“The terrible twos” is a famous phrase to describe Temper tantrums. This phrase gives couple of clues. First, two year olds can be problematic & secondly, they are only two year old and “why they are terrible?” this is the time where most of children start with Temper tantrum a type of defence mechanism. At this age children have learned to “toddle” & now they have a whole world to explore & they don’t know to communicate. The concept of not having their needs met instantly is new to them. As they grow their communication improves, they even learn various other ways of defence mechanism and gradually tantrum behaviour disappears mostly by the age of 4 years. Temper tantrums are normal in this age group and they don’t need to be treated unless they are severe. It is atypical for children older than 4 or 5 years to have tantrums, it is also unusual for a tantrum to last more than 15 minutes or occur regularly many times a day and extreme aggression is also not typical of routine toddler tantrums. The child is not giving hard time to parents instead child is having a hard time. This is the time when they need intervention.
Temper tantrums include behaviours that occur when the child responds to physical or emotional challenges by drawing attention to himself & are often defined as “out-of-control behaviour including screaming, hitting, head banging, falling down and other violent display of frustration, usually occurring in children of 18 months to 4 year of age.” These are the emotional outbursts occurring in children in response to unmet needs or desires and also in children with communication difficulty.1
WHAT HOMOEOPATHY CAN DO:
Homoeopathic medicine dynamically helps the child in need, to manage the frustration and thus maintaining a balance in the parent-child relationship & it will not change the personality of the child but it will bring the child into balance both physically and emotionally. This further, prevents the antisocial behaviour and behavioural problems emerging in their adulthood.
SOME IMPORTANT MEDICINES IN RELATION TO TEMPER TANTRUMS:
Child has great general sensitiveness, sensitive to light, to slightest noise, to motion or jar, etc. child is very chilly, sensitive to changes from warm to cold, to draught of air, dampness, chilling from having the head uncovered or having haircut, better from being wraped up warmly in a room. It is a great children’s remedy, not less important than Chamomilla. Adopted to bilious, lymphatic constitution. Child is lively and entertaining when well but violent and delirious when sick. They have light hair, blue eyes, fine complexion, and delicate skin. Suitable to plethoric, vigorous & intellectual children. Excitement and violence runs all through the mental symptoms. Child is always active never passive, wild, striking, biting, tearing things, doing unusual, unexpected or strange things and in a state of excitability. Full of imaginations. Sees ghosts and spirits, officers and wild things. They have fear of imaginary things and wants to run away from it. Child throws violent and destructive tantrums, they are in state of rage and furry, wants to do violence, moaning, running away, biting, banging head, striking, throwing things, tear things, breaking things that they get to hand, turns and rolls in bed in a perfect rage. They have an insane, loud, boisterous laughter and aversion to company. Pull the hairs of bystanders. They want to be left alone, disinclined to talk and changeable in nature.
Carcinosin or Scirrhum, as per clarck, because the remedy is made from Scirrhous cancer of the breast. A main indication for this remedy is a history of cancer in the family, But Foubister had prescribed it even for a strong family history of tuberculosis, diabetes or pernicious anemia or when there was a severe whooping cough or pneumonia early in life, He also stresses its importance for patients who have experienced more childhood disease.
Mentally, Carcinosin is the earnest. Responsible “preoccupied” individual. In “any children where there is a strong history of excessive parental control and pressure or an excessive sense of duty” this remedy is indicated. Children takes life seriously, at times too seriously. Today is the tomorrow for them. They can’t relax and take every day as it comes instead of wasting all their emotional energy in worrying. “complaints from anticipation”: Foubister; “Worry at times amounting to anguish”: Templeton. Carcinosin has high degree of commitment and seriousness that leads to easy assumption of guilt. Even if they fall sick they feel guilty. They think it is there-own fault, their negative attitude has betrayed their body, they feel if they had been less self-judgmental, more self-loving, knew better how to be happy then they would be less prone to experiencing all emotions in the form of pain, they would not be ill. In the children who feel life has been one long hard struggle or where there is a “background of prolonged fear and/or unhappiness” (Foubister), as if all the grief and suffering of the world were piled upon them and concentrated only on them – Carcinosin is the indicated nosode. Carcinosin children also possesses Sepia’s marked love of rhythm and dance, a sense of exhilaration during thunderstorms and Sepia and Natrum muriaticum’s dislike of consolation. The appearance of Carcinosin children is brownish cafe au lait complexion with numerous moles, which Foubister regards as a key symptom. Children has got constantly changing symptoms, at times contradictory and alternating symptoms. They have silent grief, get easily offended, very sensitive children. They love animals, nature, music, love to travel and dance. They are artistic children. They even have a violent anger, they are very jealous about other children and they are even disobedient and refuses parental control later in life.
