What types of emotional, behavioral and mood symptoms are commonly seen in our kids?

  • Emotional, Behavioral and Mood SymptomsDepression – may be exhibited as anger with mood swings
  • Unable to adapt to stressful situations
  • Excessive rigidity
  • Excessive anxiety, panic
  • Obsessive compulsive behaviors – persistent thoughts, impulses, behaviors
  • Rage or excessive anger
  • Moodiness
  • Negativism, defiance, non-compliance, disobedient, hostile or oppositional behaviors
  • Following traumatic events intense fear, nightmares, difficulty falling asleep

What your doctor will tell you about these types of mood, emotional and behavioral problems:

Your doctor will most likely suggest therapy and counseling at school and/or private therapy and counseling depending on the severity of the situation. She might also suggest removing any triggers that might be causing behavioral issues in your child or if there are marital problems to seek counseling to improve family relations and circumstances.

Another way of thinking about mood, emotional and behavioral problems:

There are many stressors in a child’s life today and they could be physical, emotional, educational, environmental, or biological. It is most likely a perfect storm of these varied stressors that ultimately contribute to a child’s mood and behavioral symptoms.  Many times doctors offer cognitive or psychiatric therapy or even pharmaceutical solutions without first looking to see what might be the root cause (often physiological) of the symptoms.  For example, the relationship between food and mood/behaviors is often looked.  Similarly, inadequate sleep can impact mood and behavior.  Consider the following underlying issues before resorting to medications or behavior modification therapies:

How do I get to the root of my child’s mood and behavioral symptoms?

  • Address diet: reduce fast foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates (breads, cereals), inflammatory vegetable oils (such as corn, soy oil), chemically processed foods, GMOs, soda, etc.  For a child with severe mood and behavioral issues, elimination of junk food is square one.
  • Look for food sensititivies as they can have a profound impact on mood and behavior (read more about this here.)
  • Check for: dehydration (good quality water), allergies, toxicity, sleep deprivation, lack of minerals, nutritional deficiencies.
  • Create a safe environment : reduce EMFs, improve air quality, eliminate heavy metals and chemicals, check for possible mold exposure (which can also impact mood and behavior).

If you have addressed these issues and still are dealing with the problem

  • Test: for vision issues, retained reflexes and/or poor auditory processing
  • Test for the presence of chronic infections such as Lyme and coinfectors, or Strep. Your child’s mood and behavioral issues could be the result of chronic Lyme, PANS/PANDAS both of which are associated with obsessive compulsive behaviors, anxiety, depression and other “psychiatric” symptoms.
  • Attend to issues of bullying, safety, overcrowding, too much computer, not enough movement/exercise/outdoor sports activity, inappropriate curriculum, too much noise
  • Be aware of trauma, fears, family issues, unrealistic expectations, low self-esteem, lack of successes, too much failure or other experiences that may be impacting your child’s emotional well-being.

Still looking for answers?

Find a Practitioner who knows how to get to the root causes of mood and behavioral symptoms.

For further references:

Atladottir HO, Gyllenberg D, Langridge A, Sandin S, Hansen SN, Leonard H, et al. The increasing prevalence of reported diagnoses of childhood psychiatric disorders: a descriptive multinational comparison. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2015;24(2):173-83 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24796725

Berk M, Williams LJ, Jacka FN, O’Neil A, Pasco JA, Moylan S, et al. So depression is an inflammatory disease, but where does the inflammation come from? BMC Med.2013;11:200  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24228900

Berry EA, Heaton PT, Kelton CM. National estimates of the inpatient burden of pediatric bipolar disorder in the United States. J Ment Health Policy Econ. 2011;14(3):115-23  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22116169

Bayer JK, Rapee RM, Hiscock H, Ukoumunne OC, Mihalopoulos C, Clifford S, et al. The Cool Little Kids randomised controlled trial: population-level early prevention for anxiety disorders. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:11 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21208451

Bonnot O, Inaoui R, Raffin-Viard M, Bodeau N, Coussieu C, Cohen D. Children and adolescents with severe mental illness need vitamin D supplementation regardless of disease or treatment. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2011;21(2):157-61 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21486172

Ceylan MF, Guney E, Alisik M, Ergin M, Dinc GS, Goker Z, et al. Lipid peroxidation markers in children with anxiety disorders and their diagnostic implications. Redox Rep. 2014;19(2):92-6  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24520970

