Another source of anxiety is too much adrenaline! In medicine, we use the term, epinephrine. In some children, there just seems to be an immature regulation of the release of adrenaline which causes a myriad of symptoms that include:
Picking or biting at fingernails or skin
Rashes that come and go
Explosion of anger when frustrated
Hitting of people or things, throwing things
Elevated blood pressure and heart rate.
Adrenaline has an evil “cousin” called nor-adrenaline. In medicine, we use the term, nor-adrenaline. Behaviors that are exhibited with excessive release of nor-adrenaline include:
Crazy or “evil” looking eyes. I call this the Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde event
Personality change that can include hate, swearing, threatening
During episodes, threats to kill or harm people
During episodes, the more the child is restrained, the more violent he/she can become
You can imagine, if the problem is an adrenaline issue, then traditional psychiatric medications are not going to help. Why? They do not address adrenaline.
To address adrenaline issues, I usually have to use prescription medications. You can imagine how hard to it is to control either the release of adrenaline or once released, its physiologic effects on the human body, which includes, apparently, switching off the child’s reasoning and logic circuits. That is why it is immensely difficult to “walk” these children back from the edge of the cliff once they are adrenalized! Some supplements I work with certainly can help, but it’s been the prescription drugs that have been the key.
5 HTP 50mg twice daily
Working with adrenaline and muting its effects on the child can be absolutely amazing! Immature control of the adrenaline system definitely needs to be considered in a child responding only marginally with other interventions. This has been helping tremendously with some of my most challenging patients!