Chamomilla is one of the remedy well known for a tantrum child. Portrait of a Chamomilla child in various Homoeopathic Materia Medica gives a clinical presentation of temper tantrums. Children with light brown hair, nervous and excitable temperament, thirsty and hot thermally. Disposition to weep and to be angry with great sensitiveness to offense. Crying and howling, quarrelsome and mischievous child of choleric humour. Sensitiveness of mind and great irritability these two run so closely that they are inseparable. Nervous child when punished will go into convulsions. Inability to control their temper and the temper is aroused to white heat. Never satisfied, restless changes the place often, wants to be carried all the time, tosses in bed. It is a highly emotional, temperamental and oversensitive remedy. Child will cries out or walks the floor. Ugly in behaviour, bad tempered, quarrelsome, vexed at trifles, abrupt, hasty, hurried and aversion to being spoken to or talking or touched or being looked at. Can’t bear any one near-by. Child wants to be carried and petted. Piteous moaning because the child cannot have what it wants. Exceedingly cross and irritable, can hardly answer civilly, snappish, short-spoken, whining and restless. Child will be quiet only when carried which seems to relieve it and wants to be carried all the time. Wants different things and repels it when given. Remedy has a turmoil in temper. Almost everything is intolerable. Chamomilla is not only for bad temper but also for effects of bad temper. Difficult to please. Destructive child, breaks things in anger, clenches fists, stiffens the body and arches backward. A disposition that is mild, calm and gentle, sluggish and constipated bowels contra-indicate chamomilla.
Cina is predominantly a child’s remedy, a marked feature running through is touchiness at mental and physical plane. Child wants something but does not know what. Aggravated by touch and even by looking at and is worse in presence of strangers. Child is disturbed by almost everything. Screams, trembles, whines and complaints. Aggravated by touch yet wants to be carried and kept busy like chamomilla although not so intensely irritable as chamomilla. Adopted to children with dark hair, very cross, irritable, ill-humoured, want to be carried but carrying gives no relief, does not want to be touched and cannot bear anyone nearby. Has aversion for being cared. Desires many things but rejects everything offered. Picks the nose all the time and has canine hunger. Child is hungry, cross, ugly and wants to be rocked all the time. Cannot be quieted. They are big, fat, rosy and scrofulous children. They stiffen out when looked at or when they are cross. They are restless and tosses about. Abnormal consciousness as if having committed some evil deed. Tendency for worm infestation especially round worms. Child is exceedingly cross, cries and strikes all around. Pitiful weeping when awake, very restless child and crying is unamiable.
Outstanding mental distinction between Cina and Chamomilla child is in degree of obstinacy never met with Chamomilla. Chamomilla child is unstable, Cina child is as obstinate as a mule. Both dislike being handled and resent interference, in Chamomilla it is mental resentment whereas the Cina child is definitely tender to touch. Both of them will scream when handled, but once the initial discomfort of handling is over Cina child will become quiet peaceful and they allow themselves to be carried, study, passive motion soothes them. Whereas Chamomilla child want distraction all the time and are always wanting to be doing something new. In slightly older cina children another mental characteristic is that they are frightfully touchy, they can’t bear joke of any kind, particularly when it refers to themselves. They have an inordinate habit of yawning, they keep yawning as if they would dislocate their jaws.
Adopted to children of sanguine temperament, irritable, nervous and hysterical. Mental state of Hyoscyamus is in midway between belladonna and Stramonium. Lascivious mania; immodesty, will not be covered, kicks off the clothes, exposes themselves, sings obscene songs, lies naked in bed and chatters. Immodest in acts, gestures & expressions. Very talkative and persists in striping themselves, uncover genitals. Jealous, foolish, great hilarity and suspicious, afraid of being poisoned. Desire to run away especially at night. Disposition to make jest of everything. Loquacious, talks more than usual, more animatedly and hurriedly. Rage with desire to strike and to kill. Child go into delirium often when sick. Carphology, picks at bed cloth at fingers. When lying on back child sits up and lies down again. Child sobs and cries without waking in sleep. They laugh involuntarily with silly actions. Jealousy, quarrelsome, scolding. Inclined to be vexed, fearful and anxious and suffer from effect of fright. They have an aversion to light and company.
