation of the nervous system and known for its personality of excessive emotions with their thought processes in turmoil. The patient’s moods can change rapidly from laughing one minute to a deep depression. The patient can be busy and industrious but with an underlying suspicion fear of being hurt or trapped in some way. As with the spider itself, they can appear hurried and impulsive. The obstinacy that can become apparent could lay with the need to be noticed and given attention and many behaviours to become noticed by others can be seen, such as dancing, singing, mischievous or socially unacceptable behaviours such as exposing themselves, especially linked to seeking the attention of someone they feel attracted to. Some patients have been known to fake sickness to the point of fainting to ensure they are noticed and ensuring they look around to make sure. Obstinacy may also portray itself as disobedience as the patient can be manipulative in order to get their own way, thus disobeying any other request or opinion offered.
Belladonna is considered to be a remedy of ‘turmoil of the brain’ due its sudden passion of temper which can lead to biting, scratching and hitting. Considered a very hot and red remedy, the patient has been known to radiate heat that requires another to remove their hand quickly when touching them. They can be oversensitive to noise, light and touch and an acute attack can suddenly appear without warning and they can change from a happy, light hearted individual to someone who is beside themselves and wishes to escape due to the level of internal violence they are experiencing such as pain, heat, mania and delusions/ hallucinations. They have many fears including animals and can fear their impending death and whilst in an acute state the desire to escape is paramount for their perceived survival. At this point, the obstinacy could be related to the lack of being convinced otherwise and the desire to run away takes over, resulting in possible violence towards those attempting to persuade them. In summary, Belladonna can be linked to the symptom of inflammation and this applies to both the physical body and mental temperament of the individual.
Gibson, 2000. Studies of homoeopathic Remedies.
Morrison, 1993. Desktop Guide to keynotes and confirmatory symptoms.
Sankaran, 1997. The Soul of Remedies
Tyler, 1944. Homoeopathic Drug Pictures