Arsenicum Album… Fastidiousness

Dr. Kaushik D.Das, M.D (Hom)
Similimum Homoeopathic Clinic
49, Hitendra Narayan Rd
Cooch Behar, WB

    One of the most striking features of Arsenicum Album personality is its fastidiousness. The persons are very hard to please. They are very critical & demanding in nature. They always demand perfection in themselves & in their work. According to Dr. J.T.Kent Arsenicum is an “extremely fastidious patient”. Dr Hering has described Arsenicum as “The gold headed cane patient”. The Arsenicum personality is obsessed by the need for order & cleanliness to the point of spending inordinate energy for constantly cleaning his surroundings.

Appearance :
    One can identify the Arsenicum personality from his appearance. The face of a Arsenicum patient is cleanly shaved. If he keeps a beard or a moustache, it is always in a perfect shape, cut properly. The hair is combed neatly. The persons are well dressed. The shoes are well polished.

Features of Fastidiousness :
· The Arsenicum lady dislikes dust anywhere in the room. They are not satisfied with the servants work. They will themselves clean every corner of the room after the servant has completed the task.
· Contact of mud or sand in shoes makes the Arsenicum man anxious until the shoes are cleaned.
· The Arsenicum children, according to Dr.D.M.Borland are “inordinately tidy”. The little boys, if they break up their toys clean the floor & put away the broken parts. The little girls keep their dolls in an astonishingly tidy condition. The children get upset if they spill jelly, sauce, juice in their dresses while eating.

Fastidiousness in diseased state :
    The Arsenic personality likes to be in a neat & clean surrounding. He wants everything in perfect order which is reflected strongly even in diseased condition. The patient in a prostrated state keeps on complaining if his bed covers are dirty & wants them to be changed at the earliest. Dr Kent says, “Arsenicum persons are sensitive to disorder & confusion”. They are greatly disturbed & their complaints gets worse until everything is placed in order. The patient can’t tolerate to see any kind of disorder in the room, be it about photo frames hanging on the wall, or other small items like books, files lying in a disorganized way on the table. They are in great distress if things are misplaced.

Background cause :
    A deep seated sense of insecurity lies in the mind of an Arsenicum personality. There is always a feeling of being vulnerable & defenceless in a seemingly hostile environment. The fastidiousness in Arsenicum originates from this sense of insecurity. As a result there is a constant obsessive attempt to lessen the anxiety & insecurity felt inside by creating order & cleanliness in the external world.

    The Arsenicum fastidiousness in Dr G.Vithoulkas’s view is a typical example of a severe neurotic, syphilitic fastidiousness. According to him it is a compulsively neurotic concern with cleanliness & order, both arising out of a deep seated anguished feeling of insecurity.

Comparative Study :
    There are very few remedies listed in the repertory against the rubric “fastidious”. Among them Nat Mur & Nux Vom are worth to mention.
Natrum mur : In Nat Mur personality the fastidiousness is more concerned with punctuality & scheduling of time.
Nux Vomica : The fastidiousness here arises from an excessive compulsion for work.It originates from overly conscientious attention to details.

· The Essence of Materia Medica by G.Vithoulkas, B.Jain Publishers (P)ltd.
· Lectures on Hom. Materia Medica by J.T.Kent, Modern Hom. Publication.
· Homoeopathic Drug Pictures by M.L.Tyler, B.Jain Publishers (P)ltd
· Oushadh Parichay by N.Bandopadhyay, Hahnemann Publishing co.(P)ltd.