Indicated in children of melancholic temperament, dark eyes and a disposition to low spirits and indolence. Children of choleric temperament with freckles and red hair. Better adopted to thin and emaciated children than to fleshy one. They have prophetic perceptions with a vivid imagination. Children think that they are under super-human control, great sadness especially on waking from sleep. Loquacious; rambling; they continually change from subject to subject. Jealous, hateful, suspicious, malice, mischievous, restless, religious, mocks at others, proud and laxy children. Talks, sings, whistles and makes odd motions. Makes mistakes in writing and speaking. There is a cloudy state, sadness, melancholy, insane notions, whims, jealousy and suspicion. Nothing stands out more boldly than the self-consciousness, the self-conceit, the envy, the hatred, the revenge, cruelty in these children. They are jealous without any reason, unwarranted jealousy and suspicion. Amative, sad in morning, no desire to mix with world. Thinks they are in hands of stronger power, they have a strong tendency to take everything amiss, to contradict, to criticise.
Lycpodium is an anti-psoric, anti-sycotic and anti-syphilitic remedy. Children emaciate above while the lower extremities are fairly well nourished. Adopted to weak, emaciated children with well-developed head but puny, sickly body. Baby cries all day and sleeps all night. Children are irritable, peevish and cross on waking, ugly, kick and scream. Easily angered, cannot endure opposition or contradiction. Complexion is pale, dirty, unhealthy and sallow, has deep furrows, looks older than they are, has got fan like motion of alae nasi. It is called as vegetable sulphur. Adopted to children who look old, who become old early, where the skin show yellowish spots i.e. precocious weak children. Children are intellectually keen but physically week, lack muscular power, lack vital heat. Child is thin, withered, full of gas, confused, afraid of being alone, sensitive, weeps when thanked or on meeting friends, fearsome, lack self-confidence from anticipation. Averse to undertake new things yet when takes goes through with ease and comfort. When awaken it is angry, anxious, sad. Vehement, headstrong child, domineering, exacting, reserved or despairing. Spells or writes wrong words of syllables. Cannot bear to see anything new. Cannot read what they write. Hurried in nature, hateful, cranky, miserly, indecisive, timid and distrustful, fault finding and suspicious. Want of self-confidence, despondent, children wakeup in morning with sadness and gloom. Taciturn because they don’t want to talk, wants to keep silent. Though they dislike company still they want someone in house or in next room as they also have fear of being alone. The calcarea type that has thinned down into a phosphorous type in turn lead to the lycopodium type. The child has grown a little, lost weight, become thin but instead of having the fine skin and unstable circulation of the Phosphorous child, it has become rather sallow, tendency to sweat easily is disappearing and skin is getting rather thicker. They are shy, lack assurance but give the impression that they are good. They are liable to digestive upsets, desire for hot food.
Children are thin, thirsty, poorly nourished on account of digestive disturbance, their mental and physical behaviour are hopeless and awkward. They are emaciated more at neck. They are cross, irritable, cry from slightest cause. Young Natrium girls become love lorn & fall in love with married men. Anemic and cachectic children from loss of vital fluids or mental affections. Child is cross and cries when spoken to, cry from slightest cause, get into passion about trifles, especially when consoled. Awkward, hasty, drops things from nervous weakness. Sad and weep without a cause. Majority of Natrium muriaticum children are smaller, under sized and underweight. They dislike handling, dislike of being interfered with and is liable to burst into tears similar to Baryta children. But on closer investigation the reaction is quite different, it is not the shyness of Baryta, it is much more resentment at being interfered with. Child cries, but cries much more from rage rather than from terror. Cry of Natrium child gets aggravated on trying to console it, but if left alone child will settle down and sits in a corner watching others. These children are awkward in their movements as they are in hurry. There will be a history of delayed development particularly slow in learning to speak. Often child’s speech is faulty, but it is much more a difficulty in articulation. As these children grow they tend to develop school headaches when under pressure, working too hard & on attempting to concentrate too much. These children also have a definite salt craving, they are little darker yet they flush more easily, perspire easily & there is a slight greasy appearance. Melancholy sadness, which induces a constant recurrence to unpleasant recollections, weeping and all attempts at consolation aggravates, hypochondriacal, joyless and taciturn. They have a great tendency to start, hurried and anxious. They prefer to be alone. They are impatient, irritable, timid, hatred towards people who have offended them before, irascibility with rage, easily provoked, ill-humoured, awkward & absent minded.
