Perfectionism …Differential Diagnosis
RVS Homeopathic Medical College
To understand the qualities
of Arsenicum Album individual, we can take up Freudian theory of development.
According to him, the life can be divided in to many stages like oral
stage, anal stage, phallic stages etc., if any problem occurs in normal
development during these stages, the individual will express this in
his or her future life. The pathology of Arsenic album resembles that
of the Freudian “anal retentive type”. The Anal type becomes
orderly, parsimonious and obstinate. Parsimony may appear in the exaggerated
form of avarice and obstinancy can go over in to defiance, to which
rage and revengefulness are easily joined.
In Kent’s repertory “anal retentive
type” is represented in following rubrics, Obstinate, Fastidious,
Avarice, Rage and Orderliness.
“The most fastidious of all the constitutional
remedies”. Arsenicum patients try to create order in their environment
in an attempt to allay anxiety. Arsenicum individuals have an attention
for details that is unsurpassed. Often they choose meticulous jobs,
such as craft work, accountancy and manicurist. Arsenic is a perfectionist
at work, particularly with regard to the final approach of the product,
weather it be a bookshelf or painting. Patients feel insecure when they
are not in order. Arsenicum is motivated more by fear of chaos and physical
disintegration. He feels anxious but not guilty, if the work is not
perfect (Nat. Mur.). further more Arsenic imposes his meticulous standards
upon those around him. ( Opp. Nat. mur.) Arsenic’s attention is
usually expressed in the clothes he wears. His clothes are immaculately
clean and smart. Even his casual clothes looks freshly pressed. Arsenic
has tendency to feel resentful when his own high standards are not adhered
by others. Arsenic perfectionism is also expressed in speech. They would
correct sloppy grammar and pronunciations.
Nux Vomica :
Nux. Vomica perfectionism is really concerned
more with efficacy than orderliness, hence the patient is usually tidy
at work and in workplace, but usually not at home. He imposes his perfectionism
to others with an authority. When Nux vomica person is coming in to
a work place, if he is a higher official, the first thing that happen
will be cleaning the surrounding and house keeping. He knows how to
impose this fastidiousness on others.
Natrum Muriaticum :
Nat.Mur is also a perfectionist at work in many
cases. NatrumMur patients are very self-critical, and feels guilty or
a failure when his work is not perfect. This is really a compensatory
mechanism for his sense of being unworthy. Nat.Mur. imposes his fastidiousness
and perfectionism only to himself and sometimes to his family. They
are more concerned about the timings, they are always punctual. Nat.
Mur perfectionism may be global, or only applicable to certain things.
In Natrum own performance must be perfect, especially at school or at
work. If it falls below his own high standards, Natrum patient becomes
very self-critical, and sets about getting it right next time. They
keep extreme tidiness (Carc.). They also tend to put great importance
on appearances. Natrum perfectionists are often workaholics as well,they
cannot bear to be idle, and passive pursuits like reading. They become
restless. Workaholic, hates holidays, unless they are very active and
dread the thought of retirement. All this is to avoid the feeling of
being worthless mainly.