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How to best cope and help my overly hyper and at times anxious child. I've adjusted diet, activity set routines, but my son still exhibits hyperactivity, impulsiveness and anxiety. I'm a single mom that shares custody with his father, and I just want what is best for my son. If anyone has any advice, please help.

Smartliving Guest asked this
January 5, 2015 at 9:07 PM

A:

Coaches
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Hi there!

My advice is sort of a multi-pronged approach - try to get both of you back to a more natural lifestyle.

Studies have been showing that a lot of the mental health issues we see increasing are linked to our modern lifestyle. The problem is, our bodies (and brains) have not been able to evolve as quickly as our culture has. Our bodies were designed to walk for miles everyday. For most of human history a great portion of our times has been spent outdoors, and stimuli like TV and internet and such were non-existent. We're social creatures and our ability to socialize has been cut down by schooling that demands students listen passively and not talk with each other, and by work environments that discourage non-work related communication. Our diet is also problematic - too much, too accessible, and too far from the diet we evolved for.

When you think about it, the things they are finding really make a lot of sense. The result for us is similar to those we see in captive animals whose normal activity, environment, social habits, sleep schedule, and diet have been altered! Stress increases, and with that immunity is lowered, compulsive behaviors (like a bird pulling out its feathers, or a tiger pacing in its cage) can develop, and aggression is common.

So, my suggestion would be a couple things -

  • to get your son engaged in a physical activity (or activities) he enjoys
  • to reduce screen time
  • to increase time spent in nature
  • to regularly make time for the two of you to talk or do something together
  • to avoid processed foods and aim for the highest proportion of veggies in his diet you can get without a battle
  • to ensure he's getting plenty of sleep
  • also, to support and nurture his special interests, so he can build skills or knowledge bases he takes pride in

In addition to this all, I've heard really good things about two homeopathic medicines - Synaptol, which is an ADHD treatment, and Anxietin, which is an anxiety treatment. The nice thing about these is that they don't change the chemistry of the body like pharmaceuticals, so you don't get the side-effects or risk of addiction. They actually work sort of like a vaccine, but without any viral ingredients. They use a blend of natural ingredients to help build resistance to problem symptoms over time. There's a guarantee on them, so those may be something that's worth a try! ( www.synaptol.com and www.anxietin.com )

So you know this isn't just a crazy person making this stuff up, I've included links so you can read more on some of the things I've been talking about. ;)

EXERCISE:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2013/06/daniel_lieberman_long_distance_running_we_evolved_endurance_and_dislike.html

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/26/exercise-and-the-ever-smarter-human-brain/

NATURE:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/out-the-darkness/201204/the-power-nature-ecotherapy-and-awakening

http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/nature-therapy-ecotherapy

https://www.smartlivingnetwork.com/holistic/b/ecotherapy-healing-with-nature-in-mind/ (an article I actually wrote on the subject!)

TV/SCREEN TIME:

http://www.rense.com/general58/tvad.htm

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/apr/18/20040418-102127-5656r/

SOCIAL NEEDS:

https://www.ted.com/talks/stefana_broadbent_how_the_internet_enables_intimacy

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200308/the-dangers-loneliness

DIET:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100729091454.htm

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-what-you-eat-affect-your-mental-health-new-research-links-diet-and-the-mind/2014/03/24/c6b40876-abc0-11e3-af5f-4c56b834c4bf_story.html

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/healthy-diet-eating-mental-health-mind

SLEEP:

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mental_Health_Letter/2009/July/Sleep-and-mental-health

http://www.intelihealth.com/article/the-link-between-adhd-and-sleep-problems?hd=Minding

HOBBIES:

http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/10-ways-to-look-after-your-mental-health/do-something-youre-good-at/

http://www.examiner.com/article/how-hobbies-improve-mental-health-part-i

Erin Froehlich answered
January 6, 2015 at 11:28 AM

Thank you so much for your response!

Cynthia answered
January 6, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Not a problem! You may have noticed this is a subject I'm kind of passionate about. ;) I really wish more people were aware of these things. In a lot of ways we're really blessed to live with the knowledge and capabilities of today, but the "quick-fix" approach we've embraced with pills is really only a band-aid. If we want to solve the mounting mental health problems in our culture, we need to get to the root cause. Problem is, pharmaceutical companies with all their money and power don't like solutions they can't keeping billing us for throughout our lives. :P

Anyway, hope this helps!

Erin Froehlich answered
January 6, 2015 at 12:28 PM
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