Suited to thin children of rigid fibre, dark complexion, black hair and eyes – the burnette rather than the blonde and of nervous temperament. Child is indifferent to all matters, tired, has no enjoyment in anything, depressed in evening, anxious about health. Angered on their own & others mistakes, anger with trembling, refuses to be comforted. Excited, weeps, startled easily, frightened easily, cannot comprehend what is said to them. Children are irritable, hateful, vindictive & headstrong.
Adopted to thin, irritable, careful, zealous, active children with dark hair and bilious or sanguine, impatient temperament. Disposed to be angry, quarrelsome, spiteful, deception, malicious, nervous and melancholic. They are very chilly, must be covered in all climate. Useful to children leading sedentary life, doing much mental work, those having mental stress. They tend to do over study. Very irritable, sensitive to all impressions, ugly, malicious, cannot bear slight noises, odours, light etc. does not want to be touched and time passes too slowly. Disposed to reproach others, sullen and fault finding. Careful, jealous children, inclined to get excited, angry easily, of a spiteful, malicious disposition. Striking feature of Nux children is over sensitiveness, which is brought out in all symptoms. They are never contented, never satisfied, get easily disturbed by their surrounding and become irritable so that they want to tear things, scold and becomes impulsive. Impulse is intermingled with violent temper, cannot be contradicted or opposed, they kick things, throw it and become violent and destructive. They will end up into an uncontrollable state of irritability, takes out their irritability and anger on others. They are very ambitious children. Stubborn, desire for solitude, repose, tranquillity with repugnance to conversation. They are anxious and restless in evening, light and music is unbearable. Lamentations, complaints and cries. Disposition to be angry, to yield readily to passion, to criticise and to utter reproaches. Every harmless word offends, every little noise frightens. Humour peevish and malevolent, quarrels, insults and invectives with immodest expression and excessive jealousy mingled with tears and cry.
Adapted to dark hair, rigid fibre and thin children especially of sanguine temperament. The original name of Platinum was ‘Platina’, Spanish word, meaning “like silver”. Platina children looks down on everything, this is the key note. Great irritability with prolonged ill-humour, apathetic indifference, absence of mind, pride, self-conceit with contempt for others, even for those who are usually most beloved and respected. Impulsive children. Arrogant, proud, haughty in their manner, overestimate themselves and look down at others & everything. Children imagine that they are of a high born family and their friends and relatives are from low origin and look down upon them. Their acquaintances are inferior to herself. They are contemptuous, anxious and serious over matters that are not serious, irritable about trifling things, moody, sulky over slight vexations. Restless disposition, excitable, walking, moving about and weeping. Whistles, sings, dances, talks constantly about fanciful things. Any disturbance of pride will make them sick.
Child looks old, dirty, greasy & brownish, emaciates progressively. Marasmatic children. Body smells like old cheese. Headstrong, obstinate and touchy children. Irritable- least word or action will upset them. Crossness quickly alternates with playfulness, they have a fear of downward motion, fear of dark. They does not want to be touched. Restless children, wants to go from place to place. Child is cross, cries and kicks things. They are instable of purpose, constantly change their activity. Mind wonders from one subject to another even while talking. Misconstrues actions of others. Depressed feels no one is admiring them. They feel everyone dislike them they get upset easily with slightest word or act of others. They does not want to be touched. Sanicula child is almost similar to a Silicea child, perhaps more irritable, more unstable mentally. Attacks of laughter and tears follow each other more readily. Child never sticks long at anything. They are more obstinate, more difficult to control and they don’t want to be interfered with.
