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BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN AND

HOMOEOPATHY
Dr. Reteka Sexena
B.H.M.S., Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, BBlock, Defence Colony, New Delhi (India) PIN- 110024
E-mail: drreteka.sexena@gmail.com
All young children can be naughty, defiant and impulsive from time to time,
which is perfectly normal. However, some children have extremely difficult and
challenging behaviours that are outside the norm for their age. These children
create problems for their parents and teachers due to their typical unacceptable
behaviours.
Scientifically the initial childhood and adolescence has been divided into the
following category:
AGE (FROM)
Birth
1 month
1 year
3 years
5 years
10 years

AGE (TILL)
1 month
1 year
3 years
5 years
18 years
18 years

TERM USED
Neonatal
Infancy
Toddler
Pre- School Child
School going Child
Adolescence

Behavioural problems are generally encountered in the Pre- School Child


These can be usefully classified into psychosocial disorders, habit disorders, anxiety disorders,
disruptive behaviour and sleeping problems.
PSYCHOSOCIAL DISORDERS:
These may manifest as disturbance in:

Emotions - e.g., anxiety or depression.

Behaviour - e.g., aggression.

Physical function - e.g., psychogenic disorders.

Mental performance - e.g., problems at school.

In stressful situations, young children will tend to react with impaired physiological
functions such as feeding and sleeping disturbances. Older children may exhibit
relationship disturbances with friends and family, poor school performance, behavioural

regression to an earlier developmental stage, and development of specific psychological


disorders such as phobia or psychosomatic illness.
HABIT DISORDERS:
These habit behaviours may arise originally from intentional movements which become repeated
and then become incorporated into the child's customary behaviour. Some of these habit
disorders are-

Thumb sucking
This is quite normal in early infancy. If it continues, it may interfere with the alignment of
developing teeth. It is a comfort behaviour and parents should try to ignore it while
providing encouragement and reassurance about other aspects of the child's activities. In
some babies thumb sucking can signal hunger, fatigue, sleep teething or shyness.

Tics
These are repetitive movements of muscle groups that reduce tension arising from physical
and emotional states, involving the head, the neck and hands most frequently. It is difficult
for the child with a tic to inhibit it for more than a short period. Parental pressure may
exacerbate it, while ignoring the tic can reduce it. Tics can be differentiated from dystonias
and dyskinetic movements by their absence during sleep.

Stuttering
It arises in 5% of children as they learn to speak. About 20% of these retain the stuttering
into adulthood. It is more prevalent in boys than in girls.

Nail Biting
It is the most common of the typical nervous habits which include nose picking, hair
twisting or pulling, tooth- grinding and picking at skin. It can cause fingertips to be red and
sore with sides of nails to bleed and also increases the risk for infections around nail beds
and in mouth.

Enuresis ( Bed Wetting)


It is involuntary passing of urine beyond that age (in males around 6 years and in females
around 5 years) when neurological control over the bladder is expected to be achieved.

Secondary enuresis is primarily due to parent- child maladjustment which includes peer
pressure from over anxious and over ambitious parents
ANXIETY DISORDERS:
Approximately 6-7% of children may develop anxiety disorders and, of these, 1/3 may be
over-anxious while 1/3 may have some phobia. Generalised anxiety disorder, childhoodonset social phobia, separation anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and
phobia are demonstrated by a diffuse or specific anxiety predictably caused by certain
situations.
DISRUPTIVE DISORDERS:
The most common disruptive behaviour disorders include

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)


Some of the typical behaviours of a child with ODD include:
Easily angered, annoyed or irritated
Frequent temper tantrums
Argues frequently with adults, particularly the most familiar adults in their
lives, such as parents
Refuses to obey rules
Seems to deliberately try to annoy or aggravate others
Low self-esteem
Low frustration threshold
Seeks to blame others for any misfortunes or misdeeds.

Conduct disorder (CD)


Some of the typical behaviours of a child with CD may include:
Frequent refusal to obey parents or other authority figures
Repeated truancy
Tendency to use drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, at a very early
age
Lack of empathy for others
Being aggressive to animals and other people or showing sadistic
behaviours including bullying and physical or sexual abuse
Keenness to start physical fights
Using weapons in physical fights
Frequent lying

Criminal behaviour such as stealing, deliberately lighting fires, breaking


into houses and vandalism
A tendency to run away from home
Suicidal tendencies although these are more rare.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


The characteristics of ADHD can include:
Inattention difficulty concentrating, forgetting instructions, moving from
one task to another without completing anything.
Impulsivity talking over the top of others, having a short fuse, being
accident-prone.
Overactivity constant restlessness and fidgeting.

CAUSES OF BEHAVIOUR DISORDERS:

Genetic vulnerability

Brain affections

Child abuse

Failure in school activities

Traumatic life experiences

Early rejection from mother

Separation from parents

Mental illness of parents

Domestic violence

Peer pressure from the near and dear ones

Demoralising on and off

DOS AND DONTS IN BEHAVIOUR DISORDERS:

Active co-operation is essentially required from the parents side.

Have close and open relation with children as they need frequent guidance and
attention.

Praise and reward good and honest behaviour.

Punishment as far as possible should be avoided. If required, punishment could


include things like helping with small chores at home, denying sweets (not food),
denying television time etc.

Parents may also take help of psychological counsellors in the school in dealing
with such behaviour.

MANAGEMENT OF BEHAVIOUR DISORDERS:

The foremost management is to keep the child away from the ill-fitting
environment as the first step of treatment.
In the footnote of aphorism 7 of Organon of medicine, Dr. CFS Hahnemann
has clearly mentioned about CAUSA OCCASIONALIS, i.e., the maintaining and
the exciting cause which has to be removed along with the indicated
homoeopathic medicine in order to get permanent cure.

Parental education for example, teaching parents how to communicate with


and manage their children.

Family therapy the entire family is helped to improve communication and


problem-solving skills.

Cognitive behavioural therapy to help the child to control their thoughts and
behaviour

Social training the child is taught important social skills, such as how to have a
conversation or play cooperatively with others.

Anger management the child is taught how to recognise the signs of their
growing frustration and given a range of coping skills designed to defuse their
anger and aggressive behaviour. Relaxation techniques and stress management
skills are also taught.

Support for associated problems for example, a child with a learning difficulty
will benefit from professional support.

Encouragement many children with behavioural disorders experience


repeated failures at school and in their interactions with others. Encouraging the
child to excel in their particular talents (such as sport) can help to build selfesteem.

Medication- Homoeopathic medicines are effective in managing the behaviour


disorders resulting from past misconducts, injury (physical or mental) and
environmental reasons.
Some of the important homoeopathic medicines used in different behaviour
patterns are:

BEHAVIOUR PATTERN

NAME OF THE MEDICINE

Stealing

Absinthium

Lying

Opium

Excessive anger, temper tantrums

Chamomilla

Cruel and revengeful

Nitric acid

Destroys property

Staphysagria

Rebellious, doesnt obey elders

Tarantula hispanica

Early sexual activity

Bufo rana

Harming themselves

Aurum metallicum

Nervous temperament/ Brain fag

Kali phosphoricum

Enuresis

Cina, Belladonna, Santonium

Stammering/ Stuttering

Stramonium, Bovista lycoperdon,


Spigelia anthelmia, Kali bromatum

Thumb sucking

Calcarea phosphorica, Ipecacuanha,


Natrum muriaticum, Silicea

Nail biting

Arum triphyllum, Arsenicum album,


Cina maritima, Veratrum album