Cohen-Cline H, Turkheimer E, Duncan GE. Access to green space, physical activity and mental health: a twin study. J Epidemiol Community Health [Internet]. 2015 Jan 28  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25631858

Costello EJ, Foley DL, Angold A. 10-year research update review: the epidemiology of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders: II. Developmental epidemiology. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2006 Jan;45(1):8–25 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16327577

Dusetzina SB, Farley JF, Weinberger M, Gaynes BN, Sleath B, Hansen RA. Treatment use and costs among privately insured youths with diagnoses of bipolar disorder. Psychiatr Serv. 2012;63(10):1019-25 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22855210

Guney E, Fatih Ceylan M, Tektas A, Alisik M, Ergin M, Goker Z, et al. Oxidative stress in children and adolescents with anxiety disorders. J Affect Disord. 2014;156:62-6  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24326157

Fernandes AC, Cloete D, Broadbent MT, Hayes RD, Chang CK, Jackson RG, et al. Development and evaluation of a de-identification procedure for a case register sourced from mental health electronic records. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2013;13:71 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23842533

Guyol G. Who’s crazy here?: Steps for recovery without drugs for: ADD/ADHD, addiction & eating disorders, anxiety & PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism. 1st U.S. ed. Stonington, CT: Ajoite Pub.; 2010. 123 p. P. http://www.crazyrecovery.com/

Hepgul N, Cattaneo A, Zunszain PA, Pariante CM. Depression pathogenesis and treatment: what can we learn from blood mRNA expression? BMC Med. 2013;11:28  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23384232

Karakula H, Opolska A, Kowal A, Domanski M, Plotka A, Perzynski J. [Does diet affect our mood? The significance of folic acid and homocysteine]. Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2009;26(152):136-41  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19388520

Leuchter AF, Hunter AM, Krantz DE, Cook IA. Intermediate phenotypes and biomarkers of treatment outcome in major depressive disorder. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2014;16(4):525-37  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25733956

Marazziti D, Baroni S, Picchetti M, Landi P, Silvestri S, Vatteroni E, et al. Psychiatric disorders and mitochondrial dysfunctions. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2012;16(2):270-5  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22428481

Mitchell ES, Conus N, Kaput J. B vitamin polymorphisms and behavior: evidence of associations with neurodevelopment, depression, schizophrenia,bipolar disorder and cognitive decline. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014;47:307-20 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25173634

Ostiguy CS, Ellenbogen MA, Walker CD, Walker EF, Hodgins S. Sensitivity to stress among the offspring of parents with bipolar disorder: a study of daytime cortisol levels. Psychol Med. 2011;41(11):2447-57 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21524333

Rollins B, Martin MV, Sequeira PA, Moon EA, Morgan LZ, Watson SJ, et al. Mitochondrial variants in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder. PLoS One. 2009;4(3):e4913  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19290059

Rook GA, Raison CL, Lowry CA. Microbiota, immunoregulatory old friends and psychiatric disorders. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;817:319-56 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24997041

Thompson L, Kemp J, Wilson P, Pritchett R, Minnis H, Toms-Whittle L, et al. What have birth cohort studies asked about genetic, pre- and perinatal exposures and child and adolescent onset mental health outcomes? A systematic review. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010;19(1):1-15  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19636604

Van Meter AR, Henry DB, West AE. What goes up must come down: the burden of bipolar depression in youth. J Affect Disord. 2013;150(3):1048-54 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23768529


Brogan K. A Mind of Your Own. The Truth About Depression and How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives. New York, Harper, 2016 https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Your-Own-Depression-Reclaim/dp/0062405578

Campbell-McBride, Natasha.  Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia. 2010  https://www.amazon.com/Psychology-Syndrome-D-D-D-H-D-Schizophrenia/dp/0954852028

Doman GJ. What to do about your brain-injured child, or your brain-damaged, mentally retarded, mentally deficient, cerebral-palsied, emotionally disturbed, spastic, flaccid, rigid, epileptic, autistic, athetoid, hyperactive child. 1st ed. Garden City, N.Y.,: Doubleday; 1974. xv, 291 p.p.  http://www.gentlerevolution.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=G&Product_Code=0219

Hyman M. The UltraMind solution: fix your broken brain by healing your body first : the simple way to defeat depression, overcome anxiety and sharpen your mind. 1st Scribner hardcover ed. New York: Scribner; 2008. xiv, 447 p. p. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0902/2008032677-d.html


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