Indicated in apathetic, indifferent, low spirited, week memory children. They are easily affected by pride, envy or chagrin. They cry for things which they refuse later. They can be easily disturbed and excited but seldom manifests it. Child is very sensitive to the least impression, even the least word seems wrong and hurts them very much. They throw things indignantly or pushes them away. There will be violent outburst of passion, they are always angry, gloomy, petulant and throws things. Child craves for many things and refuses when offered. They are irritable, nervous, excitable, violent, snappish, sensitive mentally and physically. They have a poor memory. They are sad without any cause with irritability. Ill effects after punishment in children. There is a need for self-control, they have lot of fear they are afraid of their own shadow. Their memory is poor, they dislike conversation, meditation, intellectual and serious labour. Ill-humour, irascibility, spitefulness induce them to fing whatever is there in hand.
Adopted to children of dark hair and rigid fibre. Sepia children are skinny, have sallow greasy skin. Sepia is a drug which is far too much neglected in the treatment of children. Outstanding feature of sepia children is their negative attitude to everything. They tend to be depressed, moody, indolent, disinclined for work and not even interested in playing, if pushed they are liable to sulk or weep. Sepia children are nervy, scared of being alone, afraid of dark and yet dislike being handled. They dislike going to parties, a dislike to play with other children, dislike to meet friends, dislike gatherings, it is due to pure indolence in sepia children but once if they get into a party or company they are perfectly happy. They are even lazy, indolent and greedy. They are indifferent to their own family, irritable, easily offended. Angry, sensitive, miserable, nervous, they say something and does other so that no one will know what they will do next. Doesn’t like company yet dreads to be alone. Irritability alternating with indifference and sulkiness, weeps while telling their symptoms, takes pleasure in teasing others, sits quietly and answers in yes or no. they hate the children of opposite sex. Never happy unless they annoy someone, sarcastic, insults others. Passionate, irritable, greatest irritability from slightest cause. Vexed and disposed to scold. Hysterical diathesis, breaks out in spells of weeping, is sad one minute, gentle, yielding and in another they are disagreeable, excitable, obstinate. Peevish, feels mortified, easily frightened and full of foreboding. They feel dejected. Timorous disposition, pensiveness, moroseness and even they are restless.
Adopted to plethoric children. Attacks of rage with beating and striking. They desire for company and light. Child is frightened at everything it sees, wants to get away from it. They want sympathy of all at home. They are disposed to talk continuously, can’t bear to be alone and wants hand to be held by others. Awakens with a shrinking look as if frightened at the first object seen. Awakes terrified, knows no one, screams with fright and clings to those nearby. Dread of darkness and has a horror of glistening objects. They are religious and they talk ceaselessly. They does all sorts of crazy things. Talk of others is intolerable. Self-accusation, loss of reason or speech. They desire company, shy, hides themselves or try to escape. They talk in foreign tongue, proud, naughty, merry exaltation, talk lasciviously, speech is violent, they expose themselves, behave stupid and imbecile. Exalted states alternating with settled melancholy. Anger violent, want to kill others or themself. When considering Stramonium violence is key note. Full of excitement, rage, everything is tumultuous, violent. Face looks wild, anxious, fearful, eyes are fixed on a certain objects, face flushed, hot. Violence is like earthquake in Stramonium children. Mind is in an uproar, cursing, tearing the clothes, violent speech and frenzy. Hurried in nature. Inconsolable disposition and susceptibility to irritation by trifles. Child is very active and rapid in movements, obstinate, self-willed. Has desire to strike, bite and kill. They have great desire for light and company.
