Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fish Oil is...

something I should never allow us to run out of. At this moment I have a nearly six year old boy, screaming, actually that would be SCREAMING, in his bed, because he didn't get to use the bathroom of his choice. Now, I'm not a doctor, nor do I play a doctor on TV. Heck, I don't even like TV shows about doctors, but I do have some pretty strong anecdotal evidence about the benefits of fish oil. TM has always had impulse control problems...acting before he thinks, getting easily frustrated, temper tantrums, and very animal-like vocalizations (a lot of growling and such). These have all become more manageable over time, but they have virtually disappeared since I began giving him regular doses of fish oil. He is calmer, more reasonable, able to think more clearly, and is more patient. In fact, his behavior was so normal I began to wonder if I really needed to be buying fish oil at all. So when we ran out, I didn't rush out to buy it. A week after I stopped giving it to TM, we had our first major tantrum in months. That day I ran, well, walked very fast, to the store to buy more. Within a few days, he was back to his calmer self. So now, just in case I didn't learn the lesson the first time, I can see first hand the effects of going without fish oil. This time I let it run out for financial reasons (it's kind of pricey stuff) and it's been two weeks. This last week has not been a really good one for TM. We have had behaviors I thought we were done with and I'm suddenly remembering how hard I had to work to love him in those first difficult months. It is particularly bad timing on my part since his birthday is on Friday and he seems to have difficulties around the anniversaries of past trauma anyway. (With all his previous moves, there are a lot of anniversaries to navigate.) Not having the fish oil in his system to help moderate reactions is not helping. I'm hoping that we can have him a bit more regulated by Friday so he (and all of us) can enjoy his birthday.

For those of you whose children have experienced trauma, I would recommend trying fish oil if your children show the same behaviors as TM. It's been a very good thing for us. Actually the best combination has been fish oil plus a tablet form of acidophilus. Acidophilus helps promote serotonin (the chemical that contributes to feelings of happiness and contentment) production in the brain. Children who have experienced trauma often have lower than normal levels of serotonin and giving their serotonin levels a boost helps to boost positive feelings. I have found Deborah Gray's book, Nurturing Adoptions: Creating Resilience after Neglect and Trauma, to be a very valuable book.

Oh, back to the bathrooms. I'm not sure if it will make anyone feel better or not, but to those of you with fewer bathrooms than we have (which I realize is nearly the entire world), having more bathrooms does not stop the jumping around in agony outside the bathroom door. It would seem that each child develops his or her own favorite bathroom and becomes incapable of using any other bathroom. The child would rather wait...and sometimes wait too long...just to use the bathroom of his or her choice. Even if there is an available bathroom not more than 20 feet away!

12 comments:

His Hands His Feet Today said...

YES! We are on a healthy dose of the stuff as well in our house! LOL!

jan ranger said...

i starting taking acidophilus for reflex a couple of years ago. it 100 percent eliminated it. good stuff. jan (JTM phoebe)

Joanne said...

That is fascinating! Thanks Elizabeth. I'm getting that book.

Ann said...

I think I will get some . . . for my husband! And myself! LOL!

Seriously, I'm going to try some for one of my kids who sounds a lot like TM.

I hope you bought more--seems like a good investment no matter the price!

thecurryseven said...

Yes, we did get more and the change is significant. Even J, who is something of a skeptic about these things is completely convinced that it makes a difference.

e

Elaine said...

I know I should probably get the book, but how much fish oil per dose, and any specific brand you prefer?

financial help said...
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thecurryseven said...

Elaine,

I use the Nordic Naturals Children's DHA and just give the suggested dose...4 soft gels a day. (I give them all at once right before dinner.)

e

maxhelcal said...

I had never heard of the attributes of fish oil. I am excited and am going to look into this a bit more. I have several children who could benefit from it from what I have read so far.

Thanks Elizabeth!

~Michelle

Anonymous said...

Hi Elizabeth. I found your blog by accident. Cool, huh? This is Paula F. from EHE. Thanks for the fish oil post. We take fish oil, but I am not very regular about it. It sounds like I should try and be more regular. Does the book you mentioned address the fish oil directly? Or do you have other information that might help? Thanks, Paula F. at lakeschooling.fitzgibbons.info

mrsbroccoliguy said...

See, I learn something new every day. Fish oil? And acidophilus? Any chance you can sneak this stuff into their food? My 13 year old flat out refuses to take any medicine whatsoever and makes me feel like a drug dealer when I suggest it. But dang could she benefit from a boost to the happiness/contentment chemicals...

thecurryseven said...

How about trying lots of yogurt if she won't take a tablet form of acidophilus? J's grandmother (the one who's 107) also drinks milk with added acidophilus...it has a specific name, but my memory is going and I can't pull it out right now.

J and I laugh because one of the few things TM would eat those first long weeks in VN was yogurt. Who knew that's exactly what he needed and I hesitate to imagine what life would have been like without the massive amounts of yogurt!

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