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