Adopted to children of scrofulous diathesis, nervous temperament, quick motioned, quick tempered, plethoric, lazy to rouse, unhappy & skin excessively sensitive to atmospheric changes. There are two definite sulphur types. Commonest is a fairly well-nourished, well grown child with a big head. They are usually fairly heavy in build, awkward and clumsy in movements. They have very coarse, strong hair and a fairly high colour, red extremity (hand & feet), red lips, red ears and they easily run to redness of the margin of lids, poorly developed eyelashes. Their skin is rough and sweat easily. The other sulphur type is thin with a big head, spindly legs, big abdomen and poorly developed chest, with not much colour as the other type tending to be paler with rough skin. They have a drier, coarse skin with a poorly marked tendency for the skin to split, crack on exposure. Child looks seedier, has less vitality, tired easily and stands badly. The heavier sulphur type children have much more bite about them, they tend to be quarrelsome, impatient, critical, fault-finding, discontented, dissatisfied. They feel they are not getting a fair deal & feel under-estimated. These children are also lazy, lack stamina and get tired easily on exertion. They dislike interference, they think they know how to do things and strongly resent their parents advising them, they feel they can do better if they are left alone to do. Thin type sulphur children are inclined to be miserable, low spirited. They have less vitality, less bite about them. There is the same sort of resentment of outside interference, though it shows itself differently. These thin sulphur type children are liable to weep and any attempt to comfort them is apt to annoy them. They also have less stamina than the fat ones and easily exhausted, they can’t stand for any length of time & stand badly. Both the types have increased appetite, they are gourmand. Sulphur children do not have thought of anybody’s wishes or desires but his own. Everything they contemplates is for their own benefit. They do not have gratitude, they are very selfish children. They are inquisitive in nature, philosophical. They have aversion to bathing. They are forgetful, thinking is difficult for them, peevish, irritable, vitiated, very selfish no regard for others. Egoistic children, have a strong tendency to weep, frequent weeping sometime alternating with laughter. These children have a disconsolate humour with scruples of conscience even with respect to the most innocent actions, fits of anguish especially in evening, timidity and a great tendency to be frightened. They are restless and impatient, ill-humoured, morose, quarrelsome, criticise others and dislike conversations..
‘Tarentism’ is the term applied to the dancing mania set up in people bitten by tarentula. Tarentism gives a key indication to the remedy. Child is restless, fidgety, hurried, in constant motion though motion aggravates. Rolls on floor from side to side or strikes vehemently with his feet or rolls the head and rubs it. Anxiety and restlessness are words that prevail through all conditions. Chid has a desire to run about, to dance and jump up & down. Great fantastic dancing, sometimes music ameliorates and sometimes it aggravates the child. Child becomes violently excited from music. Child is extremely restless. Restlessness is so marked that they could not keep quiet in any position. Sudden alteration of mood, foxy, destructive impulses. Sudden violent or sly destructive movements, sudden spitefulness to a paroxysmal of insanity in which child strikes himself and others, tear and destroy things. Frightful restlessness of arms and legs. Very sensitive to music, dances to music. Aversion to company yet desires presence of some one. Child is ungrateful, discontented and guided by whims.
The general appearance of a thuja child is that of a waxy, shiny face, it looks as if smeared over with grease & is transperant and has sickly look. Adopted to hydrogenoid constitution of Gravogl. Thuja is a leading anti-sycotic remedy. Vaccinosis; child is never well since vaccination. Crying babies with a sycotic taint from the father, from congenital inguinal hernia. Child is hurried with ill-humour, talks hastily, swallows words, hunts for words, over excited, angry, anxious about trifles and cannot concentrate. They are irritable, jealous, quarrelsome children. Disquiet, which renders everything troublesome and repugnant, scrupulous about small things, moroseness, peevishness, excessively obstinate child, thoughtlessness, forgetfulness, indisposition to any kind of intellectual labour.. The outstanding characteristic of the Thuja child is sensitiveness. They are sensitive to people, responsive to kindness, conscious in what they do, emotionally upset easily. They have a peculiar sensitiveness to music, they weep on listening to music. Thuja children are almost like a chilly Pulsatilla. They also have fixed ideas.
Adopted to light complexioned, blue eyes, blond in preference to brunette, tall, slim, flat, narrow chested, active and precocious mentally, weak physically and of tubercular diathesis. They are irritable, fretful, peevish, taciturn and sulky. Indicated in light complexioned, narrow chested children. The desire to travel, that cosmopolitan condition of the mind belongs strongly to the one who needs Tuberculinum. Children are weak, emaciated with good appetite. Very sensitive mentally and physically. Every trifle irritates, fits of violent temper, wants to fight and throws anything at any one even without a cause. Dissatisfied, always wants a change, wants to travel, does not want to remain in one place long and wants to do something different all the time. They have an aversion to mental work, reckless, have fear of animals, dogs. Whines and complaints with very little ailment. Desire to use foul language, curse and swear. Changing moods. Children awake screaming with restlessness at night. Anxious, hopeless, loquacious. They have low recuperative power, very susceptible to changes in weather. They are disposed to whine and complain, feel dejected, anxious, indifferent, does not want to work, does not like to be disturbed by others but they disturb everyone.
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