Of Fear & Desire

Words: Dr Barbara ETCOVITCH

The reasons for feeling fearful of people and, in some cases, desiring the company of others have many origins; they also differ widely in individuals. Some are aware of why these feelings exist, others are caught in the web without any understanding. Fear of people and a desire for company display a prominent state of distress — they are exhibited in many different ways in several homeopathic remedies.

Studying and analysing homeopathic remedies that possess either or both symptoms show how the fear of people and the desire for company reflect the unique essence of the remedy. By understanding the origins of the fear and the desire to have someone close, one can more accurately prescribe a remedy that addresses the core of the problem.

The following are some of the most prominent remedies that have a strong fear of people — they also possess, in addition, the desire for company linked to them. 

Fear of People

Baryta Carbonica [Carbonate of Barium]

Bartya carbonica is a remedy that exhibits slow development on all levels. There is paralysis of mind and body, mistrust and lack of self-confidence, aversion to strangers and the unfamiliar and a deficiency of memory. People are unfamiliar and are to be feared.

The Baryta carbonica individual is bashful, mistrustful, and in need of reassurance. There is also some degree of developmental delay. All these characteristics bring forth a clear aversion to strangers and a basic fear of people.

The Baryta children may find it difficult to understand what is going on around them and are uneasy in the presence of strangers. They, therefore, become dependent on their parents [Company, aversion to: presence of strangers]. When, however, they are in the presence of those who are familiar, the desire for company arises.

Baryta carbonica personalities do not grasp things. They may think that people are laughing at them and, as a result, hide behind the furniture [Hide: child thinks all visitors laugh at him and hides behind the furniture].

Barytas always seem to be in a place that is unfamiliar to them and never quite comprehend what is going on. Since they so strongly rely on what is familiar, they fear losing their protectors and, therefore, exhibit anxiety. The new and unfamiliar is frightening. Their fear of people, therefore, is quite understandable.

Natrum Carbonicum [Carbonate of Sodium]

Natrum carbonicum’s fear of people arises from a problem with assimilating things — emotionally, mentally and physically. They are extremely sensitive and unable to process certain things which causes them to monitor their environment.

In the remedy, we see an aversion, or sensitivity, to certain people. There is always someone they don’t like, but don’t know why [Sensitive, oversensitive to certain people; aversion to certain persons]. There are certain kinds of groups, or persons, they are uncomfortable being around and have to avoid because they cannot assimilate their energy; and, it is this inability that leads to their fear of people [Sensitive, oversensitive to sensual impressions]. They withdraw from stresses.

They have pet peeves. Certain things about people annoy them, i.e., a certain hair colour, or mannerisms.

The remedy progresses deeper and deeper into a reclusive stage where they want solitude and look to shelter themselves from the suffering of the world.

Rhus Toxicodendron [Poison Oak]

Stiff and restless, Rhus toxicodendrons are incapable of spontaneous warmth. They are unable to relax and show affection, preferring that other people show love to them. Rhus personalities are uptight and nervous. Their emotions are tight and closed. They are afraid of exposing themselves, are timid [timidity], tender [mild] and have poor self-confidence. All these factors set the stage for their fear of people.

Rhus is suspicious; they have a fear of being poisoned and of killing someone — they are the other two strong factors that contribute to their fear of people.

Fear Of People & Desire For Company

Hyoscyamus Niger [Henbane]

The underlying disturbance in Hyoscyamus is jealousy and suspicion, leading to a fear and mistrust of people [jealousy]; [suspicion]. We can see feelings of being deserted, forsaken and more extremely a paranoid state of fear of everyone.

Hyoscyamus suffers from being scorned. He complains of being injured and lives in fear of being hurt by others [Delusion: that he is being injured by his surroundings]; [Being watched; pursued by enemies]; [Fear of people]; [Wrong; has suffered a wrong].

Hyoscyamus is also a remedy of alternation. We see loquaciousness, loss of speech; aversion to company, fear of solitude; desire for company and fear of people.

The remedy’s exhibitionist tendencies — the ridiculous dress, the desire to be naked and the singing of obscene songs all require an audience and accordingly a desire for company to satisfy this need.

The erotic mania periodically erupts when the unconscious which holds the instinctual side in check, falters, requires reciprocation, or a stage on which to exhibit itself. Hence, the desire for company.

Lycopodium Clavatum [Club Moss]

Lycopodium’s underlying moral, social and physical cowardice and sense of inadequacy is the foundation for the remedy’s fear of people.

Associating with people entails responsibility and Lycopodium feels incapable of fulfilling life’s responsibilities. They accordingly avoid both people and responsibility — commitments that will betray their true inner feelings of weakness.

There is a fear that others will discover their inner weakness and so they are constantly worried about what others think of them. They put on a haughty facade and do not get close to people in order to protect themselves. Their inner feelings contrast sharply with their extroverted friendliness and courageous exterior and desire for company.

Lycopodium needs to know that someone is in the background. For example, they like to know that someone is in the next room, so that they can feel secure without having to relate.

Since the remedy is fearful and meek, company provides the security that someone is there; it also furnishes an audience in front of which Lycopodium can brag and bolster their lack of self-confidence. 

Lycopodium has a powerful need for respect and admiration of others in order to prove their worth. And, so while Lycopodium fears the exposure of his true nature, their inner weakness and accordingly people, their ego and lack of self-confidence propel them to desire company.

Pulsatilla [Pasque Flower]

Pulsatilla’s fear of people stems from the remedy’s deep-seated feeling of being abandoned and forsaken. These feelings are contrasted by the remedy’s strong desire for company which soothes their emotions.

The changeable Pulsatilla becomes too dependent, needing warmth and love. Affection is required in order to feel secure. So, while Pulsatilla may be haunted by the memory of being left alone, being close to and with company is important.

The understanding of the essence of each remedy will ultimately illustrate the unique reasons for their particular symptoms. With this awareness, one can move closer to fully perceiving a case and finding the most appropriate homeopathic remedy best suited to treating that typical fear factor, or distinctive desire, in patients.

Dr BARBARA ETCOVITCH is a Classical Homeopath, Interfaith Minister, freelance writer, and lecturer. She has a BA from Sir George Williams University, a MA in Literature from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Diploma in Classical Homeopathy from the School of Homeopathy, Devon, England. She was ordained by the All Faiths Seminary International in New York City in 2004. She has been in homeopathic practice for 30+ years treating human and animals alike, from her office in Montreal, Canada, and worldwide via Skype and WhatsApp.

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